|Final Fantasy VII|
North American box art depicting the main character Cloud
PAL SCE Europe
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, Windows, PlayStation Network|
|Genre(s)||Console role-playing game|
|Media||3 CD-ROMs (PS)
4 CD-ROMs (Windows)
166MHz Pentium CPU, 32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 5.1 compatible sound and video card, 260 MB available hard disk space, Windows 95 or above (officially not compatible with NT 4.0 or 2000)
|Input methods||PlayStation controller (PS)
Keyboard or joystick (Windows)
Final Fantasy VII (ファイナルファンタジーVII) is a console role-playing game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was originally released in 1997 for the Sony PlayStation. It was re-released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers and in 2009 on the PlayStation Network. The game is the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, featuring fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds.
Set in a dystopian world, Final Fantasy VII's story centers on mercenary Cloud Strife who joins with several others to stop the megacorporation Shinra, which is draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, the situation escalates and Cloud and his allies face Sephiroth, the game's main antagonist.
Development of Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 and the game was originally intended for release on the SNES, but it was later moved to the Nintendo 64. As the system's cartridges lacked the required storage capacity, Square decided to release the game for the PlayStation instead. The music was scored by Final Fantasy veteran Nobuo Uematsu, while the series' long-time character designer, Yoshitaka Amano, was replaced by Tetsuya Nomura.
Noted for its graphics, gameplay, music and story, Final Fantasy VII is acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influential games of all time. As of December 2005, the game had sold 9.8 million copies worldwide, and it is currently the best-selling Final Fantasy title. The ongoing popularity of the title led Square Enix to produce a series of prequels and sequels under the collective title Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. An enhanced remake for the PlayStation 3 has been rumored since 2005; however, Square Enix has stated that a remake is not in development.
Like previous installments of the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VII consists of three modes: an overworld map, field maps, and a battle screen. The overworld map is a 3D model, featuring a scaled-down version of the game's fictional world which the player navigates to travel between the game's locations. As with preceding games in the series, the world map can be traversed by foot, on chocobos, airship, or submarine. On field maps, characters are directed across realistically scaled environments, consisting of 2D pre-rendered backgrounds which represent locations such as towns or forests. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, such as a building's interior or an open grassland, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies. While characters are super deformed on maps, the character models are more realistic and normal-scaled in combat. Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to have character models with fully-rendered polygons, rather than 2D sprites.
Initially, the player is restricted to exploring the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses, the entire world becomes accessible to the player. Progression through the game's storyline is largely developed by way of scripted sequences, although pre-rendered cinematic cut scenes sometimes also advance the story.
During battle sequences, the game uses the same Active Time Battle (ATB) system designed by Hiroyuki Itō, first featured in Final Fantasy IV. Unlike previous games in the series, which allow 4-5 playable characters to participate in battle, Final Fantasy VII allows only three characters to be in the party at any time.
Final Fantasy VII's skill system is built around the use of materia (which any character can use); magical orbs that are placed in special slots on weapons and armor, allowing players to customize their characters' access to magic spells, summons, and special abilities. Magic and summon materia also make the characters physically weaker. In addition to their individual attributes, materia can be used together in a fixed number of ways to enhance their effects or produce other abilities. Summon spells feature in the game, equippable as materia, with elaborately animated attacks.
A modified form of Final Fantasy VI's "Desperation Attacks" appears in Final Fantasy VII as the "Limit Break". Every playable character has a bar that gradually fills up when they suffer damage in battle. When the bar is completely filled, the character is able to unleash his or her Limit Break, a special attack which generally inflicts significantly more damage on enemies than normal attacks, or otherwise aids the party in battle. Unlike materia, each character has their own unique set of Limit Breaks, which are divided into four levels of strength.
The game's setting follows in the footsteps of Final Fantasy VI by presenting a world with considerably more advanced technology than the first five games in the series. Overall, the game's technology and society approximates that of an industrial or post-industrial science fiction. The world of Final Fantasy VII, referred to in the game as "The Planet", but retroactively named "Gaia", is composed of three main land masses. The eastern continent features the city of Midgar, an industrial metropolis that serves as the capital city of the world as it hosts headquarters of the Shinra, who operate as the de facto world government. Other locations on the continent are Junon, Shinra's major military base; Fort Condor, a fort with a huge condor covering up a Mako reactor on top of it; a chocobo ranch; and Kalm, a small town inspired by medieval Europe.
