Final Fantasy VII Remake is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix. It is a remake of the original Final Fantasy VII, a title originally released on the Sony Playstation in 1997. FF7 Remake has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a JRPG with real-time action, fully-voiced characters, and modern graphics.
Square Enix plans to release the Remake in episodic installments, with the first released April 10, 2020 (exclusively on PS4) which covers the Midgar portion of the original game. A demo was released on PSN on March 3, 2020.
Cloud Strife is a mercenary formerly of the Shinra Electric Power Company's elite special forces known as SOLDIER, hired by a cell of the eco-terrorist group called Avalanche to aid them in the bombing of Mako Reactor 1. Both Avalanche and the cell's leader, Barret Wallace, embrace the ideals of planetology that posits that the planet is a living organism and that Shinra's harvesting of the planet's life force will lead to the end of the world.
Cloud, Barret, Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge infiltrate the reactor, and Cloud sets up a bomb developed by Jessie at the core. They get out within the time limit, unaware that President Shinra was watching their every move and that he had the reactor core self-destruct when Jessie's bomb failed to detonate properly. The area surrounding the reactor is devastated by the blast. Cloud and the Avalanche members scatter into the streets and agree to meet up at the train going back to the slums.
Cloud hallucinates a meeting with Sephiroth while moving through the shocked crowds, a rogue First Class SOLDIER whom Cloud remembers killing in the past. Cloud cannot believe that Sephiroth is still alive, now seemingly able to distort reality and send Cloud into a vision where everything around him is burning. Cloud snaps out of the illusion and meets a woman selling flowers being attacked by invisible monsters. Unable to see the cloak-like entities until the flower girl grabs his hand for help, Cloud's reaction alerts the Shinra Public Security forces. The woman runs away, and Shinra troops chase Cloud to the railway bridge from where he jumps onto the passing train, reuniting with the others.
They head to the Sector 7 slums where Barret's Avalanche cell has a hideout in the Seventh Heaven bar owned by Tifa, Cloud's childhood friend who reconnected with Cloud after coming to Midgar for work and enlisted his services to Avalanche despite Barret's reservations. The bombing was more destructive than Jessie had anticipated, frazzles both her and Tifa, but Barret is ready to move onto the next bombing mission. However, he is not interested in hiring Cloud's services again.
Tifa suggests Cloud make a name for himself as a mercenary at the Sector 7 slums and gets him an apartment next to hers. Overnight, Cloud hears moaning from the room next door, and when investigating, finds it belongs to a delirious man wearing a dark cloak whom he hallucinates as Sephiroth. As he is about to attack, Tifa stops him, and Cloud realizes it was another hallucination. Tifa helps Cloud find work around the slums, and they find Tifa's friend Johnny being taken by Shinra's Public Security under suspicion of being connected to Avalanche. Though Johnny is not part of the group, Tifa fears he might still spill something, and Cloud and Tifa save him by taking out the Shinra soldiers holding Johnny under arrest. Cloud is about to kill Johnny to make sure he will not expose Avalanche, but a shocked Tifa stops him, and Johnny instead flees Sector 7, vowing never to return.
Though Barret has rejected Cloud's participation in the next bombing mission, Jessie hires him to help procure a new blasting agent from a Shinra warehouse, still thinking that her haywire bomb is what caused the previous carnage and civilian casualties. Biggs and Wedge join them, and Cloud gets to know the trio better. As they head topside by riding motorbikes through the train tunnels, they are accosted by Shinra and meet a SOLDIER Third Class called Roche, who challenges Cloud to a race. At the Shinra employees' housing district, Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge meet with Jessie's mother while Cloud sneaks in through the back to steal Jessie's comatose dad's ID card so they can gain access to the Shinra warehouse; Jessie's dad has been suffering from mako poisoning ever since an industrial accident at a Shinra plant, which was what prompted Jessie to join Avalanche.
During their time topside, Cloud glimpses the starry skies and recalls a time seven years ago he had promised a 13-year-old Tifa of after entering SOLDIER; he would be her "knight in shining armor" and come save her if she was ever in trouble. Cloud, Biggs, and Wedge act as a diversion to buy Jessie time to find the blasting agent, and Cloud has a one-on-one duel with Roche at the SOLDIER's insistence, and Cloud asserts he is no longer affiliated with Shinra.
