That’s the big news from Sony on Monday. Here’s the Teaser video:
…Assuming you’ve managed to pick your jaw up from the floor and can still breathe, note the interesting part at the end: “First on Playstation 4.” This means it will eventually come to other systems. Recent announcements by Sony and Microsoft indicate they’re obviously looking to convince us PS3/360 holdouts to buy a PS4/XBOne. This sealed the deal for a friend of mine, who announced last night he’s getting a PS4 for this game. I assume it will be released on Steam later and I hope the Vita as well. FF7-R on the Vita would Rez the console like the original did for the PS1!
Notice what isn’t revealed in the trailer: Gameplay footage. I took that to mean the game probably won’t be released until 2017 to coincide with the original game’s 20th Anniversary. Seeing as this is a remake, you have to ask yourself this question: What’s being changed?
That said, I’m going to break one of my personal rules and entertain some speculation. These are the changes I am predicting and hoping for in the remake (And note there are some spoilers):
- The events of FF7’s prequel Crisis Core is more overtly referenced: Before there was Cloud Strife, there was SOLDIER First Class Zack Fair. Those who played Crisis Core (relesed on the PSP in 2007) know Sephiroth just the first SOLDIER First Class. He was joined by Genesis and Angeal, the latter being Zack’s mentor. That said, Cloud’s trademark Buster Sword was originally Angeal’s before it was passed to Zack. Circumstances lead to Zack being promoted to 1st Class, culminating with the torch being passed from Zack to Cloud. We know from Cloud and Tifa’s shared past about a certain incident at the Mako Reaction near their village (Trying not to spoil too much). During that incident, Cloud fell into the Mako Reactor and suffered severe Mako poisoning that should have kileld him. He regained his senses at the end of the events of Crisis Core to find his friend Zack dead. The poisoning coupled with his friend’s death created a false memory in Cloud’s head in which all of Zack’s accomplishments are replaced with Cloud. It’s explained in a more complicated way in the game but this is what happened to Cloud in FF7.
- Sephiroth’s Origins explained better; Vincent no longer an “Optional” character: We find out during the events of Dirge of Cerebrus (Sequel to Advent Childen) Vincent developed a romantic relationship with Sephiroth’s mother Lucrecia while she was pregnant with Sephiroth. Back then during The Jenova Project Vincent was a member of The Turks–Shinra’s most elite operatives who answer only to the company’s president. In DoC it’s revealed Professor Hojo and Lucrecia were married and Lucrecia volunteered her unborn child for the project that resulted in Sephiroth. Hojo found out about his wife’s affair with Vincent and dealt with him, using Vincent as a plaything for various experiments (hence his Limit Break transformations). I expect this to be better explained in FF7-R with Vincent automatically joining the party. After the party visits Shinra Mansion in Nibelhiem, they find an awakened Vincent in the basement lab. Recognizing Cloud’s SOLDIER uniform, he asks if he was sent to finish him off, Vincent of course having no idea he was out of the loop for over 20 years. The party says they’re enemies of Shinra and are looking for Sephiroth. Vincent then goes into a monologue explaining a bit about how Sephiroth was conceived and what kind of person his father was to willingly volunteer his unborn child to such an unholy project without naming Hojo. He then requests to join the team, saying there are some things he would like to confirm.
- Aerith cloned; “Aerith” rejoins the party: This is more of a workaround to addressing the fact she DOES die at the end of the first third of the original game. It would also be optional though if done, you will have a party of 9 by the end of Disc 2. How I see this being done is after she dies, you receive a Memory Crystal with all of Aerith’s memories (EXP, Level, Limit Breaks, etc.). After you get Vincent and you return to Shinra HQ in Midgar later in the game, Vincent notes back in the day Shinra mapped the human genome, opening the door to cloning and ultimately, Sephiroth. Cid fires up the super computer in the lab and it turns out Aerith’s DNA had been sequenced since they were last there and Shinra had cloned her body. The problem was without her soul, the body was just an empty shell. Fortunately for the party, the Memory Crystal reacts and merges with her body. Aerith awakens, saying she had a feeling she’d be brought back from the grave and certain steps were made to ensure she could travel with her friends when she returned. She then goes on to say there is one more old friend of Cloud’s who could be brought back…a certain SOLDIER 1st Class who was never buried when he died.
