Friday, December 18, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake, Part 8 - Mahatotariat

Welcome back to Peter Jackson's The Hobbit! Because they took a small amount of content and padded it a lot. Starring Tifa, Aerith, Barret, and Other.

We left off in the Train Graveyard, where our heroes must battle... ghosts? Like Towelie, I don't know what's goin' on.

The Train Graveyard is, unsurprisingly, full of trains. I mentioned in the previous episode that this is my favorite area in Remake and that stands. So atmospheric.

Tifa flashbacks to a story Marlene told about how the ghosts of the Train Graveyard are the spirits of kids trapped there. Yikes.

And the scene pans out to show an empty world. This top-down perspective vaguely resembles the original game. Imagine if this entire game had been an overhead-view remake of the original in HD with every area looking like this?

Aerith tries to communicate with the ghost of one of the kids.

...and we get a flashback to Aerith's own youth.

Just as Aerith gets her most depressed...

...Tifa is here to make bedroom eyes at her and lift her up.

"GET A ROOM!" yells Marle from Sector 7.

Boss fight with Dullahan, of Final Fantasy VI fame. There are a couple boss fights in this area, and it's all new to this remake.


Aerith: "Kiss me, you fool!"

Is Cloud even there? My screenshot folder is unclear.

In any case, that wraps up the Train Graveyard. The atmosphere and character interactions here are top-notch. It's the best chapter for Aerith and Tifa getting screen-time. Also the battle music here is terrific, composed by the same guy who did the battle themes for Final Fantasy XIII-2.

After leaving the Train Graveyard, we get back to Sector 7. Time to climb the pillar and stop the Turks from blowing it up, as Shinra blasts anti-terrorism messages overhead.

Barret opens fire!

Stuff happens, and those weird ghost-wisp things show up again.

Wedge gets shot, but don't worry, he's fine this time. Why? I don't know. It just is. Everyone's fine in this remake.

Hell yeah, Charlie Sheen is here!

...and he promptly gets shot.

He makes Cloud promise to finish off Shinra, because otherwise all of this was for nothing.

Don't worry, he'll be okay too. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, there are no consequences.

This is actually a pretty touching scene, as it should be, at the time that it happens. The game doesn't show its "nothing actually matters" hand until later on.

Cloud stares down the Shinra-copter fearlessly.

Meanwhile, Tifa sends Aerith away to save Marlene. They have one last moment of bedroom eyes at each other. Seriously, find someone who looks at you the way Tifa and Aerith look at each other.

Aerith: "You should go help Cloud."

Tifa: "Cloud who? Oh yeah, him."

They also hold hands for a minute. WTF is up with Wedge looking on all "hee hee"? Get outta here, Wedge!

Aerith: "I love you!"

Tifa: "I love you more though."

Marle: "GET A ROOM"

They finally disengage from each other, and Aerith runs off to save who she can in Sector 7.

Time for the game to get dark and depressing, as Aerith runs around saving kids.

Here's Marlene. Of course, Aerith also rescues her, and Barret owes her a debt of gratitude.

That's a powerful line for the apocalypse.

There's the flower. Great shot here, great directing.

And on that note...

The doors to the bar swing open, and Tseng walks in as Shawn Michaels' theme plays.

Elsewhere, Jessie makes her own last stand against Shinra troops.

...and that's it for her. I was really hoping for playable Jessie at some point, but she was doomed.

Read: Not doomed at all because there are no consequences. I don't know what to say for a lot of this stuff. It was all tragic in the original game, and seeing it here in HD color is powerful. However, by the end of the game they ruin any emotional impact any of this has. So yeah, I don't know what to say for this part.

Cloud carries Jessie's body in what used to be an emotional moment.


Not happy that she's gone. And yet, if she magically returns later, I'll be kind of pissed. Remember this very clear shot of her being dead. I know we're in the brave new world of "nothing matters in the FFVII universe" but I could do without the story hand-waving away people's deaths. That's missing the point of the original FFVII, which Hironobu Sakaguchi made after suffering a great personal loss. It takes this game out of the realm of something people can identify with and puts it into the strict realm of fantasy. For what, exactly? A feel-good moment? I don't know. Without the original project head, I do think they're missing the point.

Anyone who hasn't finished the game, or read up on how it goes, likely doesn't know what I'm talking about. I'll get to it soon enough. Chances are most people reading this have played the game, though.

The leading man? You mean Balthier?

I kid, Barret is the best male character in this game by far.

Reno drops in for one of the more iconic fights in the original game.

This time, he's brought a friend. Rude starts the battle by doing strafing runs while you're occupied fighting Reno.

Then, Rude actually joins the fight midway through, making the fight a lot tougher than it used to be.

With the Turks defeated, Reno just sorta runs over to the pillar controls while our heroes stand around, as happened in the OG game.

::"Ah! Ah! Tseng!" plays in the background::

Barret tries to figure out what to do while we're on a 30-second timer. We should probably just get out of here.

With that, the big bang occurs, as a portion of Midgar collapses onto the valley below.

Thousands of people die, though it's only a small fraction of Midgar overall, and an acceptable loss for Shinra if it means they can A) Get rid of Avalanche and B) Get their war with Wutai. Besides that, Midgar itself is becoming expendable for them because they're planning to build a Neo-Midgar up north with newer technology. Wonder if we'll actually see that place later in this remake series.

Our heroes dust themselves off in the rubble.

Well, that concludes this episode of FFVII-R. Things have gotten quite depressing, to say the least.

Wait, what? Sephiroth was watching all of this? He wasn't in this scene originally.

Well, let's go a bit further and see what else is new.

SNN blares from the TVs, informing people that Shinra is on the scene of the attack doing what they can to help, that it's "linked" to Wutai, and that they may strike again at any time. Time to be afraid! SNN is doing the Lord's work, just like real life. I appreciated that one scene early in the game where Barret railed against the media.

Back at Aerith's House, it turns out Marlene is fine...though Aerith got kidnapped by Tseng.

Cloud talks to Aerith's adoptive mom, and says he'll do what he can to get Aerith out of Shinra Tower.

Barret visits Marlene and says dad things. Yanno, all of the main characters in this (besides Cloud) are super well-written and likeable people. I always liked Barret in the original, but here he's a tremendous character.

Gotta say again, Aerith's House looks so good in this remake, and it's just like what I *remember* the antiquated PSX visuals looking like.

In any case, she tells the story of how her husband died in the war with Wutai, and then she found a young Aerith (w/ her hot mom, Elmyra) near the train station. Elmyra then proceeded to keel over, having been experimented on by Hojo, and so she adopted Aerith.

This depressing. But at least there's a point to all of it, and some lessons to be learned here.

Time to start picking through the ruins of the world. Next time, on FFVII Remake.

Boss fight videos, held over until the end this time: Here's the first ghost boss from the Train Graveyard. Great music for these fights, as I mentioned.

The second boss fight from the Train Graveyard.

The fight with Rudo, or rather Reno and Rude, who together are pure rudo.

Also: Oh Yeah.

More later.

1 comment:

  1. I liked the Train Graveyard a lot too, including the music. When it comes to issues with this game generally "extending" isn't one I have. They do that pretty well I think.

    Yeah, I was surprised when Rude hopped down and joined in that fight.

    I appreciate your materia setup in how it displays three different colors on the weapon.