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Final Fantasy VII

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Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII Box Art.jpg
North American cover art, featuring the game's protagonist, Cloud Strife
Developer(s) Square
Publisher(s)
Director(s) Yoshinori Kitase
Producer(s) Hironobu Sakaguchi
Programmer(s) Ken Narita
Artist(s)
Writer(s)
Composer(s) Nobuo Uematsu
Series Final Fantasy
Platform(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, iOS, PlayStation 4, Android
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Final Fantasy VII[a] is a role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1997, it is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in the West by Sony Computer Entertainment, becoming the first in the series to be released in Europe. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist rebel organization to stop the world-controlling megacorporation Shinra from draining the planet's life essence as an energy source. Cloud and his allies become involved in a larger world-threatening conflict and set off in pursuit of Sephiroth, a powerful man intent on destroying their planet. During their journey, Cloud learns more about his past and builds friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to save their world.

Development began on Final Fantasy VII in 1994 for the Super NES. After delays and technical difficulties experimenting on several platforms, Square ultimately moved development to the PlayStation, largely due to the advantages of the CD-ROM format. The title would become the first in the series to use full motion video and 3D computer graphics, with most scenes using character models superimposed over pre-rendered backgrounds. Although the gameplay system remained mostly unchanged from previous entries, Final Fantasy VII featured science fiction elements with a more realistic presentation. The game had a combined development and marketing budget of over USD$80 million and a staff of over 100 people, thought to be larger than any development team before it.

Helped by a large pre-release promotional campaign, Final Fantasy VII was a commercial success and received widespread critical acclaim. It was acknowledged for boosting the sales of PlayStation consoles and popularizing Japanese role-playing games worldwide. Praise was given to its graphics, gameplay, music and story, although some criticism was directed towards its English localization. The game won numerous Game of the Year awards, among other accolades. In the years since its initial release, Final Fantasy VII has continuously been identified by critics and fans as a landmark title, and one of the greatest games of all time. Its success has led to a sub-series of other games, animated features, and short stories based in the same universe, known under the collective title: Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The game has been ported to several other platforms featuring some minor enhancements, and a high-definition remake is in development for the PlayStation 4.

Gameplay[edit]

As with previous installments of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VII consists primarily of three major areas: an overworld map, field maps, and a battle screen. The overworld map is a 3D model, featuring a scaled-down version of the game's fictional world, across which the player travels between the game's locations.[1] As with preceding games in the series, the world map can be traversed by foot, on chocobos and in an airship or sea vessel (in this case, a submarine and a plane used as a boat). It also includes an additional means of transportation—a buggy.[1]

On field maps, characters are directed across realistically scaled environments, consisting of 2D pre-rendered backgrounds which represent locations such as towns or forests.[2] Initially, the player is restricted to the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses the entire world becomes accessible.[1] Progression through the game's storyline is largely developed by way of scripted sequences, although pre-rendered cinematic cutscenes are also used.[3]

Battle system[edit]

Battle gameplay in Final Fantasy VII focused on Cloud who can either physically attack the enemy, use magic, a summoning, or an item

Battles, which either occur randomly on the field or are triggered by certain events, pit the player's party against one or more enemies. Winning the battle by means of defeating all the enemies earns experience, gil, and items for the party. However, if all party members are simultaneously incapacitated by way of losing all of their health points (HP), or are otherwise unable to continue to fight in any way, the game ends and the player must resume from their last save file. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, such as a building's interior or an open grassland, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies.[4] While characters are super deformed on maps, the character models are more realistic and normal-scaled in combat.[3] Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to have character models with fully rendered polygons, rather than 2D sprites. During battle sequences, the game uses the series' traditional Active Time Battle (ATB) system first featured in Final Fantasy IV. Unlike previous games in the series, which allow four or five playable characters to participate in battle, Final Fantasy VII only allows three characters per battle.[5]

Final Fantasy VII's skill system is built around the use of "Materia", which are magical orbs composed of condensed life energy from the planet, called "Mako". Mako are placed in special slots on weapons and armor, allowing players to customize their party's ability to use magic, summons, and special abilities. Materia is divided into five categories; Green Magic Materia for performing offensive and defensive spells, Yellow Skill Materia which grants new abilities, Red Summon Materia, which lets the character summon powerful deities to aid in battle, Purple Support Materia which gives the equipped character stat boosts, and Blue Junction Materia, which enhances other Materia when placed in connecting slots. However, most magic-based Materia also lowers an equipped character's physical attributes. Like the characters, Materia can level up with experience, opening up stronger abilities and functionality, with new Materia created once they reach the maximum level.[6] Summon spells feature in the game, equippable as Materia, with elaborately animated attacks. A modified form of Final Fantasy VI's "Desperation Attacks" appears in Final Fantasy VII as the "Limit Break". Every playable character has a bar that gradually fills up as they suffer damage in battle. When the bar is completely filled, the character is able to unleash his or her Limit Break, a special attack which generally inflicts significantly more damage on enemies than normal attacks, or otherwise aids the party in battle.[3] Unlike Materia, each character has their own unique set of Limit Breaks, which are divided into four levels of strength.[7]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

Final Fantasy VII takes place on a world referred to in-game as "The Planet", though it has retroactively been named "Gaia".[8][9] The planet's lifeforce is called the Lifestream, a flow of spiritual energy that gives life to everything on the Planet. Its processed form is known as "Mako".[10] On a societal and technological level, the game has been defined as an industrial or post-industrial science fiction milieu.[11] During the events of Final Fantasy VII, the Planet's Lifestream is being drained for energy by the Shinra Electric Power Company megacorporation: this is in turn causing the Planet to dangerously weaken, threatening its existence and the existence of life. Shinra, which has become the dominant power in the world, has its headquarters in the city of Midgar.[12] Significant factions within the game include AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist group seeking Shinra's downfall so the Planet can recover;[9] the Turks, a covert branch of Shinra's security forces;[13] SOLDIER, an elite Shinra fighting force created by enhancing humans with Mako;[14] and the Cetra, a near-extinct human tribe who maintain a strong connection to the Planet and the Lifestream.[15]

Characters[edit]

