Each Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode Will be as Long as Final Fantasy XIII

Reception was mixed when Square Enix announced that its remake of Final Fantasy VII was to be split into episodes, with some fans accusing the developer of milking the game’s release. However, Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase has revealed that each episode will be the length of a single game, comparing the length of each instalment to Final Fantasy XIII.

“It will essentially be a full-scale game for each part of the multi-part series. In XIII, each installment told the story from a different angle,” Kitase told Game Informer’s Joe Juba (via TechRadar). “It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory in a sense.”

“Whereas with Final Fantasy VII Remake, we already have a pre-existing story, so it wouldn’t really make sense if that isn’t encompassed in a multi-part series […] So, if we’re just looking at each of these parts, one part should be on par with the scale of one Final Fantasy XIII game,” Kitase added.

Kitase is a Final Fantasy veteran, having been involved in the franchise since the very first release, plus RPG classic Chrono Trigger.

“I, along with [Tetsuya] Nomura-san and [Kazushige] Nojima-san – who are involved with the remake – were also involved with the original Final Fantasy,” Kitase said. “We were the people who created it, so in that sense, we don’t think anything is untouchable. That isn’t to say we’re changing everything!”

While the release date for the first episode of Final Fantasy VII Remake has not been revealed, it’s a safe bet that more details will be revealed at this Summer’s E3.

First Scenario of Final Fantasy VII Remake Finished

The latest issue of Japanese weekly gaming magazine Famitsu has revealed that Square-Enix has already completed the first scenario of the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

While the use of the term “scenario” can be taken many different ways in English – and could be misread as either scene or even episode – the Japanese use of the word is effectively a synonym for script or screenplay. So, by “first scenario”, we can assume that whatever will constitute the first part or episode of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s multi-part release is now set in stone, meaning that we could soon discover how much of the game we will be getting in the first release.

More information regarding this first scenario has emerged through Hachima (via Siliconera):

  • Players will be able to explore all the areas of Midgar.
  • Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie will get more character development.
  • The amount of parts or episodes is as-yet-unknown.
  • Potential online features are yet to be decided.
  • FFVII Remake will use Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4.
  • The team is getting technological assistance from the Kingdom Hearts team.
  • Cloud’s auditory hallucination scenes are being shaped up to be more meaningful.
  • The voice cast from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children will return.
  • The team will implement a new ATB Gauge and Limit Break system.

Kitase and Nomura Explain Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Episodic Format

Square Enix caused quite a stir when it announced that its forthcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake is to be what has been described as a “multi-part series”. Now, the game’s producers, Tetsuya Nomura and Yoshinori Kitase, have spoken out about why Square Enix has chosen the episodic route for release, in interviews posted by Famitsu and Dengeki.

The pair were asked to explain the decision to make the game episodic (translation courtesy of NeoGaf user JeffAtomsky):

Kitase: “The idea that a remake of Final Fantasy VII would not fit into a single release was there from the very beginning. We still can’t share more information about its multiple parts, but please look forward to future announcements.”

Nomura: “If we dedicated our time to a single release, parts of it would become summarized. We’d have to cut some parts, and additional parts would come in few, so rather than remake the game as a full volume, we decided to do multiple parts.

Kitase: “As you can see in the trailer, we showed Sector 1 and Sector 8, but in those areas alone, I think you can see a lot of density. When you’re remaking the entirety of the original version in that quality, it’s not possible to fit it all in one release.”

Kitase and Nomura also revealed more about the game’s battle system:

Kitase: “Rather than a command-based battle ensuing when you encounter an enemy, we’re aiming for a seamless active battle, as you can see in the trailer.”

Nomura: “Regarding the battle speed and tempo, for the sake of a stress-free battle, we want to do something on the level of Dissidia Final Fantasy. As far as the degree of action goes, it’s Dissidia Final Fantasy, then Kingdom Hearts, then Final Fantasy VII Remake. There won’t be any actions that require a technique. By using the new system, we want to do action battles while also being able to fight while thinking strategically.”

Nomura [RE: FFVII’s original ATB system]: “In the end, it’s based on Final Fantasy VII, so elements like the ATB gauge and Limit Breaks will appear with new ways to be used. Please look forward to how this game will evolve through the remake.”

Finally, they responded to queries regarding any potential changes to the story:

Nomura: “In addition to delving into these episodes more deeply, we’re preparing a number of mechanisms and such. To those who played the original version will know the important parts and understand the story from the beginning to the end. Also for these people, I hope that they can be surprised once again.”

Kitase: “I don’t want the remake to end as something nostalgic. I want to get the fans of the original version excited.We’ll be making adjustments to the story with this feeling in mind.”

While an episodic release structure may anger some, it is in keeping with Square Enix’s stance regarding a remake of Final Fantasy VII for the past two decades. Until the surprise unveiling of Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3 earlier this year, Kitase maintained that adapting the game for modern, HD formats would be cost-prohibitive due to its sheer scale. Just last year, Kitase told Eurogamer that a remake “would take a lot to happen.” It seems that the episodic structure facilitates that “lot.”

Is this a cash-grab or does is it pragmatic to release such an ambitious undertaking incrementally?

New Final Fantasy VII Remake Trailer Hits – Details of Combat System Revealed

During the PlayStation Experience keynote address yesterday, Square Enix debuted a brand new trailer for the greatly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake first announced at E3 earlier this year. The footage gives us our first glimpse at combat, seemingly eschewing the classic Active Time Battle system in favour of more dynamic action-style fights, and even the new voices of Cloud Strife and a sunglasses-wearing Barret Wallace.

It’s not yet clear whether the voice actors from the sequel movie, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, are reprising their roles in the remake, but it sounds a lot like Steve Burton and Beau Billingsly as Cloud and Barret, respectively.

After the trailer, Yoshinori Kitase, the game’s producer, spoke about some of the changes gamers can expect from the remake, including the combat system previewed in the video.

“The hardware itself has evolved since the release of Final Fantasy VII, and the games are more real, and real-time based,” Kitase said (translation courtesy of Nova Crystalis). “The previous Final Fantasy VII was a command-based RPG that utilized active-time-battle. Real-time and GMC are the trends these days.”

“I can’t say the new game is completely action-based, but it has more of that element and real-time than the previous game.”

“However, what makes Final Fantasy and RPG different from other games is that the players have the ability to choose weapons, capabilities and magic to be strategic minded, so while the new game has more real-time element, it will also maintain that strategy building element, balancing these two factors perfectly to enhance the gaming experience.”

“The game is still in development, and we have not fully grasped all the abilities of and upgrades made to PlayStation 4. The graphics are superb on PlayStation 4, and more polygon volume is available to make it better.”

“The way we harnessed the power of the PlayStation 4 was to maintain the graphic quality of characters like Cloud, Tifa, and [Aeris] in the movie called Advent Children in our game, and this was the starting point. So, what we’re aiming for with the Final Fantasy VII Remake is to have the same quality of these characters in real-time while playing the game, and this is only achievable with PlayStation 4.”