Final Fantasy VII Remake gave fans of the original game quite a shock as Cloud and the party exited Midgar. Zack, the protagonist of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and a key figure in Cloud, Aerith, and Sephiroth’s past, appears to be alive, and helped an injured Cloud reach Midgar. This stands in stark contrast to his fate in the original continuity, where he was killed and his Buster Sword was handed over to Cloud.
Zack’s changed fate is emblematic of how the Final Fantasy VII Remake and Rebirth teams approached the source material. “If we trace the original and stay exactly loyal to it as is, I think that is lacking in the gaming experience itself,” director Naoki Hamaguchi says. “With elements like the Whispers or Zack – these new elements introduced in Remake or Rebirth – this really gives players the feeling that based on these, perhaps the ending is going to be different from what we know from the original and have that sort of wonder and anticipation building. The mystery building is something we truly wanted players to feel in Rebirth.”
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion key art
In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Zack appears to have a more defined role. “Through him, players will be able to experience and understand more of the Final Fantasy VII worldview and it will deepen their understanding of the Final Fantasy VII world,” Hamaguchi says. “We have used the character Zack to depict the combined view of [story and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima, creative director Tetsuya Nomura, and producer Yoshinori Kitase] – the original creators – intents of how this world of Final Fantasy VII came to be and its policies and rules governing this world. This is going to be depicted through the character of Zack. As much as the Whispers within the story, Zack is an equally, immensely important, crucial, key character to this story that I believe fans will enjoy within Rebirth.”
While Hamaguchi and the team didn’t go into too many details, it certainly whets my appetite and makes me want to go back to Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, even if that’s not part of the current continuity. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth arrives on PlayStation 5 on February 29. For more Final Fantasy VII Rebirth coverage, head to our exclusive hub through the banner below!