Final Fantasy VII Remake Revisited Chapter 6: Light the Way

We’re taking a deep dive into the sixth chapter of Final Fantasy VII Remake with the wonderful 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 the first and most recent 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…

The track "Tightrope" plays during this chapter of the game, originally featured in the State of Play trailer in 2019, when FFVII Remake returned to the public domain. Was this one of the first pieces of music completed for the game?

This was the very first track that we created. Originally it was made with a sense of searching for what would fit with the feeling of suspense from the new battle music played in dungeons and this particular arrangement. After it was used in the trailer we decided to have it play on the Sector 4 plate.

Keiji Kawamori (Music Supervisor)

Cloud, Barret and Tifa in the Midgar plate

Tifa quotes one of President Shinra's speeches during the chapter, so we assume it must have made quite an impression on her. Is President Shinra the type of leader who makes grand speeches and is there a particular reason that this speech remained in Tifa's memory?

Not just Tifa, but the lives of everyone living in Midgar relies on Shinra. The minor, government PR style pronouncements to the citizens about everyday matters are entrusted to mayor Domino and the leaders of the various Shinra divisions, but the president himself will appear for issues that are important to the company.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director (Scenario Design))

Close up screenshot of Tifa from Chapter 6 of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

The scene where the three characters must pass in front of the giant fan felt really nerve wracking and gave the sense that they could be blown away at any minute! What did you do to give the feeling that Cloud and the gang are being buffeted by immense wind pressure and what kind of wind speeds are actually involved here?

The visuals are based on a wind speed of around 20mps. The movement is all simulated, but because the standard way that hair and clothing is blown around was fine-tuned based on the light to medium wind speeds used in most of the game, we could not get what we wanted here by just upping the wind speed used in the simulation.

For special situations like when they were in front of the fan, we individually set the movements for each part of each character, such as their skirts and belts etc. to give us the kind of extreme windblown effect we were after.

Yoshiyuki Soma (Animation Director)

Barret, Tifa and Cloud inching their way past a massive fan

As you are passing through this zone, you see the slums of Midgar beneath you. It feels like you are pretty high up, so were there any special tricks or techniques used to give the player that feeling of height when creating the effects and the far-off vistas?

We tweaked and adjusted the feeling of space between the plate interior and the slums below numerous times as we play tested the area.

If the air were too clear then it would actually feel closer, but if it was too foggy then you would lose the details of the town below and it would not feel that high up either, so we strived to find the right point between those two extremes.

Iichiro Yamaguchi (Lighting Director)

Cloud climbing up a ladder. The slums can be seen in the distance below him.

The benches that appear around Midgar are a nice touch. Were there any other concepts put forward for what these rest points could have looked like?

I personally pushed to have the benches and vending machines myself (Laughs)

As a part of the mechanics of the game system, it would normally be best for an element like this to stand out a bit (to make it visible) but I thought that we needed to go for that subtle line of abstraction where they didn't feel completely lacking in reality either.

They were to be presented in a warm and inviting way to get across that these are rest stops, so we decided early on in development to go with the benches and vending machines.

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

A bench and vending machine from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

Barret mentions the smell of mako. Is this something the development team have thought about before? What exactly does mako smell like…?

I think that smells will stay as something that is very difficult for players to experience, even after games have evolved into virtual reality. So, this is something I want to leave to everyone's imagination.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director (Scenario Design))

A side shot of Barret Wallace from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE. He is looking directly ahead with a serious expression on his face.

Who had the idea for Barret's treasure song? How did that come about and eventually make it into the final script?

Barret's voice actor sometimes ad-libbed the lines by giving them a melody in his performance. There were times when we added in new lines for game design reasons as we continued to record the dialogue, and we added in more lines that were to be spoken with a melody then.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director (Scenario Design))

Barret Wallace looking slightly to his left with a smile on his face

The design of the terrain in this chapter feels really detailed. What kind of ideas went into the structuring of the map and what difficulties were there in realising the final design?

The 3D artist in charge of this section loves mechanical things, so he was able to put his knowledge and imagination to good use when coming up with ideas. What we had trouble with was making the complex and convoluted structure of the area easily visible and possible to be navigated without frustration.

Takako Miyake (Environment Director)

The EX Quest where you have to stop the ventilation system and eradicate the enemies within one minute is probably the first time in the game where players are set a difficult challenge in battle. What was the thinking behind setting the time limit at one minute, the number of enemies to have and how to balance the difficulty here?

As this is a side quest that is not required for the player to complete, we decided to make it somewhat of a challenge.

We set the difficulty so you would not be able to get through it unless you aim to use a solid strategy, exploiting the elemental weaknesses and stagger mechanics etc.

Teruki Endo (Battle Director)

Barret firing at a group of monsters with his gun arm. Cloud and Tifa can be seen attacking from melee range.

Please could you tell us about the thinking behind the effects used in this chapter? For example, fire exists in the real world, but it is not magical fire, so how do you approach the line between reality and fantasy in its depiction?

Keeping too close to reality would make it dull, but having it too fantastical would stand out from the photorealistic style of the game, so how do you try to achieve the right balance here?

The same shader is used for both real fire and magical fire, so the photorealistic approach does not change.

However, for real fire we do consider factors like the smoke and ash, as well as what the fuel causing it to burn is.

For magical fire we use elements such as emissive particles and aura like effects to make it appear dazzling and present the flames in a fantastical way.

Shintaro Takai (Graphics & VFX Director)

Cloud using fire magic on a monster in the Midgar plate

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this 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 Chapter 7 next week!

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

For news and updates on anything Final Fantasy VII related, make sure you follow us on social media: