Square Enix runs a FFVII Remake Revisited series. Each one involving behind-the-scenes insights from developers regarding different characters and chapters. The latest features some insights about Tifa in FFVII Remake, including that she almost had a playable section as she went to deal with Don Corneo.
This detail actually came up in a section in which both Scenario Design Co-Director Motomu Toriyama and Co-Director Game Design/Programming Naoki Hamaguchi talked about Cloud not being able to head into Avalanche’s hideout in Seventh Heaven. The two mentioned this was to show how he was just a mercenary and not “part” of the group. However, they then said people almost were able to visit that basement as Tifa in FFVII Remake.
Here’s the full response from Toriyama and Hamaguchi.
In Chapter 3 Cloud is more distant from the Avalanche members than he was in the original game, so we made it that he was not allowed into their underground hideout. Having group meetings that only full Avalanche members are invited to and Cloud being left out in the celebration of the successful bombing mission etc. depicted the loneliness of his situation.
However, there is more to the story, as during development we had actually planned for a section between Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 where the player controlled Tifa and could experience the events leading up to her infiltrating Don Corneo’s wife auditions. That section would have featured the inside of the Avalanche base.
It was developed to a point where the section was joined up and playable, but we were concerned that having a separate story as an interlude after Cloud falls from Reactor 5 and is reunited with Aerith in the church would damage the tempo of the storytelling, so we ultimately decided to remove that part. I think it would be great to show Tifa’s side of the story if we get a chance at some point.
Toriyama also noted that the goal in FFVII Remake was to show how kind Tifa is when introducing her to the player. He also noted how Cloud can only open up to her, due to their past.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is available for the PlayStation 4, and FFVII Remake Intergrade is out on the PlayStation 5 and PC. In the last FFVII Remake Revisited, Sephiroth’s introduction was discussed.