My Final Fantasy over 20 years!
What's good y’all! Frosty Phenix here! So Final Fantasy 7 Remake releases soon...but I wanted to take this time to just reflect with you all...what Final Fantasy 7 in particular means to me as a whole. For those that are new to this, Final Fantasy 7 is quite a treat that can be difficult to digest for those unfamiliar with how these types of stories unfold. For those that are familiar, then you will probably get where I am coming from OR it will bring up some of your own feelings about it. Let’s get into it!!
I don’t remember who bought this game for me first but I had the “Greatest Hits” version, so you can probably tell I was a bit late to this train. I must have been about 9-10 years old because I remember my cousin seeing Barrett’s words in his text bubble censored and said to my mom “do you know Eric is playing a game with cursing in it?” Hilariously, that did nothing and I kept on playing. I had an original strategy guide book and yet...I could NOT understand/wrap my mind around how to take down the Scorpion Boss in the first Mako Reactor by NOT hitting it while it’s tall was up. Of course I stopped playing for a while after this point. I also probably didn’t understand level grinding then as much as I do now. I was used to platform/sandbox games like Sonic 2, Legend of Zelda (OoT) and Super Mario 64, turn based rpgs were interesting to me but couldn’t overcome my young attention span (which was decent at the time…but not decent enough).
At some point I returned to the game and, for reference from the last paragraph, wiped the floor with the Scorpion Tank and also suddenly learned to read the strategy guide a bit better. From what I recall, getting through most of it was a bit rough. From returning to the Avalanche Base and gaining Tifa on the team to invading Shinra Headquarters to escape with Nanaki (Red XIII), I feel like I was just bumbling by and bumping into gaming walls and getting through it as best as I could. Times I remember in particular were trying to get through the train checks when heading towards the next reactor and how stressful that moment of time was (I was about 10-13...sue me). Another stressful time was making sure I had the right equipment to move through the game without missing anything in case I couldn’t go back because I learned that areas in the beginning change as you move along so you can’t revisit every aspect of the game throughout. I LOVED moving through the Shinra building! And this is where the story got rich for me, because I understood at this point that stories have LAYERS. It got REAL when the blood from the lab went up to President Shinra’s office, thus leading to the escape and one of the coolest aspects of the game...the vehicle escape! Once I got through all this...and left Midgar...it hit me that this game was FAR from over and that it was BIGGER than I could imagine. I remember stopping after reaching the next town after Midgar and Cloud telling the story of “Sephiroth” to his new travel buddies.
From then to NOW
I remember picking it up again and playing until getting to Cloud’s realization that he wasn’t who he thought he was and then I stopped again. In between that time I played and finished Final Fantasy X (10), played and finished Dirge of Cerberus (FF7 follow up...good concept...wasn’t HORRIBLE but…), played and finished Crisis Core FF7 (GREAT GAME! Sephiroth was one of my closest friends! I couldn’t believe I had his cellphone number and that he was fairly sane at one point!) and dabbled in Final Fantasy XV (15) but I messed up the character stats so I stopped and looking for a good time to start over because THAT GAME is long and is RICH with side quests for a locked in RPG. I always wanted to revisit Final Fantasy VII, but seeing it playable on smartphones and the PS VITA is what reignited that interest. I bought it for the PS VITA (pre-hack) and when I tell you I BREEZED through most of it...age and gaming experience is EVERYTHING. It’s not that Final Fantasy VII (7) was difficult, it was just difficult for me then and parts I remembered to have been hard were really not hard at all (Fort Condor and that mini game can still kick rocks though). Once news dropped of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake dropped and CONFIRMED, I felt I owed myself to finish the original for the first time. I can say as of writing this article...I can go fight Safer Sephiroth right NOW...but I want the extra goodies...and those will take a while since I don’t have as much time now as I did in my earlier years. Even if I get the remake and still haven’t finished the original before I get the remake DOES NOT MEAN I won’t finish it. The remake is only Midgar right now anyway (I’m a procrastinator if you haven’t figured that out by now).
Most Impactful Story Developments Over time
Here I will touch on the “Wow” things I learned about Final Fantasy 7 over the years (not in any order)
- That Aeris (Aerith in original Japanese Translation) dies no matter what you do and the only way to keep her is to hack the game
- Sephiroth is Hojo’s son (eww….makes sense over time)
- Vincent and Nanaki (Red XIII) are immortal and are alive long after the other characters have passed on
- Cloud is, character wise, more so suffering depression from not meeting his dreams than he is a cool and calm and collected character that he is believed to be (this makes him more relatable in a few ways)
Cloud and Tifa are not an OFFICIAL couple (Situationship at BEST if I never saw one...but I ship them together officially in my head. Made SURE I had him interact with her the most)
- Sephiroth is only in his late 20’s, Cloud is in his early 20’s (same for Tifa) and Barrett is in his mid 30’s, Vincent is 60 (looks mid 20’s) but SEPHIROTH WASN'T EVEN 30 yet!!
- Enemy Materia IS LEGIT YOUR BEST FRIEND/ONE OF THE BEST MATERIA
- Each Limit Break is easy to obtain because not all of them just come from leveling...some they have special conditions that really aren’t hard to meet...they take time yes...but really aren’t hard
- When I found out Cloud not only believed he was living someone else’s (Zack’s) life but that he was experimented on by Hojo to be a Sephiroth Clone after the Sephiroth Nibelheim Attack but was marked as “Failed” and left in the Shinra Mansion Basement (ha...that bit him in the ass later)
Overall, Final Fantasy was my gateway game to Japanese RPG’s (such as Golden Sun...of which I completed along with it’s sequel) and I haven’t looked back. Final Fantasy 7 Remake releases April 10th, 2020 (the day before my birthday!) so I’m hype and patiently waiting. This has been Frosty Phenix on his soap box, catch y’all on my next post. Peace.