I Feel Bad That I Hate Chadley in FFVII Rebirth
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I Feel Bad That I Hate Chadley in FFVII Rebirth 

I have one-sided conversations with Chadley as I play Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, even though I had no major connection to him in FFVII Remake. “Yes, Chadley, I’m aware that scanning this lifestream spot means that there’s probably some transmuter chip somewhere to get.” “Of course this Protorelic investigation isn’t done. I’ve only seen two of them.” “I just want to quick tick this box, Chadley! You don’t need to check up on me!” And the thing is, I genuinely appreciate so many elements about this character and want the best for him. I just also want him to shut up.

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Chadley was tied to the Battle Simulator and Summon Materia in Final Fantasy VII Remake, and now that he’s free of Shinra and Hojo in FFVII Rebirth that role expands. He’s basically your go-to contact for a number of open-world missions, in addition to still being a means of getting Summon Materia and fighting in the Battle Simulator. He’s very good at it too! The interface for getting Materia from him is clear. It is easy to go through the Battle SImulator menu. Chadley himself also has a very distinctive look, and the map clearly marks where he is in each town. We have this short, professional-looking teenager who is taller than most “child” models and shorter than most “adults” at a glance. His purpose is clear and he’s functionally perfect.

Also, Square Enix absolutely put care into developing the character so he isn’t a static shop NPC like the ones you see in towns. There’s a backstory to flesh out why he has so much knowledge and is capable of so many tasks. Being a cyborg means he has uncommon levels of knowledge. That’s coupled with a major reason to constantly support Cloud and the party. We helped Chadley break free of his cruel master Hojo and his programming in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, so now he can have an actual “life” and pursue the greater good. After learning from his experience witnessing the Sector 7 plate drop and Cloud, he genuinely wants to make a difference. 

There’s even a sense of whimsy surrounding Chadley, which is new to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth after FFVII Remake and should theoretically make me love him even more. He takes part in the Queen’s Blood tournament on the trip from Junon to Costa del Sol. When he’s in the Corel Prison Dustbowl, he’s dressed in a big Tonberry mascot costume plucked right from the Gold Saucer above. I honestly giggled when I met “Robot Chadley,” aka RoboChad, outside Cosmo Canyon. 

With all these reasons to like Chadley, it really does make me feel bad about hating him in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, but I think it comes down to an oversaturation that is present here and not in FFVII Remake. Yes, Chadley did come up a few times in the prior game. However, he wasn’t as pervasive. He’d show up when you needed him or at moments when he made sense. Because he’s now essentially a service hub and guide, we’re constantly hearing from him. He’s always narrating what to do next. 

Which is another issue. Pretty much every time I’m hearing from Chadley in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, he’s telling me what to do, whereas in FFVII Rebirth it felt more like I was utilizing his helpful services on my own terms and when I needed him. Even if a character is fun, constantly associating them with being directed with a new chore or being spoon-fed information you might not necessarily need isn’t fun! It can annoy you! Maybe even, ahem, hate them. 

I suppose, now that I think about it, that helps me assuage my guilt over hating Chadley in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth after being cool with the kid in FFVII Remake. This is Square Enix’s fault! In many ways, the developer did absolutely everything right with the character. He’s recognizable. He’s helpful. He’s easy to find. He’s a gateway for things I’d need. He has a compelling backstory and there’s some levity there to “humanize” him. However, he’s always constantly chiming in when I really don’t need to hear from him, telling me what to do, and just being there when he doesn’t have to be. 

Maybe when the third game in the trilogy comes around, there’ll be a bit more balance to his appearances.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is available on the PS5, with the exclusivity arrangement ending on May 29, 2024.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.