Video games have come a long way since the early days of “Pong” and “Space Invaders”. Today’s games feature sophisticated graphics, immersive storylines, and complex characters. One such game is Final Fantasy VII, which was released in 1997 and immediately captured gamers’ imaginations.
Final Fantasy VII is one of the most beloved and well-known games of all time. It has sold millions of copies and spawned two sequels, several spin-off games, and even a movie. But how does it hold up today?
In this article, we’ll take a retrospective look at Final Fantasy VII and explore its place in gaming history. We’ll look at the game’s graphics, storyline, characters, music, and overall impact on the gaming industry.
The relationship between Nintendo and Square before Final Fantasy VII was even revealed on the PlayStation
Nintendo and Square had a long-standing relationship before the release of Final Fantasy VII. Many of Square’s early games, including the original Final Fantasy, were released on Nintendo’s Famicom (known as the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan) and Super Famicom (known as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan). This partnership continued through the release of several other Final Fantasy games, such as Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI, all of which were released on Nintendo consoles.
However, by the mid-1990s, the video game industry was changing rapidly. The success of the Sony PlayStation, which was released in 1994, had demonstrated that there was a market for games that featured more realistic graphics and more mature themes than had been possible on previous consoles. Nintendo, which had long been known for its family-friendly image, was beginning to be perceived as being behind the times in terms of technology and content.
In this context, Square began to explore the possibility of releasing its games on the PlayStation. The company had been working on a new game, Final Fantasy VII, which was intended to be a major departure from previous games in the series in terms of both graphics and story. The game was too ambitious to run on the SNES and Nintendo’s upcoming console the N64 was cartridge based, making it difficult to store the amount of data required for the game, and would not have been able to provide the visual quality of the PS1.
In 1996, Square announced that it would be releasing Final Fantasy VII exclusively on the PlayStation, which was widely seen as a major blow to Nintendo. The move was a huge gamble for Square, but it paid off: Final Fantasy VII was a massive commercial success, selling over 11 million copies and becoming one of the most iconic games of all time. The move also helped establish the PlayStation as a serious player in the video game market and cemented Square’s position as one of the industry’s leading developers.
The relationship between Nintendo and Square was never the same after this, the two companies did not collaborate again until 2003 on the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube.
Nintendo and Square had a successful partnership in the past, but as the industry was changing, Square found a better opportunity with Sony’s PlayStation. which enabled them to push the boundaries of graphics and storytelling on a console game, thus making Final Fantasy VII the iconic title it is today.
Final Fantasy VII Retrospective: Overview
Final Fantasy VII is a classic Japanese role-playing game that was released in 1997 for the original PlayStation console. Developed by Square Enix, the game is set in a post-apocalyptic world that is populated by humans and a variety of creatures. Players take on the role of Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins the eco-terrorist group Avalanche in their fight against the mega corporation Shinra.
The game follows a linear story arc with a variety of side quests that can be completed along the way. Players can explore the game’s open world, build up their party of characters, and upgrade their equipment as they progress through the story. Final Fantasy VII features a turn-based combat system, with players using a variety of weapons and magical spells to defeat enemies. The game also features minigames and puzzles, as well as a unique limit break system that allows players to unleash powerful attacks.
Gameplay And Mechanics
Final Fantasy VII features a blend of traditional role-playing game (RPG) elements with some new mechanics that were introduced for the first time in the series.
The game’s battle system is based on the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, which allows players to input commands for their characters in real-time during battles, but also allows for the enemy to attack during the player’s turn. This system is designed to make battles more fast-paced and exciting and it adds a layer of strategy to the gameplay.
The game’s magic system is based on the use of “Materia” which are small orbs that can be equipped to characters’ weapons and armor, granting them access to various spells and abilities. Players can collect different types of Materia throughout the game, and they can be leveled up and combined to create even more powerful spells and abilities.
The game also features a unique leveling and progression system. Rather than characters leveling up individually, the player can level up a shared “Party level” and the characters will be rewarded with stat boosts and abilities.
The game also features a wide variety of minigames and side quests, which range from simple fetch-quests to more complex and involved missions that can help to flesh out the game’s world and characters.
Additionally, the game features a world map, allowing the player to explore different locations across the game’s world, from bustling cities to treacherous mountains. Traveling around the world map is done on foot, by chocobo, or by airship, each with their own characteristics, for example, a chocobo can traverse through certain terrains that a car can’t.
