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Final Fantasy VII: How the Biggest RPG Should Be Remade

February 8, 2010

Final Fantasy VII: How the Biggest RPG Should Be Remade
By Louis Bedigian

My wish book for a remake that doesn’t even exist

Let’s pretend for a moment that all of the risks involved in remaking Final Fantasy VII have been resolved. Let’s fantasize that Square Enix is about to start work on a new version of the game, either as a multi-platform PS3/360/PC release or (more likely) a PS3 exclusive.

If those things actually occurred – if FFVII was coming to a modern console near you – what could we really expect from it? Or, more appropriately, what do we specifically want from it?

That question, like the very dilemma surrounding whether or not a remake should be made, has been on my mind for many, many years.

 
An image from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Could a PS3 remake of FFVII look this real?

An Alternate Reality

I’m not in favor of changing the past, per se; after all, despite the eerie similarities, FFVII isn’t Lost. But I’ve always wondered: what if FFVII gave you a choice at key moments in the game? 

When Aeris is killed, Cloud (the only one standing next to her) is too messed up to react. Tifa, Barret and the others wouldn’t have been able to move fast enough to stop Sephiroth.

But one party member could have: Red XIII. I do not believe for one second that if he had been in your party at that moment he wouldn’t have tried to leap forward and push Aeris out of the way. 

And what if he did? What if he got killed instead? Theoretically, Aeris wouldn’t be able to complete her mission and Meteor, which was destined to hit the planet even after Sephiroth was defeated, could not have been stopped.

This is the kind of thing I’d want to see in an FFVII remake. We already know the horror and the misery these characters went through in the existing FFVII. But if Red XIII died instead, what would that mean for their future? The game could take on a whole other dimension, as Sephiroth would repeatedly hunt Cloud and the gang in search of her. This would be the perfect opportunity for the developers to include new battle encounters with Sephiroth. This would (or at least could) make the game several times as challenging, especially if, under this new Aeris-is-alive scenario, the world grew darker and the monsters became more ferocious.

Ultimately, the game would have to end positively, perhaps with Aeris having to sacrifice herself anyway. But the idea of exploring another world like this – or, perhaps even more horrific, a world where Cloud was killed instead – is very intriguing to me. (If Cloud dies, who’s going to defeat Sephiroth in the final battle!?)

These and other possible scenarios should not be used to replace the game we love; they should be included as an alternative to the original FFVII. Thus, the original game should also be intact and should be very easy to access within the remake. To change things – to alter the world we know – the developers could add a simple character-dependent feature that would change the story depending on who you had in your party at specific times in the game.

 
If FFVII is remade, expect the swords to look twice as big.

One Last Night

Toward the end of FFVII, Cloud tells his friends to go home so they can remember what they’re fighting for. This part of the story is very brief; in a remake, I’d like it to be extended by a few hours.

Two characters really stand out here. The first is Barret; I’ve always thought that he should go home to see his daughter. If it was at night, he would wake her up, he wouldn’t care what time it was, and would take her to the Gold Saucer, which never seems to close. I have this distinct vision in my mind of him and his daughter on sitting on one of the rides, and he turns his ahead away from her and looks out at the sky, a tear rolling down his face. With Meteor fast approaching, you can see the fear in his eyes – not for himself, but for his daughter’s survival.

I’ve also thought that Cid, who wanted nothing more than to go into space, should go back to Rocket Town. Since his eventual trip into space was short-lived, I picture him pacing around the launch pad, dreaming of a different life. He wonders not about what he’s fighting for but what he’s living for. He realizes that if he survives this, if he defeats Sephiroth and if Meteor is stopped, that he wants to go back into space. Before heading back to the group, he grabs as much scrap metal as he can find and sketches out a plan for a spaceship – one that, long after Sephiroth is finished, he will spend the rest of his life attempting to build.

A Musical Sequel

FFVII has four CDs worth of spellbinding music. If a remake is ever developed, I’d want Nobuo Uematsu to add another disc to the collection. Just as John Williams recaptured the essence of the classic Star Wars movies for the prequel trilogy, Uematsu would need to go back to the original score before writing new music. From there, he should compose two-dozen new tracks that would accompany the game’s new or extended scenarios.

 
We all know that, deep down, Square Enix is dying to remake these CG characters in polygonal form. Right?

Three More Wishes

So there you have it – my three biggest wishes for an FFVII remake. If I could have three more, they’d be: (1) a 10-hour sub-quest with the Turks (demonstrating their perspective of the game’s events), (2) 100 new Materia, and (3) several new Summon Materia to acquire and new Weapon bosses to fight.

Crazy wishes, I know, but we all have our dreams. Sometimes I like to dream about fictional elements of RPG remakes that don’t even exist. But who can blame me? Something tells me that if Square Enix made even 10% of the remake I and many others envision, FFVII fans would be very happy.

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