Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is the second chapter in a trilogy of games adapting 1997’s smash-hit Final Fantasy 7, a game often credited with putting Japanese role-playing games on the radar for millions of fans across the world. Our knowledge of Rebirth’s content was quite limited until September 2023, when Square Enix effectively blew the lid off their highly-anticipated upcoming title, showcasing so much stuff we knew we’d need a huge article in order to encompass it all.
It is our goal to keep this page updated with every fresh tidbit of information as we await Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s launch on February 29, 2024. The game will be exclusive to PlayStation 5 at launch, though a PC port is inevitable, and who knows – maybe Remake and Rebirth will one day grace Xbox hardware as well.
We’ve got a ton of ground to cover, so as Cloud Strife once famously said… let’s mosey.
Much has been made of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth being the first PlayStation 5 game to necessitate not one disc, but two. Indeed, it’s a prime marketing tool – look how big our game is. And indeed, as we’ll soon detail, Rebirth does look enormous. But in modern gaming, if multiple discs are mandatory, this almost always reflects the need for an ‘install disc’ and a ‘play disc’. In other words, don’t expect to get a disc swap message at some pivotal moment in the plot.
When Final Fantasy 7’s remake was announced as a multi-game project, many fans presumed the first installment would cover far more than the early hours, which are set within the confines of an enormous city called Midgar. In the original FF7, players exited this memorable metropolis a mere handful of hours into the roughly 40-hour main quest, after all.
But there are myriad challenges involved in recreating a PlayStation RPG in the modern age. Big-budget 3D projects require an immaculate attention to detail in every art asset. There’s a reason AAA video games tend to take four years or more to make now. And thus, the Midgar ‘arc’ of Final Fantasy 7 was transformed into its own game, Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
This gives the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth an unenviable task. It must carry us forward all the way to the final location of FF7’s first disc – the developers have confirmed this is how far Rebirth’s events will reach.
While it’s important to note that we’ve also been told the order in which we visit locations will differ from the original title, this still puts us in a probable range of about six to nine main settlements, plus all the lands between them, as well as dungeon-like areas such as Mythril Mine, Corel Prison, and Temple of the Ancients.
Understanding The ‘Unknown Journey’
We mentioned that the order of locations will have shifted, which means key events being retold will undoubtedly shift in chronology by proxy. It’s equally imperative that we consider the potential for shifts in context. By the end of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, it was clear that the so-called remake is something of a quasi-sequel; apparitions called Whispers, insisting that the timeline play out as ‘intended’, tried (and failed) to thwart the butterfly effect of major narrative deviations.
With strange happenings such as a potential collision between dimensions and the return of a certain important character who has always been dead prior to the events of FF7, we should expect the unexpected. The last words to appear on the screen in Remake, after all, are ‘The Unknown Journey Will Continue.’
And yet for every reason to suspect sweeping changes, there’s a reason to anticipate the relative preservation of fan-favorite moments. Director Naoki Hamaguchi, Creative Director Tetsuya Nomura, Producer Yoshinori Kitase, and the rest of the talented team behind the Remake trilogy – many of whom worked on Final Fantasy 7 all those years ago – insist the essence of many memorable events shall remain intact.
How far does that go? Does the beloved character seemingly destined to die… actually die? Does someone else take her place? For big-picture answers like these, there are, of course, no answers before FF7 Rebirth’s launch.
A Sizable Cast Of Characters
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will carry the vast majority of Remake’s characters forward into this second chapter. Some, such as the scheming Don Corneo and his fellow Wall Market bigwigs – Madam M and Chocobo Sam – seem reasonably unlikely to reappear until the third game. President Shinra is very much deceased, but the sky’s the limit for just about anybody else. (Jessie’s, Biggs’, and Wedge’s fates in Remake are all varying degrees of open question marks at this point.)
Your Party Members
In Final Fantasy 7 Remake, players are gradually given control over Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, Tifa Lockhart, and finally Aerith Gainsborough during combat encounters. The depth of play for each of this iconic early-FF7 quartet makes for an exciting enough romp, to be sure, though there’s been some disappointment that the beloved canine Red XIII serves as an uncontrollable guest party member in the last chapters of Remake.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth adds Red XIII to our roster from the get-go, upping the number to five from the first hour or so into the adventure. Furthermore, it adds both spunky Wutai ninja Yuffie Kisaragi and strange doll-like creation Cait Sith to our arsenal as the story continues. The developers had already gotten a grip on how Yuffie would play courtesy of the ‘Episode InterMISSION’ DLC.
