Square-Enix’s Yoshinori Kitase has said that, despite what Final Fantasy VII Remake’s ending pointedly has to say, the next installments of the episodic game won’t be shifting away from the direction of the original game’s story.
Kitase says as much in the Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania book that was released in Japan. Twitter user @aitaikimochi has translated a few selections from interviews with Kitase and Director Tetsuya Nomura, and while it’s had a few interesting quotes, like one that says Square-Enix is considering making smaller, more frequent updates the format for Final Fantasy VII Remake moving forward, this particular bit about the story remaining faithful to the original game is questionable, to say the least.
“We’re not drastically changing the story and making it into something completely different than the original. Even though it’s a Remake, please assume the story of FF7 will continue as FF7 always has.”
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Why is this significant? Well, first off, spoiler warning for Final Fantasy VII Remake, because we have to talk about the end of that game to talk about why this matters.
So, Final Fantasy VII Remake has a weird force not in the original game called The Whispers, which are these ghostly beings that show up periodically throughout the game, at first just seemingly to bother protagonist Cloud Strife and friends while they’re trying to stop the big bad Shinra from sucking the planet dry of its life source called Mako. These Whispers notably are always following Sephiroth, the main antagonist of the game, who fans will know doesn’t make an appearance in the original game until after the segment Final Fantasy VII Remake covers, so the correlation between the two is heavily implied.
In the end, it’s revealed that the Whispers are “arbiters of fate” attempting to ensure things go as they’re supposed to. So in a metatextual sense, these things are essentially trying to hold the story of the original Final Fantasy VII together, and any time they appeared and got in the way of things, they were attempting to keep things on course. That boss fight you had with these things as you were running to do actual important things? All in the name of delaying Cloud from interfering with events he wasn’t meant to. The Whispers appearing as Cloud seems moments away from discovering something important about his past? They’re trying to make sure major reveals happen when they’re supposed to.
Once it’s discovered that these Whispers are essentially keeping the party on the rails, the group decides to fight against the very notion of fate, and defeats the personification of it by hitting it with a big sword, punching it, and shooting it with an arm cannon.
The idea now is that Final Fantasy VII Remake is not beholden to the story the original game told, and the game even ends with the not subtle message that “The Unknown Journey Will Continue.”
So given that Square-Enix made an entire force in the game’s universe to personify the idea of breaking away from Final Fantasy VII proper, Kitase saying that the game’s story will be the same, actually, sounds like it’s probably either a lie, or just a complete waste of the whole set up the Remake puts into place. Given that the game is only a few weeks old, it’s not out of the question to think Square’s still in marketing mode and doesn’t want spoil late game reveals, but if you can’t say something true, maybe just don’t say anything at all?
We discussed the possibilities of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s new story in our spoilercast, which you can check out here.