Square Enix is undertaking one of its most requested projects with the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII. Much of the final, episodic project is still up in the air, but Square Enix has previously said that it hopes to expand on certain areas of game. In an interview with GameInformer, Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase explained that the team is hoping to incorporate characters and settings from spinoff projects.
"It's not to say that all or some of the characters from the spin-offs or other Compilation works will appear in the remake, but if there are any areas where we can use the settings or the characters, we do want to try to incorporate it in there, so it gives off that sense of nuance and those other stories existing," said Kitase.
"There may be instances where the characters appear themselves, or are just referenced in dialogue," he added. "But, of course, it would be difficult to follow up on everything that happened in this universe. So, maybe some of the characters who weren't as famous won't appear or be mentioned. But in terms of the characters and instances that remain in the memories of our fans, we do want to try our best to integrate that in some fashion in the world."
One contentious change in the last trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake was the updated battle system, which looked to be more in line with current FF games than the turn-based original. Kitase has explained that Square Enix ultimately decided that the combat needed to be revisited.
"The starting point was – and our executive producer [Shinji] Hashimoto-san has mentioned this – it would even be okay if we just upped the graphics to the quality of Advent Children. But, in terms of game styles and battle systems, it's been 20 years since the original, and a lot has changed. Trends have changed, and I believed that we needed to revisit and rethink that aspect for the remake," he said, pointing to Dissidia as an example. "It won't be as action-focused as Dissidia, of course, but the the visuals and how the gameplay feels in essence will be drawn from that Dissidia-esque style."
"I'm sure there are areas that our fans want to see how we can change, and areas that they don't want changed. The opinions of our fans are probably split on a lot of those elements, so determining from a development standpoint where we'll be more true to the original versus where we change is something we hope to grasp through communicating with our fans. Also, while we want to understand their concerns, we also want to get them excited for the story and seeing how it can be revamped and refreshed."
Kitase did not outline how many episodes the full game would comprise or provide any information on a release date. He did say that each episode will be a "full-scale game", and said players should expect that each episode is on par with "the scale of one Final Fantasy XIII game."
The full interview can be found over at GameInformer.