beat FF7: When I initially started playing Final Fantasy 7, I didn’t know the game’s greatest spoiler. Before starting a new game or piece of media, it’s usual for fans to avoid spoilers. Final Fantasy 7, on the other hand, is hardly a novelty. A decade earlier, in 1997, it was released. At conventions, “spoiler” memes and spoof cosplays have been produced by the “spoiler.” The fact that I was completely ignorant of [redacted] for all these years defies logic.
I was familiar with Cloud and his large sword, but I had no idea what he or his planet was like. After seeing him in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the first time, I was disappointed to learn that he and Sephiroth have very little backstory in the series.
Inadvertently purchasing the Final Fantasy 7 Remake introduced me to this rich world of myth and legend. Apart from the fact that many people seemed to enjoy it, that was all I knew about it. I was hooked from the start, eager to see Cloud, Barrett, and the rest of the gang carry out their plans and avert global climate disaster. If they were able to dismantle Midgar’s strict class structure as a bonus, so be it. In addition, I was curious about the cat-like thing at the end and how Red was able to communicate. I was captivated, and I wanted to learn more about the subject matter. As a result, I purchased the original Final Fantasy 7 for my Nintendo Switch less than a week after it was released.
As a refresher for those who haven’t seen the Remake, it delivered more than simply improved visuals or speed. Reimagining the original FF7, it took the first few hours and stretched them out across an approximately 33-hour AAA experience that was completely new. For the first time, we’re able to see the expressions on the faces of everyone in Midgar in a manner that the low-poly aesthetic of the PlayStation couldn’t.
Imagine my pleasure at finally being able to see everything in Remake that I missed out on when I just played the original. The original, on the other hand, was like falling in love with a game that didn’t reciprocate the affection.
Yes, there was still much to be thankful for. Despite its age, the game still has the retro charm of the PlayStation era, with its emphasis on experimentation and playfulness. Conventional triple-A game logic does not apply to Final Fantasy 7. At one point, the cutscenes felt more like a surrealist artwork than an uber-popular title from a large gaming studio. It’s nice to see something new that doesn’t follow the same formula.
However, the original Final Fantasy 7 is still twitching in 2021.
There is a lot of grinding in the game, much as in any older turn-based RPG. After succumbing to one of the game’s numerous bosses, I gave up and used the speed-up option and invincible mode instead. Taming the Chocobo, for example, might be tough without a guidance. Additionally, the Switch version lacks save states, requiring players to rely on the game’s prior save points.
In terms of reliving an old RPG, these are all typical experiences. In spite of this, and despite the fact that the invincible mode and a guide mitigate these flaws, my time with Final Fantasy 7 was never very enjoyable.
There’s a lot here that just doesn’t hold up over time. As an example, Aerith and Tifa’s rivalry for Cloud is an unpleasant dynamic to see after seeing how they cared for each other in Remake. In the original, Cloud is less of a melancholy youngster and more of a straight-up punk. He uses a racial slur and acts more like a sixth-grader than a young adult coping with the profound pain of his background. He’s not. Lastly, there’s a scene in which Cloud wears a dress that was so infamously bungled that the creators made it a point to edit it in a considerate manner.
Aerith’s death is the huge shock and spoiler in the series. It all happened so quickly. Sephiroth appears out of nowhere and stabs her in the back as you’re watching a cutscene. I was left wondering what had happened to her, rather than experiencing a sense of sorrow, when she died. While I can see the story’s need for her demise, it was a letdown. I sobbed more when I saw Aerith’s ghost in Advent Children than I did when I first saw him in the main game.
Because of these flaws, I found myself missing the Remake version of the game a lot. I want to hear the characters’ voices once again and to see Cloud’s wide, blue, mournful eyes. If I find myself missing the universe of the original, I’ll just go back and re-watch bits of the Remake.