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Small details you missed in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer

Just like the random encounters that riddle the game itself, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake has popped up out of nowhere once again, this time at the Tokyo Game Show with a new, almost three-minute trailer. This time, though, Square Enix is a wee bit less coy about details and new footage. But it also showed off whole new elements of the game that no one's ever seen and weren't in the original game, inviting a whole new bunch of questions. Plus, there's a whole lot more wide-eyed awe at just how gorgeous this is all turning out. 

Every frame of this trailer seems to represent either a serious upgrade or a total curveball from the game we've all been playing since 1997, and we're going to do that exact thing Cloud does with his hair ten times a day: go through this thing with a fine-toothed comb.

Does the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer have a soldier or a SOLDIER?

Probably the biggest WTF moment of the whole trailer is right in the middle of the big motorcycle chase, when some well-coiffed dandy with a massive sword — the same style as Zack Fair's, it should be noted — shows up to smile at the camera. But the telling part was when Cloud says, "He's a soldier."

Now, the question there, since there's no subtitles, is whether he meant lower-case soldier or all-caps SOLDIER? The latter would actually make the most sense: though we primarily know Cloud, Zack, and Sephiroth as the key members of SOLDIER, don't forget that SOLDIER is supposed to be Shinra's personal A-Team of keen-to-kill mercenaries. So, it'd make sense that President Shinra might have a few killers on retainer willing to go after the folks looking to blow up his precious Mako reactor. Still, we don't stick around long enough to find out, so it could be up in the air.

When is that bike sequence in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer happening?

You'll have noticed that we're getting a lot more motorcycles in this game, hopefully in a way that means better hit detection than your average hacked copy of Road Rash. The bigger concern is that the motorcycle sequences we do see in-game don't involve Barret and company stealing a Scooby-Doo mystery machine from the Shinra Building's lobby, but rather features Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie in what appears to be a train yard.

There's a pretty decent chance that what we're getting isn't just a widely expanded bike chase: Cloud's bike will become a much more integral part of the game altogether. Makes perfect sense, considering how often that bike shows up in every other medium. Still, combined with having another SOLDIER on their tails, this could turn into something great. Could taking that thing out on the overworld also be an option instead of breeding chocobos?

A lot more Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie

Another sequence that might make you do a doubletake is a moment where our entire crew of intrepid eco-terrorists is parachuting down into the slums. That by itself might just make for a cool little action beat, and it has echoes of when the original game had you parachuting down into what's left of Midgar from the Highwind. What wasn't there before, however, was Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie.

In fairness, that's been a running motif for most of the footage thus far, in that it's an absolute certainty that these three have definitely been upgraded into second-string players in this story instead of just disposable cannon fodder. They're there for the bombing mission, they're there with Barret helping to defend the slums, they're with Cloud on his motorcycle chase. Without a doubt, their roles have been beefed up considerably, which means man it's gonna suck when/if they get offed.

The Sephiroth who wasn't there

Naturally, you can't have a Final Fantasy 7 without Sephiroth showing up; the guy's maybe the second most ubiquitous thing about the whole game after chocobos. But the old One-Winged Angel's appearances have been a little different thus far in the remake. W see him speak a few words to Cloud, but we've never actually seen him interact with anything, like he's a ghost. 

That tradition's carried on in the new trailer, brief though his appearance may be. What's intriguing is the fact that he's appearing so early on in the game, story-wise. It gives the sense that Cloud isn't slowly falling into madness as he begins to lose touch with himself: he's been a tortured soul this whole time, which makes his unwillingness to get too attached to people make a little bit more sense.

What are the ghosts in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer?

The other major sequence that seems to have been created whole cloth is a scene where the slums are besieged by — well, there's not really another way to put it — ghosts. Why Barret and Jessie are trying to kill ghost with non-ghost guns, who knows, but at least they're trying, right? But it gets more interesting if you actually take a good look at these ghosts. 

These guys bear more than a little resemblance to the hooded figures that wander around Nibelheim muttering nonsense at anyone who'll listen. Those hooded figures turned out to be failed, half-insane clones of Sephiroth. Why they'd be attacking the slums, or why they're all floating around like someone shut down the Ghostbusters' protection grid, no clue. But it does hint that things might be going screwy in Midgar long before Sephiroth himself actually decides to make a physical appearance. 

By the power of Reno

One of the greatest joys of watching Final Fantasy 7 Remake come together is seeing just how far every character's new CG model has come from the days when they all just looked like little pink blocks with hair. In this particular trailer, it was the Turks' turn, and all those polygons did not let those boys down at all. Stylish as much as they're an aggravating threat, the Turks even managed to get a sweet, hard rock upgrade for their theme song. It's a beautiful thing.

What nobody expected, however, was seeing Reno in particular show off a completely different side of him. It happens so quick you might miss it, but when Reno decides to engage cloud in battle, he teleports himself behind him. That's kind of a far cry from the guy who was notorious in the original game for being that dude who just whacked your party with a sword before encasing them in a stupid golden pyramid. Young Reno might just have become a legitimate badass in the remake.

The Don Corneo affair

Of all the things that players fully expected to get a total overhaul going from 1997 to 2019, the entire Don Corneo sequence was the top answer for certain. Notorious for several reasons, most of which involve Cloud in a dress, this sequence represents a Temple of Doom-level derail into insanity that, in a weird way, games could probably use a little more of. But, until today, we were stuck with this, as it was, in all its tacky glory.

The good folks at Square Enix seem to know this, and the trailer spends quite a bit of time showing that this is going to go down very differently. Tifa doesn't wind up a damsel in distress; instead, she is part of the plan from the start, including getting in on the gym action and participating in the lifting contests. Aerith stepping out with her dress is a grand showcase of character modeling, but Cloud is still in his normal clothes, all while Tifa and Aerith tease him. This looks like way more of an organized plan than before, which is great, despite the fact that Don Corneo himself is still a world-class scumbucket.

Blade of the Amphibian

At this point, we've seen how many of the touchstones of Final Fantasy 7's iconography are getting transformed. When the game releases, it looks like it will be an entirely different experience, almost like playing it for the first time. These are major changes, to be certain; but sometimes, you have to appreciate the really important details.

Important details like the simple fact that when Cloud gets hit with the Frog spell in this version, Frog Cloud carries a tiny Buster Sword.

That's it, that's the post. Frog Cloud is a thing, and Frog Cloud carries a little froggy Buster Sword. Meaning, there's probably a version of this for every character in the game. Probably including Frog Barret having a gun instead of a flipper. Folks, there's probably a frog with a gunflipper in this game. 

Anyway, and that's why Final Fantasy 7 Remake deserves Game of the Year 2020.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake still hasn't left Midgar

Probably the biggest realization, putting all this footage we've seen together, is the fact that, to this day, six months from release, Square Enix has not confirmed how exactly this game is being split up for content. We know they're still sticking to episodic-style releases, but they've remained mum as to what each episode will actually contain. 

At the very least, we have a vague idea from the new trailer and its final shot of Cloud, Barret, and Tifa looking out onto complete wreckage. It could only be two things. There is a junkyard which leads to the part of the slums where Aerith and her mom live, and this could easily be our first look at that area. But more crucially, this could be a look at Sector 7 immediately after President Shinra demolishes the lower classes by dropping the plate above them on the city. It's the event that forces the group to leave Midgar and seek help. One option is just a cool visual; the other is, essentially, the first sign that, yes, the game we get in March at least covers that much of the original game. We'll only find out for sure once we get closer.