FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH developer messages

The creators of FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH have shared their thoughts on this epic new RPG - read them here!
By Duncan Heaney

FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH has arrived - and we're sure many of you have already started your journey across this vibrant and evocative world!

To celebrate the game's release, some members of the development team have shared their thoughts on working on the game and provided messages for fans.

We hope you enjoy reading them!

Yoshinori Kitase - Producer

Working as the Director of the original FINAL FANTASY VII, I had the opportunity to deliver a next-gen RPG to an audience of gaming fans. FINAL FANTASY VII’s compelling cast of characters and dramatic story impacted the hearts and minds of many, many players, and I am tremendously proud of the fact that it has continued to be so beloved for more than 27 years.

And today, I feel that same sense of pride when I look at what the Development Team has accomplished with FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH. I think that this latest adventure will delight long-time fans with its blend of familiar and new, while also giving new fans a chance to experience the same emotional impact that players felt in 1997 as they begin their own FINAL FANTASY journey.

I hope that FINAL FANTASY fans and newcomers alike will enjoy this new adventure.

Tetsuya Nomura - Creative Director

The unknown journey begins at last.

I’m sure that we will surprise a great many of you with the unexpected twists and turns that this story will take from beginning to end.

Please take as many detours as possible to stop in on your friends and experience more of the world as you set about your own adventure in REBIRTH.

I have already talked a lot about the story in interviews and other conversations, so I don't think that there is too much left for me to say.

Thank you for your patience. I hope that you enjoy FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH.

Naoki Hamaguchi - Director

FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH is brought to you by the main creative minds behind the original FINAL FANTASY VII - Yoshinori Kitase, Tetsuya Nomura, Kazushige Nojima and Motomu Toriyama - and a team of the current generation of creators who played the original back when it was first released, such as myself. It represents a tremendous creative undertaking, in which both sides brought their own perspectives to bear, and bounced ideas off one another. In addition, a huge number of creators from all around the world, whose lives were hugely impacted by the original game, have contributed to the development of this title. Together, we have produced a rich game world with a distinctly international feel, without losing sight of this title’s roots in the original FINAL FANTASY VII.

REBIRTH is the fruit of this highly diverse development team’s efforts, and the second title in the FINAL FANTASY VII remake project. Against the backdrop of a vast world map, players will adventure across the various regions of the world in pursuit of Sephiroth. We have prepared a wealth of different content across the game world, and we have designed this game with an emphasis on allowing players to make their own decisions and decide for themselves which parts they would like to play as they explore the world map.

REBIRTH tells the story of Cloud and the party’s escape from Midgar, and follows their adventures up to the Forgotten Capital, where Aerith’s fate will be revealed. Across the course of this new adventure, we have explored the theme of bonds between friends. I have been involved in game development for many years, but REBIRTH has come together as the best one yet. I can’t wait for everybody to experience it for themselves.

Motomu Toriyama - Co-Director

FFVII REBIRTH starts with Cloud and the party's escape from Midgar, and tells the story of their journey across the vast world of FFVII. REBIRTH features a number of important locations from the original FFVII that formed the backdrop to some of its famous scenes, including Junon, Costa del Sol, The Gold Saucer and Cosmo Canyon. The finished product is like a FFVII round-the-world tour. But of course, FFVII REBIRTH doesn’t just reimagine famous scenes from the original game; it adds a number of iconic moments that were newly conceived for this title.

In REBIRTH, Cloud and his companions are on the run from Shinra, while at the same time pursuing Sephiroth. They will also have the chance to relax together on their journey, although you could go as far as to say that this is exclusive to the FFVII REBIRTH experience. If you are already familiar with the original FFVII, the day-to-day atmosphere of its settings, and Cloud’s exciting journey with his companions, then please just pretend that your memories were stolen by the Whispers, and try to experience the game with fresh eyes. I hope that you all make lots of new FFVII memories.

Kazushige Nojima - Story and Scenario

Around the time that we finished making the original FINAL FANTASY VII, a senior Programmer turned to me and said, “It sure seems like Aerith and Tifa don’t like each other, don’t you think?”.

