A new Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer dropped today, and it's left a trail of giddy discourse in its wake. Cloud looks adorable in a dress! Director Scarlet uses human beings as footstools! Red XIII is very fuzzy! Sephiroth has cat eyes! Did you know he has cat eyes? Apparently, that's always been the case. Gosh, I've played Final Fantasy 7 more times than I can count, and I never noticed his stupid cat eyes. Does that mean he can see in the dark? That must be really handy when he needs to use the can at three in the morning.
Yes, there's a whole lot of exciting stuff going on in the new trailer, and I hope the hype doesn't cause people to overlook he most important cameo in this three-minute clip: My man, Palmer. We see the head of Shinra's stalled Space Program stroll down the sterile hallways while sipping and tea and lamenting a lack of butter.
If you've not yet played Final Fantasy 7 and have not yet bathed in the light of Palmer's multi-chinned glory, you probably wondered aloud, "Butter? What does butter have to do with anything?" Sweet summer child, it's my pleasure to introduce you to Palmer and his love for tea with "honey, sugar, and oh yeah, don't forget the lard!" Palmer has no business overseeing a school bus route, let alone a space program, but he still roosts near the top of the Shinra hierarchy. He's the embodiment of everything wrong with corporations.
The new Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer illustrates how Shinra's upper management are a cruel bunch, minus beleaguered urban planner Reeve Tuesti. President Shinra is ice cold (his son is even worse); the toad-like Heidegger croaks and nods along to whatever scheme the President cooks up, and Scarlet has no regard for human life. Though Palmer isn't as mean as his colleagues, he's certainly self-centered. He's also as stupid as a gelded Chocobo. He punctuates his sentences with pleasantries like "Tra-la-la!" and "Hey-hey!" He demands funding for Shinra's space program even while the President talks about literally squashing the people living in the Sector 7 slums.
How did Palmer earn such a lofty position at Shinra? To Shinra's credit—and I can't give them much—Palmer's whims are rarely answered. He just lumbers around and demands lard-butter tea from whomever is closest to his elbow. Why does the President keep him around, then? Is he just a big kid everyone babysits? Does he have any hidden talents beyond singing, bouncing, and hiding behind pillars when trouble rears its head? I looked around, and supplementary Final Fantasy 7 materials don't have much info about this tan-suited child. Maybe he's just a funny-grim reminder that even the corporations that control your life have at least one half-wit who can nevertheless ruin you on a whim. Shudder.
There is a bit of good news, though. While most failed executives get to sail to safety on a golden parachute, Palmer exits Cloud's life after a Shinra truck backs into him and sends him flying like a beach ball. I hope—nay, I demand—that Square Enix calls upon its best story-boarders and animators to bring this epic moment into high definition. Keep the "Ugh!" too. Gotta have the "Ugh."
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is coming in April. Prepare. Prepare for Palmer.