Advertisement

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 6 of the article: Read part 5 here:

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Post-Release Interview (Part 5) – Devs Discuss Rebirth and the Next Game

 

In the final part of the interview, Kitase Yoshinori (producer) and Nomura Tetsuya (creative director) discuss the Japanese voice acting, the climax of Rebirth, and the third and final game in the Remake Project.

Advertisement

The interviewer brings up how Cloud’s speech and dialogue changes greatly at points in the game, especially in the flashback to five years ago, where he sounds just like Zack. Nomura says that this is because Cloud is re-enacting Zack’s memories there, and he was very impressed with voice actor Sakurai Takahiro’s job. During the recording sessions, he did not just tell Sakurai to speak like Zack, but explained the background of why Cloud is speaking like that. He also says that Sakurai has been playing Cloud for so long that he only has to give the simplest of instructions to get perfect performances from Sakurai, and he feels that the need for him to give instructions at all has started to drop recently. To Nomura, Sakurai is the voice of Cloud.

It is brought up how the Japanese voice actor changed in Rebirth (to Funaki Mahito, due to previous voice actor Kobayashi Masahiro leaving the industry for personal reasons) and Nomura says that they spent a lot of time with Barret’s recordings. Funaki listened to the previous voiced lines and did his best to perform similarly.

They discuss Reno’s voice acting next. (Reno’s voice actor Fujiwara Keiji, who also plays Axel in the Kingdom Hearts series and Ardyn in Final Fantasy XV, passed away in 2020, and Rebirth did not recast him but instead used existing recordings.) Nomura says that they could have recast Reno, but he was emotionally unable to bring himself to do so, and wanted to keep Fujiwara as Reno even if that meant reducing Reno’s role in the game. However, reusing existing lines turned out to be far more difficult than anticipated: Even when they did manage to find lines that matched what they wanted him to say, the way things are being said greatly change the impression they give, and one also has to consider who the character is speaking to, meaning that in many cases they were unable to use the lines. Though Reno had a lot of voiced lines recorded, it turned out that very few could actually be reused, and they ended up having to reduce the number of lines he had entirely, and for this he feels sorry towards Reno fans.

Next, the interviewer asks what the white feather falling on Zack and Cloud at the beginning of the game means, and Nomura says that maybe it is alluding to something, using a pun for the Japanese word for “allude” to seemingly refer to Angeal who appeared in Crisis Core.

The interviewer also asks why Wutai was not included in Rebirth despite being in the scope of when it takes place in terms of the original FF7, and Nomura says that while Wutai was supposedly able to fight Shinra in the original, when the player actually visited it the country turned out to be actually rather peaceful. With the more realistic approach the Remake Project is taking, however, the idea that Wutai could stand up to Shinra needs to be more convincing, and so they moved it to the third game in order to power it up more both story-wise and visually. Kitase adds that it still has an Asian feel to it like the original, but also has more militaristic aspects added, and Nomura says that this militaristic aspect is very different from Shinra’s, and hopes fans look forward to it.

A young Glenn made his first appearance in the smartphone battle royale game The First Soldier in 2021, but Nomura reveals that the character was in fact originally created for Rebirth

On the topic of Wutai, the interviewer brings up Glenn, who appears in the The First Soldier parts of Ever Crisis, and Nomura says that while Glenn might have appeared in The First Soldier and Ever Crisis first, he was actually a character made for Rebirth who was later turned into the main character of The First Soldier. Aside from Glenn, the true identity of Viceroy Sarruf is also something to be revealed in the third game, but Nomura says that going by streams has watched, quite a number of people have already figured it out.

Next, the interviewer asks about the climax of the game. Unlike in the original FF7, Cloud manages to stop Sephiroth’s blade, but in the end fails to stop him from killing Aerith, and the interviewer asks why this happened. Nomura says that this is because he felt that many players would want to defy that fate, and so he wanted to have Cloud be able to try to stop Sephiroth. The aim of the scene in the original game was to show that you can lose someone precious to you suddenly, and that is why Cloud could do nothing to stop Sephiroth and did not have an opportunity to even speak with Aerith before her death, but people in the real world cannot process losing someone so quickly, and so the aim of  the scene in Rebirth was to show someone being unable to cope with loss.

