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Final Fantasy VII Remake The remake of FFVII announced at E3 on June 15th, 2015 -- OUR WHOLE LIVES HAVE BEEN LEADING UP TO THIS MOMENT!!

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Old 06/19/2018   #16
X-SOLDIER
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Vyzzuvazzadth wrote: What I still don't understand is why you're talking about the chase for Sephiroth in part one. There's no chase happening before Cloud's resolution at the end of the highway. Before they see the Masamune protruding from President Shinra's corpse, Sephiroth is believed dead and the story doesn't care about him before that incident, and nobody is chasing after him.

As mentioned before, the actual chase after Sephiroth starts after the flashback. And if part 1 should also set up and contain the chase after Sephiroth, it has to contain much more than just the flashback and the impaled Midgar Zolom or else we're left with mere beginnings of a storyline that don't go anywhere. That's where the cargo ship comes in, since the confrontation with him and Jenova there is an important part of that chase. Same goes for the Gold Saucer (even if it's just a Red Herring), Nibelheim and of course the Temple of the Ancients and later the City of the Ancients for the low point in the story arc.
I brought up the chase after Sephiroth, because – while a lot of the legwork in doing that takes place across later parts of the game like you mentioned – ultimately that's how the first part of the Story Arc in the game transitions: FROM primarily anti-Shinra activities solely in Midgar TO primarily pursuit of Sephiroth out into the wider world. That's what the thematic focus of the first arc should try and hit home on, because it's going to introduce the players heavily to everything in Midgar, and then work on transitioning focus from that point forward out into the wider world to be more thoroughly explored in later parts.





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Old 06/19/2018   #17
Vyzzuvazzadth
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X-SOLDIER wrote: I brought up the chase after Sephiroth, because – while a lot of the legwork in doing that takes place across later parts of the game like you mentioned – ultimately that's how the first part of the Story Arc in the game transitions: FROM primarily anti-Shinra activities solely in Midgar TO primarily pursuit of Sephiroth out into the wider world. That's what the thematic focus of the first arc should try and hit home on, because it's going to introduce the players heavily to everything in Midgar, and then work on transitioning focus from that point forward out into the wider world to be more thoroughly explored in later parts.
Ah, I see. Gotcha. I guess I keep focusing too much on separating the different parts and trying to discern what content goes into which part that I missed the point you were trying to make.

So, to make sure I understood your point: You would support the idea of part one encompassing solely Midgar if the themes and goals that follow in part 2 are clearly hinted at during the end of part one and set up in a way that the player is aware of what's at stake and what's to come while also meshing everything from part one with the setup for part 2.

If not, how would you propose part one should end?
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Old 06/19/2018   #18
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Pretty much, yeah. I think that Kalm & the Chocobo Farm and some things would make sense to expand the content a little bit beyond JUST Midgar. It could even run to Junon, but one of the things to keep in mind with a self-contained game is that the endgame needs to let the player still wander about. Ending on the Cargo Ship doesn't give that sort of freedom, and it ends on a weird cliffhanger.

Personally, I think that doing the Junon things up-to-but-not-including the infiltration onto the Cargo ship is a good place to wrap part 1. It lets you get a feel for Shinra & Midgar vs. the world. You get a little time chasing Sephiroth around. You get all the Kalm backstory and such, and you also come and go as you wish to keep players engaged for the endgame stuff.

Then, part 2 starts off with the same feel of Shinra-infiltration and chasing Sephiroth and you get hit right out of the gate with the Jenova wrench in the story where you can focus on the mystery of what's up with her and Sephiroth.




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Old 06/20/2018   #19
Kain424
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So much of this depends on just how much they expand and/or change things. If they REALLY expand on Midgar, they could do an entire game out of it. It really does have its own arc, and would work well for a first game. And if they expanded Kalm, Junon, the mines, and made the world that much bigger, it could make for a different and engaging second chapter. All the way up to Sephiroth summoning Meteor and ending on a down note, just like how everyone so fondly remembers The Empire Strikes Back.

