In 2005, Square Enix released a tech demo showcasing the power of the PlayStation 3 that would be discussed throughout the decade. This fully recreated tech demo Final Fantasy VII opening cinematic. From the moment the tech demo debuted, Final Fantasy fans were keen to see a remake of the iconic, but aging, FFVII. Ten years later, Square Enix finally announces Final Fantasy VII Remakewhich was released five years later in 2020.
Remake is only the first of three games covering FFVII story, at least in theory. In truth, Remake was not an exact recreation of FFVII story. Remake introduces many deviations FFVII narrative departure FFVII fans don’t know in which direction Final Fantasy VII Revival and the third game will go. Although some changes and retcons were considered controversial, each provides some level of intrigue for the two games that will follow.
This list contains spoilers for Final Fantasy VII Remake
ten Shinra was the one who blew up the Mako 1 reactor
One of the first notable changes FFVII fans noticed comes during the bombing mission at the very beginning of the two FFVII and Remake. During the bombing mission, Cloud joins the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE to blow up one of Shinra Electric Power Company’s Mako Energy Reactors.
Cloud and Barret place a bomb on the Mako 1 reactor core, but the explosion caused by the bomb is much larger than the characters had anticipated, resulting in civilian deaths. Current interpretation in the original version of FFVII attributed this to the inexperience of AVALANCHE member and bomb-maker, Jessie. In Remake, however, it is shown that Shinra herself set off the Big Bang to portray AVALANCHE as an evil terrorist group. It’s a little throwback to the FFVIIbut one that does well to set up Shinra’s evil nature.
9 Whispers ensure that no one leaves their predetermined path
The common theme of Remake focuses on finding free will in a predetermined world, much like the Disney+ series Loki. In the world of FFVII, every event, action, high and low is established in advance. In some ways it’s a meta reference to a player playing through FFVII several times, with the story Remake to break this cycle.
In Remake, the correct order of the timeline is represented by Whispers – ghosts who ensure that each character follows their predetermined paths and does not die beforehand. Whispers are seen blocking the pathways and saving the characters from fatal falls. Remake is when FFVII the characters become aware of the existence of Whispers for the first time.
8 Remake introduces new characters and incorporates compilation characters
A remake of a classic video game, especially designed to take the story down a different path from the original, provides the perfect opportunity to introduce new characters and develop minor characters. Two notable new characters include Chadley, a tech assistant who helps Cloud’s group through their research, and Roche, a Private 3rd Class who fights Cloud on his motorcycle.
Remake also took this opportunity to incorporate characters that later debuted in Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles, such as the Deepground organization of Cerberus’ Dirge: Final Fantasy VII and Kyrie Canaan from the novel The children are well: a side story with the Turks.
seven Yuffie pays a visit to Midgar
When the players learned Remake would take place entirely in the first part of Midgar of FFVII, fans assumed they wouldn’t get to see characters like Yuffie until after the sequel. However, Square Enix has overturned those expectations by introducing a DLC titled “Episode INTERmission”, featuring the energetic ninja Wutai Yuffie in a completely original story.
Thanks to this DLC, Remake establishes that Yuffie took a trip to Midgar during the early events of FFVII. Yuffie lines up with another Wutaian in Sonon in hopes of taking down Shinra herself. “Episode INTERmission” is a fantastic DLC that provides an in-depth look at who Yuffie is before Cloud’s party gets a chance to meet her.
6 Fort Condor is a board game in the remake
Font Condor was a brief section of FFVII, which involves Cloud having to protect a giant condor and its egg from a Shinra assault. This condor rests on a Mako Reactor that houses the massive Materia, which is wanted by both Cloud’s group and Shinra.
Fort Condor makes an appearance in “Episode INTERmission” as a tower defense strategy game where both players must protect three condor stations from the opposing player’s assault. Players can challenge characters of different difficulties and build their coin collection for high replayability. It is unknown if the original Fort Condor section of the story will make its way into Renaissance.
5 The Underground Test Site is a brand new area
Remake recreates many memorable areas of FFVII. From towns like the slums of Sector 7 to the massive Shinra Building, each area is more magnificent than ever. Yet one area, in particular, was an entirely new area within FFVII world: the underground test site.
The Underground Test Site is a research facility located under Sector 7 and is discovered by Cloud’s group after Shina drops the huge Sector 7 plaque on the Sector 7 slums. , Cloud’s group encounters many grotesque creatures, unique to Remakewhich were Professor Hojo’s failed experiments.
4 Biggs and Wedge survive the Sector 7 tragedy
One of the saddest parts of the early stages of FFVII was the collapse of the Sector 7 plate over the Sector 7 slums. In the process, three characters allied to Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge were presumed dead. None of these three returned in FFVII or any other part of the Compilation, giving credence to the belief that all three are in fact dead.
With how much more depth and characterization the three characters have been given, it would have been even more heartbreaking if that held true for Remake. Again, Square Enix went in a different direction. Wedge survived the Sector 7 plate collapse and is in the underground test site, while Biggs was injured, only waking up at the end of Remake. Jessie’s fate remains unknown, but given the circumstances of her departure in Remakeit is unlikely that she survived.
3 Sephiroth has been a force from the very beginning
Sephiroth is one of gaming’s most iconic and recognizable villains. He even made a playable appearance in Super Smash Bros Ultimate as one of the latest DLC characters. So it was understandable that Square Enix sought to include Sephiroth in Remake.
In FFVIISephiroth only appears after Cloud’s party leaves Midgar in what would be the start of Renaissance if this game follows the same story rhythms as FFVII. They are still aware of Sephiroth violently killing Chairman Shinra, establishing that he is a villain to be feared. In Remakehowever, Sephiroth debuts much earlier to break the predetermined time stream.
2 The end of Remake changes everything
Sephiroth’s objective is achieved thanks to the end of Remake. The last chapter of Remake takes Cloud’s party into what’s called the Singularity, represented by a shuffle of Midgar upon its destruction thanks to Meteor and Aerith’s vision of the Lifestream.
Within Singularity, Cloud’s group fights off a boss onslaught culminating in a battle against the Whisper Harbinger, a massive being who controls the flow of time. After his defeat, and Sephiroth’s immediately after, the time cycle is broken, leading to many undesirable effects. Cloud’s party snaps back to reality where, like the player, they have no idea what the future holds.
1 Zack Fair is now alive and well
Remake the ending sent a massive ripple effect through the world of FF VII, with most ramifications yet to be explored. A shocking moment in the ending was that Zack Fair has now survived his heartbreaking final fight.
Zack is briefly seen carrying an injured Cloud towards Midgar. In “Episode INTERmission”, there is a scene where Zack knocks on the door of Aerith’s church in hopes that Aerith is still there. It’s fascinating to consider what Zack’s newfound survival could mean for the future of the Remake Trilogy, and how it may affect Cloud and Aerith’s story arcs. All the more reason to be thrilled to see Zack’s story in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion.
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