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FFVII Remake E3 Demo Impressions


Harbinger O Great Justice
@Mr. Ite – You're recapping their stream from day 1, which is the one I embedded in my first reply on the thread.
THIS is the stream I was talking about happening where he got to see the full Demo that's now up online:

The Remake stuff is everything from the stream start (8:00) through about (2:49:00)

For added context, this is the wall he's referring to at E3.

I'm gonna update this post with some meaningful timestamps as I go back through it again.

  • 8:00 – Right at the start, he talks about the setup and also the Voice Cast changes for the Remake
  • 17:00 – Talking about them discussing their development process & a REALLY personal moment he had
  • 36:30 – Recapping the full Bombing Run Demo and the music, scenario writing, dialogue, scope, and aesthetic of it all
  • 56:10 – Thoughts & Impressions of that demo in general (43:18 more teases of new gameplay mechanics)
  • 1:20:05 – Personal talk about them as the individual titles / sequels
  • 1:26:30 – Going over Famitsu's footage (with some of the actual music)
  • 1:36:35 – Heideggar & the President scene, expansion
  • 1:48:30 – Going over the PSX 2015 trailer differences to the current version
  • 2:00:00 – Going over the old PS3 Tech Demo
  • 2:10:00 – Going over the announcement "Special Movie" cinematic
  • 2:14:20 – Replaying the start of FFVII and making comparisons to the Remake Bombing Run (does this until the end of the Remake coverage)
A couple other misc points:
  • They're breaking things up into Chapters again like they did with FFXV, which will be a good way to jump in and play / replay things.
  • Abilities they haven't had playable yet — Cloud: Punisher Mode, Barret: Overcharge, Tifa: Bash, Aerith: Tempest

