Final Fantasy VII Scenarist Kazushige Nojima Explains How He Rewrote Cloud for the Remake
Kazushige Nojima is obviously aware of the fact that the story in Final Fantasy VII Remake will have a different impact than the original as it leaves little to the imagination.
I don’t know about you, but I have regular Final Fantasy VII Remake debates with my friends. It’s a legendary game that makes everyone excited, so verbal jousting pretty much happens naturally when it’s brought up. One point which always comes up in these debates is how FFVII Remake simply can’t have the same impact as the original. And I’m personally fine with it, as being different is what I believe a remake should be. As long as it’s good, and that’s what I feel about FF VII Remake right now.
Even for its time, the original FFVII is really weird in how it mixes three different representation styles for its screenplay. Meanwhile, the Remake goes for an anime feel but with a realistic side which leaves little to the imagination. And needless to say, Final Fantasy Scenarist Kazushige Nojima is aware of this fact, as revealed in a new Square Enix blog post:
Kazushige Nojima: “It was an exciting task to introduce a new current of wind to Final Fantasy VII Remake, but at the same time, there was some fear. The original game used cartoon-like, stylised art, and the story was completed by players using their imagination to supplement portions that couldn’t be depicted as a result. Even if they were seeing the same scene, the information they took away from it and how they interpreted it differed depending on the viewer. Perhaps it’s what might be considered a narrative form of storytelling nowadays.”
Everyone knows the technical limitations of the past are what actually made many games so memorable. And this is the case for Final Fantasy VII’s story. Nojima continued:
Kazushige Nojima: “In Final Fantasy VII Remake, there will be much less room for player imagination. This fact will probably change the feel of the story considerably. People who know the original might not know quite how to take it. Such is the fear that I have. But I also have conviction. It should be possible to feel a much deeper connection to Cloud as you join alongside him. It would be amazing if you could feel that fiery flame together with him.”
This is pretty interesting as Nojima basically is confident that the Remake will manage to fill in the gaps just as good as what our imagination did in the past. I’m quite looking forward to it. One of these gaps will be filled by the voice acting. I’m personally a huge fan of Cloud’s seiyuu Takahiro Sakurai, so I just can’t wait to hear his new lines. In the same blog post, Nojima explained how he rewrote Cloud in this Remake:
Kazushige Nojima: “I revisited the experiences that he’d had in his life so far, thinking of the effect that each individual event would have had on him. His attitude toward his childhood friend Tifa. How would he act toward Barret? What sort of distance would he keep while interacting with passers-by on the street? I picture the scene of Midgar in my mind and imagine Cloud moving through it. Write new lines of dialogue to add for him. This is how Cloud in the Remake Version came to be.”
One thing I’m personally worried about is Cloud being too much of a prick. I want just the right balance when it comes to his cold attitude. Ironically, as much as I like Takahiro Sakurai, I fear Cloud might become too pricky because of his influence, as he’s known for voicing these types of characters.
Technically, Sakurai has been voicing Cloud for nearly twenty years now, in spinoffs and games like Kingdom Hearts 1. However, this is the first time he’ll be voicing THE Cloud in its “Original” state. Hence why I’m so worried about it. As I believe seiyuu being typecasted and asked to voice a character exactly like another popular character they previously did is one of the main problems of Japanese media nowadays. I hope Cloud will sound and feel like Cloud, not like Makishima from Psycho-Pass.
As previously revealed, Final Fantasy VII Remake has many new elements to it. I just hope Tetsuya Nomura won’t Kingdom Hearts up the story too much. Square Enix is also working on the second and possibly last part.
We recently translated comments from Kazushige Nojima about how Final Fantasy VII influenced Final Fantasy VIII. We also translated the short film made to promote the remake.
Final Fantasy VII Remake launches on March 3, 2020, on PS4. You should grab the game on Amazon to support us.