I’ll be honest. I’m not as much of a gamer as I used to be. There’s something about getting married, having kids, and working full-time that makes it difficult to keep up with video games, especially RPGs that take 40+ hours to complete. Because my gaming has declined, I haven’t kept up with the newest system, so when the Final Fantasy VII remake finally becomes available, I’ll probably still be using my old PS2. It’s a little disappointing, but I can live with it.
That said, I’ve been hoping for a FF7 remake for decades, but I had a solid plan for what the remake should look like. I envisioned a beautiful collector’s edition released on the 25th or 30th anniversary. What I want to see in the remake, I came up with over 10 years ago, but I still think it would be the best way to update the game while staying respectful of the fans that made it so popular. Anyway, the following is what I’d want to see:
Include a re-release of the original game
When I say a re-release, I’m not talking about an update or a remake. I’m talking about releasing the original in all its pixelated glory. Don’t update the music, don’t fix the translation errors, don’t add voice acting. Release the original game, just as it was. If any change has to be made, make it a digital copy or on a single disk. I know that it’s currently available on the Playstation Store, so it shouldn’t be too hard to provide a copy to anyone that purchases the remake.
The Updated Game
Here’s what everyone really wants to see. Take the original game and update the graphics, make it fully voice acted and with orchestrated music. Keep the gameplay mechanics the same, but maybe streamline them a little. Changes to the dialogue and story are acceptable, but only if they stay true to the original intent. Any radical differences would need to be very carefully thought out. If the changes are to incorporate the expanded canon found in Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core, Advent Children, etc., then fine. If the changes are just to show off the improved graphics… well that’s probably not the best idea.
Here’s the kicker. This is the aspect of the re-release that I think would set it apart as something more than just a prettier version of the original. I want to see a version of the game where I can play as Sephiroth. Start the game off a few years before the events of FF7 and let me play through Sephiroth’s decent into madness and let me try to destroy the world. Here’s where the developers could explore new territory. They could add in all sorts of storylines and events that occur outside of the main FF7 story, but by making it about Sephiroth, there’s a lot more freedom to explore the world. This game could completely change the gameplay mechanics, it could have a new musical score, or introduce other characters, cities, events, mini-games, sidequests, etc. If the developers want to be super ambitious, they could even try to make this game compatible with the remake, so that once you’ve finished playing FF7 you can go up against your party as Sephiroth. Or vice-versa, after beating the Sephiroth game you go back through FF7 and the final battle is against a Safer Sephiroth that you’ve leveled up well beyond the 400,000 max HP the default one has.
Like I said, I’m not the gamer I used to be, and I came up with this over a decade ago, so I may be completely out of touch with what’s likely to happen, but this is still the blueprint for the Final Fantasy VII remake that I want to see. I’d love to hear you thoughts, so comment away.