Shinra troops overrun the place, and Wedge is hurt. Another cell of Avalanche arrives for their rescue, and after they reunite with Wedge, Jessie shows them where parachutes for Shinra maintenance workers are kept. They ride down from the plate, Cloud riding with Wedge. Back in the slums, Wedge shows Cloud where Biggs and Jessie live and shows him the cats he lives with, being known as something of a local "cat whisperer." After Cloud heads to Jessie's for payment for the successful mission, she hugs him and wants him to go out with her, but Cloud is reluctant to promise her anything.
The mysterious invisible beings attack the Sector 7 slums the next morning, and Jessie is hurt. Barret hires Cloud as her replacement, and the mission is back on track. Barret, Cloud, and Tifa head topside on the train but fail an ID check under the updated security system and abandon the train mid-journey and trek their way to the reactor on foot. After setting up the remote-controlled bomb, they try to leave but discover that they are being broadcast to the public, live on the Shinra News. They learn that Shinra is aware of their operations and have been allowing their acts of terrorism to build Avalanche up as a public enemy the populace needs to turn to Shinra for protection. Shinra sets the bomb to detonate themselves, and after fighting a Shinra war machine, the walkway they were on is destroyed, and Cloud falls into the slums.
Cloud crashes through the roof of a church onto a flower bed. He hallucinates talking to Sephiroth again but is woken up by Aerith, the woman who sells flowers he had met on the Mako Reactor 1 bombing. She is being pursued by the Turks—Shinra's black ops and intelligence operations division—and hires Cloud to be her bodyguard to take her home safe. Cloud protects her from Reno, but they find the church being overrun by the mysterious cloaked beings. However, this time the beings do not attack, only stop Cloud from killing Reno and guide them a way out. Aerith convinces Cloud to stay the night and head back to Sector 7 the next day, and the two get to know one another better when Cloud helps her deliver flowers to the local school and when they help the local kids and other slum dwellers with their problems. They meet a delirious cloaked man with a large tattoo of the number 2 whom Cloud momentarily hallucinates as Sephiroth, but the mysterious man staggers away after the encounter. When Cloud and Aerith return to her house, they run into another Turk, Rude, whom they defeat.
Aerith's mother, Elmyra Gainsborough, is not happy Aerith is getting caught up in something dangerous and despises Cloud being an Ex-SOLDIER, saying he has traded his chance for a regular life for power and thus cannot stay around Aerith. Cloud agrees to sneak out in the dead of night, but Aerith catches up with him and insists on taking him to Sector 7 anyway. On the Sector 6 park, Aerith tells Cloud about how he reminds her of her first love, who was also a SOLDIER First Class, but Cloud's vision goes blurry, and his ears begin ringing when she mentions his name.
Cloud and Aerith spot Tifa being taken to Don Corneo's mansion, and Aerith insists Cloud help her, as Corneo is a dangerous crimelord. They find that Corneo is looking for a "bride" but only entertains women endorsed by one of the "Trio," influential locals who run the notorious slum entertainment town, Wall Market. They manage to procure endorsement for Aerith from Madam M after winning a tournament at the local Corneo Colosseum and another endorsement for Cloud from Andrea Rhodea, who helps Cloud disguise himself as a woman. Once inside Corneo's place, they are subdued by gas and taken to a dungeon where they meet Tifa, who is shocked to meet Cloud dressed as a woman. Corneo makes his pick of the three, but they subdue his lackeys after their weapons and other equipment are delivered to them by Corneo's disloyal lackey Leslie Kyle working together with Andrea. Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith threaten Corneo to reveal what he knows about Shinra's plans for Avalanche. Corneo reveals that Shinra is about to drop the upper plate on the Sector 7 slums, killing countless people, to crush Barret's Avalanche cell. He then drops them into the sewers below through a trap door.
Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith race back to the Sector 7 slums. The way takes them through the sewers and the Train Graveyard, which they find haunted by the captured spirits of children whom Aerith can still commune with. They free the kids' spirits by felling the demon haunting the grounds and make their way to the Sector 7 slums where they find the pillar under attack by Shinra, with the locals up in arms to protect it. Shinra announces that Avalanche is about to drop the plate and that Shinra does not negotiate with terrorists, and thus they need to give themselves up. Wedge, who was protecting the pillar along with Biggs, Jessie, and Barret, falls and is injured. Tifa and Aerith tend to him while Cloud races up the pillar, but ends up in the sights of Reno and Rude, who are the Turks on the mission to separate the plate. Reno holds a grudge toward Cloud over their previous meeting and opens fire at him. Tifa cannot bear to stay back any longer, and with Wedge recovered, she declares she will follow Cloud, asking Aerith to find Marlene, Barret's four-year-old daughter, at her bar.
