The much anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake is finally just around the corner. Fans need only wait until next March to relive the glory of this game in brilliant high definition and with modern mechanics. Easily the most popular and well known Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy VII is the one game fans have wanted remade more than any other. And this isn't just another remaster, it's a complete remake from the ground up; that means new graphics, new gameplay mechanics, and potentially even new stories in some cases. The new character models clearly draw inspiration from their original incarnations, but are re-imagined in a beautiful way.
For those that haven't kept up with the 15 Final Fantasy games (and that's not even including sequels and spin-offs), Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a complete re-imagination of Square Enix's most well known Final Fantasy game. It will feature all new character models, new stories to fill out some holes in the original narrative, and a dynamic, real time combat system. Given that the original Final Fantasy 7 was released on PlayStation back in 1997, the changes are extremely dramatic. The screenshots should demonstrate this well enough, but Square Enix's attention to detail in recreating certain locations and scenes faithfully it's incredible and has earned them the praise of loyal fans.
Cloud is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VII. He was once part of the SOLDIER program, a group of genetically enhanced warriors created by Shinra. Cloud eventually leaves this life behind and becomes a mercenary, and meets the rest of the cast on a mission together to sabotage Shinra. He is easily recognizable by his oversized sword, gravity defying hair, and sour disposition, but this is in part due to the fact that there have been many recreations of this character already. Between artwork, a movie (Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children), other games (like the Final Fantasy: Dissidia series), and more, even people who have never heard of Final Fantasy likely know about Cloud.
Even still, seeing him in such detail in the opening bombing mission of Final Fantasy 7 is enough to send chills down any Final Fantasy lover's spine. The design has stayed mostly true to the original, aside from some practical changes like to his pants. His sleeveless shirt, single spaulder on the left shoulder, cuffs on his hands, and spiky hair are all very much the same. That said, there are some notable changes. His entire outfit appears more blue than purple and looks much more metallic and protective in spots.
Barret is loyal, powerful, determined, and at times, a little crass. As the leader of the secretive resistance movement known as AVALANCHE, Barret is sometimes referred to by Shinra as a terrorist. Barret realized that the methods of gathering energy used by Shinra were killing the planet and formed his group to try and set things straight. He puts his incredible strength and gatling gun arm to great use in combat and is never too afraid to do what must be done for what he sees as the greater good.
All things considered, Square Enix did a great job of portraying Barret's size and strength despite the technical limitations it dealt with in 1997. The new design looks great, mirroring the dimensions of the old perfectly, while making him seem even more gruff. Barret has ditched the torn up jacket that looks two sizes too small for him for a much more practical looking vest and a sleeveless undershirt. His pants and dog tags give him a tactical, almost militaristic look that suits his character well.
Tifa Lockhart is Cloud's best friend; the two grew up together in the same hometown before Cloud left to join SOLDIER. She is a member of AVALANCHE as well and is the one responsible for convincing Cloud to join up with the group following his departure from the SOLDIER program. Tifa is an extremely skilled combatant, able to be just a deadly as her allies using nothing but her bare hands. Despite this, she is very supportive and optimistic, often working as the glue that keeps the group together and moving forward rather than dwelling on the past.
Tifa's original design was never complicated, as she sported a white sports bra, black skirt, and brown boots with knee-high socks. For the most part, this look has stayed the same with a few differences. Tifa's hair is black now and somewhat shorter, more in line with her look in Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children and other more recent depictions of her. Additionally, she now wears garters and thigh high black socks. It is not entirely clear in this screenshot, but her gloves are very much the same now as they were previously.
Aerith is the only remaining member of an ancient, powerful race known as the Cetra. As such, Shinra hunts her down, hoping to use her power for their benefit. Aerith joins up with the group early in the game, and she and Cloud form a close bond. Aerith's design is very similar here: she wears a simple, pink dress with a red jacket over it. Her hair is tied in a ribbon, and she has leather straps wrapped around her arms. This simple yet faithful design is all fans could ask for, as Aerith's character could be described as simple and faithful as well.
These are just a few of the many characters in Final Fantasy 7, and happen to be the heroes seem most in the trailers released thus far. Other characters such as Yuffie, Cid, and especially Vincent Valentine will be interesting to see due to their unique designs. And that's not to mention iconic villains and enemies like Reno or Sephiroth himself. Overall, fans seem satisfied with everything they've seen so far, but nothing is certain until the game is in players' hands this coming March.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake releases March 3, 2020, on PS4.