|Balthier: I'm afraid the jury's still out on that one.|
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Final Fantasy VII Remake is an upcoming HD remake of Final Fantasy VII, originally released for the PlayStation in 1997. The game is entirely remade, using the story and characters from the original, and will be released in parts. The official title is Final Fantasy VII Remake to convey its status as a remake rather than a spin-off or sequel. The game is being developed by Square Enix's Business Division 1, helmed by Yoshinori Kitase as producer (the original director of Final Fantasy VII) and Tetsuya Nomura as director (original character designer known as the director for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and the Kingdom Hearts series).
A surprise announcement was made on June 15 during E3 2015 that Final Fantasy VII would be remade for PlayStation 4. The debut gameplay trailer was shown on December 5, 2015 during PlayStation Experience 2015. The entirety of it is in-game, except for the snippets from the E3 2015 teaser trailer.
After the first gameplay trailer was shown in December 2015, producer Yoshinori Kitase said the new game is not completely action-based, but would have more of that element than the original game. He identified the unique point of Final Fantasy and RPGs being the players' ability to choose equipment, capabilities and magic to be strategic-minded, saying this would be preserved for the remake. The party will include three members and the player can freely switch among them. The gameplay trailer shown at PlayStation Experience showed Cloud and Barret using attacks reminiscent of their starting Limit Breaks from the original Final Fantasy VII: Braver and Big Shot, respectively.
Unlike the encounter battles in the original version, the team is aiming for a seamless active battle for the remake. Developers that worked on Dissidia Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts have been gathered to create a similar battle system and battle tempo. The Limit Breaks familiar from the original Final Fantasy VII will be present, but activated in different ways. The remake will also have another unique ability system that "will be different depending on the player's fighting style". There will be ATB and Limit gauges, but ATB gauges do not "indicate the order of attacks"; players may make attacks before the ATB gauge fills. Nothing has been decided about guarding yet.
Gaia is a technologically advanced planet dominated by humans, who are the only major sentient race other than a few nearly extinct species. The world is economically, militarily, and politically dominated by the powerful conglomerate of Shinra Electric Power Company, which profits from the use of Mako Reactors.
The reactors siphon a special type of energy—called Mako—out of the planet and convert it into electricity, giving consumers access to technological comforts and innovations that ease and improve the quality of everyday life. One of the byproducts of the extraction and refinement of Mako energy is Materia, a concentrated form of Mako which allows the wielder to harness its magical properties.
President Shinra leads his eponymous organization, and is the world's de facto ruler. Unbeknown to most of the world, Shinra's existence hides many atrocities and acts of despotism committed since its rise to power, including public manipulation, internal conflicts, and abuses of its authority, from morally questionable scientific experimentation, human rights abuses, unaddressed civil inequalities and issues, military and police scale oppression, and the denial of the detrimental results of Mako as a power source.
Mako energy is drawn from the Lifestream, a flow of life-force beneath the planet's surface. All life originates from the Lifestream, and returns to it upon death, and the Lifestream is the sum of all the life that has ever and will ever live upon the planet. The process of extracting Mako energy drains the life of the planet to generate electricity. This can be seen in the Shinra's capital city of Midgar surrounded by a wasteland where plants barely grow.
The cast featured in the original Final Fantasy VII is said to return with all the same playable characters. So far, Cloud and Barret have been demonstrated in-game.
- Cloud Strife is the main protagonist, posing as a former member of SOLDIER now operating as a mercenary caught up in the actions of eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE.
- Barret Wallace, the leader of AVALANCHE, wields a gun on his right arm in place of his injured hand. Despite his brash and loud-mouthed personality, he is a caring person.
The story is expected to follow the original closely. The first gameplay trailer shows scenes faithfully recreating AVALANCHE's bombing mission on the Sector 1 Reactor.
Nobuo Uematsu will not return for the remake; it is still unknown who will compose/arrange the music for it.
During the trailer shown at PlayStation Experience 2015 the Distant Worlds orchestrated version of the "Opening - Bombing Mission" played.
In 2005 at the Sony E3 annual press conference, Square Enix showed a technical demo for the PlayStation 3 depicting the opening sequence to the original Final Fantasy VII remade with the PlayStation 3's enhanced graphics. Square Enix later made an official statement of there being no plans of a remake of Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3.
The rumors were sparked a second time with Square Enix's exhibition of new FMV artworks during the Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary event in Japan. The artworks depicted the characters in their Final Fantasy VII costumes, reigniting rumors a remake of the game may be in development. These CG artworks were printed on the new canned Potion beverages. Kazuo Hirai, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, also fueled the rumors by sticking a small note in the exhibition saying "Congratulations for the ten fantastic years! The best is yet to come".
The release of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- brought new speculation to the possibility of a remake; the ending shows the beginning of Final Fantasy VII in a modern CG style, followed by a title card reading "to be continued in FINAL FANTASY VII", in reference to the original game.
Rumors surfaced again due to photos of a Best Buy ad stating the game was to be released on August 16, 2008.
