Friday, May 15, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake, Part 3 - Welcome to the Terrordome

Now that more people have had time to process the game, FFVII RETURNS. What shocking new developments await?

They really brought the feels with this re-creation of Cloud's Nibelheim flashback. Just tremendous. That is, 'til they start to talk:

Cloud: "...You and me."

Cloud: "...And her. Simultaneous."

Tifa: "Who? What?"

Wait a minute, this isn't how it went at all in the original! Square-Enix is completely ruining the game we remember, dammit! This is why people are outraged!

After that nostalgic and gorgeous scene, we're back in the present with lots of dirt and metal. Time to infiltrate the Shinra base.

This game loves sparks and flashy effects.

These things are FFVII's equivalent to Magitek Armors. It looks like we're joined by Wedge for this fight. Unfortunately, none of the AVALANCHE crew are playable in this game.

A demonstration of Cross-Slash. It's still a limit-break, while Braver has been relegated to being a mere special move. The same goes for Cloud's L2 limits: Blade Beam is a special move usable whenever, while Climhazzard (now called something else) is a limit break.

Ifrit in action! He excels against human enemies.

Man, don't talk about hornets right now.

Roche returns! This is unfortunately (or fortunately?) his final appearance in the game. It seems everyone either likes or really doesn't like this guy. I just thought it was cool to have another 1st Class SOLDIER in action, since there are so few of them.

Now we get a proper one-on-one fight between Roche and Cloud, and it's glorious. Though I messed up by not countering his dash-strikes, pay no mind to that. A WIN'S A WIN

Learning my first weapon-ability here. Every weapon has an ability you can master off of it, and it's a good idea to master as many as you can while progressing since it's tied to several side-objectives. Getting to the endgame with few weapon skills mastered because you used the same weapon throughout the game, and having to go back and grind points for the others, is no fun.

This is new: AVALANCHE now has other branches besides ours. ...also it looks like it's just "Avalanche" now. Huh.

Whatever, I bet Jessie is loud.


Bad news: Wedge got shot. He got shot... right in the buttocks.

Luckily, Jessie determines that it's only a graze, so he'll be fine.

Cloud smiles somewhere in all of this and the camera missed it. Some solid comradery in this crew at this point. Look at Charlie back there.


Time to leave the upper plate, unfortunately. I was hoping for a lot more upper plate activity in this game. It's what I think of when I think of Midgar, the "city" portion. I guess FFVII always did take place mostly in the slums below.

From there, we have one last thing to do:

Skydive back to the lower level. This is a great scene, with all four characters hooting and hollering as they fall from the sky. It's probably the happiest moment in this game.

Cloud stops by to pose for Katie. He's up to 90 now. Oh Yeahhh.

Wedge gives Cloud a warning about Jessie. She flirts shamelessly, and apparently it's all meaningless. Coulda fooled me. She's been all over Cloud since the game started. DON'T PLAY GAMES WITH HIS HEART!

Wedge then gives us a preview of future optional uberboss Cat-Cerberus.

Wedge is such a dork, his search history consists entirely of "can you bring a support animal to a strip club?"

But By God, he's OUR dork.

Cloud checks on Jessie, who gives him a full-contact, pelvis-to-pelvis hug.

Not gonna fall for it, YA TEASE.

...wait, you serious?

Cloud finally has the option to romance her, and by that I mean "give a mild indication of non-rejection"

That's right, he finally gives her the slightest inkling that he's interested, after days of her trying to get any kind of reaction out of him...

...and she immediately goes "PSYCH." before disappearing.

...…… are we not having sex tomorrow night?

Charlie Sheen is thankful for all of Cloud's help with everything.

Cloud goes home to try to get some sleep, only to be visited by NAZGUL.

That's right, those lame ghost things are back, and they're all over the sector wreaking havoc.

This results in having to fight lots of them. One thing is for sure...this game reaaaally drags things out before the second reactor mission.

Cloud also catches Jessie at one point, which triggers her first lady-boner in months.

After the ghosts are dealt with, it's finally time for Mako Reactor 5. I'm ready, let's do it.

...little did I know, we had several more plodding chapters to get there.

Jessie wants a starring role. Calling it now: She'll be a main/playable character in one of the later installments if she's alive. We'll see. I don't think character deaths mean anything in this new version of the game.

The journey to the second reactor was a bit extensive in the original game, but nothing compared to this one. The train ride is just the beginning.

Chapter 5 begins, as the Shinra railway system broadcasts a message about Us being on the train and thus the threat level has been raised. Well, at least it's actually true.

Just a shot of Tifa. With how dour she looks, I could see this being the Game Informer money shot for the game.

I kid, we like Game Informer.

It's the Essential Workers.

