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Word of warning: there may be some spoilers that people may wish to avoid.
Right, I've been playing Final Fantasy 7 again of late, mainly since the remake was announced and it has got me thinking. I've been thinking about how the remake could be the best possible version of the game.
I was never one of those fans who simply had to have the remake (I love the game as it is), but when I saw the announcement that the remake was in development, I was filled with joy. I was also filled with nostalgia and I had to play through it again.
Some will call for a total overhaul of the game while others would simply say update the graphics and leave everything else as it is. Now, I'm going to say something quite controversial here - the game is NOT perfect. However, if we look at what can be done with games now we can only be excited by the possibilities. Of course, we can take it as a given that the graphics will be beautiful, every Final Fantasy game has had incredible graphics for its generation, so why should this be any different? We only have to look at the sequel film Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete to see just how beautiful the game could look - and the film is 10 years old!
Over the last few years, the story has had things added to it with the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Could it be possible that we see these changes incorporated into the remake? I played most of it (Before Crisis was impossible to get in England!) and I enjoyed it, though I know that certain aspects were generally disliked. The addition of Genesis to the story had mixed opinions for example. He was included to add some depth to Zack's storyline in Crisis Core but many people felt aggrieved by his addition into the Nibelheim incident. With other things, such as Deepground added in Dirge of Cerberus, there is more depth to the overall storyline. The remake offers an opportunity to create the definitive Final Fantasy VII timeline, while not necessarily having to include every game in the compilation.
While I'm on the subject of the story I might as well delve into one of the most important aspects of the game, Aeris's death. For many, many years (and it's still happening now) the internet has been awash with theories that Aeris can somehow be revived within the game. Of course, this is not true.
I've seen a few articles online saying that Square Enix should add an "Aeris lives" DLC to the remake. I wouldn't want this personally, but apparently many people do. In my opinion, Aeris's death is one of the most powerful and important plot points in the whole game. Yes I know it has become one of the most well known spoilers in gaming but when you experience it for the first time you are taken by surprise. This very likeable character that is an important part of disc one is suddenly killed by Sephiroth without any prior warning. I was most certainly shocked by what had transpired (though I was 7 when I saw it) and it took me a while to get over it as I had grown attached to Aeris. I personally wouldn't want her to be revived in DLC, but I would not be against the remake going into the story of the novella The Maiden Who Travels the Planet, which deals with Aeris travelling through the Lifestream. This novella was only published in the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, which was only available in Japanese. So, showing some of this story would be a first for many people.
The battle system is an interesting topic. Tetsuya Nomura has already stated that the battle system will feature "Dramatic Changes". The original ATB system was revolutionary when it first came along, but Square Enix have recently made strides into more action oriented games with Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts. Nomura stated that Final Fantasy VII Advent Children was an inspiration for the visuals. Could this also included the battle system? Personally, I would love to see a marriage of the two - turn based fighting mixed with cinematic attacks. The limit breaks showed how this could be done on in 1997, so how could 2015 measure up?
There are many more things that could be added to the game but really I just hope they get it right. Let's have the definitive version and make the best game possible.