Is this our golden shiny wire of hope?
In a recent interview with Game Informer, producer Yoshinori Kitase clarified that the Final Fantasy VII Remake episodic format will, in fact, be split into three full games. In other words, I imagine the release will be similar to Final Fantasy XIII and its three iterations. Upon hearing this fresh set of news, I’m sure the collective of fans sighed in relief. For myself, I was never particularly worried; the news does come as positive reinforcement, however.
Yet as I stow my excitement – partly because I’ve begun feeding the hype of Final Fantasy XV and partly because I haven’t decided what to expect – I have let my mind wander with the exciting propositions of what the Final Fantasy VII Remake could present. Knowing that it should pack at least 30-hours of narrative per disc, Square-Enix promises to expand on an already vibrant world. Let’s take a look at some of details I’d love to see within.
The Turks and Shin-Ra
There is so much to love about the concept of Shin-Ra, Mako Energy, and the Turks. Since the clear cut villain of the game is Sephiroth – the megalomaniacal bringer of destruction (as he will become “one with the planet”) – Shin-Ra and the subsidiary Turks find themselves in an often unused position. They’re a power that neither fits the definition of ‘good’ nor ‘evil’. Fans of the game are aware of the journey Rufus and the Turks embark upon, and fans of both Crisis Core and Advent Children know of the good deeds they are capable of. In an expanded world of Final Fantasy VII, I would love to learn more about some of my favorite Final Fantasy characters and where Tseng disappeared to.
Further Details of Characters
One of Final Fantasy VII’s strongest points is that its cast of characters have personality in abundance. Whether it be the foul mouthed Barret, the arrogant Cid, the mourning Vincent, or the conniving Yuffie, Cloud’s crew of world saviors is well liked. But unlike its sequel, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy VII falls a bit flat on the character development. It’s certainly present, as you witness shifts in Red XIII, Cid, and Yuffie in particular; however, each character only grows in response to a large, scripted event instead of actually developing as normal characters would. Cid only changes his demeanor because he realizes Shera was correct in her diagnosis of the rocket – but he only found out because they launched the rocket at the meteor that’s headed on a doomsday course for the planet. Otherwise, Cid would continue abusing Shera. Lucky girl: mentally saved because of the end of the world and an improbable attempt to divert it. Similar stories run for Red XIII, and Yuffie. Smoke ’em if you got ’em, right?
Re-Imagined but Faithful Soundtrack
Final Fantasy VII, while not my favorite FF game, has my favorite soundtrack in the series. From disc one to disc four, Final Fantasy VII hums some of the most memorable tunes of the franchise. I do like the Crisis Core soundtrack, which is what some people have called for (a rendition similar to that). For me, I’d rather have an orchestrated version of the songs rather than a re-imagining. I wouldn’t be too upset if the soundtrack was reminiscent of Crisis Core.
A Better Script
Final Fantasy VII is notorious for its shoddy translation on the PlayStation, which had been altered by its PC release. Still, the scripting in Final Fantasy VII can be horribly shoddy and induce too many shudders. No more: “This guy are sick.” With a few tweaks, the dialogue could be meaningful. Don’t get me wrong – Final Fantasy VII is filled with plenty of strong scripting and memorable quotes, but overall translations lack meaning as a whole.
Don’t Cut Anything
If Final Fantasy VII truly does release in a similar fashion as the Final Fantasy XIII series, then I can’t see why Square-Enix would have to cut anything from any entry. Kitase already mentioned that characters from outside of the main storyline may not find themselves in the remake. That’s okay (though it would be cool to see). As long as they don’t remove anything from the experience, I think we’ll be okay. Can there be exceptions? Of course. But it should be a willing change and not a forced compromise.
The Battle System
Clearly, we’re not going to have a turn-based battle system. Kitase recently announced that Final Fantasy VII will take inspiration from Dissidia: Final Fantasy, the PSP and arcade fighting games. With the newest Dissidia releasing in Japanese arcades in the past two years or so, and with its alleged popularity, so the move surely makes sense to someone. I do very much enjoy the Dissidia franchise (the two PSP games, anyway), but I’m not sure I’m ready for Final Fantasy VII to go down that route. There are few things I enjoy more than finding new gear and equipping my party, having fun rotating characters to test out new weapons.
Hopefully, Final Fantasy VII succeeds with such flying colors that Square doesn’t back away from re-exploring older titles or taking risks. I think I’ll have a good time with Final Fantasy VII regardless of what the final outcome is in comparison to what I’d like to see. Unless the game is completely butchered, the idea of having Final Fantasy VII continuously over the next six years is an exciting proposition.