The Final Fantasy VII Remake Won’t Be Exactly The Same

The Final Fantasy VII Remake Won’t Be Exactly The Same

Final Fantasy VII originally came out in 1997, and now in 2015, a fullremake has been announced. Time marches on! And from the sound of it, so will Final Fantasy VII.

These days, HD remakes are pretty common! They usually are the same games, but with spiffy new graphics and, often, optional and updated controls. The big question is whether or not this is a straight-up remake. From what Square Enix’s Tetsuya Nomura tells Famitsu and Dengeki Online, it’s not.

“I can’t get go into details,” Nomura said, “but this is not a simple remake. Let’s say for argument’s sake that we only pretty up the graphics for current gen hardware, I don’t think that would surpass the original version.”

(Note: Here Nomura actually said “next gen hardware,” but he is referring to the current gen.)

It seems that if the game only featured better graphics, then the difference between this remake and the upscaled port would merely be cosmetic.

“The original version is a game that came out in 1997, and if you look at it today, you can feel how dated the graphics and the game system are,” Nomura told Famitsu. “However, that’s also part of Final Fantasy VII.” Nomura added that even today, the game continues to get support and that is unlikely to change.

However, it sounds like like the remake will feature evolved gameplay. Again, here’s Nomura:

“We haven’t shown any gameplay yet, but since we’re updating them quite a bit, please look forward to that,” Nomura told Dengeki Online. (Note: The word Nomura used, 進化 or “shinka,” can also mean “evolution” or “progress.” He didn’t say 変化 or “henka,” which means “change” or “variation.”)

For a title like this, even if you only redo the graphics, I don’t think you get something that’s exciting.”

So, what does that mean?

“Since we now formally revealed Kazushige Nojima’s name for the scenario, there will be more plot devices in the story, so I think you can also look forward to that.”

Ah, perhaps maybe they will be adding to the story, fleshing certain parts out or adding more backstory? That I can see making this more than a simple high-def remake with pretty graphics. I hope this doesn’t mean certain parts of the original story, however, will be written out…

“So,” Nomura told Famitsu, “if you are going to do a full remake, you have to take a different approach and make something that suits the times.”

According to Nomura, Square Enix is planning to reveal more about this remake later this winter — at the very least, the game’s formal title. So, yes, yes, look forward to that too. Expect it.


  • Aaaannnddd in sets the worrying. What exactly are they changing? Improvements or butchering? Adding/enhancing things or changing the games core?

    Is there going to be a more stressful development period for fans than this one?

      • Yeah, when he said “next gen hardware”, I think he actually meant “next gen hardware” 😛

        • Hey, Sony wouldn’t do that. Look at Last Guardian – clearly designed for PS4. And not, for example, PS2.

          Actually I think it’s a good sign. There are some glaringly obvious faults in the original game; random encounters can be a pain in the neck, and summon animations are often stupidly long, and completely unskippable. And of course the graphics are now 3 generations out of date.

          And maybe we get to use a Phoenix Down on Aeris/Aerith.

          Personally I wish they would also drop some hints about some game “secrets” but I don’t see that changing; Squeenix are at times insanely attached to making things hard to do. I think they do it to sell more hint books.

          • Take away random encounters, long summons and it’s no longer FF VII, let alone any FF game.

          • Wouldn’t call random encounters a “glaringly obvious fault” considering it was put there on purpose, worked, and were pretty much staple for the genre…

            I found seeing the monsters in later games annoying because I felt like I was given the choice to dodge them but then getting caught by them felt like a pain and I was being penalized for not avoiding them well enough. Also, I had to fight the damn things because I needed the EXP so the choice I was being given to dodge them was really a little bit of an illusion.

            Your “glaring obvious faults” are just your own personal dislikes of the game – they aren’t faults. Also, graphics 3 generations out of date a fault for a game made 3 generations ago? wtf?

          • Well to be fair, most of those aren’t considered faults, random encounters and long summons remained will after VII
            And Pheonix Downs can’t raise the dead, just revive KO’d folks.

            But you did say Aeris, so you are cool guy.

    • Yeah I dunno… A pure graphical update would be nice, just redrawn backgrounds, new character models, fixed translation, etc…

      But I already played that game and I’m not sure if I would actually buy it again.

    • No no no no no. Please don’t mess with the battle system. There is nothing wrong with turn based combat.
      New final fantasy doesnt feel right.

    • There are certainly things that could have been cleaned up and improved. The original FF7 version of Vincent was basically unfinished, missing the story that others had and interactions.
      This sort of thing could certainly be cleaned up.

      I hope they don’t mess with it too much though. Cleaning up and improving combat mechanics, changing areas a bit (while maintaining a recognisable landmarks) or adding new sub story and areas would be pretty cool.

