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Because of the nature of a certain part of the Final Fantasy VII story which deals with the topics of gender and potential abuse, I would recommend that you take a look at the chapter markers for this episode. I’d also advise potentially avoiding a section which begins at 20 minutes and 17 seconds if you are either listening with little ones or could potentially be triggered by such things.
We’ve also put a klaxon-style trigger warning in this episode at the 36:51 mark, due to a discussion around a line that Sephiroth has in the Nibelheim section of the game.
There’s also a cuss at 40:14 when Lulu says:
A short while after that, at 41:43, we discuss the fact that Sephiroth outright says that he murdered Cloud’s mother.
Please listen responsibly.
We’re finally tackling the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and in our usual fashion
with a whole heap of waffling and meandering off topic…. or maybe not
But there was no way that we could cover part one of the remake without drafting in the help of our good friend - and Final Fantasy expert - Lulu.
So we did just that. But first, there was the matter of Lulu’s hair envy
not mine, obviously
One thing that I’ll say is that you don’t have to have a podcast dance party…. but you totally should. If you do, then let us know
but we also have a brand new contact page - check it out
Final Fantasy VII Remake
you have been warned
Because I fancy myself a writer
some would say that you fancy yourself, period
I decided to write an intro to the subject, and here it is:
Remember when we had to save the world from the despicable Shinra corporation? The year was 1997, and we were thrust into a cyberpunk adventure with a young man who doesn’t seem to remember things that clearly - because he’s an unreliable narrator. There was magic, swords, materia, Biblical overtones, Angels with only one wing, and of course a Scottish cat-robot thing.
We’re talking about Final Fantasy VII, which has recently been remade as an episodic title. And we’re here to talk about it with Lulu to talk about it.
Here’s a handy-dandy table which shows how much each of us has played so far:
Grand High Priestess
Black Mage in training
Wally of the 5th degree
I don’t have a modern PlayStation so I haven’t been able to play it. This is because it’s a PS4 exclusive until 2021, which makes me a sad panda.
One thing to note about the FF VII Remake is that it isn’t the full game: it’s essentially the “tutorial” part of the game. That is, it’s just the parts in Midgar
which many players of the original called the tutorial stage
It cuts off just as the heroes make their way out of Midgar - at least that’s my understanding of not having had a chance to play through it yet.
Whereas Squidge is at a point in the game which covers a section of Midgar called Wall Market. This section of the game has a quest which, back in the day was presented as “tongue in cheek”, but had the possibility of being a rather hot topic. We get on to that much later on in the episode though.
Much to Squidge’s chagrin, this is only half way through the “game”
remember: it’s an episodic title, but we don’t know how many episodes there will be
Initial Thoughts - Lulu
From what Lulu had said, it looks like Square-Enix had gone all-in with expanding the story, characters and universe. Even going so far as to include a character from one of the tie-in novels
I’ll posit that there are more tie-ins to FFVII than there are of any other JRPG ever made
Lulu also mentions that Ignition Flame is one of her favourite new pieces of music in the game
And on the topic of the voice acting, Lulu had this to say:
The voice acting. Can I just say: I don’t know whether any of them will ever listen to this. If you do, it’s awesome!
To anyone from the voice cast that listens, you have done an incredible job. You have taken characters that people have been in love with for 23 years, that where voiced by other people for 17 of those years, and ou’ve give them new life, and me personally a new appreciation for the characters.
Bravo. Thank you so much. Incredible, top-notch work. Didn’t sound even remotely stinted, or awkward, or cardboardy; you all sounded sor organic. Thank you.
Lulu had said that she was initially very apprehensive about the remake, but that Square-Enix have completely knocked it out of the ball park. She is over the moon about the remake so far, it would seem.
Initial Thoughts - Squidge
Squidge was initially quote worried about two things, the first being microtransactions
something that everyone worries about in modern games
but luckily, FFVII Remake doesn’t seem to have any yet.
He did have this to say about a very specific section of the game, though:
The only other thing that I was rather concerned about … was how they were going to do the Honey Bee Inn … and I thought, ‘how are they going to approach this?’ Because when it comes to stuff surrounding the Honey Bee Inn, people are a lot more sensitive these days - which is the best way that I can put it. But I can honestly say that I replayed that Honey Bee In bit about 6 times, because I just loved it that much.
But both Squidge and Lulu agree that, from their view points at least, Square-Enix did a wonderful job of capturing a flamboyant, fun, accepting atmosphere for the cross-dressing section of the game. From the sounds of it, it’s a lot more fun and accepting than the original game’s tongue in cheek, fnar-fnar feeling of “haha! It’s a soldier in a dress! How silly is that!”
As someone who hasn’t played the remake yet, Lulu quoting Andrea Rodea:
true beauty is an expression of the heart, a thing without shame, to which notions of gender don’t apply.
Seriously, they bloody nailed it with that!
And, of course we end up discussing Don Corneo and his “competition” in order to find a spouse.
Other than that, Lulu and Squidge both loved the way that the characters are written and the way that they interact with each other. This is something that I really liked about the Uncharted games; that silly level of “banter” between the characters really helps to make them seem more well-rounded and realistic.
And that high five scene:
And Squidge wanted to talk about the Kids on Patrol section. Seriously, what can be cuter than helping out a bunch of pre-teens to pick up litter, run errands, and help out in the community. And those home-made Buster swords seal the deal.
Those Sephiroth Scenes
We start the discussion of the Sephiroth scenes with Lulu telling us about her hair envy, and how Squidge is confused as to how his fair doesn’t just burst into flame.
We also talk about the idea that Square-Enix initially play the Sephiroth sightings as Cloud going out of his mind, and how this will be totally believable to folks who have never played the original
but us old fogies know
And Squidge was completely appreciative of the lack of the high pitch whine during the flashback scenes.
We then have a bit of a trigger warning, due to one of the lines that Sephiroth hits us with when he talks about Cloud’s mother - which Lulu and Squidge discuss.
And that’s followed by another trigger warning, as we discuss the fact that Sephiroth literally says that he killed Cloud’s mother
trigger warnings for obvious reasons
A Rant About Gate-keeping
Squidge brought up the point that Final Fantasy 7 Remake was “too easy“
I really dislike having to link to Kotaku, though
which lead to us talking about gate-keeping in video games, and why folks should just stop doing it. Games
video or otherwise
are primarily designed to be fun, and if you feel like you have to play them on easy in order to have fun, then more power to you. Who cares if you play on easy mode? So what if people tell you that you’re not a “real gamer”
whatever the heck that means
If you’re having fun, then that’s all that matters, right?