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Final Fantasy VII Remake is a from-the-ground-up remake of Final Fantasy VII, due to be released on March 3, 2020 for the PlayStation 4.[1] It is directed by Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer on the original and director for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and produced by Yoshinori Kitase, the director of the original. The story is written by Kazushige Nojima, and the soundtrack is composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the scenario writer and composer of the original respectively.

BackgroundEdit

In 2005 at the Sony E3 annual press conference, Square Enix showed a technical demo for the PlayStation 3 depicting the opening sequence to the original Final Fantasy VII remade with the PlayStation 3's enhanced graphics. Square Enix later made an official statement of there being no plans of a remake of Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3.

To Be Continued in FFVII

"To Be Continued".

The rumors were sparked a second time with Square Enix's exhibition of new FMV artworks during the Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary event in Japan. The artworks[2] depicted the characters in their Final Fantasy VII costumes, reigniting rumors a remake of the game may be in development. These CG artworks were printed on the new canned Potion beverages. Kazuo Hirai, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, also fueled the rumors by sticking a small note in the exhibition saying "Congratulations for the ten fantastic years! The best is yet to come".

The release of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- brought new speculation to the possibility of a remake; the ending shows the beginning of Final Fantasy VII in a modern CG style, followed by a title card reading "to be continued in FINAL FANTASY VII", in reference to the original game.

Ffvii 8-16

False Final Fantasy VII (PS3) remake advertisement.

Rumors surfaced again due to photos of a Best Buy ad stating the game was to be released on August 16, 2008.

Despite excitement surrounding the chance of a remake, Square Enix consistently denied any and all rumors on several occasions. With photos of an ad for CLOUD Vol.2 appearing on the Internet, the excitement rose yet again. The ad was revealed to be for a book.

In December of 2009, Tetsuya Nomura hinted an announcement is to come sometime in 2010 promising a game highly requested by fans—some of which have personally requested it from him, and the reaction he expects from the announcement is downright huge. Again this led to immense speculation of a Final Fantasy VII remake.

In January of 2010, Tetsuya Nomura followed up on his previous statement stating "Fans are looking forward to an often rumored remake of Final Fantasy VII, but I don't believe this will happen for the time being." For some this seemed like the end, but others argued that "for the time being" meant a remake could surface in the future.

In February 2010, Yoshinori Kitase stated he would like to take part in a remake of Final Fantasy VII in the future, but it was not in his immediate plan.

At the beginning of March 2010, Square Enix asked the public, on its official Twitter blog, what they would think of a remake.

On March 22, 2010, Square Enix then-CEO Yoichi Wada stated the company would "explore the possibility—whether or not we're going to do it, if we're going to do it, and the platform".[3] On May 31, 2010, Wada stated it would take longer than he is prepared to invest in a single project to remake Final Fantasy VII. However, since Square Enix received so many requests for a remake, the prospect was not completely ruled out.[4]

In May 2012, Tetsuya Nomura addressed the fans' demand for a Final Fantasy VII remake in a Famitsu interview by saying that newer games (such as Final Fantasy XV) take precedent because the developers want to create new Final Fantasy games that can surpass people's expectations instead of remaking classics.[5]

In February 2014, Yoshinori Kitase stated in an interview with Eurogamer[6] that he would love to do an HD remake of Final Fantasy VII, but that it would take a lot to make such a project a reality. Kitase mentioned staff availability and budget as two major barriers to the project being greenlit, as well as his personal motivation to create it, as he admitted that though he casually says he would like to do a remake, it would be a huge project.

Gametrailers.com listed Final Fantasy VII on their "Top 10 Necessary Remakes" at #2.[1]

Despite many doubts and after years of rumors, on June 15, 2015, the anticipated remake of Final Fantasy VII was announced at E3 2015.

TimelineEdit

Beginning developmentEdit

Tetsuya Nomura had started up the remake project around the time of Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, planning it as the fifth and final entry. However, he got busy with other projects but never stopped thinking about VII.[7]

The team had plans for a remake on several occasions, but finally decided to do it. One of the main reasons was the timing for the staff members developing the game being suitable, and "hitting that age". Of the staff that worked on the original Final Fantasy VII, and those who are working on the remake, Tetsuya Nomura is the youngest at 45 years old. With the timing and opportunity in mind, the trio of Kitase, Nojima and Nomura decided to go for it.[8]

Shinji Hashimoto, a Square Enix executive and Final Fantasy brand manager, came to Kitase and Nomura with the topic of the remake, as he had been involved with marketing and sales with the original version, and the game has a special place in his heart. Tetsuya Nomura assumed Kitase was to direct the remake, and was surprised when he realized he had been given the role.[9]

