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Go read this: Polygon’s oral history of Final Fantasy VII

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A perfect time to revisit the game’s definitive history

This week, Square Enix is releasing Final Fantasy VII Remake — a complete retelling of the series’ most iconic game. The first episode, set in Midgar, blows out the world introduced in 1997; its huge, thrilling take makes the original game feel like an outline for what the developers originally envisioned.

In 2017, our sister site, Polygon, published the definitive story of Final Fantasy VII’s creation: an oral history featuring interviews with more than 30 of the game’s original developers, including Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase, Tetsuya Nomura, Nobuo Uematsu, and Yoshitaka Amano.

Sandwiched between the discussion of Square’s inner workings at the time are stories about the game’s original plot — set in New York, where the heroes were pursued by a character called Detective Joe — the series’ jump from Nintendo to Sony, and the decision to remake the whole thing. Nomura has a perfection streak that makes him obsess over character eyes; Sakaguchi earned himself the nickname “The King” among his peers.

The oral history is a perfect appetizer ahead of the game’s April 10th PS4 launch. Polygon published its story while Final Fantasy VII Remake was still in development, but it offers a look at how the game came to be. For Kitase and Nomura, it was a chance to reunite on a project.

“For the people involved in making Final Fantasy 7, I’m sure it holds a special place in their heart,” Nomura said. “It was such a revolutionary title, and people who played it thought it was such a big turning point for the Final Fantasy franchise ... there is something special for me about going back to that game now.”