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Is Tetsuya Nomura really going to change the most iconic death in gaming history?
Aerith’s death in Final Fantasy 7 is burned into the brains of millions of gamers. Easily one of the biggest spoilers of the early PlayStation era, it’s probably the closest thing the games industry will ever have to a “Vader is Luke’s father,” moment.
Crucial to the development of the absolutely feverish Final Fantasy 7 fanbase, it’s the definition of an iconic moment. The defining image of early 3D gaming, watching Sephiroth stab through Aerith’s back as she falls to the ground is a moment that’s been anticipated heavily since talk of the Final Fantasy 7 remake began.
Square is keenly aware of this, and it’s already teasing players. The moment itself has been foreshadowed heavily in the first game, and what appears to be a clip from the moment has been shown in trailers. So then why do players think it’s going to change it?
When it’s finished, the Final Fantasy 7 remake will go down as easily one of the most ambitious remake projects in the history of gaming. Utterly massive in scale, the FF7 remake has completely ruined the expectations of all future Final Fantasy remakes with how impressive it’s been so far. One of the reasons for this is how it is willing to take risks and change things from the original.
The first game of the trilogy already made sweeping changes to the first game, and the second game in the trilogy will be no different, but surely it won’t make a change as fundamental as letting Aerith live to see another day once Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is said and done. Series creative director Tetsuya Nomura is keenly aware of the speculation and is frankly goading fans into even more wild speculation.
“I believe that loss is something that happens unexpectedly, it’s not something so dramatic or drawn out, but is something in which a person that you have just conversed with is suddenly gone and never to come back,” he said speaking to Game Informer. “I believe that the person who dies should not return in this title, and that is what we did with the original.”
Who dies? Who are you referring to Nomura-san? Surely we all know who you’re talking about, don’t we? We love this willingness to mess with the original. FF7 is unimpeachable. What’s the real value in just remaking it beat by beat? The changes mean that FF7 Remake is a tangibly different game, inspired by the same story.
“The first game of the trilogy already made sweeping changes to the first game, and the second game in the trilogy will be no different, but surely it won’t make a change as fundamental as letting Aerith live”
Don’t kill Aerith, kill someone else. Kill Cloud, and let us play the third game as Tifa; it’s what the people want. Even the biggest FF7 loyalists don’t know what they’re going to get in February. It’s brave, especially with a fanbase that loyal, and it’s paid off massively.
That element of the game makes us even more excited to play it, besides the fact that the first was a best-in-class action RPG. In the same Game Informer interview, it was revealed that The Witcher 3 was a huge inspiration for the game’s content in terms of how it handles side quests and the open-world that the party will explore.
Look, every game is inspired by The Witcher 3, but when stepping out of the fairly small areas of the first game into the wider world outside Midgar, it’s a great starting point. Not only that, there’s a new card game that looks suspiciously like one played by a certain white-haired Witcher. We’re sure they’ll make billions of pounds selling fancy replica cards, we will be there from day one.
New towns and areas not present in the original will also be included in the new game, as well as a bonding system for members of your party that can be increased via going on quests with them. It sounds like a huge game, and we can’t wait to explore it when it releases in February.
Will Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth be the dark middle chapter? Frankly, we have no idea. It feels like every trailer Square Enix releases for the game sends the fanbase into an absolute frenzy with theories about how it’ll change the original, and that makes Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth one of 2024’s most exciting releases.