The reason no one's happy to be here is because they all work around the reactor, and everyone knows the reactors are targets. So they're going to work and hoping for the best.

As happened originally, there's a security sweep at this point.

This time around, you also deal with machines that fly in through the windows and attack.

Tifa ushers the Shinra employees out of the way of the fighting, and for a brief moment they realize that an Avalanche member is helping them.

Tifa: "Kiss me, you fool!"

Next up we battle our way through the train tunnel. Just nonstop fighting. Barret gets lost for a minute.

Back at Shinra HQ, Heidegger is monitoring the situation as it happens. They know exactly where our heroes are and what they're doing.

Hope we get more of this guy's story in the next game. He's President Shinra's right-hand man and seems to be in charge of the military. However, he's less trusted by the president's son Rufus, and he doesn't seem to be in charge of the Turks either.

Here I get some of my favorite materia from the original: Barrier and Poison. Both are way earlier than you originally got them. In the original I always make sure to get Poison and Earth materia from Kalm Town and start leveling them up right away. Having Bio 1-3 and Quake 1-3 always intrigued me as a kid because they were such lesser-used elements in RPGs.

Break Room?

Yeah, it's a break room alright.

Next is a fight with a mech miniboss that's pretty challenging for this point in the game.

Every machine enemy in this game is weak to electricity, so giving Cloud the Elemental+Lightning materia combination in a weapon is a must.

Heidegger gets a call from the President on his futuristic...Samsung Galaxy S20, I want to say. In the original game they used 90's cell phones to communicate, so this is a bit of a hoot.

Chapter 6 consists of a laborious climb across the under-structure of the upper plate. You can see the slums in the background for a lot of this.

These giant "sun lamps" serve as lighting for the lower level, since direct sunlight doesn't reach there. It's to keep the people from getting depressed. This is why so many areas in lower Midgar have a sort of blue or green glow.

This area goes on for a while. At the very end you have the option to take an elevator to the next area, and if you pass that up and take a smaller elevator next to it, you can get...

...Choco/Mog materia, which of course summons these two beefcakes. They're the wind-elemental summon, for some reason. Probably because the game needed one.

Fun fact: The original FFVII didn't even have a wind elemental materia. No way to get Aero 1-3, oddly (they exist, foes use them). There are a couple of wind attacks later on (Typhon summon, Tornado spell). However, the wind element in FFVII is the most de-emphasized element in that game. So it was a surprise to play this remake and find that Wind has been elevated to the same level as Fire/Ice/Lightning, with Earth now absent.

Finally, we arrive at the reactor. That was a slog.

Sliding down a pipe. Looking forward to the reimagined snowboarding minigame.

SNN News is owned by Shinra and here to tell everyone to be afraid of the evil terrorists that are on the loose. They're the television version of the "Scream" painting.

Shinra lets us know that they're going to take us down with their latest creation: Air Buster, which gets a TON of hype in this game. It's Shinra's hot new tech, and the entire dungeon is devoted to it.

There are a bunch of enhancements that you can remove from Air Buster before you fight it, by interacting with panels throughout the reactor. If you get all of them, you can take out most of its enhancements and make the fight a lot easier.

Here's the part where everyone has to press a button at the same time. In this version it gets you a trophy and access to a secret room.

After planting the bombs and all that, our heroes vacate the scene. There's Shinra Tower looming ominously. They don't even need spy-drones and cameras to watch us, they could just use binoculars.

President Shinra now decides to get a good look at his enemies via drone-camera.

A massive hologram appears and proceeds to lay out all of his bastardly plans. This is more airplay than he got in the original game, and he's smart enough to not be here in person this time.

He thanks Avalanche for blowing things up, since it's succeeded in getting everyone all fired-up and patriotic to go to war with Wutai.

Wait, what? Wutai?

It was at this moment that Barret realized perhaps he'd made a mistake.

Regardless of all of that, Air Buster has arrived. This was the second boss of the original game, maybe an hour in; here it's buried all the way in Chapter 7.

Here's the battle, and it's a doozy. Heidegger is apparently controlling the Air Buster remotely. Once again Lightning is the way to go.

It also has a SWEET energy beam. When this is charging up, you better get out of the way.

Barret is great here because he can fire at it no matter where it goes on the battlefield. It's a tough fight, wonder how much tougher it'd be with all of its enhancements.

After the fight, Cloud plummets hundreds of feet into the slums, crashing through a roof to his death.



For real though...what if Cloud actually did die here and the rest of the game was a fever dream? It's Squall Syndrome all over again.

To be continued shortly.

1 comment:

  1. Wedge has excellent cats.

    I seem to remember ChocoMog + Elemental could get you Wind attacks in the original, though it's been a while.

    I don't think anything in this game will get as much build up as the Air Buster.

    Gotta sell that great and glorious war!