The central protagonist in Final Fantasy VII is Cloud Strife, an unsociable mercenary who claims to be a former 1st Class SOLDIER. He is employed by AVALANCHE, and goes on early missions with Barret Wallace, the leader of the AVALANCHE; Tifa Lockhart, a martial artist, member of AVALANCHE, and childhood friend of Cloud. On his journey, he meets Aerith Gainsborough, a flower merchant and one of the last surviving Cetra;[15][16] Red XIII, a member of a sentient tribe who protect the planet;[17] Cait Sith, a fortune-telling robotic cat controlled by repentant Turk Reeve Tuesti;[18][19] Cid Highwind, a pilot whose dreams of being the first man in outer space were not realized;[20] The group can also recruit Yuffie Kisaragi, a young ninja and skilled thief; and Vincent Valentine, a former Turk and victim of Shinra experiments.[21] The game's main antagonists are Rufus Shinra, a key figure within Shinra who eventually becomes President;[22] Sephiroth, a former SOLDIER who reappears several years after he was thought dead;[23] and Jenova, a hostile extraterrestrial lifeform imprisoned by the Cetra 2000 years before.[24][25][26] A key character in Cloud's backstory is Zack Fair, a member of SOLDIER and Aerith's first love.[27]

Plot[edit]

Cloud, Barret and Tifa perform a successful bombing operation at a Shinra Mako reactor in Midgar, though barely escape Shinra forces. A second run on another reactor goes wrong and Cloud falls into the slums of Midgar. There, he meets Aerith and defends her from an attack by Turks.[28][29] Shinra meanwhile finds AVALANCHE's location and collapses part of the upper city, killing most of AVALANCE along with the slum population below.[30] Aerith is also captured, as her status as a Cetra can potentially reveal the "Promised Land", which Shinra believes is overflowing with exploitable Lifestream energy.[31][32] Cloud, Barret and Tifa—the last surviving members of AVALANCHE—launch an assault on Shinra and are captured after encountering a specimen dubbed "Jenova". The following day, their cells are open and they escape to find most of the staff, including President Shinra, killed. A katana in the President's body indicates that the attacker was Sephiroth, who was presumed dead seven years before.[33] After the President's son Rufus assumes control of Shinra, the party escape Midgar and pursue Sephiroth across the planet; along the way, they are joined by Cait Sith and Cid, and can recruit Yuffie and Vincent.

The party meet Sephiroth at a Cetra temple, where he reveals his intent to use the Black Materia to summon "Meteor", a spell that will fatally injure the Planet with a meteorite strike—at the point of impact, Sephiroth will absorb the Lifestream as it attempts to heal the wound, becoming a god-like being.[34] The party drives Sephiroth back and retrieving the Black Materia, but Sephiroth manipulates Cloud into surrendering the Black Materia. Aerith sets off alone to stop Sephiroth, following him to an abandoned Cetra City. During her attempt to pray for help from the Planet, Sephiroth tries to force Cloud to killer, then kills her himself before fleeing, leaving the Black Materia for the party to reclaim.[35] The party then learn more of Jenova: it was a hostile alien lifeform that invaded the Planet. This prompted the Planet to general monsters called Weapons to defend itself. The Cetra managed to defeat Jenova and seal away its remains. A few decades before the present, Jenova's remains were unearthed by Shinra scientists and mistaken for a Cetra—in an experiment at a Shinra base in the town of Nibelheim, its cells were used to create Sephiroth.[24][35] Five years prior to the present, Sephiroth and Cloud were sent Nibelheim on a mission, where Sephiroth discovered the truth about his origins. Driven insane by the revelation, he murdered the townspeople, then vanished when confronted by Cloud.

The party head to the Northern Crater, an ancient meteorite crater where Sephiroth will use the Black Materia. Confronting him, they learn that the "Sephiroths" they have encountered are Jenova clones created by the insane Shinra scientist Hojo. Confronting the real Sephiroth as he is killing his clones to reunite Jenova's cells, Cloud is again manipulated into delivering the Black Materia to him, summoning Meteor. Sephiroth then taunts Cloud by showing another SOLDIER in Cloud's place in his memories of Nibelheim, suggesting that Cloud is also a Sephiroth clone.[36] With Meteor summoned, the Planet's Weapons activate—in the resulting uproar, Cloud falls into the Lifestream and the party need to evacuate with the pursuing Turks, who subsequently arrest them. With Meteor approaching, the Weapons turn on humanity in an attempt to return as much Mako energy to the Lifestream as possible to aid the planet. Shinra focuses its efforts on protecting humanity from the Weapons and attempting to destroy Meteor directly, which eventually costs the lives of the majority of Shinra's personnel including Rufus.[37] Escaping Shinra, the party discover Cloud at an island hospital in a catatonic state from Mako poisoning. Tifa stays with him, and when the island is attacked by a Weapon, the two fall into the Lifestream.

Within the Lifestream, Tifa helps Cloud reconstruct his memories. Cloud was never accepted into SOLDIER and instead became a infantryman, and the SOLDIER in his memories was his friend Zack Fair. At Nibelheim, Cloud was injured but fatally wounded Sephiroth, who only survived due to Jenova. Cloud and Zack were then taken for experiments by Hojo, with Zack escaping four years later with a catatonic Cloud. The two were eventually cornered by Shinra soldiers and Zack was killed; the combined trauma of his experience, the experiments and Zack's death triggered an identity crisis, with Cloud constructing a false persona around Zack's stories and his own fantasies.[35][38] Realizing and accepting his past, Cloud recovers and together with Tifa reunites with the party. It is revealed that Aerith's prayer to the Planet was successful—the Planet had attempted to summon Holy to prevent Meteor's impact, but Sephiroth blocked Holy. After killing Hojo when he tries to aid Sephiroth—who is revealed to be his biological son—the party descend into the Planet's core and defeat both Jenova and Sephorith. The party escapes and Holy is summoned, attempting to block Meteor as it descends on Midgar. As Meteor is too close, Holy cannot block it, but the Lifestream rises from the planet and aids Holy in destroying Meteor.[39] Five hundred years later, Red XIII is seen with two cubs looking out over the ruins of Midgar, which are now covered in greenery, showing the planet has healed.

Development[edit]

Producer Hironobu Sakaguchi and director Yoshinori Kitase, who together helped create the story and gameplay concepts for Final Fantasy VII.