I was shocked to hear this, as they had obviously been on an amazing journey together and formed a close friendship because of it. But once I asked myself if I had really conveyed that part of their relationship, I found that I wasn't too confident. Not only were there not enough specific scenes to convey this, but there also wasn’t enough dialogue that hinted at their friendship. I regretted this for a long time.

When the remake project first began, one of the challenges that I set for myself was to properly portray Aerith and Tifa’s friendship. At the same time, I also made an effort to convey the various relationships between the other characters, through their choices of words and various different scenes.

As I undertook this challenge, the word “connectedness” came to the fore as a key concept for the story. It’s because of this connectedness that the characters and the planet on which they live were born. This discovery was a fresh new shock to me. This is how the character of “The Planet”, which plays an important role in this game, came to be portrayed. The Planet, and the world in which it resides, play very active roles in REBIRTH. I can’t wait for players to experience this for themselves.

And finally, thank you to that Programmer from all those years ago.

Shintaro Takai - Art Director

I handled the Art Direction for FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH.

That mostly involved deciding on the overall direction of the graphics, and overseeing quality management.

Since the last title, REMAKE, was set in the iconic location of Midgar, we stuck to a consistent visual style and direction. REBIRTH, however, allows players to explore a vast and diverse world, so in the truest sense of the phrase, it felt like the show really began in REBIRTH.

In performing my role as Art Director, I actually didn’t pay as much attention to the original FF7 as people think. My goal was to use convincing and detailed graphics to reexamine and reconstruct, without relying too heavily on the original game’s design.

I worked with a fantastic team of staff, and we poured our heart and souls into creating the characters, backgrounds, animations, staging, visual effects, menus and lighting for this game.

And it’s not just the graphics - the whole game is crammed full of content.

We hope that you will take your time in unravelling Cloud and his friends' story, and that you will empathise with the characters on their journey. Please enjoy soaking up everything that the world of FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH has to offer!

Teruki Endo - Battle Director

From start to finish, the development of this game has been a long journey in which everybody involved has given their all throughout. The end result is a huge game where every aspect of the gameplay has been expertly crafted and stuffed to the brim, and of course, the combat is no exception.

When I first saw how much content would need to be created for this game, even just for the combat, I honestly wasn’t sure that we could put it all together in time - from the huge amount of character abilities to the summons and the systems that allow you to fight alongside them, to the rich variety of enemy types that keeps the game feeling fresh whenever players enter a new location, to the boss battles that we crafted to have their own distinctive feel, and each and every one of these elements featuring its own rich variety of gameplay and visual elements. But the Development team put their all into making something great, and as a result of this, we were able to put everything together in a way that showed great attention to detail in every aspect.

For REBIRTH, we took a similar approach to the one that we took for REMAKE, where we didn’t bind ourselves too closely to the original FINAL FANTASY VII, even for elements that originated from that game. Instead, we reconsidered every element of the game to make it fit with REBIRTH’s gameplay.

This means that the game feels nostalgic, while also offering an exciting new gameplay experience, and I think that’s one of the quirks of this project that makes it so interesting.

I hope that players who have picked up the game will enjoy this game so much that they lose track of time.

Takako Miyake - Environment Director

The field environments for FFVII REBIRTH have been reimagined using new technology, and with a “dig deep” mindset, and I believe that this approach truly lives up to the name of REBIRTH.

The diversity on display in the original FINAL FANTASY VII, as well as the way that everything felt distinct and jumbled together (in a good way) might just have been one of the most appealing aspects of the original game. This is also expressed in the world outside of Midgar, with the party having escaped Midgar in the previous game, though this means that the level of breadth and complexity has increased significantly as well. The development of this title was really tough, but even during development, the staff were unanimous that the experience is worth the effort that we put in. So much so that during development, whenever we were wandering around inside the game environment in order to check that everything was working properly, we would sometimes forget that we were supposed to be performing checks, and just get lost in enjoying the game.

