Now you’re several years into remaking iconic locations of Final Fantasy VII and with Final Fantasy VII Remake being so successful, do you feel less pressure to match fan expectations when reimagining beloved areas and moments?
Hamaguchi: As Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will take players to various locations across the whole world, we needed to re-create the massive Final Fantasy VII world map that would also incorporate places such as towns and dungeons within itself. To do this, we dug deeply into the feeling of each different region and reflected that in the graphics, creating areas that look and feel quite diverse. On top of that, we designed chocobos unique to each region that have their own abilities (e.g. mountain chocobos that can climb sheer cliffs and sky chocobos that can fly etc.),
Can you explain what we’re seeing of the combat system here? Has it remained untouched since Final Fantasy VII Remake or have you altered anything for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?
Hamaguchi: I want to highlight the new synergy moves most from the battle system. This new mechanic allows the player to use synergy commands and abilities freely at any time by using up a gauge charge in a similar manner to Limit Breaks. So through the battles, players will feel the relationships and bonds that have developed between the characters even more so than in the previous game. We’ve also added skill trees as a new element of character growth. You can unlock synergy abilities through the skill trees, too.
Golden Saucer Details
And speaking of mini-games, we got a fun glimpse of Gold Saucer and its own mini-games. How do the FFVII Rebirth versions of these differ from the original’s?
Hamaguchi: I think there are a lot of fans who point to the number and variety of mini games as one of the draws of the original Final Fantasy VII, but for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth we have gone all-out and created a huge number of mini games on a scale that surpasses even the original! Many of these mini games can be experienced in the main story, but we also have lots of unique games and challenges that appear as part of the side stories you can find as you explore the world map.
Gold Saucer is another iconic locale that players will be eager to visit. How have you approached redesigning this amusement park?
Hamaguchi: Players will first visit the Gold Saucer in the middle section of the game but are then free to come back to it at any time they like. In order to create that motivation to make them want to come back, we designed the park to provide a changing and ever more wonderful experience with each visit, so new mini games are added, and harder difficulty modes are unlocked as the main story progresses, giving you even more to do there
There was a scene with Cloud and Sephiroth fighting together, but will the player get to control Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?
Nomura: If you played the original Final Fantasy VII, I’m sure you can guess which scene I’m talking about. You will be able to control Sephiroth in the same scene in this title as you did in the original.
Game Ending Details
Final Fantasy VII Remake showed the story up until the escape from Midgar, but what point does Final Fantasy VII Rebirth take us up to?
Nomura: We have mentioned this a few times before, but the order in which you can explore the locations is not the same as the original Final Fantasy VII, and there are some shifts in the order. For example, Wutai, one of the major locations, is not part of the route in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and will be visited in the next one. Although there are some changes in the order of the locations, the locations depicted in this title extend up to “The Forgotten Capital,” where the greatest fate of Final Fantasy VII awaits you.
More information from the developer Q&A can be found here.