Final Fantasy VII was a game of firsts.
It was the first Final Fantasy that launched on PlayStation. It was the first Final Fantasy to be made in 3D. It was the first to include CG movie cutscenes that enabled the team to reach a truly global audience and deliver a new type of gaming experience.
It is, it’s fair to say, a very special game for both the fans and the team at Square Enix. I worked as director of the game and I’m delighted that a whole new generation can experience it on PS Now.
Final Fantasy VII was first made in 1997, but its content has a timeless appeal that’s relevant in any era. I think that’s the reason that the game still has so many fans today – and the fact that the series is continuing with titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is all thanks to their support.
The launch of the original game on PS Now has made me reflect on its development, and the PlayStation team asked me to share some of those recollections with you all.
The origins of Final Fantasy VII
During the development of Final Fantasy VII, the games industry was starting to shift from 2D to 3D, mainly focused around titles developed in Europe and North America. We wanted to produce a title that would take advantage of this new dimension to bring the characters and story to life more vividly than ever before in the series.
We were also becoming interested in 3D CG. We had a desire to make the Final Fantasy series something that would stand up during the coming decades.
We were able to achieve both of these ambitions thanks to a new player on the console market: the PlayStation system.
Avalanche members Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie
Working on PlayStation
Working on PlayStation for the first time gave us opportunities we hadn’t previously considered. One of the biggest draws was the massive (at the time at least!) capacity of CD ROMs.
We packed Final Fantasy VII with a large volume of movie cutscenes, which enhanced the storytelling and allowed us to present a world in more detail than any previous game. The decision to include those movie scenes was only possible because of the memory that CD ROMs offered to us.
On the other hand, working with the new technology gave us challenges. CD ROM games generally required long load times. We worked extremely hard and had to really innovate to make sure that the loading times did not feel too long when transitioning in and out of battles and movie scenes.