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Final Fantasy VII
ファイナルファンタジーVII
Fainaru Fantajī VII
Developer(s) Square Co., Ltd.
Publisher(s) Japan Square Co., Ltd.
United States/Canada SCE America
Europe SCE Europe
Release date
PlayStation version:
Japan January 31, 1997
United States/Canada September 3, 1997
Japan October 2, 1997 (International)
Europe/Australia November 14, 1997

PC version:

United States/Canada June 24, 1998

PlayStation Network version:

Japan April 9, 2009 (International)
United States/Canada June 2, 2009
Europe June 4, 2009
Genre Role-playing game
Game modes Single player
Ratings ESRB: T Teen
USK: T 12+
ELSPA: 11+
PEGI: T 12+
OFLC: G8+
Platform(s) PlayStation, PC, PlayStation Network

Final Fantasy VII is the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series and was released in 1997. It was directed by Yoshinori Kitase, written by Kitase and Kazushige Nojima, and produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi. It was the first game of the Final Fantasy series to be produced for the PlayStation rather than a Nintendo system, and the first game in the series to be ported to Windows. Additionally, it was the first Final Fantasy title with entirely 3D graphics (Previous SNES titles had Mode7 3D parts, like airship and chocobo riding).

Final Fantasy VII is also the first incarnation of the series to have a more modern/futuristic setting while others prior to it made sparse uses of advanced technology here and there like traveling underground and to the moon in Final Fantasy IV, traveling underwater in Final Fantasy V, or utilizing steampower, coal, gunpowder, and Magitek in Final Fantasy VI.

Final Fantasy VII is one of the most popular games of all time, with the highest sales (9.9 million copies) of any game in the Final Fantasy series and the second highest sales for a game on the PlayStation platform. It received GameSpots Editors Pick, Scoring a 9.5/10 and a 9.6/10 user score. Since that original release Final Fantasy VII has been released on the PC and later the PlayStation Network. It is widely considered one of the most influential RPGs to date.

Unlike Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI, which were renamed II and III, respectively, for the western releases (II, III, and V were not yet released internationally at that time), Final Fantasy VII retained the number seven for its westernized releases. The game has spawned an entire sub-series of sequels, prequels, and midquels called the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

Contents

Gameplay

The first battle of Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is a largely menu-driven role-playing game. Initially, the player is restricted to the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses, more and more of the fantasy world becomes accessible, and the scripted adventure sequences gradually give way to greater freedom and opportunities to explore. At several points in the story, the game is interrupted by entirely scripted dramatic sequences, some of which are quite long.

During its turn-based battle sequences, the game uses the same Active Time Battle (ATB) system utilized in the three Final Fantasy games preceding it. Unlike previous games in the series, which traditionally allowed for a maximum of 4-5 friendly characters to participate in battle, Final Fantasy VII allows for only three characters to be present in the party (and therefore, to take part in battle) at any one time.

Final Fantasy VII's skill system utilizes materia, magic orbs which can be placed in special slots on weapons and armor. Materia allows characters to access magic spells, special commands, and a variety of other abilities. Materia can be combined in a fixed number of ways, and strategic use of the Materia combinations allow you to use various tactics suiting your own personal style of play.

Cloud Strife, charging his Limit Break, Meteorain

A feature introduced in Final Fantasy VI, the "desperation attack," re-appeared in this game in a new, modified form, now known as the Limit Break. Every playable character has a special "limit bar" which fills up slightly every time the character suffers damage in battle. When the limit bar is completely filled, that character has access to his or her limit break, a special attack which generally inflicts much more damage on an enemy than normal physical attacks.