The remake will be different from the original game. Nomura has said that simply overhauling the graphics would not surpass the original version. He described the remake as "vastly evolved" to the story as "there will be more work added to it".[10] Parts of the announcement video will be used in the game.[11] The team will be looking to the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which Nomura also directed, for visual references and inspiration.[12]

My goal with the remake is to make it apply to the current era, the current generation of players that are going to be coming into contact with or playing FFVII for the first time through this remake. I want to make it so it's relevant to the modern era, as well as having an element of surprise. It has to be something that riles up this sense of wonder and amazement. I don't want to change it so much that it's unrecognisable, but make sure that it's something fresh and new [yet still] recognisable as FFVII. That's what I'll be keeping in mind as I work on this.

Tetsuya Nomura[13]

Various companies, including CyberConnect2, originally assisted development, though CyberConnect2's production tastes differed somewhat from that of Square Enix's.[14]

2015Edit

Midgar-Playground-FFVII-Remake

A scene of Midgar from the announcement trailer.

On June 15 the video game website Siliconera reported Final Fantasy VII is getting a remake and would be coming first to PlayStation 4, with other platforms to be announced later. Later that day, during Sony's E3 conference, the announcement trailer for the remake showed scenes from Midgar, its slums and glimpses of Cloud and Barret. Yoshinori Kitase was announced as producer, Tetsuya Nomura as director and Kazushige Nojima as scenario writer. The remake announcement was met with wild enthusiasm and sent Square Enix's stock surging to its highest since November 2008, at the close in Tokyo trading.[15] The announcement trailer became the most-watched E3 2015 video game trailer.[16]

The project had been in development for some time before it was announced at E3 2015. The announcement decision was done to boost PlayStation 4 sales in Japan, in the hopes of widening the install base by reassuring the platform will have games to look forward to.[17]

A trailer featuring gameplay was shown on 5th December 2015 during PlayStation Experience. It was announced the game would be released in parts due to the dense content, and producer Yoshinori Kitase addressed fans directly in a blog post afterward explaining the decision.[18]

On December 15, 2015, Famitsu magazine revealed that the scenario of the first entry in the multi-part series was complete.[19]

Not much was said about the game during 2016.

2017Edit

FFVII Remake Key Visual

Final Fantasy VII Remake key art.

On January 31st (the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII) a new piece of promotional art was unveiled as part of an announcement of the Final Fantasy VII Remake campaign, as well as to promote the upcoming port of Mobius Final Fantasy. The picture displays Cloud and Sephiroth layered over an elaborate render of Midgar's upper plate and the Shinra Headquarters. Sephiroth's attire appears to have undergone some minor changes, such as the patterns on his pauldrons. His single black angel wing extends from his back, similar to his CG revision in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. No further information on the project was disclosed, other than that the development team is waiting to release a lot of information at once at a further date, as opposed to occasional updates and teases.

On May 24th Producer Yoshinori Kitase, Director Tetsuya Nomura, and Development Leader Naoki Hamaguchi posted messages on the company's official website, asking people to send their applications as Business Division 1 was hiring for the project. According to Kitase, the project was heading into "the development progress phase."[20] Soon after, it was revealed Square Enix is shifting development in-house to be led by Hamaguchi, who was previously in charge of the development for Mobius Final Fantasy. Development had been carried out mainly with the support of external partners, but when the product was going into mass production, Square Enix decided to shift the development back to within the company to maintain a stable schedule and have control over quality.[21]

2018Edit

Some concept art was shown at a Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary exhibition in Tokyo in early 2018, some behind closed doors. Cloud's design had been changed but not unveiled publicly yet.[22]

2019 Edit

Final Fantasy VII Remake State of Play The Return Draws Closer

"The return draws closer"

A teaser trailer was shown during the May 9, 2019 State of Play broadcast by Sony, depicting new gameplay footage as well as Aerith's in-game appearance. The trailer states that "The return draws closer" and features a revamped version of the battle system with a revised command menu, as well as countdown sequences from the Midgar bombing mission. The ending of the trailer briefly shows Sephiroth from the back. The trailer features character designs which have evolved heavily from the designs shown in previous trailers, as well as a revamped battle system. It shows off monsters such as Aps, Sahagin and Grashtrike.

Separately, Square Enix confirmed that the title would still be episodic,[23] stating that the initial press release describing the title as "a multi-part series" is accurate.

