Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is arguably the biggest game of the first quarter, or at the least the one we're seeing the most hype for; considering it won Most Anticipated Game at The Game Awards, this should come as little surprise. This second part of a trilogy will give us a lot more one-on-one time with specific characters and companions, which has given the creative minds at Square Enix room to stretch their legs.
In an illuminating interview with the PlayStation Blog, the dynamic pairing of producer Yoshinori Kitase and creative director Tetsuya Nomura sat down to expound upon the feat. Kitase sets the scene: "The story in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth starts after the team has escaped Midgar and continues all the way up to the Forgotten Capital. In the original game, Sephiroth barely appeared during this section, but in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, he is the driving force that pulls the story along to fill that void."
Kitase says this has allowed the developer to explore the character in the greatest depth possible, making him an "even more charismatic and appealing antagonist" than in the 1997 original or any subsequent related media.
It's difficult to discuss the relationship between Sephiroth and Aerith without spoilers, but seeing how Square Enix handles the game's pivotal encounters is one of the biggest draws for returning fans of the original. Kitase addresses this situation in a roundabout way, describing Aerith's arc as one of the most critical themes in Rebirth's story: "I really want people to play the game and feel it directly, so I will not say too much here, but when comparing this scene to how it was presented in the original, I am confident that the audience will feel a great breadth of emotion from the extra level of detail in how the characters are portrayed."
Nomura personally appealed to the audience, noting that saying anything at all could potentially tip off fans. He hopes the moment is something players can discover for themselves and not have spoiled: "Really, I can only say that I want players to experience what waits for them at the end of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and feel it for themselves rather than getting that second-hand. Different people will respond to it differently, but I think that they will want to pursue that feeling, whatever it is, and set out on their next journey soon."