Final Fantasy 7 Remake Full Review - I have thoughts. (spoilers at the end)

CritialGaming

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As many long time Escapist Magazine Forum goers will know, Final Fantasy 7 is my favorite game of all time bar none. I've made several threads in the old forum in regards to the Remake, from the announcement to several update threads every time we got a new trailer. To say I have been excited for this release is an understandment. I have clocked 47 hours in the game over the last 2 and a half days, completing the story and every side quest the game has to offer leaving only hard mode the last remaining challenge that I intend to tackle the moment I finish this review. Which might serve as a review in itself considering I've eager to go back to the game after literally just completing it.

However I feel like reviewing this is gonna be a bit more complicated than that. So let's break it down and review the easy parts first.

Graphics:
The game is breathtakingly beautiful for the most part.If you've seen the trailers you know just how good this game CAN look.Unfortunately the game is very problematic in this regard. The world itself as you play is littered with insane amounts of extremely low quality textures and assets. Outside of the main cast, the side NPC's, the ground textures, walls, clutter, and scenic elements seem to struggle to load.

I think this is a big more than anything though. I think the PS4 system simply can't load the assets fast enough, so instead it only partially loads them and hopes the player doesn't notice. Though even when lingering in an area textures will kinda pop it but never fully load. It's a strange thing that I believe can be fixed in a patch or for sure when the game gets ported to PC.



Quite frankly, if it weren't for the asset loading issue, this might be the best looking game ever made. Or made so far. It's gorgeous and the moments when everything works, the game is incredible to watch.

Thankfully in combat this isn't an issue, things like magic effect, particals of impacts, and the sheer beauty of the characters in motion is a sight to behold. I found myself struggling in some fights because I was so busy staring at the animations in awe that I forgot to keep playing. It's that damn good looking.


And credit to Square on optimization because I don't think I ever dropped a frame, at least nothing I noticed and I played on a base PS4.

Combat and Gameplay:

Again I have to give the game nothing but praise here, combat in FF7R is unbelievably fun and probably the best JRPG combat that has ever been put into a game. The action combat is just a thin blanket that covers the real depth of the TURN-BASED action system.The action is there to give players something to do to fill there ATB meter before using those ATB segments (of which each character gets up to 2 at any given time) you spend them to perform just about any action other than basic attacks and blocking. Which includes all magic and items. In this game if you are on the ropes and you have no ATB you cannot take any healing actions what-so-ever. This was something that had been a problem in FF15 where you could literally pause combat and instantly chug a potion to heal any party member. Not here. Your ATB is your lifeline and you need it for everything.



Because of this, you really have to think about the actions you are performing with every character at all times. Characters learn abilities from different weapons and collect those abilities as you use them. Once mastered you keep the ability even after changing to a different weapon. Mastering weapon abilities is how you expand the list of things your characters can do in combat (aside from equipping different magics) And every ability has a purpose. Some build stagger meter on the enemies, a mechanic that was hated in FF13 but given a much more toned down effort here, some deal burst damage, and some abilities increase your mobility or quickly juke an attack. Each character has a very different set of mechanics and abilies as well. No two characters have the same system, nor the same purpose in battle.

Barrett, for example, has a mix of utility abilities and offensive ones. For example he can increase his defense, but then he can also pull a % of the damage dealt to other party members directly to himself instead. This allows you to force him to take the majority of the punishment and thus you can have Aerith focus her healing upon him because you know where the damage is gonna go. However it's not that simple, as fights are much more dynamic than that and there is plenty of damage to go around.

You have to swap on the fly to every character over the course of a fight, either to just give them commands or to take control of them directly for a while to attack in a specific way or just for a change of pace.

The only place where the combat system falters is that the other two characters you are not directly controlling don't do much. The AI is not very good, and they mostly just block and try to minimize the damage they take. Which is helpful in a way but it also doesn't really build their ATB, so if you need a character ability in a pinch it might not be there for you if you aren't actively swapping. Admittedly this is a minor gripe, because the game wants YOU to control everything and if the AI was good, then it would feel like the game was not only playing itself, but that you also didn't have to plan ahead to use everyone's abilities. This dumb AI promotes the player to rapidly swap through all party members all the time, treating the game much more like a turn based system than the game appears. Like I said, the action combat look is a very surface level deal.

You must, swap to cloud activiate Braver, jump to Barrett before the animation even begins and use Focus Blast, jump over to Aerith to Pray, back to Cloud for basic attacks to build the meter back up. And over and over this goes, with each character ending up with 4-7 different abilities by the end of the game on top of several magic spells, limit breaks, and summons. The magic only adds even more management to this because you can completely customize the materia for every character with each character usually being able to have 7 or so different materia equipped.

Which brings me to the enemies themselves. Every single enemy in the game (114 different enemies in total including bosses of which there are 21) behaves differently, and some have quirks that you must figure out to overcome. Ghost enemies will vanish after taking a few physical hits for a couple moments before appearing near a character for a surprise attack.

If you seen the demo, then you've seen the first boss of the game, the robot scorpion. This boss has different phases with cinematic transitions that jump it between several different behaviors throughout the fight. I'm pleased to report that EVERY boss is like this, cutscenes will play that both change up the bosses tactics as well as give you a well needed breather in a lot of cases. While it might seem to be nothing more than spectacle, and it partly is, what it really does is give you a brief moment to get your barrings again as most of these fights are nuts. And they are all fun.





Story:

Ok......so here's the thing with this.

This is a Remake of a 23 year-old game. We know the story and we know that this game is such a tiny tiny part of the greater FF7 whole. The big question everyone had was, "How the hell are they going to expand this to make a full sized game?" And the answer to that is.....they didn't.

Look the story that is here is great. But they didn't really expand on Midgar or the story at all. At best, they filled in the blanks that you didn't get to see in the original game. They give you more character moments and some extra things to do between the bigger story beats. But the key moments that happen in Midgar are still just about all that happen there. Where the expanded run-time comes from is that everything is voice acted and full animated so huge sections that were just a bunch of text in the original are full on watched movies, which takes longer than just reading.

Now look the gameplay sections are more realized, you aren't traversing a 2D backdrop anymore, you are moving through full 3D environments and they took the liberty of putting exploration and puzzle elements in these sections to make it feel like more of a journey than going from point A to B. There are no random encounters to slow you down either, every battle is basically a set obstacle in your path which keeps the pacing in these sections done well as they give the characters enough time to banter with each other.

And character is what this game does best. I'd say that this first part of the Remake has one job, and that's to make you love these characters. A job it does beautifully. You'll love the cast by the end, and you'll want more.

Final Fantasy 7's story has an interesting beginning with just the Midgar section. If you take that slice of the original game and look at just that part, you have what is probably the most grounded Final Fantasy story ever told. Shinra is a evil corporation and you are part of a group trying to stop them. It's a pretty realistic goal for a Final Fantasy game, a series which end up having you kill God at the end.


That sort of doesn't happen here, but also happens kinda?



People who are fans of the original already are on edge because of the overuse of Sephiroth within the Remake. Sephiroth doesn't appear at all in the original game anywhere in Mdigar and the game only references him here and there. I will say that there is far less Sephiroth in the Remake than people might think. Sure he does appear very early in the game, and it's played up as kind of fan service as it hints at events and scenes that don't happen until well after the Midgar chapter is over. I get the feel that the Development team knew they had to put Sephiroth in, not only because he is one of the most famous villains in video game history but also because you couldn't do a full FF7 game without him somewhere. That being said, his inclusion is actually very well done. Fans of the original game will like all the future events that are hinted at, while newcomers to the story will be left in wonder as to what it's all about. Honestly I think it was a good balance and a nice compromising way to use the character without really leaning on him.

Alright I have to go into spoilers here so only read this if you don't give a shit about them or have already beaten the game yourself



Noruma has a habit of trying to overcomplicate stories, he did it with FF13, FF15, and of course Kindom Hearts. Of course he does it here as well, with the shadow things you've seen in the trailers. These spectors are extremely confusing entities in the game because there are several sections in the game where they attack you, and come across as enemies. However towards the climax they do a lot to help you. It's explained that they are Watchers of Fate their role is simply to make sure that people continue on their fateful path. Which means stopping someone from doing something that would change their fate, or saving someone from dying too early. It's kind of a blurry bullshit line that really is stupid and the events of the game could have happened without them existing completely.

This is typical Nomura, these Watchers of Fate have no purpose but to make the story feel more complex than it is or that it should be.

Then there is the ending. Unlike some harsh people on the internet, I don't think the ending is terrible, but I do think it is unnecessary. You are not trying to escape Midgar like the original, but instead are trying to chase Sephiroth.....or more accurately Jenova. This ending is overly complicated because, while it does make sense to someone who's played and understood the original game, it makes no sense to someone who is new to this universe.Who are the robes guys, why to they look like Sephiroth sometimes, but other times don't? If you played the original you know it is because Shinra used alien DNA to experiment and try to make Sephiroth clones. However most of these experiments failed leaving shambling people as a result, but when the Alien Jenova escapes from the Shinra building, she uses these husks of people by tapping into her DNA that lies within them to something called the Reunion. Cloud is part of these husks though a much stronger attempt, Jenova uses the Sephiroth form to lead Cloud and his friends around the world to serve her desires.

I guess it ends up being an interesting compromise right? These sparks and hints are good, if a bit too complicated for a new comer, and they do allow them to throw in a big ending fight to cap off the first game. It could be worse, but it probably could have been done better.



Ultimately I'm very happy with what they did, but I'm also a bit sad. Because the characters are done so well here, and the story leads you on this great hook, you get to the end and it just.....ends but not really. You know there is more and it feels a bit of a bummer to not be able to continue. Top that off with a big fat ???? as to when the next game could come. Another 5 years?



My hope is that this game can be a jumping off point for the dev team and allow them to create the next part at a much faster pace than this game took.



When this Remake is all over.....I think it could be one of the greatest RPG sagas of all time easily.


Anyway have you played it? What did you think? Do you have any questions that I didn't cover? Ask away!
 

Hawki

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CritialGaming said:
I have clocked 47 hours in the game over the last 2 and a half days,
That's like...47 hours of playtime over 60 hours of day time.

Christ man, don't you sleep? 0_0
 

CritialGaming

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Hawki said:
CritialGaming said:
I have clocked 47 hours in the game over the last 2 and a half days,
That's like...47 hours of playtime over 60 hours of day time.

Christ man, don't you sleep? 0_0
Quarantine has done terrible things to me. The only plus was how much i was able to do nothing but play Remake :)
 

Dalisclock

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I'm glad to hear this game is pretty good though I'm still concerned about the whole issue of not knowing when FF7:EP2 will be out(or when it was planned for, because it's no doubt delayed now) and how much each episode will cover. They turned the first 5 or so hours of the original into a 30-40 hour game(which is basically a full sized FF in itself) so I'm dreading how long this entire process is going to take.

I'm sure I'll get it for Crimmis and play it next year, at very least. I'm just not feeling a massive rush because I know we're not gonna see the next episode for a while. It's basically the same reason I haven't been rushing GRR Martin books, because I know we'll have plenty of time to catch up...because Winter is(always) coming.
 

CritialGaming

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They?ve stated the following parts won?t take as long [https://gamerant.com/final-fantasy-7-remake-parts-development-time-shortened/] because they?ve built the baseline for the project already.

