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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 07/12/2017   #16
The Twilight Mexican
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That's a really fascinating analysis, Theo.
Lex wrote:
You're right that we probably don't have enough to go on yet with Aerith, but she is definitely off in CC. Whether that's supposed to be part of a deliberate transformation from when she was a little younger, an overly seraphic post-mortem mischaracterization, or just another example of how badly they fucked up the slums in CC ...
I'm going to say something that might be a bit controversial, but given Tabata's track record with female characters in the games he has directed I really can't shake the idea that he had at least a little to do with how she was portrayed in CC.
He strikes me as more well-rounded than he's given credit for there. Just looking at FFXV, you have a very different mix of female characters, and the traits of a successful Aerith are all there -- even if not in just one character.
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Old 07/12/2017   #17
Channy
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I also didn't take too much issue with CC Aerith - I tend to agree that maybe Zack helped bring out some of her traits and boosting her confidence with their time together, nor was he the sole reason for it either. She grew up in the slums, it's bound to shape an individual. Plus she was what... 15 back then? There's bound to be room for some shy insecurities and softness of her character then.

But then you might argue, what about Yuffie, she was 9 in CC with the same gusto she ever had. Yeah, well.. Yuffie's Yuffie. no one has Yuffie's confidence.
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Old 07/12/2017   #18
Theozilla
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The Twilight Mexican wrote: That's a really fascinating analysis, Theo.
Thank you.

The Twilight Mexican wrote:
Lex wrote:
You're right that we probably don't have enough to go on yet with Aerith, but she is definitely off in CC. Whether that's supposed to be part of a deliberate transformation from when she was a little younger, an overly seraphic post-mortem mischaracterization, or just another example of how badly they fucked up the slums in CC ...
I'm going to say something that might be a bit controversial, but given Tabata's track record with female characters in the games he has directed I really can't shake the idea that he had at least a little to do with how she was portrayed in CC.
He strikes me as more well-rounded than he's given credit for there. Just looking at FFXV, you have a very different mix of female characters, and the traits of a successful Aerith are all there -- even if not in just one character.
Also wasn't the all-male cast in FFXV something that originated from Nomura's insistence? Tabata even said back in 2014 “it’s not healthy to have a bias in genders", sounds like he was kinda limited with what he was able to work with in FFXV (in regards to female character writing/narrative significance).
http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/09/...is-not-healthy
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Old 07/13/2017   #19
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Channy wrote: Plus she was what... 15 back then? There's bound to be room for some shy insecurities and softness of her character then
Exactly, I don't think people appreciate this enough. 15 vs 22 is a BIG difference. I was very different when I was 15 from when I was 22, and I think I changed a lot less than several other people I know.

You discuss the merits of Tabata's approach to female characters, but Nojima wrote CC, and I generally trust him, the only thing to shake that trust has been that X novel...
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Old 07/13/2017   #20
Cat Rage Room
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The Twilight Mexican wrote: You're right that we probably don't have enough to go on yet with Aerith, but she is definitely off in CC. Whether that's supposed to be part of a deliberate transformation from when she was a little younger, an overly seraphic post-mortem mischaracterization, or just another example of how badly they fucked up the slums in CC ...

I'm reminded of what Mog said several years ago in the first installment to his Fantastic Journey series:

Mog wrote: The Slums, oh, the slums! Seriously, SE aimed at the ‘fantasy world version of the ghetto’ target and hit it dead on. Drunks, prostitutes, badasses, poor kids, and gangsters, you have it all, here. What I really liked about it though, is the atmosphere.

I’m sitting here typing this, and there are a lot of ‘dangerous place’ like towns and cities in RPGs, but FF7 is the only game that to me, has actually nailed the atmosphere of the slums being a dangerous, dirty, and shady place. It could be the music, Under the Rotting Pizza, which remains one of my favorite songs in the entire OST, but I also feel is the dialogue and the attitude of the inhabitants. Unlike a lot of RPGs, they don’t go around ‘WAH I’M SO HUNGRY AND POOR’, no, they act more like actual inhabitants of the slum, and that’s angry. Angry at Shinra, angry at their circumstances, and generally just angry at everything. Another personality trait I noticed is also another realistic one, and that’s acceptance. It ties into what Cloud said; “I know… no one lives in the slums because they want to. It’s like this train. It can’t run anywhere except where its rails take it.”