Final Fantasy VII also popularized the inclusion of extremely difficult optional bosses which are not required to complete the game but rather offer reward and player satisfaction. Later in the game, a series of extremely strong monsters called Weapons appear; the player must confront several of them through the plot, but two, Ruby Weapon and Emerald Weapon, can only be encountered if the player goes out of their way, and are very hard to defeat; Ruby Weapon, for instance, can instantly and unpreventably remove one character from play without the option to revive them and has over ten times as many hit points as the final boss, while Emerald Weapon can kill all three characters with one attack "Aire Tam" (Materia spelled backwards) which deals damage directly proportionate to the number of Materia Orbs each character possesses, has one million HP, and, if the player does not possess the Underwater materia, has a twenty minute battle time limit. These 2 bosses were not included in the original Japanese port of the game but instead were later added to the European and American ports after the game was fully completed.

Characters

Playable Characters in Final Fantasy VII
Main article: List of Final Fantasy VII Characters

The main playable characters in Final Fantasy VII are Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, Tifa Lockhart, Aerith Gainsborough, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Cid Highwind, and two secret characters: Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi. Sephiroth joins the party during a single sequence, but he cannot be controlled, nor his equipment changed. However, his status, inventory and equipment, can be checked during Cloud's flashback.

Important characters in Shinra are Reeve Tuesti (Head of Urban Development), Professor Hojo (Head of the Science Department), Palmer (Head of Space Exploration), Heidegger (Head of the Peace Preservation Department), Scarlet (Head of Weapons Research and Development), President Shinra, his son Rufus Shinra, and the members of a secret police organization called the Turks; Elena, Rude, Reno, and Tseng.

It should be noted that Aerith's name in the original English language release of Final Fantasy VII was incorrectly translated as Aeris. Later products that included her as a character, such as Kingdom Hearts, Crisis Core, and the movie Advent Children included the correct translation.

Subsequent appearances

Final Fantasy VII proved to be so popular that several characters from the game have appeared in other Square games. Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth, Vincent, Yuffie and Zack are playable characters in the fighting game Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring. Tifa appears on a poster in Solaris in the role-playing game Xenogears. Cloud appears as a secret playable character in Chocobo Racing and in Final Fantasy Tactics, where an alternate Aerith makes a cameo as well. Cloud, Aerith, Yuffie, Cid, and Sephiroth appear in Kingdom Hearts, in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories with the exception of Sephiroth, and they all appear in Kingdom Hearts II with the addition of Tifa. Cloud, Tifa, Aerith and Sephiroth appear in the game Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special, and again in Itadaki Street Portable with the addition of Yuffie. All playable characters reappear in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and most appear at various times in other Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles. Cloud and Aerith, who both appear in the game's cinematic introduction, were featured in a remake of this cinematic in a technical demonstration for the PlayStation 3 in 2005. Several Final Fantasy VII characters are slated to appear in Sackboy form in an expansion pack of the PS3 game, LittleBigPlanet, though only Sephiroth has been unveiled.

Story

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
An energy manufacturing mega company known as Shinra Inc. is harvesting the sheer life energy of the Planet (known as the Lifestream) as a simple fossil fuel. The Lifestream is processed and made into products ranging from electricity and heat to Mako and Materia. The latter two materials can work miracles, granting the wisdom of the Ancients to the user. However, the Lifestream, like most other fuels, is finite in supply, and the Planet's lifeforce is being malevolently drained by the constant exploitation of Mako by Shinra. Though aware of the harmful effects, they function without remorse.
However, the real battle lies not with a corporation, but a force much more competent from the distant past. A long-thought dead warrior bent on becoming a god by draining all of the Lifestream from the planet has risen again and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
"Now a small rebel group emanating from the slums must quell the various dangers toward the innocent, and one mercenary for hire must look amidst the lies and deception and find the man he is within."
—Official Introduction

Background

Shinra's Logo

The Planet, occasionally called Gaia, is the world of Final Fantasy VII. It is technologically advanced, with many of the modern inventions of the real world, such as cars, television, firearms, and cellphones. Their world is dominated by Humans, who are the only major race other than a few nearly extinct species. It is economically, militarily, and politically dominated by a powerful conglomerate called the Shinra Electric Power Company, which profits from the use of machines known as "Mako Reactors". These reactors siphon a special type of energy - called "Mako" - out of the Planet and convert it into electricity. One of the by-products of the extraction and refinement of Mako energy is materia, a concentrated form of Mako which allows the owner to use its magical properties. President Shinra leads his eponymous organization, and is thus the de facto ruler of the world. Shinra is involved with many horrible genetic experiments, which have created many of the monsters that roam the Planet.