Anyways, happy to hear you enjoyed the game of your dreams (again). Perhaps try to get some more sleep now before tackling hard mode though, eh?
 

CritialGaming

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hanselthecaretaker said:
They?ve stated the following parts won?t take as long [https://gamerant.com/final-fantasy-7-remake-parts-development-time-shortened/] because they?ve built the baseline for the project already.

Anyways, happy to hear you enjoyed the game of your dreams (again). Perhaps try to get some more sleep now before tackling hard mode though, eh?
Actually im tackling another normal mode in order to max all the materia, character levels, and materia. I wanna be as strong as possible before tackling what I've heard is a pain in the ass difficulty. I'll sleep eventually.
 

Dalisclock

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hanselthecaretaker said:
They?ve stated the following parts won?t take as long [https://gamerant.com/final-fantasy-7-remake-parts-development-time-shortened/] because they?ve built the baseline for the project already.
I hope that's the case. Unfortunately, I can think of other games where they did have the baseline done in the first game/part and the followup parts still took a surprisingly long time(ie Broken Age, Kentucky Route Zero).
 

dscross

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Thanks for the detailed and helpful review. It was actually quite measured considering how much love you have for the original.

I'm still not sure what to make of it - some of it sounds brilliant, actually, some of it sounds stupid. I might play through the original again first before I decide whether or not to pick it up. The fate ghosts sound ridiculous to me. If FF7 fans couldn't deal with time compression and Ultimecia at the end of FF8 I don't see why they'd like something EVEN MORE convoluted in an already established storyline.
 

CritialGaming

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dscross said:
Thanks for the detailed and helpful review. It was actually quite measured considering how much love you have for the original.

I'm still not sure what to make of it - some of it sounds brilliant, actually, some of it sounds stupid. I might play through the original again first before I decide whether or not to pick it up. The fate ghosts sound ridiculous to me. If FF7 fans couldn't deal with time compression and Ultimecia at the end of FF8 I don't see why they'd like something EVEN MORE convoluted in an already established storyline.
I really wanted to make sure my bias towards the material didn't factor into the review. I wanted to give the game all the critique I could think of, especially in regards to what other people might not like and give a fair warning about it.

One thing I really didn't mention about the game was just how many little things reference the original game. Tiny details, character comments, even items, that all appear mundane to someone who isn't familiar with the original or isn't HARDCORE into the original, but to someone like me who understands all the references and future plot points that are hinted at....Man I LOVED that shit.

And let me tell you something else.

I've never played a game that had me grinning from ear to ear one moment and crying with emotion the next, over and over and over again. My time with the game has been a delight from the moment it began, to.....well im still playing it. I can't remember if i have EVER played a game immediately again after just finishing it. I didn't even turn the game off after the credits rolled, I instantly started NG+ with no break and put another 4 hours into the game.

So my obsession is very much intact.
 

Drathnoxis

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Dalisclock said:
I'm glad to hear this game is pretty good though I'm still concerned about the whole issue of not knowing when FF7:EP2 will be out(or when it was planned for, because it's no doubt delayed now) and how much each episode will cover. They turned the first 5 or so hours of the original into a 30-40 hour game(which is basically a full sized FF in itself) so I'm dreading how long this entire process is going to take.
This. The original was a long game as it was. I shudder to think what a bloated monster FF7:R is going to be. Is this going to be a 200 hour game when all is said and done?
 

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CritialGaming said:
Drathnoxis said:
Is this going to be a 200 hour game when all is said and done?
I HOPE SO!!!! :D
If it can sustain those 200 hours I'd be okay with it. So far I've seen very few games that can get close to that. The last game I played more then 100 hours of was Assassins Creed Odyssey(this includes the DLCs, each of which was like 20-30 hours long) and by god by the time I reached the end I was done. Even having the DLC broken up over 6 months into 10ish hour chunks(the DLC were episodic) didn't really help.

70 hours was about limit before I start asking for the check, even if I am having a really good time.
 

McElroy

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While I won't play the game before the exclusivity ends, as an action-RPG hybrid the game looks damn good. I especially like the in-engine cutscenes that almost flawlessly keep your equipment intact in them (and then when it does go to a pre-rendered one... well you just have to ignore it).

As I've said in the other threads about the game, some of the creative decisions that they made (for the fans) are objectively bad and bring the game down as its own piece. Some of them are more subjective, like how in the original game a large amount of time passes when the characters rest at inns, travel, and so on. It means that they must talk to each other off screen a lot (justifies in part the date mechanics too). Now the banter is there, and we don't have to imagine it, but all of it even put together is rather simple. Oh yeah, and 90% of the anime mannerisms can suck my ass.
 

dscross

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CritialGaming said:
I really wanted to make sure my bias towards the material didn't factor into the review. I wanted to give the game all the critique I could think of, especially in regards to what other people might not like and give a fair warning about it.

One thing I really didn't mention about the game was just how many little things reference the original game. Tiny details, character comments, even items, that all appear mundane to someone who isn't familiar with the original or isn't HARDCORE into the original, but to someone like me who understands all the references and future plot points that are hinted at....Man I LOVED that shit.

And let me tell you something else.

I've never played a game that had me grinning from ear to ear one moment and crying with emotion the next, over and over and over again. My time with the game has been a delight from the moment it began, to.....well im still playing it. I can't remember if i have EVER played a game immediately again after just finishing it. I didn't even turn the game off after the credits rolled, I instantly started NG+ with no break and put another 4 hours into the game.

So my obsession is very much intact.
As a fan of the series more broadly, I'm sure I'll enjoy all the nods etc to the original. Are you very satisfied with the direction they are taking it, without spoiling too much? That sounds like the bit that has been met with the most contention to me.
 

CritialGaming

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dscross said:
As a fan of the series more broadly, I'm sure I'll enjoy all the nods etc to the original. Are you very satisfied with the direction they are taking it, without spoiling too much? That sounds like the bit that has been met with the most contention to me.
I don't know what bothered people in all honesty. The events play out the same as the original, the difference here is they ramp up the escape from midgar to a much more notable climax, and give you a bigger bad guy boss fight at the end.

Ultimately the ending serves to drop more hints at the greater FF7 lore and just foreshadows what would come in future games. It's a good enough ending, although it does feel a little empty due to my personal knowledge of how much "game" is left beyond our stopping point here.

Really that's the big negative of the ending here, it's not the ending and we know that in truth this is where the real game barely even begins. So I think that is what people have such a nark on about. However we KNEW this was the stopping point of this game for a long time, and should expect and accept it.

The end is fine though, and people are just being salty about it because they are afraid of how much waiting they'll have for the next game.
 

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CritialGaming said:
I don't know what bothered people in all honesty. The events play out the same as the original, the difference here is they ramp up the escape from midgar to a much more notable climax, and give you a bigger bad guy boss fight at the end.
But...
Zack is alive, whereas in the original he died in that gunfight. With the heroes having killed the lead "Whisper", they're no longer beholden to what happened in the original story-- so the writers have given themselves carte blanche to change it.

Hell, it doesn't even seem like the Sephiroth you see in the remake is actually Jenova, as it was in the original. In the original game, "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise Cloud when he sees him (because it's not really him). In the remake, Sephiroth seems oddly hugely invested in Cloud, inviting him to join him to "change fate".

It's enormously different!
 

CritialGaming

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Silvanus said:
CritialGaming said:
I don't know what bothered people in all honesty. The events play out the same as the original, the difference here is they ramp up the escape from midgar to a much more notable climax, and give you a bigger bad guy boss fight at the end.
But...
Zack is alive, whereas in the original he died in that gunfight. With the heroes having killed the lead "Whisper", they're no longer beholden to what happened in the original story-- so the writers have given themselves carte blanche to change it.

Hell, it doesn't even seem like the Sephiroth you see in the remake is actually Jenova, as it was in the original. In the original game, "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise Cloud when he sees him (because it's not really him). In the remake, Sephiroth seems oddly hugely invested in Cloud, inviting him to join him to "change fate".

It's enormously different!
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
 

CritialGaming

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Now I just have to decide if I want to finish or take another break from DS3.
 

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CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
Yeah sure,
like when they try to push Wedge away from "impacting the story" or whatever, and how they stop Cloud from taking down Reno in the church ('cause y'know, they're not supposed to even fight there)
Maybe just admit that you want the fan-favourite characters to escape their destiny aka their deaths in the original game? :p
 

09philj

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McElroy said:
CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
Yeah sure,
like when they try to push Wedge away from "impacting the story" or whatever, and how they stop Cloud from taking down Reno in the church ('cause y'know, they're not supposed to even fight there)
Maybe just admit that you want the fan-favourite characters to escape their destiny aka their deaths in the original game? :p
FF loves a thuddingly obvious metaphor and I don't see how anyone could interpret the Whispers as being anything other than a representation of the constraints of the original narrative.
 

Silvanus

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CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
That doesn't square with what happens, though (pun intended).

They bring people back to life, and intervene to prevent deaths, solely when those deaths contradict the original story. Red XIII explicitly states that they're trying to keep "destiny" on track.

Methinks Square are laying the groundwork to allow fan-favourite characters to avoid dying. As they already allowed Zack to do.
 

CritialGaming

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Silvanus said:
CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
That doesn't square with what happens, though (pun intended).

They bring people back to life, and intervene to prevent deaths, solely when those deaths contradict the original story. Red XIII explicitly states that they're trying to keep "destiny" on track.

Methinks Square are laying the groundwork to allow fan-favourite characters to avoid dying. As they already allowed Zack to do.
It is possible that they are trying to outright retell the story in a different way
wedge, biggs and possible jesse live after all
but I didn't take that scene as that. It looked like more of Aertih's vision showing her what could have happened or something. I dunno man. It's a clusterfuck. Typical Nomura.
 

CritialGaming

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McElroy said:
CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
Yeah sure,
like when they try to push Wedge away from "impacting the story" or whatever, and how they stop Cloud from taking down Reno in the church ('cause y'know, they're not supposed to even fight there)
Maybe just admit that you want the fan-favourite characters to escape their destiny aka their deaths in the original game? :p
09philj said:
McElroy said:
CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
Yeah sure,
like when they try to push Wedge away from "impacting the story" or whatever, and how they stop Cloud from taking down Reno in the church ('cause y'know, they're not supposed to even fight there)
Maybe just admit that you want the fan-favourite characters to escape their destiny aka their deaths in the original game? :p
FF loves a thuddingly obvious metaphor and I don't see how anyone could interpret the Whispers as being anything other than a representation of the constraints of the original narrative.
Silvanus said:
CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
That doesn't square with what happens, though (pun intended).

They bring people back to life, and intervene to prevent deaths, solely when those deaths contradict the original story. Red XIII explicitly states that they're trying to keep "destiny" on track.

Methinks Square are laying the groundwork to allow fan-favourite characters to avoid dying. As they already allowed Zack to do.
Also I heard and interesting theory about the whispers in that they are the game's manafestations of the players themselves. Or the fans who demand the story plays out the "correct" way. And the ending forces the player to fight the whispers in order for the player to basically defeat their own literal expectations of what the game "should" be.
 

meiam

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CritialGaming said:
Also I heard and interesting theory about the whispers in that they are the game's manafestations of the players themselves. Or the fans who demand the story plays out the "correct" way. And the ending forces the player to fight the whispers in order for the player to basically defeat their own literal expectations of what the game "should" be.
How dare people who brought final fantasy 7 remake ask for it to be final fantasy 7 remake! Haven't they played the wonderfully written final fantasy 13, 15 and kingdom heart 3, renowned for their wonderful storytelling and impactfull character, they should want the game to be that instead!
 

