Final Fantasy VII was developed by Squaresoft (now known as Square Enix) and published in the US by Sony Computer Entertainment on the Sony PlayStation on September 7, 1997 (and later for PC and iOS). The game is credited for revolutionizing the role-playing genre, and many of today's Role Playing Games use the story- and cutscene-heavy model as a blueprint. The game originally shipped on three CDs. The extra space was required for the game's pre-rendered video content. Though role-playing games had an American audience throughout the 8- and 16-bit eras, many credit Final Fantasy VII for the genre's current level of popularity, as the game's pre-rendered Full Motion Video (FMV) cutscenes and wide epic scope were unlike anything that had come before it.
It has retrospectively been acknowledged as the game that popularized role-playing games outside of Japan, and as the PlayStation's killer app that cemented its lead over other fifth-generation consoles.
Its critical and commercial success paved the way for the rise of cinematic storytelling in the video game industry. Final Fantasy VII also played an instrumental role in the PlayStation's sales victory over the Nintendo 64; it was originally intended for the N64, but due to its cartridge limitations, Final Fantasy VII instead moved to the PlayStation.
Final Fantasy VII revolves around a company named Shinra that is drawing from the very life of the planet to create energy called Mako to power its technology. This process is causing widespread ecological problems. The main character, Cloud Strife, is a mercenary. He is hired by a rebel group, AVALANCHE , to destroy Shinra's Mako reactors in an attempt to slow down the planet's decay. Fellow Avalanche members Tifa Lockhart and Barret Wallace join Cloud even after his quest takes his focus away from Shinra. Along the way, Cloud and his group discover that Mako comes from the life energy of the planet, called the Lifestream. When the planet is injured, the energy from the Lifestream focuses on that injury to heal the planet. To make things even more troubling, Sephiroth, Cloud's former partner and the most powerful SOLDIER on the planet, plans to cause a planet-wide catastrophe by summoning Meteor to crash into the earth so he can draw all the Mako energy released to himself and gain god-like power.
Final Fantasy VII introduced an updated version of the combat system from previous Final Fantasy titles. It used 3-dimensional graphics to bring new life to the turn-based combat system of 8 and 16-bit Role Playing Games. Utilizing the Active Time Battle system (ATB) introduced in Final Fantasy IV, players must make their decisions quickly in battle, as enemies will attack whether or not the player acts. The player may choose two characters to accompany the main character, Cloud, in battle.
Final Fantasy VII introduced the Materia system. Players collect magical orbs of pure Mako energy that contain magic. They would level up along with the characters, getting stronger, introducing better and more advanced moves and eventually even spawning another orb of the same name. Players attach Materia to the available slots on the two types of equipment (Weapons/Accessory) any of the characters have on at the time. Depending on the types of slots (single/combined) players could create some powerful combinations of magic characters can use to devastate the battlefield.
For example, a combined Materia slot could have the magic "Bolt" in one side and "All" on the other, creating a magic attack that would strike all the enemies on the screen at once with electricity. Some of the more powerful Materia in the game required many hours of searching or side-questing. These were usually worth seeking because they allowed players to perform some of the more powerful moves in the game. Special weapons like Apocalypse, Scimitar and accessories also had the ability to gain double, or even triple AP, allowing the player to level Materia more quickly. Many of the more powerful types of Materia would summon creatures to attack enemies.
In general, purple Materia enhance the character's Status; blue Materia are effective when used paired with other Materia in linked slots. and yellow Materia increase the number of commands that can be used.