      I would imagine they would briefly talk about Geostigma and delve into Zach story a bit more too.
      I am actually hopeful with this, so long as it doesn’t become another FFXIII

  • I’m ok with this. Just put out a damn good game. Obviously elements will be different but I hope it doesn’t lose all of its absurd humour?

      • Suddenly a naked Cloud in non SD form in a bathhouse with a bunch of weightlifters will be a slashfic fans dream lol

    • Yeah I’m hoping they still include all the silliness like cross-dressing and going on a date with Barret.

      • Or taking Aeris on the date but kissing the dragon. Always made me laugh that cloud gets in to after that, spinning off with the cast as Aeris complained about her lost moment.

  • Say goodbye to the segments where cloud cross dresses, and probably anything about the date you can go on. My prediction is that they will rework the story to bypass those areas

  • I say this completely seriously:

    I would like to see the combat mechanics be similar to FFXV.

    I concede however that the majority of people that have been railing for this remake (I am not one of them) want the combat mechanics to remain basically, if not entirely as per the original. I admit I’ve never understood this logic. FFVIII is still available for purchase and still plays fine.

    Fingers crossed we get the option for both within the game.

    • They’re pretty much between a rock and a hard place with this one. Some people want the combat fully updated, others want it left alone. I don’t know how I feel, but I mean if they did a better version of Crisis Core’s gameplay that… might work? But still, SquareEnix haven’t been exactly knocking it out of the park lately, so I don’t know if I trust them to do much more than update the graphics at this point.

      As long as they don’t get rid of standard 1-100 levelling for something “better” like they have with every game since IX. Or the materia system, it’s still the best magic system i’ve seen in a Final Fantasy game.

      • Yeah they’re gone. I can’t wait to see the backlash in a years time when they show off gameplay.

        The original was revolutionary at the time. It was the Mario 64 of JRPG’s and took massive strides bringing them into the mainstream for many western gamers. Like the OG Star Wars trilogy (@weresmurf brings it up below) this game is special to a lot of gamers of a certain age for a lot of different reasons. You’re right, no matter what they’re not going to produce something that keeps everyone happy.

        The reality is this remake is really for everyone else but the hardcore fans. — Hear me out — the fans (the ones clamoring for a remake for the last 10 years) are going to buy the game no matter what. Sure they’ll crack the shits when a game the hold in precious regard has been reworked from the ground up but your adoption rate of hard core fans is already going to be really really high. This remake is for people who never played the original, for people that knew about the game only through the zeitgeist. For their sake they will absolutely update the hell out of every aspect of this game. They want a blockbuster ensured on name value. If they’re going to give this a numbered FF treatment then there’s next to no point just doing a visual update. Most people don’t actually want old gameplay despite how much they argue in it’s favour.

        I realise the success of certain kickstarted games speaks against this argument but even your Pillars of Eternity is a pretty boutique game compared to a modern AAA title.

        • As someone who has played Final Fantasy VII every 3 or so years since its release, I 100% want the old gameplay. But yeah I recognise part of what makes me love it is because I know it like the back of my hand and have so many memories attached to it. I can’t imagine what a new player would feel experiencing it for the first time in light of all the gaming history since then. Probably negativity.

          But still, unlike say, Goldeneye 64, Final Fantasy VII’s gameplay has aged pretty gracefully.

          • Yep. I think you’re right about that. I think the building blocks of FF7; top down view (for the most part), turn based battles, even the fact that it’s text over recorded dialogue, all work in the games favour to make it more playable today (Although I don’t mind a bit of emulated N64 shooter action; played through the campaign of Turok 3 a couple of weeks ago).

            I just think that people who are way keen for the game are going to buy it regardless. They’re locked in. It’s all those ‘potential’ customers that Square-Enix is chasing.

      • I have been wanting this remade for quite some time. There certainly has to be some changes and clean up to the fighting style. While I would like to see the core system remain the same (I would prefer the active system from the original) there certainly can be room for improvement.
        I dont think people would be willing to sit through a Summon x4 Knights of the Round again

        I think some cross character interaction could be interesting, similar to the fights in Advent Children (eg. Barret could launch Cloud for a more powerful attack) or like Tifa grabbing an enemy and doing a throw into others.

        As long as it doesn’t turn out like FFXIII in combat it would be alright.

        • Yeah, if it was just a HD fan service remake, they would have fired that out a while ago.

  • That’s the problem with remakes (of classics anyway), and why a lot of companies don’t like doing them. If you don’t change enough, the game gets slammed as feeling dated and ‘Why wouldn’t I just play the original’, if you change too much you run the risk of ruining a classic. Even if you get it mostly right, there’s the risk of it not meeting the expectations of the rose-tinted glasses=wearing nostalgia crew. Even if you do everything right, diehards will still condemn any changes to gameplay.
    This is why I doubt we’ll see a Half-Life 3 (at least under current Valve leadership). They really have nothing to gain, and everything to lose by making it, how could it possibly live up to the hype that fans have been generating for so long?

