I don’t think I ever really cared about Yuffie much.
Which, really, can’t entirely be blamed on me. Yuffie was an optional character in a game that leaned heavily on executing its narrative through hard-locked CG cutscenes, making the optional feel more like the invisible. As such, I remember Yuffie fine, but if I were to bust out pencil and paper and start ranking Final Fantasy VII characters, she would find herself in the back, facing the tail-end of Red XIII.
Perhaps that’s why the first and likely only DLC for Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, the PS5 release of last year’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, chose to focus on Yuffie. Despite the retcons from Dirge of Cerberus, Yuffie was given the short-shrift in the game’s story, and the teenage ninja from Wutai deserved a chance to flesh her character out. Considering how much I absolutely loved Final Fantasy VII Remake, I was eager to see whether the Intermission DLC could get me to love Yuffie, who had a fairly open backstory before she joined Cloud’s crew in the original game.
In Intermission, Yuffie has come to Midgar to partner with Avalanche to steal a super weapon — an ultimate piece of materia that had taken on mythical status — from Shinra. She is joined by Sonon, a fellow Wutai ninja who trained under her father, though the two had never met before this materia heist. Both Sonon and Yuffie have different reasons for undertaking this mission, but they both believe strongly that Shinra must be brought to a permanent end.
Despite the grim mission, Yuffie is in most ways a typical teenage girl. As a sharp contrast to Cloud’s dour personality, Yuffie is loud, vivacious, overly-dramatic, and eager to move on to the next thing before thinking it through. She has things she doesn’t want to talk about and things she desperately wants everyone to hear. She has little respect for anyone’s feelings unless they have done even the slightest good deed to earn her loyalty, which is then proven to be undying and fierce.
That is to say, they fleshed Yuffie’s character out. If you’re looking at Intermission as a checklist of goals, its most important achievement is that it made me feel like I got to know Yuffie by the end of it. Not just that, I cared for her as a character, and was excited to see her eventually join Cloud’s group and explore their new dynamic together.
In terms of gameplay, Intermission is largely built off Final Fantasy VII Remake, though with some interesting changes here and there. While Sonon joins Yuffie in battle, he’s not controllable like the various characters who fight alongside Cloud. Instead, he acts as a partner to Yuffie by attacking in tandem with and drawing enemy aggro from her. In the original game, you could end up kind of screwed in battle if you did not have the necessary element to put an enemy on tilt. In Intermission, a sustained effort between Yuffie and Sonon is usually enough to break most enemies.
The two chapters are also exclusive solely to Intergrade, which means they’re exclusive to the PlayStation 5 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake. This does not wildly change the structure of the game, but things look nicer, run better, and there’s almost no instances of having to shimmy between tight spaces to load the next area. It’s an encouraging sign that the next part in the Remake series won’t feel quite as compartmentalized as the first one did.
I came away from Intermission satisfied with my time spent on it. It’s a little sidestory that, in the long run, does not matter much to where the Final Fantasy VII Remake saga is going, but it’s an extra little bit of a world I enjoy visiting. The DLC took a character I barely knew and made me excited to see them again, which hopefully will not take too long now.