Note: The following article contains significant spoilers for the ending of Final Fantasy VII Remake
According to leaked footage, Final Fantasy VII Remake’s ending significantly changes the game’s established canon, making the game more of a ‘director’s cut’ rather than a straight remake of the classic PlayStation RPG.
Due to possible shipping and distribution issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Square Enix recently announced that Final Fantasy VII Remake would be released several days ahead of its April 10th street date in both Europe and Australia:
An important message from the #FinalFantasy VII Remake development team. #FF7R pic.twitter.com/UwBMNaIaXX
— FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE (@finalfantasyvii) March 30, 2020
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As a result of this early release, some fans have already taken to livestreaming, recording, and uploading footage of their game to various media platforms, including the game’s ending, which appears to significantly retcon established Final Fantasy VII canon in a way that will have yet-to-be-seen ramifications for the overall plot.
The first part of the first disc in the Final Fantasy VII Remake series ends with the iconic motorcycle chase on Midgar Highway, as the party escapes from Shinra HQ and flees from their soldiers. In the original version of the game, this chase ends with a boss fight against the Motorball.
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In the Remake, the team instead encounter Sephiroth sporting his One-Winged Angel appearance from Kingdom Hearts, whom many speculate may himself be an alternate dimensional counterpart to the game’s version of Sephiroth, who entices them into a different dimension and engages Cloud in a one-on-one fight:
Eventually, the rest of the team find their way back to Cloud amidst the storm of debris and Cloud rushes in to deliver a heavy blow to Sephiroth. Suddenly, before the blow lands, Sephiroth transports himself and Cloud to “the edge of creation,” where he proceeds to leave Cloud with a cryptic warning towards the future:
“Careful now. That which lies ahead…does not yet exist. Our world will become a part of it…one day. But I will not end. Nor will I have you end.”
“The edge of creation. Cloud, lend me your strength. Let us defy destiny, together.”
“Seven seconds ‘till the end. Time enough for you, perhaps. But what will you do with it? Let’s see”
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Among a montage of end scenes, including Rufus taking over as Shinra President and Marlene safe with Aeris’ mother, Elmyra, the game returns to the final moments in the life of Zack Fair, as seen in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
Yet, in another significant change, Zack is no longer shown to be gunned down by a Shinra soldier while fighting for his life. Instead, the journey taken to the alternate dimension by Cloud and the team has had an unknown effect in altering the past, as Zack now appears to have survived his final battle and helped an injured Cloud walk away from the battlefield.
These changes, very reminiscent of the sometimes confusing plot threads featuring multiple versions of characters and vague prophecies seen in Kingdom Hearts, were not received well by fans, with many stating that the ending was not only ‘awful,’ but also that these changes were so significant that the game could no longer be considered a ‘remake’ of the original game:
Yep I am done. With this remake they just said fuck you to crisis core canon ending. I am pissed. Are you really gonna kill any emotional impact that scene had in crisis core. Go home square you drunk.
— Mikey Ray Cochran (@Mikey5Cochran) April 3, 2020
Despite some shortcomings, I was still looking forward to #FinalFantasy7remake but now that the rumors from a few months ago are proven true, im seriously upset at square-enix for lying to us saying it was a remake, rather than the truth. Its a Sequel that takes place after #FF7
— Blair Pendragon (@BlairPendragon) April 3, 2020
You might be mad at me for spoiling it, but i feel the need to warn those who intended to purchase the game, thinking its was a remake. (And those who never played the OG might think ff7 actually had time travel in its original story. it also spoils the ending of disc1,2, and 3)
— Blair Pendragon (@BlairPendragon) April 3, 2020
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Reminder that the original FF7 is now canonically the bad ending and that whenever you try to replay it you don’t accomplish anything and actually lose in the end.
BRAVO NOMURA instead of making a love letter to it you managed to retroactively shit all over the original game. pic.twitter.com/5SGBgtR9JF
— Mim (@mimeosome) April 4, 2020
People have a false perception of why the #FF7Remake and Nomora are getting panned by fans. Half is still the “Its not a full game” crowd, but in all honesty those hating it today are those who know the ending. If you played the original FF7, this ending is gonna piss you off bad
— Phil Wright (@PhilD_Wright) April 6, 2020
North American players can experience the ending for themselves and draw their personal conclusions regarding the series’ new direction when Final Fantasy VII Remake releases on April 10th.