The western continent features most of the accessible areas, which include the Gold Saucer, an amusement park with Corel Prison below; Costa Del Sol, a seaside resort; Nibelheim, a town residing at the base of Mt. Nibel; Rocket Town, the location of Shinra's failed rocket launch; and a settlement called Cosmo Canyon. Wutai, a village inspired by pre-modern Japan and China, is located on a large island off the western continent. The tribe inhabiting Cosmo Canyon emphasize living in harmony with nature and dedicating causes to the planet's well-being. Their settlement features an observatory and serves as a research facility for those who wish to participate in a philosophy known as the "Study of Planet Life", a lifestyle that encourages deference for nature and teaches that the planet has a life of its own. The northernmost continent is a heavily glaciated landmass, and its few settlements include an excavation site; a ski resort; the mythical "City of the Ancients"; and the Northern Crater, where the game's climax takes place. There are also underwater locations accessible via submarine, such as a sunken plane transporter.
The nine main playable characters in Final Fantasy VII are Cloud Strife, an unsociable mercenary who claims to be a former 1st Class member of Shinra's SOLDIER unit; Barret Wallace, the leader of the anti-Shinra rebel group AVALANCHE; Tifa Lockhart, a martial artist and childhood friend of Cloud's; Aeris Gainsborough, a flower merchant who has been pursued by Shinra's special operations unit Turks since childhood; Red XIII, a wise lion-like creature who was experimented on by Shinra scientists; Cait Sith, a fortune-telling robotic cat who rides an animated moogle doll; Cid Highwind, a pilot whose dreams of being the first man in outer space were crushed; Yuffie Kisaragi, a young thief and a skillful ninja; and Vincent Valentine, a former member of Shinra's Turks unit who was killed and brought back to life as an immortal. The game's main antagonist is Sephiroth, a former member of SOLDIER who reappears several years after disappearing in a battle in which he was concluded to have died.
The game's character designer, Tetsuya Nomura, has expressed that Final Fantasy VII was hindered by graphical limitations, and as such his designs were very plain in comparison to his real style. Cloud's original design of slicked back black hair with no spikes was intended to serve as a contrast to Sephiroth's long, flowing silver hair. Nomura feared that such masculinity could prove to be unpopular with fans, and therefore he changed Cloud's design to feature a shock of spiky, bright blond hair. Tifa's outfit with her dark miniskirt was designed to contrast Aeris's long, pink dress. Vincent's character developed from horror researcher to detective, then to chemist, and finally to the figure of a former Turk with a tragic past. Nomura has indicated that Cid Highwind's fighting style resembles that of a Dragoon Knight, a character class which was chosen because his last name is the same as that of two previous Dragoon Knights featured in the Final Fantasy series, Ricard Highwind of Final Fantasy II and Kain Highwind of Final Fantasy IV.
Due to their popularity, several characters from Final Fantasy VII have made cameo appearances in other Square Enix titles, most notably the fighting game Ehrgeiz and the popular Final Fantasy-Disney crossover series Kingdom Hearts. Dissidia: Final Fantasy is the newest game to include Final Fantasy VII characters such as Cloud and Sephiroth and lets players battle it out with characters from other Final Fantasy games. Aeris's death in the game has often been referred as one of the most emotional moments from any video game. Sephiroth remains one of the most popular villains in video game history, unanimously voted #1 by the staff of gaming publication Electronic Gaming Monthly in their "Top 10 Video Game Bosses" list in October 2005, and winning GameFAQs' best villain contest in spring of the same year.
Final Fantasy VII begins with Cloud joining AVALANCHE in a series of raids against the Mako reactors surrounding the city of Midgar. Although the first mission is successful, AVALANCHE is trapped at another reactor during a subsequent raid. The reactor explodes, launching Cloud from the upper levels of Midgar into the slums below. He lands on a flower bed, where he is formally introduced to Aeris. Prompted by the arrival of Shinra's Turks operatives sent to capture Aeris, Cloud agrees to be Aeris' bodyguard and defends her from the Turks. After the Shinra discover the location of AVALANCHE's hideout, they destroy it by demolishing the entirety of Sector 7, killing its population and three members of AVALANCHE. The Turks also capture Aeris, who is revealed to be the last surviving "Cetra", a race closely attuned with the planet and previously thought extinct. President Shinra believes Aeris can lead him to the "Promised Land", a mythical land of fertility, where he expects to find Mako energy.