One of the biggest draw of the game is its story and characters, which is presented in a cinematic style, featuring full-motion videos, voice acting and high-quality cutscenes, which are interwoven with the gameplay, giving players a sense of being part of the story, instead of just reading through it.
Overall, Final Fantasy VII’s gameplay and mechanics provide a unique and engaging experience, which combines traditional RPG elements with new and innovative mechanics, creating a perfect balance between story, characters and gameplay. The game’s mechanics and systems have become iconic, and have set a standard for RPG’s and are still influencing the genre today.
The combat system in Final Fantasy VII is based on the Active Time Battle (ATB) system, which is a real-time battle system that allows players to input commands for their characters in real-time during battles. The ATB system is designed to make battles more fast-paced and exciting, and it adds a layer of strategy to the gameplay.
The ATB system works by filling a gauge for each character, once the gauge is full, the player can input a command for that character. The gauge fills up at different rates depending on the character’s stats, and it can be affected by various factors such as weapons and equipment, and status effects.
Players can command their characters to perform various actions such as attacking, using magic, or using items. Characters can also use special abilities called “Limit Breaks” which are powerful attacks that can be performed once the character’s Limit gauge is full. The Limit Breaks are character-specific and they differ among the party members.
Players can also defend during combat, which can reduce the damage taken and also fill the Limit gauge faster.
Combat in the game is also turn-based, with the enemies taking their turns after the player’s party, and the player can also use the ‘wait’ command, which will pause the gauge and allow the player to take their time to decide the next move.
Another important aspect of the combat system is the Materia system, which allows players to equip characters with magical orbs called “Materia” which grant them access to various spells and abilities. Players can collect different types of Materia throughout the game, and they can be leveled up and combined to create even more powerful spells and abilities.
The combat system in Final Fantasy VII is a unique blend of real-time and turn-based elements. The ATB system provides a sense of urgency and allows players to make quick decisions during battle, while the turn-based aspect gives players the time to strategize and use their resources effectively. The Materia system adds an extra layer of depth to the gameplay, and allows players to customize their party to fit their playstyle.
Final Fantasy VII’s Side Quests
The full list of side quests is included below:
Read all of the Turtle’s Paradise Flyers as you progress through the game to receive some strong items when you arrive in Wutai.
A side quest initiated when Yuffie steals all of your Materia (if you visit Wutai before disc 3). This page contains instructions for how to get it all back.
Gathering Yuffie’s final Limit Break, All Creation and the Leviathan Summon Materia.
Gold Saucer Date
Making selections to decide which character goes on a date with Cloud at Gold Saucer.
Returning to Nibelheim
Returning to Nibelheim to pick up an Elemental Materia and Tifa’s Level 4 Limit Break, Final Heaven.
Returning to Cosmo Canyon
Returning to Cosmo Canyon later in the game to pick up a Full Cure Materia and Red XIII’s Ultimate Weapon, Limited Moon.
Returning to Rocket Town
Returning to Rocket Town later in the game to pick up a Fourth Bracelet and a Guard Source.
Chocobo Sage’s House
The place to pick up the best greens in the game for Chocobo breeding and where you can find an Enemy Skill Materia.
Key to Sector 5
Digging up the Key to Sector 5 to regain entry into Midgar to pick up a few items.
Lucrecia’s Crystal Cave
Locating Vincent’s lost love, Lucrecia and obtaining Vincent’s Ultimate Weapon and Level 4 Limit Break.
The Sunken Gelnika
The sunken transport plane found in the bottom of the ocean. It contains some of the games strongest enemies as well as a huge assortment of end-game items.
The Da-Chao Fire Cavern
Returning to the Da-Chao mountain range with the Leviathan Scales to pick up a weapon for Yuffie and Steal as Well Materia.
Ultimate Weapon Battle
Defeating Ultimate Weapon in order to obtain Cloud’s Ultimate Weapon called Ultima Weapon.
The Ancient Forest
Solving the puzzles in the Ancient Forest to retrieve a host of rare items.
Chocobo Racing and Breeding
How to race and breed Blue, Green, Black and Gold Chocobos to reach some of the most remote areas on the world map and obtain some of the best treasures in the game.
Gold Saucer Games
Completing each of the arcade-style mini-games that you can play in Wonder Square.
The Materia Caves
The secret Materia Caves that you can reach with the Blue, Green, Black and Gold Chocobos.
Fighting in Battle Square to pickup Cloud’s level 4 Limit Break, Omnislash and the W-Summon Materia.
