Red XIII still holds his place of honor as the mainline Final Fantasy series' only playable big cat/wolf creature—hey, Square's had two decades to add another and it hasn't—but he's not supposed to be playable in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Through tinkering with a save editor, though, players can take control of Red XIII at least for a little while.
As discovered by SP1st, using a new Final Fantasy 7 Remake-compatible version of a Kingdom Hearts save editor allows players to add Red XIII into their party as a fully playable character. SP1st captured some footage of Red XIII gameplay, and at a glance it'd be hard to tell this was accomplished with an early mod at all. Red XIII's animations and attacks seem to work just fine.
If you try to attempt this yourself, don't go into it expecting you'll be able to play a large chunk of the game as Red XIII, as Final Fantasy 7 Remake's save system can reset your party roster after cutscenes or when members leave. An edited save letting you become the Tiger King of Midgar won't last much longer than Red XIII's NPC guest role.
Back in early March, Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi told our sister site VG247 that Red XIII wouldn't be playable in the first installment of Final Fantasy 7 Remake because he joins the party late in the story. "[W]e thought okay, if we're gonna have him as a full character and try and get the player to enjoy his character development arc and growth as a character through that, it's not really enough time to do that," Hamaguchi said.
Of course, with Final Fantasy 7 Remake only taking the original's storyline up to the end of the Midgar section, there are several other playable FF7 characters we've yet to even see. There's a good chance Red XIII will be officially playable in the Remake's next chunk, and it's hard to imagine Square deciding to lock away a fan favorite like Vincent as an NPC guest once he's introduced.
For more on Final Fantasy 7 Remake and what future installments could have in store, don't miss USgamer's review of the game and our predictions on what might be coming in Part 2. Our guides section also has articles that can help you navigate some of Midgar's trickiest challenges and choices.