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Fifteen years ago…

February 1st, 2012 by Tony Garsow

Yesterday was a big day for Final Fantasy, what with the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2 on North American shores. But it was a big day in another way — with Final Fantasy VII turning fifteen years old. The series’ first 3D entry on the PlayStation rocketed the series and the genre to a worldwide popularity unseen before that time. It was a terrific landmark for the series as a whole, and we’d like to celebrate this anniversary by asking you to share with us your memories of Final Fantasy VII.

Final Fantasy VII was my second Final Fantasy game after FFVI (or III on the SNES as it was known then), and I remember anxiously waiting in line to pick it up as soon as it was shipped in to our local retailer at a mall twenty miles away from where I lived. It was right when school started, when the summer heat started to lose it’s intensity and the cool and crisp sunny days of autumn were on the horizon.

The car ride home seemed to last forever (and then some when you have a new game you’re anxiously awaiting to jump into), but as soon as we were home, my shoes were slapping on the basement stairs to a little makeshift family room we had with a cold and bare cement floor and some old dusty furniture not nice enough for the main floor. I already had my PlayStation set up, and it took mere seconds to destroy the plastic wrapping around the game, opening the multi-disc case, and placing Disc 1 into the PlayStation with a surgeon’s precision.

The days after were spent completely enthralled in the game, and I vividly remember waking myself up at five in the morning to play the game before I went off to school. Our cafeteria discussions were always filled with game talk, and for many months after we would discuss our different materia combinations, our fascination with the story, and our amazement of cinematics that you could play during!

What I thought I’d do is dig up an old interview with Squaresoft staff on Final Fantasy VII, just for nostalgia’s sake. So in addition to that, please share your memories in the comments below!

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  • I remember being sort of precarious. I had just turned seven, and it was one of my first games; a late birthday present. I felt really self-conscious about fumbling with a new game in front of anyone, haha. I remember struggling to maintain interest in any of the dialog, since it was hard to grasp much of the nuance (and the famously poor translation). Plus, I was pretty indifferent to male characters for most of my prepubescence, so it was hard even trying to care about Cloud, or much of the cast at all, but I remember instantly attaching myself to Tifa (I found myself disliking her later, but that’s another story).

    I never finished my first play-through, and ultimately wasn’t very impressed until subsequent replays in my tweens. I guess I was just too young lol.

  • ChadAlmasy

    There came a time when, out of sheer boredom, I leveled up to over 70 during go around in the Shinra Mansion. Looking back, at 15, I honestly have no idea HOW I managed to sit still long enough to do this.

    Soon after I procured a girl friend. Having not a playstation, she had yet to experience FF7. So, one day we sat down in my room and I started up a new game for her so she could check it out. When it came time to save, we did it quickly, without even blinking.

    We got a pretty good laugh when we figured out what file we had saved over 😛

  • ChadAlmasy

    Dangit, that was supposed to say the first go around in the Shinra Mansion.

  • Kaiser

    Hah, Just found out that FF7 is the same age as me… and the same ‘birthday’. Happy late b-day FF7.

  • Don

    I remember watching this before I got my PSOne. A friend of let me borrow his VHS copy of this making of video before I got one myself, knowing how much I wanted this game. Like Tony I liked VI slightly more than VII but the memories I have playing this to death. In fact I maxed out my characters and got three sets of master materias, all skills materias and beat the super bosses even before reaching 99:59 (I did it at 98:57). I still have my saves and placed them in my PSP and PS3 when I feel like taking on Emerald or Ruby Weapon again if I want at home or on the go.

  • KazeXUnohana

    Played it once, still don’t understand the hype behind it today.