Square Enix published an interview on its own blog featuring some of the creative talent in charge of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Specifically, we’re talking about Final Fantasy VII Remake Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi and Producer Yoshinori Kitase. It’s the kind of interview you might expect to see from a PR perspective, but there’s one piece of information that stands out as a “fun fact.” Kitase, who was on the original Final Fantasy team, gives a little insight on everyone’s favorite one-winged angel. When speaking to the difference between original and Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s version of Sephiroth, Kitase noted a certain oscar-winning aquatic hellion as a key source of inspiration.
When asked why Sephiroth appeared in Final Fantasy VII Remake so much earlier than he did in the PSOne classic, Kitase had the following to say:
There are two main reasons. Firstly, the way we handled Sephiroth in the original Final Fantasy VII was to hide him—hold him back.
You may not know this, but I was inspired by the movie Jaws which took a similar approach of teasing this powerful presence, but never fully showing you the shark until later in the story. We wanted to build him up as this really big, powerful character in people’s minds. By only referring to him indirectly, it created this feeling of fear and oppression–so when he makes his first appearance, it’s a big deal.
But for the remake, that doesn’t work so well–partly because everybody knows who Sephiroth is (laughs)! We didn’t think it would be as effective to have him held back until later on in the story.
Secondly, Sephiroth is this massively overarching presence that looms over the whole Final Fantasy VII saga. We wanted to make sure that aspect of him was present in this first game in the project – that’s why we have introduced him much earlier in the story now.
It isn’t the most abstract narrative technique in the world, but it makes a lot of sense! It’s also just a funny comparison, which tickled me enough to spend… some extra time in Pixlr tonight.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is available for the PlayStation 4.