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Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- is an action-RPG from Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. The game is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII and is the fourth entry to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

An HD remaster of the game called Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion was announced in June 2022 during a broadcast celebrating Final Fantasy VII 25th Anniversary and features new models and lighting, redone voices for consistency with the Final Fantasy VII remake project, and rearranged music.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- begins seven years before the start of Final Fantasy VII, and encompasses the events that take place until just before its beginning. The game's hero is Zack Fair, who was a minor character in Final Fantasy VII and the previous owner of the Buster Sword before Cloud Strife. He is a SOLDIER working for the Shinra Electric Power Company under Director Lazard Deusericus. The game tells the tale of Zack's battle against the villainous SOLDIER defector, Genesis Rhapsodos, and the other products of the Jenova Project.

The opening sequence of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- mirrors that of Final Fantasy VII; both start in a train station and both protagonists jump off of a train. This is one of the many allusions within the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.


Crisis Core Battle Screen

A battle in Crisis Core.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- is both an action and turn-based RPG, with a stream of fast turns creating the illusion of real-time combat. The player chooses actions from a menu, featuring attack, magic, special attack, and item choices. The game's key feature is the Digital Mind Wave (DMW)—a slot machine-like screen in the upper left-hand corner. Images and numbers continuously scroll in each of the three slots consuming Soldier Points (SP). Combinations of sevens lead to special status effects, while having identical characters in the left and right slot opens up the modulating phase. Certain combinations of characters and numbers in modulating phase will allow the player to level up Zack, power up Materia, or perform special moves and summons.

The player can choose whether to follow the game's story, which can be completed in around 15 hours of gameplay, or to complete missions, leading to around 50 hours of gameplay for a 100% completion. Some missions can only be unlocked by accomplishing certain story parts.

DMW Slots

Modulating Phase on the DMW.

Materia is part of the magic and ability system. Summon Materia are no longer under the player's control, and instead, are added to the DMW. When the DMW slots switch to the summoning scene one of the various Summon Materia are selected and performed. Main summon sequences are skippable FMVs. This does not apply to Chocobo Mode summons.

Materia does not divide, though it does level up if two matching numbers corresponding to the slot are drawn in a modulating phase (the likelihood of a level up is based upon a hidden EXP counter that gains points as Zack defeats enemies; the higher the counter, the greater chance of leveling up); 1 - 4 as a SOLDIER 2nd Class, or 1 - 6 as a SOLDIER 1st Class. Materia may grant significant bonuses to Zack's HP, MP, AP, ATK, VIT, MAG, SPR, or LCK. Materia can be customized through the Materia Fusion process.

Crisis's Core Main Menu

The menu.

Players cannot buy weapons as there is no weapon slot in the status menu. The game begins with Zack wielding a standard issue SOLDIER sword, but he eventually moves on to wielding the famous Buster Sword after a certain point. Interestingly, this is not a simple aesthetic difference, as the Buster Sword has entirely different hitbox frames compared to Zack's previous blade, making it the only true weapon upgrade in the entire story. In some cases, special weapons are utilized, like wielding a parasol during a vacation to Costa del Sol.

Equipment is limited to accessories that grant various stat boosts and special effects when equipped. Two to four pieces of equipment can be worn depending on requirements.

The shops are entered via the main menu. More shops are added by proceeding in the storyline, and by doing missions which reward the player with access to new shops. None of the shops will sell Phoenix Downs, which must be found in treasure chests or won in missions.



The city of Midgar being constructed.

Since the game takes place seven years before Final Fantasy VII, many places on the Planet are either under construction or otherwise different from Final Fantasy VII. The city of Midgar has not yet been completed, and the town of Nibelheim is still filled with its original inhabitants. Several playable or otherwise major characters from Final Fantasy VII make cameo appearances.

The world is in the grip of the Shinra Electric Power Company who dominates via its monopoly to Mako energy, a power sourced directly from the lifestream, the life force of the Planet itself. Having become the world's de facto ruler, Shinra operates on many different fronts from vehicle and weapons manufacturing to genetic engineering. Only the distant Wutai nation opposes Shinra's hegemony, but the Shinra armies are making headway into defeating the nation with its army that includes an elite force called SOLDIER, consisting of Mako-enhanced humans, and three SOLDIER enhanced with both Mako and Jenova cells: the SOLDIER First Class members.


