Square Enix have revealed new information about Final Fantasy VII Remake; including the main theme Hollow, several characters, and iconic scenes.
The theme song trailer trailer shows the first appearance of Red XII, several Shinra executives (including Reeve Tuesti, Scarlet, Palmer, and Hojo), the Leviathan summon, and Jenova.
Curiously, Leviathan and (as Barrett mentions) other elements of Wutai appeared much later in the original game, long after the events within Midgar. The remake is set to be released in parts, with the first part taking place entirely within Midgar (and expanding upon events therein).
In addition, we get the first look at the Honey Bee Inn, and how Cloud ends up getting into a dress. Rather than gather what is needed from around Midgar, the cabaret-style Honey Bee Inn makes a real song and dance about getting him all dolled up. Whether they are satisfying the “desires of a client” like the original game, or the Inn no longer serves as a brothel remains to be seen.
You can view the trailer below.
Editor’s Note: You can find the above trailer in Japanese here.
Square Enix also release a behind-the-scenes video of developing the theme song. Hollow was by Nobuo Uematsu, the man behind the music in the original Final Fantasy VII and many other Final Fantasy video games. While he stated he would stop working in 2018 due to illness, he would later produce work for Terra Wars.
Vocals for Hollow were provided by Yosh of Japanese rock band Survive Said The Prohet. Lyrics were written by Kazushige Nojima, and translated by Ben Sabin, and John Crow.
Editor’s Note: The above video has closed captions in English.
Square Enix released more information about the music in the game via their website. Uematsu shared his thoughts on writing music for the original Final Fantasy VII.
“Whichever game you pick from the FINAL FANTASY series, they all have many powerful memories for me. However, if you limit things to just the music, then you could say that VII left the biggest impression on me in the sense that it represents the point at which I was able to start challenging the boundaries and being more experimental.
Nobody has seen music like this in the FINAL FANTASY series before, whether you look at the symphonic “Opening – Bombing Mission”, the numerous different vistas evoked within a single track in “Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY VII” or “One-Winged Angel”, that was made by arranging different sequences of phrases every few bars.
I think that perhaps it was the perfect time to take on these new challenges, what with changing platforms after the previous game, FINAL FANTASY VI, and with the expressive power of the hardware increasing dramatically.”
He also explains that in hindsight it was more than hardware evolving, but also changing times “demanded a revolution in game music” as video games became a form of entertainment for adults as well as children.
“But even though things were changing around us, we had no idea what to do or which direction we should be heading in. Nobody could have possibly known what the right answers were back then. I just sat alone in my room each day and wordlessly took on musical challenge after new musical challenge, setting no final goal for the finished game, and without even listening to the opinions of others. And the result of that was the soundtrack to FINAL FANTASY VII.”
Uematsu concludes, stating how Hollow was in a style not seen in a Final Fantasy game before, and to him was “very much a continuation of my experimental challenges in the field of music.”
Composers Masashi Hamauzu, and Mitsuto Suzuki also shared their thoughts.
Masashi explains how the original Final Fantasy VII was the first game he worked on at Square Enix. “I sorted out the chorus and actually sung in it myself, as well as putting in the short extracts from Haydn’s “the Creation” that play during the story and directing the singing on them.”
While Masashi is now working alongside many of the original team again, he reveals he had kept in contact with them even after he left the company.
“I still sent them letters and they were a source of inspiration to me simply by being who they are,” Masashi explains. “I never spoke to any of them outside of a work context, but those things stick strongly in your memory over such long development periods.”
Masashi also mentions that Uematsu recommended him for the job.
Suzuki explains how “it did not take long for me to come together with the original project staff and grasp my position on the team. My role here was to work on the new elements that a remake allows and breathe new life into it.”
“I have created a huge number of tracks and put great care into how they are presented, in order to create something that will delight both people who played the original game and those who are experiencing it for the first time with the remake. I strove to always put a sense of playfulness into the music, not just for the new pieces but also with new arrangements and samplings of older tracks that respect the originals and full re-makes of some of them.
Working on places like Wall Market, the Honeybee Inn and Midgar Highway was one thrill after another! I brought back the surprise and enjoyment that I felt as a consumer of the original game, but the biggest change this time round is that I am now on the side providing those experiences.
Myself and the large sound team came together to remake the sound of this world. There is a lot to look forward to and not long to wait now!”
Finally, Square Enix announced there will be a Final Fantasy VII Remake Orchestra World Tour. First taking place in Los Angeles, the concert will travel to 10 cities around the world, performing the game’s soundtrack with a full orchestra and chorus conducted by Arnie Roth, who previously worked on the Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy concert tour.
The full tour schedule includes:
- Los Angeles, June 14th (on sale February 21st)
- Singapore, July 4th (on sale April 20th)
- Fort Worth, August 22nd (on sale February 27th)
- Phoenix, Spetember 25th (on sale February 27th)
- New York, October 3rd (on sale February 27th)
- Chicago, October 24th (on sale February 27th)
- London, October 30th (sale date TBA)
- Bangkok, November 7th (sale date TBA)
- Denver, January 8th, 2021 (on sale August 3rd)
- Tokyo, February 12th and 13th, 2021 (sale date TBA)
Dates and venues subject to change, and additional dates and cities may be added. You can find out more information about the concerts here.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is launching for PlayStation 4 on April 10th, 2020.