Final Fantasy 7: A Game-Changing Revolution

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Written By Antoine Clerc-Renaud

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Are you aware that Final Fantasy 7, released in 1997, forever altered the gaming landscape? This iconic game not only redefined the role-playing genre but also set new standards for storytelling and gameplay.

From its inception, Final Fantasy 7 challenged conventions and pushed the boundaries of what a video game could achieve. Get ready to uncover the pivotal moments that shaped this groundbreaking title and join us as we unravel its captivating narrative and impactful characters.

Key Takeaways

  • Final Fantasy 6’s success solidified the franchise’s popularity and showcased Square’s approach to building the series.
  • Yoshinori Kitase’s directorial debut on Final Fantasy 6 proved successful, leading to his next project, Final Fantasy 7, which became a defining game of its generation.
  • Square’s shift in mentality, due to being floated on the Japanese stock exchange, influenced the evolution and vision of Final Fantasy 7.
  • Kitase’s vision for Final Fantasy 7 focused on a dense narrative, player decisions that could change the world, and growth of characters affected by past actions.

Final Fantasy 6’s Impact

Final Fantasy 6‘s impact on the gaming industry was substantial. Released in 1994, it set a new standard for storytelling and gameplay in the RPG genre. With its compelling narrative and innovative mechanics, it became the highest-rated and highest-grossing Final Fantasy game at the time.

This success solidified Square’s approach to building the franchise, emphasizing originality and fresh gameplay mechanics. The game’s director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, believed in pushing boundaries, which paved the way for the emergence of Yoshinori Kitase as a game designer.

Kitase’s inclusive and dynamic leadership style, showcased in Final Fantasy 6, earned him the directorial role for the groundbreaking Final Fantasy 7. The impact of Final Fantasy 6’s success wasn’t only felt within the gaming industry but also in the evolution of game design and storytelling.

Yoshinori Kitase’s Rise

After the success of Final Fantasy 6, you emerged as a prominent game designer, leading to your pivotal role in the development of Final Fantasy 7. Studying screenwriting and filmmaking at university, you made your directorial debut on Final Fantasy 6, implementing an inclusive and dynamic style of leadership.

Hironobu Sakaguchi’s faith in you proved well-placed, setting the stage for your next project, Final Fantasy 7, which would redefine a genre and generation. Your vision for Final Fantasy 7 focused on a dense narrative over length, with a thematic emphasis on density and branching paths. Player decisions were designed to have a profound impact on the game world and character growth, creating a symbiotic relationship between actions and consequences.

Evolution of Final Fantasy 7

You may notice an evolution in the gameplay mechanics and storytelling of Final Fantasy 7, which set it apart from its predecessor.

Released in 1997 as a PlayStation exclusive, the game marked a new era for the franchise. Square, driven by innovation and a pursuit of perfection, initially had different visions for the game, considering options like releasing it on Super Famicom or as a compromise.

Kitase, the game’s director, aimed for a dense narrative focusing on two characters with branching paths, where player decisions would shape the world and characters’ growth. The game also pushed to change the genre of the narrative, incorporating an ecologically conscious theme and exploring Sakaguchi’s personal theories about life.

This evolution laid the foundation for Final Fantasy 7’s status as a game-changing revolution.

Kitase’s Vision

Building upon the evolution of Final Fantasy 7, Kitase’s vision for the game centered around a dense narrative and interactive character growth. The focus was on creating a world where player decisions would have a tangible impact on the unfolding events.

Kitase aimed for a more intimate and symbiotic growth of characters, where their development would be influenced by past actions and choices. This approach was meant to immerse players in a deeply engaging and dynamic storytelling experience, where every decision carried weight and consequence.

Kitase’s vision strived to bring a new level of depth and interactivity to the game’s narrative, ensuring that every interaction and choice would shape the world and the characters within it.