The main cast of Crisis Core (from left to right: Genesis, Angeal, Zack, Sephiroth, Lazard, Cloud, Tseng, Aerith.

SOLDIER has three legendary members, which are the only 1st Class's so far. The most famous is Sephiroth, the strongest SOLDIER member ever known. Genesis Rhapsodos wishes to obtain Sephiroth's glory for himself, and has amassed a following for himself, as Shinra starts fan clubs to revere its SOLDIER members to improve the company's public image. Angeal Hewley is often considered the heart of the SOLDIER, whose dedication to upholding SOLDIER honor has made him popular. He often mentors the lower class SOLDIERs, including Zack Fair, who strives to become a hero of SOLDIER like Sephiroth.

Shinra's seat of power is located in the metropolis of Midgar that is ringed by numerous mako reactors. Though the lives of those living off the ground level on a colossal "plate" suspended by pillars is cushy, the pollution the reactors sucking the Planet's life force from the ground causes is evident in the slums under the plate whose dwellers hardly ever see the light of day.


Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- only has one playable character.

  • Zack Fair - A SOLDIER 2nd Class dreaming of reaching the level of 1st Class and becoming a hero.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)


Zack 1

Zack in a virtual training simulation.

Zack is a SOLDIER 2nd Class under Angeal's mentorship with a dream of becoming a hero. During a training simulation in the SOLDIER training room in Shinra HQ, Zack defeats all the Wutai soldiers disguised as Shinra Infantrymen but is easily defeated by a simulated Sephiroth, forcing Angeal to abort the session. Soonafter, Angeal leaves the SOLDIER training room and tells Zack, "Embrace your dreams, to be a hero, you need to have dreams, and honor."

Chapter 1[]

Genesis Copy

A SOLDIER member with Genesis's likeness.

After Angeal and Zack leave the training room, they later head to the SOLDIER director Lazard's office, and they learn Angeal's childhood friend, Genesis, has betrayed Shinra and deserted with a number of other SOLDIER members. Lazard proceeds to give Zack and Angeal orders to go to Fort Tamblin for the final battle of the Wutai War. Before beginning their mission, Angeal informs Zack that he recommended him to become 1st Class.

While approaching the Wutai stronghold, Angeal tells Zack about his childhood. He grew up poor in Banora Village known for its "dumbapples" apples exclusive to the region that ripen at random times of the year, which he would pilfer to feed himself. He was best friends with the mayor's son, Genesis Rhapsodos, and never stole from his family's tree even if it was the biggest in the village, and was too proud to ask for handouts. Angeal explains his weapon, the Buster Sword, represents his family's honor and thus he avoids wearing it down.

The two split and Zack infiltrates the fortress alone. Inside, he meets a young girl called Yuffie, who soon runs off. Zack is ambushed by two monsters and is saved by Angeal. When Zack notes Angeal used the Buster Sword, his mentor retorts Zack's life is slightly more important than the sword. Angeal goes back on his own, and after Zack is finished with his work, he goes looking for Angeal. On the way, Zack encounters and battles an Ifrit that is suddenly summoned. Zack thinks he defeats it, but it gets back up and overwhelms him when he lets his guard down. Sephiroth suddenly appears and defeats it saving Zack. Zack and Sephiroth find several soldiers working under Genesis who have been transformed into copies of him thanks to stolen Shinra technology. Unable to find Angeal, Zack leaves with Sephiroth, who believes Angeal has now deserted with Genesis.

Chapter 2[]

Zack refuses to believe his friend and mentor would be a turncoat. He is sent to Banora village along with the Turk Tseng to investigate Genesis's disappearance. Turks is Shinra's intelligence agency often given the most clandestine and dirtiest jobs, and Tseng is quick to point out how much better paid he is than Zack for the kind of work they have to do.

Zack and Tseng find several graves, including those of Genesis's foster parents, and the only person Zack can find is Gillian Hewley, Angeal's mother. At the town factory, Zack meets Genesis, and it turns out he has been using the apple juice factory as his base of operations. Genesis quotes from the epic poem LOVELESS, which focuses around three men who set out on a quest to find the fabled "Gift of the goddess" before making his escape.

