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All of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake rumors and spoilers leaked so far

Maybe you're an old-school Final Fantasy nut who wants to spend more time with Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barret, and Sephiroth. Maybe you're a newer fan who wants to see why, after over 20 years, Final Fantasy 7 is still one of the most popular role-playing games ever. Either way, Square Enix has you covered. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a ground-up recreation of the PlayStation title that introduced many fans to turn-based RPGs, helped push video game storytelling in a more cinematic direction, and made Final Fantasy into a household name.

That's what we hear, anyway. Final Fantasy 7 Remake has been in development for five years, and all we've gotten from Square Enix is a couple of trailers and a handful of screenshots. Everything else we've learned through partially translated interviews, unconfirmed leaks, and rampant speculation. Here's everything that we've been able to scrounge up about Final Fantasy 7 Remake so far, but take the following information with a grain of salt. That's the thing about rumors: sometimes, they're just not true.

Tired of waiting? Blame CyberConnect

Final Fantasy 7 Remake has been in development for a long time. It was first revealed at E3 2015, where its first trailer brought the house down near the end of Sony's big press event. Then, for four years, nothing. The second Final Fantasy 7 trailer didn't arrive until 2019, and even then, it only showed scenes from the very beginning of the game.

Why the long wait? Director Tetsuya Nomura admits that Square Enix unveiled Final Fantasy 7 Remake too early, but the real culprit seems to be one of Square Enix's subcontractors. Back in 2015, producer Yoshinori Kitase told Famitsu that CyberConnect2, which developed a number of .hack and Naruto games, had been brought on to help with Final Fantasy 7's development. It sounds like there was trouble from the beginning. Kitase noted that Square Enix was keeping a close watch on the developer, as "their production tastes differ from that of Square Enix."

In 2017, Square Enix reassigned Final Fantasy 7 Remake to its internal development teams, citing "quality control" concerns. About a year later, a Japanese game developer explained why. Allegedly, CyberConnect2's work was so bad that Square Enix had to throw it all out and start over from scratch, costing the studio two years' worth of work. That's a huge delay, and combined with Nomura's busy schedule — the designer was also working on Kingdom Hearts 3 at the time — it's hardly surprising that the game is progressing slowly. Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Not so much.

How much action is there, anyway?

Final Fantasy 7 veterans know that Remake's battle system is very different from what they're used to. While the original PlayStation game, like all of the classic Final Fantasy games, is a turn-based affair, Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be more action-oriented. The latest trailer supports that notion, too, showcasing a combat system that looks more like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy 15, which are both games that Tetsuya Nomura had a major hand in designing.

And yet, some of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake materials hint that the game's turn-based past isn't completely gone. Battle scenes still have an "Active Time Battle" gauge, which dictates when characters can act in traditional Final Fantasy games. In Remake, it looks like the ATB meter will still control the flow of battle, and will be key if you want to unleash strong attacks. On-screen prompts indicate that pressing the circle button will bring up something called the "Commands Menu." Limit breaks are still in the game, although they'll take a different form.

Despite what Nomura says, it certainly looks like Final Fantasy 7 Remake will fuse old-school turn-based battles and faster, real-time action mechanics. If true, that would be a great way of honoring Final Fantasy 7's past, while upping the game's pace for modern players. We can't wait to learn more.

It might have some spinoffs

These days, you don't just get a new Final Fantasy game. You get one main Final Fantasy game, followed by all kinds of spinoffs. Final Fantasy 12 launched a series called the Ivalice Alliance, which included a portable sequel, Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings, some Final Fantasy Tactics titles, and a mobile game called Crystal Defenders. Final Fantasy 13 had two sequels. Final Fantasy 15 spawned a mobile mini-game called Justice Monsters Five, an episodic anime series, a CGI animated feature film, a VR fishing title, a portable strategy game, and a retro-style beat-em-up.

Well, it looks like Final Fantasy 7 Remake might have a few spinoffs, too. While talking to Famitsu, Nomura admitted, "Us old-timers are considering various developments in regards to what accompanies the remake," and specifically referenced Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7, a PSP prequel to the original game. Don't hold your breath waiting for the Crisis Core remake, though. Nomura warns that the main Final Fantasy 7 game is the focus for now, as it should be.

