Square Enix have conducted an interview with Final Fantasy VII Remake Producer Yoshinori Kitase, and Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi, revealing new details on the project’s direction, what Red XIII will do, and a new climax to events at Shinra HQ.
Both explained how the time was right for the remake, due to advancements in technology and graphics. Kitase explained further, stating the project had two distinct paths.
One would have resulted in the entire game in one release, but sections in the original game would have to be cut, along with lower visual quality. Instead, they went for “the highest possible level of graphics, visual quality, and detail,” and sought to expand upon the original game.
“At the beginning of the project we had two directions we could go. The first was to make the project with the highest possible level of graphics, visual quality and detail, and not remove anything that fans wanted to see. Instead, it would expand upon the original game, to make it something even more immersive.
The other option was to include the entire scope of the original game in a single release. But in order to make that work as a modern game, we wouldn’t be able to go for the highest visual quality and we’d also have to cut back on areas and scenes from the original.
Essentially, to make a single release viable the resulting game would have ended up being a digest of the original story, and we didn’t think that fans would be pleased with that.
Ultimately, we decided the best option for the project was to go for the highest level possible, with an expanded story. Having more than one game in the project allowed us to focus on keeping everything people loved from the original, but go into greater detail and more story depth than before.”
Kitase also explained that Remake would expand scenes in the original, where the scene cut to black and continued in another location.
“In other words, there were a lot of parts in between sections of Midgar that were implied, but never seen,” Kitase states. “That was something that we wanted to address with remake – to fill in all those gaps, show how the different parts of the city are connected, and make it a continuous experience.”
Hamaguchi also addressed how fans were upset with the news Red XIII would not be playable (instead, a guest character). As explained earlier, this was due to the character being introduced so late into the game.
He then elaborates on what Red XIII will be doing in the game, stating “we designed his gameplay in a special way to offset him not being playable in battle.” It seems Red XIII will be utilized in a new battle of some kind.
“I won’t reveal exactly what that entails, because I want people to enjoy it when they actually play the game, but I will say that FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE has added a new upper floor to the Shinra Building to present a climax that was not in the original.
The key to navigating this floor lies in using Red XIII’s unique physical abilities to overcome environmental obstacles. Letting the player experience his heroics in this way is something that I’m confident will please the fans.”
Whether this means you have lesser control over Red XIII in some fashion (issuing commands in battle or while exploring), or Red XIII performs these actions automatically is unknown.
As for the “climax,” the final boss within Midgar was the Motor Ball on Midgar Highway. The final boss in the Shinra HQ was Rufus Shinra alongside Dark Nation.
During the Hollow theme song trailer (at 3:05) we see what could be a boss- that Aerith identifies as Jenova. While it did appear in a far lesser form in Professor Hojo’s lab, the closest equivalent (Jenova Birth) was fought in the Shinra Cargo Ship.
The battle against this form of Jenova could be the new climax to Shinra’s HQ mentioned above; fought instead of, or after, the battle with Rufus.
A similar boss within the tower (Sample: H0512, another creation of Professor Hojo) was fought with Cloud, Red XIII, and another party member. Due to the similar themes with this new Jenova boss, it could be cut.
As we discussed last time, Red XIII also fought along-side Aerith, and Barret in Shinra HQ against the Heli-gunner. Looking at that same trailer (at 2:27) it seems the Heli-gunner boss is fought elsewhere, with Cloud, Barret, and Tifa.
Whether this means that boss has been cut from Shinra HQ all together is unknown, but with the above it shows the game will certainly have more than a few surprises.
Hamaguchi concluded, stating “FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE has been designed as if it were a standalone game, and comparable in size to other mainline FINAL FANTASY games.”
Final Fantasy VII Remake launches April 10th on PlayStation 4. The console exclusivity ends April 4th, 2021.