The remaining members of AVALANCHE infiltrate Shinra corporate headquarters to rescue Aeris. After freeing her and Red XIII, they escape because most of the personnel in the building, including the president, are killed by Sephiroth, a man presumed to be dead, who stated that he would never allow Shinra to claim the Promised Land. The party also learns that during Sephiroth's attack on Shinra, the headless body of a creature named "Jenova" disappeared from the building's research facility. While the president's son, Rufus Shinra, assumes control of the company, AVALANCHE pursues Sephiroth across the planet, fearing his intentions for the Promised Land may be more destructive than Shinra's. The party is joined by Cait Sith and Cid Highwind, and optionally by Vincent and Yuffie. The full scope of Sephiroth's plan is eventually revealed: if the world is significantly damaged, the Lifestream will gather in an attempt to heal the wound. Sephiroth intends to use a powerful spell called "Meteor" to cause this injury, and then merge with the planet's energy, allowing him to be reborn as a god and rule over the planet. Aeris sets off to stop Sephiroth on her own. AVALANCHE follow her to the northern continent, where they enter an ancient Cetra city. After finding Aeris praying to the planet for aid, Sephiroth impales Aeris with his sword.
Influenced by Sephiroth, Cloud becomes suspicious of his memories and insists he is not a real human, but instead a specimen created from Jenova's genetic material by Professor Hojo. Jenova was an interstellar creature who crash landed on the planet roughly 2,000 years prior to the game's events. Jenova had intended to infect all living organisms on the planet with a virus inducing insanity and monstrous transformations; among its victims were most of the Cetra. Attempting to defend itself, the planet created giant monsters called "WEAPONs". The majority of humans fled rather than fight Jenova; however, a small group of Cetra survivors managed to defeat and confine Jenova. Eventually, the remains of Jenova were unearthed by Professor Gast, a researcher for the Shinra Company. Mistaking the creature for a Cetra, Gast was given authorization to conduct an experiment to artificially produce a Cetra by combining cells from Jenova with the fetus of an unborn child. Sephiroth learned that he was the product of this experiment while on a Shinra mission in Cloud and Tifa's hometown, Nibelheim. He concluded that he was a Cetra who had been produced solely from Jenova's genetic material. He burned down Nibelheim, intending to kill all descendants of those he believed had abandoned his ancestors in the defense of the planet. Cloud confronted Sephiroth during this massacre, after which Sephiroth vanished under unknown circumstances and was presumed dead until his reappearance in the Shinra building. When AVALANCHE travels to the Northern Crater to confront Sephiroth, he tells Cloud that he was not in Nibelheim, showing him images of a SOLDIER with dark hair who occupies Cloud's place in his memories. Tifa is unable to refute Sephiroth's claims, and Sephiroth casts the Meteor spell, causing the planet to awaken the WEAPONs in response. During the earthquake that follows, Cloud is separated from his companions and falls into the Lifestream.
As the meteor summoned by Sephiroth slowly approaches the planet, the Shinra Company focuses its efforts on protecting humanity from the WEAPONs, as well as defeating Sephiroth, in the hopes that this will dismiss Meteor itself. Meanwhile, the members of AVALANCHE find Cloud in a catatonic state on a tropical resort where he washed up following the casting of Meteor. The WEAPONs' destructive activity causes the island to split open, and Cloud and Tifa fall into the Lifestream, where she reconstructs Cloud's memories and learns the truth about his past. It is revealed that Cloud never succeeded in joining SOLDIER, and that the dark-haired SOLDIER from his memories was actually Aeris's first love and Cloud's best friend, Zack Fair. Zack, Tifa, and Cloud had fought Sepiroth during the burning of Nibelheim. Although Tifa and Zack were defeated, Cloud and Sephiroth severely wounded one another. After decapitating Jenova, Sephiroth was thrown into the Lifestream by Cloud, taking the creature's head with him. Rather than dying, his body and consciousness were crystallized in Mako inside Jenova's crater.
Cloud and Zack were among the wounded survivors who were apprehended by Shinra as part of a cover-up of Sephiroth's massacre. Professor Hojo subjected these survivors to an experiment, performing the same enhancements given to SOLDIER members—a procedure which included Mako showers and the injection of Jenova cells. All but Zack entered a comatose state, and nearly five years later, Zack broke free from his confinement and took Cloud with him. However, the alien Jenova cells in Cloud's body still allowed Sephiroth to modulate his behavior. Moreover, the cells' ability to duplicate information allowed Cloud's mind to construct a false persona built around Zack's behavior. This was prompted by Zack himself, who was killed outside Midgar by Shinra soldiers during the escape; he urged Cloud to live both their lives before passing on. Afterward, Tifa discovered Cloud, who was wearing a SOLDIER 1st Class uniform, and offered him a job with AVALANCHE.
