Final Fantasy VII Remake is absolutely ridiculous, and I love it! I’ve loved Final Fantasy through the years, but like many of you, FFVII has always had a special place in my heart. In this video I talk about why I love the original game, the new remake and focus on how one of my favorite characters, Sephiroth, might be a little different than you remember in the new remake.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE ORIGINAL FFVII, ADVENT CHILDREN, AND FFVII REMAKE AHEAD.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is absolutely ridiculous. And I love it.
Ok, look. I’m obviously just having a bit of fun here but you have to admit the world of Final Fantasy VII has always been pretty crazy. Even the original game itself was kind of ridiculous.
But that’s part of the charm of all the Final Fantasy’s. I love this story, and not in spite of some of its more insane moments but because of them. And because the story of Final Fantasy VII is just genuinely a great story.
When I played the remake, while I was struck with all of those happy nostalgic feelings, I was also struck by just how different it seemed to be. And nowhere was that more apparent than the game’s depiction of its main antagonist, Sephiroth.
Sephiroth himself is an extremely outlandish character. He’s a product of genetic experimentation by his own parents. He’s created with the cells of an ancient alien being. And he’s also a renowned soldier of unmatched skill, cunning, and strategy who seeks to become a god and destroy humanity.
During my first playthrough of the remake, it was a bit jarring, to say the least, to see Sephiroth as much as I did. In the original title, Sephiroth isn’t even seen until the group leaves the city of Midgar. And even then, for much of the game you’re mostly a step behind him, finding only the devastation he leaves in his wake.
Even in Advent Children, the cinematic sequel to the original game, he only appears in its closing moments. Briefly reincarnated, he battles with Cloud and is once again defeated. His final words always sticking with me… “I will never be a memory.”
Now, the creators of Final Fantasy VII have said that the events previous to the remake are no longer necessarily cannon but they have also said that those events will, of course, inform the new story.
And so, when playing the remake, I remember thinking to myself, “This is too much. This isn’t supposed to happen yet. This is just Square forcing the infamous Sephiroth into the game at every turn and doing it at the detriment of the greater story.”
And while the inclusion of Sephiroth so early into the remake seemed bizarre, nothing was as ridiculous as the game’s ending where you experience shocking revelations at a breakneck pace. Like when it’s revealed that the ghostly Whispers that have been intervening in the game are actually the arbiters of fate, desperately trying to ensure that the events from the original game play out the way they’re supposed to.
And then, just when the story seems to get back to that familiar feeling again and you’re headed towards the edge of Midgar to begin your great chase after Sephiroth, you’re not met with the journey you expect. You’re met with Sephiroth himself. And so, you follow.
And during these events you’re forced to fight with the whispers, as they seek to keep you from battling Sephiroth here and now, because this isn’t supposed to happen yet.
And when you finally fight your way through all of it, finally getting to Sephiroth… he proves to be too much. And he leaves you there with only the feeling that he was still one step ahead of you.
This was his plan all along, to have you defeat the Whispers, so that he could rewrite destiny. But it wasn’t until I started the game a second time that the implications of it all really hit me. Square was never just imposing Sephiroth into the game for the sake of cashing in on his notable persona. As a matter of fact, the Sephiroth I remembered wasn’t even here at all.
Take the Bombing Run. In the opening chapter of the game you set off on the now infamous raid into one of Midgar’s mako reactors. And then it starts. Cloud’s first headache comes, and you think nothing of it. This is just Final Fantasy VII. When you reach the heart of the reactor and move to ready the bomb, suddenly Cloud is met with yet another headache. But this time, it’s different, and the first crack in the original story appears. You’ve seen this feather before, but it’s not supposed to be here. It’s still too soon for him.
Shortly after, you’re making your way through the devastated streets of Midgar and on your way to meet Aerith for the first time, and then you’re stopped. Sephiroth. But again, this is all too soon. You follow him through the alleys and meet him face-on.
And then, he’s gone.
And when you finally make it to the moment when Cloud meets Aerith, you realize something’s wrong. The Whispers. The Whispers are already here, preventing her from leaving, ensuring your meeting.
And then again, you see him. Sephiroth.
The first time you see this, you don’t think much of it. Everyone knows Aerith dies in the first game. But when you play it a second time and really look into his eyes with the context of the ending fresh in your mind, what you find is not a man who knows Aerith will die, but a man who knows she already has.
And then, you realize why he’s here too soon. He knows how this story happens. He knows this is the moment you first meet Aerith, and he’s here now trying to prevent this moment from ever happening. And fate fights back.
And then, it hits you… really hits you. This isn’t the Sephiroth you remember. But a Sephiroth you’ve yet to meet. A man that’s already lost. He’s been here from the start. Manipulating you. He’s always been one step ahead, refusing to be a memory. So that his ending can finally change. So that he can finally win.
And so, you’re met with the fact that this isn’t just the storied man of games past, or a memory, but something new. That this is a man who knows the history of events and is here to change the very course of destiny. So his ending can finally change. So that he can finally win… it all feels a bit ridiculous. And I love it.