Final Fantasy VII Remake is an RPG that pays homage to its classic roots while adding a lot of modernity. So how did you achieve this? How did the team accomplish a seemingly impossible feat of satisfying old fans and attracting new ones? Game Informer learned some of the answers to this and other questions from two key members of the Final Fantasy VII Remake development team: producer Yoshinori Kitase and co-leader Naoki Hamaguchi. We have selected the most interesting.
How did you decide which parts of the original game will be remake and which will not?
Hamaguchi: The game designers in charge of the locations were responsible for making these decisions. We instructed them to always use elements of the original when developing a game. Due to the fact that most of the developers on the Final Fantasy VII remake team were fans of the original, each of them had their own personal thoughts and visions that they used in their work.
We needed to think about what elements to rethink and how to portray them in the form of modern entertainment. Thus, we were able to create an experience different from the original Final Fantasy.
What was the biggest controversy about the game elements?
Kitase: We haven't faced any big controversy. From the very beginning, the team approached development based on the philosophy of "respect for the original", so we never faced any major problems.
Sephiroth appears in the remake much earlier than in the original. Were you worried that this would make him less threatening?
Kitase: The original story was built around a mystery, and then no one knew what would happen next. This affected the game in the way that the scale of the threat remained invisible for a long time, and the situation was heating up like in the movie "Jaws".
However, this time we knew that many fans are already familiar with Sephiroth. So we realized that it wouldn't work a second time. Instead, in Final Fantasy VII Remake, we wanted to clarify why his actions are so intimidating by contrasting him directly with Cloud.
Can you give an example of something that you wanted to include in the remake but couldn't?
Hamaguchi: Many minigames in FFVII Remake pay homage to the original material, but there was one minigame that we wanted to do justice to and implement, but failed and only left a reference.
Do you remember the original basketball mini-game in The Golden Saucer? Well, we prepared a basketball hoop, but I decided that it didn't look quite appropriate. That being said, we really wanted to pay our respects so that you only see the basketball and the hoop even though you can't play.
How long have you experimented with different versions of the combat system?
Hamaguchi: The concept of the Final Fantasy VII Remake combat system was clear from its early days, namely that we wanted to take the Active Time Battle [ATB] system of the original game and depict its modern evolution. To achieve more immersive gameplay with better graphics. We felt we needed real-time controls and action orientation.
But we didn't want to just combine ATB and action elements. Instead, we wanted to use the rules of the original game system, with an ATB sensor that can be used to activate abilities, as well as elements of the combat system. These elements included the ability for the player to more efficiently fill their ATB meter and create the perfect moments to use their abilities.
The new version of Wall Market is one of the main features of Final Fantasy VII Remake. What was the essence of this area that you wanted to convey to the players?
Hamaguchi: As with the original game, I believe the essence of Wall Market is that it is an adult entertainment district. That being said, there is a clear difference in how we presented these elements to fit the modern era.
With this in mind, we tried to figure out how we could portray the area as an entertainment world for people of all cultures and ages, and return to its "adult" aspect. We decided we wanted to turn the Honeybee Inn into a Moulin Rouge-style cabaret, and the Corneo Colosseum to be a thrilling underground battle arena for adults to go crazy for, and Madame M's massage parlor would just be a tempting place. Of course, we tried to accommodate the fundamental nature of Wall Market, but I believe that we were able to make it a familiar but new area.
Many players were worried about re-creating the scene with Cloud at the Honeybee Inn, but the remake worked well. What was the hardest part about adapting?
Hamaguchi: We've already determined that the Wall Market as a whole, including the Honeybee Inn, will be significantly updated from the original game, and a lot of the reworking fell on Motomu Toriyamu, who put his heart and soul into the work. I think this passion comes from the fact that Mr. Toriyama himself was the person who handled the Wall Market in the original game.
“If we're going to change the area, we need to make it even more interesting” was the directive, and so we referred to things like the French Moulin Rouge and Japanese burlesque, so at the Honeybee Inn we left the Cloud and Andre dance battle. We have worked very hard to prioritize dance scene integration and implement it into the interface.
Why select chapters instead of New Game +?
Hamaguchi: This is the first Final Fantasy in which you can select chapters after finishing the game. In fact, this was what I wanted to implement in FFVII Remake from the very beginning. The reason was very simple: there are memorable scenes from the original game that are recreated as photorealistic cutscenes, and I wanted to make it so that the player has easy access to them when he wants to watch them again. We also made them user-friendly so that players can choose the scene they want to go to and play only the parts that are needed to trigger each cutscene, without having to go back and do it all over again.
Before joining the FFVII Remake team, I was on the development team for a smartphone game called Mobius Final Fantasy; It has always been the priority of convenience in everything and I was guided by this principle in the remake.
The story will now begin to develop in significantly different directions from the original Final Fantasy VII. How much will you rework the ending?
Kitase: If I give any answer here, it will deprive me of the pleasure of the upcoming event, so I will have to refrain from any words.
Fans all over the world are thinking about various theories right now. This is exactly what I hoped people would do. I encourage everyone to get creative until we can show you the next part of the game.
The Topic of Article: How was Final Fantasy VII Remake made? Developers' comments.