Final Fantasy VII Remake creative director Tetsuya Nomura spoke to Famitsu this week about Intergrade, spin-offs, and the possibility of future DLC.
Nomura recently sidestepped into the title of creative director, after directing the initial installment of Final Fantasy VII Remake. The news came amidst a flurry of new properties related to the ambitious reimagining, including its PlayStation 5 upgrade; its exclusive DLC, Intergrade; and the reveal of new playable character Yuffie Kisaragi. He told Famitsu, in an interview translated here by Twitter user @aitaikimochi, that “for the sake of separating the PS5 upgrade with Yuffie’s added parts, we had to call this part DLC.”
“We really have no plans for any other DLC. […] The roadwork we have laid out to complete the entire story takes priority, and if we are to ever add DLC, it will not be until after everything has been done,” Nomura said. He reiterated that Final Fantasy VII Intergrade arose from the team’s effort to “adjust to the PS5 environment” and will help make “an easy transition to development for the next installment.”
The DLC includes a new chapter where players control Yuffie as she infiltrates Midgar to steal materia from the Shinra Company, getting tangled up with the “other” Avalanche division along the way. She’ll be accompanied by fellow ninja Sonon Kusakabe, who trained under her father. In the DLC, Yuffie will be the only playable character—unlike the main game, where characters can be swapped freely—but there are two modes players can swap between with the L2 button. In one, Sonon will act independently, and in the other he’ll follow specific orders from Yuffie.
“We wanted a character that balances with Yuffie,” Nomura said. As such, Sonon uses a staff to contrast with Yuffie’s giant shuriken, and was given a more military look. “We originally planned for him to be a lithe and extremely attractive man. However, we ended up making look more manly since Yuffie is different than what she’s like with Cloud or Vincent, so we thought it would be interesting to see how she interacts with him [by comparison].”
Further, the Final Fantasy veteran mentioned there would be “new materia and summons only available in Yuffie’s DLC,” but it remains unclear if these will transition to future instalments of the main story.
Among the spin-offs revealed last month was Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, a battle royale game that seem unusual for Square Enix. Nomura told Famitsu the decision was made to appeal to gamers who aren’t familiar with the series, as well as fans. “We can’t just release a lukewarm title, so we are really putting our all in to making this game,” he said, before adding that “producer [Shoichi] Ichikawa is a hardcore battle royale gamer” and is aiming to balance expectations from both the property and the genre.
The last new entry is Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis, a mobile game that will retell the events of the 1997 original game and the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, including Advent Children and Crisis Core. Nomura clarified that the original game’s story will constitute ten chapters—including three to cover the Midgar section, also reinterpreted in last year’s remake—and “the other Compilation titles will probably follow this same chapter pacing.”
When asked if Ever Crisis will have original episodes, Nomura said yes, including one for the story of First Soldier. “The story for First Soldier takes place thirty years prior when SOLDIER was still being established. As such, the younger versions of a certain hero as well as Shinra employees and even other characters who will appear in the next installment of [the remake] will be present as well. It will give you a deeper understanding of characters who were not talked about much in the main story.”
As well, special dungeons and battles will be included, taking place outside of the Compilation’s timeline. “You can create your own dream party and have fun challenging strong enemies,” Nomura said, referring to a scene in the trailer where Aerith fights a boss she would not normally encounter in the original games. Each story represented will be translated into a style similar to the original game, where miniature versions of characters represent the party on the world map, transitioning into full versions in battle.
“We’ll be busy with the Final Fantasy VII series not just this year, but next year, and the year after that, so each year will be intense,” Nomura concluded. “Consider the current news as the first wave. We hope you look forward to more!”