In actuality, Mako energy is drawn from the Lifestream, a flow of life-force beneath the surface of the Planet. All life originates from the Lifestream, and returns to it upon death. In short, the Lifestream is the sum of all the life that has ever and will ever walk upon the Planet. The process of extracting Mako energy literally drains the life of the Planet in order to generate electricity. This can be seen quite clearly in the Shinra's capital city of Midgar, where the eight Mako Reactors have sucked out so much of the Planet's life-force that the area is covered in perpetual darkness and no plants can grow.

Shinra's management is concerned with the limited repositories of Mako energy available for harvesting, and fascinated with the idea of a "Promised Land"; a place where the land is incredibly fertile and where Mako flows abundantly. Only a race called the Cetra, or the Ancients, are, according to legend, able to find it. However, the Cetra were all but driven to extinction by the "Calamity From the Skies", the alien creature Jenova. All are lost except for one Cetra, Aeris Gainsborough, whom Shinra has been trying to capture for years.

AVALANCHE

Cloud Strife the main character of Final Fantasy VII

The game opens in Midgar, and for the first few hours of gameplay the player can only travel within the city. Inside the city's slums is a rebel resistance group of eco-terrorists called AVALANCHE, a major threat to Shinra. AVALANCHE is led by Barret Wallace, a former denizen of Corel, a town destroyed by Shinra thus creating the fuel for Barret's crusade against the company. AVALANCHE hires a mercenary named Cloud Strife, who claims to be a former member of Shinra's elite special forces team, SOLDIER. But Cloud is plagued by psychic disturbances, and is far more than he seems. He shows little interest in AVALANCHE's cause at first. By his own admission, Cloud is interested only in the money. Other members include Cloud's childhood friend, Tifa Lockhart, whom Cloud made a promise to protect back before he left to join SOLDIER, and the minor characters Jessie, Biggs and Wedge.

Their mission is to blow up the eight Mako Reactors that ring the city, without care to the human consequences. Along the way, Cloud is separated from the rest of the team and meets up with Aerith Gainsborough. To counter AVALANCHE's attacks, Shinra carelessly drops the Plate upon their base in Sector 7, killing all the non-player characters in the group. Aerith is captured by Shinra and taken to their Headquarters. Cloud and the remains of AVALANCHE storm the Building to rescue Aerith. They manage to save Aerith, and a test sample, Red XIII, but then the entire group is captured. They are saved by the surprise reappearance of the supposed dead legendary SOLDIER, Sephiroth, following the escape of a headless Jenova from her tank. President Shinra himself is killed in Sephiroth's return. The young and ruthless Rufus Shinra takes the reins of Shinra following his father's death, and Cloud and his party manage to make a hair-thin escape from Midgar only by fighting their way through the ranks of Shinra forces.

Chasing Sephiroth

Sephiroth, silhouetted by the flames of Nibelheim; variations of this shot appear in several games

The rest of the game allows the player to explore the World Map and the other towns throughout. At the first town the party comes to, Kalm, Cloud tells his tale of what happened five years ago, but it is filled with holes and gaps. Five years before the beginning of the game, Cloud and Sephiroth were sent to Cloud's hometown of Nibelheim to investigate the Mako Reactor there. Inside, Sephiroth found Jenova, a creature Shinra mistook as an Ancient and whom had been called Sephiroth's mother. Sephiroth begins to look deeper into his past and the Jenova Project from which he was born. It was led by Professor Gast and the deranged Professor Hojo. What he finds drives him insane. Believing himself to be the last Ancient, Sephiroth begins to take revenge on humanity by burning Nibelheim to the ground. Lost in the fires is Cloud's mother and Tifa's father. Cloud runs up to confront Sephiroth, but his recollection fails him before he can reach the end of the story.

