Square Enix's Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake series closely examines aspects of the upcoming remake and analyzes them for fan benefit. The second episode is out and it opens up a window into the team's writing processes when it comes to characters and storylines. Spoiler: some of your memories of Final Fantasy VII may look a little different in the remake.
Episode 2 of Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake sees story and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima discussing protagonist Cloud Strife's personality. According to Nojima, the original Cloud was a "cool and stylish character", but he'll be given more chances to mess up and act in a "cringe-worthy" way in the remake. Cloud wants people to respect him, and as a result, he often appears aloof or uninterested, which Nojima says can sometimes seem "a bit lame". He says he's worried fans won't "accept" this version of Cloud if they've built up an image of him as the standoffish antihero from much of Final Fantasy VII's extended media.
The new game will also examine more of the characters' backstory and personality than the original did. Producer Yoshinori Kitase describes Tifa as "out for revenge" since her home was destroyed and her father was killed. Kitase says the team wrote Tifa in Final Fantasy VII Remake as conflicted; she wants revenge, but she isn't sure whether violence is a suitable way to chase that revenge. Similarly, Barret's aggressive nature as a leader and Aerith's troubled childhood will inform their writing and characterization in Final Fantasy VII Remake. The detailed facial animation will convey Tifa's - and other characters' - emotions through subtle cues.
Nojima says that he and his team went back through all the original Final Fantasy VII dialogue and added new depth and complexity to suit the new visuals. Kitase says that although the remake is "very faithful indeed", it'll be brimming with new details thanks to the new camera system and graphical style. Don't worry if you're a huge fan of Final Fantasy VII, though; Kitase reassures viewers that "we are keeping all the iconic moments" from the original Final Fantasy VII script, although some will be retooled for convenience (Cloud's black-screen flashbacks being a key example).
Narratively, Nojima says that Final Fantasy VII Remake will stick very closely to the original Midgar sequence from Final Fantasy VII. Despite that verisimilitude, Nojima and his team added "many new scenes that happen between the main events of the original". He gives an example from early on in the game in which Tifa shows Cloud a Japanese-style apartment that they come to occupy together. This isn't in the original game, but it's one of the scenes Nojima hopes will flesh out the characters and the world of Final Fantasy VII Remake. There's lots more in the original video, so check it out for a deep dive.
If you want more Final Fantasy VII Remake, you can order the full soundtrack right now. It'll have 7 discs and cost $77.77. See what they did there? Despite the remake only covering Midgar, it'll have a pretty staggering amount of content judging by the soundtrack alone, so looks like you'll be getting your money's worth here. You'll have to wait a bit for it though, as the soundtrack won't ship until later in May. Final Fantasy VII Remake launches for PlayStation 4 on April 10th.