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CritialGaming said:
Silvanus said:
CritialGaming said:
Actually I don't think that's true. I think those are the whispers trying to awaken Cloud to the truth of who he is and what he must do. So those scenes are just flashback scenes both to serve that point and also provide fanservice towards people who asked about the compliation stuff.
That doesn't square with what happens, though (pun intended).

They bring people back to life, and intervene to prevent deaths, solely when those deaths contradict the original story. Red XIII explicitly states that they're trying to keep "destiny" on track.

Methinks Square are laying the groundwork to allow fan-favourite characters to avoid dying. As they already allowed Zack to do.
It is possible that they are trying to outright retell the story in a different way
wedge, biggs and possible jesse live after all
but I didn't take that scene as that. It looked like more of Aertih's vision showing her what could have happened or something. I dunno man. It's a clusterfuck. Typical Nomura.
I'm not sure that's quite it, actually. I'm more wont to liken what I've seen to Rebuild.

And by Rebuild, I mean Rebuild of Evangelion, which started off retelling a streamlined version of the original series, but then took a left turn at the end of the second film and started following a markedly different script.

A somewhat frequent comment I've been seeing about this Remake is that it's really a sequel, and it feels like there's some truth to that.

The Whispers only really make narrative sense unless someone is actively trying to derail fate (which is to say, the original script/timeline). Their entire role in the story is to try and get everything back on track. They make a point of injuring Jessie, but then they leave as they only did so because that is all they needed to do to get Cloud back onto the Reactor 5 mission he was part of in the original story. Hojo prematurely figures out that Cloud's got false memories and is about to blow the lid on it, so the Whispers distract him and drag him off to keep his piehole shut (for now). The team makes it up to President Shinra's office earlier than they were supposed to, leading to a...shall we say "unscripted" confrontation with Sephiroth and Barret suffering a major case of 'sword in the chest'. He's not supposed to die there so the Whispers resuscitate him.

The actions and prominence of these Whispers practically scream that the story's about to go off the rails. That something (Sephiroth?) is creating a branching timeline that re-raises the stakes by creating an uncertain future which we don't know the ending to. And in that light, think on that last fight against the Whispers. Kinda feels like a classic Disk One boss, doesn't it? You know, the variant where you taking down the boss paves the way for the actual boss to take center stage?
 

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Asita said:
I'm not sure that's quite it, actually. I'm more wont to liken what I've seen to Rebuild.

And by Rebuild, I mean Rebuild of Evangelion, which started off retelling a streamlined version of the original series, but then took a left turn at the end of the second film and started following a markedly different script.

A somewhat frequent comment I've been seeing about this Remake is that it's really a sequel, and it feels like there's some truth to that.

The Whispers only really make narrative sense unless someone is actively trying to derail fate (which is to say, the original script/timeline). Their entire role in the story is to try and get everything back on track. They make a point of injuring Jessie, but then they leave as they only did so because that is all they needed to do to get Cloud back onto the Reactor 5 mission he was part of in the original story. Hojo prematurely figures out that Cloud's got false memories and is about to blow the lid on it, so the Whispers distract him and drag him off to keep his piehole shut (for now). The team makes it up to President Shinra's office earlier than they were supposed to, leading to a...shall we say "unscripted" confrontation with Sephiroth and Barret suffering a major case of 'sword in the chest'. He's not supposed to die there so the Whispers resuscitate him.

The actions and prominence of these Whispers practically scream that the story's about to go off the rails. That something (Sephiroth?) is creating a branching timeline that re-raises the stakes by creating an uncertain future which we don't know the ending to. And in that light, think on that last fight against the Whispers. Kinda feels like a classic Disk One boss, doesn't it? You know, the variant where you taking down the boss paves the way for the actual boss to take center stage?
I just can't comprehend how someone tasked with making the faithful remake fans have been demanding for decades could look at the game and think "FF7 is alright and all, but what it's really missing is a metanarrative about the nature of linear storytelling!"

It's mind boggling. It's not even like FF7 has a straightforward plot in need of a twist to shake things up. The plot of FF7 is actually pretty darn convoluted as it is!

EDIT: I just remembered the most important question about the remake that I don't think I've heard answered:
Does Cloud cross dress in the remake? And does he look good in a dress?
 

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Drathnoxis said:
EDIT: I just remembered the most important question about the remake that I don't think I've heard answered:
Does Cloud cross dress in the remake? And does he look good in a dress?
Yes and he looks fabulous.
 

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Drathnoxis said:
EDIT: I just remembered the most important question about the remake that I don't think I've heard answered:
Does Cloud cross dress in the remake? And does he look good in a dress?
He does. And I'll let you judge that. Cloud, Tifa and Aerith each have three dress options for the quest, so here's Cloud, here's Tifa, here's Aerith, and here's the lot of them meeting Corneo. Side note: Aerith's scene varies much more than the others.
 

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Asita said:
Drathnoxis said:
EDIT: I just remembered the most important question about the remake that I don't think I've heard answered:
Does Cloud cross dress in the remake? And does he look good in a dress?
He does. And I'll let you judge that. Cloud, Tifa and Aerith each have three dress options for the quest, so here's Cloud, here's Tifa, here's Aerith, and here's the lot of them meeting Corneo. Side note: Aerith's scene varies much more than the others.
Hahaha, pretty good. I think the first is my preference. What the heck is with Aeris panting in the crowd? Creepy. Is there an unlockable costume option to wear the dress the whole game? Because there should be.
 

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I'm currently playing through the original again before I think about getting remake. It may not be my favourite Final Fantasy but it's still a classic that tells a great story with some great payoffs and awesome pacing in that beginning section. There's some great mystery and intrigue with what's to come.

I've a feeling I won't like the changes because I really don't see how they can tell the story differently without ruining it, but I'll try and be open-minded when I finally play it. At least I know roughly the crack with the ending so I won't be taken by surprise, which probably would have been worse.
 

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I finished the game two days ago and it was a bit of a weird experience because unlike what I assume this games target audience to be, I didn't grow up with Final Fantasy 7 or what I understand to be its rather vast expanded universe. What can I say, I was a Nintendo kid. While I do know a thing or two about the game from cultural osmosis alone this was my first direct exposure to Final Fantasy 7.

I will say, as a newcomer, there was some stuff that seemed vague and underexplained to me when it comes to lore, backstory and metatextual themes, though maybe the sequels will elaborate on that. However, I will say, I could follow the basic plot just fine. You are a mercenary, you are in a city ruled by an evil megacorporation working for a resistance group, you meet a girl who turns out to be descended from something like elves, she gets kidnapped by the evil corporation, you rescue her. People like Jim Sterling go on about how "subversive" it is in relation to the original but I simply don't have the context to judge that. That being said:

I fucking loved this. It was certainly not quite what I expected, it felt, much of the time, less like an RPG and more like an Naughty Dog style cinematic action game with emotional und action setpieces connected by mostly linear level (And as a matter of fact, I felt the four more open ended chapters were where the game was at its weakest) but unlike something like Last of Us or Uncharted I actually cared for this story and those characters and the world they live in. It's a game that took me about 40 hours to finish and it never got old for me. For one, because the combat was quite fun, once I got the hang of it, but also because the presentation and writing were, for most of the game, absolutely stellar. There were points where I was literally smiling from ear to ear, simply from how disarmingly charming the game was. Scenes like Wedge introducing me to his cats, or picking flowers with Aerith actually made me fall in love with these characters. Or, hell, the fact that the game actually had an elaborate, Moulin Rouge inspired musical sequence.

Playing FF7Re actually left me with a similar feeling as seeing Star Wars for the first time did. It fully engrossed me in the world it was depicting all the way from its beginning to it action packed finale. The last two chapters had some of the most baroque action setpieces in both gameplay and cutscenes I've ever seen in any visual medium. It might have overdone it a bit in the last chapter, where you get pulled into another dimension, fight something like a god (seemingly just because "that what you do at the end of a JRPG" because the plot really didn't need it) and what even I as a newcomer know is the main antagonist of the original game right after. The last chapter might have leaned a bit too deply into spectacly for spectacles sake but how could I be angry about it when it ends on such a strong note otherwise?

So, I know this sounds like shameless gushing about a game I loved but what can I say? I had a great time with it. I can't wait for the sequel. People will now probably tell me how disrespectful it is to the original and how I'd hate it if I had played that but as far as I'm concerned, it was a hell of an opener.
 

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PsychedelicDiamond said:
I finished the game two days ago and it was a bit of a weird experience because unlike what I assume this games target audience to be, I didn't grow up with Final Fantasy 7 or what I understand to be its rather vast expanded universe. What can I say, I was a Nintendo kid. While I do know a thing or two about the game from cultural osmosis alone this was my first direct exposure to Final Fantasy 7.

I will say, as a newcomer, there was some stuff that seemed vague and underexplained to me when it comes to lore, backstory and metatextual themes, though maybe the sequels will elaborate on that. However, I will say, I could follow the basic plot just fine. You are a mercenary, you are in a city ruled by an evil megacorporation working for a resistance group, you meet a girl who turns out to be descended from something like elves, she gets kidnapped by the evil corporation, you rescue her. People like Jim Sterling go on about how "subversive" it is in relation to the original but I simply don't have the context to judge that. That being said:

I fucking loved this. It was certainly not quite what I expected, it felt, much of the time, less like an RPG and more like an Naughty Dog style cinematic action game with emotional und action setpieces connected by mostly linear level (And as a matter of fact, I felt the four more open ended chapters were where the game was at its weakest) but unlike something like Last of Us or Uncharted I actually cared for this story and those characters and the world they live in. It's a game that took me about 40 hours to finish and it never got old for me. For one, because the combat was quite fun, once I got the hang of it, but also because the presentation and writing were, for most of the game, absolutely stellar. There were points where I was literally smiling from ear to ear, simply from how disarmingly charming the game was. Scenes like Wedge introducing me to his cats, or picking flowers with Aerith actually made me fall in love with these characters. Or, hell, the fact that the game actually had an elaborate, Moulin Rouge inspired musical sequence.

Playing FF7Re actually left me with a similar feeling as seeing Star Wars for the first time did. It fully engrossed me in the world it was depicting all the way from its beginning to it action packed finale. The last two chapters had some of the most baroque action setpieces in both gameplay and cutscenes I've ever seen in any visual medium. It might have overdone it a bit in the last chapter, where you get pulled into another dimension, fight something like a god (seemingly just because "that what you do at the end of a JRPG" because the plot really didn't need it) and what even I as a newcomer know is the main antagonist of the original game right after. The last chapter might have leaned a bit too deply into spectacly for spectacles sake but how could I be angry about it when it ends on such a strong note otherwise?

So, I know this sounds like shameless gushing about a game I loved but what can I say? I had a great time with it. I can't wait for the sequel. People will now probably tell me how disrespectful it is to the original and how I'd hate it if I had played that but as far as I'm concerned, it was a hell of an opener.
I'm so glad to hear that the game converted you to the universe. I was wondering how the game would feel to someone not already pre-invested in the characters and story, which you answered for me. Turns out that it goes over quite well and I really am happy that you fell in love with the characters much the way I did back in 1997. It proves just how good these characters actually are, and why they've stood the test of time. I wonder if we will remember Nathan Drake the way we remember Aerith or Sephiroth in 30 years.

