Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
|Compilation of Final Fantasy VII|
The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII logo
|Genres||Role playing game|
|Platforms||PlayStation, PlayStation Portable, mobile phones, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Network|
|Platform of origin||mobile phone|
|Year of inception||2004|
|First release||Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII
September 24, 2004
|Latest release||Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
September 13, 2007
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a series of video games, animated features and short stories developed by Square Enix based in the world and continuity of Final Fantasy VII. Spearheaded by Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori Kitase, the series consists of several titles across various platforms, all of which are extensions of the core Final Fantasy VII story.
Creation and scope 
Square Enix defined the project as "the company's first steps toward...'polymorphic content'," a marketing strategy designed to "[provide] well-known properties on several platforms, allowing exposure of the products to as wide an audience as possible." Compilation producer Yoshinori Kitase said that when given the opportunity to expand any previous Final Fantasy title for the company's experiment in polymorphic content, he "immediately chose Final Fantasy VII," because of its status as a milestone in the series' history and its popularity among fans. He further explained that "the ending of FFVII seemed to...open up so many possibilities with its characters, more so than other games." One of the main conditions for the project's launch was to reunite the original staff members of Final Fantasy VII; art director Yusuke Naora, composer Nobuo Uematsu, and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima.
When Nomura was brought onto the project, he initially anticipated the development of only Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII. Kitase, however, envisioned a greater scope, leading to the introduction of several additional titles. Kitase explained that when development for Advent Children began, the team agreed that one title was not enough to cover the entire world of Final Fantasy VII, and thus Before Crisis, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII were conceived so as to embrace more aspects. The team initially expected to share resources and models across the different projects. However, they soon began to face difficulties in doing so, and Nomura eventually decided to create different design concepts for each title. When asked about the presence of non-traditional role-playing games within the Compilation, Kitase explained that the team's plan was to make several games of the same quality, rather than a "hardcore" role-playing game which would stand out from the other titles and involve too much physical and emotional attachment on the team's part. He added that the existence of Final Fantasy X-2—the first game sequel in the series—also helped them consider more genres than the regular role-playing game type.
Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has stated that the Compilation could remain an active franchise until the twentieth anniversary of Final Fantasy VII's release (2017). After finishing work on Advent Children Complete in 2009, the team decided to take a break from the series, although they stated that they still have various ideas for future titles.
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
The first title in the Compilation was the mobile game Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, a prequel to Final Fantasy VII, set six years prior to the events of the original game, and focusing on the Turks, including their first encounter with AVALANCHE. Released by subscription in twenty-four chapters, full service began in Japan on September 24, 2004 for the NTT DoCoMo FOMA 900i series of mobile phones.
Advent Children was the first title in the Compilation to be announced, having been unveiled in September 2003 at the Tokyo Game Show, but was the second title to be released. A twenty-five minute truncated version of the film screened at the Venice Film Festival in 2004, but the finished version of the film was not seen until the following year, on September 2, 2005, also at the Venice Film Festival. A CGI sequel to the original Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children is set two years after the conclusion of the game. Produced for DVD and UMD for Sony's PlayStation Portable, it was released in Japan on September 14, 2005, and in Europe and North America on April 25, 2006. Special DVD editions of the film in Japan and North America included Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, an OVA produced by Madhouse that recounts the destruction of Nibelheim, and three On The Way To A Smile short stories written by Kazushige Nojima; "Case of Denzel", "Case of Tifa" and "Case of Barret". These stories bridge the two years between the end of Final Fantasy VII and the beginning of Advent Children.
The next title to be released was Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone counterpart, Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII, both first-person/third-person shooters. Developed for the PlayStation 2 and set three years after the events of the original Final Fantasy VII and one after the events of Advent Children, Dirge was released in Japan on January 26, 2006, and in North America on August 15, 2006. Lost Episode was released for Amp'd Mobile phones three days later on August 18, 2006. Lost Episode takes place within the main storyline of Dirge, which focuses on the character of Vincent Valentine.
The most recent game to be released in the Compilation was Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, an action role-playing game for the PSP. A prequel to the original Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core focuses on Zack Fair, chronicling the seven years prior to the events of the original game. The game was released on September 13, 2007 in Japan, on March 25, 2008 in North America, and on June 20, 2008 in Europe.
A director's cut version of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children entitled Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete was released in Japan on April 16, 2009 on Blu-ray Disc, with the English version released the same year. The film also includes an OVA which adapts Denzel's chapter from the On a Way to Smile series. On the same day as Advent Children Complete was released in Japan, four more short stories from the On the Way to a Smile series were also released; "Case of Yuffie", "Case of Red XIII", "Case of Shinra", and "Case of the Lifestream - Black & White". All four were released in a single volume which contained the three previous stories.
A novel titled Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography: Turks ~The Kids Are Alright~ (ファイナルファンタジーVII外伝 タークス～ザ・キッズ・アー・オールライト～ Fainaru fantajī Sebun gaiden tākusu ~Za kizzu ā ōruraito~ ) was released in Japan on December 15, 2011. The novel was written by Kazushige Nojima and illustrated by Shou Tojima. It takes place in the same period as the On the Way to a Smile stories, and focuses on Evan Townshend, a private detective, who is working a case involving the Turks, which leads to a confrontation with Kadaj, the antagonist of Advent Children.
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The new Final Fantasy VII titles were each accompanied by their own soundtracks. Although Nobuo Uematsu had been the primary composer for the original game, he had very little involvement with the music of the new titles. Some soundtracks have been released in both a regular edition and a limited edition, and some of the soundtracks include new arrangements of songs from Final Fantasy VII, such as battle themes, Aerith Gainsborough's theme, the Shinra and Turks' themes, and Sephiroth's theme song "One Winged Angel".
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Though Final Fantasy VII itself received an overall positive reception, the titles in the Compilation have received mixed to positive reviews. In July 2007, Edge magazine stated that the titles "could be of a high quality, but there is also a perversion of the original." Dirge of Cerberus shipped 392,000 units in its first week, and received a score of 30 out of 40 from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. Advent Children met with positive sales figures but mixed reviews. The Japanese DVD release sold over 420,000 copies in its first week, which was 93% of all published copies at the time. The film went on to sell 5.0 million copies worldwide. Before Crisis registered 200,000 users on launch day, making it the best-selling mobile game up until that time. Crisis Core has sold 3.1 million copies worldwide. Dirge of Cerberus sold 1.48 million copies worldwide.
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