Wedge shows Aerith the way, but they part ways when Wedge leads the slum dwellers toward Sector 6 when a nervous Shinra Public Security soldier opens the gates against his superior's orders. Aerith finds her way to the bar even if the area becomes engulfed in flames from a downed Shinra helicopter. She finds Marlene, and the two have an instant connection, but as she leads the girl out, they are stopped by Tseng, the Turks' leader. Aerith agrees to go with him in exchange for Marlene's safety.
Cloud finds a gravely injured Biggs and reunites with Tifa. They find Jessie, who dies in Cloud's arms. They find Barret atop the pillar, but Reno and Rude arrive and begin the plate separation procedure. Though Cloud, Tifa, and Barret defeat them and destroy Rude's helicopter, they fail to stop the completion of the plate separation procedure. They learn through a video message that Tseng has taken Aerith captive because she is an "Ancient." Reno and Rude evacuate on a Shinra medical helicopter while Cloud, Barret, and Tifa ride a ropeway to safety as the pillar separates from the plate above and it comes crashing down.
Barret goes ballistic at the sight of carnage and the thought of having lost Marlene, but Cloud thinks that Marlene is safe at Aerith's house. They find her there, and Aerith's mother Elmyra tells the story of how she and Aerith—not her biological daughter—came to meet. Aerith and her biological mother had escaped from a Shinra facility, but the mother had passed while asking a random passerby—Elmyra—to take Aerith somewhere safe. Elmyra had adopted the girl as her own but soon noticed she had mystical powers and the ability to connect to the spirits of the dead. When the Turks had come looking for her, Elmyra had learned Aerith is an Ancient, whose mystical powers Shinra wants to exploit. However, the Turks had never taken Aerith by force, and thus Elmyra still thinks Aerith is being treated well.
Cloud, Barret, and Tifa return to the Sector 7 ruins where they find Wedge still alive and a secret underground testing facility where Shinra has been exposing people to mako energy to turn them into monsters. This sparks some memories in Cloud, but they are ejected from the testing site by the mysterious ghostly beings before they can investigate any further.
Cloud, Barret, and Tifa carry Wedge to Elmyra's. Cloud asks again for Elmyra's permission to rescue Aerith. He believes, Aerith being the last Ancient, that she is too valuable for Shinra, especially to mad professor Hojo, to ever be released. Elmyra says she needs some time to think. Later, Cloud hears footsteps, follows them outside, and finds Aerith, Tifa, or Barret among Aerith's flowers. If the person Cloud finds is Tifa, she asks if the flower he had given her was from Aerith and cries over how Shinra has again taken everything away from them while Cloud embraces her. If Cloud meets Barret, he tells Cloud about the other Avalanche members that he never had the chance to meet and promises to introduce them after saving Aerith. If Cloud finds Aerith, he is surprised and wonders if it is a dream. Aerith talks about the importance of living in the moment as everyone dies one day and warns Cloud not to become too attached to her as she may not be able to stay with him for long. As she touches his face, she disappears, and Cloud wakes up in the guest room.
The next morning, Elmyra has concluded that Cloud is right about Shinra and allows them to rescue Aerith. Barret asks her to look after Marlene and Wedge; Marlene also says Barret should help Aerith. Since the trains are not running and Shinra probably has every station under lockdown, they need an alternate route topside. Tifa suggests they ask Don Corneo, but he is not at his mansion. Instead, they find Leslie, who claims he can help them get topside on the condition they help him find Corneo in his sewer hideout. Barret does not trust him, but Cloud agrees to help.
When they find Corneo's hideout, one of Corneo's pets steals the key from Leslie. Cloud, Tifa, and Barret give chase and reclaim it, only to find it was not a key but a necklace that once belonged to Leslie's fiancée. Leslie reveals that she was chosen to become one of Corneo's brides and disappeared without a trace right after. Now he wants revenge, and Barret softens up to him. They return to the hideout door, and Leslie goes in alone, but Corneo sees his attempt to kill him and disarms him. Cloud, Tifa, and Barret come to Leslie's aid, but Corneo sets a monster on them and escapes. Leslie gives Cloud and friends grappling guns to climb over the Sector 7 wall, and from there, they can reach the Shinra Building.
