Posted on June 24th, 2010 5 comments
A bunch of old press assets for Final Fantasy VII has showed up on the torrents lately; a 12mb .zip file that contains a lot of the concept renders and such that we all saw in EGM and GameFan in 1996.
Seeing the files in their pixel-perfect glory rather than through the lens of a print magazine makes a lot of difference.
It reminds me, in particular, of how instrumental FFVII was both to the PlayStation and to the entire JRPG genre. The game, alongside Super Mario 64, is what sold the “next generation” of consoles to the largest amount of gamers worldwide, and you can see why — maybe it’s crude 3D, but at its best, it’s incredibly colorful and inviting to the observer, something you had never seen before in video games. That, and whether you disagree with the direction it took the series or not, FFVII was far more massive in scale than anything Square had attempted previously — a harbinger, if you will, of the way the whole industry was going as its games grew a third dimension.
Also, looking at this stuff, I didn’t realize Square put so much care into FFVII‘s vehicles. They came up with a complete description and design history for the Hardy-Daytona, the motorcycle that Cloud rides on his way out of Shinra HQ, for example. This sort of minute (almost obsessive) world-setting stuff is a hallmark of a lot of Japanese creative media.