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Final Fantasy VII (PC) – Part 22

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With it's remake very much on the minds of many, I figured it became high-time to release a playthrough of the original 1997 Final Fantasy VII, or rather it's 2012 Steam re-release on PC.

While I certainly was there to see Final Fantasy VII at its original launch, including all the preamble surrounding its Hollywood quality production, and the spectacle that came with it, I never found the courage to truly go through and actually play the thing… Atleast all the way to the end anyway. To those visiting my channel this might seem rather curious but, fact of the matter is, Final Fantasy VII continues to intimidate me to this day with how much it has to offer and certainly on the first disc alone there are numerous distractions, parts of the world to interact with, that make progressing the main-story itself seem almost unimportant.

Where many would cry foul at the idea of calling this the Greatest Game of All Time, or even the Greatest Japanese Role Playing Game of All Time, we have to recognise that Final Fantasy VII truly was a touchstone moment for Squaresoft (now Square Enix), for better or for worse. Nearly all successive JRPGS were contrasted to Final Fantasy VII, perhaps unfairly, and as a result it is generated a deal of animosity amongst the more hardcore fans of the genre itself.

Fundamentally though, Final Fantasy VII's core mechanics were rock-solid: With the equipping of Materia replacing the complex nature of jobs, skills and magic casting, thereby creating a dynamic system that gives the player greater freedom to customise the party as they wish. Limit Breaks, an expansion of a similar feature in Final Fantasy VI, delivered on the make-or-break feel to fights with each character having theirs triggered through accumulated damage. It helped tremendously how visually there was animation, impact, to each action committed by a character and seeing the likes of Cloud physically move in to stab an enemy or a summon destroy an opponent in cinematic flair really made this game feel that much of a step ahead of its competition, or at the very least, earlier Final Fantasy games.

And finally, it has to be respected that the cast of Final Fantasy VII, though often parodied now, are unforgettable with Tetsuya Nomura's designs giving them all their distinctive looks, with their loud personalities (see the Mr. T inspired Barret) becoming the focus of many retrospectives for the series. The story itself is another matter, taking twists and turns that make things somewhat complex and nuanced, but never in such a way where it becomes impossible to follow (much unlike Final Fantasy XIII released over a decade later). I could sing the praises of Nobuo Uematsu's music, the game's sound design or even the elaborate full-motion video sequences but these are all so obvious it barely needs any mention.

In anycase, getting waaaaaay off-point, let's get on with the video series already…

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SOME NOTES:
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– This version of Final Fantasy VII runs on a mod: The Reunion (R05c) which not only changes the dialogue but has various fixes that make the game play a little differently in an effort to be more accurate to the Playstation version and what the developers intended.

-I had alot of trouble deciding on how to present these videos. Final Fantasy VII is made with a 4:3 Aspect Ratio in mind, my capture was at 1920×1080. It would make sense to crop the borders to 1440×1080 for anyone viewing this on a Full-Frame monitor. Alas, with this PC port there are a few gameplay messages that get in the way that would make cropping the picture look a little odd. Final Fantasy VII also features borders on the backgrounds (top and bottom) which would still persist despite my attempts to change the aspect ratio. This will probably be an issue for very few people thankfully.

– Let it be known that these videos are not intended for those looking for 100% perfection in a playthrough. All deaths and reloads are edited out and I strive to get the better items and unlockables if it makes sense to. Please do respect that I may miss out on a few items or do battles in a style that might not reflect how you might play the game otherwise though. Grin and bear with it if you feel I am doing anything really stupid during this run.

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A LEGAL NOTICE:
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Any copyrighted footage I use is covered under fair use laws, or more specifically those listed under Section 30(1) of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1989 and under section 107 of US Copyright Act 1976. This video exists purely for the purpose of research and criticism. I do not make a profit from any uploaded content, nor do I intend to. Thank you for watching.

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