After Cloud awakens, it is revealed that Aeris, in her final moments, was casting the spell "Holy" with the White Materia, the only means of opposing Meteor. Although she succeeded, Sephiroth had since prevented the spell from taking effect. Deciding to protect humanity from the WEAPONs before approaching Sephiroth, Shinra and AVALANCHE destroy the WEAPONs, although nearly all of Shinra's executives are killed in the process. Among the few survivors are Reeve Tuesti, who is revealed to be the repentant controller of Cait Sith, and Professor Hojo, who is revealed to be Sephiroth's biological father. He explains that he and his wife were assistants to Professor Gast, and offered up their unborn child as a test subject to research involving Jenova. After finding out that Hojo is trying to help Sephiroth gain mastery over the Lifestream, AVALANCHE kills him. In their final assault against Sephiroth, the group travels through the Northern Crater to the planet's core. They defeat Sephiroth and free Holy, but the spell is unable to destroy Meteor alone. Selected as Meteor's target, Midgar is almost completely destroyed. However, the Lifestream rises from the planet to aid Holy in destroying the Meteor. During the epilogue, taking place 500 years after the game's events, Red XIII runs through a canyon with two cubs at his side. He proceeds up a cliff-face, which reveals a lush land of greenery where Midgar had once been.
Planning sessions for Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 after the release of Final Fantasy VI. At the time, the game was planned to be another 2D project for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi intended the story to take place in modern New York City in the year 1999. Several of the staff members were working in parallel on Chrono Trigger, and development for Final Fantasy VII was interrupted when the other project became significant enough to require the help of Yoshinori Kitase and other designers. Some of the ideas originally considered for Final Fantasy VII ended up in Chrono Trigger instead. Other ideas, such as the New York setting and the sorceress character Edea, were kept unused until the later projects Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy VIII respectively. The original script of Final Fantasy VII, which was written by Sakaguchi, was completely different from the finished product. Tetsuya Nomura recalled how Sakaguchi "wanted to do something like a detective story". The first part of the story involved a "hot blooded" character named "Detective Joe" who was in pursuit of the main characters. The main characters managed to blow up the city of Midgar, which had already been developed for the story.
Development of Final Fantasy VII resumed in late 1995, and required the efforts of approximately 120 artists and programmers, using PowerAnimator and Softimage|3D software and a budget of more than US$30 million. Final Fantasy VI's co-director and scenario writer, Kitase, returned to direct and co-write Final Fantasy VII and was concerned the franchise might be left behind if it did not catch up to the 3D computer graphics used in other games at the time. Production began after the making of a short, experimental tech demo called "Final Fantasy SGI" for Silicon Graphics, Inc. Onyx workstations. The demo featured polygon-based 3D renderings of characters from Final Fantasy VI in a real time battle. This experiment led the development team to integrate these design mechanics into Final Fantasy VII. However, as a result of the high quantity of memory storage required to implement the motion data, only the CD-ROM format would be able to suit the project's needs. Nintendo, for which Square had developed all previous titles in the Final Fantasy series, had decided to continue to use cartridges for its upcoming Nintendo 64 console. This eventually led to a dispute that resulted in Square ending its long, tumultuous relationship with Nintendo, and Square announced on January 12, 1996 it would be developing Final Fantasy VII for Sony's PlayStation platform.
The transition from 2D computer graphics to 3D environments overlaid on pre-rendered backgrounds was accompanied by a focus on a more realistic presentation. While the extra storage capacity and computer graphics gave the team the means to implement more than 40 minutes of full motion video movies, this innovation brought with it the added difficulty of ensuring that the inferiority of the in-game graphics in comparison to the full motion video sequences was not too obvious. Kitase has described the process of making the in-game environments as detailed as possible to be "a daunting task". The series' long-time character designer, Yoshitaka Amano, was busy opening art workshops and exhibitions in France and New York, which limited his involvement in the game. This issue was addressed by bringing Nomura on board as the project's main artist, while Amano aided in the design of the game's world map.
In early August 1996, a demonstration disc called "Square's Preview Extra" was released in Japan as a bonus pack-in with the PlayStation game Tobal No. 1. The disc contained the earliest playable demo of Final Fantasy VII and previews of other upcoming games such as Bushido Blade and SaGa Frontier. The demo allowed players to play through the first part of Midgar. However, there were some noticeable differences from the final version, namely that Aeris was featured in the initial party and that the ability to use Summons had not yet been implemented.
The game's release in North America was preceded by a massive three-month marketing campaign, which consisted of three 30-second television commercials on major networks, a one minute long theatrical commercial, a holiday promotion with Pepsi, and printed ads in publications such as Rolling Stone, Details, Spin, Playboy and comic books published by Marvel and DC. Several additions to gameplay and story were made for the game's North American release, such as easier exchange of materia, arrows highlighting exits on field screens, and an extra cutscene, prompting a re-release in Japan under the title "Final Fantasy VII International". In 1998, Final Fantasy VII was ported to Windows-based PCs. This re-release featured smoother graphics and fixed translation and spelling errors, as well as gameplay-related glitches. However, the PC version also suffered from its own bugs, including errors in the display of some full motion videos when rendering in hardware mode on certain graphics chipsets.