|Interdependent (purple)||Support (blue)||Command (yellow)|
|Long Range||Added Effect||Enemy Skill|
|Enemy Lure||MP Absorb||Manipulate|
|Speed Plus||Added Cut||Deathblow|
|MP Plus||MP Turbo||Morph|
|HP Plus||Steal as Well||Double Cut|
|Luck Plus||Magic Counter||Master Command|
|Magic Plus||Final Attack||Slash-All|
|Gil Plus||Quadra Magic||Mime|
|HP <--> MP|
Cloud Strife , 21, lives the life of a mercenary for hire. Due to his experience as an ex-member of SOLDIER, a group of elite fighters affiliated with Shinra, his fighting skills are in high demand. The game opens soon after Cloud has joined a rebel group called AVALANCHE. With Cloud's help, AVALANCHE has plotted an attack on a Mako Reactor situated within the confines of Midgar.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Cross Slash||Climhazzard||Finishing Touch|
Barret Wallace, 35, is the leader of the rebel group AVALANCHE. The sole purpose of the group is to stop Shinra's Mako Reactors from sucking up Mako. Their quest is to save the planet, but because of his determination to dismantle Shinra he is portrayed to be abandoning his daughter Marlene. His motives are unclear, but it is believed that he holds Shinra responsible for the death of his wife.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Big Shot||Grenade Bomb||Satellite Beam||Catasrophe|
Tifa is a 20 year old fighter. Tifa and Cloud were friends during their childhoods but eventually separated when Cloud had dreams of joining Shinra's elite, SOLDIER. When Tifa's parents died she had to leave her hometown Nibelheim, and later headed to Midgar. The first thing she did when reaching Midgar was open a bar called 7th Heaven. It was in Midgar that she met Barrett and ultimately joined the rebel group AVALANCHE. When she reunites with Cloud, she persuades him to join AVALANCHE and makes sure to keep an eye on him during their first mission attacking the Mako Reactor.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Beat Rush||Waterkick||Dolphin Blow||Final Heaven|
Aeris Gainsborough ("Aerith" in Japan) is 22 years old and lived in Midgar selling flowers in the slums below the Mako Reactor that was AVALACHE's first mission target. Aeris sells Cloud flowers early in the game and a chance encounter brings them back together later on. Her background is very mysterious and is apparently intertwined with Shinra as she was pursued by them most of her life. As the mystery of her past unwinds, Aeris must fight against those pursuing her and, most importantly, destroy what she holds most dear.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Healing Wind||Breath of the Earth||Planet Protector||Great Gospel|
|Seal Wind||Fury Brand||Pulse of Life|
Red XIII, 48, may seem like a wild animal with his fiery red fur and his bestial form. Despite this, he has a very high intellect; well above that of most humans. Red XIII's origins are unclear but when the party first encounters him at Shinra HQ he is being held captive as a test subject by Professor Hojo, a Shinra scientist.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Sled Fang||Blood Fang||Howling Moon||Cosmo Memory|
|Lunatic High||Stardust Ray||Earth Rave|
Cait Sith is first encountered during the party's visit to the Golden Saucer where he tries to impress Cloud and the others using his fortune telling abilities. He joins the party with great enthusiasm. It is unclear what his origins and motives are but he seems happy enough trying to make his fortune as a traveling soothsayer.
Cid Highwind, 32, is first encountered during the party's journey to Rocket Town. Cid is an expert pilot who dreams to be the first man in space. His dream was in reach but he was grounded due to a slight obstacle, aborting the launch in order to save one of his crew members. He now spends his days trying to repair the damaged space shuttle that was his ticket to fulfilling his dreams. He hopes Shinra (who funded the original project) will one day reinstate the space program giving him another chance to reach the stars.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Boost Jump||Hyper Jump||Dragon Dive||Highwind|
Yuffie Kisaragi (optional character) is 16 years old and is a ninja who spends most days on the hunt for Materia. Her preferred method includes preying on helpless travelers and either stealing or tricking them into giving her Materia. This changes when she meets Cloud and friends who are very far away from being helpless. Having clearly met her match, she decides to join AVALANCHE. One thing is certain, she will either be a valuable asset to the team or a major pain in the neck.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Greased Lightning||Landscape||Gauntlet||All Creation|
|Clear Tranquil||Bloodfest||Doom of the Living|
Vincent Valentine (optional character) is a dark and disturbed individual who has a gloomy past which he prefers to keep to himself. While he may seem like an evil person at first glance, he is actually a kind soul deep down. Vincent's pain, like almost everyone Cloud meets, is all thanks to Shinra who used him as an experiment.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Galian Beast||Death Gigas||Hellmasker||Chaos|
Sephiroth is the antagonist in Final Fantasy VII and is widely considered to be one of the best villains in gaming. He was revered as the best that SOLDIER had to offer and was hailed as a hero for his service to Shinra. Sephiroth fell from grace when he discovered his true origins and the circumstances surrounding the way he was actually 'made'. While he was in the womb of Lucrecia (his mother) he was injected with Jenova cells - Jenova being an alien life form that is often mistaken as a member of the Cetra, or the first humans to have lived on the planet. When Sephiroth found out he was a creation of Shinra, he lost his mind. He assumed himself to be an Ancient as Jenova was his actual mother. With this in mind he plotted a scheme to become god and exact his revenge on mankind. He planned to do this by calling Meteor (the black Materia) to destroy the planet. When Meteor hits the planet the Lifestream will expel an incredible amount of energy to heal the shattered planet. Sephiroth's goal is to become one with the life energy, thus becoming a god. It is up to Cloud and his friends to stop this from happening.
