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This article contains major spoilers for Final Fantasy VII Remake and Rebirth

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Ultimania, which was released on 12 April 2024, includes interviews with the developers who worked on the game. Due to the length of the interviews, this article is split into multiple parts.

This is part 5 of the article: Read part 4 here:

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Post-Release Interview (Part 4) – Devs Discuss Battles, Enemies and Summons

 

In the final interview, Kitase Yoshinori (producer) and Nomura Tetsuya (creative director) discuss the path the Remake Project has taken up to this point, and what the last game in the Final Fantasy VII Remake Project trilogy has in store.

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The interviewer first asks when work on Rebirth actually started. Kitase says that the story was already done by the time they were working on Intergrade, and Nomura adds that they were about to start the voice recordings at that point. That being said, work on it continued on from Remake, so he personally did not partition them as different projects.

Kitase says that normally, work on the story would not even begin until the previous game, meaning Intergrade in this case, went gold. However, that would result in downtime where the planners and designers would have nothing to do, and so they sent orders to Nojima earlier on to get rid of such intervals. Another thing that usually happens with other games is how the team would split up to go work on other projects due to scheduling, but having no downtime meant that almost the entire team from Remake went on to continue working on Rebirth. He says that one of the reasons why development went so well despite it being a large project is because they were able to keep the know-how of the staff who worked on Remake.

It is pointed out how Kitase said in an interview in Remake Ultimania that they could not yet say how many games the Remake Project would consist of, and Kitase says that this was true at the time. Nomura says that though the project did begin with them vaguely thinking it should be a trilogy, they really were unsure at the time, and there was a point after Remake was completed where Kitase was saying that it ought to be two games, because each game would take multiple years to release and he did not want to make fans wait twice. However, fitting everything left into the second game would result in it being massive, and they would have to cut a lot of things to have it fit in too, and Kitase himself as well as the other staff agreed that they did not want to do that, and they ended up going with three games. Kitase was also worried about maintaining the staff’s motivation for such a long period of time, but was relieved to see that they remained passionate throughout Rebirth’s development.

The Remake Project aims to bring all of the side stories together, and characters from some such as Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus have already appeared in Remake and Rebirth, but it is not mentioned if more will.

The interviewer notes how it was mentioned before that the Remake Project was going to tie in all the spinoffs as well, and asks if that is still the case, and Nomura says that it is. Aside from the original FF7, there are many spinoffs like the Compilation games and novels, and there are discrepancies between them in the story or in the setting. Additionally, he thinks that there is also another different version of FF7 inside the hearts of each and every player. The Remake Project began with the goal of bringing those innumerable versions of Final Fantasy VII together, and Rebirth inherits that goal.

Next, the interviewer asks the two what sort of game they had Final Fantasy VII Rebirth aim to be. Nomura says that “life”/”living” was always an important theme of  FF7, and Rebirth further added “bonds” to that, with the story and game system both modeled in that vein. The story particularly focused on the relationships between people, so they had the game’s system emphasize that as well.

Meanwhile, Kitase says that since the game was going to end at the Forgotten City, he knew that fans of the original FF7 would be particularly interested in what happens to Aerith, and so he wanted everything from the story and system to contribute to building up to that. To this, the interviewer says that some fans thought her fate might change due to the party breaking the walls of fate at the end of Remake, and Kitase says that while some might have imagined that as a possible route, the main concept of the Remake Project is to follow the original FF7’s main story.

Nomura says that he actually wanted to avoid focusing on Aerith so as to not give fans false hopes, and early promotional materials avoiding the topic was due to this. However, the media kept focusing on it and asking them about it, and so they eventually relented and used the catchphrase “the world will be saved, but will you?” in reference to Aerith.

Next, the interviewer asks about the meaning behind “Rebirth,” and Nomura says that they wanted it to be a word that can be interpreted in multiple ways like “remake,” and also be something similar to “remake.” They also wanted it to be a word to tell players that they could start with this game. Additionally, FF7 is the story of not just Aerith but also Sephiroth, and so it is a title not just from the perspective of the protagonists, but also their enemy. As such, Rebirth is a title that focuses on the characters more than Remake.

FFVII Rebirth - Key Visual

Regarding the logo color adding a tinge of red, Nomura says that this was something they were very unsure about. On one hand, changing the logo to red would make it easy to differentiate it from Remake, but on the other hand, it does not seem very FF7-like. They came up with multiple ideas to try to balance differentiating it from Remake while preserving the FF7-ness, and eventually they ended up with just adding a small hint of red. Nomura also brings up the key visual with Cloud, Zack and Sephiroth, pointing out that the sky behind Sephiroth is red: While Sephiroth is usually associated with the color black, the cut of him standing in the fire also left a strong impression, and so the sky being that color is supposed to be an indication of him turning the world red. Kitase adds that it can also be taken as an omen indicative of Meteor.

The interviewer goes on to ask if deciding on implementing the world map was a hard one to make, and Nomura says this was not the case. They did know that making a world map in a realistic scale would be a monumental task as opposed to making the original FF7’s with its caricatured characters, but they felt that there was no way they could ever omit the world map, and so implementing it became a huge goal.


In implementing the world map, they ran into two problems. One was how simply moving from one point to another would make the world map pointless, and so they needed things to act as motivations for the players to explore the map; this was solved by Hamaguchi’s idea of having Chadley task the player with gathering World Intel. The second was what to do with the airship. The airship does not appear until the third game, and to Nomura this is the biggest problem to solve. The interviewer asks if he is worried that the game might not be able to render the world in time to keep up with the airship’s speed, but Nomura says that while some are worried about that, what has him uncertain is the problem of landing it. While it was not a problem in the past because of the caricatured graphics, now that the scale is realistic, because of the airship’s sheer size, it requires a large amount of space to even land, but that then turns into the problem of the player not being able to land wherever they want, and he is unsure if players would be satisfied with that.

Nomura also says that even when excluding the airship, there are more problems to think about involving the world map in the third game than Rebirth. For example, the Weapons would move around in the world map in the original FF7, and they have to think about how to handle that. The interviewer mentions going to the bottom of the sea and space as well, and Nomura says that regardless, they are all things that they will have to do, and that he believes in the staff that made Rebirth.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - Yuffie date
In Yuffie’s date event, she talks about meeting Zack in the events of Crisis Core.

Next, the interviewer brings up how affection is now a visible stat in Rebirth, since it was a hidden one in the original FF7, to which Nomura says that he wanted to keep it hidden, but was persuaded by the opinions of other staff to make it visible. Since the Gold Saucer date events are more elaborate than in the original, and there are more eligible characters for it, he does feel that making it visible was the right choice in the end, since it lets players enjoy the entire affection system like a minigame. Following this, the interviewer asks if there was anything Nomura requested to be included, and he says that he was the one who requested the conversation about Yuffie’s first love; he saw the scene where Zack and Yuffie meet in Crisis Core again while working on Reunion, and felt that he’d like for it to remain and Yuffie’s memory, and so requested that it be added to the date event.

In the final part of the interview, producer Kitase Yoshinori and creative director Nomura Tetsuya discuss the Japanese voice acting, the climax of Rebirth, and the last game in the Final Fantasy VII Remake Project trilogy: Read it here!

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Post-Release Interview (Part 6) – Devs Discuss the Climax and the Final Game

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