Just as Final Fantasy VII Remake featured a predetermined endpoint – the escape from Midgar – Final Fantasy VII Rebirth players also know when their adventure will culminate in this game. The Forgotten Capital, the location that plays host to one of the most impactful moments in any video game, is the destination for the story contained within Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the original version of Final Fantasy VII.
Since the main story and side content of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth centers on deepening the relationships between Cloud, Aerith, Tifa, Sephiroth, and the rest of the cast, players will need to reckon with Aerith’s story arc with a better understanding of the dynamics between characters. “For Rebirth, we are following Cloud and the party’s journey all the way up to the Forgotten Capital where we will seek our Aerith’s fate; that is the landing point for Rebirth,” director Naoki Hamaguchi says. “Along the way, players will see the characters interact and deepen their bonds with each other. That is a focal point.”
When I asked the development team about this scene, the jovial conversation turned somber. The team took care to spare any details about how that scene will play out in Rebirth, but it insists it has achieved something that will shock even the players who have played through the original scene in question multiple times. The creation of this scene in Rebirth started with a written scenario from writer Kazushige Nojima, who has worked on the Final Fantasy franchise since the original VII. From there, the team added their own ideas.
“Beginning with the original Final Fantasy VII, when we had started working on it, it was already decided from the get-go that ‘life’ would be the central theme,” creative director Tetsuya Nomura says. “I knew that we had to depict life and death within this title. Prior to Final Fantasy VII, there have been other titles where characters have experienced tragedy, but many of them have come back or been revived in some ways. But I believe that loss is something that happens unexpectedly, and it’s not something so dramatic or drawn out, but is something in which a person that you have just conversed with is suddenly gone and never to come back. I believe that the person who dies should not return in this title, and that is what we did with the original.”
The team feels it was truly able to do something novel and more emotional through Rebirth’s version of the scene. “I do believe that the way we have depicted it brings about a new emotion and a new feeling for both players who have played the original Final Fantasy VII and newcomers.”
“I was able to do what I truly wanted to show in this title,” Nomura adds.
Those familiar with the scene know all too well the emotional impact the events could have with deepened relationships and much better technological capabilities to express the full scope of the events. The way the developers tease how it plays out, I can’t help but be curious and speculate how it might differ from the original. After all, the Whispers that helped control the fate of Remake are gone; maybe things can play out differently this time. Or perhaps I’m just setting myself up to be hurt again.
All I know is that I can’t wait to see how this iconic sequence happens when Final Fantasy VII Rebirth arrives on PS5 on February 29. For more on Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, head to our coverage hub through the banner below.