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Final Fantasy VII Remake Trilogy vs Final Fantasy VII Original Story Comparison: Which Is Better?

With last month’s arrival of the second entry in the Final Fantasy VII Remake trilogy, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, we are now able to draw a comparison between a sizeable portion of the story in the original and the new releases.

Most Final Fantasy VII fans are more resistant to change than the Resist spell is to the Silence status effect. Jokes aside, nostalgia is indeed one heck of a drug, and it’s clear that fans of the original Final Fantasy VII have sentimental value attached with its story, and any kind of deviation in the Remake trilogy has been met with harsh and largely unwarranted criticism. Concerns over Creative Director Tetsuya Nomura’s knack for convoluted plots (Kingdom Hearts, anyone?) are indeed valid, though both Remake and Rebirth have largely stuck with the original storyline outside of a few key differences. We’re here to delve into these differences, so if you haven’t played any of the games being discussed, now is the time to stop reading.

Final fantasy vii remake trilogy original story

Visions of The Future

Characters in the new trilogy recall visions of their future from 1998’s Final Fantasy VII, occasionally hinting at being aware of how things went down in the original. Hidden deep within Final Fantasy VII Remake is an optional and entirely missable cutscene involving a conversation between Cloud and Aerith outside her home in the Sector 5 slums of Midgar, in which she tells him not to fall in love with her because “it’s not real”. As she had been aware of her fate in the original timeline, she seemed to have wanted to spare Cloud the heartbreak. Similarly, unlike in the original, Sephiroth is seen taking keen interest in Cloud in Remake as a result of him being aware of his future fate (more on this below).

Whispers Wildcard

One of the key narrative differentiator between the original and the remake trilogy is the presence of ghostly beings known as Whispers in the latter. Ironically, the purpose of their very existence is to prevent anyone from altering the course of the original timeline. They are seen aiding Cloud and company when things flow in accordance with the original timeline, and going against them when they deviate from it.

Once the Whisper Harbinger is defeated towards the end of Final Fantasy VII Remake, memories of the original timeline are taken away from Aerith and her friends, and they’re free to carve their destinies in what is seemingly the beginning of a new timeline (hence the subtitle “Rebirth” for the second game in the trilogy). The Whispers are then seen following Sephiroth, possibly to ensure a future in which he accomplishes his goals. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth introduces a new breed of Whispers that appear white in color as opposed to the dark ones that now follow Sephiroth. They appear to follow the will of the planet, which is to ensure its survival.

Final fantasy vii remake trilogy original story

A Different Sephiroth

As the central antagonist in both the 1998 original and the Remake trilogy, Sephiroth’s role in the story and his personality have undergone dramatic changes. He’s no longer the horrifying and silent figure from the original, who makes an appearance when you least expect it, only to let his blade, the Masamune, do all the talking. The Sephiroth in the Remake trilogy sings to a different tune, with a more fleshed personality that ultimately makes him more of a person than he ever was before. He’s now seen a psychological torment for Cloud, often appearing to haunt the latter. Towards the end of Remake, Sephiroth asks Cloud to join forces with him so they may defy destiny together, which the latter vehemently rejects.

Zack & The Multiverse of Madness

Zack, who originally died towards the end of Crisis Core, the prequel to Final Fantasy VII, is seen trapped a timeline that is about to meet its end, as indicated by a crack in the sky. Towards the end of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, he finds his way into the main timeline and teams up with Cloud against Sephiroth. Eventually, he is sent to a timeline that no longer has a crack in the sky. This suggests that he’s now out of harm’s way, and will likely re-appear in the third game.

Different worlds in the Remake trilogy are indicated via the breed of the Shinra mascot dog. The mascot seen in Remake is a beagle, but it changes from world to world in Rebirth. As Sephiroth puts it, “the planet encompasses a multitude of worlds, ever unfolding. Some quickly perish. while others endure. Yet even the most resilient worlds are doomed to fade.”

Final fantasy vii remake trilogy original story

Aerith’s Fate

In the original timeline, Aerith is killed by Sephiroth in the Forgotten Capital, as he drops from the sky to stab her with his blade and halt her prayer. A similar situation is played out in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, only this time Cloud is seen blocking Sephiroth’s attack on Aerith and pushing him away. However, the next scene shows Aerith collapse and Sephiroth’s sword is seen covered in blood. She them emerges to aid Cloud in the game’s final duel against Sephiroth.

It appears that, as a consequence of the actions of the Whispers, the timeline split into two: one where Cloud saved Aerith and one where he didn’t. Cloud appears to have one foot in both resultant timelines. As a result, he can see and interact with the surviving Aerith from one timeline while being physically present in the other, where she is no longer alive. Depending on where the creative team goes with this plot element, it could lead to major story deviations in the third game.

Ultimately, it’s hard to determine whether some of these story changes are for the better without the missing piece of the puzzle, that is the concluding part in the trilogy. For now, the Remake series certainly makes for a more convoluted yet at the same time more fascinating and and bold take on the original plot.

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Muhammad Ali Bari

Muhammad Ali Bari has a knack for covering reviews. He manages our content pipeline, creates timelines for scheduled editorial tasks, and helps us cover exciting content. In his spare time, he enjoys playing multiplayer games.

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