CoN 25th Anniversary: 1997-2022
Sony's State of Play Gives Final Look at Rebirth

Posted: 7th February 2024 14:49

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Naturally, I had important family engagements last night just in time for the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth State of Play showcase from Sony, so after catching only the trailer last night I had to get up a little early to catch up. So, here's a quick recap for all of you as well, if you missed it or only saw the "short" trailer so far. Spoilers abound if you're looking to go into the game completely tabula rasa, so this post will simply end with the State of Play video and the rest will follow in thread.


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Posted: 7th February 2024 14:53

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Posts: 9,221

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Second place in the CoN World Cup soccer competition, 2018. First place in CoNCAA, 2018. Celebrated the CoN 20th Anniversary at the forums. Vital involvement in the Final Fantasy IX section of CoN. 
First place in the CoN Euro Cup soccer competition, 2016. Voted for all the fanart in the CoNvent Calendar 2015. Voted for all the fanart in the CoNvent Calendar 2014. Third place in the CoN World Cup fantasy game for 2014. 
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After a few very brief clips - fast cuts will be the style of all of the in-game content throughout - Yoshinori Kitase introduces the State of Play and then jumps straight into the four-minute final trailer. The trailer immediately starts with a number of events around the Black Materia and the Temple of the Ancients, and then quickly cuts to some new Synergy attacks, including a highly-memeable display with Barret and Aerith. Brief glimpses of Palmer and Corneo then lead into new characters like Gus and what clearly appears to be Gilgamesh. Then, back to returning characters for just a second, with Roche and his motorcycle appearing for a rematch.

And then it's time for more quick cuts to confuse the timelines as best as Square Enix can for now, starting with Cloud impaling Sephiroth on the Buster Sword only to get a very "join the Dark Side of the Force" sort of response. Living Zack then gets a tender moment with Coma Aerith, with still no further clue as to exactly quite how this happened. Some new and terrifying characters then appear to request the Black Materia - I haven't been able to find much detail on these guys so far, but it's still early and I may have just missed it. My assumption so far is that this is new content to Cosmo Canyon, but I'm sure anyone reading this probably knows more than me and can correct me any time.

More returnees follow, starting with the reveal of a character that many people had hoped for since discovering the end of Remake - Cissnei has returned to the Final Fantasy VII universe and now resides in Gongaga. It looks like she'll interact with Cloud's section of the game, and potentially not Zack's, but of course as mentioned this trailer continues to obfuscate as much as possible. Slightly less exciting is the return of Johnny, this time with shenanigans at Costa Del Sol. If you're feeling let down by that, though, Squenix knew it was coming and then put in some fanservice in the form of Barret's sailor suit and Tifa and Aerith in their Costa beach clothes. Even Red is impressed.

Back to more content from new(ish) characters after that, with clips of voice acting from Yuffie, Cait Sith, Vincent, Elena, and Priscilla (the dolphin girl!) interspersed with minigames and the longest speech from Cid we've seen so far. A hooded figure from Wutai visits and shocks Rufus, and we get introduced to Dyne's voice in action briefly before more shocking glimpses of Cloud potentially attacking his childhood crush. And if that wasn't jarring enough, the very next clips show Zack and Sephiroth together, with this Sephiroth clearly understanding that Zack is out of context in one way or another, followed by Cloud and Aerith back at the Sector 5 Church with Aerith letting her hair down and giving Cloud the White Materia.

The trailer ends with a party confrontation with Sephiroth... and it's missing someone.

After the trailer wraps, the rest of the showcase begins with Naoki Hamaguchi going into a deeper dive on some of the content. He starts with a quick runthrough, accompanied by video, of the regions to be explored in the game, with no big surprises there. World Intel is the new game's Chadley mechanic, relying on exploration and jobs assigned by the odd young researcher to create new encounters and opportunities to power up the party and again get new materia. Part of the World Intel is to collect what Chadley calls "Protorelics," and it appears that there is a superboss at the end of the Protorelic collection chain. Other "Odd Jobs" are a grab bag of sidequests, some of which look absolutely goofy in true original Final Fantasy VII style; I for one can't wait to do the frog hopping or cat musical quartet quests that are teased in the video. It looks like even beyond that, there are going to be a ton of other minigames; soccer with Red XIII looks like one that I'll personally spend a lot of time with, but all of the returned Gold Saucer games look pretty great at the moment too. On top of that, there's even a new card game called Queen's Blood, which should make up for the fact that the original game was the only PSX-era mainline FF that didn't have one.

At this point, the showcase goes more to the enhancements of the game itself; of particular note from this section is that different party members offer new traversal methods, which might mean that there is a mechanic at play to enforce inclusion of different party members at different times to be able to navigate storyline events. On top of that, the video explained that there have been more than 400 arrangements of songs for the new game, which is just a staggering number. Finally was the announement of the new Folio ability system, a skill tree new from the prior game that helps manage the paired techniques available to every pair of characters.

The last announcment of the State of Play was widely predicted and even leaked a day in advance; it's the new demo for the game. The first portion of the demo is a playable Nibelheim flashback, in which you can play as either Cloud or Sephiroth. A later portion will include parts of Junon. Completing Nibelheim will provide a few items and the ability to skip that section in the full game; the Junon section has been truncated and is there just for the experience.

Bottom line here is that this game looks even more massive than I expected. It's going to take a slowpoke like me absolutely ages to get through it all. This is excitement, not disappointment.

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