Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania


The latest art book is a pretty nice one, full of FFVII concept art. It also has huge pages. Most of the art here, I haven't seen before. Gonna take a quick look at it. As usual, click the images to blow 'em up.

Midgar in all its remade glory. I wish the new game had covered more area of the place, especially the upper level, considering they had a lot of room to pad things out. At least we got a little bit of new upper level Midgar early in the game for Jessie's chapter, which also ended up being one of the best chapters.

Cloud brooding in front of Shinra Tower, the game's most enduring and iconic imagery.

The shot of Tifa sitting on the well is one of my favorite shots from FFVII's lore. In the leadup to the game back in the day, that was one of the shots that all the magazines seemed to have.

Sephiroth walking into the wall of fire is another iconic image. It's a newer image, but I also like him standing over a burning Midgar. It's kinda lost in everything else that happens, but he despises Shinra just as much as the heroes do. Back in 1996 or so before the game came out, I figured he'd be the General Leo of the game and probably the last character to join the party.

Tifa in all her incredibly fit glory. Probably the most fun character to play as in the remake, by far, because she moves so fast.

Aerith, who is supposed to be some kind of Plain Jane next to Tifa, yet is also insanely attractive. This game is full of beautiful people. Even the random people on the train are all super hot. It's like being at a German rave.

Rufus was one of my favorite characters design-wise in the original game, but I don't like his redesign in Remake. What's going on with those ridiculous pants? Does he need all of those belts?

Here's Miss Cloud, the belle of the ball. The prettiest princess in all the land!

Now we get a few pages of Tifa in various sexy outfits, but who cares about that? We got Barret over here! Look at that gun arm!

Note: Barret is low-key the best male character in this entire story. I mean he doesn't have a lot of competition, but his story's impact can't really be undersold.

More ::yawn:: Tifa outfits. My favorite is the blue one in the previous image, which I think is technically the "worst" of the group.

Here's Tifa at "age 13". Cool, man. I mean she could be 19 if they didn't tell us. The real question is why Cloud left Nibelheim in the first place with her crushing on him. Did he even go through puberty?

Aerith outfits, including her incredible red dress. All of this to impress Don Corneo of all people.

What's-her-name who I thought was Yuffie in disguise at first. Wish they had done more with this character.

This book sure has a lot of sex appeal. Well, if you can call weird-ass bees "appealing". Most of the game's sexuality happened in Wall Market, of course, and they're all about bees there for some reason.

Scarlett, because even the villains have to be insanely hot. There's also Reeve, who looks suspiciously similar to Keanu Reeves.

Midgar upper level concept art. I'd love to see more of this area, and the Theater District, which I think this is related to. We only see it for a minute and it's right after it gets trashed by the reactor explosion.

This looks like Fountain Plaza, which had a much bigger role in Crisis Core as kind of a hub area.

Aerith's Church is yet another iconic location.

Looks good from the outside, even though it has a Wutai missile buried in it. It might be the only building left standing in Sector 6, which got crushed by a falling plate during Midgar's construction.

Aerith's house is another place that brings back all kinds of memories.

This book is particularly cool for me since it's all about Midgar, and I've always been a big fan of all things Midgar.


...all the bee stuff. These damn, sexy bees.

Sector 0 is the Shinra Tower area, and it's known for having giant bright spotlights everywhere for no real reason. You don't get to see too much of this area (like most of the Upper Level).

Shinra Tower itself probably takes up at least a third of the total runtime of FFVII Remake and they fleshed it out a bit, which is cool.

It's that Nibelheim well again. What is it with Nibelheim? Why does this place evoke such potent nostalgia?

Cloud's sword lineup from Remake. They went in an interesting direction here by not having the weapons follow linear progression or "get better" necessarily. Instead they follow a more Fromsoft-like design where the weapons all have different strengths and weaknesses and all of them are viable through the game. So really it's more about picking whatever has stats you like and handles the best.

The Champion's Belt gets an official illustration here and we can see that it follows a very 1990's WWF type design. Matter of fact it looks a hell of a lot like the WWF world title did circa 1996/1997 when the game was originally developed.

Jenova Dreamweaver, who I still think should have been called Jenova-CONCEPTION.

A breakdown of the Bombing Mission track from the beginning of the game. When I think FFVII this is the first tune I think of.

This is noteworthy because it was originally the overworld theme, but they used it in Sector 7 instead of Barret's Theme. In the original game Barret's Theme was one of my favorite tracks in the game and I was looking forward to hearing it here, and I think they made a mistake switching it out for this theme.

Jessie, the most fun FFVII lady.

They even did mock-up CD case artwork for the various tunes that you can play on the jukebox in the game. Know which one ended up being a shockingly good surprise?

This track. I mean, damn. Plays during the scenes where Cloud is learning how to dance, which is his greatest battle of all. Remake needed more of this track, 'cause it was one entirely-new theme that actually made me feel something. Probably because that entire section was a really meaningful leap forward for a game to portray, I don't know.

One thing Remake needed way less of was Sephiroth. He was all over the place. There's gonna be a reason for that revealed shortly though.

Regardless, awesome art-book here and got me really psyched up for the next game in a day or so.

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