10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Final Fantasy VII
Ever since its release in 1997, the first of the Playstation Final Fantasy games is equally considered one of the best role-playing game ever made, or a completely overrated piece of crap that hogs the spotlight from more worthy entries. There's not a lot of middle ground among gamers.
Regardless, such an iconic title, whether beloved or denounced, has been thoroughly dissected for 16 straight years. How can there possibly be anything left even in such a comparatively massive game for the time that remains hidden.
Well, there are a few little odd corners.
It Was Originally a Nintendo 64 Title: When it first came out, there was a lot of backlash against Squaresoft for defecting from Nintendo, where they had always licensed their games, to the new Sony console. Most brand-loyal fans felt it was a betrayal and a slap in the face to the long history between the two companies, but it isn't as if Squaresoft didn't try. Above is the tech demo for what was still the Ultra 64, and while it's not bad for a demo it's nothing compared to the capabilities Square wanted for the game. The company decided to move to Sony, and all that remains of the original vision is this demo.
It Was Also Originally Xenogears: The game that originally became the philosophical science fiction RPG Xenogears started off its life as the concept for Final Fantasy VII. Soraya Saga and Tetsuya Takahashi's submitted script was considered too dark for the series, and they got the green light to pursue an original title with the script outside Squaresoft's main franchise. There's an homage to this origin left in Final Fantasy VII. When Cloud is found in the hospital in Mideel after falling into the Lifestream, he mumbles the words "Xeno... gears" and also misquotes lines from the song "Broken mirror, a million shades of light" featured in Xenogears.
It Featured the Series' First Consistently Black Character: The first dark-skinned playable character to appear in the series was Leo Christophe in Final Fantasy VI. However, Leo is playable in only a single battle before dying, and though his profile portrait is clearly dark-skinned, his on-screen sprite is white. Therefore, Barret Wallace serves as the first real character of African descent to appear. To counteract this moment of progress Squaresoft gave him a gun, had him be a low-income violent man who swears constantly, and in the spin-off film Advent Children made his first line "Yo, waddup foo?"
Not pictured: Subtlety
Speaking of lines...
It Features the First Actor in the Series: Voice acting in Final Fantasy didn't become a staple of the series until the first entry on the Playstation 2. That said, VII actually features an uncredited voice actor during Diamond Weapon's attack on Midgard. An unknown voice, presumably manning the Sister Ray, says "Radar system is go. Sister Ray target confirmed. Entering discharge preparations. All workers should evacuate from the designated area."
Sephiroth's Boss-Name is a Superman Joke: Sephiroth, like many FF big bads, goes through several forms in the final battle. One of these is Bizzaro-Sephiroth. Thing is, it should have been Rebirth-Sephiroth. The letters "B" and "V" in Japanese are interchangeable, and the digraph "th" is often translated as "S". So Rebirth-Sephiroth became Reverse-Sephiroth, which was then changed to Bizarro-Sephiroth after Superman's always-opposite clone villain.
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