Two members of Square Enix's team sat down with news source The Guardian to talk all about the recently released first part in the multi-chapter remake of classic RPG Final Fantasy VII. Producer Yoshinori Kitase and co-director Naoki Haraguchi discussed the challenge of remaking such an iconic title as well as their plans for releasing future chapters.
Regarding the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Kitase admitted that it has affected development as the team is now forced to work remotely on the next installment of the remake.
"Our performance will temporarily drop below 100% efficiency," he told The Guardian, but ultimately felt that COVID-19 would not have a "big impact" on long-term plans for the game's development. The producer also expressed happiness that Final Fantasy VII could provide "relief and enjoyment" to gamers during lockdown.
Both Haraguchi and Kitase enjoyed being able to reimagine the iconic city of Midgar, which featured in only a small segment of the original 1997 game. The remake's Midgar is a sprawling, light- and noise-filled metropolis which Kitase describes as both both "eclectic" and providing a "sense of immense weight and oppression" appropriate for the struggling slum districts which Cloud and friends traverse.
Unfortunately, when asked whether future episodes of the remake would continue to diverge from the game's original plot as the first one did, Kitase simply stated "I am not able to tell you the answer to that now." However, he did confirm that the character of Sephiroth, who serves as the game's primary antagonist, would play a larger role than he had in the early stages of the original release. One of the goals of the Remake project was to focus on the unique relationship between protagonist Cloud and his greatest enemy.
No release date for Part 2 of the remake has been announced, but Square Enix plans to reveal "several new games" during July and August.
Did you enjoy the first part of the Final Fantasy VII remake? What would you like to see in later chapters? Let us know!