Holy Materia, People Need to Play Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII


Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

By: Jason Siu


4 min read

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Cissnei, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

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Spoiler Alert!

This article contains major spoilers for the original Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, and possibly Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, depending on the story’s direction. It also covers most of the first Final Fantasy VII Rebirth demo, “Fall of a Hero in Nibelheim.”

Yesterday, Square Enix hosted a State of Play for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, sharing a new trailer, 11 minutes of new gameplay, and announcing a demo’s release. This demo, officially titled “Fall of a Hero in Nibelheim,” is an extended flashback covering a core part of the Final Fantasy VII story. It is also a section of the game that appears in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and its remaster, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion. For those who played Crisis Core, what’s happening in the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth demo should be obvious, and as a result, it’s become painfully clear who hasn’t played Crisis Core. This is even more disappointing when you realize these same people will likely be reviewing Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

I understand that many Final Fantasy VII Remake players haven’t played Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, but Square Enix had good reasons to remaster and release the game between Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Likewise, there’s probably a very good reason why Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is returning to theaters ahead of Rebirth’s launch. So, I’m writing this piece to urge anyone planning to play Final Fantasy VII Rebirth to take the time, from now until February 29, to play through Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

After finishing the demo myself, I was excited to read the impressions that have been published by various sites. I was curious to see others’ thoughts on how Zack’s mannerisms were reflected in Cloud, and how well Cody Christian, his voice actor, captured Zack’s personality. Instead, I found an article where the writer seemed unaware that Zack was the actual person in Cloud’s memory.

There’s also a very clear homoerotic tension between Cloud and Sephiroth. The usually cool and collected Cloud is desperate to impress the more seasoned SOLDIER: “such a puppy,” as Sephiroth says. I’m a sucker for an enemies-to-lovers storyline, and I’m curious to see how far the [sic] Rebirth leans into this.

Issy van der Velde for VideoGamesChronicle.com

What’s more, the writer fails to grasp the “such a puppy” comment, a nickname affectionately given to Zack by Angeal in Crisis Core. While it’s acceptable for the average gamer to miss this reference, it’s disappointing that a professional writer for a reputable site, likely reviewing Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, doesn’t know it. At least Polygon’s writer acknowledges having “only hazy memories of a half-finished playthrough of the original game, plus an ambient familiarity with its most iconic characters and story beats.”

I see the value in having a writer review a game from a perspective that isn’t as deeply informed as that of a passionate enthusiast. There are many more gamers out there who don’t know and understand the entire story of the original Final Fantasy VII, and they will relate more with a review written from the perspective of someone familiar. Perhaps Square Enix is ultimately responsible, having taken the Final Fantasy XV approach with Final Fantasy VII’s story by spreading it across various media forms, including a movie and spinoff games like Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Zack and Aerith

I hope Final Fantasy VII Rebirth can paint the complete picture as a standalone experience for those who haven’t seen Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children or played Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion. Considering how the Nibelheim incident is portrayed and the number of people who don’t know who Cissnei is on social media, maybe Square Enix should have bundled Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

If you’ve made it through this entire rant, please play Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, or the original on the PlayStation Portable, if you haven’t already. With Final Fantasy VII shippers stirring enough drama, it’s unhelpful for the gaming media to mislead people into thinking Sephiroth and Cloud could be an item—especially since that’s not even Cloud.

It was and always has been Zack at Sephiroth’s side at Nibelheim, proven by the squats, mannerisms, and Tifa’s own confusion during Cloud’s retelling of the story. For more evidence, Azario Lopez of NoisyPixel.net has an answer from Director Naoki Hamaguchi stating just that: “So it’s very much a place of origin for the title, following Cloud’s telling of the story, which is mixed with Zack’s memories. So, in that sense, he has these sorts of mannerisms that are very similar to Zack, as some players may notice.”

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With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of Tunerzine.com and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

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