Still, if Square Enix wants to go the spinoff route, there are plenty of options to choose from. In addition to Crisis Core, Square Enix continued the Final Fantasy 7 saga with an animated movie, Advent Children; a 25-minute animated short called Last Order; and a shooter called Dirge of Cerberus. We wouldn't say no to something new, either. Final Fantasy 7 is a big world, and it has plenty stories that have yet to be told.

Giving voice to the voiceless

Final Fantasy 7 doesn't have any voice acting, but its characters have spoken before. Actor Steve Burton has voiced Final Fantasy 7 star Cloud Strife in almost every single one of his appearances since 2002, when the Disney-Final Fantasy mash-up Kingdom Hearts hit the PlayStation 2. Scandal star George Newbern has played the game's villain, Sephiroth, since Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children debuted in 2006, and Beau Billingslea has been playing revolutionary Barret Wallace ever since.

By now, fans are pretty used to those actors' voices, and many of them noticed that things didn't sound right in Final Fantasy 7 Remake's second trailer. Barret now sounds like less of a Mr. T knock-off, although he still has a long way to go. Cloud sounds like he's voiced by someone else entirely. Sephiroth doesn't say much in the video, but he might've been recast, too.

All of this contradicts what we've heard before. Burton previously indicated that he would return to play Cloud in Remake, while Square Enix said that they were going to use the Advent Children voice actors whenever possible. On the other hand, Burton didn't voice Cloud in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate either, and Kitase warned that Cloud might sound different from what we expect. Hopefully, Square Enix will clear up the casting situation soon. Fans are starting to get nervous.

The same old story — to a point

Final Fantasy 7 is a big game. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is going to be even bigger. If Square Enix is going to stretch Final Fantasy 7 out over multiple full-length games, they're going to have to add some extra content, and it sounds like Remake's story is going to change as a result.

Tetsuya Nomura more or less said as much back in 2015, when the game was first revealed. "There will be more plot devices in the story," Nomura told Dengeki Online, according to an interview that's been translated by Kotaku. In 2018, Nomura gave Famitsu a brief update on Final Fantasy 7 Remake's progress, which included a promise that the remake would give "greater depth" to the game's characters, including AVALANCHE fighters like Jesse, Biggs, and Wedge.

Diehard Final Fantasy 7 fans have already found a few small plot differences in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer, including new dialogue, Sephiroth making his big debut much earlier in the story, and some small tweaks to Cloud's meeting with Aerith. Thankfully, things don't seem to be changing too much. Nomura has already confirmed that some fan-favorite scenes, like Cloud's cross-dressing adventure, will return. So will Kazushige Nojima, who wrote the original game. If everything goes according to plan, Final Fantasy 7 Remake will have the same tone as its predecessor — there'll just be more of it.

Nobuo Uematsu's triumphant return?

It's hard to overstate Nobuo Uematsu's impact on Final Fantasy. As the lead composer on the majority of the main Final Fantasy games, including Final Fantasy 7, Uematsu's soundtracks bring unity to a series of largely unconnected games, and go a long way towards establishing the franchise's unique tone. It's also good music, plain and simple. Try playing Final Fantasy 7 without humming along to tracks like "Cosmo Canyon" or "One Winged Angel." Just try it.

If Final Fantasy 7 Remake is going to be bigger than the original, it's probably going to need some new music too, and having anyone other than Uematsu handle the score would just be wrong. However, in 2015, Uematsu said that he wasn't involved with Final Fantasy 7 Remake at all. After all, it's not like Square Enix can make Uematsu work on it. The musician left the company in 2004 and has been working on Final Fantasy on a freelance basis ever since.

It's not clear if this is still the case. In 2018, Yoshinori Kitase claimed that he'd convinced Uematsu to join the Remake team, but Uematsu announced that he was postponing all of his projects for health reasons a couple of months later. We'd love to get some fresh Uematsu tunes in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but more importantly, we hope that the composer is okay. Enjoy your break, sir. You've earned it.

