Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 in Full Development


Earlier this week Famitsu, the Japanese video game magazine, released 15 pages of interviews, polls, segments, and images of Final Fantasy VII Remake featuring developers Nomura, Kitase, Hamaguchi, and Toriyama. According to @aitaikimochi, who graciously translated portions of the magazine, mentions that the next installment of Final Fantasy VII Remake is in full development.

FF7R Highlights

  • Tetsuya Nomura wants to deliver the new installment as soon as possible.
  • Tetsuya Nomura wants the second installment’s quality to be better than the first.
  • According to Famitsu’s FF7R Character Popularity Poll, Jessie placed #4! “I didn’t expect her to be this popular (laughs).”
  • “There’s a very high chance that Roche will be reappearing in the next installment (laughs).” ~Toriyama
  • “We wanted to show that Cloud wasn’t close with AVALANCHE, so that’s why we removed the hideout as an accessible area.” ~Toriyama
  • “The new story of Final Fantasy 7 has only just begun.” ~Kitase
  • “FF7R is not merely just a remake of a game using modern technology, but a new story.”

FF7R Character Popularity Poll

The results are in:

FFVII Characters Art

1st Place : Cloud (1991 votes)
2nd Place: Tifa (1548 votes)
3rd Place: Aerith (1433 votes)
4th Place: Jessie (535 votes)
5th Place: Barret (498 votes)
6th Place: Sephiroth (404 votes)
7th Place: Reno (376 votes)
8th Place: Red XIII (312 votes)
9th Place: Rufus (241 votes)
10th Place: Zack (113 votes)

FF7R Top 7 Gameplay Elements

Famitsu asked users what they liked the most about the gameplay in FF7R. Here are the Top 7 gameplay elements!

  1. HARD Mode specific skill sets and battles
  2. The ability to select answers asked by the characters, which ultimately affects responses and sometimes even the direction of quests.
  3. Clearing battles successfully results in getting different cutscene outcomes
  4. Enemies that are present only in the Battle Simulator
  5. Characters that appeared throughout the Compilation of FFVII were also mentioned in the game
  6. Small easter eggs from the original game that can be found in the Remake
  7. Having useful materia during battle

Famitsu FF7R Top 10 Soundtracks

In addition, the top soundtracks were asked as well:

  1. Hollow
  2. Aerith’s Theme -I’m Home-
  3. Tifa’s Theme -Seventh Heaven-
  4. Airbuster
  5. Those Who Fight Further
  6. One Winged Angel
  7. J-E-N-O-V-A
  8. FF7 Main Theme
  9. Midgar, City of Mako
  10. Collapsed Expressway

Fan Favorite Scenes

Fans replied to their favorite FF7 scenes.

Hamaguchi Interview

-Since you were involved with the development of the game, was there anything you were concerned about?

Hamaguchi: What was constantly said to the team was that we must respect the original game.” We were not creating a new game that is only inspired by the characters and world of FFVII, but we strove to create a game where the elements of the original are remade using the latest game design and graphics, making it feel “nostalgic yet new.” If we were to stray far away from the source material, then people might think “this is not the FFVII that I know,” so we tried to follow the original story but added details that we could not add 20 years ago using the latest technology. With that, we were able to focus on enriching the story to create an experience that is still “the FFVII that I know, but with a lot newer things waiting to be discovered.”

-I’m sure that there are several younger development staff who never played the original FFVII, so were there any instance where there was a bit of a generation gap?

Hamaguchi: Since the original game was so widely loved by fans everywhere, there were a lot of younger staff members who were scared of making changes. On the other hand, Producer Kitase wanted big changes (laughs). Nomura and I saw the Remake as an homage to the original game, so fi we were to change anything, we made sure that it would be something planned with a specific reason that fans could accept.

Toriyama Interview

-As a gamer, was there anything in particular from FF7R that surprised or impressed you?

Toriyama: After the game was released, I saw a gaming review website capture all the little details of various landscapes in the game, from the posters and billboards to the train time schedules, close inspections of the buildings, pretty much everything that showed the lifestyles of people living in Midgar. Although I’m glad that people were able to deeply observe the details we put in, I can’t help but see some flaws, so it kind of gives me pressure to make sure that the next installment will have even more perfected details (laughs).

-Compared to 23 years ago, from the addition of voices in conversations to a change o f design, trends have changed. Was it difficult to achieve a balance of retaining the essence of the original game but still representing it for a new generation?

Toriyama: We wanted to have the game be fully voiced including the NPC within the city, sow w were careful when putting in dialogue that would sound natural. We left in some funny lines spoken from the original game’s NPC too, but since there were way more NPCs in the Remake compared to the original, we made sure to find a good balance where those lines wouldn’t be buried among the other spoken dialogue.

-Instead of always being on edge, Cloud seems to behave cooler but instead comes off as uncool to those around him. Aerith also seems a bit more mature than the original’s portrayal of her, and Barret seems a more unhinged and tense. The characters all seem to have a new side of them now. What kind of concepts did you use to add to the characters in this game?

Toriyama: For the Remake, the voice acting was added after we had finished creating the cutscenes, and I think that the character’s performance really shined through from the work that the actors and actresses have done that brought out each character’s charm. During recording, Barret had an unexpected continuity that we pushed further, and the results really brought out his character very well.

-In regard to seeing a brand new side of Cloud, the peak of it would probably be the dance sequence at the Honey Bee Inn. Was this scene planned from the beginning?