The initial concept talks for Final Fantasy VII began in 1994, following the completion of Final Fantasy VI. Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi continued to work on the project as a producer, but after six entries of heavy involvement with the series, he decided to take a step back and allow other staff members to hold a more active role: these included Yoshinori Kitase, who had acted as the director of Final Fantasy VI. The project was initially going to be a game for Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) utilizing 2D graphics, which would have been a safe route for the company to take within the changing gaming landscape as a new generation of hardware was introduced. Between twenty and thirty staff members worked on brainstorming sessions for the new project for between two and three months, and an early prototype for the SNES was created. Work needed to stop due to Chrono Trigger falling into difficulties that required a greater focus and more staff resources to overcome. Because of the need to focus on Chrono Trigger, the staff temporarily shelved Final Fantasy VII.[40]

Once Chrono Trigger was completed, the team resumed discussions for Final Fantasy VII in 1995.[41] The team decided to make the game on new generation hardware, but had yet to choose between using the cartridge-based Nintendo 64 (N64) or the CD-ROM based PlayStation from Sony Computer Entertainment.[40] The team also considered Sega's new Saturn console and Microsoft Windows personal computers.[42] Their decision was influenced by two things: a tech movie based on Final Fantasy VII created using the new Softimage 3D software that impressed both staff and external developers; and the escalating price of cartridge-based games, which was limiting Square's audience.[40][43] Tests were made for an N64 version of the game which would make use of the planned 64DD peripheral, even in the face of a lack of development kits and changing hardware specs. This version was scrapped during early testing, as the 2000 polygons needed to render the series' Behemoth monster put too much of a strain on the N64 hardware, causing a low framerate.[40] Long load times were also a potential issue Square staff wanted to avoid.[41] It was later estimated that it would have required thirty 64DD discs to run Final Fantasy VII properly.[44] Faced with both technical and economic issues on Nintendo's current hardware, and favorably impressed by the increased storage capacity of CD-ROM when compared to the N64 cartridge, Square shifted development of Final Fantasy VII—in addition to all of their planned game projects—onto Sony's PlayStation.[40]

In contrast to the visuals and audio, the overall gameplay system remained mostly unchanged from that used since Final Fantasy V, using lessons based on research done to promote player control.[45] The initial decision was for battles to feature shifting camera angles. Battle arenas had a lower polygon count than field areas, which made picking out distinctive features for each one more difficult.[43] The summon sequences benefited strongly from the switch to the cinematic style, as the team had struggled to portray their scale using 2D graphics.[46] In his role as producer, Sakaguchi put a lot of his effort into developing the gameplay, specifically creating the Materia system.[27] The Materia system meant that battles no longer revolved around characters with innate skills, with each character's fighting style shifting depending on which Materia were equipped.[43] Nomura also contributed to the gameplay, creating the Limit Break system as an evolution of the Desperation Attacks used in Final Fantasy VI. The Limit Breaks helped bring out each character's personality.[27][47][48] As with every game prior to Final Fantasy VII, Square had continued to approach game development in the way they had done with their early projects, but now had the resources and ambition to create the game. This was because they had extensive capital, which means they could focus on quality and scale rather than obsessing over their budget.[40] It eventually became ranked as one of the most expensive video game projects at the time, coming in at an estimated $40 million USD, which adjusted for inflation came to $61 million in 2017.[40][49][50] Development of the final version lasted just over a year, and included a staff of between 100 and 150 people. As video game development teams were usually only 20 people, Final Fantasy VII had what was described as the largest development team of any game up to that point.[40][46] The development team was split between both Square's Japanese offices and its new American office in Los Angeles, with the American team primarily responsible for city backgrounds.[44]

Art design[edit]

The legendary rivalry of swordsmen Miyamoto Musashi (left) and Sasaki Kojirō served as inspiration for the dichotomy between Cloud and Sephiroth respectively.

The game's art director was Yusuke Naora, who had previously worked as a designer for Final Fantasy VI. With the switch into 3D, Naora found himself needing to teach himself drawing all over again as 3D visuals required a very different approach from 2D. With the scale and scope of the project, Naora requested and was granted a development team entirely devoted to the game's visual design. The department's duties included illustration, modeling of 3D characters, texturing, creation of environments, visual effects, and animation.[51] Naora later defined the art style of Final Fantasy VII as "dark" and "weird".[52] The Shira logo, which incorporated a kanji symbol, was drawn by Naora personally.[53] Promotional artwork, in addition to the logo artwork, was created by Yoshitaka Amano, an artist whose association with the series went back to its inception.[54] While he had taken a prominent role in earlier entries, Amano was unable to do so for Final Fantasy VII due to commitments at overseas exhibitions.[9][54] His logo artwork was based on Meteor: when he saw images of Meteor, he was not sure how to turn it into suitable artwork. In the end, he creating multiple variations on the image and asked staff to choose which they preferred.[55] The green coloring represents the predominant lighting in Midgar and the color of the Lifestream, while the blue reflected the ecological themes present in the story. Its coloring directly influenced the general coloring of the game's environments.[51]

Another prominent artist was Tetsuya Nomura. Having originally handled monster designs and storyboarding for Final Fantasy VI, which both amused and impressed Sakaguchi, Nomura was brought in board as main character designer.[27] Talking of his role as character designer, Nomura stated that when he was brought on, the main scenario had not been completed, but he "went along like, 'I guess first off you need a hero and a heroine', and from there drew the designs while thinking up details about the characters. After [he'd] done the hero and heroine, [he] carried on drawing by thinking what kind of characters would be interesting to have. When [he] handed over the designs [he'd] tell people the character details [he'd] thought up, or write them down on a separate sheet of paper".[56] Something that could not be carried over from earlier titles was the chibi sprite art, as that would not fit with the new graphical direction: Naora, in his role as an assistant character designer and art director, helped adjust each character's appearance so the actions they performed were believable. When designing Cloud and Sephiroth, Nomura was influenced by his view of their rivalry mirroring the legendary animosity between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō, with Cloud and Sephiroth being Musashi and Kojirō respectively. Sephiroth's look was defined as "kakkoii", a Japanese term combining good looks with coolness.[43] Several of Nomura's designs changed during development from their initial conceptions. Cloud's original design of slicked-back black hair with no spikes was intended to serve as a contrast to Sephiroth's long, flowing silver hair in addition to saving polygons. Nomura feared, however, that such masculinity could prove unpopular with fans, and therefore he changed Cloud's design to feature a shock of spiky, bright blond hair. Vincent changed from researcher to detective to chemist, and finally to the figure of a former Turk with a tragic past.[57]

Scenario[edit]

Sakaguchi was responsible for writing the initial scenario concept, which was substantially different from the final version—the initial draft saw a detective character pursuing the main characters through Midgar, which would result in the main characters destroying the city.[57] Kitase and Nomura entirely reworked the initial concept.[58] The setting was initially going to be in a modern-day setting in its original 2D form, but when it became a 3D project for the PlayStation, the concept was changed. Elements from the original concept were used in later Square projects.[59] Sakaguchi defined the game's theme as that of "life", and his use of the theme in Final Fantasy VII helped him cope with his mother's death in a rational way.[46] While the planned initial concept was dropped, Final Fantasy VII still boasted a drastic shift in setting from previous entries, dropping the Medieval fantasy elements in favor of a world that was "ambiguously futuristic".[60]