After hearing a rumor that a man in a black cape traversed to the Mythril Mines, the party sets out. However, being unable to cross the marsh alone, the party must learn how to attract a Chocobo. When they get to the entrance, they see that Sephiroth had killed a Midgar Zolom and left it on a tree as a warning. The party hurries through the mines (meeting the Turks on the way) and gets to the other side of the mountain.

From there, they go to Junon, and they save a young girl and her dolphin from a sea monster, which allows the party to sleep at the town. When they wake up, they are surprised to find Rufus Shinra, who is holding his crowning ceremony in Junon. They figure that they should get to the next continent to continue their search, so they must disguise as Shinra soldiers and support the ceremony. Cloud for the most part takes care of this. After the ceremony, the party is permitted onto the cargo ship.

From then on, the party chases after Sephiroth across the Planet, traveling to many towns, meeting many characters, and getting into different adventures. They do not search alone, as Rufus Shinra has sent out Shinra's full might to take Sephiroth in, including sending the Turks, a group of Shinra special operatives. The party fights the Turks several times during the course of the game. In Gold Saucer they meet Cait Sith, a fortune teller robot who is secretly controlled by Reeve, a Shinra Executive who is actually interested in doing good. At Rocket Town, Cid Highwind, an aeronautical engineer whose dreams of going into space had been dashed by Shinra's lack of funding, joins the party. Two secret characters, Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi can join any time the player pleases. Vincent is a former Turk who was betrayed by his love, Lucrecia Crescent, Sephiroth's biological mother, and turned into a monster. He sleeps beneath the Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim, in penance for his sins of failing to stop the Jenova Project. Yuffie is the princess of Wutai, a town that fought against Shinra dominance before the game began, but has since submitted. She dreams of restoring her homeland's pride.

The party's pursuit of Sephiroth leads them to discover several things. Sephiroth's plan is to use the Black Materia, a Materia so powerful that the Cetra hid it away to stop its use. The Black Materia contains the spell Meteor, the ultimate Black Magic. It can summon a giant meteor to crash into the surface of the Planet. Sephiroth's plan is to create a wound in the Planet so large that the Lifestream will need to be sent in masses to heal it. Here, Sephiroth will intercept the Lifestream and take complete control of the world. Sephiroth is followed by a group of black-robed fanatics, the Sephiroth Clones. The Clones all gradually die out along their journey; none of them are actually able to reach Sephiroth. Cloud's party moves to grab the Keystone required to open the Temple of the Ancients. It is held by Dio, the leader of Gold Saucer. During their stay at Gold Saucer, Cloud goes on a date with one of his fellow party members. Depending upon the player's actions according to the hidden value system of Date Mechanics, Cloud can date either Aerith, Tifa, Yuffie, or Barret. The game is rigged so that Aeris and Tifa are the most likely candidates, while Yuffie and Barret take conscious effort to achieve, and have a less serious tone than the other two. After the date, Cait Sith steals the Keystone and hands it over to Shinra.

Inside the Temple of the Ancients, Sephiroth attacks the leader of the Turks, Tseng, seeming to kill him. Due to a mistranslation, international players of Final Fantasy VII were told that Tseng was in fact dead; though he in fact remains alive and reappears in later games. Cloud and his party find that the Temple is the Black Materia. To make into a usable form, somebody must be left inside while the Temple shrinks. Cait Sith volunteers, and after an extended scene in which he speaks of noble sacrifice, he is destroyed once the Temple turns into a Materia sphere. Cloud takes the Materia in his hand, now certain of the Planet's safety. Due to Sephiroth's control over him, Cloud hands Sephiroth the Black Materia, and almost kills Aerith. As Cloud falls unconscious, another Cait Sith appears, exactly the same as the first (perhaps mocking the trend in RPGs for characters to die and be ressurected). After this, Aerith permanently leaves the party to find an independent way to save the world from Meteor.