Cloud, Tifa, and Barret make their way through the collapsed Sector 7 plate and reach the Shinra Building, and while Barret is eager to charge in through the front door guns blazing, Cloud suggests they use Shinra trucks to infiltrate the parking garage. They jump onto a truck and get inside, but when the truck leaves the checkpoint, they fall and have to fight their way in. In the lobby, Tifa makes her way inside the reception and obtain a keycard to access the rest of the building. Cloud believes Aerith is being held in the research labs near the top floors, and Tifa thinks Hojo's lab on the 65th floor is the most likely one. Either using stairs or elevators, they make their way to the 59th floor and work from there.
To reach higher floors, Cloud, Tifa, and Barret act like tourists going through a tour. They experience distressing images about Midgar being destroyed by a meteor in one exhibit, and Cloud sees Sephiroth again. The image ends, and the trio meets Hart, Mayor Domino's deputy. Hart leads them to Domino, who has been the one aiding them by silencing any possible alarms from going off. He reveals he is Avalanche's man inside Shinra, as he loathes the company for locking him up in the archives and not giving him any real authority in Midgar.
With Domino's help, Cloud, Tifa, and Barret reach the 64th floor, where they eavesdrop on the Shinra directors' meeting where President Shinra denies Reeve's plan to rebuild Sector 7 since they now have Aerith. Through her, they can build Neo Midgar in the promised land. Hojo believes they can use Aerith, even though she is not a pureblood Ancient, suggesting they use SOLDIER candidates to reproduce more Ancients from Aerith for Shinra to study.
Cloud, Tifa, and Barret shadow Hojo as he leaves the meeting and intercept him in his lab and force him into leading them to Aerith, only to deal with one of Hojo's grotesque experiments as he escapes during the fight. The group fights their way through guards and advanced soldiers to reach Hojo, who notices Cloud has SOLDIER qualities but claims he is not a member of that force. Cloud clutches his head as his ears begin to ring, and the mysterious ghosts blow Hojo away.
The group later encounters a creature chasing Hojo into an elevator, the now freed Aerith preventing a fight as she calms the creature down. The creature reveals his ability to speak to everyone's shock. Tifa notices a Roman numeral XIII tattoo on the creature, who calls himself Red XIII. Cloud is stricken again and stumbles towards the elevator, sensing that Jenova is close. He collapses and awakes in Aerith's old room in Hojo's lab, where she tells them about her Cetra heritage but how Shinra is wrong about her being able to lead the company to the promised land. They get a video message from Wedge and Domino on Avalanche HQ coming to rescue them on a helicopter from the roof, Barret being surprised as Wedge was supposed to be bedridden and he had never asked for Wedge to help bail them out.
As the group goes through Hojo's lab, they find Jenova's tank, where its headless body spooks everyone. Red XIII explains Jenova is Shinra's most precious research specimen and that Hojo has spent his life studying it. A cloaked man appears in front of the tank, but everyone sees him as Sephiroth, who breaks the walkway they are on and sends everyone plummeting to the deep recesses of the lab into an area called "The Drum" where Hojo controls their every move and ushers more of his "research specimens" onto the group, only to watch them be destroyed much to his delight. The party reunites and makes their way back to where Jenova's tank was, but Jenova is gone with only a trail of dark liquid leading to the president's office.
The party reaches the seemingly empty office and finds the president hanging on the side of the roof, offering them wealth to save him. Barret pulls the president up and tells him to confess to the Sector 7 collapse and that there is no Avalanche-Wutai link, only for the president to hold Barret at gunpoint while scoffing at him for only wanting to clear his name rather than asking the company to shut down all mako reactors. Sephiroth appears behind the president and kills him before stabbing Barret in the chest with his sword when he tries to protest. The "Sephiroth" is revealed to be another of those cloaked men, who transforms into the Jenova Dreamweaver, a monster able to create illusions. Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith destroy it, and afterward, Barret is healed by one of those ghostly mysterious beings that have begun to fly all around the Shinra Building. Another "Sephiroth" appears and carries away Jenova's body that has been released from the tank, and the two fall off the building.
As they step onto the roof, the Avalanche helicopter that was sent out to extract them is shot down by a helicopter piloted by Reno and Rude, which brings Rufus Shinra onto the building. Rufus fights Cloud one-on-one while the others escape downstairs, though Tifa stays behind to help Cloud. Rufus is flown off by the Turks after losing the duel against Cloud, and Cloud is saved by Tifa.
