7 Remake producer, Yoshinori Kitase, has explained why Sephiroth features in the game, despite the character not being present in the section of the original game that the new project recreates.Remake only covers the Midgar section of the original story. The opening hours of the 1997 original holds back the reveal of the game’s big bad, Sephiroth, instead opting to just hint at his existence with snippets of dialogue. But for Remake, Square Enix did not feel the need to be so cryptic.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Over 100 Screenshots
Talking to IGN at a Final Fantasy 7 Remake hands-on event, Kitase – who also directed the original game – said: “In the original players had no prior knowledge of that world or many of its characters, so I really wanted to build Sephiroth up as this really major threat. You don’t see him, you see the after effects of what he’s done. You hear rumors about him to build up the fear of this massive evil presence without actually seeing it.
“Obviously nowadays, of course, everyone knows who Sephiroth is, so I thought we didn’t really need to go quite as far to hold him back and to hide so much,” he explained.
“Looking at the the remake overall, it’s clear that Sephiroth is going to be this massive presence overarching throughout the whole of the story, and this rival of Cloud’s throughout the whole story,” he added. “So I really felt I want to include that in this first game in the project, to really have that feeling of him as a really clear presence right from the start.”
Sephiroth can be seen in many of the Remake’s trailers, sometimes even clashing blades with Cloud. It’s unclear from this footage if Sephiroth is actually present in these sequences, or if it’s just a figment of Cloud’s imagination, but no doubt veterans of the original game will be able to come to their own conclusions about this.In regards to “everyone” knowing who Sephiroth is, this is actually one of the reasons Square Enix opted to remake Final Fantasy 7. “There’s a lot of people who may not have played the original Final Fantasy 7, but who know the characters,” Kitase said. “They have come to love the lore and the story of the characters, but never really saw their origins. And when these people will come to say ‘Okay, I want to play, I want to see what the start of story was’, the only game available to them was the original Final Fantasy 7 with PlayStation 1 generation graphics. So I felt that I really wanted these people to be able to experience that story with this more modern, more realistic style of Cloud and Sephiroth.”
More graphically advanced titles such as Crisis Core, Kingdom Hearts, and the Final Fantasy 7 movie Advent Children helped more realistic depictions of characters such as Sephiroth permeate pop culture. It’s easy to understand how after seeing those interpretations, for some the blocky polygons of the 1997 original may have been a difficult sell.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.