VII Squared


Square Enix are revisiting Final Fantasy VII on the PS4 in both a HD upgrade of the original three disc epic and an all-new remake that will likely divide the fan base for years to come. Rather than debate the merits and flaws of such a move (we’re sure the internet is already doing it for us!) we’ve taken advantage of the situation to look back at the Playstation original and its design. Final Fantasy VII is a landmark title in many ways, but perhaps mostly because it was the title that brought the western world up to date with the otherwise woefully misguided numbering scheme that the series had followed outside of Japan. We’d seen the first, fourth and sixth titles renumbered into Final Fantasies one through three up to the point of Final Fantasy VII’s release and its launching unchanged heralded the start of a new period for Squaresoft in the west. Maybe because of this the game is littered with references to the number seven. We’ve picked out seven of the best, seven examples of the number seven in Final Fantasy VII.

1. 7th HEAVEN
Tifa runs a mixture of bar and restaurant in the slums of Midgar by the name of 7th Heaven. It’s also the secret base of operations for the resistance group known as AVALANCHE, housing a hidden room beneath its bar area where the group meet. Coincidentally it also has seven rooms which are occupied by the seven named characters in the game’s opening chapter. Tifa, Barrett, Marlene, Biggs, Wedge, Jessie and Cloud.

It is revealed in a flashback that Cloud left the town of Nibelheim seven years before the opening of the game in order to become a SOLDIER. Before leaving, a younger Cloud meets with Tifa by the town well and promises that should she ever need him he will return to rescue her. A promise that has large emotional payoff throughout the tale.

Cloud starts the game at level 6, but immediately levels up after leaping from the train in the game’s opening cinematic and encountering two guards on the platform. This means that you first gain full control of the character at level 7.

The city of Midgar is broken up into multiple slices, each labelled as miniature cities which can be travelled between by the denizens there. Sector 7 is where the game begins and the first Mako reactor to be destroyed is there. It also houses 7th Heaven and is the home of the resistance group your fighting for. When things get serious the Shinra Corperation takes the drastic action of levelling the whole area, killing untold hundreds of people if not thousands.

Players can make their way through the whole game without ever managing to see this particular treat, but should the health of a character be reduced to 7777 in battle the status ‘All Lucky 7s’ will trigger. This makes the character launch a barrage of over 60 attacks on the enemy, all dealing exactly 7777 damage.

Reduced to unconsciousness after Sephiroth recovers the Black Material and releases the Weapons onto the world (rendered in an amazing cutscene cinematic), Tifa awakens after seven days asleep. Coincidentally the mad scientist responsible for the JENOVA project also kept Aeris (Aerith) and her mother captive for seven years in the basement of the Shinra building while he conducted tests.

Red XIII warns the group that Meteor will strike the world in seven days. This adds just the right amount of emphasis onto the finale to be urgent but not so much so that you can’t explore the world map for secrets and kill the optional bosses. Say perhaps opening the seven chests in the hidden area that unlocks Knights of the Round for example . . .

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