Genre and Theme

Continuing from the previous subtopic, the genre and theme of Final Fantasy 7 pushed to change the narrative genre, building upon the groundwork laid by Final Fantasy 6.

Final Fantasy 6 acted as an initial step in this direction, using the heroic fantasy genre as a framework for loftier ethical aspirations.

However, Final Fantasy 7 went further, incorporating ecologically conscious evangelism and delving into Hironobu Sakaguchi’s personal theories about life.

The game aimed to explore a dense narrative over length, focusing on two characters and branching paths.

Player decisions were designed to change the world and events, with the growth of characters being symbiotic and affected by past actions.

This approach reflected a significant evolution in the genre and theme of narrative-driven games, setting a new standard for storytelling in the gaming industry.

Innovative Game Design

The innovative game design of Final Fantasy VII built upon the dense narrative and branching paths introduced in Final Fantasy VI, marking a significant evolution in storytelling within the gaming industry.

First, the game introduced 3D character models, environments, and pre-rendered backgrounds, creating a visually immersive experience that was revolutionary for its time.

Second, the innovative Materia system allowed for a deep level of customization and strategy in combat, giving players unprecedented control over character abilities and progression.

Technological Advancements

Expanding on the innovative game design, Final Fantasy VII set new standards by leveraging technological advancements to deliver a visually immersive and interactive gameplay experience.

The game utilized the PlayStation’s capabilities to render detailed 3D environments, allowing for a more immersive and expansive world to explore. The introduction of pre-rendered backgrounds combined with 3D character models brought a level of depth and realism previously unseen in RPGs.

Additionally, the use of full-motion video sequences further enhanced the storytelling and cinematic experience. The technological leap allowed for more emotionally impactful storytelling and dynamic gameplay mechanics.

Final Fantasy VII’s technological advancements not only pushed the boundaries of what was possible in gaming at the time but also set a new benchmark for future RPGs to strive towards.

Cultural and Commercial Impact

Building upon the technological advancements that set new standards in gaming, Final Fantasy VII made a significant cultural and commercial impact.

  1. The game shattered sales records, selling over 10 million copies worldwide, and solidifying its place as a commercial powerhouse in the gaming industry.
  2. Its compelling storyline, memorable characters, and groundbreaking use of 3D graphics captivated a global audience, propelling it to iconic status in popular culture.
  3. The game’s influence extended beyond the gaming world, inspiring an array of spin-offs, merchandise, and even a feature film, further cementing its impact on popular culture.

Final Fantasy VII’s cultural and commercial impact transcended the realm of gaming, leaving an indelible mark on entertainment and popular culture as a whole.

Legacy and Influence

‘Final Fantasy VII’ continues to shape and inspire the gaming industry, leaving an enduring legacy and influencing future game development.

Its impact on storytelling, character development, and cinematic presentation has set a new standard for RPGs. The game’s complex narrative and memorable characters have been emulated by numerous titles, showcasing its enduring influence.

The success of Final Fantasy 7 also demonstrated the potential for deep, emotionally resonant storytelling in video games, paving the way for future narrative-driven experiences.

Its innovative use of pre-rendered backgrounds and full-motion videos has influenced the visual design of many subsequent games.

Furthermore, the game’s commercial success solidified the viability of investing in high-budget, ambitious projects, inspiring developers to push the boundaries of creativity and technology in gaming.

Fan Reception

You can gauge the fan reception of ‘Final Fantasy VII’ by the numerous accolades it received and its enduring impact on the gaming community.

1) The game won multiple Game of the Year awards and is often cited as one of the greatest video games of all time.

2) Fans were captivated by its immersive storyline, memorable characters, and groundbreaking use of 3D graphics.

3) The game’s impact on the gaming community is evident in the passionate fan base that continues to celebrate its legacy through fan art, cosplay, and dedicated online forums.

The enduring love for ‘Final Fantasy VII’ speaks volumes about the profound impact it had on the gaming world.

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