Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is the second in a confirmed trilogy of ‘remakes’ of the classic Final Fantasy VII, released in 1997 for the original PlayStation. I say ‘remakes’ because players of Final Fantasy VII Remake will know that, while many events from the original are reenacted, they are also recontextualized, with plenty of new moments that make this trilogy feel more like sequels than remakes.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will be coming to the PlayStation 5 exclusively on February 29, 2024. Players will not be able to carry their Remake save file into Rebirth, as this is a standalone experience, despite being a sequel. But, those who have a PS4 or PS5 Remake save file will unlock the Leviathan summon materia, and those who have a save file from EPISODE INTERmission will unlock the Ramuh summon materia.
Here’s everything else we know about this highly anticipated return to Gaia, and to the battle between Cloud and Sephiroth.
It should first be noted that, while many characters make their return from Remake — and Remake Intergrade — some are making their proper debut in Rebirth. Obviously, we have Cloud, Barrett, Tifa, Aerith, and Red XIII, all of whose voice talents are returning from Remake. Sephiroth, the seemingly immortal, cross-dimensional being with illustrious silver hair is also returning, for good reason.
Introduced in Intergrade, we have the spunky kunoichi Yuffie Kisaragi, and Rebirth will feature the full debut of Cait Sith, as well. I imagine some eagle-eyed players will say “but Cait Sith appeared in Remake!” to which I say, they had like five seconds of screen time, and it was wholly lacking in context, so it hardly counts. Also, those who made it to the end of Remake will remember the seemingly out-of-left-field rewriting of history that allowed Zack Fair to survive his last stand as seen in Crisis Core. To what end this changes things is currently the fodder of fan theories, but we should get an idea in Rebirth.
Also returning from Remake is Chadley, the researcher who enlisted Cloud to help him collect data. It would appear that they’re back with more research to conduct, and you’ll probably end up doing it, too. If you find and activate an area’s remnawave towers, you’ll be able to do more research, which will make Chadley very happy indeed. It’ll also clear out the surrounding area on your map.
Remake was set entirely within the confines of Midgar, so new players will notice that the world of Gaia is further fleshed out in Rebirth than ever before. If you don’t feel like walking to your next destination, you can take advantage of a Final Fantasy staple, the Chocobo! Further, Mountain and Sky Chocobos can be used to climb mountains and glide through the sky, so you need not abide by your environment.
Chocobos aren’t the sole means of alternative transportation. In fact, you can take advantage of a buggy car, which would seem to be all-terrain and is a faster means than riding a Chocobo. In addition, longtime Final Fantasy VII fans will remember the seaside town of Costa del Sol, which now comes with the option to ride a segway/wheelie, a concept the internet has simply fallen in love with.
It would seem that the world of Rebirth brings a return to Final Fantasy VII’s classic minigames — and, they’re not solely located at the Gold Saucer. Some of the minigames highlighted include G-Bike, which resembles one of the final sections of Remake’s Midgar Escape; Chocobo Races, and 3D Brawler, which converts Cloud and his opponent into polygonal constructs reminiscent of the original game.
Other minigames highlighted include a Piano Performance minigame (which, depending on how deep it goes, people will absolutely record themselves playing “Sandstorm” by Darude); Queen’s Blood, a card game resembling that of Gwent or other deck builders; and Moogle Mischief, where you must “bring mischievous Moogle kids back to their mogstools.”
As you proceed on your quest through Gaia’s majesty, you’ll explore a number of regions and locations, including the Grasslands, Junon/Under Junon, and the Gold Saucer. In these locations, a variety of new features will be made available, including Chocobo Ranches, Item Transmutation, and Odd Jobs, which are making a return from Remake. Speaking of Chocobos, finding and repairing Chocobo Stop signs will convert them into fast travel points for you to make full use of, which will inevitably come in handy.
The eternal battle
Introduced in Rebirth are Synergy Abilities, which are “powerful attacks in which two characters team up to turn the tide of battle,” according to Square Enix. Some of these abilities include Cloud and Sephiroth’s Double Helix, Yuffie and Barrett’s Ninja Carbine, as well as Aerith and Cait Sith’s Kitty Cannonade.
There are two summons making their debut in this continuity: Alexander, a colossal, armor-plated titan, and Odin, a terrifying god on-board an equally threatening horse. These presumably join summons from Remake, including Ifrit, Shiva, and Cactuar.
In terms of this game’s ending, creative director Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed that Rebirth will extend up to and include the events of The Forgotten Capital in the original Final Fantasy VII. It is uncertain as of writing if the events of the original will play out exactly as they did back then, but the inclusion of Zack in this continuity might make enough of a difference to change some characters’ fate.