The Honeybee Inn is a members-only night club in Wall Market in Final Fantasy VII Remake. It is visited in Chapter 9, "The Town That Never Sleeps", where Cloud Strife needs a makeover to partake in Don Corneo's audition. It is based on the Honey Bee Inn brothel from the original game, but though the flashy decor and the bee outfits remain, the two locations are vastly different in atmosphere. The Honeybee Inn is owned by the eccentric entertainer known as Andrea Rhodea, who supposedly has a three-year-long waiting list for appointments to meet him.
Cloud and Aerith come to Wall Market to save Cloud's friend Tifa from Don Corneo, but find that they can't get into the don's abode without taking part in the audition themselves. Andrea Rhodea, the owner of the Honeybee Inn, is one of the Trio who recommend girls for Don Corneo's consideration, but when Cloud and Aerith visit the club they find Andrea will not see anyone without an appointment. After the two win the Corneo Cup tournament at the Corneo Colosseum, however, Andrea takes an interest in Cloud and invites him to the club. After Aerith gets a dress to take part in the audition, Cloud does not want to let her go in alone, and thus they head to see Andrea to seek his endorsement for Cloud to become the third "girl" for the don's choosing.
Cloud and Aerith arrive at the club where the honeygirls tell him he needs to impress Andrea and teach him how to dance. The girls drag Cloud to the show floor where he is taken to the stage where Andrea challenges him to a dance off. Impressed by Cloud's moves he transforms him. The crowd deems it the best show at Honeybee yet, and afterward Cloud can walk around the premises and look through the keyholes into some of the private lounges. He can meet the dressmaker here whose VIP card they helped returned earlier, and can see the Shinra executive Palmer outside, unwilling to go home despite his assistant's insistence.
After talking to the honeygirls or beginning the game with Andrea Rhodea, the player takes part in a rhythm game where they need to respond to button prompts. If they do perfectly in the tutorial, they unlock a new track for the music collection: Let the Battles Begin! REMAKE. During the dance off with Andrea, if the player does well Aerith, who is watching from the crowd, will be elated, but if the player does poorly she is embarrassed for Cloud. If the player does well they get earrings to add to Cloud's attire from Andrea.
Past the reception on the way to it is also possible to inspect four different private rooms. The bottom-right room contains Johnny's father, with a honeygirl who asks him to identify the shape: either "Circle", "Cross", "Triangle", or "Square", and answering "Triangle" is correct. There is a sedative in this room. In the top-right room, peeking in reveals Palmer chasing a honeygirl. In the top-left, a customer is being massaged by a honeyboy. Finally, the bottom-left room has a honeygirl in a changing room in front of her makeup.
An arrangement of the Honeybee Inn theme called "An Unforgettable Night" plays while outside of the inn while another one called "The Sweetest Honey" plays while inside.
"Stand Up" plays during the stage show, "Funk with Me" plays during the tutorial on the rhythm minigame, "Sync or Swim" and "Vibe Valentino" and "Stand Up - Reprise" plays during the performance. The music for the dance-off was decided on first, and then reworked to fit with the different timings. Motomu Toriyama, who was in charge of the Honeybee Inn scenes, went with the composer, Mitsuto Suzuki, to a club in Roppongi to get inspiration.
Behind the scenes
The Honey Bee Inn was a seedy brothel in the original Final Fantasy VII. According to the developers, the Honeybee Inn is "revived [for Remake] ... as a pantheon of entertainment, which couldn't be realized back then". Cloud crossdressing is a memorable part of the original game, and the developers wanted to include it in the Remake since the beginning. Co-director Motomu Toriyama came up with the idea to make the scene more of an extravaganza and a stage performance. The developers knew that the fans expected Cloud's crossdressing to be included, and thus wanted it to play a more useful role in Remake. Since the Honeybee Inn was going to be drastically changed, the developers wanted to make it "highly entertaining" and referenced things like Las Vegas, French Moulin Rouge, Parisian cabaret and Japanese burlesque to make the location feel more like a spectacular show featuring a dance battle.
Toriyama started with the concept of Cloud taking the spotlight on a stage show, and added the dance-off. Toriyama wanted Cloud's transformation to take place on stage before dancing with Andrea and striking a pose. The developers gave the choreography team an overview of what they were looking for. Square Enix commissioned a team of professional dancers that create burlesque shows who proposed changing the concept and choreography for each section of the dance-off. Initially, the dance-off included a pole-dancing scene and filming began on an elaborate set, but that part ended up being taken out due to ratings concerns. Afterward, the developers were given the animations for Cloud and Andrea's dance sequence and were tasked with incorporating it into the game. Because the dance was so dynamic, rather than muddling the screen with two-dimensional UI elements, the team integrated three-dimensional UI into the sequence.
The developers wanted the scene to both live up to fan expectations while taking modern sensibilities into consideration, such as eschewing stereotypical gender depictions. The aim was to build a supportive message for Cloud in a scene that would have amusing contrast but would stay "dignified and beautiful". A longer conversation between Cloud and Andrea was planned, but needed to be edited down to make the scene snappier. Other ideas besides the dance-off were floated, and some were incorporated into the other rooms at the inn.
Motomu Toriyama thought that expressing diversity with LGBTQ inclusion was an important issue for everyone involved in making content, and in the Remake, the original game was rebuilt not just with the latest technology, but the story content was also updated in line with modern sensibilities.
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