A lot of interesting possibilities here. I do like the idea of starting the third chapter as Tifa or someone.
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Old 06/20/2018   #20
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I think Junon should be the last explorable endgame area of the first part, with the Cargo ship being the final dungeon area with Jenova as the final boss. If the first part is going to into Junon, I just don't think any other final boss except Jenova makes for a fitting final boss for the first part. And the reason why I don't think ending with the escape from Midgar would as well is because I think giving a preview of the explorable world in the first installment is important to enticing players for future parts (plus I think Kalm flashback is essential for the first part too).
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Old 06/20/2018   #21
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This discussion is fun for me in that I see the merits of different possible end points to Part 1. In terms of overall game balance, though (i.e. treating each installment as its own complete game), I feel like the cargo ship will have to be the final dungeon of sorts for Part 1.

The player will have Junon, Kalm and the wilderness in between to explore and do side quests within to hearts' content (the player's reward for getting this far), and getting on the cargo ship will function as ye olde "final dungeon point of no return" that we expect from JRPGs.

With proper build-up, the parade-to-cargo-ship sequence could be made to have all the feel of a proper showdown. It even has all the major enemies in one place, just as the Reunion will again later (a good end point for Part 2).

Ending this first installment with the cargo ship would also allow Part 2 to start in a much different way from Part 1: at a sunny seaside resort with the open world waiting just outside from the get-go rather than in a perpetually dark city with the open world only being endgame content.

The only real question for me is whether it should still be possible to meet Yuffie prior to the cargo ship. I don't think it would serve her or the story well to introduce her so close to the end of what should feel like a complete game, so it might be best to just hold off on her until Part 2.

This would also allow Part 2 to feel more balanced with Part 1, introducing four new playable characters to the first installment's initial five.
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Old 06/20/2018   #22
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Caution: huge wall of text ahead!



As soon as you include the flashback and thus Sephiroth's proper introduction in part 1 but don't provide any resolution or even answers for all that setup by the end of the game, it's not a complete experience anymore, nor a wrapped up story arc. You don't just introduce a new villain and threat and even story arc near the end of a game, just to leave the player hanging, which is what will happen, if part 1 ends on the cargo ship (or even just before Junon for that matter).

I do see the beauty of Jenova Birth being the final boss of part 1. We know about Sephiroth, his downfall, his plans, we started the main quest of the story and we faced off with Jenova/Sephiroth just before the end of the game. When looking at those things in a bubble, it seems perfect. However, there are other factor to consider.



The Remake won't just be played by us hardcore fans who know as good as everything about the original game there is to know. There will be players that maybe only played the original once, some that heard of it but never got around to play it and of course those that are completely unfamiliar with it. For us fans, it seems that the flashback is integral to the story and therefore has to be in part one or that the player needs to see and experience the world outside of Midgar in part 1.

I think most of us are looking at the Remake with the lens of enthusiasts having the full knowledge of the game and I think that's not the right approach. Try to look at the Remake as a complete new entity. What if it wasn't a remake but a completely new game, split up into a trilogy of games to fit the whole vision without any compromise (kind of like FFvXIII was going to be before everything got scrapped and rebuilt in a condensed form)? Of course you'd try to make each game as cohesive and complete as possible, especially when there will be a long waiting period between installments.

From the perspective of a new player who knows nothing about the story, it doesn't matter if Sephiroth is introduced in part one or not. It's even to the detriment of their experience if Sephiroth gets introduced as the main badass villain and part 1 ends without any sort of explanation or buildup beyond the flashback, the kebap'd Midgar Zolom and the first battle against Jenova. It would be even worse without that first battle against Jenova, as X-Soldier suggested. However you twist and turn it, part 1 will always end in an unsatisfactory cliffhanger if it ends shortly after the flashback. It wouldn't even wrap up Rufus's arc who gets introduced at the very end of the Midgar section and is a crucial part of the whole Junon segment.



Now, picture part 1 ending with the escape from Midgar. The whole conflict with Shinra as that exploitative and oppressive mega corporation ends at the end of the game. Because it is part 1 of supposedly 3, we of course need a few hooks and glimpses for part 2 to make the player want to play that one as well but without leaving them hanging with unfinished business. Those are Rufus, Sephiroth and Jenova. Rufus introduces a new and different era for Shinra and thus becomes a different and yet unknown antagonist. Great anticipation for future parts. Sephiroth, presumed dead, has returned. A new conflict for Cloud (and Tifa) is on the horizon. Jenova, yet another unknown entity, has also escaped. 3 entities that introduce new threats and antagonists for future parts. That's a great cliffhanger because setup and conflicts have either been resolved or don't matter anymore (President Shinra is dead, there's no home to return to, Aerith has been rescued and there is a new threat on the rise that's bigger than just the people of Midgar).

