We all knew Final Fantasy 7 Remake was just the beginning, but had no idea how long we would have to wait for the next part, or even how many parts this incredibly ambitious project would end up spanning. Since fans have been begging Square Enix to remake what is quite possibly the most popular and most important JRPG of all time for years, there was obviously a lot of pressure on the studio to get it right. While there was plenty of skepticism regarding the first part changing so much about the core formula, once we had it in our hands, it became almost universally praised.
After Remake, there was next to no news on when Cloud and his ragtag team’s adventure would continue. That is, not until the 25th anniversary of the original PlayStation 1 game, when Square Enix dropped a ton of info on us all at once. The biggest news was obviously the official reveal of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the second part in what we now know to be a trilogy of titles. Since then, we’ve collected all the info drops as they’ve occurred. Here’s everything we know about Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
Note: There will be spoilers throughout for both Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the original Final Fantasy 7.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will release on February 29, 2024
This is another interesting aspect of the whole Final Fantasy 7 retelling trilogy. We all remember the first part, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, being a PS4 exclusive at launch, then later getting a PS5 upgrade as well as a PC version. However, that game has still not yet come to any other platforms. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, at least as far as the reveal trailer indicates, will follow the same formula, though skipping the PS4. When it comes out, you can only play this game on the PS5.
We suspect that, again, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will come to PC within a year of the PS5 version, if the same type of deal between Sony and Square Enix exists for this game as it had for the first. As far as Xbox players are concerned, while we knew that Final Fantasy 7 Remake was only a timed exclusive, the fact that it still hasn’t shown up on that platform yet indicates that either the deal keeps the games exclusive to Sony consoles until the next game in the series comes out or possibly even until the entire trilogy is out. That’s pure speculation but is the only thing that makes sense when it has been over two years without it coming to Xbox.
Our first look at Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth was in a quick trailer that revealed the game during the Final Fantasy 7 25th anniversary event in 2022. It opens with Aerith stating that while the past may be set in stone, the future can be changed, even if it has been “written.” This is clearly referencing the last game where notable changes to the story weren’t just made but were actually a plot point that we’ll go into a bit more later.
We get a shot of the iconic meteor crashing into the planet with the simple question posed, “What will become of the planet?” From there we see Cloud for the first time walking with Sephiroth toward a forested area as he states that “he wants to finish what he started — reclaim his birthright and rule over the planet with Jenova at his side.” This scene is almost certainly from the flashback that occurs right after Cloud and his team leave Midgar and he explains his past with the villain in his hometown.
As the two continue walking, we hear more conversations, with Cloud most likely talking about how he thought Tifa was already dead after Sephiroth went mad, burned down their hometown, and attempted to steal Jenova from the reactor. Tifa stops him and asks what he means and if he thinks she’s an imposter. This is heavily foreshadowing the twist that Cloud’s memories of this event are not accurate, perfectly leading into the next block of text asking, “What is fact and what is fiction?”
Next, we see the change that could have the most major implications for this new timeline going forward: Zack. We see Zack carrying Cloud toward Midgar instead of Cloud making his way on his own after Zack died to protect him. Cloud says, “You were here with me … five years ago. Where are you? What happened to you?” This raises many questions about when this line is delivered since the original Cloud didn’t realize he and Zack were different people until after he fell into the lifestream much later in the game. Aerith stating, “I’m trying so hard to find you,” makes much more sense since she never knew Zack died at this point and the two were in a relationship before meeting Cloud. Zack’s only line, which could very well be to either Cloud or Aerith, is, “Sorry … feel like I failed you.” And then we cut to the new title of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
We don’t want to go too deep into what happened in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, especially not theories here, but there are a few things worth noting that will be important for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. First, the only gameplay we see is Cloud and Sephiroth apparently on their way to the town or reactor in the mountains of Nibelheim. This implies that the events of this flashback won’t change — not because Sephiroth, or another force, can’t or won’t interfere with what occurred there, but because this is Cloud’s incorrect recollection of those events. This story is told in the first city you visit after leaving Midgar, Kalm.
The Release Date Announce Trailer gives us even more to chew on. Aside from the places and events we expect to see, we get a bit more of Cloud and Sephiroth’s journey in Nibelhiem during the flashback sequence. Most importantly, Sephiroth is confirmed to be a party member for this section and thus could be playable. We say could here because in the original, despite being in your party, you had no direct control over Sephiroth during this section.
Zack is the other major player to consider. His survival could be the biggest change to the story yet and seriously impact not only the narrative, but also character relationships. The second trailer only briefly shows more of his stor,y where he and Cloud are just arriving and he asks a new character to the series, Kyrie, to look after a still unconscious Cloud. Where Zack goes or what happens to him beyond this point is still unknown.
Cait Sith is finally shown in action, and we even see secret character Vincent make an appearance, but surprisingly, there’s no sight of Cid just yet. He is the final party member in the original game that we’ve yet to see.
Of course, there’s the big question: Will Aerith survive this time around? This is impossible to answer right now and could easily go either way, which is exciting in its own right to not know what’s coming. Since we know that this series will be three parts long — based on storytelling techniques, anyway — the second part is typically where our heroes are at their lowest point, so while it may not happen to the same person, or in the same way, odds are that something will happen at the conclusion of this game that puts Cloud and the others at that low point.
As far as where the story will go, we can only guess based on the original game, but because they have essentially broken free of the bounds of that game, who knows how much things will change. For fans of the original, that is perhaps the most important part of this new telling of events.
In one of the questions answered on the official Final Fantasy Twitter account, there’s mention that the team “made preparations so that players who did not get a chance to play the first game can fully enjoy Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.” While there may be some sort of recap, the last trailer did end with an advertisement for a Twin Pack preorder start that includes both Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
OK, so while we did see gameplay in the initial trailer, it was nothing more than walking around. That leaves a lot of questions in mind, the most prominent being about how they will handle the open-world aspect. Now that we’re out of Midgar, things will vastly open up if the game is anything like the original. In the original, moving around the overworld was represented by a big model of Cloud walking over the terrain, which wouldn’t stylistically fit with the hyper-realistic models and environments we have in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. This could be fixed once you start traveling with vehicles, however, so perhaps traveling early on will be more truncated or automatic until you get your first Chocobo to ride.
The only clue about this was from another question the developers answered about traveling outside of Midgar. Their answer was that “Players will be able to journey across the wide and multifaced world with a high degree of freedom, experiencing a myriad of different stories along the way.” We’ve so far seen Chocobo riding, plus the buggy, but no sight of an airship just yet.
In terms of combat, the following trailers gave us quick shots, but enough to get a grasp on what to expect in the basic sense. Cait Sith will officially join the party, and combat itself looks largely the same. One addition appears to be an expansion of the synergize attacks introduced in the Yuffie DLC for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intermission. These allow two characters to partner up for a special, more powerful attack.
The Golden Saucer was a given to appear, but now we know at least a few of the minigames we can expect. Chocobo racing is back, as well as the boxing game that features models of the characters resembling their blocky PS1 graphics and a motorcycle combat game.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is still quite a ways off. Once the release window of “winter” gets focused down into a date, we expect the preorders to start popping up. When they do, we’ll fill you in on all the editions and details you need.
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