The final story concepts were created by Sakaguchi, Kitase, Nomura and Kazushige Nojima; during the early stages, Nojima was still working on the scenario for Bahamut Lagoon.[57][58] Sakaguchi was responsible for conceiving the Lifestream, based on his experiences of the death of his mother.[41][57] Kitase and Nojima created the majority of the main plot, in addition to expanding upon and adjusting Sakaguchi's original ideas.[57] The scenario was written by Nojima, who became attached to the project after the main concepts had been finalized and was told by Kitase to create a mysterious narrative.[58] When making the characters more realistic, Nojima wrote the characters so they would not unanimously agree on points such as moving out on a mission, with some raising objections: while this inevitably slowed down the pace of the story, it added depth and realism to the characters. The graphical improvements enabled even relatively bland lines of dialogue to be enhanced.[46] Another writer who contributed was Masato Kato, who wrote several late-game scenes including the Lifestream sequence and Cloud and Tifa's conversation before the final battle. Initially not involved with the project, he was called upon to help flesh out less important story scenes. He wrote his scenes to his own tastes without outside consultation, something he later regretted.[61] The pursuit of Sephiroth that made up a large part of the main narrative was suggested by Nomura, as it had not been done in the series before.[27]

The cutscene of Sephiroth killing Aerith Gainsborough. This key story sequence has been called one of the most "shocking",[62] "cinematic",[63] and "genre-defining"[64] moments in video games.

While Final Fantasy VI adopted a style of making all characters equally important without any being the main character, the team soon decided that they needed a central protagonist for Final Fantasy VII.[43] Several character relations and statuses underwent changes during development. Aerith was originally going to be Sephiroth's black-haired sister—which influenced the design of Aerith's hair—while Tifa did not exist. To bring depth to Aerith's backstory, the team wanted a previous love interest. Initially planned to be Sephiroth, Nomura eventually created the character of Zack Fair. Zack also enabled players to see what a true SOLDIER was like.[56][58] The need for a second heroine was suggested by Nomura as part of his initial idea that one of the heroines should die. This resulted in the creation of Tifa.[65] Aerith's death was initially suggested by Sakaguchi independent of Nomura's proposal. Again inspired by his mother's death, Sakaguchi wanted to avoid Aerith's death from being a "Hollywood" sacrifice, instead being realistically portrayed.[41][58] In early drafts most of the main cast would have died in the ending, but Nomura successfully protested against this.[40] Both Vincent and Yuffie were originally intended to be part of the main narrative, but due to time constraints were nearly cut and eventually delegated to being optional characters.[56]

Graphics[edit]

With the shift from the SNES to the next generation consoles, Final Fantasy VII became the first Final Fantasy project to make use of 3D computer graphics.[41] During early talks, a considered route was overlaying 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds, but it was decided to forgo pixel art entirely in favor of polygonal models.[66] Aside from the story, Final Fantasy VI had many details undecided when development began with many things filled out along the way. In contrast, with Final Fantasy VII the developers knew from the outset it was going to be "a real 3D game", so from the earliest planning stage detailed designs were in existence. The script was also finalized, and the image for the graphics had been fleshed out. This meant that when actual development work began, "storyboards" for the game were already in place.[43] The shift from cartridge ROM to CD-ROM was a little difficult: according to lead programmer Ken Narita, the CD-ROM had a slower access speed and so actions during the game were liable to be delayed, so the team needed to overcome this issue.[46] When it was decided to use 3D graphics, there was discussion among the staff whether to use sprite-based character models or 3D polygonal models. While sprites proved more popular, the polygon models were chosen as they could better express emotion. This decision was influenced by the team's exposure to the 3D character models used in Alone in the Dark. Sakaguchi decided to use deformed models for field navigation and real-time event scenes, while realistically proportioned models would be used in battles. This was because he thought hte deformed models would express emotion better than realistic ones.[58] In anticipation of the move to more powerful hardware and 3D graphics, the team purchased high-end Softimage 3D and PowerAnimator software, which many among the team had never seen before. The purchasing of this equipment accounted for a large portion of the game's expenditure: including both hardware and software, Square spent an estimated $21 million.[40]

The pre-rendered backgrounds, such as this scene in Midgar, provided the developers with a choice of camera angle, giving a more cinematic experience.

The transition from 2D graphics to 3D environments overlaid on pre-rendered backgrounds was accompanied by a focus on a more realistic presentation.[41] In previous entries, the sizes for characters and environments were fixed, and the player saw things from a scrolling perspective. This changed with Final Fantasy VII; environments shifted with camera angles, and character model sizes shifted depending on both their place in the environment and their distance from the camera, giving a sense of scale.[43][46] The choice of this highly cinematic style of storytelling, contrasting directly with Square's previous games was attributed to Kitase, who was a fan of films and had an interest in the parallels between film and video game narrative.[40] Character movement during in-game events was done by the character designers in the planning group. While designers normally cooperate with a motion specialist for such animations, the designers taught themselves motion work, resulting in each character's movements differing depending on their creators—some designers liked exaggerated movements, while others went for subtlety. Much of the time was spend upon each character's day-to-day "normal" animations. Motion specialists were brought in for the game's battle animations. The first characters the team were able to work with were Cloud and Barret.[43] Some of the real-time effects, such as an explosion near the opening, were hand-drawn rather than computer animated.[51]

The main creative force behind the general 3D presentation was Kazuyuki Hashimoto, who was the general supervisor for these sequences. Being experienced in the new technology the team had brought on board, he accepted the post at Square as the team aligned with his own creative spirit. One of the major events in development was when the real-time graphics were synchronized to computer-generated full motion video (FMV) cutscenes for some story sequences, notably an early sequence where a real-time model of Cloud jumps onto an FMV-rendered moving train.[40] The backgrounds were created by overlaying two 2D graphic layers and changed the motion speed of each to simulate depth perception. While this was not a new technique, the increased power of the PlayStation enabled more elaborate version of this effect.[46] The biggest issue with the 3D graphics was the large memory storage gap between the development hardware and the console: while the early 3D tech demo had been developed on a machine with over 400 megabytes of total memory, the PlayStation only had two megabytes of system memory and 500 kilobytes for texture memory. The team needed to figure out how to shrink the amount of data while preserving the desired effects. This was aided with reluctant help from Sony, who had hoped to keep Square's direct involvement limited to a standard API package, but they eventually relented and allowed the team direct access to the hardware specifications.[40]