The proposition by X-Soldier might work better as a resolution to part 1, but only if the battle for Fort Condor is the focus for the end of part 1 and is greatly expanded upon. It's still a battle against Shinra, so it fits thematically at least. But still, the introduction of Sephiroth has no bearing on that and would feel out of place and unfinished, especially because it doesn't have anything to do with the battle for Fort Condor.

As for part 2 starting at Costa Del Sol instead of Kalm: besides a refreshing change of pace by starting a game at a beach resort (Star Ocean 3 sort of did that, but it transitioned into a completely different direction after that compared to FFVII) and having time to spend with the characters, there's nothing remotely good about it being a starting point. It starts in the middle of an arc and there would be a need for a big explanation on what happened before, since everything that will happen hinges on exposition and setup from part 1. Setup and exposition for conflicts, confrontation and resolution within an installment needs to happen at the beginning of a game, not in the prequel. The first really interesting story beat doesn't happen until Gold Saucer, which doesn't even have much to do with the overall story and serves mainly Barret's character arc. Not a very good start if you ask me.

For us fans, that's less of a problem, since we're already invested in the story and know all of it. For people who will experience FFVII for the first time, this will greatly diminish their enjoyment, since it wouldn't follow established standards for storytelling and to a certain extent gameplay structure. Just imagine if Star Wars: A New Hope ended with the rebels escaping planet Hoth with Luke on his way to the Dagobah system instead of the victory ceremony after the destruction of the Death Star. That would not feel right at all.



That's my main issue with all other possible break off points besides the escape from Midgar and the summoning of Meteor. FFVII is still a story driven game and thus the storytelling structure makes or breaks the experience (not the game, the experience).

I might sound like a broken record by now (apologies for that), but no matter how I try to find and see the benefits of other splitting points, I always end up returning to the conclusion in my initial analysis.

Not to say it's impossible. If they somehow manage to pull it off ending part 1 at around Junon, I'll pull my fedora and congratulate SE.
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Old 06/20/2018   #23
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The "Fashback at Kalm" has always felt like Sephiroth's real introduction to me. Having the game end on that, or even after that while in the middle of chasing him feels weird. It would make for a great start of a game though.

There's a lot of hints in the flashback that something is majorly wrong with Cloud's memories too. While there's hints back in Midgar, they're nothing more then hints and could easily be someone else rather then a faulty mismatched memory. The scenes in the Neibelhiem reactor are a direct call-back to Cloud having issues in the Midgar reactor. Having the game end on the player knowing Cloud has memory issues with no explanation would also feel weird.

Cliffhangers that do work, work because almost everything in the story/arc/etc. is tied up except for the cliffhanger. Ending Sephiroth's arc after the flashback but before Temple of the Ancients or Meteor isn't so much a cliffhanger as it is cutting an arc in half. There's so much left unresolved that it doesn't leave a feeling of "What happens next?", but "Why did the storyteller stop here?".

The one option I haven't seen people mention for an end-game type scenario is having parts of Midgar be the end-game. We've got eight sectors to explore and the OG only takes place in like... three of them, if that. I could easily think of ways for the party to go back under the plate after escaping from Moterball ("We need supplies for a journey across the Midgar Wastes, let's go back and get some."). Then you could start the next game in Kalm with the whammy of the flashback.
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Old 06/20/2018   #24
Minato
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Vyzzuvazzadth wrote: Caution: huge wall of text ahead!



As soon as you include the flashback and thus Sephiroth's proper introduction in part 1 but don't provide any resolution or even answers for all that setup by the end of the game, it's not a complete experience anymore, nor a wrapped up story arc. You don't just introduce a new villain and threat and even story arc near the end of a game, just to leave the player hanging, which is what will happen, if part 1 ends on the cargo ship (or even just before Junon for that matter).

I do see the beauty of Jenova Birth being the final boss of part 1. We know about Sephiroth, his downfall, his plans, we started the main quest of the story and we faced off with Jenova/Sephiroth just before the end of the game. When looking at those things in a bubble, it seems perfect. However, there are other factor to consider.



The Remake won't just be played by us hardcore fans who know as good as everything about the original game there is to know. There will be players that maybe only played the original once, some that heard of it but never got around to play it and of course those that are completely unfamiliar with it. For us fans, it seems that the flashback is integral to the story and therefore has to be in part one or that the player needs to see and experience the world outside of Midgar in part 1.

