Final Fantasy VII was the first game in the Final Fantasy since the SNES generation. It was also the first 3D Final Fantasy, and one of the most successful Final Fantasy games in the franchise. The effect of its success is enormous; it helped make Square (Today Square Enix) one the biggest RPG developers in North America, and it increased the popularity of RPGs among casual gamers. It's enormous fan following is still active today. All other games related to Final Fantasy VII are part of its series of prequels and sequels, dubbed the Final Fantasy VII series.
It has retrospectively been acknowledged as the game that popularized role-playing games outside of Japan, and as the PlayStation's killer app that cemented its lead over other Fifth-Generation Consoles.
In 2013, Final Fantasy VII was released on Microsoft Windows via Steam and Square Enix's website. This was another release of the original Microsoft Windows port, with several improvements and fixes made in subsequent months, most notably the audio; instead of MIDI-quality audio, the game was eventually patched with CD-grade audio on par with the original PlayStation release. This port also included a Character Booster, that must be accessed via the Square Enix website. This modifies the save files to patch the in-party characters to maximum HP and MP, and sets Gil to 49,999,999. This modification is irreversible.
On December 5, 2014, Square Enix released Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation 4.
|This section contains spoilers! Content within this section may reveal significant parts of a game(s) story.|
Both the Microsoft Windows (including Steam) and PlayStation 4 releases of Final Fantasy VII make changes to the dialogue used by characters, correcting several grammatical and spelling errors (such as the "This guy are sick" line). Many other lines have had their wording and/or meaning slightly changed; when Cloud faces off against Rufus, the original English dialogue from Rufus expresses sarcastic disappointment that he and Cloud won't become friends. In the later releases, "friends" is changed to "allies".
Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi noted the game's central theme of "life" dates back to when his mother passed away while he was working on Final Fantasy III, after which he always wanted to explore the theme of "life" in a "mathematical and logical way" maybe "to overcome the mental shock" but it was not until Final Fantasy VII that he explored the theme of "life" for the first time in the series.
Development required the efforts of approximately 120 artists and programmers, using PowerAnimator and Softimage 3D software. This was the largest game development team at the time, and included Japanese CG artists working alongside Hollywood CG visual effects artists, such as Ron Sabatino, former British ILM artist Paul Ashdown who worked on Star Wars and Jurassic Park, and artists from Digital Domain who worked on Terminator 2 and True Lies. Final Fantasy VII was the most expensive video game of its time, with a production budget of around US$45 million
Sakaguchi stated: "When we discussed designing the field scenes as illustrations or CG based, we came up with the idea to eliminate the connection between movies and the fields. Without using blackout at all, and maintaining quality at the same time, we would make the movie stop at one cut and make the characters move around on it. We tried to make it controllable even during the movies. As a result of using a lot of motion data + CG effects and in still images, it turned out to be a mega capacity game, and therefore we had to choose CD-ROM as our media. It other words, we became too aggressive, and got ourselves into trouble."
Sakaguchi stated that they were also considering the SEGA Saturn and personal computer as possible platforms for the game, before eventually deciding on the PlayStation as "the right machine" for the title. In early 1996, when Final Fantasy VII was around 15% complete, Square unveiled screenshots of the game, including the characters Cloud, Barrett, Aerith and Red XIII.
Final Fantasy VII was originally intended for Japanese audiences; in order for it to be marketed to other countries, the game had to be translated from Japanese to English. This resulted in numerous spelling and grammatical errors found throughout gameplay, including "Aeris" (a mistranslation from "Aerith"), and the now-infamous 'this guy are sick' line from shortly after Cloud meets Aerith in Midgar.
The translation team also had to make sacrifices to how the story was played out to western audiences. For more information about the story of Final Fantasy 7, click here.
The game's marketing budget amounted to $100 million.
The game's demand in Japan reportedly exceeded that of the PlayStation's Japanese user base at the time. In the game's debut weekend in North America, it sold 330,000 copies and grossed $16.5 million, setting an industry record and earning more than the top-grossing film G.I. Jane during Labor Day weekend; Its success made it a killer app for the PlayStation.
|PlayStation||10.66 million||$820.13 million|
|Steam||1.1 million||$13.2 million|
|Overall||11.86 million||$835 million||$1.231 billion|
Upon release, the game received widespread critical acclaim. In North America, GameFan called it "quite possibly the greatest game ever made," a quote which featured prominently on the back cover of the game's jewel case. Electronic Gaming Monthly's panel of four reviewers gave the game scores of 9.5 out of 10 each, adding up to 38 out of 40 overall. GamePro praised the "massive world," experimentation "with spells and weapons, encounters with weird creatures," and "soap opera-ish story line", concluding it has "classic" written "all over it". In Japan, Famitsu's panel of four reviewers gave it scores of 9, 10, 9 and 10 out of 10, adding up to 38 out of 40 overall, making it their highest-rated game of the year, their highest-rated Final Fantasy game at the time, and one of their eleven highest-rated games up until 1997.