Final Fantasy VII featured two types of cutscenes: real-time cutscenes featuring polygon models on pre-rendered backgrounds, and FMV cutscenes.[46] The game's computer-generated imagery (CGI) FMVs were produced by Visual Works, a then-new subsidiary of Square that specialized in computer graphics and FMVs creation. Visual Works had created the initial movie concept for a 3D game project.[9] The FMVs were created by an international team, covering both Japan and North America and involving talent from the gaming and film industry; Western contributors included artists and staff who had worked on the Star Wars film series, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and True Lies.[67] The team tried to create additional optional CGI content which would bring optional characters Vincent and Yuffie into the ending. As this would have further increased the number of discs the game needed, the idea was discarded.[68] Kazuyuki Ikumori, a future key figure at Visual Works, helped with the creation of the CGI cutscenes, in addition to general background design.[69] The CGI FMV sequences total around 40 minutes of footage, something only possible with the PlayStation's extra memory space and graphical power. This innovation brought with it the added difficulty of ensuring that the inferiority of the in-game graphics in comparison to the FMV sequences was not too obvious. Kitase has described the process of making the in-game environments as detailed as possible to be "a daunting task".[41]

Music[edit]

Nobuo Uematsu composed, arranged, and produced the entire soundtrack of Final Fantasy VII

The music for Final Fantasy VII was composed, arranged, and produced by Nobuo Uematsu, who had served as the sole composer for the six previous Final Fantasy games. Although the media capabilities of the PlayStation console allowed for CD quality music, Uematsu opted instead to use MIDI sounds produced by the console's internal sound hardware.[3][70] The music was rendered using the console's native sound hardware rather than being incorporated onto the disc due to superior overall sound quality: while the SNES had only eight sound channels, the PlayStation had twenty-four. Eight were reserved for sound effects, leaving sixteen available for the music.[45] Uematsu had initially planned to use higher quality music with vocal performances for the game to take advantage of the console's capabilities, but found that the advanced audio quality in turn made the game have much longer loading times in each area. Uematsu decided that the quality was not worth the affects on gameplay. Uematsu's approach to composing the game's music was to treat it like a film soundtrack and compose songs that reflected the mood of the scenes rather than trying to make strong melodies to "define the game", as he felt that approach would come across too strong when placed alongside the game's new 3D visuals. As an example, he composed the track intended for the scene in the game where Aerith Gainsborough is killed to be "sad but beautiful", rather than more overtly emotional, creating what he feels is a more understated feeling.[40] Uematsu additionally said that the soundtrack had a feel of "realism", which also prevented him from using "exorbitant, crazy music".[71]

The first piece that Uematsu composed for the game was the opening theme; game director Yoshinori Kitase showed him the opening cinematic to the game and asked him to begin the project there. The track was well received in the company, which gave Uematsu "a sense that it was going to be a really good project". Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the series to include a track with digitized vocals, "One-Winged Angel", which accompanies the final battle of the game. The track has been called Uematsu's "most recognizable contribution" to the music of the Final Fantasy series, and Uematsu regards it as his most popular work from the series.[40][72] Inspired by The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky to make a more "classical" track, and by rock and roll music from the late 1960s and early 1970s to make an orchestral track with a "destructive impact", he spent two weeks composing short unconnected musical phrases, and then arranged them together into "One-Winged Angel", an approach he has never used before or since.[40]

Music from the game has been released in several albums. Square released the main soundtrack album, Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack, on four Compact Discs through its DigiCube subsidiary in 1997. A limited edition release was also produced, containing illustrated liner notes.[70] The regular edition of the album reached #3 on the Japan Oricon charts, while the limited edition reached #19.[73][74] Overall, the album had sold nearly 150,000 copies by January 2010.[75] A single-disc album of selected tracks from the original soundtrack, along with three arranged pieces, titled Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tracks, was also released by DigiCube in 1997,[76] reaching #20 on the Japan Oricon charts.[77] A third album, Piano Collections Final Fantasy VII, was released by DigiCube in 2003, and contains one disc of piano arrangements of tracks from the game, arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi and performed by Seiji Honda, which reached #228 on the Oricon charts.[78][79]

Release[edit]

The announcement that Square were transferring future game developments onto the PlayStation happened in early 1995.[40] Final Fantasy VII was officially announced in February 1996.[80] Despite it being on a new platform, the team were fairly confident about the game's Japanese fanbase making the game a commercial success.[40] A playable demo was included on a disc giveaway at the 1995 SIGGRAPH, dubbed Square's Preview Extra: Final Fantasy VII & Siggraph '95 Works. The disc also included the early test footage Square created using characters from Final Fantasy VI.[40][81] Their initial release date was at some point in 1996, but to properly realize their vision, Square pushed the release date forward almost a full year into 1997.[60] Final Fantasy VII was released on January 31, 1997.[82] It was published in the region by Square.[83] A re-release of the game based on its Western version, titled Final Fantasy VII International, was released on October 2, 1997.[84] This improved International version would kickstart the trend for Square to create updated version for Japanese release based on the enhanced Western versions.[85] The International version was re-released as a physical disc as part of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box Japanese package on December 18, 2012.[86]

While its Japanese success had been taken for granted by Square staff, North America and Europe were another matter, as up to that time the Japanese role-playing genre was still niche. The PlayStation at the time was still struggling against the consoles of Nintendo and Sega, so when Final Fantasy VII became a PlayStation game, Sony lobbied for the publishing rights in both North America and Europe. As they were so eager, they offered a lucrative royalties deal which was as profitable for Square as if they were handling publishing duties. With this and their lack of experience in mind, they accepted Sony's offer. Square was uncertain about the game's success, as other JRPGs including Final Fantasy VI had met with poor sales outside Japan To help with promoting the title overseas, Square dissolved their original Washington offices and hired new staff for fresh offices in Costa Mesa.[40] It was first exhibited to the Western public at Electronic Entertainment Expo 1996 (E3).[87]

Beginning in August 1997, a widespread three-month advertising campaign was initiated to promote the game overseas. Beginning with a television commertial that ran alongside popular shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, the campaign included numerous articles in both gaming and general interest magazines, comics from publishers such as DC Comics and Marvel, a special promotional collaboration with Pepsi, media events, sample discs, and promotional merchandise.[88] According to estimations by Square and Sony staff, the total worldwide marketing budget came to USD$40 million; $10 million had been spent in Japan, $10 million in Europe, and $20 million in North America.[40] Unlike its predecessors, Final Fantasy VII did not have its numeral adjusted to account for the lack of a Western release for Final Fantasy II, III and V—while only the fourth Final Fantasy released outside Japan, its Japanese title was retained.[89] It released in North America on September 7, 1997,[90] and in Europe on November 14,[91] where it was the first entry in the series to be released in the region.[92] The Western version included additional elements and alterations, such as streamlining of the menu and materia system, reducing the health of enemies, new visual cues to help with navigation across the worldmap, and additional cutscenes relating to Cloud's past.[85][93]

