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The 23 April 2020 of Weekly Famitsu features an interview regarding Final Fantasy VII Remake with producer Kitase Yoshinori and director Nomura Tetsuya regarding development of the game.

The two are asked about what lead to the development of a remake of FFVII, and how they feel about the completed game.

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Kitase says that on Final Fantasy’s 25th anniversary, he thought of the possibility of an FFVII remake. At first it was a more simple concept, of simply redoing FFVII with Advent Children’s graphics, but in the end, the game design, especially with the hybrid battle system combining commands and action, turned out to be greater than he imagined thanks to the development staff.

Nomura says that the battle system was remade multiple times in development. What they prioritised the most was player immersion through making realtime control possible, and kept this as an absolute must. Next, they wanted to fuse realtime controls with the Active Time Battle system. As the two contradict each other, they went through a lot of trial and error to get it right.

Nomura says that the end result was a product of the staff’s hard work to overcome this difficult problem and achieve the perfect balance. Another thing they wanted was to be able to change the controlled character, and they gave enemies all sorts of attack patterns in order to facilitate this by making situations where characters other than Cloud would be more effective.

Kitase, who was director of the original FFVII, is asked how much input he had on the remake. He says that the overall direction and concept, story and worldbuilding was left to Nomura, while game design and drama scene direction was left to co-directors Hamaguchi and Toriyama. Kitase did not make many direct requests, but did participate as a planner on some locations in the game: He says that the initial level design for the infiltration and escape from Mako Reactor no. 5 was done by him, and hopes players take notice of it.

The interviewer asks if characters from Compilation of Final Fantasy VII appear in VII Remake, and Nomura says that while none appear directly, they do touch on some. Additionally, while not a Compilation work, characters such as Kyrie Canaan from the novel The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story by Nojima Kazushige do appear in the game.

The theme song “Hollow” is brought up, with the interviewer asking what the order for it was. Nomura says that he wanted the song to reflect Cloud’s state of mind, which meant a rock song with male vocals. Also, he wanted the Japanese and overseas versions of the game to have the same image, and so only had English vocals for the song (the Japanese release has the song in English with Japanese subtitles). He also wanted the song to have an image of “rain”.

Selecting the vocalist was done alongside Uematsu (Nobuo) and Nojima. When they talked about the lyrics, Nojima said that he wanted to do it, and he wrote the original lyrics in Japanese. The provisional title for the song in Japanese was “Karappo no Sora” (“Empty Sky”), and the official title became “Hollow” when it was translated to English.

Asked about the direction taken with graphics in VII Remake, Nomura says that while they did go for photorealism in general, they did not go for complete realism, due to how the original made great use of symbolic caricature elements. As such, they kept the realism at a level where one can still feel the original.

When asked about which parts of the game were hard to create, Kitase says that time has made it so that fans’ favourite scenes are beautified in their minds, and thus in a way already remade by them. Thus, their greatest opponent and hurdle was such “mental remakes”. He says that many of the staff working on VII Remake were also players when VII was first released, and as such have great respect for the original game, and that is how they cleared this hurdle.

Finally, the interviewer points out how FFVII Remake being a multi-part work means that this is a new beginning, and asks the two for messages to the fans and what they intend to do next.

Kitase says that he is relieved that they have managed to deliver something that fans have been waiting for for 23 years. He says that while FFVII Remake can be enjoyed fully on its own, the story will still continue. VII Remake shows players the great possibilities while leaving many hints, and he hopes that fans will speculate about what comes next on social media. He says that they too hope that they will grow alongside the project while communicating with fans.

Nomura says that Final Fantasy VII Remake’s release does not overwrite the original Final Fantasy VII. The original is the origin, and VII Remake is only possible because of the original. He hopes that fans of the original will be able to enjoy the new yet nostalgic parts and differences from the original, and play it with the same feelings as those touching FFVII for the first time with Remake. He says that while this is the first of multiple parts, he thinks that it has the volume of one entire game on its own, and hopes that players enjoy it.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake was released on the Playstation 4 worldwide on 10th April 2020

What did you think of FF7R? Let us know in the comments below!

