The hype is real! State of Play just debuted Final Fantasy VII Remake for the first time since 2015 (yes it was really that long ago). Since then, there’s been virtually no information outside of a few teases and things here and there. However, Nomura said that this year’s theme was “7” clearly indicating that Final Fantasy VII would finally be kicking off starting this year. If you haven’t seen this trailer yet… what are you doing?! Go check it out!
Earlier in the week there were many hints at the Remake being shown off at State of Play, and at the start of the livestream, the ever familiar Final Fantasy VII save sound effect played to hint at what’s to come.
It’s 2019, Final Fantasy VII Remake is still real! Let’s mosey on over to the trailer and see what information we can squeeze out of these glorious 72 seconds of teaser goodness.
The Return Draws Closer
Right off the bat, we’re reintroduced to the iconic opening sequence that we’ve seen time and time again. You know, where Aerith is staring at a glowing pipe for some reason in the middle of Midgar. Yeah, that one. It’s been an iconic scene in FFVII, as it’s the first character you see when you first start the game. Not only that, but it was recreated on the PS3 as a tech demo, to which many fans lost their collective… minds when people thought this could be a sign of a Remake! Little did they know, they would have to wait several more years for this to become a reality.
For the record, I was one of those people getting my hopes up at the time, but it all worked out in the end, right?
We’re blessed with the beautiful image of Aerith’s face against the glow of the the Lifestream that flows within Midgar’s veins pumped straight out of the planet. This is the first time seeing Aeirth at all for the Remake, and fans agree she looks stunning.
We also can take this opportunity to compare just how vastly different everything looks compared to the PS3 tech demo. It’s crazy to think just how far along graphics have come.
Next up are some Shinra soldiers, guns pointed at our boy Cloud. This sequence here comes straight from the first playable sequence of the game, just after the intro where Avalanche is hitching on the top of a train into Sector 1 to bomb the reactor.
You can just about make out the train on the right hand side as well as Barret and the two Soldiers which are the first enemies you ever fight in Final Fantasy VII.
A very faithful recreation of this opening scene which is very iconic for FFVII fans. It should be noted though that this might not be the first thing you play or experience in the Remake. Tetsuya Nomura, the game’s director, has stated that they will be changing up a few things about the game and the opening sequence is potentially one of them. This blend of faithful recreation and creative liberties should meld into an incredible experience that both feels nostalgic but fresh.
We’re then shown Jessie, Biggs and Wedge from Avalanche. Jessie turns to the camera to tell us to have fun. How sweet of her. The group hop over a turnstile leading into what looks to be a train station. We can see above Jessie’s head a screen that shows different rail lines as well what depart or arrival times and what Sector they’re traveling to.
As Final Fantasy VII veterans know, this countdown here is the time before the bomb goes off on the Sector 1 Reactor. Cloud and the rest of Avalanche only have 10 minutes before the bomb explodes. In the Remake, it seems like we’re given more time since the areas are going to be a lot bigger.
Here we get to see our first glimpse at the gameplay. The HUD shows us a lot of meters to look at, let’s try to break some of this stuff down.
On the right side we can see the HUD for your stats and the like. Our party members are shown here as expected, with a few resources. One being the HP, pretty self explanatory. Underneath the HP however are two blue bars. Throughout the trailer if you pay attention, they are sometimes depleted. More on that in the other UI section. We also see MP in a light purple color, as well as a yellow gauge.
On the left we have the “Commands Menu” which is bound to Circle, as well as “Attack” on Square and both “Punisher” for Cloud and “Backblast” for Barrett on Triangle. The “Commands Menu” likely opens up things like “Magic”, “Summons” and “Items” which would make sense that it might be tied to the ATB bar as well. Having this mix of using resources like MP as well as an ATB bar should shape up to be really exciting. The Triangle action seems to be a more powerful attack, but it’s not just called “Heavy Attack”. This might mean it’s a special ability given to each weapon, similar to what we saw in Episode Duscae. Perhaps each weapon could have a powerful special attack.
Here we see options for switching Party members with L2 and R2, as well as a Shortcuts button on “L1” which is very similar to what we see in Kingdom Hearts. Underneath shortcuts, we see a reflection of the two Blue Bars, which seems like it might be an ATB style gauge where certain actions might consume this. Perhaps similar to how FFXIII did things. It’s possible that using a Potion might take up one of these bars. It’s hard to say, and we’ll have to wait until E3 to learn more about these UI elements.
Now for a new boss reveal! This creepy dude’s name is Aps, and he lives in the sewers under the Don’s mansion. As expected, both Tifa and Aerith are in the party for this section. One thing you might notice is that Tifa is nowhere to be seen in any of these shots. This is likely Square Enix trying to hide her for a big reveal at E3. We see Aerith fighting with her iconic staff weapon, but we don’t get to see her being controlled in combat.
Our first look at some of the regular enemies of the game we see a Sahagin from the Sewers, Custom Sweeper and a Grashtrike. Cloud here holds a Defensive Guard stance against the Custom Sweeper’s attack and Blocks a portion of the incoming damage, while Barret takes it head on and ends up falling to the floor. It’s likely that there are moves in the game that can knock you to the ground, and by Blocking it, you’ll be able to not only take less damage, but stay on your feet. It’s unknown how blocking will work, as we don’t see any button prompts on screen to show the controls for blocking.
It’s also worth pointing out that you can target different points on bigger enemies like the Custom Sweeper similar to Kingdom Hearts and even Final Fantasy VII classic itself (Attack while it’s tail is up!). This will likely prove to add a strategic element to fights where you might want to whittle down one part of a boss or enemy to make it easier to finish them off.
One other thing to note here is that you can see Cloud’s weapon with materia slotted in. Final Fantasy VII pros will know that the Buster Sword can only slot two materia, and that’s reflected here. We’re still not sure how Materia will factor into the game. It could be pretty faithful to the original game, but it might also be something more unique for the Remake.
Lastly we have what appears to be a new scene with Sephiroth. There’s some speculation if it’s a Nibelheim scene, or if it’s a new depiction of the control Sephiroth has over Cloud. I’m hoping it’s the latter, because it would mean spicing up the game as we know it with newer elements. As stated earlier, they do plan on making some changes while keeping the core story intact. This could be our first look at one of these changes.
So, that’s about it! There’s a lot to speculate on, but these are the core things I noticed while watching the trailer over and over… and over again. If you have any of your own thoughts, be sure to leave them in the comments and speculate with me.