I think most of us are looking at the Remake with the lens of enthusiasts having the full knowledge of the game and I think that's not the right approach. Try to look at the Remake as a complete new entity. What if it wasn't a remake but a completely new game, split up into a trilogy of games to fit the whole vision without any compromise (kind of like FFvXIII was going to be before everything got scrapped and rebuilt in a condensed form)? Of course you'd try to make each game as cohesive and complete as possible, especially when there will be a long waiting period between installments.

From the perspective of a new player who knows nothing about the story, it doesn't matter if Sephiroth is introduced in part one or not. It's even to the detriment of their experience if Sephiroth gets introduced as the main badass villain and part 1 ends without any sort of explanation or buildup beyond the flashback, the kebap'd Midgar Zolom and the first battle against Jenova. It would be even worse without that first battle against Jenova, as X-Soldier suggested. However you twist and turn it, part 1 will always end in an unsatisfactory cliffhanger if it ends shortly after the flashback. It wouldn't even wrap up Rufus's arc who gets introduced at the very end of the Midgar section and is a crucial part of the whole Junon segment.



Now, picture part 1 ending with the escape from Midgar. The whole conflict with Shinra as that exploitative and oppressive mega corporation ends at the end of the game. Because it is part 1 of supposedly 3, we of course need a few hooks and glimpses for part 2 to make the player want to play that one as well but without leaving them hanging with unfinished business. Those are Rufus, Sephiroth and Jenova. Rufus introduces a new and different era for Shinra and thus becomes a different and yet unknown antagonist. Great anticipation for future parts. Sephiroth, presumed dead, has returned. A new conflict for Cloud (and Tifa) is on the horizon. Jenova, yet another unknown entity, has also escaped. 3 entities that introduce new threats and antagonists for future parts. That's a great cliffhanger because setup and conflicts have either been resolved or don't matter anymore (President Shinra is dead, there's no home to return to, Aerith has been rescued and there is a new threat on the rise that's bigger than just the people of Midgar).
The death of President Shinra does not mark the end of the fight against Shinra and I think it's mistake to reimagine FFVII's story to present it as such to new players. Sephiroth murders President Shinra to prevent him from finding the Promised Land, without any explanation as to who he isbeyond that he more important to Cloud then anything that has been happening thus far. Red XIII joins the party without any explanation of who he is. Rufus Shinra is introduced, is fought and escapes, The Turks destroy Sector 7, killing a lot of the supporting cast along with it and are barely encountered again afterwards, Hojo is introduced but not dealt with at all.

I understand that a Part 1 ending at Junon has problems but let's not get carried away with presenting a Part 1 ending at Midgar as by any means a closed off and completed story that doesn't leave unfinished business. All that's accomplished is rescuing Aeris, but Aeris' peril is not the main story arc Cloud, Barret and Tifa are following.
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Old 06/20/2018   #25
Obsidian Fire
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I think we're all expecting the game to stick too closely to the OG's pacing at this point. Having Midgar take more time and spending more time with Avalanche could lead to us learning a lot more about Shin-Ra compared to what we know when we leave Midgar in the OG. That could change the feeling and pacing of the game's first section a lot.

While President Shinra dying is not the end of the fight against Shin-Ra, it does mark the end of an era for Shin-Ra, and therefore the end of an era for Avalanche. Rufus says he runs things very differently then his father did. The game could easily expand on how President Shin-Ra ran things before Rufus' takeover happened. President's Shin-Ra's death could then lead to the party speculating afterwards about how Shinra would change and not finding out about it until the next game when they go to Junon. You then can introduce both Sephiroth and Rufus as the new things to fight against at relatively the same time.

Part 1 ending at Midgar leaves the players with two distinct questions to answer next game. What is going to happen to Shin-Ra now that the president is dead and his son (who says he doesn't like how his father did things) has now taken over? What is Sephiroth doing alive when we know he's dead? Kalm though the end of the Northern Crater answer both those questions.

My concern about ending Part 1 after Kalm or after Junon is that the questions the player is left with aren't so distinct. What really happened in the Neibelheim reactor? Is Cloud's memory even trustworthy? What does Jenova have to do with all this? Is Shinra being involved with this just a coincidence? Would this have been a problem even without Shinra? Maybe that Hojo guy plays a bigger role in all this then we think? etc.