65 COMMENTS

      • Anybody who doesn’t like the remake is truly not a fan of FF7, probably just fake fan boys who dont even understand the story and probably don’t even want to understand it… If you don’t like this game then maybe you’d be more comfortable playing Skyrim for the 100th time.

        • Congratulations, Ryan, on perhaps the dumbest comment I’ve read on the Internet this week. Defending this fanfiction equivalent take on the story with stupid time ghosts and a plot that completely derails in the final hour by trying to gatekeep. Mindlessly opening your mouth and accepting whatever Nomura and Nojima decides to dump down your throat might make you a good little consumer, but it certainly doesn’t make you a better fan than those of us who wanted a remake with the original, excellent story and not this Kingdom Hearts-esque rubbish we’re to be subjected to.

  1. I get what you’re trying to do, but this isn’t the way to go about it, chief. This interview solidified my lack of interest in future instalments. It’s just a massive shame.

  2. Players both old and new are enjoying Remake! They succeeded!

    Not everybody is going to be happy, but the majority are!

  3. Nobody waited 23 years to see one of the best stories ever told in games get retconned. Good job reducing it to some shonen anime for kids.

      • @Gamer
        I’m sorry that you are mentally impaired and can’t tell the difference between a flaming turd that is Nomura’s story and a great masterpiece.

          • It sucked and yet you bought its remake and are mad enough to chase people around who criticize it. Just make gargling noises instead next time so we know just how much you love Nomura.

      • Actually you either need to be a little kid or mentally challenged to like the new story changes. It’s pretty much a fact.
        Dumb people blindly accept changes, especially when it’s obvious they’re bad.

      • First off, I played the original FF 7 many times over by now, while it’s a fantastic game with a great story I see so many hateful comments on the remake, yes I was lost when it came to the ending and where the story will go in the next installment, as the amount of questions raised is crazy. However there are significant theories that have arose online, my advice don’t take these theories at face value, because they are conjecture, the ending could have a drastically different meaning in the next game compared to these theories. The point here is that no one knows for sure. On another note how many parts do you believe FF7 will have?

    • I’m glad I’m not alone in my disappointment for ff7 remake and for Square Enix as a whole. It all went down hill after they merged with enix, the magic died right there. Case and point going from an epic like FFX into the sexed up Charlie’s Angels cash grab that was FFX-2…. but ff7 remake is the cherry on top of them screwing us with a ton of other milkers like before crisis, crisis core, advent children etc… they didn’t make those games because THEY loved ff7 so much, they did it because WE did, and they saw the money to be made, and ignored the dreams that they would ruin.

      And I’m tired of these loser wanna-be fans trying to tell us to eff off. They obviously don’t respect the original and don’t see where the fangames and real story line end. We don’t need any of this over-emphasis on Zack BS, cloud is the hero who kills Sephiroth and saves the world. That’s the only storyline I know and it’s the one that built my childhood.

  4. Not quite sure how I feel yet. I thoroughly enjoyed the game up until floor 70 of the shinra building, at that point it just went downhill for me. I understand that its a remake and not a remaster and that they want to do their KH crap with this, but i while doing it i fear they will loose out in the end with die hard fans of the original. I will purchase the next one and see how it is and depending on how convoluted it gets will determine if il make another purchase after the second one.

    • This is honestly the same way I felt. I thought the game was brilliant up until the end area of the shinra building. I thought the game dragged out a little bit as a whole and there were perhaps too many boss fights but especially towards the end the game stopped making much sense and it started going crazy with boss fights and basically became a case of “hey, look what we can do with our good graphics”

  5. I am so glad I waited 20 years for this heap of a convoluted incoherent flaming hot piece of turd, what on earth was that ending? Did they go in to rescue Aerith, stealing their way through Shinra HQ to kill a god and change their destiny? What the hell?! If I want to play Kingdom Hearts, I will just play Kingdom Hearts, why bring that piece of crap over to Final Fantasy VII? Do you think people waited this long to see this mess? Zack is alive? GREAT, LOL, the only thing that made Cloud, Cloud.

    Wedge wasn’t killed by the plot-ghost when he should’ve died at the pillar, instead, they forgot that he was supposed to die until the Shinra HQ, so many inconsistencies in this “story”. Well, Nomura and his fellowship of turd are here to fuck up our beloved childhood memories. My god, I have never been this disappointed in a video game.