The music for Final Fantasy VII was composed by Nobuo Uematsu. Instead of recorded music and sound effects for the game, Uematsu opted for MIDIs, using the PlayStation's internal sound chip. Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the series to include a track with digitized vocals, "One-Winged Angel", which has been described as Uematsu's "most recognizable contribution" to the music of the Final Fantasy series. Uematsu has said that the soundtrack has a feel of "realism", which prevented him from using "exorbitant, crazy music".
The game's soundtrack was released on four Compact Discs. One of the most notable pieces from the soundtrack is "Aeris's Theme" (or otherwise known as "Aerith's Theme"), which is most noticeably played after Aeris is killed by Sephiroth. It has become popular among fans, and has inspired several arrangements. A single-disc album of selected tracks from the Original Soundtrack and three arranged tracks, entitled Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tracks, was released separately. Piano Collections Final Fantasy VII, a piano arrangement of selected tracks, was released in 2003. Several tracks from the game have been remixed in subsequent Square productions, including Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children and Kingdom Hearts.
Final Fantasy VII was both a critical and commercial success, and set several sales records. Within three days of its release in Japan, the game had sold 2.3 million copies. This popularity inspired thousands of retailers in North America to break street dates in September to meet public demand for the title. In the game's debut weekend in North America, it sold 330,000 copies, and had reached sales of 500,000 units in less than three weeks. The momentum built in the game's opening weeks continued for several months; Sony announced the game had sold one million copies on the continent by early December, prompting business analyst Edward Williams from Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. to comment, "Sony redefined the role-playing game (RPG) category and expanded the conventional audience with the launch of Final Fantasy VII". Final Fantasy VII had sold over 9.8 million copies worldwide including Final Fantasy VII International as of December 2005, making it the highest-selling Final Fantasy title.
Although Square's announcement that Final Fantasy VII would be produced for Sony rather than Nintendo and that it would not be based on the Final Fantasy SGI demo was initially met with discontent among gamers, the game continues to maintain a strong following. It placed second in the "Top 100 Favorite Games of All Time" poll by Japanese magazine Famitsu during March 2006, while users of the video game website GameFAQs voted Final Fantasy VII as the "Best Game Ever" in November 2005 and in 2004, and placed second in 2009.
|Metacritic||92 out of 100|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly||9.5 out of 10|
|Famitsu||38 out of 40|
|GamePro||5 out of 5|
|GameSpot||9.5 out of 10
|IGN||9.5 out of 10
|Official PlayStation Magazine (US)||5 out of 5|
|PSM||5 out of 5|
The game received near universal acclaim from critics. GameSpot commented that "never before have technology, playability, and narrative combined as well as in Final Fantasy VII", expressing particular favor toward the game's graphics, audio, and story. IGN's Jay Boor insisted the game's graphics were "light years beyond anything ever seen on the PlayStation", and regarded its battle system as its strongest point. RPGamer praised the game's soundtrack both in variety and sheer volume, stating that "Uematsu has done his work exceptionally well" and "is perhaps at his best here". In January 2005, it was selected by Electronic Gaming Monthly as sixth on their list of "the 10 most important games ... that helped redefine the industry since ... 1989". Citing its "beautiful cut-scenes and a deep, introspective narrative", they claimed that "Square’s game was ... the first RPG to surpass, instead of copy, movie-like storytelling." In late 2007, Dengeki PlayStation named Final Fantasy VII as the "best story", "best RPG", and "best overall game" in their retrospective awards feature about the original PlayStation. GamePro named it the fourteenth most important and most innovative video game of all-time, as well as the best RPG title of all time.
Final Fantasy VII has received negative criticism as well. GameSpy rated it seventh on their "25 Most Overrated Games" list in September 2003. Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (OPM) and GameSpot questioned the game's highly linear progression. OPM considered the game's translation "a bit muddy" and felt the summon animations were "tedious". RPGamer said "[the game] is far from perfect", citing its translation as "packed with typos and other errors which further obscure what is already a very confusing plot". GamePro also considered the Japanese-to-English translation a significant weakness in the game, and IGN regarded the option to use only three characters at a time as "the game's only shortcoming".