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If you don't want to watch the whole 2 hours 50 minutes of his thoughts, I've written them up:
  • Saw a special behind-closed-doors media presentation (45 minute demonstration)
  • Presentation was of the entire Bombing Run mission
  • VII Remake had tons of accolades at E3
  • New voice cast hired just for VII Remake
  • Original voice cast will continue to voice other projects where the VII cast are in
  • New English language Barret voice actor feels a lot more truer to the original Barret we saw in VII
  • It appears that they have taken some mechanics out of the gameplay that we have seen in order to make it more streamlined and presentable … it feels like there is a lot more that they have hidden and not revealed to the public at this time
  • They don’t want to fuck this up – they know how much pressure in on their shoulders
  • There is a ton of nostalgic points sprinkled throughout - aimed to remind you of the original but that this is a new version of the same game, ala the RE2 remake
  • SE had been following Max for some time, especially all the reactions to the Remake, and noticed him during the event. Was able to get a picture with Kitase
  • When development was tough, the team was highly motivated by showing Max’s reaction videos – very touching for Max (he teared up on stream)
  • Replays his reaction videos for perspective about what he is going to dive into
  • It is obvious that they didn’t get rid of all of CC2’s work. It looks like it has all been repurposed instead. Starts off exactly like we saw back in the 2015 trailer
  • Just like in the original, Avalanche run past whilst Cloud is left behind to deal with the Shinra MPs. He is treated like the grunt/mercenary for hire like he is
  • Head into the train station entrance
  • Avalanche whistle to get the guards to attack Cloud, leaving them free to run into the Reactor
  • Shinra MPs have their machine guns, tonfas and grenades
  • Wedge and Jessie are trying to hack a door
  • Jessie has a sub machine gun. Constantly hits on Cloud
  • Wedge is worried if they can trust Cloud. Tries to introduce himself but Cloud isn’t interested
  • Barret warns Cloud that he better be on their side – denoting Cloud in his Shinra gear. Cloud is just here to be paid
  • Cloud has a weird flashback / memory just as the door is hacked
  • We get the classic Reactor shot as it pans up
  • The music is amazing, blends in extremely well into different themes as things happen
  • Avalanche continue to leave Cloud to deal with enemies – jokingly telling him to have fun. Wedge is the only one concerned about Cloud
  • Cloud has multiple stances. A nimble stance, a heavy brawler and a counter-hit stance. You get different combos based on this. If you are hit by a ranged attack or magic, you are punished for this by taking big damage. This stance isn’t in the playable demo
  • Everyone will have these special stances or unique aspects
  • So even the same character can play in different ways whilst also utilising the character switching
  • Biggs cutting a hole into a gate – the group go through whilst Cloud is forced to deal with things again (lol)
  • Up to this point, the dialogue is similar to the original but expanded but as soon as they get to the main elevator, the dialogue takes a huge new turn
  • Barret has a motivational speech about why they are doing this mission – really gets into it. Jessie and Cloud exchange a look during this. Barret is mad that Cloud isn’t taking this seriously. Barret says he can hear the screams of the planet and Cloud says to get help. This pisses Barret off
  • There is genuine tension between Cloud and Barret – you feel that they don’t know if they can trust this Ex-Shinra guy
  • New security system goes off, which makes them concerned about Cloud even more
  • Banter continues. Barret tries to issue orders to Cloud but Cloud keeps telling him to leave him to do his job
  • XV had some good organic banter and group dialogue … but this blows it away completely. They feel like genuinely real people. Max was most concerned about this, but not anymore. Not cringy at all. Didn’t hear anything repeated during this opening segment
  • By the Scorpion Sentinel boss fight – Cloud and Barret have bonded somewhat, due to helping each other out during that encounter
  • The characters feel like people!
  • Lip synching is perfect
  • Gameplay is super smooth. It was a live demo running on a PS4 Pro. So polished
  • No loading … at all from the start of any kind
  • Cutscenes dynamically transition into field / encounters. They are littered throughout
  • Cloud is a BIT OF A DORK!
  • The most polished game from SE. It is on another level (audio, animation, transitioning, no loading, banter/dialogue, intuitive music ….) It felt like they spent a year and a half just on the Bombing Run
  • The big worry is how the hell the rest of the game will match this same quality!
  • You can flee from a fight. If you are faster than your opponent, they will eventually lose interest and return to their positions
  • The music is SO intuitive. During the different phases of the Boss fights. When Cloud does a Cross Slash, the choir suddenly kicks in and out
  • There were combos within the game – it does more damage if you combine character moves at the same time
  • There was a bit of a hint that they have a TON more mechanics and gameplay aspects that they have in store that they don’t want to reveal just yet. Max felt like the game was opening up and had this in store in the future
  • Still shocked at the quality. Hard to process this being for the whole game!
  • So hard to discuss this game with non-players. It seriously NEEDS to be experienced
  • Can’t stop thinking about the game
  • Jessie is super cool in this version – Max’s favourite so far. “I appreciate you talking to me, but how about you go down there and blow her mind instead” (in reference to the Reactor). The dialogue is so awesome
  • Wedge sounds a lot different to the previous trailer
  • They are teasing the relationship aspects – which is integral to VII
  • They are trying to preserve the characters as much as possible
  • He prays that SE releases the Bombing Run demo to the public, like Capcom did with the RE 2 Remake
  • They said they are aware of what everyone loves about Midgar and their experiences. They will have everything that people love … but there will be a ton more
  • In Max’s opinion, the subsequent games will all play differently and have different mechanics. He envisions part II being completely open world and so different to Part I. Lots of vehicle use/action. Doesn’t expect much to transition over between the different parts
