In Defence of Liberty

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Final Fantasy VII: A Legend Reforged

This is not an official title, but merely the title of this article. (Edited: Max Level)

This is not an official title, but merely the title of this article. (Edited: Max Level)

The reunion at hand may bring joy.

It may bring fear, but let us embrace whatever it brings: for they are coming back.

At last, the promise has been made.

(Video: E3 Trailers)

After years of whispers, a full remake of Final Fantasy VII —an elusive fantasy for many players — has been announced.

One of the most popular and appraised games of all time [1], Final Fantasy VII focuses on the mercenary Cloud Strife, who joins the eco-terrorist organisation AVALANCHE to fight against the corporate conglomerate and proto-government of the world, Shinra.

As the story shifts onward, a new worldwide threat emerges, instigated by legendary warrior and Cloud’s childhood idol, Sephiroth.

The Story of Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII was released onto the PlayStation in 1997, having begun development in 1994.

Showing off the capabilities of the PlayStation console, Final Fantasy VII featured 3D character models, startling cut-scenes and gorgeous musical accompaniment.

The game had graphical excellence for 1997 — a beautiful cover for an entrancing story.

The world of Final Fantasy VII was one of magic and machines, of science and sorcery.

The game’s art director, Yusuke Naora, spoke to the Retro Gamer [2] magazine:

Initially we wanted to try something new by having a corporation as the major enemy while still keeping the game broadly in the fantasy genre.

Having decided on this concept, we actively included many steampunk-like elements to try to merge the appeal of traditional high-fantasy ‘brick-built’ structures and sci-fi elements at a high level.

Woven Together

Shinra are drawing the planet’s power through their Mako reactors, to feed electricity to their saucer metropolis Midgar.

This energy is part of the planet’s ‘Lifestream’, and Shinra’s mining and military threatens the world itself, thrusting the protagonists into action.

The cast of characters have their tales wonderfully woven together: Cloud, a mercenary who is missing many of his own memories; Cloud’s empathic and strong friend Tifa; the troubled Barrett; Aeris (or Aerith, depending on the misspelled translation), the last of an ancient race; Red XIII, an intellectual wolf, rescued from scientific research.

There were even secret characters, who could only be unlocked through following particular story-lines.

The game’s main antagonist, Sephiroth, is only mentioned or referenced sparsely in the opening hours.

Sephiroth’s tremendous threat is shown symbolically during this nascent period, such as a giant snake impaled through a deathly tree.

(Video: Cloud183)

Themes of struggle, life and death still resonate.

Game-play

Final Fantasy VII’s game-play is highly regarded.

The game’s battle system, called the Active Time Battle, combines combat selection with a time bar, meaning that players have to quickly decide their moves.

The Materia system allows players to switch spells and summon monsters between their characters, affecting their fighting styles and strengths.

Moving out of Midgar, the games give players freedom of exploration in the massive world, as the euphoric main theme plays.

(Video: Cloud183)

All battles and locations have fitting music, beautifully composed by Nobuo Uematsu.

Game companies have been releasing a spate of remastered versions.

Nintendo transferred and graphically improved the beloved Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask from their Nintendo 64 onto their latest handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS [3,4].

Many of the Pokémon games have received full remakes [5].

Square remastered Final Fantasy X (and X-2) for the PS4 and PS Vita systems [6].

The executive producer of the new Final Fantasy VII has made clear that it is not simply a graphical upgrade.

Shinji Hashimoto told IGN that “we’re putting in a lot of careful thought to meet” the expectation of the original game’s fans.

No release date has been officially announced [7].

Given fans have waited for years for this remake, breaths are still bated.

References

[1] Metacritic, 2010. Final Fantasy VII. Available from: http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation/final-fantasy-vii [Accessed: 21st June 2015]

[2] Retro Gamer, 2014. The Making of Final Fantasy VII. Available from: http://www.retrogamer.net/retro_games90/the-making-of-final-fantasy-xii/ [Accessed: 21st June 2015]

[3] MacDonald, K., 2011. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. Eurogamer.net. Available from: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-06-15-the-legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-time-3d-review [Accessed: 21st June 2015]

[4] IGN, 2015. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Review. Available from: http://uk.ign.com/games/the-legend-of-zelda-majoras-mask-3d/3ds-20027281 [Accessed: 21st June 2015]

[5] IGN, 2004. Pokemon FireRed Version Review. Available from: http://uk.ign.com/games/pokemon-firered-version/gba-605909 [Accessed: 21st June 2015]

[6] Square, 2014. Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster. Available from: http://www.finalfantasyxhd.com/ [Accessed: 21st June 2015]

[7] Macy, S. G., 2015. E3 2015: Final Fantasy 7 is a Remake; Not a Remaster. IGN. Available from: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2015/06/19/e3-2015-final-fantasy-7-is-a-remake-not-a-remaster [Accessed: 21st June 2015]

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This entry was posted on June 21, 2015 by in Other Interests and tagged , .
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