    • I don’t think that is quite right, from my understanding remaster typically uses the majority of the same assets (models engine ect) but tweaks them to look nicer. Like upping the resolution and redoing some textures.

      The FFVII that they had previously announced for the PS4 would definitely be classified as a remaster.

      Remake is when they are essentially starting from nothing but another game as inspiration which means they can treat it however they like. Making it hit every beat in the previous game with nicer visuals or changing up the gameplay completely and treating it as a retelling.

      There is a lot less work in a remaster which is probably why we see a lot more of them.

      • This is correct, the previous one was a remaster. This will be a remake. Much like when Lucas re-released Star Wars in the cinemas, it was ‘remasterd’ with new FX (FF7 was re-released with smoother graphics, new lighting etc). But neither have been ‘remade’ (all new cast/all new assets) yet…

        Well, FF7 is in the works now obviously…. oh god don’t remake Episode 4! DO NOT!

      • changing up the gameplay completely and treating it as a retelling.
        I’d call that a reboot

        • Yeah you are right there, didn’t consider reboots. But something like Serious Sam HD that is a remake all new assets and tweaked gameplay. But still clearly tied to the source material.

          • To me, in games, I’d consider

            Tomb Raider (2013) a reboot (new game taking the core values, lore and feel of the game and reimagining it for a modern audience)
            Tomb Raider Anniversary a remake (new engine, all new assets, reworked levels, addition content)
            Tomb Raider iOS a remaster (cleaned up the orginal graphics, fixed bugs, reworked the controls)

            I think what we’ll be getting with FFVII def falls into the catergory of remake.

            Below is my original answer which went off the deep end:

            I reckon the difference between a remake and a reboot is:

            A remake is when you take an existing product, let’s say PJ’s King Kong is a remake of the original (1933). A reboot is more like the new Fantastic Four movie. They’re going back to source material and building the property again completely. You could probably break down everything they’re taking from the Fantastic Four IP to a single page document.

            Of course things get murky really quickly. What the hell are the Star Trek movies? Are they a remake, reboot or in a weird way sequels… they’re sort of all three.

            What’s Jurassic World? Sure it’s a sequel, but it hits a lot of the same beats as the original? Is it a remake? It also is definitely setting up the series to go in a very different direction from the previous films, does that make it a reboot?

          • Haha, nothing, your name just reminded me of that llamas with hats thing from years ago and I couldn’t help myself.

          • I guess it’s coming down to semantics, but if a remake is what happened with Serious Sam HD, then this FFVII is not a remake as it goes beyond that. It’s more a ‘reimagining’, like what Lucas did with Eps 4-6.
            And like what happened with Lucas, people are gonna find that this isnt the FFVII ‘remake’ they wanted, as they wanted graphics improvements and possible some fixes to annoying issues with the game.

      • I thought the previous FFVII coming to PS4 was just a port of the PC port (its what everyone’s calling it), so not much of a remaster.

        Remake is when they are essentially starting from nothing but another game as inspiration which means they can treat it however they like
        Which is what this FFVII is and why I said I think people are expecting just a straight-up HD remaster of FFVII with minimal changes to how it played, and that they’re going to be shocked/disappointed when they find out that it’s not the FFVII they remember playing. They look at what Nintendo did with Wind Waker and wanted that, not a re-telling of FFVII because as far as they are concerned, FFVII was perfect.

        Edit: this interview on engadget makes it clear that the PC port to PS4 is a port, and that they consider it to be the “HD”-ified version of FFVII:
        But the original is out again: The “HD” PC version is coming to PS4 already. We don’t need two of the same thing. Even if we beautified and upgraded the visuals — something that’s bound to happen. If it’s a full remake, then of course, we want to take a different approach. If we actually just upgraded the visuals — there’d be no need for me to direct it.

  • I’m all for updating the game, flesh it out as much as possible, add in NPCs with side quests and what have you, make the Gold Saucer actually worth visiting beyond that rollercoaster shooter and the battle square, add in other villages and towns on the world map to really make the world feel populated. I’m all for that AS LONG AS the core of the game remains the same. The fighting should remain team based and turn based. Update that with new elements and what have you, but I still don’t trust the ai for teammates and don’t want to be rushed into just spamming the attack button when fighting Jenova bosses or Sephiroth. The story, it goes without saying, should follow the original story, but maybe flesh our the characters more and make sure the translation is decent this time.

