The Peculiar Controversies That Have Emerged Around Final Fantasy 7 Remake's Versions of Cloud, Aerith, and Barret

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake hasn't offered much in the way of gameplay or storytelling yet, but it's sure dished up some drama.

Life is full of uncertainties and opportunities to second-guess yourself, but I am dead sure of one thing: I would not trade places with Final Fantasy 7 Remake director Tetsuya Nomura for all the gil in the world. If the veteran Square Enix staffer emerges from the Final Fantasy 7 remake project with a crown of noticeably thinned snow-white hair, I won't be surprised.

It's been nearly half a decade since the Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced, half-scrapped, and subsequently re-started with the aid of important new staff. Needless to say, people have formed opinions (including us here at USG) about the project, even though we've only seen bits and pieces via trailers and news bites. To date, the new teaser we saw earlier this month is our most complete look so far, and people already have big opinions about that scant minute of footage.

Long-face Aerith and Tifa's no-show

Tokyosaurus, a YouTube channel that keeps tabs on Japan's reaction to current events in pop culture, recently published a video about some Japanese fans' disdain for Aerith' new design in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. There appears to be a fixation on Aerith' face, which has been criticized for being "too long." Aerith' model in the Final Fantasy 7 sequel movie Advent Children and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 for the PSP looks has a comparatively smaller face and larger eyes. Irate fans believe Aerith looks cuter and younger with a smaller face.

There's also some question about why we haven't seen Tifa show up in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake's preview materials, even though we can glimpse her name in the new trailer's battle menu. Tokyosaurus speculates Square Enix might still be tweaking her appearance. I likewise believe that might be the case, plus it's a good way for Square Enix to build up hype for the game (it's doing the same with Final Fantasy 7's much-loved villain, Sephiroth: Notice the silver-haired hunk hasn't shown us his face yet). People like Aerith, but they're crazy for Tifa. There's an excellent chance we'll see her when we get our first in-depth look at the Final Fantasy 7 Remake during E3.

Barret wears his sunglasses at night

The small-face Aerith and Poochy-esque "Where's Tifa?" discourse is mostly contained in Japan, but the West has some grievances to air, too. Some observers believe one of Final Fantasy 7's few black characters, Barret, has been "whitewashed," i.e. his skin's been lightened. Since there's a history of black characters in media having their skin lightened in an ill-advised attempt to appeal to wider audiences, the concern about Barret's skin is valid. That said, Barret barely gets any screen time in the new teaser. When he does show up, he's usually backlit by fire, or by Midgar's weird, dirty lighting. It might be too early to criticize Square Enix for whitewashing the energetic AVALANCHE leader until we can get a good look at him in normal lighting.

We can certainly discuss Barret's Bono Raybans, though. Some people wonder why anyone needs sunglasses when they live in Midgar's perpetual dusk. I'm going to stand up for Square Enix's weird fashion choice here, though. Maybe Barret suffers from migraines and is very sensitive to even faint light. Maybe he wears them to subtly warn Midgar's punks not to flip a blade on the guy in shades, oh no. Finally, maybe Barret just wears the shades because he thinks they make him look cool. You know what? He's right. Consider me a fan.

Cloud is too skinny—wait, no, he's fine (or is he?)

When the first trailer for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake came out in 2015, people noted how skinny Cloud looks. He's a little more filled-out in the new trailer, as Nomura wants the quiet hero to look more like his original self. There's a good story-related reason for Cloud looking sickly in the first trailer, but it's not clear if the previous team working on the Remake was honoring Final Fantasy 7's canon, or if their modeling skills were just as "bleh" as the first Cloud's sallow face.

These are new criticisms to add to the growing pile building up around the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. People are generally stoked about the project, but they're also extremely divided over important things like its new action-based battle system and its episodic release schedule. That's all on top of the generally increased scrutiny brought on by multiple delays. Good luck, Mr. Nomura. Hope you've already invested in some strong antacids. Meanwhile, if you're interested in everything that's going on in this brave new Midgar, make sure you visit our Final Fantasy 7 Remake guide.

Tagged with Opinions, PlayStation 4, Role Playing Games, Rpgs, Square Enix.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

The E3 2019 Awards: The Best Games We Saw at This Year's Show

Here are all the best games we saw at E3 2019, including our Game of the Show!

Vote Here for the USG Best of E3 2019 Community Award!

What did you love most from E3 2019? We want to hear from you!

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Will Support Next-Gen Consoles, Square Enix CEO Confirms

So whether you're on the PS4 or PS5, you'll have Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Square Enix is Mulling Over a Subscription Service for Classic Games, if It Can Find Them First

Square Enix may have misplaced a few classic video game source codes.

Is Final Fantasy 7 Remake Coming to Xbox One?

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake is being planned for the PS4. Could it come to PC or Xbox One in the future?

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Voice Cast - Who Are the Actors in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake?

Here's our guide on the actors behind all your favorite characters in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Replaces Longtime Cloud Strife Voice Actor

Steve Burton will be stepping down from the role after 17 years.

More Opinions

Gooigi Adds a Gooey New Dimension to Luigi's Mansion 3's Puzzles

We get to know Luigi's Mansion 3's creepiest new character.

Animal Crossing: New Horizon's Customization Options Prove Representation Can Be Simple

Sometimes it just comes down to letting people play as themselves.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is the Better Marvel Game at E3 2019

The Switch delivers the Marvel experience I'm looking for.

All the Big Fan Theories That Have Already Emerged From the Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 Reveal

It looks like Ganondorf is making his Breath of the Wild debut, and that can only spell trouble.

More on PlayStation 4

Now That E3 2019 Is Done, What's Your Most Anticipated Game for the Rest of 2019?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | The smoke has cleared. Let's look ahead to what's next now.

"If We Are Going to Do [E3] as an Industry, Then We Need to Be Into It"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | The theme of this year's E3 2019? Subscriptions and streaming, with every major company either participating or at least weighing in on the coming wave of services.

Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Says E3 Just Isn't the Same Without Sony

Without the friendly rivalry, E3 suffered a little bit.

Cyberpunk 2077 Will Let You Create Transgender Characters

CD Projekt Red ultimately wants a robust character creator.

The E3 2019 Awards: The Best Games We Saw at This Year's Show

Here are all the best games we saw at E3 2019, including our Game of the Show!

More Role Playing Games Games

Cyberpunk 2077 Will Let You Create Transgender Characters

CD Projekt Red ultimately wants a robust character creator.

The E3 2019 Awards: The Best Games We Saw at This Year's Show

Here are all the best games we saw at E3 2019, including our Game of the Show!

Phantasy Star Online 2 Will "End Up on All Platforms," Phil Spencer Confirms

The popular MMORPG will eventually come to PlayStation and maybe even the Switch.