Shinra plans to destroy the village to conceal the events from the general public, and Zack races downtown to warn Gillian. He finds her dead with Angeal standing over her. Zack is shocked and enraged by the idea of Angeal killing his own mother, and questions him about the code of honor he claims to live by. Genesis appears and summons Bahamut to fight Zack, calls himself a monster, sprouts a single black wing, and flies away. The town is bombed by Shinra Army aircraft with Zack and Tseng evacuating via helicopter.

Chapter 3[]

VIICC Mako Reactor 5

Mako Reactor 5.

Back at Shinra Building, Zack is promoted to SOLDIER 1st Class by SOLDIER director Lazard Deusericus.

Genesis and his army launch an assault upon the headquarters and Zack fights his way through, rescuing the Turk, Cissnei, on his way to Mako Reactor 5, where Sephiroth says Angeal has been spotted. Initially, Zack is reluctant to hunt down his old mentor, but Sephiroth plans to let Angeal escape before Shinra army finds him.

The two find monsters that have Angeal's face on their bodies, similar to the Genesis Copies that make up Genesis's army. They find documents on Jenova Project G, the branch of the Jenova Project that created both Genesis and Angeal, but was deemed a failure. Sephiroth conjectures the "G" stands for Project Genesis, and learns Genesis and Angeal suffer from degradation, slowly dying because of their tainted birth.


Angeal and Genesis engage Sephiroth in a training exercise.

Sephiroth reminisces of a training exercise between himself, Angeal, and Genesis in the Shinra Virtual Reality System. Genesis had the book of LOVELESS with him, envisioning himself and his two SOLDIER 1st Class comrades as the three men foretold in the epic. Genesis wanted to fill the role of the "Hero" in the story and envied Sephiroth's fame as the SOLDIER hero, challenging him alone to prove his superiority until Angeal intervened. Genesis sustained a wound in his shoulder and later received a blood transfusion from Angeal (Sephiroth was told his blood was incompatible), overseen by a former Shinra scientist Dr. Hollander, the man behind Project G. The wound would not heal and was the start of Genesis's degradation. Genesis has joined forces with Hollander, who claims to be able to cure him, but is secretly using him to get personal revenge against Shinra.

As Genesis confronts Sephiroth Zack tries to capture Hollander in the mako reactor. Angeal arrives and shows Zack his white wings, saying he has become a monster. Zack tries to convince his former mentor his wings do not belong to a monster but an angel, but Angeal says angels dream to be human. Zack refuses to fight his old friend, and Angeal sends Zack plummeting down into the Midgar Slums.

Chapter 4[]

Zack and Aerith CC

Zack asks Aerith out on a date.

Falling into the Sector 5 slums church, Zack lands into the flower bed tended to by a slum dweller named Aerith Gainsborough. She calls out to him until he comes to and Zack convinces her to go on a date in the slums, during which he salvages a kid's wallet from monsters, and buys her a pink hair ribbon. Aerith reveals she fears the SOLDIER and the sky, as she has lived her life under the plate and rarely sees it. Zack reveals he is a member of SOLDIER, and his eyes have a glow due to having underwent a procedure of Mako enhancement. Aerith comments that if sky resembles Zack's eyes, it won't be so scary after all.

Zack has to return to the top of the plate due to another Genesis attack, this time targeting Professor Hojo, Shinra's head of Science Department. While Sephiroth is sent to secure the president, Zack is sent to Hojo's aid and Angeal decides to take a side and helps Zack. Genesis confronts Hojo who rebuffs him and claims Hollander is a second rate scientist who would not be able to cure his degradation. Genesis quotes passages from LOVELESS, believing the "gift of the goddess" spoken of in the epic would cure him. Hojo mentions it has a missing fifth act with only a single line remaining: "Even if the morrow is barren of promises, nothing shall forestall my return", although there are many theories on the story's conclusion. Hojo disregards LOVELESS and the gift of the goddess as unscientific, Angeal and Zack beat the Genesis Army out of Midgar, and Genesis flies off, summoning a Bahamut Fury for Zack to fight.

Chapter 5[]

Zack is sent to the abandoned town of Modeoheim in the frigid wastes of the Northern Continent with Tseng and a Shinra infantryman named Cloud Strife, as Genesis is rumored of having been seen there. Their helicopter is shot down by Genesis's forces and the group is forced to trek through the snowy terrain. Since both Zack and Cloud are "country boys", the two quickly become friends.