    • My dude. Just know that I feel your emotions SO MUCH. We are apparently the crazy ones in this world of loser fake ff7 fans who actually take anything after squaresoft seriously as true to ff7… Square Enix is a dirtbag company that is only out to survive now after square goofed up and tries to make Spirits Within. Look at the evidence – before crisis, crisis core, after crisis, dirge of Cerberus, advent children, and honestly now ff7 remake…. they didn’t make 6-7 games about ff7 because THEY loved it, they did it because WE loved it and they could make money off of us.. these games and stories are so lifeless I gave up on anything Square after FFX…

  6. No shit it was Nomura? Those idiots who were going “noooo he’s not the writer” have no idea how things work, Nojima is the SCRIPTWRITER meaning he only handles shit like the dialogue, not the actual damn story which Nomura was in charge of.

    • Technically he is the “storywriter” rather than the scriptwriter who is Nojima.
      Basically, Nomura write a detailed treatment and hands it over to Nojima who then makes a script out of it. Nomura probably goes over the script to make edits back-and-forth with Nojima.

  7. I liked it.

    The original’s been ported to literally every single platform with added modern amenities. If you want to play the original so much then go play it. 7R is a great sequel and I’m really looking forward to what comes next.

  8. Ahhh guys I think this game was perfect, except for the drastic changes.

    I mean I am fine with tweaks here and there – the original story-line wasn’t perfect either. So they could polish and make FF7 even better then it ever was.

    But I think with the ending and putting it as a sequel, they screwed it up. I am sorry for us guys really sorry – it hurts my heart. It feels like Nomura only cared about his artistic creativity.

  9. I, for one, loved the ending. I’m excited to see where it’ll go and applaud SE for breathing new life into the FF7 universe. I know and I’ve heard the criticisms a thousand times by now, but I think it’s just a matter of perspective and attitude. The whole project isn’t even done yet, nobody knows how it’s going to play out. So you can either decide you hate it already and be sad/angry/miserable, or you can have a little faith and be excited for what’s to come. Up to you how you want to spend your emotional energy.

    • I loved the ending too! The old game was great, but this is a chance to try something new, fix some of the plot points and give a new perspective on the og game. I’m excited to see where they take it and would much rather be hopeful and excited than angry, especially as we have no idea where its going. Its too soon to label this a failure, if people really dont want a different perspective then dont play, but I for one am excited to see my fav characters in a NEW adventure with NEW possibilities.

      • First off, I played the original FF 7 many times over by now, while it’s a fantastic game with a great story I see so many hateful comments on the remake, yes I was lost when it came to the ending and where the story will go in the next installment, as the amount of questions raised is crazy. However there are significant theories that have arose online, my advice don’t take these theories at face value, because they are conjecture, the ending could have a drastically different meaning in the next game compared to these theories. The point here is that no one knows for sure. On another note how many parts do you believe FF7 will have?

  10. Anybody who doesn’t like the remake is truly not a fan of FF7, probably just fake fan boys who dont even understand the story and probably don’t even want to understand it… If you don’t like this game then maybe you’d be more comfortable playing Skyrim for the 100th time.

    • Get out of here with that true fan BS. If you don’t have any standards for games it’s cool, but the rest of us do.

      The problem with time-travel and multipe dimensions is that it need rules for it to work. For example MCU, they could pull off that time-travel shenanigans because they had established rules that the audience could follow and didn’t left them feeling misled.

      This kind of story telling elements often diminish emotional impact by removing consequence, and easily wonder off to paradoxical plotlines. As FF7R didn’t establish any rules and just shoved the narrative down our throats it felt forced. It’s a deus ex machina that the writers can use to drive the narrative without justification to the audience, and this is universally considered as bad storytelling.

      If this was a novel submitted by a literatury student they would most likely receive an F. This story change just doesn’t hold water when observed academically, and should be classified as sub par fanfic. Original was spot on in its pacing and kept consistency through out the narrative. Sakaguchi had this golden touch of immersing inside the narrative that the Remake could only capture momentarily.

  11. This was not the game I wanted, the ending ruined it for me.

    To all the people trying to justify each and every decision and saying a “real fan” would simply love this. Real fans can think on their own instead of just praising everything out of fanaticism.