Aerith travels to the Forgotten Capital, the lost city of the Cetra, where she plans to summon Holy. Holy is the ultimate White Magic, a counter to Meteor used to stop its power. Cloud's party makes their way up to the ruin to chase after her and Sephiroth. When they arrive, Cloud is almost brought to kill Aerith by Sephiroth's control, only being snapped out of his thrall by the intervention of his comrades. Aerith is then savagely murdered by Sephiroth; he impales her through her torso with the Masamune in one of the most infamous and shocking scenes in Final Fantasy history. Cloud is enraged at Aerith's death, and the cavalier attitude Sephiroth has about it. Sephiroth only taunts Cloud, telling him he should not act as though he has feelings. Floating up into the sky, the "Sephiroth" turns out to in fact be Jenova. The person the party hunted after for so long was actually Jenova under Sephiroth's control and taking his form. After a battle with a piece of Jenova, and the party paying their respects to the departed Aerith, Cloud lays Aerith's deceased body to rest in the waters of the Forgotten Capital. Cloud decides to continue on the journey to complete his revenge against Sephiroth, even knowing that he may lose control of himself again at any time.

Despite the loss of Aerith, the party continues to follow the Sephiroth/Jenova. They finally reach the end of the journey, the Northern Crater created by Jenova's fall thousands of years ago. They move into the Crater, hoping to finish the battle. They are joined by Rufus and his gang, flying on the Airship Highwind. Cloud along with Tifa and another selectable party member go up to confront Sephiroth. However, all they find is Sephiroth, showing an illusion of events in Nibelheim. Sephiroth shows Cloud never being in Nibelheim, his role in the story taken by Zack Fair. Tifa, though telling Cloud not to believe them, cannot refute Sephiroth's claims, and Cloud begins to believe they are true. Furthermore, Sephiroth says that Cloud is not Cloud at all, but a facsimile created by Hojo, and a mere puppet. Rufus lands but is forced to leave by an upsurge of Mako. During this time, a completely controlled Cloud hands Sephiroth the Black Materia, after which he apologizes to Tifa for what he's done and falls into the Lifestream. Meteor is now summoned by Sephiroth. This causes the Planet to become violently self-protective, awakening its guardians, the WEAPONs. The WEAPONs are giant monsters of immense strength and destructive power. The party escapes on the Highwind. Tifa is knocked unconcious in the escape, Barret is caught as he tries to escape with the unconscious Tifa, and the both of them are taken to Junon. The rest of AVALANCHE escapes on their own, but how is not detailed.

Meteor Falls

Tifa awakes in Junon seven days after the events in the Crater. She finds a world in total chaos due to impending calamity floating in the skies. Meteor is visible in the sky as it moves towards the Planet a sign of the impending end of the world. To stop attacks against him, Sephiroth has surrounded the Northern Crater with a shield. Rufus, trying to show that Shinra still has some control over the situation, decides to use Tifa and Barret as scapegoats. They will be publicly executed in front of the entire world. Just before the execution can go through, a WEAPON attacks (though never stated in-game, this is the Sapphire WEAPON). Using a giant Mako cannon, the Sister Ray, Shinra successfully fires right through the monster, destroying it. What remains of the party manages to sneak by during the attack to rescue Tifa and Barret, and steal the Highwind out of Junon.

Afterwards, the party finds Cloud suffering from severe Mako Poisoning in the town of Mideel. Though Cloud is completely lost, Tifa decides to stay behind and watch over him. Lacking a better substitute, Cid Highwind becomes the party leader. He leads the party to fight against Shinra's plan to stop Meteor. Shinra schemes to load the Huge Materia onto Cid's rocket and launch it directly at Meteor. Depending on the player's actions, all or none of the Huge Materia can be saved. The storyline is not changed, Shinra's plan fails no matter what.