Level 4 Limit Breaks
Enemy Skill Materia
Where to find all of the enemy skills to complete your Enemy Skill Materia.
The Kalm Traveler
Head to Kalm to complete some of the final quests in Final Fantasy VII.
Story And Character Development
The story of Final Fantasy VII follows the main character, Cloud Strife, a former soldier who becomes a mercenary for hire, as he gets caught up in a struggle to save the world from a powerful corporation known as Shinra, which is draining the planet’s life energy to power its cities. Along the way, Cloud meets a diverse cast of characters, each with their own motivations and stories, who join him on his journey.
One of the key themes of the game’s story is the conflict between the powerful and the powerless. The game’s main villain, Sephiroth, is a former soldier who becomes consumed with power and seeks to destroy the world in order to become a god. The game’s heroes, on the other hand, are largely composed of ordinary people who are fighting for survival in a world where the powerful corporations and governments hold all the cards.
Another key theme of the game’s story is the importance of personal sacrifice and the cost of power. The game’s story follows the characters as they are forced to make difficult decisions and sacrifices, as they struggle to save the world from Sephiroth and the Shinra Corporation.
In terms of character development, the game features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own distinct personalities and backstories. Cloud, the main character, is a brooding and introverted individual who is haunted by his past, but becomes more open and compassionate as he learns to accept his role as a hero. Other characters like Tifa, Barrett and Aerith have their own personal journey and growth throughout the game, whether is it through their own personal tragedy, motivation to fight for their loved ones or seeking redemption.
The game’s story also explores the relationships between the characters and how they change over the course of the game. Cloud and Tifa have a complicated relationship that develops over the course of the game, while Aerith and Barrett’s relationship is marked by mutual respect and a sense of shared purpose.
The story and character development in Final Fantasy VII was a significant departure from earlier games in the series, featuring a darker and more mature narrative, and was praised for its depth, complexity and emotional impact. The game’s story, characters, themes and the way all of this was presented, has become a benchmark for RPG storytelling, and helped to establish Final Fantasy VII as one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
Protagonists of Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own distinct personalities and backstories. Here is a brief overview of the main characters in the game:
Cloud Strife: The main protagonist of the game, Cloud is a brooding and introverted ex-SOLDIER who becomes a mercenary for hire. He is haunted by his past and struggles with his own identity. He starts off as a gruff, aloof and sarcastic, but as the story progresses, he becomes more open and compassionate, learning to accept his role as a hero.
Tifa Lockhart: A childhood friend of Cloud, Tifa is a tough and strong-willed member of the anti-Shinra organization AVALANCHE. She serves as the team’s medic and also a close confidant of Cloud. She has a complex relationship with Cloud, and her backstory is a central point in the game.
Aerith Gainsborough: A flower seller who becomes a member of AVALANCHE and plays a central role in the game’s story. Aerith is a kind-hearted, compassionate and gentle person, and serves as a voice of reason within the group.
Barrett Wallace: The leader of AVALANCHE, Barrett is a big and imposing man who is driven by his hatred for the Shinra Corporation and his desire to protect his community. Despite his gruff exterior, Barrett has a strong sense of loyalty and compassion.
Vincent Valentine: A brooding and enigmatic character who is revealed to have a deep connection to the game’s main villain, Sephiroth. He joins the party later in the game, and his backstory is explored through a side-quest.
Yuffie Kisaragi: A ninja who joins the party in a side-quest. Yuffie is a light-hearted, opportunistic and independent character, often providing comic relief to the party.
Red XIII: A talking, red lion-like creature who is also a member of AVALANCHE. Red XIII serves as a wise and pragmatic member of the group, and his backstory is explored through a side-quest.
Cait Sith: A giant mechanical cat that joins the party. Cait Sith is a playful and whimsical character, and is operated by a man named Reeve, who uses the robot as a spy for the Shinra Corporation. Cait Sith’s true nature and intentions are revealed later in the game.
These are the main characters in the game, but there are also a wide range of supporting characters and NPCs that players will encounter throughout their journey. Each of these characters have their own unique stories, and contribute to the game’s overall narrative and world building. The interactions and relationships between the characters are an important part of the game and greatly enhance the story and experience. The characters are complex, well-written, and well-developed which contributed to the game’s storytelling and characterization, making it a memorable experience for the players.
Aerith’s Death in Final Fantasy VII
Aerith’s death occurs early in the game, around the mid-point of the game. After a series of events, the party is led to the Temple of the Ancients, which is said to be the key to the ancient Cetra civilization. It is there that Sephiroth, the game’s main antagonist, makes his move to obtain the Black Materia, which controls the Ultimate Summon “Meteor”, a spell that could destroy the planet.
