I’ll not mince words: I am unbelievably excited for the Final Fantasy VII Remake and I know I’m not alone. To satiate (and tease) eager fans like myself Square-Enix has been dropping blog posts and videos about the first installment in the long gestating project, and the most recent behind the scenes documentary focuses exclusively on the characters and story.
The video features Producer Yoshinori Kitase, Story and Scenerio lead Kazushige Nojima, and Scenerio Co-Director Motomu Toriyama, who established Final Fantasy VII fans will recognize from the original game. Each shares what they remembered about Final Fantasy VII and the challenges that arose from trying to update the iconic RPG for a modern audience.
Kitase-san goes so far to admit he sat down and replayed the original before starting Final Fantasy VII Remake, and was surprised by how sort the initial Midgar segment was as compared to how he remembered it. This dissonance eventually led to the decision to further flesh-out Midgar, and Kitase-san was sure to mention that all the original main events from the story were still here, but now with additional new events occurring between them.
The drive was to not only better round-out Midgar, but the cast of characters as well. Nojima-san confessed he wrote Cloud to be more “cool and collected,” in the original as a means to hide the famed moody protagonist’s insecurities and repressed memories, but now that modern technology allows the team to use facial expressions and voice overs to convey critical information he wanted to make Cloud appear more “cringey” whenever he tries too hard to come off as an uncaring tough guy (which, I kinda thought was always the case).
Later in the video Toriyama-san describes how the team wanted to further develop all the characters, and not just the main cast of Cloud, Tifa, Barrett, and Aerith (yes, “Aerith” is the confirmed spelling). He believes that in allowing the key members of Avalanche – Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie – to play a larger role than they did previously it would allow the core cast more genuine opportunities to grow.
It’s a lengthy and deep discussion I recommend any fan of Final Fantasy VII should take the time to watch. Not only is it illuminating and reassuring (cause, let’s not lie, we were concerned Final Fantasy VII Remake would possibly go crazy with the story revisions), but the healthy helping of updated music from Final Fantasy VII playing in the background will set even the rustiest nostalgia engines into overdrive. It’s evident this project is being handled with the utmost love and care, which somewhat salves the pain derived from knowing this isn’t the full game quite yet.
I’ve shared the full video for your viewing pleasure below. Stay tuned here for more on the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which launches April 10th for PlayStation 4.