In a recent chat with Final Fantasy 7 Director and Remake Producer Kitase Yoshinori, he told me that Final Fantasy 7 Remake very nearly didn’t include any of the ATB mechanics, time pausing or semi-turn based actions that are included in the final game. It was only intervention by Nomura Tetsuya that saw ATB and turn-based-esque combat included in Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Kitase said, “When we first sat down and discussed how we were going to do the battle system, I was personally more of the opinion that we could just turn it into a full-on modern action game.” He didn’t believe they needed to include any turn-based system.
However, Tetsuya “was very much against that.” According to Kitase, Tetsuya “was a very strong believer in not leaving the turn-based fans behind.”
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
With Tetsuya firmly against the idea of turning Final Fantasy 7 into a full-on action game, the team sat down to determine how they’d proceed. In the end, this hybrid system was developed.
“You’ve got that combination of core battle mechanics, which use an action game style of control and on top of that, you’ve got the more strategic menu command selections,” Kitase explained. He added that the hybrid combat was driven by the staff, the development team and Tetsuya.
Kitase said that in order to get the combat in Final Fantasy 7 Remake right, the team “set out a continuum, a spectrum really and within that, you’ve got 100% turn-based battles at one end and Kingdom Hearts level of action at the other.”
We felt it really shouldn’t go as far as Kingdom Hearts and we had to keep some of the elements of the command based menu system there. The combat should fall somewhere on that continuum between the two ends and we think we found the right position.
In my preview, you can read about how well I think Final Fantasy 7 Remake nails the combat and if the team has, in fact, got the balance right.
It’s interesting to hear that Kitase wanted to turn the game into a fully realtime, action game and, as a purist, I’m really glad he didn’t.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be available for PS4 on April 10, 2020.
Leo Stevenson travelled to Sydney as a guest of Square Enix to attend a Final Fantasy 7 Remake preview.
Special thanks to Kitase Yoshinori for his time.