In Mideel, the Ultimate WEAPON crashes out of the Lifestream right in the middle of the town. Mideel is destroyed while Cloud and Tifa are still inside. They fall into the Lifestream. Here Tifa is able to travel inside Cloud's Subconscious and sort through Cloud's true memories and secret desires, such as joining SOLDIER in part to gain Tifa's attention. She confirms that Cloud is the genuine article, though his mind had been damaged due to a variety of reasons. Cloud's mind had shattered as a result of Hojo's experimentation and Zack's death, and he merged his own ideal self with Zack and Tifa's memories, and replaced Zack with himself in all his memories. Cloud reveals he never was in SOLDIER, failing to be mentally strong enough to enter the organization. Due to Cloud's fear of seeming a failure to Tifa and his hometown, he hid under a helmet during his mission in Nibelheim with Sephiroth. Despite all this, it turns out Cloud did defeat Sephiroth during the Nibelheim incident, managing to overpower Sephiroth and fling him into the Lifestream. After these revelations, Cloud's psyche is restored to its true state, and he returns as the leader of the party.

With help of the Cosmo Canyon elder Bugenhagen, the party manages to uncover the mystery behind Aeris's death. She summoned Holy just before her death, but the spell is being held back by Sephiroth deep within the Planet. At that moment, the Diamond WEAPON rises out of the sea and begins its charge towards Midgar. Rufus and the Shinra Executives moved the Sister Ray to Midgar before the attack to prepare for an offensive against Sephiroth. The Mako Cannon is used to destroy the WEAPON, and the blast continues to reach Sephiroth in the Nothern Crater, breaking the shield. Just before the WEAPON is killed, it fires out its energy blasts into the Shinra Building, destroying Rufus and the heart of his organization. Midgar falls into chaos.

Cloud's party moves into the city to fight Hojo who has taken command of the Sister Ray. They fight their way through the Turks and the remaining forces of Shinra to reach Hojo. There Hojo reveals he wishes to give his son a boost by giving the Sister Ray's power; the party is horrified to learn Hojo is Sephiroth's father, although Sephiroth does not know it, and thus Hojo is directly responsible for the crisis facing the planet. If Vincent is in the party, he will declare that he was not the one with a sin, it was Hojo who should have slept for so many years. Despite the power he has gained by injecting himself with Jenova cells, Hojo is defeated.

The Fall of Meteor

Following the attack, with only a week until Meteorfall, Cloud and his party decide to rest and return home before the final battle against Sephiroth. Without any place to call home or anything else to fight for, Cloud and Tifa share the night alone together below the stars. The next morning it turns out that all of the party had returned and several of them poke fun at Cloud and Tifa's expense, much to Tifa's embarrassment.

The final battle against Sephiroth is fought deep inside the Northern Crater. Sephiroth transforms his body first into Bizarro∙Sephiroth and then Safer∙Sephiroth, a half-human, half-divine form that shows Sephiroth's attempts to become a God. Despite Sephiroth's immense power, he is defeated. Cloud then fights a mental version of Sephiroth inside the Lifestream, which is also beaten, freeing Cloud of his mental chains to his enemy. However, the victory comes too late. When Holy is released, Meteor has fallen too far for Holy to unleash its full power without drastic collateral damage. Midgar is destroyed by the struggle of Meteor and Holy, but before the entire Planet is lost, the Lifestream congregates below, forcing Holy and Meteor far enough away from the planet for Holy to unleash its full strength and destroy Meteor. The game ends in a flash of light, followed by Aerith's face, smiling.

An epilogue shows Red XIII and several small pups over the overgrown ruins of Midgar, showing that life has continued after the disaster. The ending was left very vague, leading to many questions asked by confused players over the fate of humanity and where the pups came from, among others.

