Final Fantasy VII Remake is shaping up to be something truly special.
This is what, the very least, ran through all gamers’ minds at least once when they tried playing the demo that was released on the PlayStation Store very stealthily a week ago. The game looked fantastic and mostly everything looked and felt really good. It may have been delayed for over a month, which disappointed a lot of eager fans all over the world. But, if Square Enix is using the time to make sure that Final Fantasy VII Remake is as polished as it can be when it’s finally released next month, then that extra development time will be well worth it.
What really puts Final Fantasy VII Remake over the top is the amount of detail Square Enix appears to be putting into the game. In the demo, which should only take about an hour your first time through, already has a ton of stuff that hints at a very expanded story from the original. There are references for dumbapples, more character development for other AVALANCHE members and even more banter between Cloud and Barret than ever before. The original Final Fantasy VII that Squaresoft published for the original PlayStation was already a big game and the Remake looks like it’ll outdo that.
Now, this can be a good thing and a bad thing. Everything could turn sour if Square Enix adds too much stuff that it doesn’t feel like the original story anymore. However, from what I’ve seen from the demo so far, I do think they have a handle on everything and the stuff that they do add will mostly help the game.
However, if there is one thing that I really hope Square Enix does a massive revamp to in Final Fantasy VII Remake, I hope that it’s the game’s ending. As much as I love Final Fantasy VII, the biggest stickling point I had with the entire game was its ending. And I hope the Remake fixed it because it needs fixing bad.
Since I will be talking about the original game’s ending, I will be putting up the obligatory SPOILER WARNING now, even though most of anyone is familiar with Final Fantasy VII’s original ending and it’s been more than two decades since the game was released. Still, SPOILER WARNING!
Anyway, in the original Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and company have one final clash with Sephiroth. The party manages to finally kill Sephiroth, allowing Aerith’s Holy spell to emerge and stop Meteor from destroying the planet. As Cloud and the rest of the group try to escape, they, as well as the rest of the world, witness Meteor wrecking havoc on Midgar and the entire planet. Aerith’s Holy spell tries to stop Meteor but it looks like Meteor is just too powerful. Then, when all hope seems lost, the planet’s Lifestream wells up and also tries to block Meteor. We get a blinding light and a flash of Aerith’s smiling face before cutting to black.
After the game credits roll, the game cuts 500 years into the future. Red XIII, one of the game’s characters, is running with what appears to be his children in a very desolate landscape. The group climb a hill where we see Midgar, all covered in plants, seemingly abandoned. A flock of seagulls fly by and then we see the logo and some children’s laughter in the background.
Now, while the ending itself was spectacular for its time as it was very dramatic, the story it told was very ambiguous. Obviously, Meteor didn’t completely destroy the planet since we do see Red XIII survive and even thrive as he is seen with children of his own. However, the ending doesn’t really show what happened to the planet and rest of its living creatures.
I can tell you how I felt after I saw the game’s ending. I felt depressed. Since they don’t really reveal any details, I wasn’t really sure if even the combined powers of Aerith’s Holy spell and the Lifestream was enough to repel Meteor. I also kind of thought that, since Shinra was depleting the planet of the Lifestream, I thought that all of the Lifestream was used up to stop Meteor! Also, besides Red XIII, we never did get a proper denouement for Cloud, Tifa, Barret and the rest of the party! After being with them through thick and thin for around 60 to 80 hours, we never did see them get their happy ending or even if they survived or not!
But the biggest thing that really bugged me is that, in the brief glimpse into the future, we never see a single solitary human being. Yes, we do hear the laughter of some children but we don’t see them. In fact, it’s kind of creepy since the laughter could be thought of as the ghosts of the children of Midgar. It even could be the undead spirit of that one kid on the cat slide you see in the very first trailer of the game!
Squaresoft and Square Enix did clarify the original Final Fantasy VII’s ending with later installments. We did figure out that everyone lived thanks to the events of Dirge of Cerberus and Advent Children. But this wasn’t the case when Final Fantasy VII was on the original PlayStation. We had no idea what really happened then! I also know that I’m not alone since, if you do a Google Search for Final Fantasy VII’s ending, you’ll see a lot of posts stating how confusing and unsatisfying the game’s ending was for them as well.
Maybe I don’t want everything spelled out to me but I do want Final Fantasy VII Remake to spell out the ending a little bit more. They can’t just expect us to play Dirge of Cerberus or watch Advent Children to get all caught up anymore. The Remake is a fantastic opportunity to close the game with a concrete ending, without all the ambiguity since we already know what happened after Meteor’s crash anyway. They might be able to give a belated funeral to Aerith during the credits. They can even do something like what they did with Final Fantasy VIII’s ending, wherein you see Cloud and the rest celebrate saving the world.
Then again, Final Fantasy VII Remake’s real end is going to happen way, way into the future since the upcoming game is just going to be the first part. I can even see later installments coming out on future consoles because you know that’ll be an immediate system seller. But that just means Square Enix has lots of time to craft an incredibly beautiful and, more importantly, satisfying conclusion to this series of games.
Do you think they should make significant changes or additions to Final Fantasy VII Remake’s ending? Let me know in the comments section below!