Several interviews in Japanese have revealed new information about the two “final fantasy finales”.
Gematsu has fairly collected what Yoshinori Kitase (executive producer of the Final Fantasy VII series), Tetsuya Nomura (creative director of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and creative director and character designer of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII), and Mariko Sato (producer of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion) had to say about the two games.
Regarding Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, the three developers said Zack would appear more often in Final Fantasy VII Remake than in the original game. They started Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion to better understand Zack’s character, but they didn’t plan to do that when they started the Final Fantasy VII Remake project. The game has been upgraded so much that almost nothing from the original game has been left untouched. Every asset (sound effect, texture, etc.) has been replaced, camera movement and animations have been modified, and the summon scenes have been completely redone. Apart from Zack, Cloud, Aerith and Sephiroth were also painstakingly reworked.
Combat has also been extensively reworked to improve the pacing. Zack’s attacks can now be tied into combos, while spells and abilities can be used with hotkeys. Digital Mind Wave (DMW) scenes have been partially deleted, making combat feel smoother. Limit Breaks and Summons had activated automatically when DMW slots were correctly aligned, but now we can choose to use them ourselves. There are more buttons than on the PSP so that you can move the camera with the right analogue stick during combat. Elements of the Final Fantasy VII Remake also appear here: a mode change allows Zack to launch more powerful attacks.
All scenes (with characters and dialogue) will have voiceovers, and NPCs will be voiced. Some (but not all) characters have been re-recorded. GACKT voiced Genesis back in the day, but he already had full voiceovers during the PSP original. A few chests have been moved to different locations, but it was also done to improve playability. It’s a remaster, so there are no new missions, but a Hard Mode was in the western release PSP original. Still, it will be selectable by default (opponents have more HP, you have to think while fighting them), though you can always change the difficulty level. The story has not been changed. The Final Fantasy VII Remake project was designed to understand the story’s mystery by playing it through; it was not designed to change the past. Visual adjustments have also been made to resemble the Final Fantasy VII Remake style closely. For example, the Buster Sword’s look and the summons’ appearance have been adapted accordingly.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is not called Remake Part 2/Remake 2 because both Remake and Rebirth refer to being reborn. With the number, we would expect to see more parts, 2 wouldn’t exist without 1, and Square Enix says the Rebirth name makes this game enjoyable in its own right. The announcement was delayed because the team wasn’t sure if there would be two or three parts to the Final Fantasy VII remake. When it comes to the Final Fantasy series, after a game ends, only the core members remain, while the rest of the team disbands after development. However, because the project is in several parts, the same team has started the sequel: the teamwork, the know-how, and the momentum have been preserved, so the development has been speedy. However, with so many resources, there is no time to rest; things are always moving at full speed. The developers are now in the “mass development” phase, which is going quite well. Work is already underway on the story and script for the third part. Just as Midgar was designed to be appreciated by fans of the original Final Fantasy VII, care has been taken in the development of Rebirth not to spoil the image that fans of the original game would have been able to relate to. This part is going to be massive. It won’t be a condensed, compressed story either. Will it be an open-world title? The studio will discuss this when the next bundle of information is released.
The general systems of Final Fantasy VII Remake will remain the same. The scene seen in the trailer (Cloud and Sephiroth walking together) is a flashback from Cloud. The 3D models of the main characters have not changed. However, some characters have been adjusted (Yuffie’s model is from Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, upgraded). The story’s centre has not changed. As for the new mysteries, which are different from the original Final Fantasy VII, those who played the original will enjoy the game in a new way. The challenge was how to implement them without deviating from the original game. There will be some changes to the gameplay: if you think something has been cut, the story structure has changed a little bit because of the trilogy. The order of the locations visited may vary. The game is a PlayStation 5- exclusive due to the graphics quality and the SSD. Since the adventure unfolds in a vast world after escaping Midgar, the loading stress is an extreme bottleneck. Square Enix felt that the PS5 specifications were needed to overcome this and allow us to move around the world comfortably.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is coming this winter to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, while Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is also coming to PlayStation 5 this winter.