Nothing is settled, there's just more and more questions. Midgar at least settles the current Avalanche vs. old Shin-Ra conflict to make way for the new Avalanche vs. new Shin-ra conflict (which sometimes involves them agreeing on goals even if they don't agree on the method) and even the Avalanche vs Sephiroth conflict which is the only conflict that is really ended in the OG.
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Old 06/20/2018   #26
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Rufus and his dad are different types of tyrants but AVALANCHE is about stopping the use of Mako Reactors, no suggestion whatsoever is made that President Shinra's death will mark any kind of end to this and it would require a rather substantial change in Rufus' character to change this for the Remake.
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Old 06/20/2018   #27
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Minato wrote: Rufus and his dad are different types of tyrants but AVALANCHE is about stopping the use of Mako Reactors, no suggestion whatsoever is made that President Shinra's death will mark any kind of end to this and it would require a rather substantial change in Rufus' character to change this for the Remake.
Yes and no. I think this argument is a little pedantic however (respectfully). Things are obviously subject to change, but, I mean, on learning of Shinra-senior’s death Barret is pretty excited for a brief moment (as in, he clearly thinks it’s a game changer - and indeed it is, as it changes the complexion of the politics of this world, and the nature of the enemy, and so on). But then he quickly comes to his senses when Shinra-Jnr arrives on the scene (“Damn! Forgot about him!” or words to that effect).

In other words I think there’s enough there to close the initial arc (and indeed merge into the next one).
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Old 06/20/2018   #28
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The point of the end of the Midgar arc is not to achieve Avalanche's initial goal. That slowly changes throughout the whole Midgar arc anyway. After the second reactor bombing, they find out about a move from Shinra against Avalanche. The focus shifts from offense to defense, ending in the destruction of sector 7 during which Aerith gets abducted. Next goal, rescue her. It's always against Shinra, but for gradually different reasons depending on circumstance. After President Shinra is killed, those immediate threats subside (manhunt for Avalanche and abducting Aerith). While Midgar still sucks Mako from the planet, the new threat, Sephiroth is more pressing in that moment, especially for Cloud and Tifa, than bombing more reactors. And Avalanche is still on the run, so going back to Midgar isn't possible at the moment. In addition to that, where would they go back to? Their home is destroyed. So it's better to focus on a new task while keeping Shinra in peripheral view for the moment.

Obsidian Fire wrote: The one option I haven't seen people mention for an end-game type scenario is having parts of Midgar be the end-game. We've got eight sectors to explore and the OG only takes place in like... three of them, if that. I could easily think of ways for the party to go back under the plate after escaping from Moterball ("We need supplies for a journey across the Midgar Wastes, let's go back and get some."). Then you could start the next game in Kalm with the whammy of the flashback.
I like that idea as long as they only stick to the slums. It would be too risky on the upper plate.
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Old 06/20/2018   #29
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The Twilight Mexican wrote: This would also allow Part 2 to feel more balanced with Part 1, introducing four new playable characters to the first installment's initial five.
But this would hold true if you just end at Midgar too, right?
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Old 06/20/2018   #30
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pxp wrote:
Minato wrote: Rufus and his dad are different types of tyrants but AVALANCHE is about stopping the use of Mako Reactors, no suggestion whatsoever is made that President Shinra's death will mark any kind of end to this and it would require a rather substantial change in Rufus' character to change this for the Remake.
Yes and no. I think this argument is a little pedantic however (respectfully). Things are obviously subject to change, but, I mean, on learning of Shinra-senior’s death Barret is pretty excited for a brief moment (as in, he clearly thinks it’s a game changer - and indeed it is, as it changes the complexion of the politics of this world, and the nature of the enemy, and so on). But then he quickly comes to his senses when Shinra-Jnr arrives on the scene (“Damn! Forgot about him!” or words to that effect).

In other words I think there’s enough there to close the initial arc (and indeed merge into the next one).
As Vyzzuvazzadth says, the "Setup and exposition for conflicts, confrontation and resolution within an installment needs to happen at the beginning of a game", the bombing mission doesn't tell us "Shin-Ra Inc. is lead by a oppressive tyrant and needs to go down." It's "these Mako Reactors are killing the planet, and we will all die unless they are shut down." You leave Midgar with six reactors operating in full swing. Sephiroth is the bigger threat. But you don't know that yet, if the game ends before Kalm. New players end the game not knowing why they stopped trying to save the world that is in immediate peril. It's problematic in it's own right.
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