Music

Main article: Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack

The soundtrack for the game was Nobuo Uematsu's 22nd work for Square. Music from the game has been commercially released on an original four-disc soundtrack, a single disc album of selected arranged tracks titled Final Fantasy VII: Reunion Tracks, and piano-only arrangement of selected tracks. Popular pieces from the production include Aerith's Theme, a subdued and melodic character anthem, and One-Winged Angel, the first composition for the series to utilize recorded voices. The game's main theme, heard on the world map in Disc 1, is over 6 minutes long. Several tracks from the game have resurfaced in subsequent Square (and Square Enix) productions, including Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

At the time, the soundtrack for Final Fantasy VII was considered Uematsu's most ambitious. As a result of time constraints and the limited storage space afforded to him, Uematsu opted to utilize a high-quality Midi format for the music in the game. This was at a time when digital and Redbook audio were coming into their own, and some worried that the game's soundtrack would suffer as a consequence. These fears proved to be unrealized, as Final Fantasy VII's score is often ranked among the most popular and memorable in the series.

Development

The game followed in the footsteps of Final Fantasy VI in presenting a world with considerably more advanced technology than previous installments. The gamut of the game's technology covers space flight, robotics, highly advanced genetic engineering, automatic firearms, directed energy weapons, automobiles, helicopters, limited antigravity technology, and major global corporations; the level of technology in the world of Final Fantasy VII could be said to approximate that of near-future science fiction.

The game incorporates references to a variety of religious and philosophical systems, reflected in character names like Sephiroth (drawn from the Kabbalah) and Heidegger (likely a reference to German philosopher Martin Heidegger), and place names such as Midgar and Nibelheim (both from Norse mythology), as well as numerous references in monster names, such as the Midgar Zolom, a reference to the Midgardsorm (also from Norse mythology). Additionally, several references are made to previous Final Fantasy titles, including several character names such as Cid and Biggs and Wedge, and the repetition of soundtrack motifs, such as the chocobo theme.

After being deeply unhappy with the Ted Woolsey supervised translation of Final Fantasy VI (which was generally well done, but drastically altered some parts of the game's storyline), Sakaguchi insisted that the game's English translation be conducted in-house by the original Japanese development team, as had been done with Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy IV. Although the resulting translation was perhaps more true to the Japanese version than the previous game had been, it was criticised by some as being awkward and contained numerous grammatical errors. The Windows port uses the same localization script, but several of the more egregious errors were corrected. In future games, Square would hire American translators to collaborate with the Japanese development team, instead of having the translation done entirely by one or the other.

The game was a critical and commercial success. It received glowing reviews from most video game magazines and by 1999 the game had sold more than eight million copies worldwide, with about 3 million in the first 48 hours of its release. It was one of the first console role-playing games to achieve widespread popularity outside of Asia, and the ongoing popularity of the title led Square Enix to produce a series of sequels and prequels under the collective title Compilation of Final Fantasy VII in the mid-2000s.

Not counting spin-off or related titles (such as Final Fantasy Mystic Quest), Final Fantasy VII was the first Final Fantasy title to be released in Europe and Australia, and it was the first Final Fantasy game to be released under the same name in both Japan and North America since the original NES Final Fantasy. This fact caused some initial confusion among North American consumers. Japan's Final Fantasy II, III, and V were not released in North America. Instead, Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI were released as America's Final Fantasy II and III respectively. The American series thus effectively jumped from III to VII when Final Fantasy VII was released in North America, although the game was in fact the next sequential release. It caused even more confusion among European consumers, who praised the game like everyone else, but thought there were 6 other games that dealt with Cloud and his friends' adventures.

Final Fantasy VII International

Interntional Version Logo

The North American and PAL versions of Final Fantasy VII made substantial changes to the original Japanese version. Several areas of gameplay had been made more difficult by adding in new bosses. Random battle rates had been cut down, and Materia swapping between characters was made easier. Along with this, a flashback of Cloud and Zack was added in. A re-release of the North American version of Final Fantasy VII was made in Japan only, called "Final Fantasy VII International", the very first International Version, a semi-recurring feature of the series. It included a special fourth disc that gave maps, character information, design sketches and other trivia.

