Going by the frame count based on the link provided by Cloud_S.
Aerith looks way more meditative and dreaming in this iconic sequence compared to previous iterations of it. In the OG and in CC she looked more temporarily distracted by the leaking mako/lifestream, while here it looks like her spirit is very much riding the thoughts from the lifestream, despite the rumbling noises of Midgar.
Appreciating the new designs for the Shinra grunts/infantrymen. At normal speed I definitely missed the military-green style grunt at frame 650.
Kinda hoping that the way these two grunts are ignoring Barret and running straight towards Cloud is a reference to what happens in the original game if you follow Barret quickly enough. This would be a low-key humorous moment that shows Square isn't afraid of being various degrees of silly.
387 - 457
One of the defining aspects of the OG was how cutscenes and gameplay would blend together, sometimes with low-poly characters being imposed over the pre-rendered movie that was playing. The way that the battle HUD remains even during this cinematic firing of missiles from Guard Scorpion reminds me of that marriage between cinematics and gameplay. Sure, button inputs are locked during this battle cinematic but I still appreciate this aesthetic choice.
It's interesting how minimalistic the HUD is. It doesn't spell out "HP", "MP" and "LIMIT" for the character stats/gauges. Simply spells out the numbers and assumes (correctly) that you always know which is what.
533 - 588:
As has been mentioned, the attention to detail with the countdown is wonderful. Great reference to looks of the timer in the original game. Seeing Cloud climb at 561 - 588 is a nice reminder that the same environmental interactivity from the OG is still being preserved here.
589 - 674
Looks this is the winding tunnels on your way to Mako Reactor #5, as also hinted by Tifa's presence in the party. The hovering robot foes appear to be new designs. They look a bit like the red saucers
if those could fly. These hovering robots also remind me of the hovering enemy "Mono Drive
" from Mako Reactor #1 by virtue of, well, hovering. Mono Drive always looked weirdly organic to me for what is supposed to be a mechanical foe. I can imagine the thought process behind the creation of the new hovering robots: "Those Mono Drive thingies look a bit out of place. What should we use instead for hovering robots? I know, let's take the red saucers from the Compilation of FFVII and make them fly!"
The hotkey/shortcuts HUD at 637 - 674 looks juicy and reminds me that I am looking forward to this modernization of FFVII.
Chest hair. Good choice.
808 - 937
There are moments here where I think Cloud's face looks especially Japanese. This is neither good nor bad, it's just a thing I like to notice with Final Fantasy cutscenes: When characters, even if ever so briefly, change from looking vaguely asian to very outright Japanese. For a moment I actually felt like I was looking at the love child between Tetsuya Nomura and Gackt.
When I was pondering the trailer while at work today, this particular region of frames stood out in my mind as a sore spot. Why? Because the sheen of Aerith's face reminded me of the constant sheen from the 3D models in Mobius. Retroactively my memory was rewritten to think that the entire trailer looked like a Mobius crossover event. I certainly did not like that thought! Upon revisiting the trailer I'm glad to see I was wrong. While the lighting on Aerith's face does look somewhat unnatural, I think it also works to a positive end: It makes Aerith look otherworldly, like a subtle reminder of her angelic/holy status. No, I'm not talking about the misperception of Aerith as "pure", but rather the fact that she is the last living Cetran and that Zack referred to Aerith as an angel when they first met.
Loving the design choice to have Aps's back horns glowing mako(?) green. It makes me speculate on Aps's possible origins as a mako experiment. Perhaps one of Hojo's discarded experiments, acquired by Don Corneo via his ties to Shinra?
1079 - 1113
These frames make me gush. You think back to how this moment before you face Aps plays out in the original game. While the situation felt moderately spooky, I for one never felt threatened or like the characters themselves felt particularly endangered. But in this Remake sequence things are different. The seriousness of the situation is reflected in the facial expressions and body language of both Cloud and Aerith. Maybe it's because of my limited visual imagination, but rather than stripping away the power of "imagination" that limited graphical fidelity may promote, this Remake sequence enhances the scene with colors of expression. Beautiful.
Also the thought that Cloud was in drag only minutes before this scene makes me squee with delight. He is so goddamn pretty here I hardly dare imagine how pretty he'll be in a dress.
1114 - 1171
More gushing. The way that Cloud launches towards the enemy after the attack button has been pressed is so reminiscent of the original game. While the OG accompanied Cloud's "launching" animation with the sound of quick footsteps, I believe that the animation itself was very minimal with Cloud essentially gliding over to his foe like he does in this here Remake footage.
True to form Aerith has the highest max MP of all three characters. I wonder what Aerith's AI is up to though. Her staff is glowing but is she charging up for a magic spell or is she attacking with her magic-boosted staff? I certainly hope she isn't just flailing in the air uselessly.
1262 - 1367
Now this is fascinating. The enemy looks like a mutated, overgrown Head Hunter
. There is also suspicious biological fauna littering the environment. Is this the Shinra HQ after Jenova has broken free? If so it's a wonderful re-imagining of that sequence.
1368 - 1474
Idiots attacked while its tail was up. Amateurs.
I was expecting Sephiroth to sport the Amano-inspired pauldrons, as seen in the "key visual art
" for FFVIIR from years ago, but here it's back to OG form. Thankfully the OG pauldrons fit my preference. I dislike the idea of Sephiroth showing up as a visual hallucination in any of the reactors even if we as the player only gets to see Sephiroth's back at this point. Before you leave Midgar it is important that Sephiroth remains a name (or shall we say, remains a memory?
) and not a visual figure. Sadly I don't think that the developers of FFVIIR will trust to player patience in this regard. They may be irrationally afraid that some players may not want to play through the game unless they see Sephiroth within the first half hour.
Cloud's sweat. Cloud's beautiful sweat. ...My sexuality is a Clouded mess right now.