Although the anime was originally only released in Japan, it was released in the collector's edition of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in North America and Europe. This Limited Edition Collector's Set was released on February 6, 2007.
The anime was made over a period of roughly six months, from Tetsuya Nomura's approaching Studio MadHouse to create the short to its completion. Nomura worked heavily with Studio MadHouse during this period making sure what they were making fit with the ideas he was trying to portray, and several scenes underwent numerous revisions, changing both major and minuscule points to meet with Nomura's approval.
Though the events as depicted contradict Final Fantasy VII and are again contradicted by Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- has still been included as an important part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII in both the Crisis Core and 10th Anniversary Ultimanias, and several explanations - such as the contradictory events being the reports of the present Turk and Cloud and Tifa not consciously recalling their conversation until Cloud's memories are restored - have been offered to explain the differences in the Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- telling and the rest of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary edition, however, states that Last Order is "a work outside the Compilation" and an "interpretation" of the backstory from Final Fantasy VII.
“I don't need an assurance of my life. What I want.... IS FREEDOM!”
An unresponsive Cloud is being carried by Zack on his back in a forest. The two are being pursued by men in grunt uniforms, but they escape and jump off a cliff.
Meanwhile in the Shinra Headquarters Tseng is talking on a cellphone how the military has made contact with the "target" and the Turks will be sent to where it was encountered. Seventy-two hours ago, the Turks received a mission to capture "samples" on run from a Shinra facility, two adult males, one formerly a SOLDIER First Class.
Five years ago Nibelheim was torched by Sephiroth. Sephiroth walked away from the town and Tifa searched around Nibelheim for her father and saw Zangan helping an injured civilian. Zangan told her Sephiroth set the town aflame and that her father is at the Mako Reactor on Mt. Nibel with him, and despite Zangan's warnings, Tifa ran off.
Zack, still carrying Cloud, is surrounded by troops. Zack places Cloud on the ground and fights them, but as more troops arrive, Zack runs off, leaving Cloud behind.
During the Nibelheim Incident Zack, along with a troop, arrived at the burning Nibelheim and met Zangan, who told Sephiroth has gone to Mt. Nibel with Tifa. Zack told the troop to help Zangan and that he will help Tifa.
Zack runs down a street and two troops on bikes stop him and a helicopter arrives, containing two Turks - Rude and Elena's older sister. Rude asks via his headset if they are supposed to kill or capture Zack. Tseng in his office tells them to try their best to catch him alive. The female Turk tells Zack to surrender, and that if he does, they can promise his personal safety. The two troops on the bikes decide to take him, readying their guns, and Zack declares "what he wants is freedom", and runs at the troops.
During the Nibelheim Incident Tifa arrived at Mako Reactor where she saw her father on the ground with a bloodied sword beside him. He told her to run and died, and Tifa grabbed the sword saying she hates SOLDIER, Shinra and the Mako Reactors. Sephiroth entered the Mako Reactor but stopped at a door that led to the deepest chamber, saying, "Mother. I've come for you". Tifa tried to attack Sephiroth with the sword, but Sephiroth disarmed her and knocked her down the stairs. Tifa reminisced about a promise that when she would be in trouble, Cloud would come and save her.
Cloud is lying motionless on the ground with Zack's Buster Sword in front of him. Two troops try to lift the sword but are unable to. Zack arrives on a bike he stole and saves Cloud. Zack and Cloud ride away with Rude and Gun in a helicopter above them, following, but they lose them and inform Tseng they will return to Midgar. Tseng in his office says Midgar has to be cordoned off.
Back at the reactor, Zack woke Tifa up and entered the door Sephiroth went through. Sephiroth was standing in front of the metallic sculpture of Jenova saying they should take back the Planet together and go to the Promised Land. Zack demanded to know why Sephiroth killed the villagers and hurt Tifa, but Sephiroth laughed and said that with Jenova's superior powers and knowledge, she should have become the ruler of the Planet. Sephiroth ripped off the metal cover to reveal Jenova within a large glass container. Zack threatened Sephiroth who called him a traitor, and the two fought.
Zack said Sephiroth is no longer the Sephiroth he once knew. Sephiroth said he is the chosen ruler of the Planet who will take it back from humans and return it to the Cetra. Sephiroth defeated Zack and threw him out of Jenova's chamber. As Sephiroth was telling Jenova everything would be fine now, a sword is shoved through his abdomen; it was Cloud, who ran back down to tend to Tifa. Tifa was amazed to see Cloud kept his promise.
Sephiroth broke Jenova's container and cut off her head, taking it with him as he left. Zack encouraged Cloud to finish him off. Sephiroth stabbed Cloud through the stomach, but was still overcome by Cloud, who suddenly appeared much stronger.
Sephiroth saw Cloud's glowing eyes and laughed. He told Jenova to come with him to the Promised Land and jumped off the platform to the bottom of the reactor, disappearing. Cloud, still with Sephiroth's sword in him, passed out.
Zack and Cloud were found collapsed in the Nibelheim Reactor by the Turks, with Zangan having taken Tifa away. The reactor became filled with Turks and scientists, and as Zack was being carried out of the reactor, Professor Hojo said he is to be taken to Shinra Manor basement. Hojo found Cloud interesting and wanted to use him as a new sample for his experiments.
Zack has abandoned the bike after running out of gas and has hitchhiked a truck leaving for Midgar. Tseng and eight other Turks board a helicopter. Zack and Cloud are in the back of a yellow truck driving in the Midgar Wasteland. Cloud is unresponsive, but Zack promises Cloud he won't leave him and that once they get to Midgar, they can become jack-of-all-trades. A sniping scope locks onto Cloud, and a person says they will be within firing range soon. Another person says to go for it. The first person says the Turks said to wait until after they arrive, but the second person says they are not going to give the Turks the credit. The Turks' helicopter is above the wasteland, with Tseng and Elena's sister piloting.