Following its European release, Edge noted, "The ‘interactive movie’ has long been a dirty term to anyone who values a playable videogame, but FFVII succeeds in coming closer than any title yet," with the "highly complex, melodramatic story and excellently orchestrated chip music" combining "to make players feel real empathy with the characters," a "task usually shied away from by the action/comedy-orientated western graphic adventures." Paul Davies of Computer and Video Games described it as "truly unique" and "an incredible new era of interactive entertainment" that could "revolutionize" belief of "what a video game can achieve", with arguably "some of the best moments in entertainment history", including "excitement" and "heart-rendering" emotional scenes, concluding that, with a "thrilling" storyline "brought to life with ingenious" gameplay, the "future of PlayStation is assured by this key to the future of games." Alex C of Computer and Video Games stated that the characters "are well developed," comparing their "ups and downs" to a film, and that the "structure of the story is such that, just when you think you've seen it all, something even more awesome comes along to totally knock your socks off."
|Electronic Gaming Monthly|| Game of the Year,|
PlayStation Game of the Year
| Interactive Achievement Award,|
Electronic Gaming Monthly,
|RPG of the Year|
|Interactive Achievement Award||Adventure Game of the Year|
| Dengeki, GameFAQs,|
|Best Game of All Time|
|Dengeki, GamePro||Best RPG of All Time|
Final Fantasy VII won many Game of the Year awards for 1997. It won an Origins Award in the "Best Roleplaying Computer Game of 1997" category. At the second CESA Awards (now Japan Game Awards), it won the "Grand Prize" and the "Best Scenario" and "Best Sound" awards. At the first Japan Media Arts Festival, it won an "Excellence Prize" in the "Digital Art (Interactive Art)" division.
It was also awarded the Readers' Choice awards for "All Systems Game of the Year", "PlayStation Game of the Year", "Role-Playing Game of the Year", "Best Graphics of the Year" and "Best Music of the Year" by Electronic Gaming Monthly, as well as their Editors' Choice awards for "Role-Playing Game of the Year", "Best Graphics", "Hottest Video Game Babe" (for Tifa Lockheart), "Most Hype for a Game", "Best Ending", and "Best Print Ad", in addition to Readers' Choice nominations for "Most Original Game of the Year" and "Best Sound of the Year", and Editors' Choice nominations for "All Systems Game of the Year" and "PlayStation Game of the Year".
In 2013, GamePro included Final Fantasy VII in its "20 most innovative games ever made" list. They stated described it as "a classic that touched an entire genre of gaming" and "an entire generation of gamers." They also stated that its "status as an early PlayStation One exclusive gave Sony the edge it needed to compete in and eventually dominate the video game industry."
Final Fantasy VII has also often placed at or near the top of many reader polls of all-time best games. Most recently, in 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment conducted a poll with over 10,000 Japanese fans, where Final Fantasy VII was voted the second favourite PlayStation game of all time (behind Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride), the second best game that impressed "more than a movie or a novel" (behind Final Fantasy X), and the most wanted remake.
At E3 2015, Square Enix announced that they were remaking Final Fantasy VII. On December 5, 2015, the same day that the PlayStation 4 release of Final Fantasy VII was released on the PlayStation Store, a gameplay trailer was released that showed segments of the introduction mission, combat footage, and samples of both character animation and voice acting. According to the trailer, at least part of Midgar is explorable on foot, both Biggs, Wedge and Jessie in addition to the main characters have voice acting, and at least the opening boss, the Guard Scorpion, is included, with an updated appearance. The trailer also confirmed the name of the game: Final Fantasy VII Remake.
The remake is to be released over the course of several games, as remaking the game from the ground up will result in the game being too big overall for a single release.
PlayStation 4 Port
The version of Final Fantasy VII released for the PlayStation 4 was a port of the updated PC version available via Steam and Square Enix's website, but with Trophy support (with objectives different than the achievements offered on PC). This edition of the game was also bundled with the Final Fantasy VII - Midgar Custom Theme for the PlayStation 4's dashboard. The controls on the PlayStation 4 version do not use the Button to confirm, or the Button to cancel as the original release did in Europe and North America, but rather the reverse ( to confirm, to cancel), which mirrors the control system used on later Final Fantasy titles released in those regions. The left Analog Stick is also able to be used for movement, and it is able to handle both walking and running with appropriate force applied. The D-Pad is functional for both combat and moving the characters, but the character is limited to walking using it unless coupled with the Button.
The PlayStation 4 port also has built-in cheats; pressing speeds up the game to three times normal speed (which can be enabled and disabled whenever the player chooses), and pressing sets HP and MP to infinite, and allows Limit Breaks to be used an infinite amount of times. Pressing and together disables random encounters completely.
Bug and Limitations
The PlayStation 4 port carries with it the same flaws as the PC version it was based on; namely, the frame rate is limited, which can give the appearance of "clunky" character movement in combat. It also makes using Tifa's slot-reel limit breaks more difficult, as the player has to factor in the screen lag when making a decision. On January 1, 2016, a major bug was discovered when players attempted to ride the roller coaster attracted at the Speed Square in the Gold Saucer; the game would not progress beyond the UFO encounter on that ride, meaning that the game needed to be reset, losing all progress if the player hadn't saved beforehand. The bug could be temporarily fixed by setting the PlayStation 4's internal clock to a date before January 1, 2016. On January 22, 2016, a patch to version 1.01 was released to patch existing installs, fixing the bug.
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- Final Fantasy VII on Steam
- Official Final Fantasy VII website, North America
- The Secrets of Final Fantasy VII's Success at 1UP.com
- Official website (original release)
- Official website (PlayStation Store release)
- Official website (Microsoft Windows digital release)
- Final Fantasy VII at TV Tropes