Some of the team that worked on the original Final Fantasy VII gave an interview ahead of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s release next month.
Final Fantasy VII director Yoshinori Kitase has said that he is embarrassed about the game’s depiction of social issues, social representations, etc.
Final Fantasy VII director embarrassed about how the original game handled social issues
Yoshinori Kitase, who is currently the producer of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Rebirth, participated in the interview along with Tetsuya Nomura, character designer and visual director of the original game, and a few others in the interview.
Nomura mentioned how Final Fantasy VII was a sort of ”midpoint” between two different ways in which Final Fantasy’s development happened:
”Even within the main Final Fantasy titles as a series, we can consider Final Fantasy VII as a kind of mid-tier title that is in the middle of everything. Until Final Fantasy VI, it was created a certain way, and after VIII, there was a new way of approaching development, while VII sits between those two titles as a sort of mixed elements title.
Final Fantasy VI included a lot of elements that each department on their own, on a whim, wanted to include, so they just included it, whereas VIII is much more calculated and strategic. VII is a mix of this, where it is both calculated and a kind of development on a whim. If we made games like we did when we created the original VII, we’d be in trouble right now. Times have really changed. Beyond VII is the point where I would say times have changed. It’s the last of the titles where we managed to do things this way”
According to Nomura, sometimes there would be completely random changes:
”There were scripts and suddenly things that aren’t even in the script that the character is saying now in the game that we’ve never heard of. Some departments just wanted to include the character saying these things. It was that kind of world then”
Then-director Yoshinori Kitase worked collaboratively with Kazushige Nojima, another writer, to ensure the story was intelligible:
”There were teams working on each character and the things they said in the plot, but overall, Nojima-san was the final reviewer. This is bringing the whole plot together. This practice was continued so that future titles would have cohesion. But beyond that, it was kind of an ‘anything goes’ world.”
And then the developers started talking more about the themes of the original game:
”In Final Fantasy VII, we managed to portray these types of issues, such as the cycle of life, through the concept of Lifestream. If we portrayed it exactly as we experience it in the real world, it wouldn’t be very interesting. With Nojima-san’s ideas, we were able to center this on the Lifestream and the planet within the worldview of Final Fantasy VII. In this way, I believe that the game and its themes remain relevant and stand the test of time”
However, Final Fantasy VII director Kitase says he is embarrassed by the way the game dealt with ”social problems, social issues and cultural representations”, even though it is all fiction:
”Considering the way of portraying social problems, social issues and cultural representations, in a way, I’m a little embarrassed by the original title. In his expression, in some ways, he was very young and naive in himself. This is a learning experience for us, but at the same time, I believe that perhaps this is one of the reasons why it has been so widely accepted. It’s not perfect and it’s a bit uneven. Of course, after more than 25 years, there is a lot of learning, change and personal growth. But looking back, at some parts, I’m a little embarrassed.”
Although the Final Fantasy VII director didn’t mention exactly what he was embarrassed about, we can assume that the many things that offend politically correct Westerners were what he was talking about.
Many points of the original game that offend, such as sex being portrayed in the bee inn, Tifa’s sexual appeal, Barret being a ”racist stereotype”, Cid’s ”mistreatment” of his love interest and so on.
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