As you may have heard by now, Square Enix is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Final Fantasy, and the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII specifically. A special anniversary celebration event has been under way in Japan, and we in the West have been sitting patiently, trying not to get our hopes too high. We have been waiting for any sliver of new information or footage pertaining to the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and while we didn't get any bombshell announcements or new trailers, we did get this new key visual:
Here we have a little bit of old and a little bit of new. Cloud is standing before the Shinra headquarters in Midgar, which is his traditional place in the older Final Fantasy VII promotional pictures. There are some key differences, however. Cloud now has his back turned to the Shinra building instead of facing it like he used to. We also have a one-winged Sephiroth in the background, looming over the entire scene. Compare this to the classic promotional image here:
The changes are mostly welcome. Midgar looks incredible in its new rendering, bringing the semi-futuristic / lifestream-punk aesthetic to life with a much grittier feel. Cloud also looks much better than he has in past trailers and renders. He actually has a little muscle on him; he actually looks like he could have been a member of SOLDIER. The beefier arms and a more modest Buster Sword make for a more believable and less "anime" character overall.
Not everyone is happy to see the return of the one-winged Sephiroth. In the original Final Fantasy VII we never saw Sephiroth with his angelic wing until a certain, specific point in the game. It's a very specific form, and not how we usually think of the character.
When Sephiroth appears in his normal mortal state (if you can call it that), he never has an angel's wing. This is definitely taking a page out of the Advent Children playbook, and not everyone is pleased to see it. I doubt very much that this is how he'll appear in the game, though. Expect the traditional Sephiroth in his traditional coat and spaulders.
So what do you think? Final Fantasy VII Remake is looking pretty slick, huh? We can't wait to play it when it comes out on PS6 in 2024. If you missed it, Square Enix also released a brand new image for Kingdom Hearts III which you can see here (it contains some FF VII Easter eggs). We also learned the release date for Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. More on that here.