Warning: This article contains story spoilers for the original Final Fantasy VII, the Remake, and Crisis Core
After a year of anticipation, the first official gameplay trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has been officially revealed. The new footage showcased more of the new open world and new gameplay characters like Yuffie and Red XIII. However, many fans are still curious about the story of the new entry in the Remake Trilogy. The first game had a story that stuck fairly close to the source material, with some brand-new material that redefined what it means to be a remake. The new trailer teases some of the new and continuing elements of the story. So here’s a full analysis of the trailer and what you can expect from the story of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Everybody is Dead!
The trailer begins with a striking visual: Midgar is in ruins. The narration describes a “massive tornado which swept through Sectors 0, 1, and 2.” As the cutscene plays out, there’s a glimpse of Barret, Tifa, Red XIII, and Aerith lying on stretchers, presumably dead. These events seem impossible, especially since we see all of the aforementioned characters alive and well in the next frame.
This scene seems to be set in a completely different timeline. Perhaps the one that Zack Fair is currently alive in? The ending of Remake showed off a world where Zack survived the ending of Crisis Core. In fact, the ending of the Intermission expansion released in 2021 hinted that Aerith could be dead, based on the glimpse of children crying in the Sector 5 slums. Time will only tell how they combine these plot points together in Rebirth.
“…Cloud Was Never in Nibelheim Five Years Ago…”
The next footage batch hints at Final Fantasy VII’s underlying mystery. Fans may remember Cloud’s role as an unreliable narrator in the original release. The story is already laying the groundwork for one of the biggest reveals in Final Fantasy VII. Tifa states that “as far as [she] knows, Cloud was never in Nibelheim five years ago.” This line of dialogue is one of the many hints that Cloud is not at all who he says(or thinks) he is.
Another returning character we see in the trailer is Bugenhagen. In the original Final Fantasy VII, Bugenhagen was Red XIII’s surrogate father. The player first meets him in Cosmo Canyon, as he explains what’s wrong with the planet and how Mako and the Lifestream function together. Bugenhagen will undoubtedly be another interesting piece of the story of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Another thing the trailer reveals is iconic locations and other characters from the original game. There are brief glimpses of the Chocobo Farms, Kalm, and the Mithril Mines. There’s even a blink-and-you-miss-it first look at Junon Harbor, a key location throughout the story. The new footage also provides the first look at Elena, a new member of the Turks and a fan-favorite character from Final Fantasy VII.
As Rebirth draws closer to release, fans can expect to see other characters as well. Namely, Cid Highwind, Cait Sith, and Vincent Valentine. Other locations will also be hinted at, such as Cosmo Canyon, Rocket Town, and the much-anticipated Gold Saucer. No doubt, the two discs and increased power of the PlayStation 5 will be used to great effect to bring these classic locations to life.
“Who is She?”
The final moments of the trailer hint at what Sephiroth will be up to during the events of Rebirth. Sephiroth will, of course, play a key role in the story of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, as he summons Jenova in the trailer for a boss fight. Sephiroth’s narration states that Jenova can “become those you hate, those you fear, and those you love.”
The trailer then cuts to a glimpse of the reunion that the game is building up to. The reunion is a key plot point in the original game, and one that Cloud will play a major role in. The footage alludes to this, showing Cloud among the many robed figures marching towards the North Cave, chanting “re-uni-on.”
The last few seconds of the trailer hint at a new mystery that Rebirth will be including. There’s a look at the famous Nibelheim flashback and Tifa marching toward Sephiroth to try and get revenge for her father. Sephiroth grabs the sword and slashes at her, as the narration states that “You know that I killed her. So, who is she?”
Sephiroth is almost definitely talking to Cloud. He’s no doubt messing with Cloud’s head, forcing him to doubt his memories and those around him. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will tell a dark story that forces the player to be just as paranoid as Cloud.
What Comes Next?
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will release in Early 2024, exclusively on the PlayStation 5. The story will be told across two discs, much like the original Final Fantasy VII. Fans can expect to learn more about the upcoming release before the end of the year. Check out the trailer below, and stay tuned to Final Weapon for more of our Final Fantasy VII Rebirth coverage.