At Modeoheim, Zack and the team finds an abandoned warehouse Genesis has been using as a base. Zack storms the facility and rescues Hollander from a vengeful Genesis, angry at Hollander's failure to stop his degradation. He has decided to look for Jenova cells for a cure, but Hollander protests that no one knows where Jenova—the extraterrestrial life form Shinra initially mistook for a member of the Cetra race—is stored. A weakened Genesis tries to fight Zack, but is defeated. Genesis falls into the abyss below the warehouse and is presumed dead. Hollander flees into the town of Modeoheim while Zack pursues.


Angeal passes the Buster Sword and his SOLDIER honor to Zack.

At a ruined bathhouse, Zack finds Angeal and Hollander. The latter tells how Angeal is the true success of Project G, having Jenova's power of a two-way genetic conduit, able to pass on his genes and take in those of other organisms. The "G" in Project G stands for Project Gillian, named after Angeal's mother whom Hollander injected with Jenova's cells in an attempt to create a human with the powers of the Cetra. While Genesis was injected with Gillian's cells as a fetus, Angeal received his mother's cells directly while in the womb and thus grew up into a "perfect specimen".

It is revealed Angeal did not kill Gillian, but she had taken her own life. Angeal, no longer wishing to be a monster, absorbs several different copies and turns into a hideous creature, Angeal Penance. Zack defeats it and Angeal passes on his Buster Sword and the legacy of SOLDIER honor to Zack before he dies. Dr. Hollander is captured and with all three major threats to Shinra gone, the Genesis War seems to be over.

Chapter 6[]

Zack and cissnei at costa del sol

Zack and Cissnei in Costa del Sol.

Zack assumes Angeal's role as the heart and soul of SOLDIER, speaking to trainees and encouraging recruits. He mourns Angeal's passing and is comforted by Aerith, whom he continues to visit at the slums. Shinra sends him to Costa del Sol to recuperate, and as Zack relaxes on the beach, several Genesis Copies emerge from the water to attack. Cissnei, who had been sent with Zack to keep an eye on him, speculates Genesis may be controlling his copies from the lifestream, the plane of afterlife spirits are said to return to upon death.

Zack defeats the copies with a parasol and is sent to Junon where Genesis has launched a full-scale attack. Junon is where Dr. Hollander was sent after being taken in Modeoheim and Genesis and his army wreak enough chaos for Hollander to slip out. The attack was successful largely due to the intelligence given by the surprise traitor, Director Lazard. Zack chases Hollander through Junon, but he is flown to safety by Genesis copies while Genesis himself, alive but still suffering from degradation, watches on.

Chapter 7[]

Back in Midgar, Zack finds the Shinra security robots have gone rogue attacking citizens. He finds Aerith in the church being ambushed by robots, but a canine winged Angeal copy helps her and makes its abode in the church rafters. Initially wary of the beast, Zack recognizes it as Angeal's legacy.

Sephiroth takes over the SOLDIER operations. As Genesis seems to be attacking mako reactors, he plans an operation in Nibelheim, Cloud's hometown.

Zack visits Aerith one last time before leaving and builds her a flower cart so she could earn some money as a florist, but their sales attempts do not go as planned.

Chapter 8[]

Genesis Chapter9

Genesis tells Sephiroth about the Jenova Project that created him.

Sephiroth, Zack, Cloud, and another Shinra guard arrive in Nibelheim and are led to the Nibel Reactor on Mt. Nibel by a guide, a village girl named Tifa Lockhart. Cloud conceals his identity from the town due to embarrassment of having failed to enter SOLDIER.

At the reactor, they find monsters created by over-exposure to Mako. Sephiroth finds a tank labeled "JENOVA"—the name of his "mother"—with the vaguely feminine form of an alien creature. Genesis appears and tells Sephiroth he was born out of Jenova Project S, Professor Hojo and Gast Faremis's side of the Jenova Project. Sephiroth cannot create copies of himself, and thus does not degrade. Genesis asks for Sephiroth's genetic material to help him cure his degradation, seeing as Sephiroth is the "perfect monster" created from the Jenova Project, but Sephiroth rebuffs his old friend. With his past in doubt and Genesis's words in question, Sephiroth descends into the local Shinra Manor basement and reads Professor Gast Faremis's files on Project S of the Jenova Project.