Jenova is a alien life form that is considered 'Mother' by Sephiroth, the main antagnosist in Final Fantasy VII. Two thousand years before the games main events Jenova crash landed on the planet on a meteor. On the planet the Cetra, i.e. the ancients, were inhabiting at the time, Jenova used its abilities to trick the Cetra, killing them off one by one. In a desperate struggle, the remaining Cetra used all their power and locked away the life form in the Northern Crater (which was created when Jenova landed there in the first place). In the present day Jenova was rediscovered by Professor Gast and mistook as a Cetra. He used the Jenova life form in a project called 'The Jenova Project' where Jenova Cells were infused inside Lucrecia's womb. This is when Sephiroth was born. Jenova was stored at the Shinra Headquarters at the start of the game, and from there Sephiroth dragged it away and kept the head with him.
Rufus Shinra was 25 years old at the start of Final Fantasy VII. He is the son of President Shinra. When President Shinra was killed by Sephiroth at the Shinra Headquarters, Rufus Shinra took his place as the heir of the Shinra empire. He makes many appearances in the game, he wants to find the Promised Land, which Sephiroth also wants to find. This means he has interest in what Sephiroth is doing, and also Cloud and friends also.
Professor Hojo is a scientist who works for Shinra, where he uses test subjects for his sick experiements. Examples of test subjects he has used are Red XIII, Vincent Valentine and even his son, Sephiroth. Professor Hojo and Lucrecia were dating during their time in Shinra, and had a baby, called Sephiroth. He used his own unborn son as an experiment, using Jenova Cells to infuse them directly into Lucrecia's womb. His goal was to see if his own would become a Cetra, which could lead him to the Promised Land.
Scarlet is the Head of Weapons Development for Shinra. She is most noted for her strange laugh 'Kya ha ha' which is very similar to colleges Heidegger. They both work closely with each other, both having a similar goal, but Scarlet thinking him being a total idiot.
Heidegger is Head of Public Safety for Shinra. He is most noted for his strange laugh, similar to Scarlet's one 'Gya ha ha'. He works closely with Rufus Shinra and acts like a lap dog for him. He often slaps people Rufus Shinra hates, and also abuses his power as a Shinra Executive. He works very closely with Scarlet, even though she thinks he's a total idiot.
Reeve is aged 35 during the events of Final Fantasy VII. He is Head of Urban Development for Shinra. He actually controls the the robotic Cait Sith, which is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII. While his intentions for joining Cloud and friends was a bad one. He soon gets emotionally attached to the party, and fights alongside them, instead of against them.
Palmer is head of the Space Program for Shinra. This program was a utter failure, when Cid Highwind had to stop the launch to save a friend of his from dying. He is first encountered during a meeting that was held at Shinra Headquarters, which was being eavesdropped on by Cloud. He makes numerous appearances in Final Fantasy VII, notably at Rocket Town where he was a major boss battle wielding a Mako gun and also tries to steal to Tiny Bronco from Cloud and friends.
Tseng is the leader of the Turks, a group of individuals who carry out horrible acts like theft and murder. Tseng and Aerith Gainsborough have a past, they have known each other since they were kids. Since one of the Turks' missions is to capture Aerith since she is the last remaining Ancient, he is reluctant in bringing her in. He feels she is special since her powers of the Cetra could be the planet's savior. He also has feelings for Aerith but never gets round to expressing them.
Reno is a part of the Turks. He works closely with Rude who act as a double team. He is known for being reckless and clumsy. He uses a electro magnetic rod in battle and is often seen gossiping. He is first encountered by Cloud at the Church where he comes to kidnap Aerith.
Rude is a part of the turks and is the second part of the Turk double team, the other being Reno. Rude is more of the tactician compared to Reno, he is a strong physical fighter, much like Tifa. He has feelings for Tifa during the game which he never expresses.
