FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE has a Classic Mode for players who prefer turn-based combat

New gameplay and combat options revealed at TGS 2019. Here are all the details.
By Duncan Heaney

New details of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE have been announced at Tokyo Games Show 2019. During a stage show, the game’s Producer Yoshinori Kitase gave viewers their closest look at the game yet and announced a whole new combat mode - Classic Mode.

What is FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s Classic Mode?

The new feature will thrill fans who prefer the original FINAL FANTASY turn-based battle systems to real-time combat.

The original FINAL FANTASY VII used the classic Active Time Battle (ATB) system. In that game, you would wait until an ATB gauge fills up, then initiate a command. Classic Mode recreates this style of gameplay for FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE.

It’s a different way to play to FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s standard combat modes - which see you attacking, dodging and blocking in real-time to charge up the ATB bar and initiate a special action.

In Classic Mode, characters fight automatically, so the player can instead focus on selecting commands. It essentially turns the game into a classic menu-based RPG!

We’ve talked before about how FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s combat system is all about giving players a choice in how to play, and this new mode adds even more options. To learn more about the combat system, you should check out our full article on that very subject, or the E3 demo:

21st Century Squatting

As well as Classic Mode, Kitase-san went into mode detail about some of the elements revealed in the latest trailer:

Firstly, he demonstrated the famous Squats mini-game - under his skilled tutelage, the presenter was able to take Cloud to a clear victory against his lycra-laden challenger.

The Squats mini-game plays similarly to the original, requiring a series of button presses to complete each manoeuvre.

Aerith’s combat style and abilities

Finally, Kitase-san took a close look at a boss fight that fans will know very well - ABZU. This sewer-dwelling beast is a formidable foe in the original game, and it’s even more intimidating in FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE.

During the battle, Kitase-san revealed some new information about how Aerith will play - and some of the things she can do in a fight.

As standard, all of Aerith’s standard attacks are long-ranged and pressing the triangle button uses her character ability ‘Tempest’.

Her Holy Circle ability looks particularly useful. Activating it creates an area on the battlefield - any spells used inside that zone can be cast repeatedly.


The battle against ABZU also provided a close look at how Summons work in the game. Each character can have up to one Summon Materia equipped at a time - and it’s up to the player to decide which one to equip for each scenario.

In the battle against ABZU, Cloud had the Ifrit Summon Materia equipped - because of this his attacks cause a Summon gauge to fill up.

Once the Summon Gauge was full, Cloud was able to summon Ifrit onto the battlefield… where he stays and joins the fight! Summons are typically controlled by the AI, but characters are able to use their ATB charges to use unique Summon abilities.

In the case of Ifrit, Cloud was able to spend his ATB gauge to make his flame-bound ally use abilities like Flare Burst and Crimson Dive. The Summon stayed on the battlefield until Cloud’s Summon Gauge depleted - at that point Ifrit activated his ultimate attack: Hellfire.

That’s a recap of all the information provided during TGS 2019. FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE releases for PS4 on March 3, 2020 - and is available to preorder now:

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