FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH: Suzie Yeung talks Yuffie Kisaragi

The actress who brings the materia-obsessed ninja to life talks explains finding new depth to the character, what Yuffie means to her and what’s new for FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH.
By Duncan Heaney

Yuffie Kisaragi is back!

After headlining FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s DLC, EPISODE INTERmission, the materia-loving ninja is joining Cloud and company as a fully playable member of the party in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH.

This young warrior from Wutai adds fresh energy to the team, thanks partly to a brilliant voice performance from Suzie Yeung. We recently spoke to the actor about her experiences on the game, Yuffie’s new role in REBIRTH and how she made this character sing… literally.

In your own words, who is Yuffie Kisaragi?

Yuffie is… a huge goober (laughs)!

She has such grandiose visions of herself and the world around her. She’s this kid who has such wide-open sparkly eyes. She looks at the world and is like, “This is so much! And there’s so much to do!”

Except for Midgar, which she actively trashes on (laughs).

She has a mission to restore the former glory of Wutai and she will do anything in her power to do that. And have lots of fun along the way.

How did you feel when you saw people react positively to your portrayal of Yuffie in FF7R EPISODE INTERmission?

I was really stunned by all the positive reactions from everyone.

I’ve seen some comments online where they were really excited by the interpretation of Yuffie, because prior to that, she wasn’t super-developed. The EPISODE INTERmission DLC was the first time we got to see much more of her character, and I’m grateful that people were happy with my rendition of it!

To see them say things like, “She’s just like when I imagined the game back in 1997”… I was very excited to see that!

Do you remember any moments where you realized it had gone down well?

Even before I met any fans, I had seen some reactions to the FINAL FANTASY VII INTERGRADE trailer. Just seeing the reaction from everybody was so exciting for me. Just watching them be like, “Is that Yuffie?! Is that my daughter?” (laughs).

It was very heartwarming. I specifically remember that I was streaming FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE because I’m such a big fan. And when I got to the end and the credits started rolling, I began crying. I was just thinking to myself, “I’m going to be part of this team.”

It made me so emotional and the fans on the other side reacting were just as excited as I was.

How has Yuffie changed between EPISODE INTERmission and FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH?

The core of Yuffie pretty much stays the same, but she definitely carries a weight to her since INTERmission because of all the events that happened.

She doesn’t necessarily let it show at first when she interacts with everybody, but she’s still very much focused on her goals.

Now she has a definite mission, whereas before it was a lot of fun and games. It still is for REBIRTH, but there’s a serious side we get to explore later on in the game. Her coming to terms with what happened - it’ll be an emotional scene, I think.

What was the most challenging thing about playing her in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH?

Yuffie is a very reactive character. Everything about her is very ‘big’ - in contrast to the existing team, who I think are relatively serious and a lot more grounded.

So, it was kind of challenging to balance that - to make her into something that’s not a caricature, or something that will stick out like a sore thumb.

We don’t always get visuals or really know how she’s going to react, so it was all about toeing that balance between expressive and contained. We had to play around a lot to find that perfect balance where she’s not too goofy.

How did you find that right balance?

Yuffie is very exuberant, very full of life. But also, likeable and she can be down to earth sometimes - surprisingly!

But the credit goes to the writing of her character. She has been expanded in such a way that we haven’t really seen before, and I can’t be more grateful to the people who developed her character and gave her so many aspects that you wouldn’t expect.

In the original game, she was presented as this really bratty, sassy character and that was pretty much all she had to her. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see she has a lot of depth to her.

At the end of the day, she is a kid. Although she has really lofty opinions of herself, she can still be a little insecure sometimes.

What was the most memorable moment you had during the recording process?

It was when Yuffie got motion sick - and there are not too few of those scenes (laughs).

I just remember when we were playing it out, my director, Kirk Thornton, was like, “Ok, I need you to really act like you’re vomiting right now. I need you actually hurl chunks!” So, I was trying to give my grossest reaction - and it was great and really fun!

I’m sorry to all the sympathetic vomiters out there.

But then the team were like, “Actually, you need to tone it down - they don’t really like that.”

In the original take it was quite a lot! Hopefully it’s scaled back a little in the actual game (laughs).

What was your favorite scene to play in FF7R EPISODE INTERmission?

I like all the scenes where Yuffie interacts with Sonon. I think she has a really good rapport with him.

I specifically liked that scene when she tells him to calm down because I think that’s the first time that we saw Yuffie be really serious and sure of herself. Where she’s the adult in the situation, when she normally wouldn’t be.

So having that purview into that side of her character was really awesome to explore.

What was your favorite scene to play in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH?

Oh man, so much happens in REBIRTH!

I distinctly remember an interaction where she starts singing. I had to memorize the tune and they had actual lyrics written out. I think it took the entire session because I am not a singer and they had to try really hard to get it right (laughs).

Can you sing something for us now?

Umm… (Suzie starts humming the chocobo theme, while Red XIII actor Max Mittelman starts laying a beat from elsewhere in the room).

Heck yeah! That’s Red XIII beatboxing in the background (laughs).

(To Max) Thanks for the backup!

What is your favorite memory of working on the FINAL FANTASY VII remake series?

We were invited to the FINAL FANTASY VII 25th Anniversary orchestra concert. I love all the music in FINAL FANTASY in general, so being there and hearing all the tracks really hit a wave of nostalgia for me. It took me through the entire game again.

I distinctly remember that before intermission, they played Yuffie’s battle theme - and as soon as the music started swelling, I freaked out. I had no idea that was going to be included - and to hear it… I was so excited!

Aleks Le, who plays Sonon, was sitting next to me and we were just geeking out. It was a really special moment!

What’s your favorite thing about Yuffie?

That’s so hard because I love everything about her! She’s so precious and I just want to protect her at all times!

I just love that she’s a big kid who’s excited for adventures. She’s super-sarcastic and witty and bratty, which I love - especially when she interacts with more serious characters.

She just brings the life to a lot of situations she’s in. But surprisingly, she can be mature when the situation calls for it.

Who’s your favorite character other than Yuffie?

My favorite character besides Yuffie is maybe Aerith. She’s like the light of the entire party, especially in REMAKE where Cloud is super serious and gloomy. So, Aerith brings levity to a lot of situations.

I love that about her. She’s sassy, while at the same time being kind. All of the characters in REMAKE have so many different dimensions to them and I really, really appreciated her scenes.

I think Briana White does an amazing job at bringing her to life.

What are you most excited for fans to discover about the game?


REBIRTH feels to me like it is massive, and epic. The first game was restricted to Midgar, but now they get to go out into this huge world, meet tons of new characters and explore new places… there’s just so much to do.

I’m excited to experience it myself because there are so many side quests and minigames. But I’m most excited for the team dynamic - for the team to meet each other.

Finally, is there anything you want to say to fans?

Thank you so much for all your support!

Everything I’ve seen has been super-positive and everyone is so excited for this game. It has such a legacy and has been in everyone’s hearts for such a long time. To be in this game is an honor, and it’s changed my life.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all the fans who enjoy the game.

Yuffie joins Cloud and company on their adventures in FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH, available now for PS5:

For more from the cast, check out our interviews:

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