    Also, when you have to try and justify why one should enjoy something, that really means something is wrong. Things are supposed to be enjoyed from the get go, not having to be convinced to enjoy them.

    To Square-Enix, thanks for ruining something I longed for by more than a decade now. It’s your game and your vision, I have no right to tell you what to create. But you just lost a fan.

  12. A game will never please anyone in the world. It’ s simple as that. If you loved it, great. If you hated it, move on, go play the original or something else. Being angry with critics or accusing Square Enix to have ruined your childhood favorite game is so childish. C’mon, let’s grow up…

    By the way. I loved it. I think they did a fantastic job. But I have mixed feelings about the changes they have made to the original history. It could lead to a better or worse history. I will just hope for the better.

    • This was sold as something that it is not. People should be angry, if you’re not angry, that’s fine too.

      This was sold as a remake. It isn’t a remake, it isn’t following the core story. Characters that should have died, have not. People new to the series would also be confused. Cause this is a sequel. If people were told it’s a sequel, and people still bought it then at least they wouldn’t feel like they’ve been lied to. That’s why people are angry, and perhaps because the ending sucked and was confusing as hell when 90% of the game was so good.

      • FInally someone gets it. This is not the remake. They promised expanded but unalteresd plot for five years and what we got was a suffed game that someone wanted to turn into the new Kingdom hearts because that’s they only game they know how to make and even tried to shit on the die-hard fans by making an allegory with the whispers and the people who, Nomura KNEW, wouldn’t like the game. Now SE is trying to cover up the plot by copystriking videos with the ending while the gameplay embargo has already been lifted. You know why? because they KNOW people who are die-hard fans will not buy the game once they realise the twist in the plot and they want to avoid that. No gameplay uploader forces anyone to spoil themselves. They expect you to pay for this crap and when you realise how crap the plot is, it will be too late for a refund for a full priced game 🙂

        • Very sophisticated response. Here’s another one, just for you.
          yOu’rE OnLy A fAn iF yOu dOn’T qUesTiOn aNyTHinG aNd jUsT pREteNd To liKe iT aLl. 🙂

      • I think you have a point. If I were new to this FF7 remake, I would be confused as hell. Even having played the original, I was kinda confused, so it was probably worse to new players. That’s why I have mixed feelings. I think they nailed in every aspect except for the drastic change in the ending. I just hope they won’t mess with everything.

        And you are right when you say that the game was sold as a remake. And it was a remake for 90% of the time lol….So I kinda understand why many people are mad.

        I decided to give them a chance anyway. We’ll see…

  13. This is not the remake. They promised expanded but unalteresd plot for five years and what we got was a suffed game that someone wanted to turn into the new Kingdom hearts because that’s they only game they know how to make and even tried to shit on the die-hard fans by making an allegory with the whispers and the people who, Nomura KNEW, wouldn’t like the game. Now SE is trying to cover up the plot by copystriking videos with the ending while the gameplay embargo has already been lifted. You know why? because they KNOW people who are die-hard fans will not buy the game once they realise the twist in the plot and they want to avoid that. No gameplay uploader forces anyone to spoil themselves. They expect you to pay for this crap and when you realise how crap the plot is, it will be too late for a refund for a full priced game 🙂 You’ve been scammed,next time do proper reasearch instead of blindly trusting SE. Deal with it. I’m just glad I decided to wait and see, saved me 60$

  14. Personally, I love the Remake. I love the twist and I love the unknown journey.

    FYI This post will contain spoilers for the Remake and the original game…

    There are some fans who hate the remake and that’s their opinion. They are worried that the story cannot possibly turn out the same way if Zack is alive. The story cannot possibly be the same if Aerith survives. The story can’t possibly be the same if the characters already know how their adventures will end after the first act.

    Personally, while these are extremely valid points, I am excited about the unknown. I have seen the original story. I have played it hundreds of times over the past 20 years. I love it! That being said, seeing something new is refreshing to me. If all I had to look forward to is a polished version of an old hat, it might be fun at first, sure. but eventually, I (personally) would fall off the wagon. I would buy installments based off parts I liked most. That is not to say I wouldn’t buy all episodes (i’m a huge FF7 fan, so I totally would) however, I wouldn’t have the same kind of energy for the game as I did when I first played it, and it’s likely I would pick it up and not play it for weeks on end after purchasing it. In short, there wouldn’t be as much excitement. And there is a reason for that; – I’ve seen the story already. There would be no more mystery.

