Final Fantasy VII Remake Revisited Chapter 3: Home Sweet Slum

We’re taking a deep dive into the third chapter of Final Fantasy VII Remake with the development team who brought the game to life!
By Sunil Godhania

This year is Final Fantasy VII’s 25th Anniversary - and the celebrations have begun!

As part of the ongoing festivities, the development team behind Final Fantasy VII Remake have graciously agreed to dive deeper into the game than ever before.

Over the coming months we’ll be revisiting their thoughts, memories, and anecdotes from the creation of the game. Check out previous chapters here:

If you've yet to play Final Fantasy VII Remake, go and play it now, and if you read on...

...please beware of spoilers.

With that warning out of the way, let’s mosey…

How was Tifa's introduction scene decided on? Was it important to make a strong first impression on the player?

We felt it was important to show that the Sector Seven Slums are Avalanche's home ground and to relieve the tension after the reactor bombing mission by having Tifa and Marlene waiting for everyone to arrive back in Seventh Heaven.

The thinking was that this situation would highlight Tifa's kindness as a character. She is the only childhood friend that Cloud can open up about his true feelings to, so we made it that you only see a certain unguarded aspect of his personality when he is interacting with her.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director (Scenario Design))

In the original FFVII you can visit the area under Seventh Heaven, but this was removed for FFVII Remake. Is there a reason for it?

In Chapter 3 Cloud is more distant from the Avalanche members than he was in the original game, so we made it that he was not allowed into their underground hideout. Having group meetings that only full Avalanche members are invited to and Cloud being left out in the celebration of the successful bombing mission etc. depicted the loneliness of his situation.

However, there is more to the story, as during development we had actually planned for a section between Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 where the player controlled Tifa and could experience the events leading up to her infiltrating Don Corneo's wife auditions. That section would have featured the inside of the Avalanche base.

It was developed to a point where the section was joined up and playable, but we were concerned that having a separate story as an interlude after Cloud falls from Reactor 5 and is reunited with Aerith in the church would damage the tempo of the storytelling, so we ultimately decided to remove that part. I think it would be great to show Tifa's side of the story if we get a chance at some point.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director (Scenario Design))

Naoki Hamaguchi (Co-Director (Game Design / Programming)

The interior of Seventh Heaven in FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

Why is there a photo of Seventh Heaven from the original FFVII on the wall in the Seventh Heaven in FFVII Remake?

We put it up as an easter egg for fans of the original game.

Naoki Hamaguchi (Co-Director (Game Design / Programming)

A photo showing Seventh Heaven from the original FINAL FANTASY VII

Can you tell us anything about Marco, in particular his backstory, and how he came to have the number 49 tattooed on him?

The black cloaked figures are all victims of extreme mako poisoning and are scattered around the world. Rather than focus on their individual identities, they present the overall image of a mysterious group.

Going forward, there will be more black cloaked characters appearing than in the original, and we will reveal more details of their predicament.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director (Scenario Design))

Marco lying on the floor of his room

Was there ever any concern about adding side quests during main story sections of FFVII Remake, and how these might affect the overall pacing of the game?

We did not have any particular concerns about adding in side quests. However, we did have a clear idea of what their purpose would be from the start.

  1. They would not be compulsory for progressing through the game

  2. They would shine a spotlight on the citizens of the slums to dig deeper into the world

  3. The quest completion status would bring about changes to the costumes in Wall Market

New stories were written for the individual quests, particularly from the perspective of point 2, and from what I have seen the fans responded well to them...

Naoki Hamaguchi (Co-Director (Game Design / Programming)

Cloud reaching for a cat

Were there any quests you originally planned for this chapter that were cut out? If so, why?

This is not something that was deleted, but when we were discussing the content for the side quests in the Sector 7 Slums, one suggestion was to have a request from one of Hojo's assistants who had been dispatched by Shinra.

This idea for a character was adopted into the game and incorporated as a part of the overall system, eventually becoming Chadley.

Naoki Hamaguchi (Co-Director (Game Design / Programming)


Why was the decision made to increase the importance Johnny has in the storyline of FFVII Remake? Was he originally planned to have a larger role in the original FFVII?

When making the original FFVII, the game designers were free to populate the various towns with NPC characters like Johnny. It just so happens that I created Johnny myself, but the same thing happened with many of the distinctive NPCs such as Shinra Manager and Andrea, giving them more emphasis as sub characters in the remake.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director (Scenario Design))

A blindfolded Johnny being arrested by Shinra security

We love the darts mini-game, how did this come to life? Were there any other candidates for mini-games that never quite made it into FFVII REMAKE?

The darts match was more than just a mini-game and also plays a part in the story. In the events before and after the darts match, we needed to have Cloud taken out of the plot to bomb Reactor 5 and create a sense of his isolation from Avalanche. We aimed to have the player experience this firsthand with a playable section where Cloud is off having a lonely time while all the other Avalanche members are together in their strategy room.

In terms of mini-games that were rejected, this also relates to the answer to question 2 above, as we did consider having a punching bag on the wall of the underground hideout which Tifa could train with.

Naoki Hamaguchi (Co-Director (Game Design / Programming)

Cloud playing darts in Seventh Heaven

In the scene where Tifa mixes a cocktail, were the motions of her using the shaker captured by a motion actor? What were the challenges here?

We started out with various different motions as possible candidates to use in this scene but discussed it with the actors during the MC recordings and decided to have the animator tweak the performance to bring out Tifa's personality more and also to have a feeling of realism.

We did many re-takes, and it would have been tricky to capture flashy motions like throwing the shaker in the air and spinning around before catching it, so we kept it down to just throwing it in the air.

Yoshiyuki Soma (Animation Director)

Tifa making a cocktail

Chapter 3 sees the player unlock weapon enhancement. Is it deliberate that the UI for this feature is reminiscent of space and the planet?

It is set up this way to show that there is lifestream (the energy of the planet) flowing inside your weapons as well, like a whole micro- universe.

It also projects a FFVII take on the world of particles and molecules, with the microcosm gradually expanding as you improve your weapons and drawing out latent abilities.

Shintaro Takai (Graphics & VFX Director)

Hsueh Huei Liao (Lead UI Artist)

Upgrading weapons in FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this third chapter of Final Fantasy VII Remake Revisited and are looking forward to learning more from behind the scenes of the game over the coming months.

Make sure you share this article with your friends on social media and we hope you’re looking forward to the next chapter!

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is available on PS5, Steam and Epic Games Store while Final Fantasy VII Remake is available on PS4.

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