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII

Main article: Compilation of Final Fantasy VII

After the new millennium began, Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura were approached and asked for a game that could be expanded across multiple platforms and mediums. Final Fantasy VII was chosen, which led to the creation of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. To date, the compilation includes two mobile phone games, one sequel game, one prequel game, one full-length CGI film, an OVA, and several short novellas. The games within the collection have expanded on the story of Final Fantasy VII both before and after the original game, but have been met with mixed reactions for a number of reasons, including various retcons and liberties taken with the original storyline and characters. According to remarks from Kitase, the Compilation will continue to be expanded upon, and will conclude on the original game's 20th anniversary.

Final Fantasy VII on PS3?

In 2005 at the Sony E3 annual press conference, Square Enix showed a Technical Demo for the PS3 depicting the opening sequence to the original Final Fantasy VII remade with the PS3's enhanced graphics. Square-Enix later made an official statement that there are currently no plans of a remake of Final Fantasy VII for the PS3.

The rumors were sparked a second time with Square Enix' exhibition of new FMV artworks during the Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary event in Japan. The artworks depicted the characters in their FFVII costumes, reigniting rumors that a remake of the game may be in development. [1] These CG artworks were printed on their new canned Potion beverages. Kazuo Hirai, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, also fueled the rumors by sticking a small note in the exhibition saying "Congratulations for the ten fantastic years! The best is yet to come".

The release of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- brought new speculation to the possibility of a remake. The ending shows the beginning of Final Fantasy VII in a modern CG style, followed by a title card reading "to be continued in FINAL FANTASY VII". While it's possible this is hinting at a remake, it may simply be an indication that the story is continued in Final Fantasy VII for those who never played the original game.

Possible FFVII (PS3) remake advertisement

Rumors surfaced again due to photos of a Best Buy ad stating that the game was to be released on August 16, 2008. But this was obviously false since the date has passed.

Despite excitement surrounding the chances of a remake, Square Enix has consistently denied any and all rumors on several occasions. With photos of an ad for CLOUD Vol.2 appearing on the Internet, the excitement rose yet again. The ad was revealed to be for a book, although details about its contents have not yet been released.

Final Fantasy VII was released on the PlayStation network for PS3 and PSP in 2009 with Japan's release in April and the US and Europe following in June. It costs $9.99 in the US and £7.99 in the UK and has remained rated T for Teen by the ESRB.

In December of 2009, Tetsuya Nomura hinted that an announcement is to come sometime in 2010 which promised a game that is highly requested by fans - some of which have personally requested it from him, and the reaction he expects from the announcement is downright huge. Again this led to immense speculation of a Final Fantasy VII remake.

In January of 2010, Tetsuya Nomura followed up on his previous statement stating "Fans are looking forward to an oft rumored remake of FFVII, but I don't believe this will happen for the time being." For some this seemed like the end, but others argue that "for the time being" means a remake could surface in the future.

Packaging Artwork

Trivia

  • During the development of Final Fantasy VII, Hironobu Sakaguchi's mother died. At the time, Sakaguchi wanted to craft a story that told of how just because someone has passed away, doesn't mean in any way that they are gone, and to show a realistic death rather than a "Hollywood" sacrificial death that previous games in the series had done. These desires developed into the Lifestream, and Aeris' iconic death scene and subsequent continuing role in the lives of the cast.
  • A Final Fantasy VII remake for PlayStation 2 had been considered by Square in early 2001. For some reason, the project was either scrapped or never started development at all.
  • Final Fantasy VII was the winner of the GameFAQs user poll contest "Best. Game. Ever.", beating the fellow Square RPG, Chrono Trigger. However, in GameFAQs second "Best. Game. Ever." poll, the game finished runner-up to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Final Fantasy VII was originally planned to be made for Nintendo 64. However, due to the Nintendo 64 being a cartridge based system, production was moved over to the Sony PlayStation.

See Also

External Links


This article uses material from the "Final Fantasy VII" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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