RPG enthusiasts will be as pleased as a well-fed Moogle to learn Square Enix has a new installment of its new Inside Final Fantasy video series. This time, we're treated to an in-depth look at the ideas and labor that went into creating one of the most beloved games in the entire series: Final Fantasy 7.
The video is nearly half an hour long and contains a surprising amount of new information (yes, even if you've read the excellent oral history of Final Fantasy 7). There are some great new anecdotes from the developers who worked on the game back when Square Enix was still SquareSoft. While a few of the stories are old review for hardcore fans (e.g. Final Fantasy 7 started as a story about a detective in New York City), it's interesting to learn how those early ideas gradually morphed into the final product. Midgar isn't New York City, but SquareSoft clearly never dropped its desire to make an RPG set in a dark, rainy city with skyscrapers.
One of my favorite new tidbits comes from Final Fantasy 7's art director, Yusuke Naora. Though people assume Midgar and the rest of Final Fantasy 7's "steampunk" elements are directly influenced by Blade Runner, Naora admits he's only seen the movie once, and he didn't think about it at all when finalizing Midgar's design. Instead, Naora was quite literally influenced by a pizza he was eating with a friend. He'd already submitted an idea for Midgar, but the city only received its distinctive plate (which is often referred to in-game as a pizza) after that fateful late-night snack.
The Nintendo Switch is currently in the midst of receiving several retro Final Fantasy titles, with Final Fantasy 7 being the latest drop. Square Enix gave us Inside Final Fantasy 9 last month, which likewise has interviews with the game's creators. Inside Final Fantasy is a great series so far, and very much worth enjoying over a nice pizza.