- Zack Fair revived as a playable character; Omnislash learned: After Aerith returns, she mentions she spoke to her beloved (referencing their relationship in Crisis Core) while she was in the Life Stream. She says he can be brought back the same way she was. The key is to first find his body. A check in Shinra’s Archives reveals as Aerith mentioned, Zack’s body was never buried or creamated. It’s actually being held in stasis in a hidden room in Shinra Mansion’s basement lab in Nibelhiem. The catch: You will need Keycards from three people to get in: a SOLDIER First Class, Tseng’s and the Shinra President’s. Zack gave his to Aerith before he disappeared. You’ll find it in her house in Midgar along with a third of Zack’s Memory Crystal. Tseng’s, you will get it during the Wutai sidequest involving Yuffie along with the second third of Zack’s Memory Crystal. You should have Rufus’ keycard after you defeat Hojo in Midgar. With those items, you can now revive Zack. Everything goes as planned but there’s a problem: Zack can’t fight. In order to get the final piece of his memories, progress the game to the point Cloud’s true memories are revealed. At this point, Cloud remembers waking from his Mako poisoning to find Zack’s body, his sword and a crystal next to him: The crystal was Zack’s combat skills. After returning it to its rightful owner, Zack challenges Cloud to a duel. After the fight, Cloud learns his level 4 Limit Break skill Omnislash. Zack now officially joins the party as a playable character.
- Dual Omnislash Limit Break with Cloud and Zack: Once both Cloud and Zack have learned the Omnislash Limit Break (Zack’s is gained from the Gold Saucer’s Coliseum if you got Cloud’s already), only one needs to be in Overlimit to trigger it. The other doesn’t even need to be in the active party. When activated, the other will join in and they will attack the same target for MASSIVE damage (their stats combined). The first time you do it, Dual Omnislash becomes a separate ability both learn so you can chose it if you want. Will not work if one of them is KO’d obviously.
- Zack joins Cloud in the ending showdown with Sephiroth: If you unlocked Zack, he will join Cloud in the final sequence where they will team up and use Dual Onnislash on Sephiroth.
- New Limit Breaker Materia (Blue, 5 Levels): Allows the user to inflict damage for over 9999HP. Increasing its level increases damage inflicted.
- New Critical Move Materia (Yellow); 3 Levels: Allows the user to sometimes make an additional move after the enemy makes a move.
- New Game+: Square-Enix breaks tradition and allows you to replay the game with the choice of carrying over certain things from the previous playthrough. If you unlocked Yuffie, Aerith and Zack, they will automatically permanently join the party at certain points: Yuffie joins you near Gongaga after a random battle. Zack joins you in Gongaga saying he remembers dying but recently awoke in Nibelhiem with no clue how he got there or who he is. Cloud wiill give his Combat Memories, allowing him to join the party. You’ll have to get the other two from Tseng and Hojo like normal. Aerith joins after Midgar is hit by Diamond Weapon. Visit Kalm and you will find her body in the Inn with Tseng and Elena of the Turks, who recovered her body. Her memory crystal reacts and she awakens. Before leaving, Tseng throws in a line to the effect “We’re glad Rufus was still breathing when we found him” to just reassure you he lived (he appears in Advent Children).
- Sephiroth unlocked as a Playable Character starting in the third playthrough: At the end of your second playthrough, you’re treated to a video clip that takes place between Crisis Core and the start of FF7. In the clip, Sephiroth emerges from the Life Stream and decides to focus on shutting down Shinra–permanently. Fast forward to your first visit to Shinra HQ. Cloud freaks out seeing Sephiroth’s sword only this time, Sephiroth himself appears. “I am not your enemy” he tells them, going on to say “someone pretending to be me responsible for for what happened here.” Cloud is obviously reluctant to take him at his word but Sephiroth simply states his reaction is understable given what happened the last time they met. The rest of the party is obviously clueless so Sephiroth offers to tell them of their shared past once they leave town and leaves. Fast forward to Kalm where they meet up with Sephiroth again and Cloud talks about the Nibelheim incident. Sephiroth notes some “inaccuracies” with Cloud’s recount of the events, referencing Zack without naming him. He doesn’t correct him since things more or less played out as Cloud outlines. After storytime’s over Sephiroth reaffirms it’s in their shared interests to work together, which Cloud reluctantly agrees to. Certain moments in the game are obviously changed as a result.
I could go on. Feel free to disregard all of the above. Just wanted to get that off my chest XD
…Not gonna buy a PS4 for the game since it’s obviously coming to the PC eventually. I am hoping it comes to the Vita, though!
I will write a review for the original FF7 sometime this weekend.