In June 2019, the worldwide release date was revealed to be March 3, 2020. A new trailer depicted Tifa for the first time as well as new scenes, including Cloud and Aerith being enveloped in black smoke, a scene in the 7th Heaven bar with Tifa expressing "second thoughts" regarding the methods used by AVALANCHE, and an illusory Sephiroth urging Cloud to run away and hold onto his hatred.

Visuals and art directionEdit

Final Fantasy VII Remake State of Play Cloud

Cloud in the remake.

Nomura has said there are people even within Square Enix who put "too much of a focus on the 'VII-ness' and are resistant to changing it." He has said that the "FFVII-ness" isn't easily defined as it means different things for different people. Nomura wants to separate the feelings of nostalgia and being "trapped" by the series of the past, as in his opinion declaring "FF is like this" makes one unable to create a Final Fantasy game.[9]

The starting point of development was to maintain the graphic quality of characters like Cloud, Tifa and Aerith as how they had appeared in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in real-time while playing the game.[24] The team is aiming to balance realism and a stylized look. If the characters were to appear too realistic, they wouldn't be recognizable.[25]

Square Enix is using Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 to create the game, rather than the Luminous Engine Final Fantasy XV was developed on.[26] Graphics technology company Geomerics will be involved using their award-winning global illumination technology, Enlighten, as the indirect lighting solution of choice.[26]

CharactersEdit

Final Fantasy VII Remake State of Play Cloud and Aerith

Aerith offers Cloud a flower

Cloud appeared in the E3 2015 reveal trailer, but his design was later changed to be closer to the original design, and is said to look more natural. Director and character designer Tetsuya Nomura and development leader Naoki Hamaguchi have mentioned that while Cloud may look "this way," he was a dorky character in the original game. Cloud is expected to display more of his youthful side rather than the always-serious one commonly seen outside of the original game.[22]

PromotionEdit

Final Fantasy VII Remake has been promoted extensively in Square Enix's other titles, though specifics of the game itself have yet to develop.

For instance, Mobius Final Fantasy has thrice issued a crossover event titled "Eclipse Contact". Based on a re-creation of the Final Fantasy VII opening missions, Wol and Cloud team up to shut off a series of Mako reactors on Palamecia. A second collaboration titled "Fatal Calling" was released in early February 2018 and again through January 2019, and focuses on the conflict between Cloud and Sephiroth.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Final Fantasy VII Remake due out March 3, 2020; watch the new teaser trailer (Accessed: June 11, 2019) at Nova Crystallis
  2. Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary (Accessed: July 01, 2008) at Final Fantasy Turkey
  3. Square Enix CEO Comments on Final Fantasy VII remake (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Siliconera
  4. How Long Would a Final Fantasy VII Remake Take (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Kotaku
  5. FFVII & FFXI Anniv. Square Enix interviews (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Final Fantasy Network
  6. The director of Final Fantasy 7 on the remake everyone wants (Accessed: March 28, 2016) at Eurogamer
  7. Introducing the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE development team (Accessed: November 25, 2019) at Square Enix Games
  8. Why Square Enix Decided To Finally Make The Final Fantasy VII Remake (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Siliconera
  9. 9.0 9.1 FFVII Remake: Nomura interview translation [Famitsu 25/06/15] (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Lifestream
  10. Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Have More Work Done To Its Story (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Siliconera
  11. Final Fantasy VII Remake won’t have new characters (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Gematsu
  12. 'Dramatic changes' and Advent Children will help shape the Final Fantasy 7 Remake (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Gamesradar
  13. Final Fantasy VII director: remake won't be a direct upgrade (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Wired
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named gematsu120815
  15. Square Enix Wins Cheers, Share Gain on Final Fantasy Trailer (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Bloomberg
  16. So people are really into this Final Fantasy VII remake (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Destructoid
  17. Final Fantasy 7 remake was underway before the PS4 PC port was announced (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Eurogamer
  18. FINAL FANTASY VII Remake (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Official Square Enix NA website
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named gematsu121515
  20. Final Fantasy VII Remake Team Urgently Recruiting, Here’s A Message From Key Staff (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Siliconera
  21. Final Fantasy VII Remake shifts toward internal development (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Nova Crystallis
  22. 22.0 22.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Changed Cloud’s Design, Nomura Says It Is Closest To The Original (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Siliconera
  23. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Is Still an Episodic Game (Accessed: May 12, 2019) at IGN
  24. Yoshinori Kitase: ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake not completely action-based’ (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Gematsu
  25. Final Fantasy VII Remake Gets Info on Battle, Party Size, Character Switching, Graphics and More (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Dualshockers
  26. 26.0 26.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake is being built on Unreal Engine 4 (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Nova Crystallis
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