Localization[edit]

The localization of Final Fantasy VII was handled internally by Square. According to Richard Honeywood, who joined the company as a translator as localization work on Final Fantasy VII was wrapping up, the title was a transition point for the company, as they were still finding their feet with the new generation of hardware and consequently rethinking their approach to localization.[94] The English localization was handled by a team consisting of approximately fifty people, led by Seth Luisi. He said the most difficult thing about the translation was making "the direct Japanese-to-English text translation read correctly in English" because the "sentence structure and grammar rules for the Japanese language is very different from English", making it difficult to make it seem as if they had been originally written in English.[95] Michael Basket was the sole translator for the project, although he received help from the Tokyo office by native Japanese speakers. The localization was taxing for the team due to their experience and poor communication between the North American and Japanese offices. A result of this was that the character Aerith, whose name was a combination of the words "air" and "earth", was localized as "Aeris". It also resulted in Barret's Japanese name being shifted to its current Western one, but in hindsight this was seen as a good thing. Two major issues were that the localization team had to deal with a fixed font size and needed to type in additional symbols using language input keys so the code would function. This meant that spelling of grammar mistakes in lines of dialogue could not be caught by the software as it was read as Japanese. The situation was compounded by the fact that the Japanese text made use of obscure kanji symbols carried over from Chinese writing. The European release was described as being in a worse condition, as the translations into multiple European languages were outsourced by Sony to another company.[94] Swear words were used frequently in Final Fantasy VII, though Honeywood felt that it added little to the experience.[85] For the PC port, Square did its best to fix translation and grammar mistakes for the North American and European versions, but did not have the time and budget to retranslate all the text.[94]

PC version[edit]

A version for Microsoft Windows was internally developed by Square's Costa Mesa offices. Square was willing to invest in a PC version as they wanted to reach as wide a player base as possible, and many in North America and Europe did not own a PlayStation. As their deal with Sony did not prevent them from making a port, the Costa Mesa was given the go-ahead by Square. They went through multiple Western game publishers seeking a partnership, and eventually Eidos Interactive showed an interest. Square treated the PC port as an experiment, as they had never done anything for PCs before. Eidos was among those chosen for pitching as they had successfully marketed Tomb Raider. After consideration, Eidos agreed to market and publish the port, making initial sales forecasts of 100,000 units.[40] The port was announced in December 1997, along with Eidos' exclusivity deal for North America and Europe at the time.[96] According to Square staff, the PC version released a considerable time after the PlayStation version as Square has focused on finishing the console version first.[97]

The port was handled by a team of 10 to 20 people, mostly from Costa Mesa but including help from Tokyo. For the port, the team needed to rewrite an estimated 80% of the game's code due to the need to unify what had been a custom build for a console written by multiple staff members, going through five different game engines and causing the project be delayed. To help the product stand out in stores, Eidos chose a triangular shape for the cover and box. The PC version was released in North America and Europe on June 25, 1998. The port was not released in Japan.[98] The PC version would end up providing the source code for subsequent ports.[40]

Later releases[edit]

The International version of Final Fantasy VII released on PlayStation Network (PSN) on April 10, 2009. This version was compatible with both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.[93] This version later released in Western regions on June 2.[99] The PC version was ported to Steam, releasing on May 16, 2013. This was again the International version, and was the first time the PC version was released in Japan.[100] It released in the West on on July 4. This version featured optional "Cloud Saves", and a "Character Booster" feature that maxed out characters, and optimization for modern PC hardware.[101] A release for iOS, based on the Steam version and adjusted for mobile devices, was released on August 19, 2015.[102] A version of the Steam port was released for PlayStation 4 on December 5, 2015.[103][104] The PS4 and iOS versions also included cheats which enabled the player characters to become high-powered without the need for battles, and the ability to switch off random encounters.[105] A version for Android was released on July 7, 2016.[106]

Reception[edit]

Initial reception and sales[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
iOS PC PS
1UP.com N/A N/A A+[112]
AllGame N/A 4.5/5 stars[114] 5/5 stars[113]
CGW N/A 4/5 stars[127] N/A
CVG N/A 9/10[116] 5/5 stars[115]
Edge N/A N/A 9/10[117]
EGM N/A N/A 38/40[118]
Famitsu N/A N/A 38/40[119]
GameFan N/A N/A 300+/300[120][121]
Game Informer N/A N/A 9.75/10[122]
GameSpot N/A N/A 9.5/10[2]
PC: 8.0/10[123]
OPM (US) N/A N/A 5/5 stars[124]
PC Gamer (US) N/A 90%[126] N/A
PSM N/A N/A 5/5 stars[125]
Computer Games Magazine N/A 4/5 stars[128] N/A
Gamezebo 4/5 stars[129] N/A N/A
Pocket Gamer 8/10[130] N/A N/A
RPGamer N/A N/A 8/10[131]
10/10[132]
TouchArcade 4/5 stars[133] N/A N/A
Aggregate score
Metacritic 77/100[111] N/A 92/100[110]

Final Fantasy VII was both a critical and commercial success, and set several sales records. Within three days of its release in Japan, the game had sold 2.3 million copies.[3] This popularity inspired thousands of retailers in North America to break street dates in September to meet public demand for the title.[134] In the game's debut weekend in North America, it sold 330,000 copies,[135] and had reached sales of 500,000 copies in less than three weeks.[136] The momentum established in the game's opening weeks continued for several months; Sony announced the game had sold one million copies in North America by early December,[137] prompting business analyst Edward Williams from Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. to comment, "Sony redefined the role-playing game (RPG) category and expanded the conventional audience with the launch of Final Fantasy VII."[137] By the end of 2005, the game had sold over 9.8 million copies worldwide,[138] making it the highest-selling game in the Final Fantasy series.[139] By the end of 2006, the The Best bargain reissue of the game alone had sold over 158,000 copies in Japan.[140] Final Fantasy VII is credited as "the game that sold the PlayStation," as well as allowing role-playing games to find a place in markets outside Japan. By May 2010, it had sold over 10 million copies worldwide,[141] making it the most popular title in the series in terms of units sold.[142][143][144] As of December 2016, the Steam version has sold over 1.1 million copies,[145] and the game has sold over 11 million copies in total.[146]