Cloud, Tifa, Barret, Aerith, and Red XIII escape the Shinra Building via the expressway with vehicles stolen from the Shinra exhibition rooms, taking out numerous Shinra troops and robots sent out to pursue them. At the end of the expressway, they run into Sephiroth waiting for them, everyone being able to see him now. Sephiroth cuts a passageway to thin air and disappears, telling Cloud to follow. Red XIII explains that the mysterious ghosts that have intermittently been helping or barring their advance are Whispers, arbiters of fate, and beings sent out by the planet itself to enforce a fixed future. Aerith hesitates over defying destiny but tells the others that Sephiroth is more dangerous to the planet than Shinra and must be stopped.
They step through the passageway and enter a surreal realm where they fight giant Whispers as well as Sephiroth himself. How much of what they experience truly happens is ambiguous. Sephiroth is a master of projecting illusions, having trapped Cloud into illusions numerous times since he already started his journey. They witness distressing images of Aerith dying, a meteorite hurtling toward Midgar, and of a much older Red XIII witnessing a destroyed Midgar, wondering if they are glimpses of a bleak future. They defeat the giant Whispers and afterward battle Sephiroth. Although they prevail, Sephiroth remains and shows Cloud a vision of what he calls "the edge of creation." He implies that the world is ending and asks Cloud to embrace his plan for the planet's future. Cloud refuses but is defeated and left with a warning that he has "seven seconds before the end."
The Whispers are defeated, and fate thus defied, the party is free to advance toward a new unknown future. Aerith misses the steel sky, deeming the new sky ahead of them unknowable. As the party leaves Midgar to pursue Sephiroth to stop whatever his plan is, people back at the ruins of Sector 7 are rebuilding, Biggs is recuperating from the injuries he had sustained at the plate's fall, revealed to have survived, and Marlene thinks of Barret with Barret declaring that he will return to her. Rufus Shinra takes over the company, pondering over Sephiroth's apparent return and the strange occurrences at the Shinra Building and Cloud and his friends' involvement. Hojo discovers that Jenova's body has disappeared from his lab and breaks into hysterical laughter.
Destiny's course changed; Zack Fair has survived "his final stand." He is last shown bringing the delirious Cloud to Midgar, where he ended up becoming a mercenary and working for Avalanche, now wielding Zack's buster sword, but what happened to Zack himself from this point on is unknown.
Players can switch between up to three party members in real-time, taking advantage of their attacks and abilities to defeat enemies in front of them. Though the player can only control one at a time, they can command any of them to use their unique abilities, magic spells, or items in their inventory. Being that this is only the first part of the Final Fantasy VII story, there are only four playable characters in the game: Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and Aerith. Red XIII does make an appearance in the latter part of the game, but is not controllable and is treated as a guest character. Unlike in the original, the party is determined by the story and cannot be adjusted manually.
Additionally, an option for a Classic Mode is available. More akin to an easy mode, in Classic the game will take control of the characters during battle while the player can activate any ATB commands. Direct control of the characters is still possible if desired.
New Game+ and Hard Mode
Once the game has been completed, there is the option to replay the game with all earned items and abilities, as well as being able to play in hard mode, via Chapter Selection. Some weapon manuscripts are only obtainable in Hard Mode.
Much like in the original game, each character has a set of Limit Breaks, that can cause significant damage. Whereas the original game had four levels of Limit Breaks with a total of seven per character, Remake only has two per character. New Limit Breaks are acquired in Chapter 9 for Cloud and Aerith and in Chapter 14 for Barret and Tifa. When a new Limit Break is acquired, it can be equipped in the Battle Settings menu. Only one Limit Break can be equipped at a time. To use a Limit Break, a limit gauge will fill during battle when attacked or staggering enemies. Once the gauge is filled, an option to use a Limit Break will appear in the battle menu. Limit Breaks cannot be saved between battles: if it activates during a normal fight, it's best to use it then and there.
Cloud's Limit Breaks:
Barret's Limit Breaks:
- Fire in the Hole
Tifa's Limit Breaks:
Aerith's Limit Breaks:
- Healing Wind
- Planet's Protection
The refocus materia is an additional Limit Break that can be equipped by anyone giving that character two options during battle. Refocus allows the character to have three ATB bars allowing for faster charge.
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