That gives us a total of seven playable characters in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, since we know for a fact that the mysterious Vincent Valentine will serve a guest role similar to Red XIII’s toward the end of Remake. What about Cid Highwind, the last of the nine original Final Fantasy 7 party members? And is there the chance for someone unexpected to be recruited? More open questions for the time being, though given we’ve not set seen Cid, and in light of our knowledge that location order will differ, our guess is Cid’s being reserved for the third part.
There’s also the matter of Zack Fair. This hero of the Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 prequel title and major influence on the life of Cloud Strife dies valiantly in the original canon – including the ending of Crisis Core – but appears to have somehow survived his destined end, crossing between dimensions (or something to that effect). Zack may also be playable, but the jury’s out on that front as well.
Your Sworn Enemies
First and foremost is Sephiroth, the mastermind behind Final Fantasy 7, and the eternal rival to Cloud Strife. In Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Sephiroth is heavily implied to be well aware of how things played out in the earlier canon, leading many fans to speculate that he is, perhaps, a vestige of the villain who survived both Final Fantasy 7 and its film sequel, Advent Children.
Does that mean there’s another Sephiroth out there – the one who would be resting at the northern edge of the world, unaware that some other version of him is conspiring to influence events? Maybe. Either way, surely the alien lifeform Jenova is alive and kicking; we’ve fought a strange image of her, and we know she rampaged across the Shinra Building.
From there, it’s a Rogues’ gallery of Shinra-related who’s-whos, from President Shinra’s son and corporate successor, Rufus Shinra to the cruel Professor Hojo. Rufus’ underling executives include Heidegger, the head of military; Scarlet, head of weapons development; Reeve, secretly an ally for our heroes and head of urban development; and Palmer, head of the space program.
Shinra also employs the Turks, unofficial title for the Investigation Sector of the General Affairs Department. We’ve met Tseng, Reno, and Rude in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and we know we’re on track to meet the newest member, Elena, in Rebirth at the same point we did so in FF7. We should probably make sure we mention the devil-may-care SOLDIER operative Roche as well, though he’s less a villain, and more… comedic foil.
Your Friends And Other Folks
This section constitutes pretty much everybody else we know will be in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Let’s run down the list quickly and curtly:
- Bill, Billy, and Chloe are the father, son, and daughter team who lead the Chocobo Ranch not far from Kalm. An early-game quest involves catching a runaway chocobo for them, thereafter unlocking chocobos as a form of travel.
- Chadley, a cyborg creation of Hojo’s who assists the party in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. He’s decided to go on a trip across the world in this sequel, and will continue to help him via their ongoing collection of Battle Intel.
- Rhonda, a woman who serves as ‘mayor and sheriff’ for the poverty-stricken Under Junon portion of the greater Junon city. She recognizes the party as fugitives, but elects to trust them rather than turn them in.
- Priscilla and Mr. Dolphin, a young girl and her cetacean friend. Mr. Dolphin was Cloud’s ticket
- Oliver, almost certainly a very minor character, and a rancher who factors into a short side quest
- Andrea Rhodea, another of Wall Market’s bigwigs in Midgar, and the highly inclusive fan-favorite ‘gender dispeller’ lead dancer at the Honeybee Inn. We’ve seen footage of him at the Gold Saucer; this should be a real treat.
- Dio, owner of the Gold Saucer. We’re mostly sure it’s him we see with a fabulous mustache during Gold Saucer footage.
And plenty more we’ve not yet seen!
Exploring Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s World
While we’re not 100 percent sure whether Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s world can be considered ‘fully open world’, we can at least tell it will sport several vast regions that, when ‘stitched together’, constitute a large portion of the entire planet traversed in Final Fantasy 7.
Seeing The Sights
At present, we know for certain we’ll visit the following areas.
- Kalm, a town we’ll likely start the game in once the party is ready to get going. It will serve as an early hub area, where quests can be undertaken.
- Grasslands Area, a catch-all term for the ‘open world segment’ spanning from Kalm to the nearby Chocobo Ranch, and perhaps on to the swamp where the deadly Midgardsormr lurks.