Final Fantasy VII is credited as "the game that sold the PlayStation", as well as allowing console role-playing games to find a place in markets outside Japan, and (as measured in copies sold) remains the most popular title in the series. The game's popularity and open-ended nature also led director Kitase and scenario writer Nojima to establish a plot-related connection between Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X-2. The character Shinra from Final Fantasy X-2 proposes the concept of extracting the life energy from within the planet Spira. Nojima has stated that Shinra and his proposal are a deliberate nod to the Shinra Company, and that he envisioned the events of Final Fantasy X-2 as a prequel to those in Final Fantasy VII. It has also inspired an unofficial version of Final Fantasy VII for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Chinese company Shenzhen Nanjing Technology. This port features the Final Fantasy VII game scaled back to 2D, with some of the side quests removed. In addition to the PlayStation and PC releases, the game was released onto the PlayStation Network in Japan on April 10, 2009, in America on June 2, 2009 and in Europe and Australia on June 4, 2009.
The full motion video sequences and computer graphics presented in Final Fantasy VII would allow Sakaguchi to begin production of the first Final Fantasy film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The game also introduced settings dominantly suffused with modern-to-advanced technology into the Final Fantasy series, a theme continued by Final Fantasy VIII and The Spirits Within. Re-releases of Square games in Japan with bonus features would occur frequently after the release of Final Fantasy VII International. Later titles that would be re-released as international versions include Final Fantasy X (as "International"), Final Fantasy X-2 (as "International + Last Mission"), Kingdom Hearts (as "Final Mix"), Kingdom Hearts II (as "Final Mix+"), and Final Fantasy XII (as "International Zodiac Job System").
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is the formal title for a series of games and animated features and short stories based in the world and story of Final Fantasy VII. The series consists of several titles across various platforms, all of which are extensions of the original story. The first title in the Compilation is the mobile game Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, which is a prequel focusing on the Turks six years preceding the original game. The CGI film sequel Final Fantasy VII Advent Children was the first title announced in the series, but it was the second to be released. It is set two years after the conclusion of Final Fantasy VII. Special editions of the film included Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, an original video animation that recounts the destruction of Nibelheim. Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and its mobile phone counterpart, Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII, are third-person shooters. Dirge of Cerberus is set three years after the events of Final Fantasy VII. The most recent title in the Compilation is the PlayStation Portable game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, an action role-playing game that revolves around Zack's past. Also included in the compilation is On the Way to a Smile, a collection of seven short stories written by Kazushige Nojima based on the events that immediately followed the end of the game, leading up to Advent Children. Originally only three short stories were released: "Case of Barret", "Case of Tifa" and "Case of Denzel". With the release of Advent Children Complete, "Case of Nanaki", "Case of Yuffie", "Case of ShinRa" and "Case of Lifestream -- White & Black" were added.
Releases not under the Compilation label include, Maiden who Travels the Planet, which follows Aeris' journey in the Lifestream after her death at the hands of Sephiroth, taking place concurrently with the second half of Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding is a mobile port of the snowboard minigame featured in Final Fantasy VII. It contains different tracks than the original minigame. The game is downloadable on V CAST-compatible mobile phones, and was first made available in 2005 in Japan and North America.
It was speculated that the Final Fantasy VII Compilation would include an enhanced remake of the original Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3. This speculation was sparked at the 2005 E3 by the release of a tech demo featuring the opening sequence of Final Fantasy VII recreated using PlayStation 3's graphical capabilities, and fueled further by thank-you notes to "the Final Fantasy VII PS3 testing team" in the credits of both Advent Children and Crisis Core; however, it is quite possible the note was aimed at the testers for the PSN release of Final Fantasy VII, or that either game used graphical assets from that demo. Square Enix president Yoichi Wada has explained that the presentation was intended only for technological demonstration purposes, and an official statement from the company said that they had not announced such a project. In June 2009 Final Fantasy VII was released on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.
Yoshinori Kitase, producer of Final Fantasy XIII, said at Games Convention "As for a VII remake, all I can advise right now is to play the PSN release that just came out for the time being. Maybe, perhaps we'll have some news for you at a later time. I'm actually working on multiple projects right now, I don't know exactly what new projects I'll be taking on after XIII, but I am working on Final Fantasy Agito XIII as well, so maybe I'll be able to focus a little bit more on that project once XIII is complete." In February 2010, Kitase stated that creating a Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3 in order to give it a similar quality to the one from Final Fantasy XIII "would take as much as three or four times longer than the three and a half years it has taken to put this Final Fantasy together! So it's looking pretty unrealistic to happen!" Additionally, Kitase commented that making games with the same style of Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 3 is very difficult as it would take the staff too much time to make the graphics; due to this, Final Fantasy XIII is "more linear" than previous titles.
