The Final Fantasy VII remake: What we know so far

Back in June, Square Enix announced the return of the much beloved role-playing game, Final Fantasy VII (FFVII).

The announcement pointed towards a remake of the game – dubbed Final Fantasy VII Remake – rather than a remastered version of the original game, which is what people can now play on the PC or on the PlayStation 4. 

While not a lot of information has been made available regarding the ins and outs of how they'll pull off the remake, there's enough new information out now to warrant a piece that collects what people know so far, based on interviews and news tidbits.

Let's dive into the lifestream, shall we?

FFVII REMAKE'S BARRETT. Screen shot from YouTube.

FFVII REMAKE'S BARRETT. Screen shot from YouTube.

A multi-part adventure

Game producer Yoshinori Kitase said in a blog post, as well as at PlayStation Experience in San Francisco on December 5 and 6, that Final Fantasy VII Remake will be a multi-part role-playing game.

Kitase wrote in his post that the reason behind the company's hemming and hawing over a remake of the game was that it would be "a massive undertaking to reconstruct Final Fantasy VII from the ground up with the current technology."

He added, "Producing a proper HD remake of Final Fantasy VII that maintains the same feeling of density of the original would result in a volume of content that couldn’t possibly fit into one instalment."

To attempt to fit everything in one installment would mean cutting corners and ultimately, creating a condensed FFVII experience.

FIGHTING. Screen shot from YouTube.

FIGHTING. Screen shot from YouTube.

A new battle system

The second major point, as you might have seen in the trailer on this article, is that the gameplay has also been altered to make for a more modern experience.

According to Gematsu's translated excerpts of an article from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, "the battle system is Active Time Battle. However, the ATB gauge doesn’t indicate the order of attacks, but rather is its own system unique to Final Fantasy VII Remake. (Game director Tetsuya) Nomura says you should pay particular attention to when the gauge turns red. "

While you still get to choose 3 characters for your party, players can switch freely among the 3 characters at any time should they choose to.

Nomura added in the excerpt that fighting will be more complex than simply hitting enemies till they're down.

The Square Enix team has assembled members from some of its other games, namely the Dissidia Final Fantasy fighting games and the Kingdom Hearts series, to bolster the roster and help build the battle system into something great.

The partners in bringing FFVII Remake to life

Gematsu's write-up also said that Visual Works, which appears to be Square Enix's CGI branch, and CyberConnect2, the folks behind the .hack series and the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games, are also on board.

Character models for the game will be supervised by the director at Visual Works, while Roberto Ferrari is working on the sub-character designs, such as Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie.

AN ENEMY APPROACHES! Screen shot from YouTube.

AN ENEMY APPROACHES! Screen shot from YouTube.

The transcript also said that CyberConnect2 was an external partner on the project.

Kitase said that it is now a common production technique to do collaborative work with other companies. He complimented CyberConnect2 for its action game experience and video production skills.

That said, Square Enix is keeping a close watch on CyberConnect2, as CyberConnect2's production tastes are different from Square Enix's general direction.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a timed exclusive

Just so we're clear, FFVII Remake is a timed exclusive for the PlayStation 4.

It will be coming first on Sony's console, though there's been no word on whether it will also hit the PC, Xbox One, or Wii U or a combination of the three after launching on the PS4.

That said, I'm looking forward to this, though development on this remake may take a while. It may not drop into our laps all at once, but the wait should be worth it. –

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.