Yearning for sweet, sweet release

This is what you really care about. You already know that you're going to play Final Fantasy 7 Remake. You just don't know when. The rumor mill can't seem to agree on exactly how far into development Final Fantasy 7 Remake is. Some job ads indicate that development on key systems is just getting started and that Square Enix is still building its team, while other reports say that a demo is about to arrive, meaning that things must be pretty far along.

All of this makes a rough release date almost impossible to pin down. Some rumors say that Final Fantasy 7 Remake — or, at the very least, the first part of it — is coming in 2019, citing some cryptic teases from a translated Famitsu interview. Others say that Square Enix is aiming to have the game come out in time for Final Fantasy's 35th birthday, which doesn't happen until 2023.

That's a huge difference, and all of this uncertainty isn't going to make fans feel any more confident. Honestly, by this point we won't believe that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is coming until it's actually in our hands — and not a moment sooner.

Just how exclusive is "exclusive"?

Square Enix announced Final Fantasy 7 Remake at Sony's E3 conference for one reason: it was, at the time, a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive. "Play it first on PlayStation 4," the first Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer said. In fact, Nomura claimed that one of the reasons why Square Enix greenlit Final Fantasy 7 Remake in the first place was to increase the popularity of Sony's console, which is already home to a number of Square Enix titles.

But that was in 2015, and things have changed a lot over the past four years. Currently, the PlayStation 4 controls half of the console market. It doesn't really need more help. In addition, the PS4 is nearing the end of its lifespan, and there are already rumblings that the PlayStation 5 is on its way. Nintendo is a major player in the console game again, thanks to the red-hot Switch, and more and more Final Fantasy titles are making their way to PC.

So, does Final Fantasy 7 Remake's planned exclusivity still hold? According to rumors, not so much. Reports from retailers indicate that Cloud, Sephiroth, and the rest game might come to the Xbox One and the Switch sooner than expected. In fact, if development continues to take so long, Final Fantasy 7 Remake may miss the PlayStation 4 entirely, and will make its long-awaited debut on the PlayStation 5 instead.

An adventure that's too big for just one game — but how big exactly?

We've known for a while that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be coming out in multiple parts. In order to make a modern game based on Final Fantasy 7's framework, Square Enix would've had to cut content to make the whole thing fit in a single title. Instead of doing that, Nomura and Kitase decided to release Final Fantasy 7 Remake in multiple installments, giving them room to (re-)tell the story the way that they want to.

We do not know, however, exactly how many parts that is. At first, people assumed that the game would be truly episodic, like The Walking Dead or Square Enix's own Life Is Strange. Later, Nomura and Kitase claimed that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be more like the Final Fantasy 13 franchise, which contains three full-sized stand-alone games. That's interesting, but it doesn't really explain how many installments of Final Fantasy 7 Remake we're getting, or how much story each one will cover.

The latest round of rumors indicate that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be split in half, with the first episode covering the first disc of the original game, which ends with Final Fantasy 7's infamous death scene — you know the one. Other reports claim that there will be three Final Fantasy 7 Remake titles, and that the first one will take place entirely in Midgar. Either way, get ready for more detailed environments, a lot of extra content, and, most likely, a price tag above $60 if you want to get the whole story.

E3, where all your fantasies come true

In May 2019, something miraculous happened. Just when Final Fantasy 7 Remake was starting to join games like Half-Life 3, Beyond Good & Evil 2, and other highly anticipated titles that don't seem like they're ever going to come out, Square Enix surprised everyone by dropping a brand new trailer proving that, yes, the game is real, and yes, it looks gorgeous.

Square Enix didn't provide much more information, and after a four-year wait, that trailer is awfully short, but we should see more soon. In a post on the official PlayStation Blog, Kitase said that Square Enix is "preparing to release more official information in June." You know what else happens in June? Why, E3, of course. In fact, in 2019 Square Enix will hold its own E3 press event for the first time in years. The company must have something big to show — and what could be bigger than Final Fantasy 7 Remake?

Rumors indicate that the E3 press conference might even be followed by a PlayStation Plus-exclusive Final Fantasy 7 Remake demo, which would be enough for Square Enix to win E3 with a single announcement. If you're a Final Fantasy fan, pay attention to what's happening in Los Angeles on Monday, June 10 at 6 p.m. (Pacific). You may very well like what you see.