That being said, as a fan of the original beyond belief, I didn't mind the crazy ending that has other people up in arms. Frankly I just wanted more chances to be in this world and the story didn't quite matter as much as hanging out with Cloud, Tifa, Barrett, and Aerith did. So whatever they wanna change, I'm down for. After all you can still go play the original if you want to just have the original story.
 

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PsychedelicDiamond said:
So, I know this sounds like shameless gushing about a game I loved but what can I say? I had a great time with it. I can't wait for the sequel. People will now probably tell me how disrespectful it is to the original and how I'd hate it if I had played that but as far as I'm concerned, it was a hell of an opener.
Are you going to now go back and play the original if you liked it so you can get some context for the bits you found underexplained?
 

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dscross said:
PsychedelicDiamond said:
So, I know this sounds like shameless gushing about a game I loved but what can I say? I had a great time with it. I can't wait for the sequel. People will now probably tell me how disrespectful it is to the original and how I'd hate it if I had played that but as far as I'm concerned, it was a hell of an opener.
Are you going to now go back and play the original if you liked it so you can get some context for the bits you found underexplained?
Maybe I should but for one, I still assume the sequels will get into those, and also, I find turn based RPGs very hard to put up with. I know I'm missing out on some classic games because of that attitude but, you know, I just lack the patience for that kind of combat.
 

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PsychedelicDiamond said:
dscross said:
PsychedelicDiamond said:
So, I know this sounds like shameless gushing about a game I loved but what can I say? I had a great time with it. I can't wait for the sequel. People will now probably tell me how disrespectful it is to the original and how I'd hate it if I had played that but as far as I'm concerned, it was a hell of an opener.
Are you going to now go back and play the original if you liked it so you can get some context for the bits you found underexplained?
Maybe I should but for one, I still assume the sequels will get into those, and also, I find turn based RPGs very hard to put up with. I know I'm missing out on some classic games because of that attitude but, you know, I just lack the patience for that kind of combat.
I'm not sure they will. I think they'll go off on their own tangent.

If you want to play it it's not that hard to play for people who don't like the combat if you get it off the PS4 store (or an emulator for that matter). On the ps4 one, you can cheat and speed through the battles and make yourself invincible if you literally just want to watch the story. It's all done with L3 and R3. You can also turn random encounters off whenever you want. It will take you much less time to get through but you'll still have the feeling of exploration you got in the original and you'll understand the context - you'll still really enjoy it.

That Midgar bit is just basically a long tutorial section and story set up. If you are skipping through the battles you'll get through that bit in less than a couple of hours.
 

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This game is absolutely amazing... until it isn't.

One of its best aspects is that it keeps things "simple", whether it's the world, the characters, or their motivations. It's distinctly lacking any of the usual Square Enix, Nomura, incomprehensible, nonsense idiocy... until it isn't.

I'd say everything before you go to the Shinra HQ is pretty much gold. The characters are likeable, the world is beautiful and lively (and just as important; practical and easy to parse), the combat is fucking fenomenal, and it's all presented in gorgous visuals and with excellent music. The game does definitely stretch itself out at certain sections. Even never having really played the original I could feel this remake holding up giant 'detour' signs, where they wouldn't have been originally. And Sephiroth showing up too much was a little irksome, but since the game always kept its eye on the current goal it didn't bother me too much... until it did.

Shinra HQ is where things quickly started to fall apart for me. In a nutshell, the game just doesn't fucking end. From the very start it's gearing you up for the ending, you can feel it. But then it continues on for another 5 hours at least. Here's where the game stretching itself out really caught in my throat. You can make a game as long as you want and pad out the content, but when you're giving the player the idea that they're reaching the end, DO NOT have the game go on incessantly where it feels like you need to drag it kicking and sceaming across the finish line. There were still some good moments at Shinra, like the scene between Hojo and Aerith, and the VR combat arena. But overall this chapter gave me a migraine with how long it went on.

But worse of all, the ending was all about the ghosts and Sephiroth; the two least interesting parts of this game. I could sort of appreciate the mystery of the ghosts and their little prods into the storyline, but them as the main focus was boring and stank of Nomura mumbo jumbo. Then there's Sephiroth who's only a big deal in this game because he's a big deal in gaming pop culture. Nothing about his presence in this remake justified him being the final Boss, or the game lingering on him like that.

It's funny, because I was pretty in love with this game for the majority. I haven't even mentioned the joy of Wall Market, or how terrific it handles the event where you try to stop the plate from getting dropped. This game was breathtaking, and I never expected to say that about a Square Enix game. But then the Square/Nomura shit hit like a bomb in the final stretch, and I'm finding it hard to remember the good times through the horrid stench that is currently hanging over it.
 

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Casual Shinji said:
It's funny, because I was pretty in love with this game for the majority. I haven't even mentioned the joy of Wall Market, or how terrific it handles the event where you try to stop the plate from getting dropped. This game was breathtaking, and I never expected to say that about a Square Enix game. But then the Square/Nomura shit hit like a bomb in the final stretch, and I'm finding it hard to remember the good times through the horrid stench that is currently hanging over it.
Such a shame. I did suspect that was the case but loads of people seem to be ok with it for some reason - I think I need to experience this so I can judge this for myself. There's been so much buzz about this game that I definitely want to play it and see what all the controversy and good moments are all about.

I've just been rushing through the original so I can experience it with eyes fresh off the original and see it for myself - I was going to wait for a price drop but I really want to understand what's going on with it, which I suppose is a testament to their marketing strategy.
 

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dscross said:
Casual Shinji said:
It's funny, because I was pretty in love with this game for the majority. I haven't even mentioned the joy of Wall Market, or how terrific it handles the event where you try to stop the plate from getting dropped. This game was breathtaking, and I never expected to say that about a Square Enix game. But then the Square/Nomura shit hit like a bomb in the final stretch, and I'm finding it hard to remember the good times through the horrid stench that is currently hanging over it.
Such a shame. I did suspect that was the case but loads of people seem to be ok with it for some reason - I think I need to experience this so I can judge this for myself. There's been so much buzz about this game that I definitely want to play it and see what all the controversy and good moments are all about.

I've just been rushing through the original so I can experience it with eyes fresh off the original and see it for myself - I was going to wait for a price drop but I really want to understand what's going on with it, which I suppose is a testament to their marketing strategy.
No matter my feelings on the ending, it's still the best game Square has made in.. probably a decade and a half.

It's amazing how fantastic Final Fantasy games can be when they're not trying to be so ridiculously fantastic. Which is what the ending of FF7R unfortunately pulls. Just have a nice clean focus on the characters and the world they live in; we don't need super saiyan sword fights against literal manifestations of destiny that take place in floaty dimensions.
 

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Casual Shinji said:
No matter my feelings on the ending, it's still the best game Square has made in.. probably a decade and a half.
Better than FFXII, Bravely Default, or Octopath Traveler?
 

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Silvanus said:
Casual Shinji said:
No matter my feelings on the ending, it's still the best game Square has made in.. probably a decade and a half.
Better than FFXII, Bravely Default, or Octopath Traveler?
Can't speak for Bravely Default, but yes in regards to the other two. FF12 has the most dull, and sleep inducing dialoge, and Octopath Traveler decided to have a story but not really.
 

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Casual Shinji said:
But worse of all, the ending was all about the ghosts and Sephiroth; the two least interesting parts of this game. I could sort of appreciate the mystery of the ghosts and their little prods into the storyline, but them as the main focus was boring and stank of Nomura mumbo jumbo. Then there's Sephiroth who's only a big deal in this game because he's a big deal in gaming pop culture. Nothing about his presence in this remake justified him being the final Boss, or the game lingering on him like that.
It makes sense that it feels off because the game is way off script by that point. The original didn't have any ghosts and you don't even see Sephiroth until well after you've left Midgar.

This is exactly what I was worried about, and the reason I lost my enthusiasm for a FF7 remake about 5 years before it was even announced. Square Enix just has no ability to tell a coherent story whatsoever and never has. I think the only game I ever even enjoyed that had an Enix on it was The World Ends With You.
 

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Silvanus said:
Bravely Default
It doesn't take much to be better than Bravely, okay you've played through the game, now do it four more times for the true ending, Default.
 

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Drathnoxis said:
Casual Shinji said:
But worse of all, the ending was all about the ghosts and Sephiroth; the two least interesting parts of this game. I could sort of appreciate the mystery of the ghosts and their little prods into the storyline, but them as the main focus was boring and stank of Nomura mumbo jumbo. Then there's Sephiroth who's only a big deal in this game because he's a big deal in gaming pop culture. Nothing about his presence in this remake justified him being the final Boss, or the game lingering on him like that.
It makes sense that it feels off because the game is way off script by that point. The original didn't have any ghosts and you don't even see Sephiroth until well after you've left Midgar.

This is exactly what I was worried about, and the reason I lost my enthusiasm for a FF7 remake about 5 years before it was even announced. Square Enix just has no ability to tell a coherent story whatsoever and never has. I think the only game I ever even enjoyed that had an Enix on it was The World Ends With You.
That's the thing though. I don't mind the slight self awareness/4th wall breaking this game has in regards to it being a remake. One of the best moments is what appears to be a 4th wall break, with Aerith seemingly shushing a character to stop them from revealing something that might spoil the audience. But it's a subtle and cute gesture along with it being mysterious and kinda cool. It infers Aerith is sort of aware of what is to come, and of the audience watching. It almost feels like a David Lynch scene.

These moments don't sacrifice story cohesion for the sake of hyping up fans, while still giving a good tease. But the last hour or so of the game totally does by making it all about the stupid ghosts and Sephiroth. It's hyping it up to be so bloody important, when neither were depicted as that important yet. It's kind of stupid how quickly Sephiroth is made to be a big deal by the end. It's like the developers thought 'Oh shit, we've only shown Sephiroth as a ghost from Cloud's past for the first 95% of the game, but he obviously needs a Boss fight. Ah fuck it, he's just physically there now.'

It's stupid Kingdom Hearts bullshit, and maybe fans of the Original FF7 have a shield for that, but having played it I don't have that same protection, and it's like I'm getting vommited in the face.
 

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Casual Shinji said:
So you wanna go off the deep end with me and understand the ending? Check this out!

First off Sephiroth never physically shows up. Only failed experiments of Hojo that are attempts to clone Sephiroth. These are the cloaked dudes with tatoos on their shoulders. Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.

Essentially Sephiroth and Jenova are so tapped into the lifestream now, they can see events before they happen and are trying to manipulate things during the entire game to stop Cloud and company from doing all the stuff they do in the original game so that they can win in the end. Which brings me to the whispers.

Whispers are the defense of the planet, trying to keep the events on course to how they are supposed to happen for the heroes to ultimately stop Jenova and Sephiroth in the end. Everywhere the game deviates from the original game, these Whispers show up to get shit back on track. This happens as early as Chapter 2 where Cloud has the Sephiroth "flashback" except it's not a flashback. Sephiroth knows the future, and he knows that Cloud will stop him. But he can't kill Cloud because he knows that he NEEDS Cloud to do things in the future (like get the black materia from the Temple of Ancients). Instead Sephiroth is trying to manipulate events to change things just enough that Cloud does what he needs but isn't prepared to continue to stop him. Basically he is trying to break Cloud's mind.