In order to prevent Sephiroth from obtaining the Black Materia, Aerith takes it and chooses to sacrifice herself by using her ancient Cetra powers to seal the portal to the planet’s lifestream, where the Black Materia is held, and to slow Sephiroth’s progress. Aerith’s death is sudden and shocking, it takes the party off guard, and her death is depicted in a very emotional and poignant cutscene, where the players sees her being impaled by Sephiroth’s sword.
Aerith’s death is not only an emotional punch to the player but also has a big impact in the story, as it serves as a turning point in the game, motivating the party to take action and to defeat Sephiroth and save the planet. Aerith’s death also serves as a reminder of the cost of power and the importance of sacrifice, themes that are central to the game’s story.
Aerith’s death remains one of the most iconic and impactful moments in video game history, and her death is still remembered and felt by the players even after so many years, and it is often considered as one of the most memorable and poignant moments in the game.
Antagonists of Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII features a variety of antagonists throughout its story, each with their own motivations and roles to play in the game’s main conflict. The main antagonists of the game are:
- Sephiroth: The main villain of the game, Sephiroth is a legendary SOLDIER and one of the most powerful characters in the game. He is a charismatic and confident individual with a dark past, who seeks to summon the ultimate spell, Meteor, to plunge the planet into darkness and rule over the remains. He is a mysterious, powerful, and manipulative figure, who serves as the main driving force behind the game’s story, and the party’s quest to stop him.
- President Shinra: The head of the Shinra Electric Power Company, President Shinra is the leader of the powerful organization that serves as the main antagonist of the game’s first half. He seeks to harness the planet’s Lifestream as a source of energy, and is willing to go to any lengths to achieve this goal, including using the military, political power, and even experimentation on living beings to achieve his goals.
- Rufus Shinra: The Vice-President of the Shinra Electric Power Company and the son of President Shinra, Rufus is a ruthless and ambitious individual who becomes the main antagonist of the game’s second half. He seeks to take control of the company from his father and continue his plans to harness the planet’s Lifestream.
- Jenova: A powerful and ancient being that serves as the game’s true main villain. Jenova is a being from another planet who has been manipulating events from the shadows, in order to achieve her goal of destroying the planet. She is revealed to be the true source of Sephiroth’s power and the one behind his actions.
- The Weapons: The Weapons are giant mechanical creatures that serve as the ultimate guardians of the planet’s Lifestream. They are awakened by Jenova in an attempt to stop the party and defend the planet’s lifestream from the threat of Meteor.
These antagonists each provide their own unique challenges for the party and drive the game’s story forward in different ways, with Sephiroth serving as the main and most prominent villain, but the other antagonists also play a significant role in the story, each in their own way. The game creates a sense of tension and urgency to the party’s quest, and adds depth to the game’s world and story.
Graphics And Art Direction
The graphics and art direction of the original Final Fantasy VII, which was released for the PlayStation in 1997, were groundbreaking for their time. The game was one of the first RPGs to feature 3D graphics for both the field map and battle scenes, which allowed for a level of immersion and detail that was previously impossible. The game’s character designs, which were created by Tetsuya Nomura, were also highly detailed and expressive, and helped to bring the game’s characters to life.
The world of Final Fantasy VII was also highly detailed, with a variety of different environments, including cities, towns, forests, and mountains, each of which had its own unique look and feel. The game’s pre-rendered backgrounds were highly detailed and beautifully rendered, giving the game a highly cinematic feel. The game also featured a number of full-motion videos (FMVs), which were used to tell the story and introduce the game’s various characters and locations. These FMVs were highly detailed and of a high quality, and helped to set the game apart from others of its time.
One of the most memorable and iconic aspect of the game’s art direction is the character design and the world design of the game. The character designs in particular were a mix of science fiction and fantasy, with a mix of cyberpunk influences, with characters like Cloud and Tifa having a punk rock attitude. The game’s world, which was set in a dystopian metropolis known as Midgar, was heavily influenced by the cyberpunk genre and had a dark, gritty aesthetic that was in stark contrast to the fantasy-inspired worlds of previous Final Fantasy games.
The world of Final Fantasy VII is rich in detail. From the sprawling slums of Midgar to the surreal Gold Saucer, the game presents players with a wide range of environments to explore. Each location is filled with ambient life, making the world feel alive and vibrant.
