First Japanese articles for FFVII in Japan?


Lv. 25 Adventurer
Hey all, I found something pretty cool.

The most unfortunate thing about finding screenshots that come from magazines is that whoever shares the screenshots often times neglects to mention where they came from. A lot of early prototype shots of FFVII are like this as well, as there are a bunch of shots floating around with no known origin.

One of the things that's peculiar is when exactly FFVII was first shown (in it's recognizable Playstation form) in media, specifically Japanese media. While I'm not sure if this is the very first, it's certainly one of the earliest.

The following magazine scans come from the 17th issue of 電撃PlayStation S Vol.17 (2/14/96). Predating the first playable demo by over 4 months, the magazine details things about the battle system, characters, and world months before anything was finalized. Some of the screenshots featured in the article were used in other magazines as well, but came much later than this one. There should be some new things as well.

I don't know if any of this was known before, so apologies if it's old. But I thought it was worth pointing out. I'm currently looking into to see if there's a possibility that there might be another demo not accounted for that might've been released in some magazine or promotion in Japan. I was thinking maybe "電撃プレイステーション" might have something since they frequently released some discs as well. Documentation on the contents any Japanese magazine are extremely scarce, so a lot of this is uncharted territory.


(shots taken from here and reuploaded elsewhere for safe keeping. The quality of the images aren't that great though. Notice the magazine has a few lone shots of dialog boxes strung about)

Links (because image embedding doesn't show all four for some reason)

EDIT: Not really early, but this is from 電撃PlayStation issue 40 (1/31/1997), around the time FFVII was completed. Includes a retrospective, some interviews and some more shots. It looks final:
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I absolutely LOVE this stuff. Thank you for taking the time to look into this, koolaidman.

I wonder if we'd get in trouble for hosting scans like these on our site, be they our own scans or directly copied from the Dengeki site.

Also loving that these include photos of the developers. I wonder who this guy is to the right? This bit is about the J-RPG history up until that point, so he might not have anything at all to do with FFVII.

The group photo in the Playstation issue 40 is cool. That's the type of thing I'd like to plaster our FFVII - Game Credits article with.

Here is my attempt at changing the angle of the group photo:



If I had the magazine I would just scan it myself to get the proper angle and still preserve the quality.


Lv. 25 Adventurer
I recognize Tetsuya Nomura on the left, Ken Narita (the main programmer for the game) in the center, and Motonori Sakakibara (movie director) second from the left. Not sure who the other people are.

I think there was another part to the interview but it was never thrown up on that page I found the other scans. It would probably have the synopsis for the other three guys. I think the guy on the Dragon Quest VII page is someone from Enix. Not sure how that scan got in there...


I'd say just post them - if SE or the magazines are giving trouble, we refer them back to imgur and put up their DMCA's and shit there, :monster:


OMG this is awesome. From even just the first screenshot, the old battle GUI, the old character models with different heights! *drools*

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
Shademp is my vote for writing this, for obvious reasons. Maybe I would, but I'm already working on several things for the front page, of which one nears completion. I know he is as well, though, so we both may be delayed.

I also think we may need to examine the Japanese here a little more closely before we post to the front.

Speaking of which, Shademp, I do think that one page says they were shooting for getting the game on two discs, but were anticipating that it may have to be three. Some of the text there is hard to make out.

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
Most of the stuff I recognize from other sources, but those three shots of the mako reactor core are certainly new to me (see to the right in this one). I wonder what Cloud is saying there.


"A great amount of energy is refined by the mako reactors. If things stay the way they are, this planet will wither and die."

Shademp said:
EDIT: Is this page saying that the game was originally intended for two discs? If so, then that fits with early English sources. :D

If I was able to make that out properly:

場合によっては、CD-ROM 2枚組、3枚組といったことも考えあれます。

"Depending on the demands of the development, they said they're considering 2 or even 3 CD-ROM discs."
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Work is heavy this week plus I'm lazy. Sorry.

What I've done is to create the templates for two pages: One for Dengeki PlayStation issue #17 and one for #40. Each page can be filled out with translations and commentary as time goes along. The plan is to link both of these from the FFVII - The Original index page.

The newspost will be a separate entity. I know it's cumbersome but I'm keeping to this formatting style because it displeases me on an aesthetical level to link to newsposts (and not pages) from our index pages. :monster:

Because of this tough work week and my shameful laziness, I can't promise to deliver everything before Saturday. I really tried to sit down with this task today but ultimately I didn't have the strength.

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
Because of this tough work week and my shameful laziness, I can't promise to deliver everything before Saturday. I really tried to sit down with this task today but ultimately I didn't have the strength.

I'm unconcerned with your shameful laziness and more interested in your reporting on Dirge version differences at the moment anyway. =P
Published both these pages now. Feel free to correct me on stuff or suggest commentary that you think is vital to include. Corrections and possible additions aside, this is almost ready for "official" publication via the frontpage news.

- Dengeki PlayStation Vol.17

- Dengeki PlayStation Vol.40

- I compared the battle horizon of the Siggraph demo and the magazine scans, but I actually don't find them similar at all. In my mind's eye I thought they were the same, but a closer inspection does not form a visual match.

- Need help figuring out who everyone in the group shot is. I feel I can't make a newspost before all the names are in there.

What I got so far, from left to right:
Tetsuya Nomura (Character Designer), Motonori Sakakibara??, ???, Yusuke Naora??, ???, Ken Narita?? (Main Programmer)

One certain, three guesses and two unknowns.
Newspost written and pretty much ready to go. Still obsessed with the goal that the group photo info must be completed before I can officially publish this though. For some important names you can revisit our FFVII - Game Credits article.

EDIT: Another source for FFVII staff photos is the "FFVII True Script Dissection – The Complete" guide. Pages 59 (Battle & Materia Team), 133 (Battle Team) and 183 (Event Team). The guy to the outmost left in page 59 looks like the guy to the outmost right in the Dengeki Vol.40 group shot. I don't have multiple copies of this book so I can't make scans though.
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The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
From left to right:
野村哲也 ・ Tetsuya Nomura (Character Designer & Battle Visual Director)
榊原幹典 ・ Motonori Sakakibara (CG Movie Director)
藤井明 ・ Akira Fujii (Battle Stage Director)
成田賢 ・ Ken Narita (Main Programmer)
神崎建三 ・ Kenzou Kanzaki (Background Designer)
安井建太郎 ・ Yasui Kentarou (Effects Programmer)

In the course of doing this, I also learned that Sakakibara recently left SE.


Lv. 25 Adventurer
Someone on Twitter posted a few scans from the Famitsu April 1996 issue. The only thing interesting to note is that I don't believe that crab monster ever made it in the final version:





There's probably a lot more in this issue that wasn't scanned and uploaded.
The crab is there in the final game, but the coloring was changed.

- Ceasar

- Castanet

Coloring was changed (and improved) in overall when comparing the scans and the final game.

I really enjoy that photo of Kitase and Sakaguchi. :D


Pro Adventurer
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