So during Chapter 2 Cloud is led on a chase, because Sephiroth wants Cloud to NEVER meet Aerith. He leads Cloud deliberately away from Aerith to try and prevent this. Sephiroth knows that Aerith has the knowledge and connection to the planet to possibly stop him. So he wants to keep Cloud away right?

Which is why when you first bump into Aerith, she is freaking out because the invisible Whispers are harrassing her. But they aren't being evil or trying to hurt her, they are merely trying to keep Aerith in place long enough that Cloud and her will meet. Sephiroth delays Cloud so that Aerith would leave and thus never meeting Cloud, instead the Whispers keep Aerith distracted and in place long enough that Cloud still catches up to her.

The Whispers do this course correction throughout the game. Injuring Jesse so that Cloud gets taken to the second bombing mission like he is supposed to. Saving Aerith from the fall in the church, bringing Barrett back to life. Every action they take directly goes against Jenova and Sephiroth's attempts to mess with events.

As far as the fight at the ending. Jenova's newly released form empowers Clone number 2 to fully tap into the planet to the point where she can also control the whispers. If you notice the three whispers you fight in that boss fight, they might look like whisper verisons of Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa, but actually their description hints that they are actually incarnations of future Sephiroth remants from Advent Children. That Sephiroth actually pulled his remnants from the future in a final attempt to stop the party, but also an attempt to get the party to destroy the Whispers that have been trying to keep destiny on course the whole time.

In the end you destroy destiny, leaving the future unknown and without the Whispers protection. The singularity of that event distorts the destiny of everyone, including Zack. And also is why this game is not called Remake Part 1, because the story has been broken and the future can play out much differently than we remember. The next part of the Final Fantasy saga will not be a remake, it'll be a complete RETELLING.
 

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Casual Shinji said:
Can't speak for Bravely Default, but yes in regards to the other two. FF12 has the most dull, and sleep inducing dialoge, and Octopath Traveler decided to have a story but not really.
Hrmm, well, agree to disagree, I suppose. I really enjoyed both. FF12's dialogue isn't the best, but it's got some charming characters and involved lore. Octopath's story is muted by Square Enix standards, but some would say that's a blessing-- and would certainly outclass "fighting the manifestation of fate to save your friends" in the credibility stakes.

Drathnoxis said:
It doesn't take much to be better than Bravely, okay you've played through the game, now do it four more times for the true ending, Default.
Well, alright. That's the only one of the three I mentioned that I haven't properly played. But I know it was pretty widely liked/ acclaimed, and the issue you outline above doesn't seem to have done Nier Automata any harm.

CritialGaming said:
Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.

It looked to me as if the Remake was retconning that. In the original, when Cloud catches up with "Sephiroth", "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise him. In the Remake, this "Sephiroth" is waxing lyrical instead and inviting Cloud to join him and defy fate together, as if it's Naruto or something. It seems to have jettisoned that aspect of the plot completely in favour of magnifying the super-meaningful relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth, which was borderline nonexistent in the original, but which fans have been obsessed with for years.
 

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Silvanus said:
Drathnoxis said:
It doesn't take much to be better than Bravely, okay you've played through the game, now do it four more times for the true ending, Default.
Well, alright. That's the only one of the three I mentioned that I haven't properly played. But I know it was pretty widely liked/ acclaimed, and the issue you outline above doesn't seem to have done Nier Automata any harm.
It's probably the dumbest implementation of that trope they could have done. I was baffled by the acclaim that game had gotten after playing it. I haven't played Nier Automata yet, so I don't know how they do it but I'm willing to bet that Bravely Default does it worse.

If you don't mind spoilers:
So the game is pretty standard fare to start, you go to four temples, kill the bosses guarding the elemental crystal, then purify said crystal. Once this is accomplished you go into a pillar of light and the protagonists wake up at the starting inn with all the crystals mysteriously unpurified and all the sub-bosses and other characters still unmurdered. The protagonists are understandably confused, but this time you start with your airship so you can just go back and do it again without all the delays and fetch quests of the first run. Or if you are a completionist you can go around the world and kill all the sub bosses again and get slightly different dialogue. I didn't because I was already getting kind of sick of the game and found the characters ranged from boring to annoying.

So you kill the temple bosses again, purify the crystals, and go into the pillar of light. Once again you wake up at the inn with everything undone, so the characters decide to keep doing what they've been doing because, why not? Again you can go on a globetrotting murder spree for slightly different subplots if you really want to, but it's entirely optional. So this time after you purify the temples one of the protagonists who had amnesia suddenly remembers something that conclusively leads him to believe that one of the characters guiding the party is EVIL and that purifying the crystals is a very bad idea, he communicates this to the rest of the party sans the evil one. Once they go through the pillar of light and wake up at the inn again they decide... to go and purify the crystals again... because. Just because. They have a notion that this is exactly what the villain wants them to do, but screw it, they don't have any other ideas so why not go along with it?

So you just continue with your routine purifying the crystals and going into the pillar of light. I haven't really made it clear how repetitive this is. The temple bosses get a little tougher each time, but it's the exact same fight and I never needed to really grind at all until the last cycle. Worse than the repeated bosses is the repeated dialogue. It really gives the impression that your protagonists are brain dead. They *remember* the previous cycles, but every single time you purify the crystal it's the same dialogue, word for word. Every time they are surprised that a monster is coming out of the crystal. Every time Airy explains the crystal purifying technique. Every time Ringabell wonders if this is really the right thing to do. In the Exact. Same. Words. We've done this 15 times already, would it have killed them to make the characters the slightest bit self aware, since it's actually a major plot point that they don't lose their memories between cycles. I am told that the sub boss murder spree does get mixed up a bit, and you fight different combinations of them and get additional little snippets of story that don't really gel with what was going on in the first cycle, but whatever, optional tedium, so don't care.

All in all you fight each crystal boss FIVE times, you purify a total of 20 crystals, all the while the characters are getting extremely strong hints that this is dumb and the wrong thing to do, but you have to do it in order to get the true ending. There is actually a really well done fake ending that requires some out of the box thinking to get and would have been a far better suited to be switched with the true end, but alas the world is doomed unless you stupidly follow directions you know don't work, given by someone you know is evil, to accomplish something you don't understand. This alone is enough to make you hate the protagonists, even if their one note personalities hadn't already done the job.

This is only one of the problems with the game, the biggest, sure, but not by all means all. There's the inherent problem with job systems, wherein you are only told what skills each job learns after you've leveled it up, meaning there's no strategy to character building unless you have a wiki open or level up every job, by which point you will be so over leveled there will be no purpose to strategy. There's the problem with Tiz's quest to rebuild his destroyed town that makes no sense at all and is a thin excuse to squeeze a mobile game in. Tiz is upset that his town is a crater and that everybody is dead, so he resolves to rebuild Norende... in a completely different location, and populate it with entirely new people. It's Norende in name only, who exactly does this help? And when does he even have time to do this? And more importantly, where the heck is this place? We've gone to 3 different worlds now and all changes to the world have been reset, but New Norende still stands safe in its little pocket dimension. There's also microtransactions built into the game, which alone is enough to tarnish the entire experience. I could probably go on, but I'll stop here.
 

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
So you wanna go off the deep end with me and understand the ending? Check this out!

First off Sephiroth never physically shows up. Only failed experiments of Hojo that are attempts to clone Sephiroth. These are the cloaked dudes with tatoos on their shoulders. Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.
Eh...I'd argue that part.

While there's admittedly some variance in statements regarding who is controlling who, and the Jenova Cells are obviously the control vector, the general implication (and more than a few official lines) is that Sephiroth's will overpowered Jenova's. Hence why Sephiroth is the core that you're working your way towards the whole game and why everything that you thought was Sephiroth ends up being a piece of Jenova impersonating Sephiroth. While Hojo casts everything in terms of Jenova and its influence, the implication is very much that Sephiroth is the one really pulling the strings.

As I said though, different devs/writers vary on that somewhat, but structurally it pans out. You don't work your way past Sephiroth to fight Jenova, you work your way through the pieces of Jenova until they're all gone and you finally reach Sephiroth. This doesn't make sense unless Sephiroth is the less expendable puppetmaster and Jenova the more expendable puppet. Heck, the final battle is a battle of wills between Cloud and Sephiroth, not a fight against Jenova, which again only really makes sense if Sephiroth is the dominant will. See also Advent Children, wherein Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are remnants of Sephiroth's will and any of them merging with a mass of Jenova cells resurrects Sephiroth, not Jenova.
 

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So I finally beat the game after trying to do everything that was doable in a single playthrough, ended up taking just over 52 hours. Now I can actually talk about it cause I was avoiding all threads to avoid spoilers.


Long story short I'm very impressed. I went into the game blind beyond the very first bits of the announcement trailer. I just heard things about it such as it being action based an not turn based. I'm someone who always prefers turn based combat in rpgs so I was disappointed but still kept an open mind going in.

Combat felt just pure fun with enough complexity to make you switch up your approaches. It felt like it was always too little and I just wanted to get to experience more of it from the start and that feeling actually never really went away. The rhythm of trying to swap around efficiently while people are executing unique actions with long animations to maximize ATB generation and maximizing how you use unique actions (always start with Barret cause he has a cooldown on his unique action that gives him enough ATB to cast aoe haste/scan, always go to Tifa for stagger %+ buffs, parry all the things with Cloud, fire your 2ATB lazors with Aeris while praying the pain away etc.) keeps you busy and there's enough variety in enemy behaviors that you have to adapt a lot. One of my favorite fights was that flying mech house in the arena story where it gained unique defenses and you had to keep scanning it to hit it with the right stuff. That's where I got a real taste of what they really want out of you and it only got better from there.


Storywise, I can see things being divisive but to me I think most of the "new" stuff is just them elaborating on parts of the game you just didn't necessarily see but which still were plausable in the original. I can tell whoever made the new stuff had a deep understanding of the story because they never felt like barnacles stuck on an original but just like you dusted off parts of it which were always there but couldn't be seen. The ending turned up the dial to 11 because I guess they wanted to give something that feels like an ending to a part of the game that's barely getting in the middle, but the way in which they did it with all those references to future parts of the game was very elegant and the battles were just spectacular too so I can't see anyone complaining about it being pretty different. Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint. Crisis Core was the last FFVII thing I played back in the day, I had not played the original for something like 15 years but a lot of my memories of the series were refreshed with Crisis Core so it is an inextricable part of the FFVII world for me and I didn't see it be recognized enough so seeing it get its dues now in this game is very satisfying. Almost teared up when Zack was carrying Cloud bad after fighting all those soldiers, though they didn't have him be as bloodied as he was in CC haha. In general I guess they avoided blood in this game to keep it to a lower rating. Either way, that whole part was amazing.


Soundwise, the voice actors were all top notch anime talent that has been voicing these characters since Advent Children and then Dissidia and Crisis Core and so on. Takahiro Sakurai fits the cool emo protags like Sasuke and Haseo so he is a natural fit for Cloud while Aeris is gentle and strong so who better than Aigis and Janne d'Arc seiyuu Maaya Sakamoto for her. And you can't say Shigeru Chiba doesn't do an incredible mad scientist haha. Also the recently departed Keiji Inafune was voicing Reno in this so that's quite a bang he went off with, RIP turk bro.

The actual music is FF music and a ton of remasters, so it's obviously amazing. I especially love the remix of one winged angel you hear slowly and ominously winding up during the intro and some late parts but yeah not much to say about music, it's incredible. It also works as funny references, such for example when you get the "descendant of the shinobi" jukebox disc right as you're doing the sidequest of the totally-not-Yuffie girl with the striped socks lol. You're not hiding your secrets very well, game.

