Franchise Guide: Crisis Core

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is an action role playing game released in 2007 and serves as a prequel to the original game.

Originally it was intended to be a port of the mobile game “Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII”, however once the development team decided upon Zack Fair as a main character, the Before Crisis adaptation was abandoned, and Crisis Core was born.


Beginning seven years before the start of Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core tells the story of Zack Fair, a light-hearted SOLDIER who is working his way up the ranks of the elite organisation.

The story starts by introducing Zack’s mentor Angeal and various other Shinra operatives with whom he is friendly, including characters that appear both in Final Fantasy VII and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. On the first mission Angeal disappears, leaving Zack and another well-known SOLDIER with the responsibility of tracking him down.


The player controls Zack, who moves through open areas, able to interact with other characters and engage in battle with monsters. At save points, optional missions can be undertaken which usually provide opportunities to grind levels or obtain new materia.

Materia is customisable, and new materia can be created using a system in the menu known as “materia fusion”. Equipping materia alters Zack’s stats and gives access to new abilities. The battles use a Real Time system in which the player chooses commands and executes these immediately using the “X” button. A constantly spinning slot machine in the upper left corner known as the “DMW” (Digital Mind-Wave) stops a reel each time a command is selected. When the three images match several things may be triggered, including summons, special attacks, a stat boost and even small story related cutscenes. The game also uses this system to level up, triggered by matching three “7”s.


Release Date
Square Enix
SCE Korea/Square Enix
North America
Square Enix
Square Enix
Square Enix

Crisis Core official website.

The only way to currently play the game is to own a PSP and buy a hard copy, as unlike other popular PSP titles released by Square-Enix it is currently unavailable to download on the Playstation Network Store. Due to this, it is also not available for the PSP Go or the Playstation Vita.

A Japanese device which transfers UMD disc data to the Playstation Vita was made commercially available in Japan, but was never released elsewhere. This makes it possible to play Crisis Core on the Vita.