We worked hard to make sure that each and every field environment would offer something fresh and surprising to both players of the original FINAL FANTASY VII and REMAKE and to new players alike, and that they would give players that same sense of adventure that the gameplay and character encounters do.

Please enjoy FFVII REBIRTH, everybody.

Iichiro Yamaguchi - Lighting Director

The first game that I worked on after joining Square Enix was Dirge of Cerberus FINAL FANTASY VII, so I was so excited to see Vincent and all the other characters who did not appear in the first part of the REMAKE series again.

The previous game featured many indoor locations and dark nighttime scenes in Midgar, and it was hard working on a lot of those. However, for REBIRTH, the lighting team were able to escape the dark confines of Midgar alongside Cloud and his friends and see all the bright and open locations outside of the city. We were overwhelmed by the sheer number and size of all these areas and came up against many tricky obstacles, but I feel that the whole team came together, and we made an amazing game in the end.

I hope you enjoy the endlessly vast world of FFVII REBIRTH, where so many different elements come together and intertwine.

Hidekazu Miyake - Cutscene Director

For FFVII REBIRTH, I was in charge of the Cutscene team’s operations including scheduling and personnel, and the staging for battle-related action scenes such as summons and bosses, and the parade.

The total volume for this title has exceeded the previous title, but our efforts in creating the “dance”, “parade”, “play” and “mural” scenes rival that of the Honey Bee Inn dance scene in the previous title. We worked with many experts to recreate the scenes to modern standards while maintaining elements of the original, so while we are proud of what we have produced, we're also worried as to whether the changes will be accepted by the players.

The entire team was relieved that Sephiroth’s “Night” and the unrelenting turn of events that follow it in the demo were well received, but we are looking forward to finding out whether the rest will be accepted to the same degree!

With new friends joining the team, please experience the changes in their emotions while exploring the vast world right until the end. We have prepared a wide variety of events including the main character enjoying card games perhaps a bit too much, reacknowledging family bonds, and reuniting with “that” rival, so I think that there will definitely be experiences that bring emotional highs and lows!

Masaaki Kazeno - Character Modelling Director

Escape Midgar to the outside world!

At the start of development, I enjoyed imagining the adventures in FFVII REBIRTH while recalling the original game. For Cloud and his friends to go on their adventure in this outside world, the Character Creation team discussed how to polish the characters who have appeared in the previous game in an appealing manner.

We decided to modify their outfits, adjust their hair...looking back on it, we touched on almost everything. Of course, we have worked hard to create the new characters joining the team - Cait Sith, Vincent and Cid - so that the world of REBIRTH stands out even more.

I hope that you will enjoy taking shots of these characters in the Photo Mode when you play as them.

However, it’s not just the playable characters that we would like you to see. From summons to bosses, there are even more unique characters than the previous title, some being nostalgic, while some are new. If we start talking about the others such as townspeople and minigame characters, the list is endless. We look forward to finding out if the thoughts that we put into it will appeal to people who know the original game, as well as new players.

Yoshiyuki Soma - Animation Director

Three years and ten months since the previous title REMAKE, and two years and eight months since INTERGRADE with the additional Yuffie episode, I’m relieved that we have been able to release REBIRTH. From the development side, time flew by so quickly that I barely have any memory outside of working on the game, especially for the year and a half during the second half of development.

Every member has put their heart and soul into the animations so that the unique charms of each character are fully expressed. Exhilarating battle animations that also let you feel the bonds between the members of the team. Field actions and travelling with vehicles, full of enjoyable exploration elements through flying and swimming through the vast world. Minigames with unique, individual appeals.

Furthermore, in order to illustrate the epic story and plenty of side quests through event scenes, we have drastically changed the structure of generic events and focused on raising the overall quality. Also, people in the street who are often overlooked when playing through quickly have been worked on to an even larger volume than the previous game. I would love for players to enjoy every corner of the world of FFVII REBIRTH outside of the main story, each player in their own playstyle.

Akira Iwasawa - Facial Director

In FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH, I was in charge of the Facial Direction of the characters.

