Today’s issue of Weekly Famitsu included a large spread on the upcoming Final Fantasy VII PS4 remake, alongside plenty of screenshots and character artwork, topped by a lot of information about new and returning content and design philosophy from Director Tetsuya Nomura himself.
Nomura-san explains that the shadow that appears at the end of the latest trailer is something that has been added for the Remake. It’s called “Keeper of Fate” (Unmei no Ban’nin), and it’s a mysterious existence that appears in front of the party. He hopes that those who played the original game will enjoy these new elements.
While the trailer did not show it, dialogue choices are in the game. Since different scenes with different reactions from the characters to these choices have been created, the size of the game has increased.
Asked whether the events included in the original game have remained the same, Nomura-san mentioned that it depends. For instance, the cross-dressing event in the Honey Bee Inn is still included. That being said, the place itself was significantly rearranged in a modern style. When the developers tried to recreate that space, it didn’t look right, and they generally thought it was no good. They tweaked those parts that did not fit the visuals and the world view of the game.
The game follows the original, but there are quite a few additional scenarios. While the main story has not changed, there are many new events, like the scene shown in the trailer in which Cloud and Jesse run away on the motorbike. If that wasn’t the case, the game wouldn’t require two Blu-Ray disks.
Speaking of Aerith and Tifa, the team decided to clearly separate them visually since they have a situation with two heroines. Aerith’s beauty follows western aesthetics, while with Tifa they emphasized the cuteness of her face to follow eastern aesthetics.
In terms of personality, Aerith has the innocence of a young girl. The Final Fantasy VII Remake conveys that strongly. But there is a gap between her appearance and inner personality, with her aspects of “innocence” and “beauty.” On the other hand, Tifa has a bold costume that exposes her a lot, but she actually isn’t that confident. She is a shy lady who doesn’t get out of her shell much. Both display a difference between their appearance and their inner personality, which makes them attractive.
Speaking of costume design, Nomura-san explained that the team aimed for it to be quite realistic visually, taking real designs of clothes and accessories as reference. For instance, Tifa’s suspenders are inspired by real ones for military use, while her gloves reference those used for riding bikes and fighting. The body silhouette didn’t change from the original version, but the team has tried to improve such details.
Developers wanted Tifa to have visible abs, so they gave her the body style of an athlete. There were instructions from the internal ethics department, and it was decided to constrict her chest [Editor’s Note: the context and wording indicate clearly that this refers to the tightness and design of Tifa’s clothing, not to her chest size] so that it wouldn’t look unnatural even during fierce action. Therefore, the team created a design for her upper torso, with black underwear and a body-fitting tank top replacing the original simple one. It’s a sporty design inspired by fitness.
The battle system went through a lot of “scrap & build” during development, but now the direction is decided. While the base is action, the team wanted to make it enjoyable for those who like the original gameplay as well. Thus, the current hybrid system was born.
The action part emphasizes the sense of realism and exhilaration, and players can fight without stress using shortcuts. However, it’s not that kind of fast action that doesn’t give you time to rest your hands. Using the ATB gauge lets you open the command menu and slow down the flow of time, and it’s designed so that you can think of it as a command-style RPG.
How this system is used depends on the player’s style and skills. If you like to play specifically action, you can do that too. Final Fantasy is a game where you can see numerical values such as damage and the amount of HP. Command selection is also important to checking and managing resources like MP.
Character switching is also important, as each has different abilities, as some are more suitable to fight certain enemies. For instance, this is easy to understand with the scorpion boss shown during the trailer: since it has short-range attacks, it’s a good strategy to switch to Barret and shoot from a distance. Yet, you can also attack it with Cloud by using magic. Since recovering MP requires items, you also need to manage that resource.
Nomura-san concludes by mentioning that Final Fantasy VII has been developed more than twenty years ago. Most of today’s teens have not played it. Since times have changed, even playing the original Final Fantasy VII may feel different now for those who enjoyed it a long time ago. He hopes that people will be able to approach the Final Fantasy VII remade in the current era as a new Final Fantasy. On the other hand, there are plenty of nostalgic elements among the new ones for veterans of the game. It would be nice if even those who lost passion for gaming over such a long time could come back to Midgar once again.
You can check out all the new images below, keeping in mind that they’re from magazine scans, so the quality isn’t fully representative of what the final game will look like on your screen.
If you want to see more of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, you can check out the recent gameplay reveal and trailers, another from a few weeks ago, and a beautiful piece of concept artwork showing off Sephiroth, and some crazy-detailed character images featuring the protagonists.
You can also read more details about the voice and subtitle options that will be included in the game. Last, but certainly not least, you should enjoy all the details our very own Ed Mcglone learned while playing the demo at E3 2019. You can also read his first hands-on preview and the second.
The first game of the Final Fantasy VII Remake will launch on PS4 on March 3, 2020. No other platforms have been announced so far.
[Source: Weekly Famitsu; Translation Assistance: Mari Okochi]