Despite excitement surrounding the chance of a remake, Square Enix consistently denied any and all rumors on several occasions. With photos of an ad for CLOUD Vol.2 appearing on the Internet, the excitement rose yet again. The ad was revealed to be for a book.
In December of 2009, Tetsuya Nomura hinted an announcement is to come sometime in 2010 promising a game highly requested by fans—some of which have personally requested it from him, and the reaction he expects from the announcement is downright huge. Again this led to immense speculation of a Final Fantasy VII remake.
In January of 2010, Tetsuya Nomura followed up on his previous statement stating "Fans are looking forward to an often rumored remake of Final Fantasy VII, but I don't believe this will happen for the time being." For some this seemed like the end, but others argued that "for the time being" meant a remake could surface in the future.
In February 2010, Yoshinori Kitase stated he would like to take part in a remake of Final Fantasy VII in the future, but it was not in his immediate plan.
At the beginning of March 2010, Square Enix asked the public, on its official Twitter blog, what they would think of a remake.
On March 22, 2010, Square Enix then-CEO Yoichi Wada stated the company would "explore the possibility—whether or not we're going to do it, if we're going to do it, and the platform". On May 31, 2010, Wada stated it would take longer than he is prepared to invest in a single project to remake Final Fantasy VII. However, since Square Enix received so many requests for a remake, the prospect was not completely ruled out.
In May 2012, Tetsuya Nomura addressed the fans' demand for a Final Fantasy VII remake in a Famitsu interview by saying that newer games (such as Final Fantasy XV) take precedent because the developers want to create new Final Fantasy games that can surpass people's expectations instead of remaking classics.
In February 2014, Yoshinori Kitase stated in an interview with Eurogamer that he would love to do an HD remake of Final Fantasy VII, but that it would take a lot to make such a project a reality. Kitase mentioned staff availability and budget as two major barriers to the project being greenlit, as well as his personal motivation to create it, as he admitted that though he casually says he would like to do a remake, it would be a huge project.
Gametrailers.com listed Final Fantasy VII on their "Top 10 Necessary Remakes" at #2.
Despite many doubts and after years of rumors, on June 15, 2015, the anticipated remake of Final Fantasy VII was announced at E3 2015.
The team had plans for a remake on several occasions, but finally decided to do it. One of the main reasons was the timing for the staff members developing the game being suitable, and "hitting that age". Of the staff that worked on the original Final Fantasy VII, and those who are working on the remake, Tetsuya Nomura is the youngest at 45 years old. With the timing and opportunity in mind, the trio of Kitase, Nojima and Nomura decided to go for it.
Shinji Hashimoto, a Square Enix executive and Final Fantasy brand manager, came to Kitase and Nomura with the topic of the remake, as he had been involved with marketing and sales with the original version, and the game has a special place in his heart. Tetsuya Nomura assumed Kitase was to direct the remake, and was surprised when he realized he had been given the role.
The remake will be different from the original game. Nomura has said that simply overhauling the graphics would not surpass the original version. He described the remake as "vastly evolved" to the story as "there will be more work added to it". Parts of the announcement video will be used in the game. The team will be looking to the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which Nomura also directed, for visual references and inspiration.
My goal with the remake is to make it apply to the current era, the current generation of players that are going to be coming into contact with or playing FFVII for the first time through this remake. I want to make it so it's relevant to the modern era, as well as having an element of surprise. It has to be something that riles up this sense of wonder and amazement. I don't want to change it so much that it's unrecognisable, but make sure that it's something fresh and new [yet still] recognisable as FFVII. That's what I'll be keeping in mind as I work on this.
Various companies, including CyberConnect2, are assisting development. CyberConnect2's production tastes differ somewhat from that of Square Enix's, so the two companies are keeping close with each other.
On June 15 the video game website Siliconera reported Final Fantasy VII is getting a remake and would be coming first to PlayStation 4, with other platforms to be announced later. Later that day, during Sony's E3 conference, the announcement trailer for the remake showed scenes from Midgar, its slums and glimpses of Cloud and Barret. Yoshinori Kitase was announced as producer, Tetsuya Nomura as director and Kazushige Nojima as scenario writer. The remake announcement was met with wild enthusiasm and sent Square Enix's stock surging to its highest since November 2008, at the close in Tokyo trading. The announcement trailer became the most-watched E3 2015 video game trailer.
The project had been in development for some time before it was announced at E3 2015. The announcement decision was done to boost PlayStation 4 sales in Japan, in the hopes of widening the install base by reassuring the platform will have games to look forward to.
A trailer featuring gameplay was shown on 5th December 2015 during PlayStation Experience. It was announced the game would be released in parts due to the dense content, and producer Yoshinori Kitase addressed fans directly in a blog post afterward explaining the decision.
On December 15, 2015, Famitsu magazine revealed that the scenario of the first entry in the multi-part series was complete.
Not much was said about the game during 2016.
