Final Fantasy 7 Remake Co-Director Comments On Some Of The Major Changes To The Battle System That Helped Reimagine The Original

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Co-Director Comments On Some Of The Major Changes To The Battle System That Helped Reimagine The Original
Credit: Square Enix

When you talk about major 2020 game releases, Final Fantasy VII Remake is going to be a part of the conversation.

The first installment of Square Enix’s epic retelling of the Final Fantasy VII story was nothing short of breathtaking. The game released in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving gamers a new yet familiar story to sink into while they were stuck inside.

The game completely remakes and reimagines the original PlayStation 1 classic from 1997, rendering environments both new and old in stunning HD and presenting a fully voiced and often daring take on a game many consider to be one of the greatest RPGs in history.

Naoki Hamaguchi, the game’s co-director, spoke recently in an interview about a number of elements that really shaped the reimagining of the original title into something completely original that fans both old and new can find enjoyment in.

The combat system was one of the biggest changes, switching from a classic turn-based ATB system to live combat similar to Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts.

“The concept for the battle system in Final Fantasy VII Remake became clear to us at an early stage,” Hamaguchi said. “What we were aiming for was to evolve the ATB system in the original game to express the same concept through a more modern system. We went through a lot of trial and error, but instead of simply trying to integrate the ATB system from an action-based system into one hybrid model, we thought we should bring out the best from both systems by clearly defining each one’s role.”

One of the more genius aspects of the game’s new battle system is that it managed to make use of the original ATB while still delivering a fast and action packed system that would appeal to modern gamers. You’re able to hack and slash physically and move about the battlefield while the ATB gauge fills up. Once it is filled, you’re able to use items, unleash special attacks, and use the Materia system.

There is even a “Classic Mode” which automates physical attacks and allows players to make selections of items and special attacks on a turn based level, similar to how one might have done in the original game.

“The successful relationship between the two elements also provides a foundation for Classic Mode,” Hamaguchi said. “In this mode, the action elements are operated automatically by AI, allowing the player to focus entirely on identifying the correct timing to execute abilities with the ATB exactly as they would have in the original game. You could say that this system was only made possible through the clear definition of the roles of the ATB and the action gameplay that we did for the Remake.’