I was still in high school when the original game was released, and I can still remember playing it with my older brother. After joining Square Enix, I was involved in the development of FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN and CRISIS CORE –FINAL FANTASY VII–, allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of the facial expressions of Cloud and the other characters. I think that I was able to build on that experience in the previous title, REMAKE.

The members of staff who created the facial animations are a group of people like me who have fond memories of FINAL FANTASY VII. We put our heart and soul into each of the characters’ facial expressions, so I hope that the players will pay attention to them. In this title, even more new characters appear. They all have unique and charming facial expressions. Of course, Cloud and his friends are also even more expressive than they were in the previous title.

This game can be enjoyed by people who played the original game as well as those who play it for the first time, so I hope that all kinds of people will play and experience the new FINAL FANTASY VII.

Hsueh Huei Liao - Lead UI Artist

And there it was! The first step on our new journey.

This line has stuck with me since the start of development. Much like this “first step” of Cloud and the party's journey, one of the big goals for REBIRTH was not just to carry everything over as-is from REMAKE, but to come up with a new look for the UI.

The 3D characters shown on the main menu help to connect players to the story, and they occasionally have uncomfortably serious expressions on their faces, except when they’re decked out in their tropical resort outfits. This helps players to feel more connected to the story whenever they open the menu. I am very grateful for all the support that we received for various sections of the UI during development.

This game features such a wide variety of minigames that it’s almost like an amusement park, and we have worked on some dedicated UIs for each of them that fit with the game’s lore. Only REBIRTH could require so many different genres of UI design in a single title. As a creator, it was very fun to work on, but the workload was also pretty tough. Even so, the UI team worked hard and without compromise on each and every one of them, to such a high standard that each one is almost like its own standalone game.

Why not take a break from adventuring and chill out with your favourite minigame?

Yuuki Akama - Director of Photography

My first experience of working at SQUARE ENIX was on FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN.

Having the opportunity to work on the REMAKE project for FFVII, which set the stage for ADVENT CHILDREN, was just as exciting and delightful as when I first played the original game as a student. I am so happy that I got to go on this emotional journey with the players.

I worked on directing the graphical portion of the cutscenes in FFVII REBIRTH, and I faced a huge challenge along the way: How can I give players the same sense of a vast open world outside of Midgar that players of the original FINAL FANTASY VII felt?

Of course, there are some conventional ways to do this, such as atmospheric perspective and other similar techniques, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something more that I could make players feel... And to be honest, I didn’t find the solution to this challenge while working on this title. When I think about this now, I think that the one thing I could add on top of the information conveyed through just the five senses would be my feelings towards this title .

I made sure to incorporate the feelings that I have held in my heart for more than 26 years since I played the original FINAL FANTASY VII.

I feel that something is different and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be able to experience the same feelings as the players through this game. In fact, my heart is pounding even just writing that sentence.

I hope that you will enjoy FFVII REBIRTH!

Mitsuto Suzuki - Music

""We'd like to start with the music to create this scene ..."

Just like with FFVII REMAKE, there were scenes in this game where the Development team requested that I compose the music first, as they wanted to start with the music and build the rest of the scene around that.

This involved matching the music to the backstory, direction and story progression of the scene, and figuring the pacing out in my head from there. This required an even more sophisticated approach and workflow over REMAKE, and an even greater level of enthusiasm. It feels weirdly recent while also feeling like it was many years ago that I started writing excitedly.

We recorded content for the game world in a variety of different settings, and I met a lot of people along the way. Working on vocal performances in 4 different languages, each with their own different melodies and rhythms, was a really challenging and unforgettable experience.

There are sections that dig deeper into music from the original game, and sections that were newly crafted for REBIRTH. I hope that players will have a little giggle at some of the musical elements and discoveries to be made, and that they will enjoy, and in some cases be surprised by, what they find.

That obviously goes for players who played the original FINAL FANTASY VII, but I hope that newcomers will experience this too.

I am delighted that, just like the rich cast of unique characters and party allies in the game, the sound team joined forces with a great number of allies, each offering their own unique polish, to produce the music that you hear in the game. Please enjoy it.