Toriyama: We strongly did not want to leave out Cloud’s cross dressing scene but instead wanted to create a concept that would make it stand out even more in the Remake. We decided to make Wall Market a huge entertainment district, and we were very enthusiastic in making the Honey Bee Inn even more of an entertainment hotspot in the Remake. I actually helped create the Honey Bee Inn for the original game, so it was easy for me to re-imagine the place for the Remake. While still retaining some elements from the original, we were able to give it a huge makeover.

-The Shinra Mascot dog “Stamp” appears in various locations, even on a snack package blowing in the wind in towards the ending with Zack. Was the character of Stamp originally created in the beginning stages of development?

Toriyama: The dog Stamp is a very important symbol that was planned since the beginning. Stamp’s use was determined along with game design. AVALANCHE also uses him as their symbol, so there is a good meaning to him that we included to have him stand out. However, the Stamp that appears in the scene with Zack is a different breed, so please pay attention to that.

-I was quite surprised that Chadley turned out to be what he was in the story, but who’s idea was it to create this character?

Toriyama: Chadley is a new character that was not in the original game, so it was the scenario team who decided on creating this character. There are a lot of contents regard the game’s difficulty levels and clearing the battle reports, so we decided to have Cloud be able to encounter Chadley throughout the entire game. I haven’t finished clearing the HARD mode yet, but I hope that those who haven’t cleared everything yet can challenge themselves with this!

-The new character Roche left quite an impact, but he’s an eccentric one that only appears in Chapter 4 and nowhere else. What was the purpose of his character, and will he appear in the next installment?

Toriyama: We had initially drawn up a concept of having Roche appear at the last battle on the Midgar Highway, but we thought that he might ruin the serious mood of the ending sequence, so we scrapped that idea. We also thought to put him in as a boss battle in the Chapter 14 slums, but since you can’t really race around on a motorbike in the slums, we unfortunately could not make it work. Roche’s spontaneity is one of his character traits that stands out though, so there’s a high chance that he’ll appear in the next installment (laughs).

-In the Remake, the characters have a lot of banter when they’re walking around or fighting battles, and the dialogue is not always the same either. Did you oversee the types of conversations that were put in?

Toriyama: The AVALANCHE base at the bottom of Seventh Heaven In the original game was an interesting area that left an impression on me, but since Cloud is not very close with AVALANCHE in the Remake, we wanted to show that distance between them, which made us leave out that scene. Although I really wanted to have Barret punching that sandbag in the Remake, I had to restrain myself (laughs).

-Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to the readers?

Toriyama: Even though the first installment of the “FFVII Remake” has ended, the story has only just begun. While listening to the voices of the fans, we also hope to make the next installments something that would exceed your expectations. I personally also played the original game again after finishing the Remake. While waiting for the next installment, I hope you can enjoy the differences in the Remake’s portrayal of Midgar and also have fun imagining what kinds of things lie ahead in the next game too!

-From the game’s battle system to its story to the elaborate details of Midgar’s various environments, including songs that sometimes only play in one scene, the game is full of a richness that has been carefully crafted, which shows that a lot of time and effort was spent creating this game. The staff must have been very enthusiastic, right?

Kitase Interview

Kitase: That’s all thanks to the careful attention that the Co-Directors Hamaguchi and Toriyama as well as the development staff put in making this game. I started game development ever since the Super Famicom console, so I’m used to the type of “cut” and “reuse” way of production. However, the new generation of games require a sense of reality, so that former way of developing games has become obsolete. The current generation of game development staff have that new type of conscience when crating games, so it’s thanks to their enthusiasm that we were able to make this possible.

-I’m sure that there are several younger development staff who never played the original FFVII, so were there any instance where there was a bit of a generation gap?

Kitase: Not really. But I guess when we wanted to give an example from a movie or something, we wouldn’t bring up a reference from an old movie that they probably wouldn’t know (laughs).

-Are there any elements from either the Original game or part of the Compilation that you wanted to make a reality or something that you wanted to have in the past game that was then added into this game?

Kitase: I suppose that would be making everything in 3D with a 360-degree scope of the world. Especially when you’re looking up into the sky of Midgar or looking down towards the slums, I’m really glad that we were able to give the city a sense of realism.

-As a gamer, was there anything particular form FF7R that surprised or impressed you?

Kitase: This is connected with my answer to the previous question, but yes, being able to look above towards the sky from the slums, thinking “wow, you can see the sky after all!” For 23 years, I imagined the slums to be under a lot of pressure and cloaked in darkness. In the Remake, you can see a different side of the city during the day that you could not see in the original game, and I thought that was really fun.

-You were involved with initial level design of the Sector 5 Mako Reactor from when the characters infiltrate the reactor to their escape, but were there any other parts that you also were involved in?

Kitase: I was also in charge of the initial stage level design for the scene at the top of the Shinra Building. The scene where Cloud is about to fall off the rooftop but is saved by Tifa is a callback and answer to the Sector 5 Mako Reactor scene where Tifa couldn’t save Cloud from falling.

-FF7R really digs deep into the Original Game’s story, but there is a surprising development towards the end of the game. With Remakes, there’s always a faction of people who don’t want anything changed, but there are also those who actually want things to be changed. Were there discussions among the creators on whether or not you should change things?

Kitase: Director Nomura as well as Co-Director Hamaguchi and Toriyama hoped to be able to keep all the parts of the original that fans have come to love. However, we also wanted to add several surprises that would balance out the story too. I’m sure there are people who wish to experience the exact same story and relive memories. However, if we were to do that, then all we would be doing is just adding to the original experience, which would cause the Remake to lose its significance. I think that we were able to successfully revive the story by adding new elements for the new generation of a “New FFVII.”

-Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to the readers?

Kitase: The new FFVII story has only just begun. Please look forward to the story form here on out!