Elena is a part of the Turks. She is a newbie in the Turks, since the Turks at the time were under staffed so she was hired, because of this is is very inexperienced. She has a crush on Tseng.
Bugenhagen is aged 129 in Final Fantasy VII. He is Cosmo Canyon's village elder and is very knowledgeable. He is known as 'Granpa' by Red XIII. Obviously not by blood, but he did care for Red XIII was a child. He has a tendency to say 'Ho ho hoo' when something interests him.
Dio is the owner of the Gold Saucer (a type of theme park in Final Fantasy VII). He is first encountered at the Gold Saucer where he calls Cloud 'Boy' each time they meet each other. Dio provides the party a buggy which is used to travel across the sandy plains. The buggy was a form of apology for throwing the party into Corel Prison under false pretenses. Dio stands for God in Italian, which is quite fitting since he is the owner of the Gold Saucer.
Biggs is a part of AVALANCHE, a rebel group who is trying to save the planet from Shinra by taking down the Mako Reactors. First seen at the start of the game when they take down Mako Reactor No.1.
Wedge is a part of AVALANCHE, a rebel group who is trying to save the planet from Shinra by taking down the Mako Reactors. First seen at the start of the game when they take down Mako Reactor No.1.
Jessie is a part of AVALANCHE, a rebel group who is trying to save the planet from Shinra by taking down the Mako Reactors. First seen at the start of the game when they take down Mako Reactor No.1.
Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi noted that the game's central theme of "life" dates back to when his mother passed away while he was working on Final Fantasy III, after which he always wanted to explore the theme of "life" in a "mathematical and logical way" maybe "to overcome the mental shock" but it was not until Final Fantasy VII that he explored the theme of "life" for the first time in the series.
Soon after the release of FFVI, Square started pre-production on FFVII in 1994. The game was originally planned as a 2D game on the SNES, that was not the only major change to how the game eventually turned out. The Creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi originally intended for the game to take place in present day New York City. Development on the game was stalled, due to priority going over to the Chrono Trigger project that was being developed at the same time.
Development recommenced later on in 1995. The original script saw a major overview, with a detective story theme being cast aside and co-director, Yoshinori Kitase, pushed for the game to go 3D for concerns that the series would be left behind back in the 2D era. Also, it was decided to make the game for Nintendo’s next console, the N64. Though due to FFVII’s ambitious design, Square expressed concerns to Nintendo over their decision to use cartridges instead of a new format capable of storing much more information, called CD-ROM’s, on their new console. This dispute continued and led to Square announcing on the 12 of January 1996, that it would be dropping relations with Nintendo and developing FFVII on Sony’s debut console, the Playstation. A reported $45,000,000 was spent over the extent of the games development.
Development required the efforts of approximately 120 artists and programmers, using PowerAnimator and Softimage 3D software. This was the largest game development team at the time, and included Japanese CG artists working alongside Hollywood CG visual effects artists, such as Ron Sabatino (see Computer and Video Games, issue 174, May 1996, pages 106-111), former British ILM artist Paul Ashdown who worked on Star Wars and Jurassic Park, and artists from Digital Domain who worked on Terminator 2 and True Lies (see here). Final Fantasy VII was the most expensive video game of its time, with a production budget of around US$45 million, equivalent to $66 million in 2015.
An early tech demo featuring Final Fantasy VI characters was unveiled in August 1995 at the SIGGRAPH show, where many incorrectly assumed it to be for the Nintendo 64. Sakaguchi stated that they were also considering the Sega Saturn and personal computer as possible platforms for the game, before eventually deciding on the PlayStation as "the right machine" for the title. In early 1996, when Final Fantasy VII was around 15% complete, Square unveiled screenshots of the game, including the characters Cloud, Barrett, Aerith and Red XIII (see Computer and Video Games, issue 174, May 1996, pages 106-111).
The game's marketing budget amounted to $100 million, equivalent to $147 million in 2015.
Final Fantasy VII was a huge commercial success. In Japan, the game moved 2.3 million units in three days. The game's demand in Japan exceeded that of the PlayStation's Japanese user base at the time.
In the game's debut weekend in North America, it sold 330,000 copies and grossed $16.5 million (equivalent to $24 million in 2015), setting an industry record and earning more than the top-grossing film G.I. Jane during Labor Day weekend. The game sold a million copies in the US in its first four months.