Cloud fights Sephiroth in the Nibelheim reactor.

Sephiroth comes to believe Jenova is a Cetra and the last of their race and the rightful heir to the Planet, blaming the extinction of the Cetra to the humans who abandoned them during a time of need. Driven to insanity by the flawed knowledge of his birth, Sephiroth goes on a rampage and torches Nibelheim, killing most of the population. Zack pursues him up the mountain to the reactor where Sephiroth tries to free his "mother" from her containment tank, cutting Tifa down along the way. Sephiroth defeats Zack before Cloud arrives and catches him off guard, furious over his mother's death and his childhood friend Tifa's grave injuries. Cloud throws Sephiroth into the lifestream along with Jenova's head he was holding onto before falling unconscious.

Professor Hojo, the mastermind of Project S, takes Zack's and Cloud's beaten bodies and starts a new experiment to create Sephiroth-clones to test his Reunion Theory. Zack and Cloud are infused with Sephiroth's cells, but are deemed failures and left lying asleep in tanks for four years until Zack is awoken by what seems to be Angeal. Since Zack is a SOLDIER, and resistant to Mako due to the SOLDIER process, he has the strength to drag himself and a catatonic Cloud out of a rebuilt Nibelheim through the ranks of Shinra soldiers. To ease Cloud's recovery from Mako poisoning, Zack lends Cloud a SOLDIER 1st Class uniform, discarding his old Mako-soaked clothes.

Chapter 9[]


Cissnei tracks Zack down.

Zack and Cloud escape via the countryside and run into Cissnei, who reveals Shinra has dispatched her to capture the two. She is shocked the escapees she was sent to hunt down are Zack and Cloud, and seeing Cloud in a bad state agrees to let the two go, lending Zack a motorcycle with a side car for Cloud.

While on the run, Zack and a near-vegetative Cloud run into Genesis and his copies. Since Zack and Cloud are infused with S Cells, Genesis wishes to take the two to stop his degradation. A Genesis Copy tests Genesis's plan by eating a lock of Zack's hair, but this turns the copy into a monster.

Zack travels to his hometown of Gongaga to see his parents, but Cissnei appears to warn Zack, telling him that going to Gongaga is too obvious and Shinra will expect this. Genesis and Hollander, now a Genesis Copy himself, attack, and Zack kills Hollander. The person who Zack thought was Angeal who protects him and Cloud is actually Director Lazard, now an Angeal Copy dying of the same degradation Genesis and his copies suffer from. Lazard has inherited Angeal's feelings of honor and wish to save the world, which is why he is helping Zack.

Chapter 10[]

VIICC Banora Ruins

Banora Ruins.

Zack puts together where Genesis has been hiding for so long. Genesis is always carrying a Banora White apple, and thus must have been hiding in Banora the whole time. Zack leaves Lazard to look over Cloud while he makes his way into an underground cavern beneath the cratered land that used to be Banora Village. The land is inundated with lifestream, whose power makes the apples ripen on the surface.

Zack finds Genesis's old hideout he used as a child and learns Genesis's childhood dream was to share a Banora White apple with SOLDIER hero Sephiroth. More of LOVELESS is engraved upon stone tablets within the cave that tell a short story of a group of three friends who go in search for the "Gift of the goddess" taking on the roles of a "Hero", a "Traveler", and a "Prisoner". The Prisoner escapes and is critically wounded, only to end up in the care of a woman from the enemy faction whom he falls in love with. He lives a peaceful life, but is tortured by the promise he made to his friends.

Zack finds Genesis hiding at the end of the cave with a statue of "the Goddess" holding the Goddess Materia, a gigantic natural Materia, or crystallized lifestream. He claims the epic poem LOVELESS to now be fulfilled as the three friends the epic speaks of are "reunited", with Zack inheriting Angeal's will and Sephiroth's cells. Genesis absorbs the Materia's power, transforms into Genesis Avatar, and engages Zack. Zack defeats Genesis Avatar and Genesis returns to human form.

FF7CC Minerva Close-up


Now healed of his degradation by the Goddess Materia, Genesis fights Zack, but is defeated. Genesis finds himself in a place filled with lifestream and sees the statue turn into the goddess herself. As he approaches her, the goddess sees his desire to complete his duty as SOLDIER, and acting as the will of the lifestream, prevents him from returning to the Planet so he may one day achieve his goal.

