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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth – Launch Preview


Final Fantasy VII Rebirth – Launch Preview

Warning – story and lore spoilers relating to the original Final Fantasy VII and the remake lie ahead. If you’re lucky enough to have the chance to play the original 1997 title or the remake for the first time, stop reading this article and go and boot them up!

January 1997 saw the original release of the Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation (PS1), sealing a date with destiny for a whole generation of gamers who would take their first steps into the world of Final Fantasy, one of the most enduring gaming series ever made.

Final Fantasy VII was groundbreaking, introducing 3D graphics and pre-rendered backgrounds in a pronounced shift from the 2D sprites used in earlier games. Another notable innovation was the inclusion of full-motion video (FMV) cutscenes, which enhanced the cinematic experience and contributed to the game’s immersive storytelling. The PS1 was the first foray into console gaming for many, and Final Fantasy VII is often considered the unofficial starting point for the series, forever remaining one of the most highly regarded entries in the series. Admittedly, nostalgia plays a part in this, but there’s no doubting the quality of the story, the richly imagined characters and the score, even if the graphics have begun to look dated.

Final Fantasy 7

Over the decades that followed the original game’s release, fans dreamed and openly petitioned for an updated version for newer consoles, a wish that was finally granted in April 2020, with Final Fantasy VII Remake.

The exceptionally realised remaster currently holds a 93% user approval rating on Google and has received equally positive reviews from critics. There was only one catch – the game ended roughly a third of the way through the original game’s story, leaving fans having to wait for the next part of the sequel, in the form of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

That wait is nearly over.

Final Fantasy 7

When Is Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Coming Out?

The next instalment in the Final Fantasy 7 remake project will be available exclusively for PlayStation 5 (initially) from February 29th, 2024.

Check out the official trailer here.

What Is Final Fantasy 7 About?

The narrative follows the protagonist, Cloud Strife, who joins a group called AVALANCHE in the city of Midgar, to thwart the megacorporation Shinra’s exploitation of the planet's natural resource (Mako). Eventually, Cloud is dragged into a far bigger conflict with higher states far beyond the city of Midgar. The game's intricate plot, memorable characters, and emotional depth set new standards for storytelling in video games in 1997, laying the perfect foundation for a modern-day remake.

Final Fantasy 7

What Changes Were Made to Final Fantasy VII Remake?

In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix opted for a more expanded and detailed approach to storytelling, taking advantage of modern gaming technology and the ability to delve deeper into character backgrounds and motivations. This is particularly true for characters like Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge, who had more limited roles in the original.

Fans expected these sorts of character expansions before release, however other, more significant changes soon led fans to realise that the remake project was more strictly speaking a reimagining of the original game rather than a one-to-one recreation. Sephiroth, the primary antagonist, appears earlier, contributing to a more complex narrative. Additionally, in the biggest and most mysterious change, new entities known as ‘Whispers’ appear, attempting to influence the course of events established in the original game.

This concept introduced an intriguing meta-narrative element, raising questions about destiny and free will and leading fans to speculate and theorise what conclusion the remake project is gearing towards. Clues can also be found in spin-off games such as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, strongly hinting that the new game takes place in a new time cycle, rather than replacing the original – similar to the cyclical nature of destiny seen in fantasy classics such as Stephen King’s The Dark Tower and even comedy films like Groundhog Day.

If you want to find out more, we strongly suggest checking out some of the more detailed fan theories circling online!

Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy VII Remake – The Biggest Questions That Need Answering on Release

If we assume that fan theories regarding the cyclical nature of the remake are true, there is the potential for some potentially momentous changes to the story.

An entire generation remembers being scarred by the death of Aerith in the original narrative, but could she now be set to survive her fateful encounter with Sephiroth in the City of the Ancients? Clues may lie in the remake project’s titles for both instalments. Where the first title offered a more literal ‘remake’ than fans realised, the second part may indicate a ‘rebirth’ of sorts. Longtime fans will remember the rumours that there was a way to return Aerith to life in the original game – ultimately, one of the most famous myths in the history of gaming. Perhaps now, preordained events may be set to change…

It looks like everything connects to the mysterious ‘Whispers’, who will hold the key to where the reimagined story is going.

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