Tetsuya Nomura Talks Character Design, Battle Systems & Midgar For Final Fantasy VII Remake

This game is shaping up to be something mako-nificient.

03.06.20 - 1:59 PM

With the timely release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake demo via the PlayStation Store, and legions of fans, old and new, getting a small taste of what the game entails, information about the title, by way of Square Enix, is steadily increasing. Tetsuya Nomura, co-director of the first part of Final Fantasy VII Remake, spoke at length to Famitsu, translated by DualShockers, detailing the elements of character design that the team focused on, the battle system present within Final Fantasy, as well as the length and breadth of content within Midgar, the game's setting, itself.

Cloud from Final Fantasy VII Remake

Nomura revealed that the first character redesigned for Final Fantasy VII Remake was none other than Barret, eco-terrorist and doting father. A consistent theme attributed to the characters' redesigns in the Remake belies in a fusion of realism and the fantastic attributed to them. Nomura stated that "The amount of realism added to Barret's design compared to his original design served as a guideline on how much realism to add when recreating the other characters' designs.". This included Red XIII, a design Nomura identified as already "...surprisingly realistic...", the recreation of the genetic experiment enhancing only what was already there, the major change to him in his weapon, from being a hair comb previously into his collar, which Nomura stated was "...more visible."

Consistent antagonists for the length of Final Fantasy VII, the Turks have also been given a visual upgrade. Nomura revealed that the three present within the first part of Final Fantasy VII Remake have been redesigned by artist Roberto Ferrari, further stating that "...since they all wear simple suits, we added more details to better express their personalities.".

Barret's visual redesign within Final Fantasy VII Remake

Nomura went on to speak about the graphical fidelity of Final Fantasy VII Remake, implying a marriage of the original title's sometimes odd aesthetic and the graphical fidelity of the modern era, stating that "Many iconic elements of the original were in the deformed style, so the Remake uses "realisticness in the range of the original's deformed style".

Nomura also explained that Final Fantasy VII Remake's battle system went through several design iterations, in the pursuit of fusing ATB (Active Time Battle) and real-time systems into something cohesive and fun to play. Praising his team he stated that he "...can't thank enough the staff who persevered and shaped the battle system into what it is now, overcoming this challenge and managing to find the right balance.". The team itself prioritized the idea of immersion, with Nomura advising that they "...heavily focused on the game's atmosphere and immersion during battles. Maybe we overdid it when it comes to dialogue during battles (laughs). It might be the game with the most voiced lines I've worked on. Overall, in over 20 years of game development, Final Fantasy VII Remake was probably the most grueling project I worked on (laughs)".


For those worried about the first chapter of Final Fantasy VII Remake being set in only Midgar, Nomura had calming words to say, stating that players shouldn't worry and that the Remake itself is "...a highly dense game, and it doesn't end after a few hours like the Midgar part in the original. There are many new events in the main story...". Nomura also stated that elements of the narrative and characters within Final Fantasy VII Remake, such as the members of Avalanche or the world of Midgar, would be further fleshed out during the course of the game, outlining an example where players would be able to have dinner with Jessie's parents.

The breadth of optional content seems to also be a constant thought in the forefront of the development team, with Nomura stating that "We made the sidequest content to be as big as the main story. At the beginning, the development team readied even more content, but we wouldn't have been able to do everything without cutting corners, so we prioritized quality.", as well as stating that players would be able to explore Midgar to an extensive level, using vehicles to transport the party around the city at various points within Final Fantasy VII Remake's playtime.

Optional content within Final Fantasy VII Remake

Lastly, Nomura had a last set of heartfelt words to players both new and old to the Final Fantasy VII universe at large, stating that "the Remake will be releasing soon, but it's not like it's overwriting the original FFVII. The original game is the source of everything, and thanks to it, we were able to make a new, unique experience. Fans of the original game will have a different, new experience compared to when they played the original. And I hope those who discover everything with the Remake will enjoy it too. This is the first part of the Remake, but it's still a full-fledged game, and you'll be satisfied after playing it. Once you try out the game, you'll definitely have a hard time putting it down. Please look forward to it."

It looks like a lot of forethought and love has gone into this remake from the development team heading Final Fantasy VII Remake, and I personally cannot wait to sink some hours into it once it releases early next month.

If you're curious about the impressive aesthetic of Final Fantasy VII Remake itself, check out our updated gallery, replete with shots of characters, battle, and systems galore.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to launch on April 10th on PlayStation 4 worldwide.

Stay tuned to RPGFan for all news Final Fantasy and RPG!

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