Home iPhone & AndroidiPhone & Android Articles 7 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Final Fantasy 7

7 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Final Fantasy 7

by arun809097
0 comment


Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade has now arrived on PlayStation 5, bringing shinier graphics and a whole new adventure featuring Yuffie Kisaragi. Thanks to the success of the PS4 version released in 2020, it feels safe to say that the world definitely has FF7 fever again. But with the original PlayStation version of Final Fantasy 7 now well over two decades old, there are plenty of stories about its development and stranger elements out in the wild. To top up your knowledge of the game’s more obscure side, here’s seven things about Final Fantasy 7 you (probably) didn’t know.

Final Fantasy 7 Was Originally In Development for SNES

Final Fantasy 7 is known as one of the definitive PlayStation games, and a pioneer of 3D graphics in the 1990s. But during its early development, Final Fantasy 7 was planned as a 2D game for the Super Famicom, better known as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan.

Talking to Polygon as part of an oral history of Final Fantasy 7, game director Yoshinori Kitase said: “At the time, it wasn’t clear yet whether Japanese RPGs were going to go 3D or not. [Final Fantasy creator] Sakaguchi-san was especially fond of pixel art, and we debated a lot about whether we should remain in that 2D style. … After we finished Final Fantasy 6, we began working on Final Fantasy 7 [as a 2D game for Super Famicom], brainstorming and holding initial planning meetings.”

At that time, Square was also developing Chrono Trigger, its ambitious time-travel RPG. The project required more hands, and so the small team working on Final Fantasy 7 was moved over to help on Chrono Trigger. This cut short the SNES version of Final Fantasy 7, just a few months into its development.

The Original Scenario Was a Detective Story

While development on the Super Famicom version of Final Fantasy 7 was cut short, Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi had already written a scenario for the game. This early outline is still recognisable as Final Fantasy 7, but is framed as a detective story.

Tetsuya Nomura, Final Fantasy 7’s character and battle visual director, recalled the scenario in Polygon’s oral history. “[In] the first plot treatment that Sakaguchi-san wrote, it took place in New York, there was an organization there that was trying to destroy the Mako Reactors and a character named Detective Joe was investigating them. There were other characters involved, too. One of the members of this organization trying to destroy the reactor was the prototype character for [eventual FF7 main character] Cloud.”

Talking to IGN in 2012, Nomura also mentioned this story, referring to the investigator as “Hot Blooded Detective Joe”. This character never made it into the final version, but the plot is recognisable as the blueprint for the opening hours of Final Fantasy 7, just set in the fictional Midgar rather than New York City.

Yuffie and Vincent Were Almost Cut

Two of Final Fantasy 7’s most-loved characters, Yuffie Kisaragi and Vincent Valentine, were almost not in the game at all.

In an interview for the Final Fantasy 7 10th Anniversary Ultimania book (translated via The Lifestream), Nomura revealed: “There was even a time when some people thought we should cut them because we didn’t have enough time. But we somehow managed to veto cutting them, and as a result they became the secret characters they are today.”

By compromising and making Yuffie and Vincent optional characters, the team didn’t have to include them in the story’s main plot and cutscenes. This is why both characters’ storylines are side quests, and they don’t appear in the expensive pre-rendered cinematics.

Despite this, both characters are fully fleshed out and woven neatly into Final Fantasy 7’s wider lore. Talking in the 10th Anniversary Ultimania, Kitase revealed why Yuffie in particular has so much content: “The main reason for there being so many cut-scenes for Yuffie is down to the strong attachment that Akiyama, who was in charge of them, had. Her appearing in a battle and talking with her afterwards, all those were his ideas, and as development moved along the scope steadily got bigger and bigger.”

The Yuffie we see in Final Fantasy 7 is quite different to her original design, which – as revealed in the Ultimania – was an ex-SOLDIER who was hunting both Cloud and Sephiroth. Perhaps if the compromise was never made, Yuffie would have been a very different character.

The Hardest Bosses Were Added for the International Release

The Ruby and Emerald Weapons are two of Final Fantasy 7’s most iconic boss fights, famous for their punishing difficulty. But these two deadly bosses were not part of the original Japanese release, and were only initially included for the Western versions.

The North American version released a whole eight months later than the Japanese original, and in that time the Ruby and Emerald Weapons were added to the game, as well as the boss fight with the Diamond Weapon. To better tie this into the story, a new cutscene featuring the weapons flying out of the Northern Crater was added after Sephiroth obtains the Black Materia. In the Japanese original, this cutscene just depicts an explosion.

Japanese fans would eventually get to fight these Weapons in Final Fantasy 7 International, a complete version of the game released just after the American variant. All subsequent versions have included these elements, as well as the quest which rewards a Gold Chocobo for fighting the Ruby and Emerald Weapons.

You Have Just One Chance To Get Pandora’s Box

Final Fantasy 7 allows you to learn a variety of enemy attacks and magic spells through the use of the Enemy Skill materia. While this is usually just a case of witnessing an enemy use the skill in battle, there is one powerful ability that you have just one single opportunity to obtain in the entire game: Pandora’s Box.

Pandora’s Box is used by the Dragon Zombies in the Northern Crater, right near the end of the game. But no matter how many of these monsters you fight, only the very first one you manage to defeat will cast Pandora’s Box. This means you have just one chance to learn this Enemy Skill per save file, and so you’d best make sure you’re prepared and have Enemy Skill equipped before the fight.

If anything goes wrong with this battle, you’ll have scuppered your only opportunity. This includes making sure that the Dragon Zombie has enough MP available to actually cast Pandora’s Box, so don’t go using any abilities that drain its magic points.

The Final Fantasy X Connection

When exploring the Shinra Building museum exhibit in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, you can find a framed photograph of Shinra employees. All look like regular people in suits, aside from the person in the centre, who is wearing an unusual helmet. Series fans may recognise this headwear as being Al Bhed in design. This is a reference to the Final Fantasy X-2 character, Shinra, an Al Bhed who was researching life force.

This image is a fun Easter egg, but Square has constantly hinted for years that the worlds of Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 10 are linked. In the Final Fantasy 7 Ultimania Omega, the segment on Shinra reads “maybe one day his descendants will establish a ‘company that supplies the energy of the planet’?”.

In that same book, scenario writer Kazushige Nojima offers a theory that Shinra will investigate siphoning Mako Energy from the Farplane, and his ancestors will establish the Shinra company 1,000 years later on another world. This photograph in Final Fantasy 7 Remake essentially connects the dots. It might not make the link between Final Fantasy 7 and 10 canon, but it’s certainly a knowing wink.

Poster References

At the very start of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, you’ll find these Banora White Apple Juice posters in the Sector 1 train station. This is a deep cut reference to Crisis Core, the PSP game that explored the story of Zack Fair.

In Crisis Core, there is an orchard in the town of Banora that grows Banora White apples. The game’s antagonist, Genesis Rhapsodos, is revealed to have won a competition as a child by inventing Banora White apple juice. This juice soon became Banora’s trademark export, going far and wide beyond the Mideel Area. As we can see from this poster, Banora White Apple Juice is available in Midgar.

Another poster in the train station advertises a camera equipped with Shinra X sensor technology. It features the tagline ‘See The World Through Her Eyes’, along with the image of a cat’s face. This is another obscure reference, this time to the Final Fantasy 15 Cat Cam demo, which was shown at Taipei Game Show in 2015 as a… somewhat usual way of showing off an in-game location.

And those are seven cool things about Final Fantasy 7 and its remake that you may not have already known. For more, check out 15 minutes of Yuffie gameplay from Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, or why everyone is talking about the doors in the PS5 upgrade.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment