What Should Change (And Stay The Same) In The Final Fantasy VII Remake
Last night, the Earth erupted, the sky split open, and our minds were sucked into the chaotic vacuum that resulted from this cataclysmic anomaly…well, if you’re one of the many who’s been screaming for a Final Fantasy VII remake, anyway. Yes, Square Enix is finally answering fan demand, and though we may have years to wait yet, it’s not too early to start thinking about just what (if anything) should change in the remake. What follows is my personal opinion on everything Square Enix needs to change about their beloved magnum opus and what definitely doesn’t need to change.
No changes to the original plot
I’m starting with this one because it’s the most important to me. While I will by no means insist Square Enix touch nothing but the graphics, I do insist they leave the original plot unchanged. Specifically, I do not care to see the plot altered to fit more in line with the continuity of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The original plot was better (and that’s not just nostalgia talking), and throwing in references to Genesis or Deepground will not do the plot any favors.
Sadly, of all my concerns, this is the one I expect to get botched the worst. We can only hope not.
No Advent Children Cloud
Just about everyone agrees they wrote Cloud a little too mopey in Advent Children, and that attitude carried over into Dissidia and just about all post-Advent Children content he’s appeared in. Remember how he was in the original? “Let’s mosey?” That’s the Cloud we need to see. Besides, it tells a better narrative if Aerith’s death crushes him so deeply he becomes the Cloud we see in Advent Children. He had no reason to be depressed in the original game. For all he knew, he was a badass SOLDIER 1st Class turned rogue who became a mercenary. No wavering, no hesitation. In fact, the entire basis of his backstory pretty much demands he be confident and sarcastic.
Full voice acting with a re-translated English script
This one might seem like a no-brainer. In fact, others have pointed out the need for a better translation. However, there are also the purists out there who thing absolutely nothing should be touched except graphics. I can’t express how silly that seems to me. Yes, the success of this remake will depend largely on fans who grew up with the original, but there’s a new audience of gamers to think about—the ones who couldn’t bear the original because, “Oh my god, these graphics are horrible!”
You want to alienate fans young and old? Refuse to do anything different. Seriously, Final Fantasy VII already has a full cast of voice actors, and some of them fit their characters perfectly. There is zero excuse not to include voice acting, and really, how silly would it be having breathtaking graphics if the game played like a Legend of Zelda title? Speaking of which, there’s debate as to whether Nintendo needs to keep with the times and give Legend of Zelda voice actors. A voiceless Final Fantasy VII will not fly, and certainly won’t do with the original English script.
Leave the Wall Market sequence
If you’ve played the game, you know exactly what I’m talking about. From the option to have Cloud cross-dress to the incredibly irreverent Honeybee Inn scene to Don Corneo (who I won’t go into detail about), this entire sequence was just too funny to be left out. Does it align with the current tone of Final Fantasy? Not at all. It hearkens back to an older age of Final Fantasy when it wasn’t afraid to be goofy and inappropriate, and isn’t a remake supposed to press our nostalgia buttons?
Hire Nobuo Uematsu!
Among gaming composers, Nobuo Uematsu is a god. Every composition is brilliant and fits the tone of the game and scene. He’s absolutely wonderful and desperately needs to be hired for the new soundtrack. With any hope, they won’t even rearrange the soundtrack and simply give it an orchestral (and maybe a little rock) overhaul. It’s perfect the way it is.
One of my biggest complaints with Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster was the inability to skip cut-scenes, which was an obvious improvement over the original. This absolutely needs to be an option in the Final Fantasy VII remake. Protracted battle animations should be skippable, too. Looking at you, Knights of the Round, and especially you, Supernova. (Speaking of the latter, let’s change that entire animation to take it out of our solar system, shall we?)
Retain the world map
This needs to stay. As much as I love Final Fantasy X, the lack of a world map is still a negative for me. I just have a soft spot for them, and if the sprawling plains of Duscae are anything to go by, I would absolutely love to traverse the world map of Final Fantasy VII in such beautiful splendor.
What would you guys want to see in the Final Fantasy VII remake? Revamped combat system? Maybe the materia system? Don’t be shy. Let your voices rise like the cries of the Planet in the comments below!