Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Is Already Bringing The Dead Back To Life

Reversing the death of a beloved character is a lazy storytelling device. At least, when it isn’t done for the right reasons. Sometimes a character you love biting the dust can be the motivation for characters to take action, or cause grief so powerful that overcoming such loss will help define the rest of your adventure. Even in the fictional realm of video games, death isn’t to be taken lightly, especially when the medium is so scared of pulling the trigger and sticking to it.



This brings us to Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth which, ever since its reveal, has been flirting with a reversal of fate and what this will mean for coming events that are intrinsically connected to death. Remake, like the 1997 classic, also has Jessie and Biggs murdered during the collapse of Sector 7. However, Wedge survives in this reimagining, ending the game in the midst of Shinra HQ with no doubt having a big role in the upcoming sequel. Jessie and Biggs though, were presumed dead, until a short scene at the end of the first game focused on a table where some familiar trinkets lie in wait.

Initially a worrying tease about what’s to come, The Game Awards trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth confirms that Jessie is indeed alive, as she can be seen singing during a production at The Golden Saucer which a number of characters can take part in depending on the choices you end up making. Perhaps this is a flashback or a vision of what could have been, but knowing that Square Enix isn’t afraid to bring characters back or reverse their fates (not to mention it’s a pretty integral theme of the remake trilogy), this feels deliberate.

I’m still not sold on whether this change is good or bad, since I have nothing against Zack Fair coming back to life and being folded into this new story, especially if it means games like Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus get tied into Remake and Rebirth, which are already happily aboard the Advent Children train anyway. If Jessie survived, chances are Biggs is not far behind, and will likely show up early on if their fates have also been reversed. The core narrative premise of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy is questioning destiny as we come to conclude when the time is right for us to perish, or whether anything can be done to change events long thought preordained. Sephiroth seems to know about his coming defeat at the hands of Cloud too, doing everything he can to change the eventual direction of his own life, even if it means muddying the waters of others.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Key Art

It’s incredibly meta, and a clever way to retell and reimagine such a beloved story, but only if it’s done right. Equal tragedy has to befall our characters or everything will amount to high-budget fanservice, keeping us nice and happy purely to avoid upset or reverse past loss will ring hollow. Characters like Cloud wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t lose Aerith after spending so long falling in love with her, not to mention how it shapes his relationships with others and his determination to unpack his own past. The entire narrative that follows must change if Aerith doesn’t perish, or if some similarly heartfelt character refuses to take her place.

With the game less than two months away at the time of writing, it won’t be long until we find out exactly how far Square Enix is willing to take this experiment. I just hope its myriad twists and turns are pulled off for the right reasons, and not to placate fans for the silliest reasons.

Next: Neil Newbon On Becoming Astarion In Baldur’s Gate 3

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