Square Enix continued its series of blog posts revisiting the development of Final Fantasy VII Remake. The latest entries of FFVII Remake Revisited cover Chapter 5: Dogged Pursuit and Chapter 6: Light the Way. In doing so they reveal the origins of two common elements from the game. Those are Stamp, the dog-like Shinra company mascot, and the “Potion” benches, a common place to replenish lost HP and MP.
Check them out at these links. Note that they, and this article, contain some spoilers for Chapters 5 and 6 of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Chapters 5 and 6 in Final Fantasy VII Remake cover Cloud and company’s trip to Mako Reactor No. 5. They travel first via train, and then via the lighting infrastructure underneath Midgar’s sector plates. The FFVII Remake Revisited blog brings insights into moments from the chapter, courtesy of members of the development team.
For example, as the party tries to make it to their rendezvous with Biggs, they’re forced to leave the train and hoof it through the tunnels. They’re guided by graffiti marks of Stamp, the Shinra mascot. According to Battle Director Teruki Endo, Stamp was first designed as a PR exercise during the war between Shinra and Wutai. Allegedly, Stamp is based on a design doodled by Shinra executive Palmer, who heads the Space Exploration Division.
Other insights from the Chapter 5 FFVII Remake Revisited blog spoke about the challenges of making Tifa’s combat style distinctive for Remake. Ultimately, the depth added came courtesy of the burst (a.k.a. stagger) system. Tifa’s abilities are particularly suited to boosting her stagger damage.
The Chapter 6 blog entry held forth on the set pieces and environments Cloud and party encounter while traversing Midgar’s underbelly. In one scene where the party must walk past a giant exhaust fan, the team programmed bespoke animations and physics movements to enhanced the dramatic effect of the wind blowing.
The team also held forth on the ubiquitous benches to be found throughout the game. Since Remake did away with save points, there had to be a way for players to rest and restore themselves. Game Design Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi said he personally pushed to design these rest points like benches and “Potion”-branded vending machines. The benches had to stand out to be visible in FFVII Remake‘s complex environment, but not so abstract that they didn’t feel unreal. Thus the benches went for a “subtle line of abstraction” to present a “warm and inviting” aura, emphasizing their use as rest stops.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is available on PC, PS4, and PS5. Check out some more trivia in the previous FFVII Remake Revisited blog, which covers Chapter 4.