    I’m hopeful it will be great. I’m hopeful that Square Enix are aware that a lot of people who wanted a FFVII remake are not fans or the newer fighting systems. I am aware though that Square Enix often assume what fans want from their games

  • I wonder if the assets will be compatible enough to mod the PC upscale with. They could in theory offer both options if they planned it from day one. I don’t think that’d hold back the remake too much, but I also don’t think that’d be particularly smart. Offering the option of playing differently is enough to piss off the hardcore fans so it’s not really worth trying to please them unless you’re going to outright pander to them.

  • It won’t matter how well they do with the remake, a large chunk of people are going to be butthurt over this and they are going to cop some huge backlash.

  • I can see it now, they add in the mythical quest to revive Aeris and ignite the biggest civil war the internet has ever seen 0_o

    • If that happened I wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry 0_0.

      If Aeris is alive, no ancient would be in the lifestream willing to protect earth from Sephiroth’s meteor… Sephiroth wins and the 500 years flash forward post credits shows Nanaki doggy paddling through space since the ‘Earth’ has already been piloted into another planet.

      Legit canon.

  • I bet the story will be changed too. Incorporate the expanded lore from all the previous spin-offs like Advent Children, Crisis Core etc. and also include the “AERIS LIVES!” possibility path just to screw with the fans 🙂

    p.s. It’ll be so dang funny if they go full Visual Novel style and have multiple endings where you can get together with Barret 🙂

    • Correction! All the characters are now male teenagers on an epic bro-quest! *fist bump!*

      Waitaminute… That’s the wrong FF! whoops!

  • Don’t really care for specifics, I’ll always have the original, yada yada.


  • I hope this doesn’t mean certain parts of the original story, however, will be written out…Whatever could you be talking about I wonder?

  • “For a title like this, even if you only redo the graphics, I don’t think you get something that’s exciting.”

    Despite the fact that it is exactly what the fans have been asking for for years now?

    I’m now worried. I just wanted a remake, updated graphics, but the same game at the core. You can’t mess with such a classic game! It never works. I just hope they don’t ruin it

    • Scary isn’t it!?

      “The reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear, but let us embrace whatever it brings”.

      So long as:
      – a form of turn based combat still exists,
      – i can control all three characters completely, and only three in combat (no swaps in combat),
      – materia and equip system is still the same

      Still exists, then I’m happy 🙂

      BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY for me (though regardless I’ll buy it):
      – No. DLC. Ever.

      It would break my heart to see DLC included.

  • What about voice acting,
    do we want any?
    I just hope the voice actors don’t constantly moan like some anime porno. I swear every character in ff13 was wearing vibrating undies.

    • I bet ‘dollars to donuts’ that we’ll get most voice actors previously used from Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus & Advent Children.

      I didn’t mind them, besides we can’t not get voice acting now. IMHO, text based story delivery is only compatible with sprites and low polygon models. I can’t think of a big studio JRPG game on console with no voice work in forever.

  • I figure materia is still central to the upgrade system. Mako reactors, Holy materia and all that would be more contrived and silly if materia wasn’t a thing anymore

  • I was so excited until I read this. Hopefully some changes include:

    * Open world similar to the Zelda Games.
    * Getting Rid of the useless items or at least make them useful.
    * Make the storyline divert so it is compulsory to go and get Yuffie and Vincent and the whole Wutai questline.
    * I Agree that a bigger map and maybe new towns etc wouldn’t go astray.
    * More Games in Gold Saucer – Get rid of the games apart from Bike and snowboard and maybe have some old classic games in there (maybe the set of the Original 1-9 if disk space allows or at least the first 1-6 FF games).
    * Online leaderboards Gold Saucer games like best times in bike and snowboard games.
    * And leave the combat / Materia System alone. New weapons, Materia and stuff ok but nothing else too drastic.

    And lastly I know the whole cross dressing bit will probably go and a few other changes as its not poticially correct and all that crap we have to deal with in 2015 which was acceptable back then which is such a shame.

  • I’m super hyped to get to play through a new version of the game I’ve always loved as my favourite JRPG (Chrono Trigger is tied first).

    Just remember fans of FF7, we should be grateful to get the opportunity to play a remake of this classic. The changes will be there, for better or worse. For the most part the ‘better or worse’ decisions will be entirely due to personal nostalgic reasons, and this is not a bad thing, BUT remember everyone….

    You can always crack open epsxe, steam, PS Store, or PS1 & discs, and play through the original 🙂

    Now we simply have a choice to play either version 🙂

  • I’m okay for the change, There’s always playing FF7 back if you want buy buying it from steam. I mean when FFVII was released, it was the pioneer of 3d gaming back then, why want you want it to stay the same? does nobody here want FFVII remake to become the current pioneer again? i don’t know. Something like bringing the old battle system just don’t suit the game if they’re pushing the graphics way beyond to realism. It just doesn’t make sense.

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