Zack drags Genesis's limp body up to his campsite to join a comatose Cloud and a dying Lazard in a bizarre picnic of half-dead bodies. Lazard had just fought Shinra soldiers, with the help of a canine Angeal Copy, which Zack recognizes as the same one that defended Aerith at the church years ago. Both are dying from their wounds and degradation.

Zack gathers everyone with Banora Whites and symbolically completes the re-enactment of LOVELESS, with Genesis as the Prisoner, Angeal (represented by his copies) as the Wanderer, and Zack is the Hero. Zack bites into the apple, fulfilling Genesis's childhood dream in spirit. Through his fight with Zack, Genesis has realized the true Gift of the goddess: SOLDIER honor.

Genesis Passes Away

Genesis is taken away to Deepground.

As Lazard and the Angeal Copy die and fade away, a letter is left behind, one of eighty-nine Aerith sent during the intervening four years, and the last she sent before giving up on receiving a reply. Zack is shocked to discover he has been gone for four years and, desperate to return to her, makes his way toward Midgar.

After Zack and Cloud depart, Nero and Weiss, the future leaders of Deepground, arrive dressed as 1st Class SOLDIERs and take the unconscious Genesis away leaving his book of LOVELESS behind. Genesis's disembodied voice recites the final act of LOVELESS, which appears onto the book. Whether this is the original final act he had finally found, or his own conclusion to the saga, is left ambiguous.

Zack's final stand[]

Zack's Fall

Cloud becomes Zack's living legacy.

Tseng mobilizes the Turks to find Zack and Cloud before the Shinra army does to save him, but before Zack can reach Midgar, the Shinra army tracks him down. Although Zack fights valiantly, he is overwhelmed and mortally wounded. Left lying on a precipice looking over Midgar, Zack feels his life fading away, as does Aerith tending to her garden a few short miles away.

A confused Cloud is finally beginning to recover from the Mako poisoning and gain some awareness. He sees his friend dying and Zack tells Cloud he will be his "living legacy". Like Angeal before him, Zack passes down the Buster Sword and his SOLDIER honor to Cloud. Angeal descends from the sky as an angel to bring Zack into the lifestream. Cloud wanders into Midgar as Zack's lingering voice tells Cloud to say hello to Aerith for him, and asks if he has finally become a hero.


Final Fantasy VII Opening 0002

Cloud in the epilogue.

Cloud's Mako poisoning had left him weak and seeing Zack die shattered his mind. As a defense mechanism, Cloud blocks out the events altogether and merges some of Zack's mannerisms and memories with his own to create a new personality and history. Cloud rides the train towards the attack on Mako Reactor 1, wearing a modification of the SOLDIER 1st Class uniform. He declares himself a SOLDIER 1st Class, and the story continues in Final Fantasy VII.

Spoilers end here.



Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Original Soundtrack cover.

The game's soundtrack was primarily composed by Takeharu Ishimoto. The soundtrack includes many new remixes of preexisting Final Fantasy VII and Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- songs, the original Final Fantasy VII compositions done by Nobuo Uematsu. It was released in a two-CD format with 55 tracks.


CCFFVII Ultimania

The Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Ultimania, documenting the games' development.

Hajime Tabata was chosen as a director for an upcoming Final Fantasy title for the PlayStation Portable console, and after a discussion with Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori Kitase, decided he wanted to make a game for the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.[1] The original idea was to make PlayStation Portable port of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, as it was released exclusively for mobile phones and the staff wanted to expand its gamer base; for example, releasing it for PlayStation Portable would open the possibility of an international release. However, after casting Zack as the game's protagonist, the idea of a Before Crisis port was cancelled, and the original idea of naming the game "Before Crisis Core" was changed to "Crisis Core" without the intent of it matching with the other titles from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series with the AC (Advent Children), BC (Before Crisis), and DC (Dirge of Cerberus).[2] Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- was announced at E3 2005 and its first trailer consisted of clips from Last Order.[3]

There was pressure of developing a Final Fantasy VII prequel, something which Yoshinori Kitase has remarked about: "Obviously as part of a beloved series, part of a popular world, there's immense pressure to produce. It wasn't about paying tribute to the original, but to create a connection between the original and all the other Compilation titles as well. It was in a unique position, as it takes place in the past, to connect to all of the titles."[4]

Zack Sketch

Zack's original concept art for Final Fantasy VII.