So yeah, now I'll do hard mode stuff, still a lot of arena battles to challenge. Also gotta get all those dresses unlocked somehow, that will be fun too. But mainly can't wait for the next part in 3 years or however much they'll take to make it.



Oh and before I forget, I don't get what about this game is supposed to be too hard. The hardest fight I did was the Leviathan summon which I thought I would have to solo with Cloud like I did Shiva and big boi chocobo so I gave him all the best materia so when I was in the fight I had Tifa and Barret with barely any materia equipped, and I still beat it just fine, it just took a lot longer and tidal wave would 1shot Tifa from max hp lol. Beyond that, for the entire game I had people equipping those accessories that give you no stats but can hold lots of materia to level them up as much as possible. Still, nothing was difficult, didn't use anything above a mega-potion either, and had legit very few chars die ever. The only time I actually saw a gameover screen was in the second bike segment boss fight lol. So yeah, the game is complex but not hard at all, it even has a pause button which lets you see what people are doing and parry in time, there's no need for timing like in Sekiro. The only way in which I can see people having difficulties is if they weren't using the command menu but were relying on the shortcuts, which are best ignored completely.
 

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
So you wanna go off the deep end with me and understand the ending? Check this out!

First off Sephiroth never physically shows up. Only failed experiments of Hojo that are attempts to clone Sephiroth. These are the cloaked dudes with tatoos on their shoulders. Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.

Essentially Sephiroth and Jenova are so tapped into the lifestream now, they can see events before they happen and are trying to manipulate things during the entire game to stop Cloud and company from doing all the stuff they do in the original game so that they can win in the end. Which brings me to the whispers.

Whispers are the defense of the planet, trying to keep the events on course to how they are supposed to happen for the heroes to ultimately stop Jenova and Sephiroth in the end. Everywhere the game deviates from the original game, these Whispers show up to get shit back on track. This happens as early as Chapter 2 where Cloud has the Sephiroth "flashback" except it's not a flashback. Sephiroth knows the future, and he knows that Cloud will stop him. But he can't kill Cloud because he knows that he NEEDS Cloud to do things in the future (like get the black materia from the Temple of Ancients). Instead Sephiroth is trying to manipulate events to change things just enough that Cloud does what he needs but isn't prepared to continue to stop him. Basically he is trying to break Cloud's mind.

So during Chapter 2 Cloud is led on a chase, because Sephiroth wants Cloud to NEVER meet Aerith. He leads Cloud deliberately away from Aerith to try and prevent this. Sephiroth knows that Aerith has the knowledge and connection to the planet to possibly stop him. So he wants to keep Cloud away right?

Which is why when you first bump into Aerith, she is freaking out because the invisible Whispers are harrassing her. But they aren't being evil or trying to hurt her, they are merely trying to keep Aerith in place long enough that Cloud and her will meet. Sephiroth delays Cloud so that Aerith would leave and thus never meeting Cloud, instead the Whispers keep Aerith distracted and in place long enough that Cloud still catches up to her.

The Whispers do this course correction throughout the game. Injuring Jesse so that Cloud gets taken to the second bombing mission like he is supposed to. Saving Aerith from the fall in the church, bringing Barrett back to life. Every action they take directly goes against Jenova and Sephiroth's attempts to mess with events.

As far as the fight at the ending. Jenova's newly released form empowers Clone number 2 to fully tap into the planet to the point where she can also control the whispers. If you notice the three whispers you fight in that boss fight, they might look like whisper verisons of Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa, but actually their description hints that they are actually incarnations of future Sephiroth remants from Advent Children. That Sephiroth actually pulled his remnants from the future in a final attempt to stop the party, but also an attempt to get the party to destroy the Whispers that have been trying to keep destiny on course the whole time.

In the end you destroy destiny, leaving the future unknown and without the Whispers protection. The singularity of that event distorts the destiny of everyone, including Zack. And also is why this game is not called Remake Part 1, because the story has been broken and the future can play out much differently than we remember. The next part of the Final Fantasy saga will not be a remake, it'll be a complete RETELLING.
Yeah, I got most of that. I mean, the game literally shoves ghosts in your face to make you get it. It's not exactly subtle about it.

It's Kingdom Hearts BS. It's only there to rile up hardcore fans about the posibilities, rather than have it reflect on the characters in any meaningful way. If this was all for the sake of making a clean break from the original storyline I could sort of accept it, sorta. But you know whatever follows will be all about subversions and plottwists that may or may not happen, instead of good storytelling and human interactions.

Seriously, what about that ending had anything to do with the characters or the situations they've been in throughout the game? Nothing. It was all about the subversion of the original plotline. That's it. Well that sure is emotionally satisfying considering the 40+ hours I've been invested in this game where for 95% of the time none of these stupid plot ghosts showed up at all.

And it makes me not want to bother with another playthrough ever again, because I know everything was just for the sake of subversion, not actual good storytelling with likeable characters. Congratulations Square Enix, you made your very own Metal Gear Solid 2. Thanks for making me realize you're actually still shit.
 

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Based on the future scenes they show during the fights in the singularity, if they're hinting at a ffvii where Aeris doesn't die and the what-if of that world, I'm all for that haha (according to the novels, it is her through the lifestream that stops the meteor during the final cutscene so without her there someone else will have to do something about it).

In any case, I don't see why they can't use interesting character development as a tool of subversion. It's not any less interesting because it's also performing that function while also being very interesting and engaging. Cloud and Sephiroth fighting the entropy of the universe together would also be pretty awesome haha.


My fav FF is VIII so I'm all for those trippy confusing plotlines that you only feel like you kinda get it. :D
 

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Dreiko said:
Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint.
That particular element wasn't specific to crisis core. She was in a cowboy outfit in all the Nibelheim flashback scenes in the original.
 

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Asita said:
Eh...I'd argue that part.

While there's admittedly some variance in statements regarding who is controlling who, and the Jenova Cells are obviously the control vector, the general implication (and more than a few official lines) is that Sephiroth's will overpowered Jenova's. Hence why Sephiroth is the core that you're working your way towards the whole game and why everything that you thought was Sephiroth ends up being a piece of Jenova impersonating Sephiroth. While Hojo casts everything in terms of Jenova and its influence, the implication is very much that Sephiroth is the one really pulling the strings.

As I said though, different devs/writers vary on that somewhat, but structurally it pans out. You don't work your way past Sephiroth to fight Jenova, you work your way through the pieces of Jenova until they're all gone and you finally reach Sephiroth. This doesn't make sense unless Sephiroth is the less expendable puppetmaster and Jenova the more expendable puppet. Heck, the final battle is a battle of wills between Cloud and Sephiroth, not a fight against Jenova, which again only really makes sense if Sephiroth is the dominant will. See also Advent Children, wherein Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are remnants of Sephiroth's will and any of them merging with a mass of Jenova cells resurrects Sephiroth, not Jenova.
This has been a consistent argument for absolute yonks, and there's a fair amount of evidence either way.

* Hojo states that he initially expected the "Reunion" impulse to draw all those with Jenova cells to the Shinra building, where the largest piece of Jenova's body is stored. He then says it's "all Sephiroth's doing" that the Reunion impulse ended up bringing them to the Northern Crater instead (and thus to Sephiroth, and to Jenova's head).

* In the FF7 Ultimania:

The Sephiroth clones seen in various locations continue gathering for the Reunion. Seemingly, the will of Jenova as a human is the result of it consuming Sephiroth's spirit; in actuality, Sephiroth is controlling Jenova.
These would certainly seem to confirm that it's Sephiroth drawing the clones (and Cloud) to the Northern Crater, to deliver him the Black Materia.

However, that doesn't quite settle who exactly you're following for most of the game. As I mentioned before, when Cloud catches up to "Sephiroth", "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise him, much to Cloud's confusion.

It's also stated that Jenova's MO is to mimic people. Not just transformation, but full mimicry, said to pretend to be people's "loved ones". It can't be a coincidence that Sephiroth's goal, to draw the comet to the planet and absorb the lifestream, is almost exactly the same as Jenova's intention during her previous invasion.

So, all in all, I'd say it's explicitly Sephiroth's impulse bringing the Reunion to the Northern Crater, and bringing him the Black Materia. That's his plan. But the person you're chasing is Jenova, and it is Jenova you speak to on the boat. The aims the two of them have are almost identical, and their relationship seems symbiotic (or I'm sure Sephiroth & Hojo would consider it a mother-son relationship).

===

On a side-note, I'd say that it's not a good idea to look to structural arguments to find lore in a FF game. After all, in FFIX, the same line of reasoning would place Necron as the main antagonist.
 

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dscross said:
Dreiko said:
Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint.
That particular element wasn't specific to crisis core. She was in a cowboy outfit in all the Nibelheim flashback scenes in the original.
No see, the first time you see her in that outfit in the remake was during a reference to a CC scene that Cloud somehow ends up visualizing, the part where she picks up the muramasa. That's basically straight out of CC.
 

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Dreiko said:
dscross said:
Dreiko said:
Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint.
That particular element wasn't specific to crisis core. She was in a cowboy outfit in all the Nibelheim flashback scenes in the original.
No see, the first time you see her in that outfit in the remake was during a reference to a CC scene that Cloud somehow ends up visualizing, the part where she picks up the muramasa. That's basically straight out of CC.
She picks up the 'Masamune?' (whatever the sword is meant to be called) in the original flashback scene as well. If you mean Sephiroth's sword anyway.
 

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Casual Shinji said:
I dunno if I'd call this story or this ending shit. Especially if you really look at what was happening the whole time.

Here is a collection of Aerith quotes that highly suggest she knows the original game's events, much like Sephiroth does. https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/g75lfj/quit_acting_like_you_know_me_the_evidence_against/ Give it a read.

Frankly the more I piece together these elements, the more I think the whole set up of this game is fucking brilliant.
 

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
I dunno if I'd call this story or this ending shit. Especially if you really look at what was happening the whole time.

Here is a collection of Aerith quotes that highly suggest she knows the original game's events, much like Sephiroth does. https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/g75lfj/quit_acting_like_you_know_me_the_evidence_against/ Give it a read.

Frankly the more I piece together these elements, the more I think the whole set up of this game is fucking brilliant.
The story is great, the ending is still shit.

And see, I'm fine with certain characters maybe knowing more than they lead on. I mentioned previously that I love the scene between Aerith and Marlene. It's probably my favourite moment in the game. I also really appreciate Cloud's quick flashes to Aerith's fate. It's the game's way of not pretending like we don't know what'll happen to this iconic game character, while also implying that Cloud himself is subconciously aware that he's in a remake. But it's a quick little tease that builds intrigue.

And that's how they should've handled this divergent timeline; subtly. Not with literal destiny ghosts, which turn into a giant destiny heartless that you then have to fight, cuz get it, you're fighting destiny.

I saw someone mention a perfect explaination as to why this ending sucks; The ending makes the story not about the characters and the world they live in, but about it being a story about a story, about being a remake. The ultimate point the game made wasn't to do with any of the characters that we spent the last 40+ hours with, but with subverting fan expectations. It's a 'see what we did there' ending, and those kindly need to die in a fire, because I'm so sick of developers wanting to show off how clever they are at the expense of a proper story/ending.

