With the hype behind the Final Fantasy VII Remake revitalized after a trailer was recently released, fans have once again started to buzz about what’s to come. Opinions are flying left and right, be it feelings about the remake’s action-RPG combat, Barret’s voice, or plans for an episodic release.
One thing that everyone does seem to agree on is that, given so much time, Square Enix has got to get this game right.
That being said, let’s talk about the five parts of Final Fantasy’s core storyline that Square Enix can’t afford to mess up in Final Fantasy VII’s remake.
Please be advised that this article contains spoilers for Final Fantasy VII.
Escaping From Midgar
This moment will forever remain one of the greatest game-starting atmospheres in JRPG history, and that isn’t a statement made through the lens of nostalgia.
If you never had the opportunity to experience Midgar as an unspoiled adventure, let me explain why the remake has to recreate this area properly.
Playing through Midgar alone offers an experience that outshines some other RPGs of Final Fantasy VII’s time, and Square Enix recently confirmed that the Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released as a series of episodic titles.
Don’t be surprised if Midgar takes up the entire first episode.
Luzbelheim’s world-record run of Final Fantasy VII has him escaping Midgar a little under 1 hour and 33 minutes into the game. This was set in February of this year, so bear in mind that it includes the newly discovered Sector 7 skip—a massive time-saver.
The final run time was 7 hours and 14 minutes, which means escaping Midgar accounted for over 21% of his playtime. Of course, a speedrun and casual playthrough operate very differently—still, few other RPGs have put such an emphasis on their starting area.
Midgar really hit a sweet spot during my first playthrough of the game. The feeling of finally getting out of those run-down slums and seeing the brighter, more vibrant colors of the outside world was jolting.
This is also the first time you see Final Fantasy VII’s world map, which invokes the feeling of having so much more ahead of you.
It leaves the player wondering many different things: How much content is in this game? Are the other towns going to provide such a story-rich adventure? Am I really only just getting started?
While Square Enix’s remake won’t be able to recapture this exact same feeling for those of us who’ve played the original, it’s important that Midgar be an exhausting and exciting experience. It’s the perfect appetizer for such an awesome game.