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Final Fantasy 7 Remake Demo's Secret Ending Explained

Did you know Final Fantasy 7 had a secret ending before it was cool? Back in 1997, gamers were shocked to find that after the credits rolled on their playthrough of Final Fantasy 7, there was still another cutscene left to watch. This short sequence gave fans a look at what happened after the end of the game. The secret ending to the Final Fantasy 7 Remake demo offers a glimpse at what's to come in the remake, rather than what happens after.


To trigger this bonus scene, players will have to be speedy. The demo has Cloud participating in the plans of eco-terrorism group Avalanche, and its up to him to set the timer on the bomb that will blow the Mako Reactor to smithereens. You can choose between giving yourself 20 or 30 minutes to get out of there. Choosing the former option will trigger the extra scene ... if you make it out alive, of course.

So, what's there to see in the secret ending? At the conclusion of the demo, Square Enix reveals Cloud is about to get into some serious trouble. Blowing things up tends to attract some negative attention, after all. Typically, the demo would end there with Cloud about to take on some Shinra goons before the title screen plays. In the super secret, extended version however, there's more to see after the title screen.


Rather than fading to black, Cloud seems to be remembering something ... something terrible. This memory, glitchy and faded, is actually your first official look at Sephiroth himself in-game. Cloud sees Sephiroth, a legendary SOLDIER with long silver hair standing before an inferno, his Masamune blade drawn. It's weird, because Cloud used to laud Sephiroth as a hero, someone he aspired to be. Why should he have such a dark memory about him?

This scene is in fact a memory, and a repressed one at that. Cloud has some serious issues with his past, and has gone to great lengths to forget about the day he accompanied Sephiroth to his own hometown, Nibelheim.

To understand the significance of this secret scene, you have to get to know Cloud a little better. He's not your run-of-the-mill protagonist. Rather, Cloud is in the midst of an identity crisis. He left his podunk hometown of Nibelheim and his childhood friend, Tifa, to train to be an elite warrior. He doesn't make the cut, however, and instead becomes just another armed thug that follows around more powerful people like Sephiroth and Zack.

This is what he was doing when Sephiroth went to Nibelheim to check on a Mako Reactor. There, Sephiroth discovered his true origins (or rather, what he believes to be his true origins) and he doesn't exactly take it well. Thinking that he's actually one of the last members of an ancient race of people, he becomes something of an avenging angel. That day ended in flame and tragedy, as the discovery sent him on a warpath, convinced he needed to destroy humanity since humanity had destroyed his people. He started by slaughtering everyone in Nibelheim and setting it aflame. Many perished, including Cloud's own mother and Tifa's dear old dad.


As you might imagine, seeing his hero kill his family and neighbors was pretty traumatizing for Cloud, who had just enough power and guts to stop Sephiroth. He tried to escape these memories by taking on a new identity: rather than just an average guard, he has adapted the persona and attitude of SOLDIER Second Class, Zack Fair. Zack was the original wielder of the Buster sword, to whom he bequeathed the iconic weapon upon his — rather gruesome — death. This is why Cloud, when he meets back up with Tifa in Midgar, claims to have been an elite SOLDIER, offering the Buster sword as proof. Now, he's a cocky and aloof mercenary who only cares about getting the job, whatever it may be, done.

That's what this secret scene is alluding to. Cloud is trying to escape his past, even his own identity, but he can't quite get away. He is still haunted by what happened when Sephiroth lost his mind. Somewhere inside, he knows he's just a kid from Nibelheim who watched his hero go insane and hurt the people he loved. And that's what's so important about this secret sequence. It alludes to the core clash of the game: Cloud and Sephiroth and the Nibelheim Incident.