On January 31st (the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII) a new piece of promotional art was unveiled as part of an announcement of the Final Fantasy VII Remake campaign, as well as to promote the upcoming port of Mobius Final Fantasy. The picture displays Cloud and Sephiroth layered over an elaborate render of Midgar's upper plate and the Shinra Headquarters. Sephiroth's attire appears to have undergone some minor changes, such as the patterns on his pauldrons. His single black angel wing extends from his back, similar to his CG revision in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. No further information on the project was disclosed, other than that the development team is waiting to release a lot of information at once at a further date, as opposed to occasional updates and teases.
On May 24th Producer Yoshinori Kitase, Director Tetsuya Nomura, and Development Leader Naoki Hamaguchi posted messages on the company's official website, asking people to send their applications as Business Division 1 was hiring for the project. According to Kitase, the project was heading into "the development progress phase." Soon after, it was revealed Square Enix is shifting development in-house to be led by Hamaguchi, who was previously in charge of the development for Mobius Final Fantasy. Development had been carried out mainly with the support of external partners, but when the product was going into mass production, Square Enix decided to shift the development back to within the company to maintain a stable schedule and have control over quality.
Visuals and art directionEdit
Nomura has said there are people even within Square Enix who put "too much of a focus on the 'VII-ness' and are resistant to changing it." He has said that the "FFVII-ness" isn't easily defined as it means different things for different people. Nomura wants to separate the feelings of nostalgia and being "trapped" by the series of the past, as in his opinion declaring "FF is like this" makes one unable to create a Final Fantasy game.
The starting point of development was to maintain the graphic quality of characters like Cloud, Tifa and Aerith as how they had appeared in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in real-time while playing the game. The team is aiming to balance realism and a stylized look. If the characters were to appear too realistic, they wouldn't be recognizable.
Square Enix is using Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 to create the game, rather than the Luminous Engine Final Fantasy XV was developed on. Graphics technology company Geomerics will be involved using their award-winning global illumination technology, Enlighten, as the indirect lighting solution of choice.
The game is planned for release in multiple parts, as a remake of Final Fantasy VII would not fit into a single release. Was the team to dedicate to a single release, the content would need to be cut, so rather than remake the game as a full volume, it was decided to do it in parts. The parts will be full-sized games with the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy cited as the base model, each part being the scale of one game from the XIII series. 
|Executive Producer||Shinji Hashimoto|
|Character Designers||Tetsuya Nomura, Roberto Ferrari|
|Development Leader||Naoki Hamaguchi|
|Character||Japanese Voice Actor||English Voice Actor|
|Cloud Strife||Takahiro Sakurai||Steve Burton|
|Barret Wallace||Masahiro Kobayashi||Beau Billingslea|
- ↑ Don't Expect Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy 7 Remake Until At Least 2018 (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at GameSpot
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Final Fantasy VII Remake details: reason for multi-part release, CyberConnect2 collaboration, more (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Gematsu
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UWcBhdYlow
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Yoshinori Kitase: ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake not completely action-based’ (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Gematsu
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Gets Info on Battle, Party Size, Character Switching, Graphics and More (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Dualshockers
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake part one scenario complete (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Gematsu
- ↑ Uematsu Confirms Zero Involvement With Final Fantasy VII Remake (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Final Fantasy Union
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary (Accessed: July 01, 2008) at Final Fantasy Turkey
- ↑ Square Enix CEO Comments on Final Fantasy VII remake (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Siliconera
- ↑ How Long Would a Final Fantasy VII Remake Take (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Kotaku
- ↑ FFVII & FFXI Anniv. Square Enix interviews (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Final Fantasy Network
- ↑ The director of Final Fantasy 7 on the remake everyone wants (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Eurogamer
- ↑ Why Square Enix Decided To Finally Make The Final Fantasy VII Remake (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Siliconera
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 FFVII Remake: Nomura interview translation [Famitsu 25/06/15] (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Lifestream
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Have More Work Done To Its Story (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Siliconera
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII Remake won’t have new characters (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Gematsu
- ↑ 'Dramatic changes' and Advent Children will help shape the Final Fantasy 7 Remake (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Gamesradar
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII director: remake won't be a direct upgrade (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Wired
- ↑ Square Enix Wins Cheers, Share Gain on Final Fantasy Trailer (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Bloomberg
- ↑ So people are really into this Final Fantasy VII remake (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Destructoid
- ↑ Final Fantasy 7 remake was underway before the PS4 PC port was announced (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Eurogamer
- ↑ FINAL FANTASY VII Remake (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Official Square Enix NA website
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Team Urgently Recruiting, Here’s A Message From Key Staff (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Siliconera
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII Remake shifts toward internal development (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Nova Crystallis
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake is being built on Unreal Engine 4 (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Nova Crystallis
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Be Multiple Full-Sized Games (Accessed: September 20, 2017) at Gamespot
- ↑ http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/04/11/final-fantasy-vii-remake-interview-game-informer.aspx