Cait Sith is an animatronic and can be remotely controlled by Shinra Exectutive Reeve Tuesti. As such, some of the dialogue delivered by Cait Sith is actually said by Reeve.
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|Final Fantasy VII|
|Japanese title||ファイナルファンタジーVII (Fainaru Fantajī Sebun)|
|System(s)||PlayStation, Windows, PlayStation Network|
|Preceded by||Final Fantasy VI|
|Followed by||Final Fantasy VIII|
Final Fantasy VII was a seminal release in Square Enix's Final Fantasy series, widely regarded as one of the most successful gaming franchises in history. Released in 1997, FFVII was a gamble for the company. Prior to VII all the Final Fantasy games had been on Nintendo consoles but VII was released for the Sony PlayStation. FFVII took the series in a new direction, which it has pursued ever since. This landmark release paid off, as it is thought by some to be the most popular and well-liked game in the Final Fantasy series, possibly the best Japanese RPG ever made or even the best game ever made.
Final Fantasy VII was released under the same name in Japan, the US and Europe — correcting numbering inconsistencies between the regions. With each new release, Squaresoft (now Square Enix) added new features. The latest release in Europe (PAL) contained bonus material not seen before, namely the two Weapons, Ruby and Emerald.
|Portal: RPGs||Final Fantasy VII at
Final Fantasy Wiki
|Final Fantasy VII|
|Engine||PowerAnimator, SoftImage XSI, Onyx Reality Engine|
|Release date||August 31, 1997 (NA)|
|Age rating(s)||ESRB: T|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, PC, PlayStation Network|
|Input||Keyboard/Mouse/Joystick or Controller|
|Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough|
Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the Final Fantasy series since the SNES generation. It was also the first 3D Final Fantasy, and probably their most successful Final Fantasy game ever. The effect of it's success is enormous. It helped make Square Co. (Today Square Enix) one the biggest RPG developer in North America. It increased the popularity of RPGs among casual gamers. It's enormous fan following is still active today. All other games related to Final Fantasy VII are part of its series of prequels and sequels, dubbed Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Square-Enix made 2 CG movies years later that continued the story, called Last Order: Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
This world, called Gaia, is divided into three large masses, one of them controlled by a de facto world government called the Shinra Electric Power Company. This organization discovered a way to create energy from using the Lifestream, a natural force encircling the planet. They begin draining the planet of Mako, the term for energy retrieved from the Lifestream. This Mako energy can be used not only for electricity, but also in the making of Materia, an orb that contains magical power.
To retain their control over the world, Shinra created a powerful army of supersoldiers, with the assistance of Materia and technology, called SOLDIER. This powerful force brought an end to conflict in the world, and helped established Shinra into a government.
Shinra began to face conflict from those who believed that Shinra was draining the world of the Lifestream, the power that keeps the world alive, and that eventually the planet would die. These ideas brought forth means to stop Shinra at all costs, especially at stopping the operations of the Mako reactors in Midgar, the central city of Shinra. Using violent means, several people created an eco-terrorist organization known as AVALANCHE, to stop the planet from eventual destruction. This group was silenced by an Espionage and Assassination branch of Shinra, known widely as the Turks. The player starts by joining the second coming of AVALANCHE, led by Barret Wallace, and helping the group in stopping Shinra's dark objectives.
The game also introduces the antagonist, Sephiroth, probably the greatest SOLDIER ever, attempting to infiltrate Shinra and destroy the planet, giving him all the energy of the Lifestream and making him a god. Sephiroth requires the Black Materia to cast Meteor, the spell to fatally injure the planet, countering the White Materia, casting Holy, to heal the planet. The plot builds up with introductions of Jenova, powerful monsters called WEAPONS, and a deeper, darker plot to release hell into the planet.
Final Fantasy VII consists of three types of gameplay: Overworld, Town and Dungeon Battle Map, and Combat. Initially, the player is restricted to travel within a single city, but as the game continues, more areas become accessible, and the scripted adventure sequences gradually yield more freedom to explore. Progression through the game's storyline is largely developed by way of scripted sequences, which cannot be skipped, and require frequent player interaction to proceed. At other times, pre-rendered cinematic cut scenes advance the story.
Throughout the game, the player can find colored orbs known as materia. By placing these in the slots of a character's weapons and accessories, the skills will be made available to them. Skills are not gained instantly, since a certain amount of experience or gameplay is needed before being able to use them. As a party fights battles, the materia they have equipped will gain AP and level, making more skills available, or increasing the effectiveness of the materia equipped.