A lot of the slum inhabitants just accept their lot in life and deal with it the best they can. They eat, sleep, play, work, and screw, doing the best with what they got, their own way. In that way, the slums stuck out to me as a real place, and I, playing Cloud, Barret, and Tifa almost felt ‘at home’ there because well, I guess it’s because we’re terrorists, but still. In a remake, please don’t neglect the slums. Hell, make it more expansive, and dare I say, longer.

Whatever you do though, don’t make it like you made the slums in Crisis Core. Because in CC you fucked them up.

-The music did not fit with a slum at all. Could you imagine this beat in your head walking down Watts or a New York slum or something? I want the music to accompany the mood of an undercover drug deal, somebody getting stabbed or a bum sleeping next to a kerosene fire, not dapper doo dan shit.

-You’re not supposed to see the sky in the Slums, ever. Not that it’s my decision to make, but the fact that you saw the BRIGHT BLUE SKY peeking out in the CC slums really killed the atmosphere. The original game flat out tells you that the Slums are super polluted and never sees daylight, and hell, Aerith also tells you that she’s never seen the sky. FF7 circumvented this brilliantly by having every camera angle in every location in the slums give the appearance of a dark, dank visuage. The ONLY think you should see when you look up is industrial pipes and Midgar’s asscrack. No sky. Ever.

-The inhabitants are too happy. You can’t really tell they’re living in a slum. I realize in the above I said the inhabitants deal, but in CC they’re downright elated. “I JUST GOT BACK FROM WALL MARKET DOO DAA DEE DOO” fuck that, you should be more worried about tetanus, bitch.
Thanks for the shout out!

That post sums up some of my strongest feelings towards FFVII (the slums), and that has never changed, since I first played FFVII at 12 years old, and even now, at 29 (and lo and behold I'm actually working through a FFVII playthrough now), and ditto for Crisis Core (I think I played that at 22 or so?). FFVII slums: excellent. Crisis Core slums: wack.

My views on the FFVII slums are some of the most consistent feelings I have towards any consumable media. I feel that strongly about it. With that being said, the peeks of the slums we're getting so far in the remake look really rad!
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Old 07/13/2017   #21
X-SOLDIER
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Theozilla wrote: Also wasn't the all-male cast in FFXV something that originated from Nomura's insistence? Tabata even said back in 2014 “it’s not healthy to have a bias in genders", sounds like he was kinda limited with what he was able to work with in FFXV (in regards to female character writing/narrative significance).
http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/09/...is-not-healthy
While slightly off-topic, I have to say that I really enjoyed the fact that XV was just about the four chocobros – but that article's pretty misleading in its title, because they have male & female supporting cast. Aranea, Luna, Iris, & Cindy are all important characters to the story, but it would've been very different traveling with them, because this is a story where the party is composed of four people on a journey and who would typically have been playable characters are supporting cast here. The sort of "guys on a road trip" vibe would've been lost without that focus, and I'm damn glad they kept it.


Back on topic:


Insofar as Mog's comments, I think that they also hit something about the remake that's not so much an issue of nostalgia, but one of our implicit concerns about changes in socio-political climate between 1997 and 2018+ as well as where SE's at as a company when the game's being made / comes out. There's a DEFINITE feeling that the game could shy away from the gritty and often dark nature of what made up the core of the Midgar experience: committing terrorism against a mega-corporation, amoral mad science, the trapped and seemingly helpless plight of slums, cross-dressing in a district full of lecherous individuals, dropping a whole section of city on the poor, swearing, etc.

It's interesting, because there are many more games that do dig deep into more mature themes, but it seems like with Final Fantasy wanting to be a more universally-friendly brand that they might shy away from it, but the Prompto DLC and some other things makes me feel like they're gonna stick to those beats closely, but there is plenty of space for apprehension on how things are portrayed in the Remake.

But again – I see that more as bigger hit-or-miss in the transition of FFVII to a modern day SE game rather than something ultimately guided by nostalgia. While our nostalgia will make us judge those things harshly, I think we'd judge them regardless just looking at it objectively as well.


Something I can see being affected by nostalgia is something like Temple of the Ancients. A lot of that worked because of the PoV and the wide-sweeping scope of the M.C. Escher-like designs allowing for shifting perspective of a weird, magical place. Whether or not you can make that into something like a less-difficult version of FFXV's puzzle-based Pitioss, or something while still preserving that feeling is gonna be one of the harder things to tackle because a lot of how it felt was based on how you took it all in at once, and that's not something that's really a matter of doing it like the original (i.e. making the slums slum-like, or Aerith less delicate), but is a matter of needing to capture the sensation of the original and somehow reinterpret it into a format that works for a modern game.