Final Fantasy VII is the highest selling Final Fantasy game with sales reaching over 9.8 million as of December 2005, and over 10 million by 2010. The game's success made it a killer app for the PlayStation.
Upon release, the game received widespread critical acclaim. In North America, GameFan called it "quite possibly the greatest game ever made," a quote which featured prominently on the back cover of the game's jewel case. Electronic Gaming Monthly's panel of four reviewers gave the game scores of 9.5 out of 10 each, adding up to 38 out of 40 overall (see Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1998 Video Game Buyer's Guide, page 72). GamePro praised the "massive world," experimentation "with spells and weapons, encounters with weird creatures," and "soap opera-ish story line", concluding it has "classic" written "all over it." In Japan, Famitsu's panel of four reviewers gave it scores of 9, 10, 9 and 10 out of 10, adding up to 38 out of 40 overall, making it their highest-rated game of the year, their highest-rated Final Fantasy game at the time, and one of their eleven highest-rated games up until 1997.
Following its European release, Edge noted, "The ‘interactive movie’ has long been a dirty term to anyone who values a playable videogame, but FFVII succeeds in coming closer than any title yet," with the "highly complex, melodramatic story and excellently orchestrated chip music" combining "to make players feel real empathy with the characters," a "task usually shied away from by the action/comedy-orientated western graphic adventures." Paul Davies of Computer and Video Games magazine described it as "truly unique" and "an incredible new era of interactive entertainment" that could "revolutionize" belief of "what a video game can achieve", with arguably "some of the best moments in entertainment history", including "excitement" and "heart-rendering" emotional scenes, concluding that, with a "thrilling" storyline "brought to life with ingenious" gameplay, the "future of PlayStation is assured by this key to the future of games." Alex C of Computer and Video Games stated that the characters "are well developed," comparing their "ups and downs" to a film, and that the "structure of the story is such that, just when you think you've seen it all, something even more awesome comes along to totally knock your socks off."
Final Fantasy VII won many Game of the Year awards for 1997. It won an Origins Award in the "Best Roleplaying Computer Game of 1997" category. At the second CESA Awards (now Japan Game Awards), it won the "Grand Prize" and the "Best Scenario" and "Best Sound" awards. At the first Japan Media Arts Festival, it won the "Excellence Prize" in the "Digital Art (Interactive Art)" division.
It was also awarded the Readers' Choice awards for "All Systems Game of the Year", "PlayStation Game of the Year", "Role-Playing Game of the Year", "Best Graphics of the Year" and "Best Music of the Year" by Electronic Gaming Monthly (issue 104, March 1998, pages 100-102), as well as their Editors' Choice awards for "Role-Playing Game of the Year", "Best Graphics" (issue 104, March 1998, pages 86-96), "Hottest Video Game Babe" (for Tifa Lockheart), "Most Hype for a Game", "Best Ending", and "Best Print Ad" (1998 Video Game Buyer's Guide, pages 16-36), in addition to Readers' Choice nominations for "Most Original Game of the Year" and "Best Sound of the Year", and Editors' Choice nominations for "All Systems Game of the Year" and "PlayStation Game of the Year".
Since 1997, it has been chosen by many game magazines and other publications as one of the best video games ever made. Most recently, in 2012, Time named it one of the "All-TIME 100 Video Games".
In 2013, GamePro included Final Fantasy VII in its "20 most innovative games ever made" list. They stated described it as "a classic that touched an entire genre of gaming" and "an entire generation of gamers." They also stated that its "status as an early PlayStation One exclusive gave Sony the edge it needed to compete in and eventually dominate the video game industry."
Final Fantasy VII has also often placed at or near the top of many reader polls of all-time best games. Most recently, in 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment conducted a poll with over 10,000 Japanese fans, where Final Fantasy VII was voted the second favorite PlayStation game of all time (behind Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride), the second best game that impressed "more than a movie or a novel" (behind Final Fantasy X), and the most wanted remake.
Availability on the PlayStation Network
On April 10th 2009, Final Fantasy 7 was released onto the Japanese PSN Store for 1,500 Yen. On June 3rd 2009, Final Fantasy 7 was released for the European and American PSN stores for €9.99 and $9.99 respectively. This announcement was made days before during Sony's press conference of E3 2009. June 4th Marked the release of FF7 on the UK PSN store for the price of £7.99.
