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New video goes behind the scenes of classic RPG Final Fantasy VII

That’s behind the scenes of the original Final Fantasy VII, not the upcoming remake.

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Final Fantasy VII shinra tower

That’s behind the scenes of the original Final Fantasy VII, not the upcoming remake.

Final Fantasy VII is a beloved game for so many of us. It may only be around 50 hours long, but that hasn’t stopped me pouring hundreds of hours into it. And while the development of the remake is still ongoing (no doubt with lots of changes to come) the circumstances of how the original came together still arouses so much interest.

Polygon’s Matt Leone wrote an oral history of Final Fantasy VII two years ago. It is a stunning read, but also, it’s a bit unwieldy to work through on a website – so much so that Polygon has a browser-based bookmark system so you don’t lose your place. It’s far easier to read now that has been made into a book by specialist publisher Read Only Memories.

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If you’ve already torn through Leone’s book and are still looking for more on the creation of Final Fantasy VII, then Square have a treat for you: a 20-minute developer featurette with some of the people responsible for the game’s creation.

In Japanese with English subtitles, the video features writer/director Yoshinori Kitase, publicity producer Shinji Hashimoto, and art director and Yusuke Naora. It delves into the art, style, design, and publicity for the game.

It also features one of my personal favourite details: how Final Fantasy VII progressed from its original concept – a detective story in a New York-alike metropolis – into a steampunk fantasy, fighting to save the planet. You can still see elements of that original vision, from Midgar’s aesthetic to the pursuit of Sephiroth across continents, in the final game.

Here’s hoping Square will produce more of these, as fans of the series will continue to eat it up.


Image source: Lap Pun Cheung, Artstation

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.