- Mythril Mine, which appears to serve as FF7 Rebirth’s first real dungeon, so to speak.
- Junon Area, another catch-all term, this time for the ‘open world segment’ surrounding the city of Junon.
- Upper and Lower Junon, the twin-settlement secondary capital of sorts for Shinra, and thus a sprawling city. This is where Rufus Shinra’s presidential inauguration parade occurs.
- Costa del Sol, the tropical resort town on the opposite side of the ocean from Junon, and the spot where Cloud and the team will apparently ride on the now-memetic Segway-like devices.
- Gold Saucer, premier amusement park and all-around happy place, where a ton of fun mini-games await. Of course, assuming things play out similarly to FF7, it won’t all be rainbows and bunnies here.
- Cosmo Canyon, mystical birthplace of Red XIII, where scholars and spiritualists gather. No doubt we’ll meet Red’s ‘grandfather’, Bugenhagen, here.
- Shinra Mansion, since we’ve seen Vincent’s awakening.
- Mount Nibel, at least as depicted during Cloud’s flashback, which we hypothesize Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will ‘cold open’ with.
As a direct result of our knowledge of the above, and in conjunction with things the developers have expressly stated, it’s either strongly implied or outright known that the following locations are also in:
- The Cargo Ship that the party stows away aboard to traverse the ocean from Junon to Costa del Sol.
- Mount Corel and North Corel, since they’re en route to the Gold Saucer.
- Corel Prison, unless for whatever reason the party isn’t imprisoned at the Gold Saucer.
- Nibelheim. This one’s just got to be in – how else would we reach the Shinra Mansion, which is basically a part of Nibelheim?
- City of the Ancients, which Tetsuya Nomura has told us verbatim will serve as the final point on Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s partial world tour.
If we’ve missed anything, let us know!
Quest-Givers And Battle Intel
You can’t have open world regions without something populating them, and predictably, quest-givers will be sprinkled all throughout. We know of Oliver in the Grasslands Area, plus a bunch of folks at Kalm in need of help. Chadley will also require us to ascend old communications towers (not exactly the most unique gameplay element, admittedly) as we find them.
On that note, Chadley will also task us with collecting Battle Intel similar to in Remake, except it appears to be more in-depth this time, with multiple objectives to perform, and a cute-sounding AI assistant who will provide commentary on the creatures we’re sent to slay. In Remake tradition, completing these Battle Intel quests will unlock a steady stream of new Materia and more. The device through which the AI, ‘MAI’, operates is called the CHAD module. We’re only telling you this because it’s hilarious.
Methods Of Transportation
There’s good old-fashioned walking, of course, and we’ll likely be able to hoof it over much of Rebirth’s terrain. But assisting us, not to mention enhancing the gameplay in general, are chocobos, the desert buggy, and the Tiny Bronco. We’ve seen ample footage of Cloud, Aerith, and the gang riding chocobos, and we’ve also seen a quick snippet of the party in the buggy, which likely won’t be obtained until around midway through the game.
Customizing your chocobo’s attire FF14-style is in, and it looks like a hoot. Furthermore, there are several colors of chocobo, with certain shades capable of specific traversal skills. Additionally, chocobo chicks roam the world, and following them will bring you to fallen signage that Cloud can fix up, which unlocks fast travel destinations. Cute.
Toward the tail end, the Tiny Bronco – a small aircraft that is downed but remains seaworthy – will also be ours. We’ve not seen any footage of this, but it’s another on the long list of things the developers have told us.
This leaves out both the Highwind and the stolen submarine, both late-game original Final Fantasy 7 vehicles. Never say never, but we highly doubt they’ll pop up until Part 3.
Crafting And Collectibles
A crafting system wasn’t present in FF7, nor FF7 Remake, but it makes its debut in FF7 Rebirth. By gathering resources strewn throughout the world areas, and leveling your crafting ability, you can create plenty of useful items, like potions and status effect removal fare.
The game seems chock-full of collectibles, too. We’ve seen a chocobo dig up a Play Arts model Sweeper – Play Arts being a real-world style of figurine frequently sold by Square Enix, often for Final Fantasy characters. And if there’s one in-game Play Arts figure, surely there are more…
The Battle System: Polishing A Gem
When Final Fantasy 7 Remake hit the shelves in 2020, most of us were darned impressed with the combat. It manages to blend pulse-pounding action with old-school elements incredibly well. With due respect to both Final Fantasy 15 and Final Fantasy 16, the former attempts similarly to more mixed results, and the no-holds-barred pure action of the latter isn’t necessarily what every longtime Final Fantasy fan has a nonstop hankering to have fun with.