The game received widespread acclaim from critics upon release. It was referred to by GameFan as "quite possibly the greatest game ever made," a quote which continues to feature prominently on the back cover of the game's jewel case.[147] GameSpot commented that "never before have technology, playability, and narrative combined as well as in Final Fantasy VII," expressing particular favor toward the game's graphics, audio, and story.[2] IGN's Jay Boor insisted the game's graphics were "light years beyond anything ever seen on the PlayStation," and regarded its battle system as its strongest point.[5] Computer and Video Games's Alex C praised the story, stating that the "many characters that come and go throughout the story are well developed, and players will feel the ups and downs of the protagonists as if it were a film," and that the "structure of the story is such that, just when you think you've seen it all, something even more awesome comes along to totally knock your socks off."[116] Edge noted, "The ‘interactive movie’ has long been a dirty term to anyone who values a playable videogame, but FFVII succeeds in coming closer than any title yet," with the "highly complex, melodramatic story and excellently orchestrated chip music" combining "to make players feel real empathy with the characters," a "task usually shied away from by the action/comedy-orientated western graphic adventures."[117] RPGamer praised the game's soundtrack, both in variety and sheer volume, stating that "Uematsu has done his work exceptionally well" and "is perhaps at his best here."[131] Electronic Gaming Monthly's panel of four reviewers gave the game scores of 9.5 out of 10 each, adding up to a score of 38 out of 40 in total.[118]

Reviewers also praised the game's PC conversion, but criticized it for its lower-quality pre-rendered visuals and audio, and for its framerate and installation problems.[126][127][148] Computer Games Magazine said that "[no] game in recent memory" had such a "tendency to fail to work in any capacity on multiple [computers]."[128] Computer Gaming World complained that the "music, while beautifully composed, is butchered by being dependent on your sound card,"[127] and Next Generation Magazine found the game's pre-rendered backgrounds significantly less impressive than those of the PlayStation version.[148] However, the latter magazine found the higher-resolution battle visuals "absolutely stunning,"[148] and Computer Games Magazine said that they "[show] off the power of [a] PC equipped with a 3D card."[128] All three magazines concluded by praising the game despite its technical flaws,[127][128][148] and PC Gamer summarized that, while "Square apparently did only what was required to get its PlayStation game running under Windows," Final Fantasy VII is "still a winner on the PC."[126]

Final Fantasy VII has received some negative criticism as well. Square's announcement that it would be produced for Sony rather than Nintendo and that it would not be based on the Final Fantasy SGI demo was met with discontent among some gamers.[149][150] Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (OPM) and GameSpot questioned the game's linear progression.[2][124] OPM considered the game's translation "a bit muddy" and felt the summon animations were "repetitive."[124] RPGamer cited its translation as "packed with typos and other errors which further obscure what is already a very confusing plot."[151] GamePro also considered the Japanese-to-English translation a significant weakness in the game,[152] and IGN regarded the ability to use only three characters at a time as "the game's only shortcoming."[5]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Final Fantasy VII was given numerous Game of the Year awards in 1997. It won in the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' first annual Interactive Achievement Awards in the categories "Console Adventure Game of the Year" and "Console Role Playing Game of the Year" (it was also nominated in the categories "Interactive Title of the Year", "Outstanding Achievement in Art/Graphics" and "Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Design").[153] In the Origins Award, it won in the category "Best Roleplaying Computer Game of 1997."[154] It was also awarded the "Readers' Choice All Systems Game of the Year", "Readers' Choice PlayStation Game of the Year" and "Readers' Choice Role-Playing Game of the Year" by EGM,[155] which also gave it other awards for "Hottest Video Game Babe" (for Tifa Lockheart), "Most Hyper for a Game", "Best Ending" and "Best Print Ad".[156]

Since 1997, it has been selected by many game magazines as one of the top video games of all time, including as 91st in EGM's 2001 "100 Best Games of All Time",[157] and as fourth in Retro Gamer's "Top 100 Games" in 2004.[158] In 2005, it was ranked as 88th in IGN's "Top 100 Games of All Time"[159] and as third in PALGN's "The Greatest 100 Games Ever".[160] Final Fantasy VII was included in the "The Greatest Games of All Time" list by GameSpot in 2006,[62] and ranked as second in Empire's 2006 "100 Greatest Games of All Time",[161] as third in Stuff's "100 Greatest Games" in 2008[162] and as 15th in Game Informer's 2009 "Top 200 Games of All Time" (down five places from its previous best games of all time list[163]).[164] GameSpot placed it as the second most influential game ever made in 2002;[165] in 2007, GamePro ranked it 14th on the list of the most important games of all time, and in 2009 it finished in the same place on their list of the most innovative games of all time.[166][167] In 2012, Time named it one of "All-TIME 100 Video Games".[168]

It has also appeared in numerous other greatest game lists. In 2007, Dengeki PlayStation gave it the "Best Story", "Best RPG" and "Best Overall Game" retrospective awards for games on the original PlayStation.[169] GamePro named it the best RPG title of all time in 2008,[170] and featured it in their 2010 article "The 30 Best PSN Games."[171] In 2012, GamesRadar also ranked it as the sixth saddest game ever.[172] On the other hand, GameSpy ranked it seventh on their 2003 list of the most overrated games.[173]

Final Fantasy VII has often placed at or near the top of many reader polls of all-time best games. It was voted the "Reader's Choice Game of the Century" in an IGN poll in 2000,[174] and placed second in the "Top 100 Favorite Games of All Time" by Japanese magazine Famitsu in 2006 (it was also voted as ninth in Famitsu's 2011 poll of most tear-inducing games of all time).[175][176] Users of GameFAQs voted it the "Best Game Ever" in 2004 and in 2005,[177][178] and placed it second in 2009.[179] In 2008, readers of Dengeki magazine voted it the best game ever made,[180] as well as the ninth most tear-inducing game of all time.[181]

Legacy[edit]

Music from the game's soundtrack is often performed live in symphonic concerts, such as the Video Games Live event in 2009

The game has inspired an unofficial version for the NES by Chinese company Shenzhen Nanjing Technology. This port features the Final Fantasy VII game scaled back to 2D, with some of the side quests removed.[182] The game's popularity and open-ended nature also led director Kitase and scenario writer Nojima to establish a plot-related connection between Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X-2. The character Shinra from Final Fantasy X-2 proposes the concept of extracting the life energy from within the planet Spira. Nojima has stated that Shinra and his proposal are a deliberate nod to the Shinra Company, and that he envisioned the events of Final Fantasy X-2 as a prequel to those in Final Fantasy VII.[183] The FMV sequences and computer graphics used in Final Fantasy VII allowed Sakaguchi to begin production on the first Final Fantasy film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.[184] The game also introduced settings suffused with modern-to-advanced technology into the Final Fantasy series, a theme continued by Final Fantasy VIII and The Spirits Within.[185][186] Re-releases of Square games in Japan with bonus features would occur frequently after the release of Final Fantasy VII International. Later titles that would be re-released as international versions include Final Fantasy X and other follow ups from the franchise ,[187][188][189] as well as the Kingdom Hearts series.[190][191]