PC Releases and Requirements
Final Fantasy VII was published for Windows 95 by Eidos not long after the original Playstation release, in June of 1998, coming on multiple CDs like its console counterpart did. This version was largely intact in comparison to the console release, with a few differences:
- Polygonal graphics were smoother, employing texture filtering and taking advantage of the PC's higher resolution, if you had a 3D accelerator
- Pre-rendered graphics appeared grainier due to the low resolution of the renders juxtaposed with higher native resolution of computer monitors
- Soundtrack was output in MIDI format; quality of orchestration was thus dependent on the PC's sound card (a hack was later made available to import the Playstation sound file library such that the music was rendered to sound exactly how it did on consoles)
- Localization was cleaned up, removing the poor grammar, missing words, and misspellings of the original console release
- Game's aesthetics were moddable, thanks to homebrew hacks, such that different character models, combat areas and sound themes could be applied providing for a more modern look and feel
Square Enix then re-released this PC version in August of 2012, exclusively from its online store as a digital download. The differences between console version and initial PC release apply with this re-release as well; in other words, backgrounds are still low-res and music is still MIDI. With this re-release, the following further changes apply:
- 36 achievements are integrated into the game
- Character booster gives players the option to increase their character stats and money without restriction should they desire to just play through the plot (i.e. cheat through the game)
- Support for cloud saves
- The game is no longer moddable natively and must undergo a total conversion process to the "old" version of the game in order to be modded (doing this removes the achievements, character booster, and cloud saves)
Original Windows requirements (1998)
- Windows 95 with DirectX 5.1 installed;
- Pentium 166 (without 3D accelerator card), Pentium 133 (with 3D accelerator card);
- 260MB Hard drive space (standard install), 460MB (maximum install);
- 32MB RAM;
- 100% DirectX 5.1 compatible SVGA video card;
- 100% Windows 95 compatible 4x CD-ROM drive;
- 100% DirectX 5.1 compatible sound card configured to playback digital and MIDI audio.
Re-release Windows Requirements (2012)
- Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 (32/64-bit)
- At least 2GHz CPU
- At least 1GB RAM
- DirectX 9-compatible GPU
An iOS port of Final Fantasy VII was released on August 20, 2015. It requires an iPhone 5S, iPad 3, or iPad Mini 2 running at least iOS 8.0 with 4GB of free space. Aside from control optimisation for touch devices, the iOS release also includes a maximum stats setting and the ability to disable all non-scripted combat encounters. Using these two features together allows players to experience the story without level grinding and frequent encounters.
Final Fantasy VII is a popular game in the series, and due to this rumours of a remake to the next generation consoles was imminent. In 2005 at the Sony E3 Press Conference, Square-Enix showed of a tech demo showing the opening intro sequence of the game on the PS3. Due to this a lot of buzz was being created around the subject, and individuals were getting excited at the notion of a remake.
Soon after Square-Enix made an official statement clearly stating that there are no plans for a remake to hit the stores any time soon. There has been even more speculation from the game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII that was released late 2007, which depicted the characters Zack and Cloud in CG scenes towards the end of the game. To add to this, during the end credits it stated 'To be continued in FINAL FANTASY VII'.
The remake was confirmed at the 2015 Square-Enix E3 press conference. It's going to be released on Xbox One and PS4.
Due to the popularity of the original Final Fantasy VII game released in 1997, Square Enix have released other forms of media based of the world the original game was set in, using the same characters and places as reference points. First of which is the movie Advent Children released in 2006, which was a CGI film based years after the events of the original game. Next was the game Dirge of Cerberus released in 2006 on the Playstation 2, which describes the story of optional character Vincent Valentine. It takes place before Advent Children and describes his relationship with Lucrecia Crescent (Sephiroth's mother) in detail. Next was the game Crisis Core released in 2007 for the Playstation Portable. It takes place before the original Final Fantasy VII, with the main protagonist being Zack Fair. Zack had a intimate reltaionship with Aerith Gainsborough and was best friends with Cloud. It shows the story of his struggle and also how Cloud ended up in Midgar for the start of Final Fantasy VII. Relating to the game Crisis Core, there also was a OVA (original video animation) of the stories of Zack and Cloud, and how they managed to end up in Midgar. It is a 25 minute video which basically shows the ending the Crisis Core in anime form. The ending for Crisis Core was different from the Last Order OVA which was released first.