Zack asks the driver why they are not in Midgar yet, but suddenly blinks and dashes to Cloud and the scene goes black. Zack tells Cloud to run when a gun goes off.
Because Final Fantasy VII was produced several years prior to the release of Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-, the interpretations of events sometimes differ between the game and the OVA. Further discrepancies are made in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Zack changes his hairstyle after Angeal's death. This hairstyle is the one he has in the flashbacks in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, yet, in Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- (and Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-) his hair retains its original appearance. This contradicts the rest of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, as Zack changed his hairstyle before the Nibelheim incident occurred.
In Final Fantasy VII, Tifa's father is found already dead within the Mako Reactor. In Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-, he is found dying outside the reactor. Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- does not include this event.
In Final Fantasy VII, when Sephiroth injures Tifa, Zack just checks on her. In Last Order, they have a short conversation before Zack enters the chamber. This conversation also occurs in Crisis Core.
In Last Order, Cloud and Sephiroth have dialogue during their confrontation that was not present in the game. The same is true in Crisis Core.
In Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud charges Sephiroth with Zack's Buster Sword, Sephiroth turns in time to be stabbed in his stomach. In Last Order, Sephiroth is unaware of Cloud's presence in Jenova's chamber until after he is stabbed through his lower back. He is again stabbed through the back in Crisis Core.
In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is stabbed by Sephiroth's Masamune once. In Last Order, he is stabbed with the sword twice. Cloud is only stabbed once in Crisis Core.
In Final Fantasy VII when Sephiroth attempts to leave with Jenova's head, Cloud pursues him onto a catwalk that crosses over the middle of the reactor, a wide shaft leading into the Lifestream below. Here, Sephiroth turns and runs his Masamune through Cloud. After being impaled and held in the air above the Lifestream, Cloud pulls the blade out and uses it to fling Sephiroth into the Lifestream. In Last Order, Cloud charges Sephiroth while he stands at the top of the stairs leading to Jenova's chamber, and is impaled a first time. Sephiroth tosses him into Jenova's chamber and impales him upon his blade a second time, holding Cloud above the shaft that leads to the Lifestream. Cloud grabs Sephiroth's sword and throws him into a wall. Sephiroth then jumps into the Lifestream willingly. What happened in Last Order is also present in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. Crisis Core alters the events further, with Cloud charging Sephiroth on the steps and being knocked into the Jenova chamber. Sephiroth stabs Cloud and the events proceed as they did in the original game, other than occurring in the Jenova chamber.
In Final Fantasy VII, when Zack rushes Sephiroth he is instantly defeated. In Last Order, he fights with Sephiroth before being defeated and the battle commences above the shaft. In Crisis Core, the fight is expanded into a two-part boss battle and the battle commences below the shaft.
In Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud moves Tifa to safety after defeating Sephiroth, there is no dialogue. In Last Order, after Cloud stabs Sephiroth and moves Tifa to safety, she regains consciousness and speaks with him. Though this seems like a contradiction, the dialogue in Last Order comes from the true version of Nibelheim incident events revealed during the Cloud's Subconscious sequence, and is further explained as both Cloud and Tifa recovering lost memories in the Lifestream in the 10th Anniversary Ultimania.
In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is present during Sephiroth's attack on Nibelheim and is knocked unconscious. He later recovers and rushes to the Mako Reactor after Zack has already gone in. In Last Order, Cloud and Zack discover Nibelheim in flames, and Cloud only goes to the reactor after looking for injured civilians with Zangan. In Crisis Core, Cloud is knocked unconscious as in the original game.
In Last Order, Zangan is involved with rescuing civilians during the Nibelheim incident as true to Final Fantasy VII's original version of the event. In Crisis Core, however, Zangan is nowhere to be seen.
While Final Fantasy VII features the hitchhiking scenario, it jumps ahead to a scene in which Zack is gunned down on a cliff overlooking Midgar by three Shinra soldiers by surprise, one of whom fires several shots into his body at near point-blank range. In Crisis Core, Zack was still fighting (barely) the three Shinra soldiers (two infantrymen and one captain) when he got gunned down. In Last Order, while riding in the bed of the pickup, Cloud is being targeted through the scope of a Shinra soldier's rifle. Zack scrambles to protect Cloud, the screen goes blank, and Zack is heard telling Cloud to run, followed by a gunshot and the closing credits, leading to an incorrect inference that he was killed while taking a bullet for Cloud. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, the scene is featured as one of Cloud's flashbacks and extended to clarify the sniper missed his mark and they came under fire, resulting in Zack's final confrontation with a legion of Shinra soldiers as depicted in Crisis Core, which leads to him being killed by the three surviving soldiers, as seen in the original game.
In Crisis Core (and presumably in Final Fantasy VII), Cloud is infused with Mako for the first time after the events in the reactor, but its possible that before failing to make SOLDIER, he was exposed to Mako, it just did not take and therefore he was only cut out to be a standard guard. In Last Order, Cloud seems infused even before Hojo's experiments, and as his eyes glow while fighting Sephiroth.
In Last Order, Zack's eyes appear dark purple, which contradicts all other pieces of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII where he bears the sky-blue eyes SOLDIER are known for.
In Crisis Core, following his battle with Sephiroth in the Mako Reactor, he is knocked back towards the stairs leading to Jenova. In Last Order, he is knocked back and instead hit a capsule.
In Final Fantasy VII, when Zack enters Jenova's chamber, the door is open. In Last Order, he uses the Buster Sword to bust through the door. The same happens in Crisis Core.
Despite the anime's release on the collector's edition of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in North America and Europe, it was not dubbed. The voices remained Japanese; however, English subtitles could be turned on.