And this isn't a one-time thing just to tell a different story. This'll be a springboard to hook in hardcore fans to ponder about plot twists and what character will or won't die, about what'll be different from the original plotline. Case in point, fucking Biggs. Seriously, what was the point of that death scene in retrospect? Absolutely nothing. Which applies nicely to the game overall.

It had no point other than subversion.
 

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
I dunno if I'd call this story or this ending shit. Especially if you really look at what was happening the whole time.

Here is a collection of Aerith quotes that highly suggest she knows the original game's events, much like Sephiroth does. https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/g75lfj/quit_acting_like_you_know_me_the_evidence_against/ Give it a read.

Frankly the more I piece together these elements, the more I think the whole set up of this game is fucking brilliant.
Do you think that the idea of 'changing fate' is appropriate thematically in the FF7 world? I always felt the FF7 original and Crisis Core were more about struggling with your identity, living with the consequences of your choices, the effect humans have on the planet to make their lives better, and the extreme lengths people will go to for the sake of power or greed. Seems a bit like it clashes to me and doesn't really fit in? It's almost the complete opposite idea to some of the themes. Not judging particularly, just asking the question to someone who clearly values the original game's story.
 

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Silvanus said:
Asita said:
Eh...I'd argue that part.

While there's admittedly some variance in statements regarding who is controlling who, and the Jenova Cells are obviously the control vector, the general implication (and more than a few official lines) is that Sephiroth's will overpowered Jenova's. Hence why Sephiroth is the core that you're working your way towards the whole game and why everything that you thought was Sephiroth ends up being a piece of Jenova impersonating Sephiroth. While Hojo casts everything in terms of Jenova and its influence, the implication is very much that Sephiroth is the one really pulling the strings.

As I said though, different devs/writers vary on that somewhat, but structurally it pans out. You don't work your way past Sephiroth to fight Jenova, you work your way through the pieces of Jenova until they're all gone and you finally reach Sephiroth. This doesn't make sense unless Sephiroth is the less expendable puppetmaster and Jenova the more expendable puppet. Heck, the final battle is a battle of wills between Cloud and Sephiroth, not a fight against Jenova, which again only really makes sense if Sephiroth is the dominant will. See also Advent Children, wherein Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are remnants of Sephiroth's will and any of them merging with a mass of Jenova cells resurrects Sephiroth, not Jenova.
This has been a consistent argument for absolute yonks, and there's a fair amount of evidence either way.

* Hojo states that he initially expected the "Reunion" impulse to draw all those with Jenova cells to the Shinra building, where the largest piece of Jenova's body is stored. He then says it's "all Sephiroth's doing" that the Reunion impulse ended up bringing them to the Northern Crater instead (and thus to Sephiroth, and to Jenova's head).

* In the FF7 Ultimania:

The Sephiroth clones seen in various locations continue gathering for the Reunion. Seemingly, the will of Jenova as a human is the result of it consuming Sephiroth's spirit; in actuality, Sephiroth is controlling Jenova.
These would certainly seem to confirm that it's Sephiroth drawing the clones (and Cloud) to the Northern Crater, to deliver him the Black Materia.

However, that doesn't quite settle who exactly you're following for most of the game. As I mentioned before, when Cloud catches up to "Sephiroth", "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise him, much to Cloud's confusion.

It's also stated that Jenova's MO is to mimic people. Not just transformation, but full mimicry, said to pretend to be people's "loved ones". It can't be a coincidence that Sephiroth's goal, to draw the comet to the planet and absorb the lifestream, is almost exactly the same as Jenova's intention during her previous invasion.

So, all in all, I'd say it's explicitly Sephiroth's impulse bringing the Reunion to the Northern Crater, and bringing him the Black Materia. That's his plan. But the person you're chasing is Jenova, and it is Jenova you speak to on the boat. The aims the two of them have are almost identical, and their relationship seems symbiotic (or I'm sure Sephiroth & Hojo would consider it a mother-son relationship).

===

On a side-note, I'd say that it's not a good idea to look to structural arguments to find lore in a FF game. After all, in FFIX, the same line of reasoning would place Necron as the main antagonist.
Granted for the most part (never played FFIX, so I can't independently compare the two). My objection centered on the idea that Jenova was the mastermind, which has never struck me as particularly well supported. To borrow from other franchises, it feels like Jenova was to Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII what the Authority was to Metatron in His Dark Materials, or Nerzul was to Arthas after the events of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, with the latter feeling particularly on the nose.
 

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Asita said:
Granted for the most part (never played FFIX, so I can't independently compare the two). My objection centered on the idea that Jenova was the mastermind, which has never struck me as particularly well supported. To borrow from other franchises, it feels like Jenova was to Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII what the Authority was to Metatron in His Dark Materials, or Nerzul was to Arthas after the events of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, with the latter feeling particularly on the nose.
Ah yeah, I can agree there, and I don't think Jenova is the mastermind behind the Reunion/ Black Materia/ Comet plot. I think the two of them are on the same page, because it fits what we know and what we see from both of them.

What I'm a bit worried about is that the Remake will focus exclusively on Sephiroth to the exclusion of Jenova (because Sephiroth is more popular with fans). That's the impression I get from the nonsensical monologues about Cloud and challenging fate and such in the Remake cutscenes. "Sephiroth" was never remotely like that in the original.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Btw, those fate ghosts were in Advent Children, you can see them swarm around the shinra building in the same exact way, so this isn't some new thing this game came up with to be edgy, they just kinda expanded on it some.
 

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Silvanus said:
What I'm a bit worried about is that the Remake will focus exclusively on Sephiroth to the exclusion of Jenova (because Sephiroth is more popular with fans). That's the impression I get from the nonsensical monologues about Cloud and challenging fate and such in the Remake cutscenes. "Sephiroth" was never remotely like that in the original.
That's part of the meat behind some of the speculation, really.

To make a long story short, it feels like a Sephiroth who has already lived through the events of the original game. Whereas pre-Nibelheim Sephiroth dismissed Cloud as some nobody who got a lucky shot off on him, post-Meteor Sephiroth explicitly managed to retain his sense of self in the Lifestream by fixating on Cloud and his anger at being again thwarted by him, hence his Advent Children characterization. And Remake Sephiroth feels very much like Advent Children Sephiroth. View that alongside the Whispers and the inconsistencies they work to correct...well suffice it to say that speculation is that Sephiroth may be pulling a Days of Future Past; projecting his consciousness back into his past to try and tweak events to have a more favorable outcome. And that...surprisingly feels like a natural next step for him.

Supersoldier gets mortally wounded and falls into the Lifestream. His body gets crystalized and unusable, but he becomes more dangerous than ever through his newfound enlightenment and by using his 'clones' as proxies. He attempts to grievously wound the planet to cause a defensive reaction that would allow him to achieve apotheosis. He fails and disappears into the Lifestream again. And once again he retains his sense of self and becomes more dangerous still, this time polluting the Lifestream itself and being able to exert control over those that are contaminated by it (Geostigma in Advent Children). Additionally his sheer force of will manifests three knock-off aspects who work to fully revive him. He's successfully revived, and quickly put down again. Maybe for good this time, but considering the guy takes to mortal injury almost as well as Saiyans in Dragonball do...*shrug*. What I'm getting at is that the idea of him going full Skynet feels like it could be in-character escalation rather than coming wholly out of left field (unlike in Days of Future Past)
 

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Dreiko said:
Btw, those fate ghosts were in Advent Children, you can see them swarm around the shinra building in the same exact way, so this isn't some new thing this game came up with to be edgy, they just kinda expanded on it some.
Wasn't Advent Children widely panned? Borrowing plot elements from that movie is like borrowing from Superman 64 to make the next Superman film.
 

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Drathnoxis said:
Dreiko said:
Btw, those fate ghosts were in Advent Children, you can see them swarm around the shinra building in the same exact way, so this isn't some new thing this game came up with to be edgy, they just kinda expanded on it some.
Wasn't Advent Children widely panned? Borrowing plot elements from that movie is like borrowing from Superman 64 to make the next Superman film.
Never heard anything bad about it actually. I remember loving it to death lol.
 

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Dreiko said:
Drathnoxis said:
Dreiko said:
Btw, those fate ghosts were in Advent Children, you can see them swarm around the shinra building in the same exact way, so this isn't some new thing this game came up with to be edgy, they just kinda expanded on it some.
Wasn't Advent Children widely panned? Borrowing plot elements from that movie is like borrowing from Superman 64 to make the next Superman film.
Never heard anything bad about it actually. I remember loving it to death lol.
Well it got a 33% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes. It looked pretty and had nice fight choreography and music, but that was all it had going for it. The plot and character writing was complete nonsense.

Opinions on this forum about the movie has generally been pretty negative as well.
 

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dscross said:
CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
I dunno if I'd call this story or this ending shit. Especially if you really look at what was happening the whole time.

Here is a collection of Aerith quotes that highly suggest she knows the original game's events, much like Sephiroth does. https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/g75lfj/quit_acting_like_you_know_me_the_evidence_against/ Give it a read.

Frankly the more I piece together these elements, the more I think the whole set up of this game is fucking brilliant.
Do you think that the idea of 'changing fate' is appropriate thematically in the FF7 world? I always felt the FF7 original and Crisis Core were more about struggling with your identity, living with the consequences of your choices, the effect humans have on the planet to make their lives better, and the extreme lengths people will go to for the sake of power or greed. Seems a bit like it clashes to me and doesn't really fit in? It's almost the complete opposite idea to some of the themes. Not judging particularly, just asking the question to someone who clearly values the original game's story.
Umm...Yes and No. Here's kind of the way I see it.

No it doesn't fit into the world as a whole, though Final Fantasy has almost always dealt with timeline manipulation since the very first game. So while it might no directly fit into what FF7 has specifically set up, it does fit with the grand themes that the series had been playing with since day 1.

The main reason I really agree with what they've done here, is that in my fantasies I always just wanted a 1-to-1 remake of the original game but with voice acting and pretty as fuck graphics. Which is initially what everyone thought they were getting with this game. However what we ended up with is a rather brilliant subversion of expectations that allows for new and old players alike to get really invested in the characters and lore of the FF7 world while also managing to transform the original story in such a way that it becomes new for all players.

Basically what it amounts to, is that they've managed to create a Remake starter game that acts as a retelling and a sequel all at the same time. Which is more incredible the more I got deep into the analytics of the story here.

I get why some people might be upset by it. And that's fine, I think it's narrow minded but whatever I guess. Personally I feel delighted to see what comes next because what I thought was coming, might not be coming, and it's like I've gotten to erase my favorite game of all time from my memory to completely experience it for the first time again.

And themes of the original game can still take place here, just in a different way. The theme of lost and identity now can be presented in the following ways.

1. Cloud now has to deal with separating who he is, versus who Zack is and how to come to terms with the fact that he isn't who or what he believes he is. This remains one track from the original and new story elements only enhance this not detract it.
2. Aerith knows what her fate is, she knows everything that happened in the original and now has to come to terms with what she must do. How will this effect who she is, will she keep the threads of the original on course or will she work for an even better outcome?
3. Barrett doesn't know what to do with himself anyone. He doesn't know who he is or what he must do with himself. Forever he believed that Shinra was the enemy, Shrina was to be blamed for all his problems, now he has learned that isn't the case and there is something even worse out there. He will have to find his identity in fighting a new enemy for the life of the planet which at his core I do believe he thinks that's his calling in life.
4. Tifa has lost everything, her hometown, her new home and bar, most of her friends, and all she has left is Cloud who isn't the guy she remembers. She is so unsure of him, yet so afraid of losing the last thing she has in the world. Cloud is Tifa's lifeline, she loves him because he is all she has left in the world and if she lost him too.....she has nothing. That's why she is the one who saves Cloud at every chance in the original game as well as the Remake. (she dives into Clouds mind to help him remember who he really is in the original game. And in the Remake she saves him from falling like three times.) Tifa is always the one who is there for Cloud.
 