Several characters from Final Fantasy VII have also made cameo appearances in other Square Enix titles, most notably the fighting game Ehrgeiz and the popular Final Fantasy-Disney crossover series Kingdom Hearts.[192] Additionally, fighting video game Dissidia Final Fantasy includes Final Fantasy VII characters such as Cloud and Sephiroth, and allows players to fight with characters from throughout the Final Fantasy series, and its follow-up, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, included Tifa as well.[193] In 2015, Cloud was released as a downloadable content character for the Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, along with a stage based on Midgar.[194] Aerith's death in the game has often been referred as one of the most significant moments from any video game.[62][63][64]

Related media and merchandise[edit]

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is the formal title for a series of games, animated features and short stories based in the world of Final Fantasy VII. The series consists of several titles across various platforms, all of which are extensions of the original story.[195] The first title in the Compilation is the mobile game Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, a prequel focusing on the Turks' activities six years prior to the original game, including their first encounter with AVALANCHE.[196] The CGI film sequel Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, set two years after the events of the game, was the first title announced in the series, but it was the second to be released. Special DVD editions of the film included Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, an original video animation that recounts the destruction of Nibelheim.[197] Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone counterpart, Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII, are third-person shooters[198] set three years after the events of Final Fantasy VII and one after the events of Advent Children. Dirge focuses on Vincent Valentine, and goes into more detail regarding his backstory than the original Final Fantasy VII. The most recent title is the PlayStation Portable game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, an action role-playing game that revolves around Zack's past.[199] Also included in the Compilation is On the Way to a Smile, a collection of seven short stories written by Kazushige Nojima, and set between the end of Final Fantasy VII and the beginning of Advent Children. Originally only three stories were released: "Case of Barret", "Case of Tifa" and "Case of Denzel", but with the release of Advent Children Complete, four more stories were written; "Case of Nanaki", "Case of Yuffie", "Case of Shinra" and "Case of Lifestream - White & Black".

Releases not under the Compilation label include, Maiden Who Travels the Planet, which follows Aerith's journey in the Lifestream after her death at the hands of Sephiroth, taking place concurrently with the second half of the original game.[200] Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding is a mobile port of the snowboard minigame featured in Final Fantasy VII,[201] which contains different course than the original minigame.[202] The game is downloadable on V Cast-compatible mobile phones, and was first made available in 2005 in Japan and North America.[203] Final Fantasy VII G-Bike is a mobile game released for iOS and Android in December 2014, based on the motorbike minigame featured in the original game.[204]

Remake[edit]

With the announcement and development of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, speculation spread that an enhanced remake of the original Final Fantasy VII would be released for the PlayStation 3. This speculation was sparked at the 2005 E3 convention by the release of a video featuring the opening sequence of Final Fantasy VII recreated using the PlayStation 3's graphical capabilities.[205] Throughout the lifespan of the PS3, SquareEnix stated that such a game was not in development, but a high definition remake was eventually announced at E3 2015 for the PS4. The game will be more than a high definition remaster, with director Tetsuya Nomura stating that the game will have changes made to its story and combat system.[206]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ファイナルファンタジーVII (Fainaru Fantajī Sebun?) in Japanese

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Sony Computer Entertainment. 1997. pp. 15, 44–46. SCUS-94163. 
  2. ^ a b c d Austin, Steve (September 27, 1997). "Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 16, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e McLaughlin, Rus (April 30, 2008). "IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII". IGN. News Corporation. p. 1. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1997). Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pp. 20–25. SCUS-94163. 
  5. ^ a b c d Boor, Jay (September 3, 1997). "Final Fantasy VII Review". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved July 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1997). Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p. 35. SCUS-94163. 
  7. ^ White, Finn. "Guides: Final Fantasy VII – Characters". IGN. News Corporation. Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved September 14, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Interview: Kosei Ito Q&A" (in Japanese). ITmedia. 2004. Archived from the original on August 17, 2010. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d McLaughlin, Rus (April 30, 2008). "IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2008. 
  10. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. pp. 216–217. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  11. ^ "Final Fantasy". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Ziff Davis (47): 16. August 2001. 
  12. ^ FFVIIスクウエアPSに参入. Dengeki PlayStation (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works (17): 14–15. 1996-02-14. 
  13. ^ Dun, Teresa (February 2008). "Complete Final Fantasy VII Character Guide". PlayStation: The Official Magazine (60). 
  14. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 217. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  15. ^ a b Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 59. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  16. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 30. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  17. ^ SoftBank, ed. (2006). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files (in Japanese and English). Square Enix. pp. 52–53. ISBN 4-7973-3498-3. 
  18. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1997). Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p. 11. SCUS-94163. 
  19. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 57. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  20. ^ Square Co (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Shera: He pushed the Emergency Engine Shut Down switch, aborting the mission, to save my life. After that, the Space Program was cut back and the launch was canceled. 
  21. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 46. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  22. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. pp. 56, 58. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  23. ^ Square Electronic Arts, ed. (1997). Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. p. 10. SCUS-94163. 
  24. ^ a b Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 198. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  25. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. pp. 210–215. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  26. ^ Square (1997-09-07). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Ifalna: A small number of the surviving Cetra defeated Jenova, and confined it. 
  27. ^ a b c d e 「ファイナルファンタジー」25周年 — ファイナルファンタジーVII. Famitsu. Enterbrain (1224). May 10, 2012. 
  28. ^ Square Co (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Aerith: You okay? This is a church in the Sector 5 slums. [You] suddenly fell on top of me. You really gave me quite a scare. / Cloud: ......I came crashing down? / Aerith: The roof and the flower bed must have broken your fall. You're lucky. 
  29. ^ Square Co (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Aerith: Say, Cloud. Have you ever been a bodyguard? You DO do everything, right? / Cloud: Yeah, that's right. / Aerith: Then, get me out of here. 
  30. ^ Square Co (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Don Corneo: Shinra's trying to crush a small rebel group called AVALANCHE, and want to infiltrate their hideout. And they're really going to crush them...literally. By breaking the support holding up the plate above them. / Tifa: Break the support!? / Don Corneo: You know what's going to happen? The plate'll go PING and everything's gonna go BAMMM!! I heard their hideout's in the Sector 7 Slums... 
  31. ^ Square Co (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: Why is Shinra after Aerith? / Elmyra: Aerith is an Ancient Cetra. The sole survivor. 
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