One of the primary reasons Zack was chosen as the protagonist was his predetermined fate.[1] Kitase has stated that Zack's story had "been cooking for 10 years" as conceptual artwork and back story already existed for him, despite Zack being a minor character in Final Fantasy VII.[4] The game was initially planned to have more scenes involving Zack and Cloud's escape to Midgar to expand on their connection, but it could not be included due to UMD limitations, and the staff chose to instead focus in Zack's work as a soldier.[5]

The game's main antagonist, Genesis Rhapsodos, was created as a collaboration between Camui Gackt and Hideki Imaizumi, the game's producer. Gackt's original involvement with Square Enix was singing "Redemption", the theme music for Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, and appearing in a minor role in that game, playing Genesis. Imaizumi thought such a passing role was a waste and asked for more involvement. Imaizumi and Gackt came up with Genesis's design, describing everything from his attitude to his clothes. "I went to eat with him one time and described the Final Fantasy VII universe in rich detail. And it turned into this process of collaboration, creating the character together. Then we went to the studio and recorded the Japanese voice with all that in mind. So he really was a creative partner in all of this. And we really wanted the connection between Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core."[6]

One of the main background events from Final Fantasy VII, Nibelheim's destruction, was revised for the original video animation Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, but the staff of Crisis Core decided not to follow in this vein. Producer Hideki Imaizumi has said this regarding the decision, "When we made that feature, we changed the presentation of that event from the original Final Fantasy VII. And the fan response was—well, there was considerable negative feedback in regard to changing a part of the story that they considered integral to the whole lore. So we listened to that and learned from that. And in fact, the Nibelheim incident is presented again in Crisis Core, and we were careful not to make the same decisions that we did in Last Order."[4]

CCFFVII Original Gameplay

Original gameplay.

Once it was decided Zack would be the game's protagonist, the story's nature barred the staff from utilizing a party of playable characters like in Final Fantasy VII. Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- was originally envisioned as an action game, but because the staff was more experienced in RPGs, they decided to modify it, making battles closer to the ones from RPGs, and an action RPG in genre.[5] Final Fantasy VIIs battle system was used as the basis with action elements added to it; the Materia system was designed so that players could choose between "RPG-oriented enhancements" and "action-oriented enhancements," as well as to give the game balance.[1] The Digital Mind Wave system (DMW) was added to give the gameplay an element of luck as well as to avoid combat feeling repetitive. Nomura and Kitase were inspired by the pachinko, a type of Japanese slots machine, in developing the system.[4] The staff initially had difficulty in developing the gameplay due to its departure from traditional Final Fantasy battles.[1]

One of the development team's regrets regarding Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- is that they did not include a feature to skip cut scenes. By the time the team realized their mistake, it was too late to add it.[5]

Version differences[]

A new Hard Mode was added to the games released in the North America and PAL regions. Other version differences include the player no longer getting a Game Over for failing a mission, and the redesigning of the Minerva statue seen in the Banora Underground, as the original model was deemed to resemble depictions of the Virgin Mary too closely.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

The overall theme of the game is "legacy." We wanted to show how one person lives his/her life influences the following generation, and paves the way for a new age.

Hajime Tabata

The concept of legacy is a prominent theme in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, and how the actions of one generation impact the next. The most evident display of this is the passing down of the Buster Sword and SOLDIER honor from Angeal to Zack and finally to Cloud.

The passing on of the Buster Sword represents the passing on of one's legacy.

Legacy is displayed in Cloud and Zack inheriting S Cells from Sephiroth, Angeal's surviving copies representing Angeal after his death, and his will being passed down to Lazard after being transformed into an Angeal Copy. Lazard begins to act on Angeal's innermost desires, such as helping Zack, trying to save Genesis, and even to save the world. The legacy theme is alluded to in the game's tagline by Zack shedding tears over the loss of Angeal, and Cloud crying over Zack's death at the end; thus "crying for their comrades" after inheriting their legacies. Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- itself can be seen as a legacy for Final Fantasy VII it is based on, befitting its theme; the game ends with "continues in Final Fantasy VII".