  • One of the biggest takeaways from everything is that SE want this to be immersive and seamless. This will carry through onto Part II and the open world. He expects it to be on PS5 (his opinion)
  • Showed the famitsu footage – clean from the presentation without the commentary
  • If Barret staggers an opponent, he says ‘Shit Yeah!’
  • You get a great sense of scale of everything
  • When you kill enemies, you don’t get a traditional win screen. The menu is very clean and simple
  • He didn’t see it himself, but he heard that Barret can hum the victory theme and Cloud tells him to ‘shut up’
  • President Shinra and Heideggar are completely aware of what Avalanche is doing. They are watching their activities from the monitors. The Shinra theme is amazing – done with strings and presented very hauntingly and evil. Super dark. A lot of the music is brooding – leaves you with despair, just like the world of Midgar
  • The game takes advantage of the fact that you know who these characters are. Things are introduced before you see characters. The way the characters are talking, it feels like Tifa feels sorry for Cloud, which is why he is being offered this job
  • PSX 2015 trailer. Max says the opening scene has been re-choreographed. The sequence is completely different. The tone is so different compared to the 2015 trailer. Everything feels a lot more faster too. Such a different game to what we saw. They didn’t trash all of CC2’s work. It is just so much more polished and snappier
  • He is trying to find something wrong with it … he can’t. The only (extremely minor) thing is that the camera sometimes isn’t amazing
  • Steve Burton was great for what they wanted to do, but for the more dorkier Cloud (and one more cocky / faithful to the original) he is glad they are going with this new actor. “That’s my line”. Max loves the cheese-ball one liners from Cloud. CC Cloud didn’t feel like Cloud aside from when he was mako poisoned
  • Difficulty – it wasn’t super difficult, but even the devs said that it was meant as a tutorial for the players. But even in the Scorpion boss fight you lose a lot of health and it takes 15 minutes to complete entirely
  • Using items is attached to the ATB gauge. To get ATB gauge you need to fight
  • Showed the PS3 tech demo for laughs
  • Cloud’s hair is more similar to his original design
  • Original gameplay comparison. The Midgar panning out to the train running in is different. You cut to the soldiers once the pan out to Midgar is complete. Barret runs off to leave you to tackle the guards like in the original
  • Security officers have all the same moves from the original
  • Cloud trash talks the Security Officers
  • You get a new train station segment from the train stopping to the gate (you see it in the trailer – where Jessie says “have fun”). Lots of new dialogue
  • You can’t change the character’s names
  • Barret and Cloud tension, and you feel that around the other characters
  • During the pan up to the Reactor, you cut to the tower and President Shinra watching everything
  • Cross Slash is Cloud’s limit. Braver was a move / skill
  • You go through corridors rather than outside area once past the gate
  • The Reactor entrance, you don’t get the same perspective when you run in until after Cloud looks up – it gives you the huge scale of everything
  • Cloud has a flashback/moment right before this
  • If the Mono Drives float above Cloud, he will jump up to air combo them. So though there is no manual jump, if they are within his reach, he can attack flying opponents
  • In the Reactor, there is a whole new sequence – Biggs cutting through the grate. A lot more intense than in the original. They trust Cloud to know where to go
  • The Reactor music is incredible
  • There are golden-looking chests
  • The elevator sequence is there in the Remake, but it is different, especially the lead-in
  • Anything with Shinra logo on it is destructible, so you can break boxes or open chests for loot. You can ‘attack’ out of combat
  • Demo on floor was unlocked framerate but one Max was watching was 30 fps
  • Barret and Cloud have their fight right after the elevator. Music kicks in and lasers shoot down. Character switching tutorial – shows you how to switch to Barret. Barret looked like he was going to shoot Cloud but he shot an opponent behind him. Cloud doesn’t even flinch from the shot. Barret is the long-range fighter. They really gave this a lot of thought. It feels like the original, but a new twist on the gameplay
  • The demo ended where (in the original) Jessie teaches you how to go down the ladder. In the Remake, there are no ladders, it is a big spiral staircase down into the underbelly of the Reactor. Tons of enemies on the way down. Jessie points out where the Reactor core is
  • Limits still build from damage. Especially blocking
  • No Sweepers or Grunts were available in the Bombing Run demo that was played
  • If you run around and dodge too much, you didn’t get much ATB bars
  • Not sure if MP was regenerated from normal attacking
  • During the boss fight, he noticed the items that were available to him. Cloud’s inventory changed – he had grenades and some other items
  • Cloud is confused by the Scorpion Sentinel’s ability to heal / regenerate
  • No functioning menu for Materia yet, or the characters / equipment, etc…
  • From the top of the Reactor to the bottom is about x4 longer than the original game
  • No save points in the demo – presented as a tutorial
  • Barret asks you to set the bomb. He says something like Tifa trusts you but he doesn’t. He wants Cloud to prove that he can trust him. Cloud aggressively says fine and sets the bomb
  • You don’t get the ‘this isnt’ a reactor’ line. Instead you get a flashback/moment. He holds his head. It’s not all red and ear screeching… just a single black feather that falls to the ground and dissipates. Alarms set off and that’s when the moment ends
  • The Scorpion Sentinel can scan you. If he does, he can grab the character and disable them. You have to switch to Barret, and if you attack him enough, you get released
  • Stone Skin – gives Barret less damage and stunning. Barret is a tank
  • The game is chapter based. Chapter 1 "The Mako Reactor". Might get a chapter completion bonus?
  • No jump button
  • Feels NOTHING like CC
  • You can hold down button to continuously attack, but Cloud has different moves. If you press the button repeatedly instead of holding it down, you do a longer combo
  • Barret was just hold down to shoot. Barret doesn't have to reload
  • Extrapolates the combos that could happen with Materia added into the mix
  • For everyone who complained about Turn Based not being in the game - Tactical Mode solves that completely. You can play it like that, or as an action RPG
  • You don't get to see the escape after the Reactor explodes in the presentation demo


