Throwback Thursdays: A Horrifying Vision of the Present from Final Fantasy VII

It’s been almost twenty years since SquareSoft abandoned its Nintendo loyalists for the sexy, polygonal temptations of the PlayStation: in 1997, Final Fantasy VII was released for the PS1 in all its blocky glory.

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Dear Cloud, how do you type with boxing gloves on your hands?

Platform and graphics aside, the game’s futuristic, cyberpunk setting also marked a new era for the series. While previous Light Warriors¬†marveled at the steam engine between treks on their flightless Chocobo mounts, Cloud, Tifa, Barrett & Co. got helicopters and a spaceship.

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And kept the chocobos anyway. Gotta give the fandom what it wants.

But as I was replaying this game recently in anticipation of a PS4 remake in the near future, there wasn’t much reason to ponder over ’90s-era console wars, or fanboy rage at the shift in setting. Instead, I was repeatedly struck by how eerily prescient the whole thing felt. The game still has an outsized reputation in the history of JRPGs and console gaming,¬†but more than anything, it should stand as a grave warning of the realities of 21st century life, as we live through it.

Spoilers below.

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