Final Fantasy VII Remake Revisited Chapter 17: Deliverance from Chaos

We’re taking a deep dive into the 17th 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.

We've been 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…

What had Aerith been drawing on the walls in her room? Are there any particular details we should look out for?

The initial idea set down when designing the backgrounds for the game was that this was a huge drawing that Aerith put together from ages of 4 to 7. She started out by copying the flowers and creatures in the picture books she was given and gradually moved on to drawing the history of the Cetra people that she had heard from her mother as folk tales.

Each section was done as a separate image, but the interesting thing is how she has joined them all together by drawing the lifestream in an unconscious expression of the Cetra's philosophy that everything is linked.

Mizushi Sugawara (Environment Artwork)

Aerith looking at drawings on the wall of her room in the Shinra Building

Why do the Whispers show up in Aerith's room? They don't seem to be actively trying to change destiny at this point. Does Aerith have knowledge of the future?

If Aerith were to talk of the things she knew and reveal the truth to everyone here, that action in itself could change the destined timeline, so the Whispers move to prevent her doing so and protect the course of events. Aerith may have known the future but had her "memories" of it stolen by the Whispers until this time.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director(Scenario Design))

Aerith being surrounded by Whispers

Sephiroth shows up again! The scene where Cloud attacks him and they clash swords is reminiscent of Advent Children, was this an intentional throwback?

It was indeed!

One of the objectives written into the concept plan for FFVII Remake was to create a playable game experience at the same graphical quality as Advent Children.

Advent Children was used as an overall reference for the quality of the cut scenes in the game, and our intentions might well show through particularly strongly in the scene where Sephiroth appears.

Hidekazu Miyake (Cutscene Director)

Cloud and Sephiroth clash swords

How was The Drum devised in development? Was it always seen as a "final dungeon" for the game?

As the Shinra Building is the final location for Remake, where it was not in the original game, we needed to add in a new "final dungeon" between Sample H0512 and the President's Room.

There were a lot of twists and turns in the process of getting this dungeon to the form it finally took, but we felt that it would be best to expand the area with things that paid homage to what was in the original, rather than to put in completely new elements.

We ultimately settled on the idea of re-working the scene on floor 67 where the player peers into the pod storing Jenova's headless body, so that the pod itself is now recreated as a special research facility dungeon with Jenova at its core.

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


Why did you decide to split the party up during this section? The PHS labels on the communication devices to swap party members was a really nice easter egg for fans of the original FFVII (the PHS is how the player would swap characters in the original game) - how was it decided that this would be added in the game?

I had thought about having a section where Aerith is playable in the Shinra Building from the early stages of development, but because it was the final dungeon, I also wanted to put in a bit where the player experienced battle with all the characters again.

This was a fairly orthodox way to do it, but I decided to structure this section by having the party split into two teams, who then tackled the dungeon in parallel. We had set on the idea of changing between the two teams using communication devices at the level design stage, but we actually called them "communicators" at that point rather than PHS.

However, at some point the scenario team learned that they were called PHS in the original scenario script and this little touch came from the team's playful nature. I also like it a lot too.

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

Cloud using the PHS

Red XIII joins us in the combat but the player doesn't get to play as him, was there ever a time in development where he was intended to be playable? Conversely, was there ever a time when perhaps he wouldn't appear at all until the very end?

Red XIII was definitely going to appear in the story, so the battle designers looked into the best way of incorporating him.

There was a proposal to make him fully playable, but the decision to keep him as an AI controlled guest character in the first game was made when we considered that he only appears at the very end of the story and would not have much room to develop and level up.

Teruki Endo (Battle Director)


In the battle against Jenova Dreamweaver, the player is engaged in a fierce battle, but the way the BGM changes also adds a huge amount to the excitement of the situation (This goes even more for people who played the original game).

Was adding this kind of climax something outlined in the original briefing?

The original plan was to have the rapid tempo from the start, in a similar way to the same scene in the original FFVII, but when I thought about how it transitioned in from the cutscene immediately before the battle, I felt that it would raise the excitement even further if we started out with a lower tempo version instead and then ramp up to the high tempo during a later phase of the battle.

Even I felt the excitement building when I reached the final phase during the first test play of this scene.

Keiji Kawamori (Music Supervisor)

Screenshot of Jenova Dreamweaver from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

Was it important to show Barret dying and then being saved by the Whispers to prove that the Whispers are neither for nor against the party, simply trying to correct the course of destiny?

We showed Barret's predicament here as a representation of how the survival or not of a single person can change the destined timeline that the Whispers are trying to protect. However, Barret is pretty tough, so he might well have recovered by himself, even if the Whispers did not move to protect him.

Motomu Toriyama (Co-Director(Scenario Design))

Barret being revived by Whispers

I found the Rufus battle to be quite challenging! Do you have any tips for players who might still struggle with it from time to time?

You need to firmly grasp Rufus' attack pattern and charge up your ATB for the opening when he reloads, then hit him with your abilities. Repeat that cycle to wear down his health a bit at a time.

He should be easier to beat if you stay calm, observe the situation while guarding and don't just attack recklessly.

Teruki Endo (Battle Director)


The battle with the Arsenal is interesting in that you can use the scenery to take cover and recover etc. Did you ever consider incorporating more elements of the environment into battles?

You use two long-ranged characters in the Arsenal fight, and I think we managed to create a battle where the scenery can be used effectively.

I was constantly thinking about how we could use the terrain for other battles too, as long as there were good ideas.

Teruki Endo (Battle Director)

Aerith and Barret take on the Arsenal

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 18 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.

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