Harbinger O Great Justice
@Claymore Thank you SO much for that full-blown breakdown. <3 Hopefully this'll help people skim the content, and then jump to any timestamps from my post for what stuff they want to see/hear in more detail.

I loved little things when he's replaying the original, like learning that that little ladder area at the top is where all these First Rays show up, and you have to learn how to shoot with Barret just after getting him in your party.

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 8.50.46 AM.png



Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
Smooth Criminal
That's a wonderful summation of the live stream. Thank you so much.

It really looks like this game is a culmination of the experiences, lessons and ideas that have come before from past games.

I'm blown away how they've managed to get it with this.

The combat and use of the ATB while getting it to recharge through combat sounds a whole lot like a more refined battle system found in Lightning Returns. The combat switching and open field combat has parallels to FFXV.

Aren't some of the same people involved in this developers who worked on the XIII saga? I remember the co-director being attached to it and I think someone else...

But yeah. This is action but also focused on strategic use of an ATB gauge that limits and controls your actions. No freely hacking, slashing and warp-striking special move spamming your way out of a problem :mon:


Extremely rad and incredibly cool
  • The big worry is how the hell the rest of the game will match this same quality!
This is my only real major concern. The game almost looks TOO good, to the point where I can't help but worry a bit about if they can keep this level of quality consistent over several games.


Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
Smooth Criminal
They definitely can keep this quality because they'll reuse the same assets and system for the next entry.

Them getting it right the first time actually makes the subsequent entries more likely to be just as good. The fundamentals are solid, the only factor is execution and depth in the design and scope of the next game.


Harbinger O Great Justice
Also, that's just Max being genuinely gobsmacked about how polished the game is, because E3 demos usually aren't public, because the games are still in pretty early stages of polish. In the case of Remake that HEAVY polish was a big part in what they were ensuring was in place before it was shown off for real (especially compared to 2015), so for the context is seems nearly impossible to imagine an entire game that's that good and so far past his personal hype meter on top of all that.

I appreciate him a lot, and I've been watching him stream tons more over the last year and a half because of the way that he approaches things he enjoys, and also isn't afraid to be critical of things in ways that are meant to always be constructive which come part from him being a rad human, and also from how well he understands the industry and wants everyone's stuff to be awesome.

X :neo:
While I agree that "turn-based" is probably taking it a bit too far, the ATB gauge does fill all the time irrespective of what you do, it just fills faster when you land attacks. I guess they're just more referencing the fact that you can stop the action at any time to take stock and plan ahead. I especially like that, in addition to fully switching characters, you can use Tactical mode to issue a command to another character that they will execute, but you can still remain in control of the character you're already using.