The game’s soundtrack is also noteworthy. Composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the soundtrack is a mix of memorable melodies, sweeping orchestrations, and catchy techno beats. The music perfectly complements the game’s visuals, creating a truly immersive experience.
Final Fantasy VII’s graphics and art direction are a testament to the talent of the developers. Even after more than two decades, the game still looks and sounds great. It’s a timeless classic that stands the test of time.
Music And Sound Design
One of the most remarkable aspects of Final Fantasy VII is its music and sound design. Composer Nobuo Uematsu created a masterful soundtrack that captures the game’s unique atmosphere and story. From the iconic opening theme, “One-Winged Angel,” to the solemn piano melody of “Aerith’s Theme,” the music of Final Fantasy VII is nothing short of stunning.
The sound design also adds an extra layer of depth to the game’s world. From the bustling sounds of Midgar to the gentle ambiance of the Gold Saucer, the soundscape of Final Fantasy VII is incredibly immersive. Every area has its own unique sound, which helps to bring the game to life.
The voice-acting is also superb, with each character receiving their own distinct voice and personality. This helps to further develop the narrative and makes the characters more believable.
The music and sound design of Final Fantasy VII is one of the most successful aspects of the game, and it helps to make it an unforgettable experience.
Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack
The soundtrack of Final Fantasy VII, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, is widely considered to be one of the greatest video game soundtracks of all time. The game featured over 70 tracks, each of which added to the game’s atmosphere and helped to create a sense of immersion.
One of the most iconic tracks from the game is the main theme, “Aerith’s Theme”, a melancholic and poignant melody that was used to represent the character Aerith throughout the game. Another memorable piece from the soundtrack is “One-Winged Angel”, an intense and dramatic orchestral track that was used during the final battle with the game’s main villain, Sephiroth.
Additionally, the battle theme “Those Who Fight” has become an iconic track for the final fantasy franchise in general, featuring an intense and energetic melody that perfectly captures the feeling of a boss battle.
The soundtrack also features a mix of different musical styles, from the haunting and atmospheric tracks that were used to represent the game’s more emotional scenes, to the upbeat and energetic tracks that were used to represent the game’s more action-packed moments. This diversity helps to create a sense of emotional range that not only fit the game’s story but also with the game’s progression.
Uematsu’s soundtrack for Final Fantasy VII was a critical part of the game’s success. The music was able to evoke different emotions throughout the game, helped immerse players into the game world, and is still remembered and cherished by fans today. The soundtrack also went on to win several awards, and has been remastered and re-released multiple times in different formats.
Final Fantasy VII Development Staff
Final Fantasy VII was developed by Square, which is now known as Square Enix. The game was directed by Yoshinori Kitase, who also served as the game’s scenario writer. The game’s character designs were created by Tetsuya Nomura, who would go on to become a prominent figure within Square Enix and become the director of several Final Fantasy titles.
The game’s scenario was written by Kitase along with Kazushige Nojima, who would also go on to work on other Final Fantasy titles as a scenario writer and director. The game’s artwork and backgrounds were designed by Yusuke Naora, who also served as the art director for the game.
The game’s music was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, who had previously worked on several other Final Fantasy titles and is considered to be one of the most well-known and respected video game composers of all time. Uematsu’s work on the game’s soundtrack is considered to be one of his finest and most memorable.
The game’s programming was headed by Takeshi Arakawa and Kazuhisa Hashimoto, who were responsible for creating the game’s engine and programming the various gameplay systems.
Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of the Final Fantasy series and the creator of the RPG genre, was the Executive Producer of the game and played a big role in shaping the game’s story and characters.
It is important to note that this was a huge and ambitious project for Square, that required a team of several hundred people with diverse skill sets, and many other talented individuals who contributed to the game’s development in various ways. From programmers, artists, writers, musicians, testers and more, the game was a true collaboration that reflects the hard work and dedication of all the people involved in the project.
Final Fantasy VII was a major milestone for Square as a company, as well as for the RPG genre as a whole and it was a huge commercial and critical success which helped to establish the company as one of the premier game developers in the world.
Impact And Legacy
Final Fantasy VII had a profound impact on the video game industry and continues to be one of the most influential and beloved games of all time.
Upon its release in 1997, Final Fantasy VII was a commercial and critical success, selling over 11 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling games of all time and solidifying the Final Fantasy series as one of the most successful RPG franchises. Its impact on the genre is still felt today, with many contemporary RPG’s citing it as an influence.