If you step in and feel like, "well this is an interesting way to've portrayed this" vs. "so THIS is what it was like being inside the Temple of the Ancients" is gonna be whether or not it hits that nostalgia beat with how they design it since it HAS to be different.

I think that comes down to their combat as well. If it FEELS like Cloud & Barret fighting the Guard Scorpion always seemed in your head when it drops down on them, or if it seems different. I know that a lot of that work was done by Advent Children establishing what that combat looked like in the "real world" setting of FFVII, and personally I felt that FFXV took that basic translation of combat feel and executed it really well.

I think when looking at nostalgia vs. the Remake, the biggest things to consider are – what CAN'T or what AREN'T they making the exact same way as the original and does that still ultimately feel right, or does it feel off?





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Old 07/13/2017   #22
ChipNoir
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To me, Nostalgia can be about the little things. I actually had a really weirdly happy reaction to just seeing those little couches everywhere in ShinRa HQ.
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Old 07/13/2017   #23
X-SOLDIER
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ChipNoir wrote: To me, Nostalgia can be about the little things. I actually had a really weirdly happy reaction to just seeing those little couches everywhere in ShinRa HQ.
That makes me so glad.

My last response was very focused on the "vs" part of the thread, but I think that there're lots of little details and things that really make you smile when playing a game. I know that Crisis Core was already a mix of those sorts of feelings for me (since I actually had a dream about the flashback scene in real-like graphics when AC was first announced, and I actually got to see it happen), and I think that the game will have lots of little things for us to get giddy about.

Personally, I hope that some of the weirder misc stuff from 4th disc makes it in, as I know that'll just make my day. ESPECIALLY if Dio matches his fantastic portrait.

I think one of the things that sticks in my mind a lot is just how I felt when the MP ShinRa troop designs slowly evolved from the LEGO guys into the version we see everywhere, and how those three red lights are still so iconic. I think that there's a lot to be said for seeing how a lot of the bosses and even regular enemy types end up looking that'll be really exciting and potentially nostalgic – like the two-stage robo-guards in the ShinRa HQ that have armor over their rollerblade forms.





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Old 07/28/2017   #24
f a n c y
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Maaan, I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts into words for this topic this past week and I fear my input may be rendered useless given the amount of time that’s passed since this thread has been opened. Ha! Dunno! I think I’mma ramble on anyway... e_e

So I think tone is something that’s central in this remake vs. nostalgia debate. I think it’s safe to say that, whilst there were definitely some darker themes that was consistent through the original game, there were also plenty of lighthearted/funny/down-right-silly bits sprinkled throughout the game that kept things whimsy for the most part. At least for me. I think the visuals have played a large part in creating that whimsy feeling.

In the Remake, these visuals have obviously changed drastically, and I wonder how that is going to play into the tone of the game. It makes me wonder how much of the humour that we find in the OG will be retained in the Remake. Obviously, not all the gags and jokes in the OG can be translated into the Remake. Whilst a character being comically smacked into the lens of the game camera works fine in the OG, I doubt that can be played off with the realism of the Remake.

With the OG, I can fondly recall FFVII as being a ‘fun’ game with an ending that leaves me feeling as though I accomplished something grand. The angst and drama paired with the more fantastical elements of it gave it a sort of classic, epic feel of a hero’s journey.

The heroes that we celebrate today look a bit different from the ones we celebrated twenty years ago methinks. There’s been a rise of anti-heroism and cynicism in popular media and I wonder how much of this cynicism will play into the Remake and how it’s going to affect the characters, especially Cloud, who already exhibits a lot of the attributes of an Anti-Hero in the cameos that he’s been in post-OG.

That isn’t to say that Cloud was much of a conventional hero to begin with. In fact, I think an interesting element of the OG is that it has you playing this person who’s sort of wearing the mask of someone grander than himself. Someone who, by all means, exhibited the attributes of a classic, Ideal Hero. Like, in a perfect world, we, the player, would have been playing the OG as Zack (at least, the way we see him in CC), but we’ve been given Cloud (he's like the player playing the hero of a video game WITHIN a videogame. Playerception???).

