Having played both the E3-2019 demo and the newly dropped PS4 demo, I wanted to share some insights on the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
In case you’ve never played this game before – minor spoilers (obviously) lie ahead.
If that doesn’t bother you, equip your reading materia and let’s go.
NO MENTION OF MIDGAR PLATES
The first and largest difference that struck me is the lack of discussion about the way Midgar is designed as a city.
In the original Final Fantasy 7 the city of Midgar is built as a literal metaphor on class separation. The city sits atop several giant plates, where the upper class live and work in the daylight. The poorer classes live underneath the plate, an incredibly dark area only lit by the energy of Mako lighting.
It’s possible that the new Midgar will have the design of a more traditional city (judging by the overhead pull back shots during the demo). It’s also possible that the plates are intact and Square Enix is saving those revelations for the full game. Judging simply by the opening FMV, we might be looking at a non-plated Midgar.
BARRETT WALLACE IS POSSIBLY A CETRA
The Cetra are an ancient race of people who are deeply connected to the planet and its energy. Central to the FF7 story is the fact that the planet (Gaia) is an actual living being, the Cetra are the ears of that being.
During the demo there’s a scene where Barrett talks about hearing the planet’s cries. It’s a line that Cloud dismisses but it could serve as an indicator that Barrett will be revealed as a Cetra. This isn’t so much a “ret-con” as it is a more full explanation of Barrett’s backstory. As a character who’s always deeply cared about Mako and what Shinra is doing to the planet, it would make sense that Barrett would be at least part Cetra.
THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION OF “MAKO”
I might be the only idiot who doesn’t realize this, but for my entire gaming career I’ve been saying Mako (May-KO).
During the demo Barrett clearly says Mako (MOCK-O) and it absolutely blew me away. Again, apologies if everyone already knew this. You can’t win them all.
VISIBLE MATERIA ON WEAPONS
Cloud’s fire materia is clearly visible on the classic Buster Sword and it makes me wonder if they’ll keep the trend with some of the other swords that have eight materia slots. Running into battle with a full rainbow of materia down your blade would be a look.
Visible materia makes sense especially with live action combat. It would be incredible to get a quick button change between materia builds, we’ll see.
CLOUD PLUS LADIES EQUALS YES
There’s an often-cited fan theory that ladies are drawn to Cloud thanks to his Mako infusion. As theories go this one has decent legs, and it certainly looks plausible after playing the demo.
During your mission one of your companions, Jessie, straight up asks Cloud about his relationship with Tifa. Jessie is impressed by literally everything Cloud does. It’s a curious thing considering Jessie’s partner Biggs is also a full on hot dude.
TRUE TO ORIGINAL ENEMIES
Lovers of the original series will be happy to see this. The enemies in the demo were all essentially re-made versions of the classic enemies. The guards, the bots, and the scorpion boss were all pulled directly from the original.
With such a massive catalog of enemies there really isn’t any reason for this remake to give us new/different enemy designs. I’m sure some new enemies will be revealed eventually, but I hope that the majority are classic baddies.
PRESIDENT SHINRA IN THE SHADOWS
During the bombing mission you see that not only is President Shinra aware of your attack on his reactor, he’s also actively letting it proceed. So much so that he orders his own defense mechanisms to help destroy the facility. Exactly what ramifications this has for the larger game is hard to tell.
It could be that President Shinra is allowing the attack to proceed to help enrage the public against your team. We won’t know for sure until April, but this extra wrinkle to the game’s first mission is quite interesting. As long as April 10th is tomorrow, I’ll be just fine.
Nathan is the co-host of the Splash Damage Bros. Podcast. He can be found grinding up levels on the Island Closest to Hell. @thenatejc