    Playing FF7 the original is like reading a beloved novel. Sure, the graphics are not great now, but – during its time- the graphics were amazing and top notch. The entire story was amazing from beginning to end. They caught lightning in a bottle. For the first of us, we didn’t KNOW Aerith was going to die. We didn’t KNOW Cloud was going to betray the group. We didn’t KNOW he was never a SOLDIER. All of these events were a mystery and that was part of what was unique and galvanizing about the game. we were sidelined so many times. You can’t capture that same reaction if fans already know what’s coming. You’re never going to catch fire the way the original game did. Not because the graphics aren’t amazing. It’s because there’s no mystery in telling the same story twice. You already know how it will end and all the key points.

    Let me reiterate; this is by no means an admission that a direct remake is bad -It’s fun to see everything we’ve loved in the past, repolished for the future- it’s more to say, a re-imagining, in my opinion, is more exciting!

    For the first time in a long time, i’m more excited about a FF7 game than any other game on the horizon. I DON’T KNOW what’s coming next and – to me – that’s AWESOME!

    Crisis Core, I loved it but I already knew the ending before even starting the game.

    How I feel about FF7 remake is that we are getting both a sequel and a remake at the same time. And I see no reason why, even with their current changes, they can’t keep their same broad strokes. Let’s say Zack comes into their world? What would Change? Cloud is already on his present course because in the Remake’s timeline, that Zack is death. For me, this is a classic example of having your cake and eating it too. Cloud would probably come to grips SOONER with the fact that what he thought he knew was a lie and it would force him to reconstruct his shattered mind SOONER than in the original game. And that could lead to more character development and character GROWTH than we’ve ever seen in the past; no more emo- Cloud but a Stronger Cloud more confident than we’ve ever seen him before. And BEFORE that happens, maybe encountering Zack and the reality that he’s not the man he WANTED to be, will lead to him giving the black materia to sephiroth SOONER TOO? Maybe he will ALLY himself with Sephiroth entirely!- before he comes back to the group. What IF We have to go through a passage of time where we have Zack in our Party and we are forced to FIGHT a confused and angry CLOUD and SEPHIROTH team-up! And this would happen BEFORE the group convinces Cloud that the REAL him is better than the persona he’s adopted. The end result would still be the same but the MEAT would be different and to me, that’s exciting! That’s story-telling that’s both fun and thrilling!

    Maybe Aerith doesn’t die like in the original? Doesn’t she need to die to summon holy? Not necessarily. Didn’t they say that other ancients were able to communicate and summon holy in the past and they didn’t have to die? Aerith in the original was alot less aware of herself and her gifts than the Aerith we see in this game. Maybe she will embark on a journey to do exactly what she does in the original game but in a totally different way!?

    What i’m saying is, nothing that they’ve done has UNDONE what they’ve already done in the original game. It simply throws a wild card into the mix that makes the story more interesting for me. As I said before, I get why some fans didn’t like this remake. But, in my opinion, this is a new direction. Give them a chance and they might amaze you and all of us! I, for one, can’t wait to see what they do next. The possibilities are endless!

    • It’s not a mistake to change things when you’re honest about it in marketing and don’t try to cheat fans into buying something they wouldn’t have bought. If someone said I’m buying a Nomura sequel of FF7 I wouldn’t have pre-ordered the game. Marketing it as a Remake

      It’s also the way they changed it. The story changes SUCK. Nomura can’t write coherent stories, his storytelling abilities are zero in my books. Anything he’s lead has turned out as shit. FFXV, KH, FF7AC, and now FF7R. He just doesn’t have any talent.

      • Some people loved Advent Children. Kingdom Hearts is arguably a remarkable success until the 3rd game. I did not care for FF15 but there are many people who loved it.