Still, despite Cloud not quite hitting all the marks for ‘Ideal Hero,’ I never had the feeling of a dark, anti-hero in the OG, either, so I again wonder what tone the Remake is going to set and what that will do to my perception of Cloud and Company. Will it retain it’s familiar humour or take it’s already dark elements and go even darker? Will these characters feel like fully realised versions of their former selves or like new people entirely? It’s gonna be the difference between feeling the nostalgic warmth that comes with greeting an old friend and that sad longing that comes with meeting with someone whom you remember once being so close with, but has now turned into a stranger.

The Remake should allow for the OG to grow, of course, but I think an indicator for it growing successfully would be a game that feels more full and grand than the OG, but still maintains the same tone that it had in the OG and provokes similar feelings.

Hope this all made sense lmao.
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Old 07/28/2017   #25
Clement Rage
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This's a hard one to explain, but I don't want to recognise too much of the world. I don't want to be able to look at somewhere and think 'oh, this is based on X real place', or a town's political structure and go 'oh this is a critique of Y'. I don't want it to look too much like the real world.
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Old 07/28/2017   #26
Mr. Ite
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That's fair, but I already do quite a bit of that with the OG. A corporate-run nation blows the hell out of a tall thin island empire with magical weaponry, then treats it like a tourist resort while exploiting the planet's resources until it struggles to sustain life.

I feel like those major allegories aren't going anywhere, so the critique of Y is unavoidable.
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Old 07/29/2017   #27
Clement Rage
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Mr. Ite wrote: That's fair, but I already do quite a bit of that with the OG. A corporate-run nation blows the hell out of a tall thin island empire with magical weaponry, then treats it like a tourist resort while exploiting the planet's resources until it struggles to sustain life.

I feel like those major allegories aren't going anywhere, so the critique of Y is unavoidable.
It's a little messier than that, though. On the whole, I prefer 'how would this world actually be' over 'how can this world best make my point' in settings.
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Old 07/29/2017   #28
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Clement Rage wrote:
Mr. Ite wrote: That's fair, but I already do quite a bit of that with the OG. A corporate-run nation blows the hell out of a tall thin island empire with magical weaponry, then treats it like a tourist resort while exploiting the planet's resources until it struggles to sustain life.

I feel like those major allegories aren't going anywhere, so the critique of Y is unavoidable.
It's a little messier than that, though. On the whole, I prefer 'how would this world actually be' over 'how can this world best make my point' in settings.
Head canon time: I don't the Wutai War was just Midgar/Shinra vs Wutai. The reality is that Wutai is way too damned isolated to be a threat. It's also a mostly...barren continent. In order to be worthy of Mako extraction, my impression is it needs to be a location lush with life. That's why places with isolated geography (Nibelhiem) or in verdant areas (Gongaga) are most attractive for placing reactors.

But Wutai has no reactor, and seems never to ever have had one, but it's mostly barren crags.

I think what the war really was about was Wutaii vehemently rejecting Mako, and trying to keep Midgar Influences out of the Central Continent, which has a number of vivacious eco-systems. I don't think it's any coincidence that Gold Saucer is in the middle of a desert. I think if you drain a location far enough, it all does become a wasteland, and something like Gold Saucer would require a MASSIVE amount of electricity compared to a town.

Last thing is an interesting point I've brought up a few times: Barret wears military dogtags. I suppose one could come up with any number of excuses. Working in a coal mine can mean risking being caught and killed in a collapse, and thus tags would be needed to identify bodies.

But I'm inclined to believe Central Continent had it's own military, and may have been fending off Wutai influences long before ShinRa came and settled in.
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Old 10/07/2017   #29
Pixel
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CrashOuch and I have been working on this over the last few weeks... when I've had time, which I haven't. Just figured I'd post what I have so far to see if it gets hit by copyright crap. Finished version will be about 13mins long.

EDIT FINISHED

YouTube Video
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Old 10/08/2017   #30
BforBrigitta
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Fantastic video, thank you Pixel and CrashOuch. You've helped me finally piece together my thoughts on this matter.

I love the OG with all my heart, but I look forward to playing a wholly different game. I'm trying to separate the remake with my OG nostalgia feels as much as possible. It was wonderful, but it wasn't a perfect game, and I think as writers or as any kind of creator, we tend to look at our own work through a more critical lens than the recipients of our work - so in the eyes of Kitase/Nomura/Sakaguchi, there is probably so much to improve. So rather than wince to try and minimise the disappointment I'm inevitably going to feel, I'm just going to embrace the changes. There will most probably be elements that I don't like, but there may probably be additions that I absolutely love. Though, I do prefer the characterisations in the original Japanese so I am hoping and praying for an accurate localisation at the very least.
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