So, what does Rebirth need to do, then? We anticipate further polishing of the preexisting formula, which the clips we’ve seen thus far seem to support. Added mechanics keep battles flowing more smoothly, with less ‘down time’ between actions, but without sacrificing those opportunities to slow things down while choosing between abilities to unleash.
Synergy For Seven (Or Eight, Really)
No doubt the coolest new twist on the remake trilogy’s combat is the Synergy system. Synergy attacks allow two party members to work in unison for powerful (and spiffy-looking) strikes full of character charm. RPG old-timers can liken them to the Dual Techs of Chrono Trigger, and all the neat similar notions since.
We’ve parenthesized the number eight since, as the above image illustrates, the younger Cloud we see in a flashback at Mount Nibel gets to synergize with Sephiroth. Which is, you know, awesome.
Master More Materia
Courtesy of Chadley – and other sources too – Rebirth will expand on Remake’s pool of available materia considerably. We’ve seen multiple new materia, including Fire and Ice, an elemental combo package that indirectly implies the existence of more – like Fire and Thunder. There will also be new summoned monsters to acquire, including Odin, Kjata, and Alexander.
If there’s one thing fans have been head-over-heels for in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s marketing, it’s the extensive list of fun mini-games that the devs have proudly put on display. We know of plenty already, with the prospect of even more on the horizon.
Return de Chocobo
The banner birds of Final Fantasy, chocobos have played some role in almost every mainline entry, not to mention the countless spinoffs. In Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the Gold Saucer will host chocobo racing, though we do know there won’t be chocobo breeding this time around. (Maybe in Part 3!)
Chocobos will also be a major means of travel, and they can detect buried treasures in the open world areas in a style similar to the Chocobo Hot & Cold mini-game from Final Fantasy 9, as well as the treasure-hunting opportunities in Final Fantasy 13’s Gran Pulse region.
An All-New In-Game Card Game
We’re ecstatic about this one. In 1999, Final Fantasy 8 introduced the franchise’s first in-game playable card game, Triple Triad. This was followed immediately with 2000’s Final Fantasy 9, and the Tetra Master card game.
23 years later, and Square’s going back to the well on this idea again at long last. Queen’s Blood is a card game played across the world of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, with your own constructible deck, various opponents to face, and tie-in quests. Queen’s Blood is, in and of itself, a large-scale side quest, and we’ve been told it sports a surprisingly emotional storyline.
Of Moogles And Motorcycles
Mog House was a quirky, narrative-centric little mini-game at the Gold Saucer in FF7, but it’s being expanded into a real-world location (perhaps more than one). There’s a Mog House near the Grasslands Area’s Chocobo Ranch, and we’ve seen a quick bit in which Cloud must round up mischievous young moogles while… uh… dodging their attacks? It’s a lot.
Returning from Remake’s climax, albeit in virtual mode format, is the dramatic motorcycle chase. Newcomers to FF7 might find this odd – why is there an in-game video game rendition of something like this? Well, that’s how it always was at the Gold Saucer, where one-time plot-relevant mini-games could be tackled again, with some remixed features, for high scores and prizes.
Upping The Classic’s Ante
But these original-content mini-games are getting upgrades of their own. For example, the segment of the Final Fantasy 7 in which Cloud disguises himself as a Shinra trooper and partakes in a parade in Junon has been expanded considerably; you now lead an entire squad rather than playing a bit part in the event.
Similarly, whereas we’ve always been able to jam on Tifa’s piano in Nibelheim, it seems there are several pianos throughout the world, and they now feature a full-fledged little rhythm game. The three-button fighting game, another Gold Saucer mainstay, has gotten quite the glow-up, too.
More To Come
We don’t know when Square Enix will fill our hungry minds with more previews for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, but it’s hard to argue we haven’t gotten quite the first course already. But we’ve got months to go before February 29, and that means there are new trailers, fresh footage, even more developer interviews, and more on the horizon.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage thus far, and we promise to keep this article updated on a regular basis!
Next: Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Ending, Explained