        What I am saying is, #1 i’m sorry you didn’t like the FF7 remake but there’s always the original. #2 everyone interprets things differently. While you may have hated this remake, many people are excited. while you think a storyteller sucks, many people may have a different opinion. And, perhaps it might be presumptuous to assume the story sucks when it is not even halfway complete yet? I think, if you are interested in pursuing the story further, perhaps give it a chance and see where the get to at the end.

        That being said, if you insist on this story being horrible, I hope you will find a new game that is released some day that you can enjoy.

    • Perfect commentary.

      I think that fanbases are ruining many games and movies nowadays. If something is not according to what many narrow minded people expect, they just go complain in the Internet in a very aggressive way. Many studios and game developers are afraid of coming up with original ideas because they fear the public reception. Every year we have the same Call of Duties, Fifa, Fortnite, etc. because people like it and it’s a secure ground to make money. I think this scenario is ruining studios/developers creativity, they are relying a lot on remake these days.

      Star Wars for example was ruined by the fanbase. The plan was to give the script to Rian Johnson for episodes VIII and IX, a very talented storyteller, but after many fans criticized the VIII installment, Disney just called back J. J Abrams to fix everything and it became a mess.

      It is just ridiculous how studios or game developers are afraid to do innovative things because they are afraid of some conservative fans. I am happy the Square had the courage to take a different approach for this remake!

  15. They messed it up in my opinion. The changes they made are like something kojima would do, childish nonsense.
    Not against minor changes that don’t Impact main plot, am against bad changes. Just convoluted garbage really.
    Good game to a point but goes off a cliff. I’m not optimistic about the next game, will definitely be waiting for user reviews.

  16. I’ll preface this comment by saying I loved a lot of things in this game. The combat, the weapon core system, the music, the visuals, the characterization, the expanded bits. It’s not a bad game by any means. But the whispers were a TERRIBLE addition (I felt that they disrupted and ruined any scene they were in) and the ending is nonsensical and far too grandiose for the end of Midgar.
    All I imagined during the ending was Midgar Zolom watching that crap go down from the marsh with anime sweat trickling down its forehead before noping the hell out of there. Where do they even go from here? How do they top that? How will they make any of this make sense? I don’t have a lot of faith in them as of right now, if any at all. The ending has a lot of implications and none of them good.

    I see a lot of people praising the story direction in the remake in this comment section and that the “unknown” excites them, but a lot of them don’t forget this one simple thing: Some of the most successful film/tv show franchises in the last twenty years have been adaptations of products everyone knows the plots of. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones. They still generate hype and conversation to this day.

    The golden age of television has trained us to think that spoilers–and by proxy, surprise–is king, and the best thing a piece of media can do is something unexpected. But that’s not true. Surprise is fleeting and often cheap. Eventually this game’s ending will cease to be novel and will become tread ground. The changes made to the story will become part of a larger picture and we’ll see them all in context. The question of whether or not we were surprised or shocked to fight a kaiju fate ghost, Sephiroth harassing Cloud, and resurrecting as few as half the dead characters will no longer be relevant, and instead we’ll be asking whether or not any of this was good storytelling. As of right now the answer is, in my opinion, no it is not.

    There’s good subversion and then there’s bad subversion. This is a case of bad subversion.

    If they had stuck to the original story but still expanded it, ala chapter 4 (which I really liked btw), no one would be complaining. No one. The reason I say this is because before this game came out I never saw a single person anywhere say they wanted the story to be changed. Not a single person. Everyone was looking forward to playing through a classic modernized. Instead, we got something that veered off in a completely different direction story wise.
    And what does SE have to show for it? A divided fanbase. Or, more accurately, an even MORE divided fanbase. A divided fanbase that otherwise wouldn’t have been this divided. Instead of us all sharing our love of seeing an already amazing game modernized there is instead a war going on between the people who hate the story changes and those who love the story changes. It’s tragic to see.

    Whether this remake keeps my interest or not entirely depends on what they do with the next part. As of right now, I’m not holding out hope.

    • Err, typo. “A lot of them forget this one simple thing” is what it was supposed to be. Not sure how I ended up putting a “don’t” in there haha.

  17. I wouldn’t be surprise the sales going down on every episode just like FFXIII-3. Enjoy the grave you digged Square. I can’t believe they manage to fuck up a classic and think of cashing fans.

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