Put These 8 Moments in the FFVII Remake, You Cowards
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Let me revel in my age here for a minute and bestow you all with a bit of context re: Final Fantasy VII. This PlayStation classic and myself go way back. I specifically recall wanting to rent from Hollywood Video and my dad telling me "no" because it was three discs long and that was just excessive. I wouldn't really get my hands on the game until 1999-2000 when I made friends with a girl who had an older brother and thus access to such forbidden entertainment as JRPGs and VHS copies of Don't Be a Menace.... We played and dissected the game to death (she was an Aeris fan while I'm a strong Tifa supporter) and that's how I spent much of my 7th grade year. As new console systems came out, we'd twitter about the possibility of a FF7 remake with better cinematics. It was a dream I remember discussing well into high school.
I'm now a full-fledged adult and I can't believe this is actually, really happening! Yet, even after Square Enix released a gorgeous teaser last week, I have my reservations. The team are throwing out the turn-based battle system! What other beloved moments from this weird game about militant environmentalists will they throw out next? Final Fantasy VII was a product of its time. There's a handful of jokes that would easily fall in the category of "gay panic" or misogynistic. Even with its awkward flaws, I'm hoping they don't strip the game of everything that made it charming. Here are the scenes I hope remain untouched or tweaked to become better versions of itself.
Let Me Breed Chocobos
If I want to shirk my duties to track down and slaughter Sephiroth in favor of living a peaceful life as a Chocobo farmer then that's my business. Chocobo farming is a non-essential side-quest that involves racing your prized birds at the Golden Saucer and breeding them to get different colors. The color isn't just for aesthetic. Chocobos can be used on the World Map and different birds have different abilities to let you traverse in areas you couldn't reach before. It's also necessary if you want to obtain that little thing called "Knights of the Round." Catching quality Chocobo involves equipping certain materia and stocking up quality food can make or break the success of your herd. QUARK!
This moment is iconic to the game so I'd be genuinely surprised if we don't get to barrel down the freeway on Cloud's stolen "Hardy-Daytona" and take out Shinra punks. The motorcycle has appeared again and again with graphic upgrades including the straight to mobile Final Fantasy VII G-Bike game remake. Of all the moments in the column this week, this one is probably the most likely to stick around when the remake comes out.
Sephiroth's Final Angel Form
Look at this absolute boss unit. After defeating the demonic-inspired Bizarro Sephiroth, Cloud's foe transforms into the almost serene "One-Winged Angel" that is Safer Sephiroth (oh boy, that name is misnomer). After putting in well over 40 hours into the game, this is the final payoff as the party prepares for battle. The iconic "One-Winged Angel" track blares in the background. For the love of Jenova, I hope this isn't screwed with too much. First off, Safer Sephiroth's design is amazing. It takes cues from Biblical descriptions of angels, specifically seraphim.
2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”-Isaiah 6:2-3Of course Sephiroth, with all his pride, reveals his face and has an additional wing, the inspiration for his final fight song title. He's seeking to become a god after all and his final form, like his name, is closely rooted in religious symbolism.
Highly Detailed Toilets
There is no real purpose to this request outside of just being a giant dumbass, but I'll own that. While infiltrating Shinra HQ, Cloud enters the bathrooms. The idea is to climb on the toilet and up into the air ducts so the player can eavesdrop on a conversation. You can also flush the toilet. Endlessly. I read multiple forum posts asking "how many times did you flush the Shinra toilet?" Some players flushed it 100 times thinking it may give them a special reward. There's no reward for flushing the Shinra toilet, but I want to see that swirl in HD anyway.
In a flooded area of Junon is a little girl named Priscilla. Priscilla has a pet dolphin because of course she does. She's attacked by a boss and defeating it earns you a Summon materia and Priscilla's first crush. Saving Priscilla is important to progress to new areas of Junon because her marine friend is your only way to get up to the higher levels of the Junon. The entire situation sounds incredibly shoe-horned in. I mean, why not just throw in a rope ladder instead and be done with it? Because that's stupid when we could ride on the back of a friggin' dolphin. LET ME RIDE THE DOLPHIN.
Here's where we get to the three controversial picks, the ones that might need some level of rework to stay in the game. The Don Corneo side-quest is probably the most egregious as it centers around seducing a mafioso in the Wall Market district. In order to do this, Cloud, Tifa, and Aeris all decide to give it a go but first the player has to get Cloud the appropriate gear to fool Don Corneo and his subordinates. Cloud's cross-dress attempt is mostly played for laughs (his hair is ridiculous) and I'd like to still see him suit up in a dress before getting some answers out the scumbag, there's just one particular part that has some significant problems. The Honey-Bee Inn. The idea of the Honey-Bee Inn isn't an issue in of itself. I'm all for a beefcake brothel. It's the jacuzzi scene where cloud appears to be (off-camera) undressed and taken into the water by a group of speedo-wearing dudes. At least one of the guys is breathlessly interested in Cloud and once they all get in the water, Cloud's sprite is shown facing away with the guys huddled behind him. One of them asks him if it feels good and players can either respond with "..." or "it hurts."
That probably wouldn't fly now and for good reason. Can we get our beefy guys without the potential sexual assault joke? I think so.
Golden Saucer Barret Date
Keep the date but rewrite the whole thing so it isn't so depressing! In the Gold Saucer area, Cloud goes on a one-on-one date with another one of the characters based on choices you've made within in the game. Usually the outcome is either Aeris or Tifa, but our man Barret is also an option, albeit a rare one. Unfortunately the gamemakers made this a disappointing outcome as nearly all the activities that Cloud would get with the girls are nullified based on Cloud and Barett both being men. Players actually lose out on the opportunity for bonus content because of this. For instance, instead of getting to star in a play for being the 100th couple, the Gold Saucer staff actually turns the two away and the entire play scene is scrapped. Their conversation on the Gondola also takes a weird turn as Barett suggests Cloud isn't trustworthy to be around his 5-year-old daughter. So here's an idea: keep the date! Let the guys have a fun time out together, romantic or not. We don't have to make it awkward or mean-spirited.
Tifa and Scarlet's Slap Fight
I've seen some criticism of this scene because Tifa is a martial-arts bad-ass and could just combo punch Scarlet in the face. Okay, fair. But let's also not forget that firmly slapping someone across the face is a major power move, incredibly satisfying, and poses less risk of a boxer's fracture. I take absolutely no offense in the idea of Tifa just wailing on a Shinra lackey as giant monstrous weapons are released upon the planet. Let's MASH CIRCLE if it means saving this planet from capitalist vampires and giving them five to face!
Lynzee had a small part in high school production of a Final Fantasy VII sequel where she played Yuffie. This film does not exist anymore and the world is better for it. (Twitter.)
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