Dreaming of a Final Fantasy VII Remake

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Final Fantasy VII: it’s been played inside-out over and over by hardcore role-playing game fans. It’s left a legacy to be followed by the future generation of role-playing games. Unfortunately, as of today, not one has been able to match up to the shine that this gem sparks.

Let’s reminisce. We’re looking back to September 1997, when we first picked up our copy of Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation. I was young at the time. I walked into Toys R’ Us and browsed the PlayStation titles and saw a game in a franchise I’ve never played before, Final Fantasy. I took a look at the back of the box and thought, “well this looks cool”; the simplistic cover of Cloud facing a Mako Reactor drove me towards a purchase. I payed for my game and headed back home.

I opened the case to find three discs and an instruction booklet. There was a page with Cait Sith standing in front of the Gold Saucer, a casino-like area located within the game. That place excited me, and I wanted to get there fast. I popped in disc one and started playing.

Turns out my first mission was to blow up the North Mako Reactor, and in the process, fight a Guard Scorpion, just before booking it so I don’t explode with the place. The moment I reached that first boss, I knew that this game was going to be great. The way the story opened took me by storm, seeing our hero Cloud jumping off the train and straight into action, heading into the world of Final Fantasy VII.

RPGs are great. They immerse you into a story and make you care for the storyline and its character characters. Final Fantasy VII does that, and more.

Every town you visit in Final Fantasy VII always a new experience and always something to remember; whether it’s Sector Seven in Midgar, Kalm, Nibelheim, The Gold Saucer, or Rocket Town. Kalm is where we learned to capture and ride Chocobos; Nibelheim is where we played Zack’s past in portrayal of Cloud; The Gold Saucer is where we met the famous Cait Sith, as well as got to play some entertaining arcade games; Rocket Town is where we met our great engineer, Cid. Even lurking through the forests of the World Map was memorable when we ran into the Materia-loving ninja, Yuffie.

Tetsuya Nomura’s team simply built one of the best RPGs that’s been released to date — if not the best. His character designs were top notch and still are. With Nobuo Uematsu on the composing station, and Yoshinori Kitase designing and writing, what could have possibly gone wrong with this legendary RPG? Nothing. The game was perfect.

Final Fantasy VII story goes something like this: an evil mega corporation named Shinra is draining the life of the planet in order to use it as an energy source. However, you realize that Sephiroth is going to use a spell called “Meteor” that will do massive damage to the planet. Along the way, you meet new people such as Cid, Vincent, and Yuffie, as well as experience the tragic death of Aerith, which made many of us cry.

I have a dream. A dream of recreation. A dream of hope. I have a dream that Square Enix rounds up Testuya Nomura, Yoshinori Kitase, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Kazushige Nojima, and everyone else who worked on Final Fantasy VII for the PSone, to start work at a second perfection. A remake of Final Fantasy VII.

We’ve seen the gorgeous tech demo, which was an awful tease released by Square Enix and SCEA at E3 2005 to showcase the power of the PlayStation 3. We’ve seen the countless hints at a remake, constantly reminding us how much we want it.

Imagine playing everything you played in 1997 — except this time in HD, with the most enchanting visuals, and a tad amount of extra features. Wouldn’t you want to perform a Limit Break to Jenova DEATH while on your PlayStation 3? I know I would.

An entire compilation of Final Fantasy VII has been released over the years, including games like Crisis Core, Before Crisis, and Dirge of Cerberus. A movie titled Advent Children was released, too, with a more advanced blu-ray version releasing later this year. Crisis Core director Hajime Tabata has already confirmed that Crisis Core is not the last game in the compilation, saying that “the Compilation’s finale will take some other form.” That was one of the many hints of a remake that sprung about.

Dengeki, a gaming magazine in Japan, held a poll last year in May asking Japanese gamers what games they want remade. Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII topped the list. In the limited edition for Crisis Core, it came with a special book with a very mysterious page at the end of it, saying that “We hope to meet Final Fantasy VII again!” A secret ending to Crisis Core also surfaced when the game released in the same exact style of that tech demo on the PlayStation 3 that Square Enix teased us so much with.

A petition of almost 51,000 signatures was created through an online petition site as well, asking that Square Enix announce a remake of the game. However, that didn’t come through.

In an interview with bit-tech a while back, Final Fantasy VII Director Yoshinori Kitase said that in order to actually remake the legendary RPG, that “all the core members of the original team must be reassembled, all the artists and designers.” He gave us a sign of hope, though, saying that “we came up with the idea for Crisis Core in just two days”, and that we can “you can definitely expect the probability of something spontaneous happening at some point, but it’s hard to predict.”

Members of the Final Fantasy VII development team are currently working on projects such as Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Kitase did say that “when all those games are finished then we can look at doing something like that.” We have hope.

We don’t know if Square Enix currently has any plans to remake Final Fantasy VII, or already have the game in development secretly. What I do know is that Final Fantasy VII is my favorite RPG to date, next to Final Fantasy IX, and that if Square Enix recreated this gem with the technology we have today, millions of copies will sell worldwide.

All of us RPG fans are dreaming. We’re dreaming of a remake. Square Enix can make that remake one day happen. Until then, we’ll just keep imagining what the world of Gaia would be like in the next generation. We’ll wait and hope. That’s all we can do. And with the amazing box art and PlayStation 3 bundle , made by our writer and amazing graphics designer, Carlos Alicea, we dream.

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