Nojima says in part 2 of the interview that Cloud is supposed to look like he is saying the lines from the original FF7 that were cut from Rebirth in the flashbacks

The interviewer points out how many flashbacks appear in that scene, and asks what they mean, and Nomura says that there are multiple elements at play, but for now, he will only say that they show Cloud’s state of being unable to accept what has happened.

Cloud and Zack team up to fight Sephiroth shortly after, and the interviewer asks if this means that their worlds are now connected. Nomura says that they are only temporarily joined, and that he requested that scene because he wanted Cloud and Zack to meet up if only for a moment. Up to that point the two had always been in completely different places, and he wanted them to meet for even just a bit in the final battle, and he adds that he did not expect it to contribute to the excitement of the final battle as much as it did.

After that, Cloud, Zack, and the rest of the party fight Sephiroth in different places, and the interviewer asks if they are fighting the same Sephiroth, and Nomura says that they are. Sephiroth, as a transcendent being, can influence multiple worlds at the same time. The original fight against Rebirth Sephiroth (“Sephiroth Reborn” in the English version of Rebirth and “Bizarro Sephiroth” in the English version of the original FF7) was fought with three parties, and they wanted to do that with modern technology.

Next, the interviewer asks about the message “no promises await at journey’s end” seen at the end, and asks if Nomura wrote it, and Nomura says that he wrote it in Japanese, had several translations to English done for it, and chose the one which he felt was closest to a direct translation. His intention behind the meaning of it is something like “the end of the journey is not something that is promised,” or “the conclusion is not the slightest bit decided.”

The interviewer says that “promises” makes them think of the Promised Land, and Nomura says that that was also intentional, and that he likes it for there to be multiple ways to interpret things like this. He also chose it to associate it with the theme song, No Promises to Keep.

Regarding the theme song, Kitase adds that it was also originally written in Japanese by Nojima, and then translated after the fact. The original Japanese lyrics fit the melody, and composer Uematsu Nobuo even made an experimental Japanese vocal version.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - Promises to Keep

Finally, Nomura and Kitase discuss the third game. Nomura says that the story is already done, and they are close to beginning recording voices for it. However, Kitase has recently passed him a request to do something extremely important that was not in the original game, and he personally thinks it will be something very difficult to do. He is currently polishing the idea, and says that if pulled off right will be something that the fans will definitely be happy about, and so he is thinking about how to make it sound convincing.

In any case, Nomura believes that the third game will be a satisfying conclusion for fans of Final Fantasy VII. While the releases of the games may be spread apart, they planned the whole journey from the beginning, and he hopes that fans will love it.

Kitase says that considering his age, the third game will likely be the last time he can be directly involved with a Final Fantasy game. While there is a possibility that the world of FF7 may continue on after it, it will be the conclusion to the series for now, and he says that he would like Cloud and the other characters to have a happy ending. There is no telling how the game will actually end until it is finished, but he personally does not want it to leave behind any unfinished business.

Regarding the release window of the last game, Kitase does not give a date or year. Instead, he says that he thinks that fans will have even higher expectations following the increase in scale in Rebirth from Remake, and so they have no intentions of compromising the third game’s volume. As such, they will not be tightening the schedule if it is not feasible, and mainly aim for something that will meet the fans’ higher expectations.

Kitase notes that Remake was released in 2020 and Rebirth in 2024, and that one year was spent on Intergrade meaning that Rebirth actually took three years to develop: Being able to develop such a huge title in just three years was because they had the same team as Remake, with know-how and communication channels fully matured. That same team is now even more experienced and will be continuing on to work on the third game, and the story is already completed, and so he thinks it will take a relatively short time in terms of how big the game will be for it to be completed.

Also see:

FFVII Rebirth Theme Song “No Promises to Keep” Original Lyrics Translated

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here