Masashi Hamauzu - Music

As with the previous title, my main role was focused around the orchestral tracks. I spent a lot of time and effort tweaking the huge amount of scene transitions in the game, but in the end, I think I got them to a point where I was happy with almost every single one.

In particular, when I saw the rough footage for the stage show scenes, I came out in a cold sweat. I thought to myself, “You’d need to be as skilled as a historic classical composer to pull this off”. “I’ve barely done anything like this before”. But once I made a start on it, I was able to call to mind the experience that I had of studying opera and religious music as a student, and when I sent the demo to Toriyama-san, he responded by saying, “Bravo!”, so I feel like it really resonated with him.

Also, when it came to composing for opera singers in particular, I specifically thought of compositions by the likes of Mozart and Leoncavallo, and singers such as Ettore Bastianini and Carlo Tagliabue. For me personally, I got a sense of nostalgia seeing how much specialist terminology was floating about the production and recording space. It gave me a sense that I wasn’t composing incidental music so much as I was recording music for the stage. In all my years of composing music, it was the first time that I felt that enrolling in vocal music at university actually came in useful.

I also worked on some important scenes in the game’s final act. I hope that you enjoy them.

Makoto Ise - Sound Director

I’m delighted that we have made it to the launch of FFVII REBIRTH, the second title in the FFVII remake project.

I got to play the original FINAL FANTASY VII back when it first came out, so I was quite particular as I worked on the sound for this project.

With the adventure opening up onto a huge world map, and a variety of new elements being added, this game marks a shift from REMAKE, and presents a new and exciting evolution of gameplay. And from a sound perspective as well, we had to reconsider and reconstruct the sound design from scratch to match up with this huge amount of new content. The game design, and in particular the world map, offers players a high degree of freedom of movement, so I wracked my brains a fair bit about the sound design as well, but in the end we pushed the sound design forwards while paying greater respect to the original game than REMAKE did, and I think that we succeeded in producing sound that is both nostalgic and fresh.

From beautiful music that expresses emotions and situations, to immersive environmental sounds, to the sound effects that underscore the frenzied combat, to the voicework that breathes life into the characters — these are the sounds that make up the world of FFVII REBIRTH. I hope that people who played REMAKE and new players alike will experience this adventure!

Keiji Kawamori - Music Supervisor

For the music for this title, we followed the same approach that we took for REMAKE, while also incorporating new challenges into practically every aspect. Also, with the world expanding considerably for this title, we composed about twice as much music as we did for the last game, in a wide variety of different genres.

There are some areas where the musical arrangement changes depending on the situation, so I hope that players will go back to hear how the arrangement changes under different circumstances, even if they have already played through that section. I think that players will also find it interesting to discover new arrangements that blend together motifs in ways that have never been heard before, such as sections from Let the Battles Begin! and One-Winged Angel, which have never been presented together in one composition in any previous game, being included in the same composition.

And one other thing: one of the unique and characteristic things about REBIRTH is that the side content has its own musical accompaniments, so I hope that players will listen out for this as they complete lots of varied side quests.

I hope that the music in this game will help to enhance players’ experience of the game.

Asako Suga - Lead Dialogue Editor

Having fled Midgar, Cloud and his companions will meet a huge number of new characters as they journey across the world.

This game features the voice talents of more than 250 voice actors, and the recording process took around two years to complete. And in addition to Japanese, we also recorded voices for English, French and German, adding up to a total of more than 1000 performers in a single game!

These performers put a lot of hours into recording conversations that help to immerse the player in the story: increasing the tension for more intense moments in the plot, and laughing at well-paced dialogue with other characters.

This title also features characters who appeared in the original FINAL FANTASY VII and have waited a long time for their voices to finally be heard, so I hope that players who played the original will take note of this. There are also many people populating the streets of the towns of REBIRTH who are brimming with personality, so I hope that players will listen in on their conversations as they move about the world.

This game makes great use of a wide variety of voices, so I hope that lots and lots of people will play it.

Many thanks to all the developers for their comments. FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH is out now for PS5:

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