Final Fantasy VII Tech Demo E3 2005 Impressions

Whether it's a portent of a new FFVII remake or not is unknown, but the FFVII tech demo is still one of the most exciting videos we've seen at E3 2005.

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One of the more impressive aspects of the Sony press conference was the appearance of a so-called Final Fantasy VII "Technical Demo for PS3," a re-creation of the original CGI intro for Final Fantasy VII rerendered in real-time for the PS3 hardware. The power of the PS3 is immediately apparent, as the low-poly CGI of the original game is replaced with some impressively modeled characters (Aeris actually looks recognizably human now). After pulling back to reveal Midgar in all its plume-of-smoke glory, the sequence cuts back to the train from which Cloud first appeared in FFVII. Instead of being up about 100 polygons with big blocks for hands, though, Cloud here appears to be almost as realistically rendered as he is in the FFVII: Advent Children all-CGI movie.

At the outset, the tech demo features a profile of Aeris, doing her flower-selling thing on the streets of Midgar. As the camera pulls back, we see the actual cars on the streets, faithfully modeled and bouncing realistically, until finally it pulls all the way out to a panorama of Midgar itself, complete with iconic green smoke issuing forth from the chimneys of Shinra's power-generating facilities. Soon enough, flashes of the train from the opening sequence of the game appear, and Cloud appears, big-ass sword in tow. The sequence ends with a--we admit it--absolutely gorgeous close-up of Cloud with his sword.

The speculation now revolves around whether or not the "Technical Demo" of FFVII intimates that there will actually be a full remake of the game for the PS3, which is something that fans of Final Fantasy have been begging for for years. Final Fantasy VII is still arguably the most well-regarded of the Final Fantasy games, and speculation has been mounting about whether or not Square might attempt to cash in on that popularity by issuing a remake. Considering that this is a company that's announced at least three other games, as well as an all-CGI movie, based on the characters and storyline of FFVII, we can't rule anything out at the moment. Square didn't state anything for certain at the press conference, but we will of course have more details as they come along.

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