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Remake Interviews: Catch-all Thread


Nothing new or spoiler-y content-wise but I do enjoy these paragraphs.

You’re the producer on the remake of Final Fantasy VII, a game that you previously worked on. How has the experience been trying to reimagine it for a new audience?
When we made the first game, we had total freedom. We could do whatever we wanted. The second time around, there were lots of fans of the first game. We had to cater to them to a certain extent, which a good thing, but also very difficult. Over the past 20 years of people who played the series have this image of – for example, Cloud – that’s been building and building. And this image of what Final Fantasy VII is and who these characters are is pretty concrete. So, in making Final Fantasy VII Remake, we had to think ourselves, “Well, is it going to be okay to make a new Cloud?” Are people going to say, “Actually, no, that’s not Cloud. He wouldn’t do that.” Or are people going to be receptive to it? It’s been really interesting to try to figure that out.

How do you balance your own desire to do something that’s creatively interesting, rather than retreading familiar ground?
I don’t think this is just me – I think everyone here wants to make something new. It is a really wonderful thing to have a game you’ve worked on be so well-loved by so many people. Even when we were traveling to promote Final Fantasy XIII, we had people constantly asking, “So, when’s the Final Fantasy VII remake coming out?” At this point, the graphics are pretty old. I want people to be able to see it as something new. I want people to be able to experience it through fresh eyes. So, I think that feeling of wanting people to experience it anew is part of the reason I decided to go toward a remake.

I really love films; Star Wars Episode IV was real-time for me. It’s been, what, almost 50 years since Star Wars Episode IV came out? Even looking back at it now, I still find a lot of the special effects to be quite impressive – they feel quite fresh in a way. But, for people my son’s age, he looks at this and says, “It looks like they just got a bunch of toys that they’re playing with.” I realized that even if, to me, it still looks like something cool and new – that’s how it looks to someone who is used to the newest and best CG. I really think that anybody can go back and play the original Final Fantasy VII and it would still be fun, but it’s going to look like that to them – and I want to be able to bring people something that looks new and fresh.

Is there still a committee at Square Enix that guides Final Fantasy as a brand?
Is it that famous!? Yeah, it does. It still exists. [Laughs] It’s apparently world-famous? With some Yoda character like at the Jedi Council meetings?

Yeah, exactly! Is it like that?
[Laughs] Mr. [Shinji] Hashimoto is the brand manager, so I guess in a sense he is kind of Yoda!
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