I dunno if the stances sound all that much like Paradigms to me. I mean for Cloud's - do you want to move slower and do more damage or faster and deal less damage - feels fairly rudimentary. Mako was probably closer with the Lightning Returns comparison.

But, really, Obs, I find it hard to believe you couldn't keep track of any number of things given your encyclopedic knowledge of like 12 XIV classes and their rotations :monster:


Harbinger O Great Justice
I mean, if you want to look at all of these things as individual mechanics, that every character has to deal with:
  • HP bars – Lower with damage and only certain items help them and some spells that you have to target your own team with can raise them back up. If they go to zero, you die.
  • MP bars – Lower when using spells or some abilities, certain items can increase them while in combat. If they go to zero you can't use spells or abilities that require them.
  • ATB Gauge – They increase based on a character's speed, and let you take an action. If it goes to zero, it's because you've taken an action.
  • Limit gauges – They increase with various actions depending on the character, and have one of several different effects that are unique to every character. If they go to zero, it's only because you just used that character's your Limit.
  • Status Effects – There are a large number of these that all have different positive/benign/negative effects, and only certain items or spells can remove them. These can effect your HP, MP, ATB, and Limit bars in multiple different ways as well.
  • Materia – Any number of a massive variety of spells or special abilities that change whatever character they're on, and the moves that they have access to.
  • Items – You'll buy or pick them up and have to read what each one of them does in order to know how to use it.

You can make it feel really complicated, when it's really just a basic understanding of what the basic RPG game mechanics entail and that as soon as you get into the basics, you have a really easy way to do what you want.

Also – While there's no indication that the specific level progression is passing on from the Midgar chapter to the next chapter, there's also no evidence that they're ditching the combat system, and no good reason to assume that they'd be overhauling something that they've put such a huge and meticulous amount of work into ensuring that it matches the experience of the original game, but updated for a more modern experience.

The combat system is REALLY straightforward and easy to pick up. One of the very first things from Max's day one stream is JJ talking about the fact that she was worried about getting confused and pressing the wrong buttons to do things, but she said that she basically picked up on it right away without any problems. I'd be happy to make a more complete summary of the combat and how it functions based on the demo and all of the information that they've shared and shown so far if that'd help, because it seems like you're making everything sound WAY more confusing and complicated than it really is.

X :neo:


Pro Adventurer
This is my only real major concern. The game almost looks TOO good, to the point where I can't help but worry a bit about if they can keep this level of quality consistent over several games.
I think the correct answer to this concern is that they need to take as long and make as many parts as necessary to do it justice. And we, as fans, need to accept that good things come to those who wait.

On a major positive note, with how much hype and positive reception they're getting, I don't think they have to worry about sales.

Watching Max run through the old 2005 PS3 tech demo, and even the 2017 Remake trailer, one thought that immediately leapt to mind was: man, I'm really glad that it's taken them until 2020 to release this game. If they had forced it out sooner, imagine how compromised an experience it would have been compared to what we're getting now.

If this is the level of depth and polish they're infusing into just the Midgar section of the game, I really don't want them to compromise on the rest of the game just to get it out the door faster. If it takes four parts and five years to get the complete story, but the final volume and quality of content completely dwarfs the original, it will have been well worth the wait for me.
Mr. Ite
Listening to that boss music here:

My money's on Yoshitaka Suzuki being the arranger for this. Really can't wait for the official soundtrack release to see all the people involved in this. I hope they give proper credit again, the XV soundtrack was weird about this.
XIV still credits Uematsu primarily although we know most tracks from ARR and beyond aren’t him. It doesn’t say who worked on which track.


Kept you waiting, huh?
Just read the Front Page article and now I'm 10x more excited for Remake than I already am. March 2020 can't come fast enough! ...That said, I'm vaguely worried about comparisons with RE2 Remake. While fun, RE2 Remake didn't make the original's A/B Scenarios as meaningful, and IMO Chief Irons and Ben's personalities were changed for the worse. But hey, YMMV:monster:
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