The game’s graphics and art direction were groundbreaking for their time, and helped to establish the standard for 3D graphics in RPGs. Its storytelling and characters were also praised for their depth and complexity, and helped to establish the RPG genre as a legitimate storytelling medium.
The game’s legacy is also evident in its numerous spin-offs, remakes and adaptations, including a movie, anime, mobile games, and a remake of the original game, which was released in 2020. The release of the remake was a highly-anticipated event and its success further solidified the game’s impact and legacy in the gaming industry.
Final Fantasy VII also has a huge cultural impact, inspiring countless other games, anime, movies, and other forms of media, and has a dedicated fanbase that continues to enjoy and discover new things in the game.
It also had a significant impact on the RPG genre as a whole, introducing elements such as active-time battles, Materia system, and a more cinematic approach, that have become staples of RPG’s. The game also introduced many players to the RPG genre, that ended up being fans for life, and helped to establish the genre as a mainstream form of entertainment.
In overall, Final Fantasy VII’s impact and legacy is undeniable. It is considered one of the greatest games of all time and its influence can still be seen in games today. It continues to be celebrated and remembered by fans and the industry alike, and its legacy will likely continue for many years to come.
Re-Releases And Remakes
Final Fantasy VII has been re-released and remade several times since its original release in 1997.
One of the first re-releases was the “PC version” which was released in 1998, which featured updated graphics and added support for higher resolutions. The game was then re-released for the PlayStation 4 in 2015, as part of the Final Fantasy VII “PS4 port” which was a high-definition port of the original game.
The most significant re-release of the game is the “Final Fantasy VII Remake” which was released in 2020, and it was developed and published by Square Enix, who completely remade the game from scratch, featuring updated graphics, new gameplay mechanics, and additional story content. The Remake game was released as an episodic series, with the first installment covering the events that take place in Midgar, with the first episode being met with critical acclaim and commercial success.
Square Enix has also released several spin-offs of the game, including the action RPG “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII” for the PlayStation Portable, which tells the story of Zack Fair, a character from the original game, and “Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII” for the PlayStation 2, which focuses on Vincent Valentine, another character from the original game.
The re-releases and remakes of Final Fantasy VII demonstrate the enduring popularity and relevance of the game, and the willingness of Square Enix to continue to invest in the game and its characters. The remakes and spin-offs not only allow for newer fans to experience the game and its characters, but also for veterans to rediscover the game and dive deeper into the world, characters and lore.
It is worth mentioning that, Square Enix has stated that the Remake is not a 1:1 recreation of the original game, they will be expanding on characters, side-quests, and the world, which will provide a new perspective and add to the story of the game, that will also make it a new experience for fans of the original, even those who’ve played it multiple times.
Changing Landscape Of Gaming
Final Fantasy VII was a groundbreaking game that had a significant impact on the video game industry and helped to establish the RPG genre as a mainstream form of entertainment.
First, the game’s visuals and art direction were groundbreaking for its time, featuring stunning pre-rendered backgrounds, full-motion videos and cinematic cutscenes that helped to set a new standard for RPG graphics. These visuals helped to bring the game’s story and characters to life, and made the game more immersive than ever before.
Second, the game’s story and character development were also highly praised for their depth, complexity and emotional impact. Final Fantasy VII was one of the first RPG’s to feature a darker, more mature narrative that tackled serious themes such as power, sacrifice and the environment. This was a significant departure from earlier games in the series and helped to establish RPG’s as a legitimate storytelling medium.
Third, the game introduced new gameplay mechanics, such as the Active Time Battle system and Materia system, which have become staples of the RPG genre and influenced many other games in the genre. These mechanics added a layer of strategy and depth to the gameplay and helped to make the game more engaging and satisfying to play.
Fourth, the game’s popularity and commercial success helped to establish the Final Fantasy series as one of the most successful RPG franchises of all time, and it also helped to establish Square Enix as one of the premier game developers in the world.
Finally, the game’s impact is still felt today, as its legacy continues through the numerous spin-offs, remakes, adaptations and even a feature movie, and it continues to be celebrated and remembered by fans and the industry alike. Its influence can be seen in many contemporary RPG’s, which often cite it as an inspiration, and it continues to be a benchmark for RPG storytelling.
Final Fantasy VII has changed the landscape of gaming by raising the bar for RPG’s in terms of storytelling, visuals, gameplay mechanics and industry standard. It has become an enduring classic and continues to be one of the most influential games of all time.