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CritialGaming said:
The main reason I really agree with what they've done here, is that in my fantasies I always just wanted a 1-to-1 remake of the original game but with voice acting and pretty as fuck graphics. Which is initially what everyone thought they were getting with this game. However what we ended up with is a rather brilliant subversion of expectations that allows for new and old players alike to get really invested in the characters and lore of the FF7 world while also managing to transform the original story in such a way that it becomes new for all players.
First of all, the game boots new players out at the very end. It's incredibly friendly to people who are new to the franchise for 95% of the game as it takes its time to introduce the characters and the world. But then toward to the end it's like 'well fuck you, you should've played the original'. And it'd be fine if it was a little scene at the end, but we get an almost hour long sequence that states with no uncertainty that this is what everything was all about; subverting the original plotline.

And disregarding how unfriendly that sequence is to new players, it makes everything you experienced previously feel meaningless. Because instead of getting any real emotional closure to the characters and their current journey, we get some climax about fighting destiny itself, when that was not what the game was about at all.

The main plot of the game is Avalance versus Shinra, the people on either side and the ones caught in the middle. That's what the game spends nearly all its time trying to get you invested in. The destiny ghosts show up only occasionally and are then immediately ignored for the main plot. The game actively wants you to know about them, but then quickly is like 'nah, forget about that and just enjoy the actual story'. None of the characters really make a point to actually figure out what the heck is going on with these things, and the story doesn't weave them into the plot at all. They're just there for hardcore fans to geek out over what subversion to the main plot they might bring next.

The subversion isn't part of the story, it's 100% fanservice. That's what the ending was all about, and that's why it's bad.
 

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I dunno. I dont see it that way at all.

Most of the major fans are pissed over the fanservice so does it count as fanservice if the fans didn't want it?

We can agree to disagree here because the plot subversion happens in the original as well. You run around with AVALANCHE fighting Shrina for the first 6 hours of the original game, then you get to the Shrina building and all of a sudden you are global trotting to chase an alien and a super soldier.

The shit plays out the same really. And the only difference at the core is that they had to break up the remake into episodes.
 

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CritialGaming said:
I dunno. I dont see it that way at all.

Most of the major fans are pissed over the fanservice so does it count as fanservice if the fans didn't want it?

We can agree to disagree here because the plot subversion happens in the original as well. You run around with AVALANCHE fighting Shrina for the first 6 hours of the original game, then you get to the Shrina building and all of a sudden you are global trotting to chase an alien and a super soldier.

The shit plays out the same really. And the only difference at the core is that they had to break up the remake into episodes.
I'm not sure that type of subversion is comparable tbh. The plot of the OG didn't waiver from its themes, even at that point during the game. They hadn't even introduced Sepiroth at that point - yeah he'd just killed one of the main antagonists but it was done in a mystery sort of way which was to be uncovered, slowly and deliberately over the course of the game and it didn't get in the way of the main plot at all. There were no major sudden major 'endgame' boss fights of anyone we hadn't properly been introduced to yet. Plus, Shinra are still ever-present bad guys in it all the way through anyway, it's just Sepiroth turns out to be the bigger threat.
 

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CritialGaming said:
I dunno. I dont see it that way at all.

Most of the major fans are pissed over the fanservice so does it count as fanservice if the fans didn't want it?
Just because fans didn't want it doesn't mean it isn't expressely put there for people who are very familiar with the original game. And it seems pretty evenly split as far as I can tell, maybe even leaning more towards fans overall being positive about it.

We can agree to disagree here because the plot subversion happens in the original as well. You run around with AVALANCHE fighting Shrina for the first 6 hours of the original game, then you get to the Shrina building and all of a sudden you are global trotting to chase an alien and a super soldier.

The shit plays out the same really. And the only difference at the core is that they had to break up the remake into episodes.
Yeah, but not in the space of a couple of minutes though, right? I doubt you instantly run into an alien or whatever when you escape Shinra HQ in the original game.

And I'd be okay with all this fate/destiny crap if it at all reflected on the characters or the plot that we'd been sitting through. It doesn't. It's there for the fans alone, no other reason. And fanservice is fine, but this is the ending. It's supposed to be a culmination of everything that came before; The characters we've met and the situations they've been in. But instead the ending decides to put the full focus on what was a passing interest at best.

The game itself doesn't even seem interested in the destiny ghosts until the final hour, where suddenly it's the most important thing in the bloody universe. They should've left this shit the fuck alone and made an ending that focused on the characters and the new sense of trusts that they established with one another. Which is what would've happened if they'd cut out the dimension hopping and just had them ride their vehicles out of the city where we then see them overlooking Midgar as the continue on. There were enough little moments that were meta and 4th wall breaking to infer something was different now. It didn't need to use a sledgehammer and sacrifice the intergrity of the narrative, and completely ignore the characters just to make sure we got it.

This ending showed that the focus of this game didn't lie on the characters or the story, but on the very concept of it being a remake. Wow, brilliant. 40+ hours down the drain for a 'got ya'. Square must feel soooo smart.
 

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Asita said:
That's part of the meat behind some of the speculation, really.

To make a long story short, it feels like a Sephiroth who has already lived through the events of the original game. Whereas pre-Nibelheim Sephiroth dismissed Cloud as some nobody who got a lucky shot off on him, post-Meteor Sephiroth explicitly managed to retain his sense of self in the Lifestream by fixating on Cloud and his anger at being again thwarted by him, hence his Advent Children characterization. And Remake Sephiroth feels very much like Advent Children Sephiroth. View that alongside the Whispers and the inconsistencies they work to correct...well suffice it to say that speculation is that Sephiroth may be pulling a Days of Future Past; projecting his consciousness back into his past to try and tweak events to have a more favorable outcome. And that...surprisingly feels like a natural next step for him.

Supersoldier gets mortally wounded and falls into the Lifestream. His body gets crystalized and unusable, but he becomes more dangerous than ever through his newfound enlightenment and by using his 'clones' as proxies. He attempts to grievously wound the planet to cause a defensive reaction that would allow him to achieve apotheosis. He fails and disappears into the Lifestream again. And once again he retains his sense of self and becomes more dangerous still, this time polluting the Lifestream itself and being able to exert control over those that are contaminated by it (Geostigma in Advent Children). Additionally his sheer force of will manifests three knock-off aspects who work to fully revive him. He's successfully revived, and quickly put down again. Maybe for good this time, but considering the guy takes to mortal injury almost as well as Saiyans in Dragonball do...*shrug*. What I'm getting at is that the idea of him going full Skynet feels like it could be in-character escalation rather than coming wholly out of left field (unlike in Days of Future Past)
I found Advent Children Sephiroth to be pretty unbearable and out-of-tone, playing to the very worst impulses of anime villains. The film was trying very hard with him.

If that speculation is on-target, and he's projecting himself back in time, then I'd consider that even worse than I thought: deciding to build not on FF7 itself, but on its poorly-received edgelord tie-in expanded universe, is a terrible choice. It would also represent sacrificing the storyline of FF7 for Kingdom Hearts-esque unnecessary complexity, which would be another poor trade.

CritialGaming said:
We can agree to disagree here because the plot subversion happens in the original as well. You run around with AVALANCHE fighting Shrina for the first 6 hours of the original game, then you get to the Shrina building and all of a sudden you are global trotting to chase an alien and a super soldier.

The shit plays out the same really. And the only difference at the core is that they had to break up the remake into episodes.
That's not the same subversion at all. What you have in the original isn't a subversion so much as playing with expectations. It builds the expectation that Shinra will act as the primary villain, before you find out that your primary focus is going to lie elsewhere.

...But Final Fantasy had already done similar things in FF4 and FF6. They love multiple villains, they love intrigue and playing with expectation. It's just another formula. It's not a "subversion" because that defied expectation doesn't actually make any particular point about the story you thought you'd be playing through, taking down Shinra. It's just that you thought it'd be one thing, and then it was something else. That aint subversion.

The Remake is a subversion in a sense...
...though it's not really a "subversion" of the original FF7 story, but a "subversion" of what a remake means at all. It takes the status of the original game, as a story that has already played out, and applies that in a meta-narrative way. So yeah, that's enormously different. It shifts the entire story into a meta-narrative about fate that didn't exist at all in the original.
 

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I never played the original FF7 and thus can enjoy the game without any nostalgia baggage. As such the ghosts don't bother me too much though I do think they are the least interesting part of the game.

I never played the original but I have been exposed to Cloud and Sephiroth through different games. They always struck me as the worst Final Fantasy protagonist and antagonist. Whenever they appear outside of FF7 they always came across as the most boring characters imaginable. Cloud is just some emo killjoy who's never interested in anything and Sephiroth is defined solely by his desire to mess with Cloud. I did always hear that these depictions were somewhat out of character and not representative of their real selves so I did give them a chance to prove me wrong. One did, the other didn't.

Cloud is far more expressive then expected. Rather then an emotionless killjoy he's dorky and really shy, with his too cool for school persona being an act to mask that. I can appreciate that. With Sephiroth however pretty much all alarm bells start going off. If Sephiroth was different in the original then Squire has deliberately chosen to use his more boring post FF7 version for this game. Every time he appears he's given a reverence that comes more from his status within the fandom then his status within Midgar, and like all other games Sephiroth seems to get out of bed each morning solely to find new ways to bully Cloud. Sephiroth is just as boring as he's always been.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Hades said:
I never played the original FF7 and thus can enjoy the game without any nostalgia baggage. As such the ghosts don't bother me too much though I do think they are the least interesting part of the game.

I never played the original but I have been exposed to Cloud and Sephiroth through different games. They always struck me as the worst Final Fantasy protagonist and antagonist. Whenever they appear outside of FF7 they always came across as the most boring characters imaginable. Cloud is just some emo killjoy who's never interested in anything and Sephiroth is defined solely by his desire to mess with Cloud. I did always hear that these depictions were somewhat out of character and not representative of their real selves so I did give them a chance to prove me wrong. One did, the other didn't.

Cloud is far more expressive then expected. Rather then an emotionless killjoy he's dorky and really shy, with his too cool for school persona being an act to mask that. I can appreciate that. With Sephiroth however pretty much all alarm bells start going off. If Sephiroth was different in the original then Squire has deliberately chosen to use his more boring post FF7 version for this game. Every time he appears he's given a reverence that comes more from his status within the fandom then his status within Midgar, and like all other games Sephiroth seems to get out of bed each morning solely to find new ways to bully Cloud. Sephiroth is just as boring as he's always been.
There's "DEEP LORE" stuff going on behind Cloud's attitude and personality. You see him open up during the duration of this game but there's a lot going on there.

Sephiroth...wasn't in the original. Not in these parts of the game anyway. They're bringing him in and using spoiler plot things to have him be part of the early game events because he's one of the most iconic villains in videogame history so just not having him do pretty much anything and waiting another couple of years before he shows up wouldn't make sense based on his popularity.