Final Fantasy 7 Remake Creators Shared The Changes Made In The Iconic City Of Midgar

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake

PlayStation 4™ – US, EU, AU & JAPAN

Nearing its full release next month, Square Enix’s FF VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase and co-director Naoki Hamaguchi shared some of the big changes they made to the iconic city Midgar.

If you’ve watched Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Opening movie, you probably have the idea in mind of the changes that these creators are about to share.

Besides the notable characters who have left a strong impression on fans and gamers. To list such as Cloud, Tifa, Aerith and more. One of the most remarkable in the original Final Fantasy VII is the city of Midgar.

And on the upcoming remake, creators put a lot of effort to make it as real as possible using Unreal Engine as they relive a masterpiece and bring it to PlayStation 4.

Moreover, check out some of the detailed changes, key scenes and design decisions producer Yoshinori Kitase and co-director Naoki Hamaguchi unveiled through their sit- down interview.

1. Beyond The Wasteland

Compared to the opening scene of the original, the remake version starts with a bird’s eye view of the area that surrounds the city. A simple yet powerful scene that tackles planetary devastation due to industrialization.

We didn’t want to go over the top with it. But there is very much the nuance that [Midgar] is damaging the surrounding area. – Kitase

2. Advent Children references

We then spiral into a gleaming, sun-kissed metropolis. A side of Midgar we’ve not seen since 2005 movie Advent Children. Did the studio use any reference material from the game’s subsequent tie-ins or did it start afresh?

We did refer to Advent Children and other previous series’ work when rebuild Midgar,” “But one of the main things we actually set out to redo was the scale of the city itself. The original wasn’t that realistic if you consider the size of the individual buildings and how big they were in comparison to the overall city. It was quite condensed; we really set out to make Midgar realistic. The size between the buildings, the density… that’s one of the big things we set out to change. – Hamaguchi.

3. City Building Logistics

So does that mean the studio has a fully-designed topographical map of Midgar?

“We haven’t done it all to the same quality or same level of detail as the actual areas you do get to visit in the game, but we have mapped out the entire city and what’s in each of those areas.” -Hamaguchi

But that hasn’t stopped the team answering an important theoretical question: could the city’s design work for real? “You know the structure of Midgar; you’ve the big central pillar, and each sector is supported by its own sub-pillar,” – Hamaguchi.

“We worked out the right size and construction, how big those pillars would need to be to physically support the weight of the plate on top of them. Also the honeycomb structure of the pillars and where the tunnels would have to go for it to still work as a physical structure.”

“That has all been mapped out and we understand quite a lot of detail about the realities of how Midgar would be constructed as a city.”

4. Everyday Life in Midgar

” We really wanted to show the everyday lives of Midgar’s citizens. [Partly] to show how they lived in this massive city powered by Mako energy, how and when they’d be using it, to tell that aspect of the story”. – Kitase

“The original version went straight into the bombing mission. We wanted that feeling that things were already underway, you were in the middle of the action. Yet if you immediately went from there into the panic caused by the bombing mission afterwards, you wouldn’t understand the impact it had on the inhabitants’ everyday lives before that event interrupted them. That’s why we started with this domestic kind of scene.”

5. Architectural Digest

Gleaming skyscrapers give way to smaller buildings made of brick. There are glimpses of construction work as we get to street level. A city constantly expanding, building on itself, building over its history.

“The idea is that the city is being built from the center outwards. You can also sense the different architectural styles as you go out from the central pillar, with high-rises on the city edge. We’ve put quite a bit of effort into making you feel like it is modernizing as the city builds outwards.” -Kitase.

6. A downtrodden playground

A familiar sight to those who have poured over 2015’s announcement trailer, the playground serves as a storytelling tool to distinguish the economic inequality between Midgar’s citizens. But not just between those living on the plates and those in the slums underneath.

“Within each sector you’ve got the difference between rich and poor. Each plate is its own city,” “There are some areas within those that are older, beaten up. The playground is used to show there are downturned areas that aren’t so well off in the city areas too.” -Hamaguchi.

7. A city’s lifeblood

“Up to [this point in the opener] we’ve seen the benefits of living with Mako. It supports people’s comfortable lifestyle in the city. But the depiction here of the Mako reactor turning on is that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows; there’s a darker side to Mako as well.” – Kitase

8. A flower girl

If you can recall the original’s opening scene it features  Aerith together with her basket of flowers and on the remake’s opening movie, she appeared with the same scene in the middle part of the video.

“I felt that it was a great transition,” – Kitase

9. A walk down Loveless Street

A pan out brings us to the entertainment hub of Midgar, Loveless Street, complete with cinemas and other venues. We note its proximity to Reactor No.1, your actions in which will shortly devastate this peaceful district.

“The player gets to see how the [Reactor bombing] impacts the city,” -Hamaguchi .“We want them to feel conflicted about the effects of their actions. That’s why we depicted this area in such detail.”

10. A beacon of industry

In FF VII Remake, Shinra’s headquarters is relatively untouched. At least on the outside. “We didn’t want to mess with the outer form of the building, because it could really affect people’s memories of what Midgar should look like. The inside though, like the floor structure, has seen major rearranging.” Hamaguchi remains tight-lipped on specifics though. “It’s something we want players to discover when they’re inside.”

11. City Of Many Experiences

“The core concept we worked on was that the player must be able to experience Midgar for themselves. Each individual location within has distinctive concepts and personalities. There’s a different style of gameplay experience waiting in each one of them.” – Hamaguchi

12. Lightning Supplied By Unreal Engine

“We’ve used new tech to enhance the game’s lighting, to make the city of Midgar feel as real as possible. A network of over 100 synced PCs do copious physics simulations, calculations to work out the exact realistic reflection and how the lighting beams will bounce off any object in the game. Through doing that we managed to create amazing atmospheric lighting for the city.” – Hamaguci

Thanks, PlayStation Blog!

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In case you missed it…

Game Overview

For a brief overview, the upcoming game is a remake of the 1997 PlayStation title, Final Fantasy VII. The game follows the role of the mercenary Cloud Strife as he and eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE battle against the wicked Shinra megacorporation and the rogue former Shinra soldier Sephiroth. The gameplay is planned to combine real-time action and turn-based elements just like with Dissidia Final Fantasy.

The remake will only include the part of the story in Midgar, but according to Kitase, it will be a “fully standalone gaming experience.” The producer added, “At that point, we decided we’re going to focus this game on Midgar and what happened in Midgar,” Kitase said. “And unfortunately, we can’t say anything more about future games after that, because we don’t know ourselves, really.


Enjoy the trailers and screenshots for the game below.

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