Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth has a lot to fix from the remake

After Final Fantasy 7 Remake made significant changes to the story and character arcs of the original release in 2020, Rebirth is being expanded into its own version of the Remake’s continuity. Will Rebirth carve its own path into a parallel Final Fantasy universe or undo some of the controversial choices made in the remake?

Despite development issues that involved a complete overhaul by the development team, the game was released in 2020 to mostly positive reception. How will Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth continue from here? Before even talking about Rebirth, it’s probably best to go through Remake’s various changes and what a sequel actually entails.


The criticism of the Final Fantasy VII Remake story needs to be repeated. Starting with the little things, Sephiroth is in the game. While Sephiroth is a popular villain that people were looking forward to seeing in Remake, his overexposure took away a lot of the specialty he had in the original. In the original, Sephiroth was built up over ten hours of gameplay. You were slowly introduced to his relationship with Cloud, learning more about his character through his actions than anything he said to any other character or did in front of you. No matter what they made him do in Remake, having him appear so frequently would always detract from his mystique. It’s possible to correct this change with the following two entries, but for players who haven’t played the original Final Fantasy VII it probably won’t have the same effect.

Another big change that could pose a problem is sector 7 disk falling off. Shinra wants to remove the Avalanche faction and destroy their reactors by completely taking out the sector they are hiding in (and killing tens of thousands of people in the process). In the original, this is portrayed with a masterful shot of the interior of one of Sector 7’s slum houses, with a wide shot showing both a television news program and the upper part of the sector. The newscaster reacts to the disk falling while destroying the entire sector outside. The remake version of this shows the plate just coming off the frame (with a hilariously inappropriate Cait Sith cameo). If you haven’t played the original, that cameo means absolutely nothing and the game doesn’t bother to explain what you’re seeing.

The game struggled to find a healthy mix of original story content and new additions. Each time a major change is made from the original Final Fantasy 7, a ghostly creature that travels in packs called “The Whispers” prevents the main characters from progressing to a certain point or even trying to kill secondary characters, the dead were far away earlier in the original game. Using the whisper as a plot device to halt the story whenever a drastic change occurs is thematically interesting, but it halts the story and the player’s interest in it as well. Not to mention that whispering doesn’t seem very interesting to the characters when they’re not on screen.

The remake itself was plagued with padded content, including revisiting old areas, loads of ill-conceived side quests, and time-consuming mechanics like moving shipping containers with a giant hand. However, Tetsuya Nomura hasn’t had the best track record lately. Both Kingdom Hearts III and the more recent Stranger of Paradise are proving to be quite divisive. It’s hard to say exactly how much Rebirth will change. The Rebirth trailer features Cloud and Sephiroth visiting Nibelheim from the original game, in addition to the expected nods to the fact that this game is set in its own universe from this point forward. Narratively, Square Enix can do whatever they want with the game’s story from this point forward.

Anyway, what about Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth?

In Nomura’s defense, he claimed he simply wanted to rewrite the story of the PS1 game, while Yoshinori Kitase, the director of the original, wanted far more drastic changes in the reboot. It’s hard to imagine what more could have changed if Kitase had been chosen to direct the remake, but what’s probably best for this new trilogy is that they have the flexibility to customize what they want in the future. With the Whispers removed from the plot at the end of Remake and the game’s final scene teasing how different this new reality is, the door is wide open to see a drastically different version of Final Fantasy 7, one that it will be be made or broken, however much Rebirth wants to deviate from its roots. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth has a lot to fix from the remake

Lindsay Lowe

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