7 Remake features Red XIII, but the beloved character will not be playable in the first game in the remake series.Talking to VG247, Final Fantasy 7 Remake co-director Naoki Hamaguchi said “We felt the point at which Red XIII joins the party in the story is very late on so we thought okay, if we’re gonna have him as a full character and try and get the player to enjoy his character development arc and growth as a character through that, it’s not really enough time to do that.”Instead of being a playable character, Red XIII will instead be an AI-controlled ‘guest’ party member, fighting alongside your playable team. “We thought that the best way to have him involved was as a guest character,” Hamaguchi explained. “Normally throughout the game you’ll be playing as a three-man party, but you will have him as a guest character that fights alongside you during the the last part of the story.”
Hamaguchi reassures that the talking wolf/dog/flame-tailed canine will still be equipped with all his “nostalgic” moves, so it seems sensible to expect a bit of Sled Fang action in the Shinra building towards the end of the game.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Over 100 Screenshots
Not explained in the interview is if Red XIII is confirmed to be playable in the second game in the remake series. Square Enix is not talking about the next game in general, though, so this isn’t necessarily a sign of anything.
For more from Final Fantasy 7 Remake, check out our latest hands-on preview, as well as a close look at one of the biggest changes revealed so far, and our discussion with producer Yoshinori Kitase about Sephiroth’s expanded role in Midgar.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.