Aerith in intro
Cloud in Nibelheim
Screenshot from battle
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|Final Fantasy 7|
|Final Fantasy VII | Before Crisis | Crisis Core | Snowboarding
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII | Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode
|Characters & Locations|
|Cloud Strife | Barret Wallace | Tifa Lockhart | Aerith Gainsborough | Red XIII | Cait Sith | Cid Highwind | Vincent Valentine | Sephiroth | Zack Fair | Rufus Shinra | Jenova
Turks - Shinra Electric Power Company - Characters
Gaia (Final Fantasy VII)
|Literature, Music, and Films|
|Last Order - Advent Children
Maiden who Travels the Planet - On the Way to a Smile
|Final Fantasy series|
|Final Fantasy series|
|FF I | FF II | FF III | FF IV | FF V | FF VI | FF VII | FF VIII | FF IX | FF X | FF XI | FF XII | FF XIII | FF XIV|
|Final Fantasy Tactics | Final Fantasy Tactics Advance | Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift|
|Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles | Ring of Fates | My Life as a King | Echoes of Time | My Life as a Darklord | The Crystal Bearers|
|Collections, Compilations and Updates|
|Final Fantasy Compilations - Final Fantasy Updates|
|Sequels and Spin Offs|
|Final Fantasy X-2 | Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII | Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII | Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII | Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings | Dissidia: Final Fantasy | Final Fantasy IV: The After Years | Final Fantasy Versus XIII | Final Fantasy Agito XIII|
|Final Fantasy Mystic Quest ||
|Movies and Animation|
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children | Final Fantasy: Legends of the Crystals
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within | Final Fantasy: Unlimited
|Final Fantasy VII|
|Developer(s)||Square Co., Ltd.|
|Publisher(s)||JPN Square Co., Ltd. (PS1)|
NA SCE America (PS1)
INT Square Co., Ltd. (PS1)
PAL SCE Europe (PS1)
Eidos Interactive (WIN)
|Designer(s)||Hironobu Sakaguchi (game producer, original scenario concept)|
Yoshinori Kitase (game director, scenario writer)
Tetsuya Nomura (character designer, original scenario concept)
Kazushige Nojima (scenario writer)
Yoshitaka Amano (image illustrator, title logo designer)
Nobuo Uematsu (composer)
|Release date(s)|| JPN January 31, 1997 (PS1)|
NA September 7, 1997 (PS1)
INT October 2, 1997 (PS1)
EU November 17, 1997 (PS1)
AUS November, 1997 (PS1)
NA June 24, 1998 (WIN)
EU 1998 (WIN)
AUS 1998 (WIN)
|Rating(s)||ESRB: T (Teen) (13+)|
|Platform(s)||Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Windows|
|Media||3 CD-ROMs (PS1)|
4 CD-ROMs (WIN)
|System requirements||133 MHz Intel Pentium CPU, 32 MB RAM, 2 MB video card RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 5.0, 260 MB available hard disk space, Windows 95 or Windows 98 (WIN)|
|Input||Keyboard, mouse, or joystick (WIN)|
PlayStation controller (PS1)
The main characters you can play as in Final Fantasy VII are Cloud Strife, Aeris Gainsborough, Barret Wallace, Tifa Lockhart, Red XIII/Nanaki, Cait Sith, Cid Highwind, and two secret characters: Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi. Sephiroth joins the party in a series of flashbacks, but he cannot be controlled or equipped. However, his status, inventory and equipment, can be checked during Cloud's flashback.
Important characters in Shin-Ra are Reeve (Head of Urban Development), Hojo (Head of the Science Department), Palmer (Head of Space Exploration), Heidegger (Head of the Peace Preservation Department), Scarlet (Head of Weapons Research and Development), President Shinra, his son Rufus, and members of a secret police organization called the Turks (Elena, Rude, Reno, and Tseng).
In the original English language release of Final Fantasy VII, Aerith's name was spelled wrong after being translated, as 'Aeris'. Games that came after that had Aeris as a character, like Kingdom Hearts, spelled it right. Although the spelling 'Aeris' is what some people would call wrong, the pronunciation is right, as the letters 'th' in Japanese are pronounced like an English 's'.
The soundtrack for the game was made by Nobuo Uematsu. Music from the game has been released on an original four-disc soundtrack, a single disc album of some arranged tracks titled Final Fantasy VII Reunion Tracks, and piano-only arrangement of some tracks. Popular pieces from the them include Aerith's Theme, a quiet and melodic character theme, and One-Winged Angel, the first composition for the Final Fantasy series to have recorded voices. The game's main theme, heard on the world map in Disc 1, is over 6 minutes long. Several tracks from the game have come back in Square (and Square Enix) productions that came after Final Fantasy VII, including Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.