The story of LOVELESS is also prominent theme. Being obsessed with LOVELESS, Genesis tries to recreate the story to cure his degradation. His encounter with the goddess Minerva grants him a second chance at life and he realizes the Gift of the goddess is his SOLDIER pride, something Angeal frequently spoke of and valued highly.

Other themes apparent in the story and setting include bittersweet nostalgia of more prosperous times: the most renowned of SOLDIER fall out; Shinra's true intentions are revealed; Zack loses everything due to merely being "at the wrong place at the wrong time" and becomes a test subject and a major priority fugitive; and SOLDIER's valor and virtues are lost, the faction transforming into a mere strong arms of Shinra's power. Crisis shapes and uncovers one's true nature, revealing those able to uphold their honor and optimism. In contrast, the crisis reveals those who choose to give into despair.

Spoilers end here.

Release and reception[]

The game was released in Japan in 2007 and it was a commercial success, becoming Square Enix's best-selling game from April through September 2007.[7] Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- sold 301,600 copies upon its first month of release in the United States, making Crisis Core the second best-selling game for the PSP during the month of March and the sixth best-selling game overall.[8] Crisis Core sold 2.1 million copies worldwide.[9]

In the poll in which Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu asked its readers which games made them cry, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- came in second after Final Fantasy X.[10]

Special edition silver PSP set[]


The logo's anniversary design.

A special edition 10th Anniversary of Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- silver PlayStation Portable was released on September 13, 2007, along with the game's Japanese release. It came bundled with a retail copy of the game, the special edition PSP-2000 (slim) unit covered in Tetsuya Nomura artwork, and a Buster Sword strap. Retailers also threw in a Crisis Core inner earphone set, supposedly as a pre-order bonus, although anyone who lined up on launch day was given one. All was packaged in a special box that seems to have been targeting collectors.

The PlayStation Portable is region free, meaning the console can play any games from around the world, but it cannot play UMD movies from the USA. The version of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- bundled with it is a Japanese language version that allows no options to switch to English. The bundle was produced in limited quantities of 77,777 copies and retailed for 25,890 yen. Each individual special edition PlayStation Portable is engraved with a serial number from 00001 to 77,777.

A re-release of the PSP was made in Europe, but it did not have the unique serial number, and the silver color was less metallic.

Voice cast[]

Character Japanese English
Zack Fair Kenichi Suzumura Rick Gomez
Angeal Hewley Kazuhiko Inoue Josh Gilman
Genesis Rhapsodos Gackt Oliver Quinn
Sephiroth Toshiyuki Morikawa George Newbern
Cloud Strife Takahiro Sakurai Steve Burton
Aerith Gainsborough Maaya Sakamoto Andrea Bowen
Lazard Deusericus Junpei Morita Stefan Marks
Tseng Junichi Suwabe Ryun Yu
Cissnei Asumi Nakada Carrie Savage
Reno Keiji Fujiwara Quinton Flynn
Rude Taiten Kusunoki Crispin Freeman
Professor Hojo Nachi Nozawa Paul Eiding
Hollander Shinya Ohwada Sterling Young
Weiss Jouji Nakata David Boat
Nero Ryōtarō Okiayu Mike Rock
Kunsel Riki Kitazawa Crispin Freeman
Zack's Mother
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Production credits[]

Producer Hideki Imaizumi
Director Hajime Tabata
Creative Producer & Character Designer Tetsuya Nomura
Scenario Kazushige Nojima
Main Programmer Shun Moriya
Event Planning Directors Masaru Oka
Kazuyuki Shindo
Battle Planning Director Takatsugu Nakazawa
Map Planning Director Kiminori Ono
Character Modeling Director Tomohiko Goto
Character Texture Director Takuji Sasaki
Animation Director Taisuke Ooe
Sub-Character & Mechanics Designer Yusaku Nakaaki
Continuity Director Toshiyuki Momose
Art Director Yoshihiro Hirota
Conceptual Art Supervisor Yusuke Naora
3D Map Director Yasushi Iwasaka
VFX Director Tadachika Iima
Menu Director Madoka Tanaka
Movie Director Kazuyuki Ikumori
Music Takeharu Ishimoto
Dialogue Editor Asako Suga
Chief Sound Editor Yoshitaka Fujita
Publicity Producer Masato Kogure
Executive Producer Yoshinori Kitase
Theme Song ayaka

Packaging artwork[]

See also[]


External links[]