Note: SPOILERS for the PS4 FF7 remake.

My post queue is a bit behind, so forgive me for reaching back a few controversies, but as you're probably aware, questions as to whether or not Tetsuya Nomura could be trusted with a PS4 remake of FF7 post-Kingdom Hearts were one might expect. Folks seemed pretty happy with the visuals and characterization...until we hit the revelation that this version of FF7 has two Sephiroths, one of whom came back from the future in an alternate timeline where the events of FF7 and all its sequels and ancillary properties have already happened in an attempt to make everything go his way this time. Also, there are time ghosts who attempt to interfere with events whenever they veer off the original plot, Nomura's stunning and subtle metaphor for the fans who can't appreciate his vision. (Nomura makes the time ghosts major enemies; sitting through a main plotline dedicated to this self-indulgent concept must be incredibly patience-trying.) These are incredibly stupid ideas straight out of the fanfics I read as a teenager on AOL about Kain becoming a Paladragoon and teaming up with Cecil and Crono to fight the Profound Darkness. They have all the hallmarks of bad Kingdom Hearts writing: needless time travel, complexity for its own sake, hollow platitudes about "defying fate" - because, certainly, if FF7 is about anything, it's railing against death.

My feelings aside, a lot of people really loved Final Fantasy VII, and a lot of people really wanted a remake to happen. Square marketed something that played to that and delivered a very different story - a very different game, in fact; an alt-universe sequel instead of a remake. Everyone knew that some things were going to be changed - that was part of the appeal of the project, right? That stuff that couldn't be realized in the mid-'90s would be fully fleshed out with today's technology. Instead, a writer infamous for taking a very accessible concept (Disney x RPGs!) and making it notoriously both fatuous and completely impenetrable has used that license to remake FF7 in that headache-inducing image - to make it a game, essentially, for him and him alone. You'd think he'd have a modicum of respect for the work that put him on the map. I understand there's a lot of good stuff in the remake! It could have been present without...the other garbage.

In response to this, someone posted a poll of potential plot changes that got passed around on Reddit asking, in effect: how much more can they screw this up? So let's take each item (minus a few of the baser ideas and suspect spelling) and discuss, in fact, how much more they can screw this up.

Aerith lives

I think they'll have her live past the point where she would have originally died, if the remake plot even approximates those developments. I'm not sure they'll have her survive the game, or, rather, series. (I was going to add "because I'm not sure what the point would be to that," but what's the point to any of this.)

Zack is a party member (bonus points if he replaces Cloud)

Joins, very possibly, but Cloud is sadly too popular to replace permanently. I have to wonder, though: as Zack is stripped of his defining last stand against Shinra in this timeline, will he be the Big Death (or at least a big death) in this version?

Sephiroth monologuing under himself

Already happens in the original. Also, define "under" in this context.

One of the Sephiroths becomes a good guy and joins the party

One of the Sephiroths doing a face turn could be in the cards, only because it's something that hasn't been tried before in the franchise. Him becoming a more permanent party member (outside of the Nibelheim flashback) seems too unbalancing.

Kingdom Hearts crossover

Well, this is the entire point of this enterprise, isn't it - to bring every Square property under the dominion of Nomura's pet project, subservient to his fanfic, existing only to add to Kingdom Hearts' scope and glory. Every work in the Square universe merely serving the end of Nomura's Gary Stu bashing them in the head, to paraphrase Thomas Wilde.


It's been mentioned elsewhere that this is unlikely due to the cost and logistics of getting Gackt back. This project is apparently being given all the money in the world, but other practicalities (namely, the artist's desire and time) make the outlook on this more negative. I'm sure character mentions will be shoehorned into the narrative, Chrono Trigger-releases-after-Chrono Cross-style.

Tifa dies

This, I think, is the big thing that's most likely to happen; it makes no thematic sense, not like Aerith's or Zack's deaths, but it's an it's-like-poetry-it-rhymes inversion that looks brilliant if you're thick. You still (theoretically) get the pop from the unexpected death *and* the praise from the media "subverting expectations" machine.

Crossover with every Final Fantasy game for a bootleg Endgame final battle

You have to wonder how much overt crossover they're going to do. Kingdom Hearts is a given, but are they going to, say, mention Dissidia overtly? Seeing the other FF heroes would be extraordinarily, unapologetically crassly toyetic and commercial, but Nomura has no shame. Does Square, though? And would Nomura be given that much license by this theoretical point? This is an interesting test, actually: would there be so little regard for the integrity of the standalone FF7 story vs. the Final Fantasy franchise by this time that Nomura would be allowed to go through with such an idea?

Cloud dies

The original game would have on the whole been far better if Cloud's heel turn had stuck. This would be good, so no.

Final boss is Nomura himself

Same as it ever was.

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