Players of the original Final Fantasy VII and its Remake returning for the upcoming Rebirth have been anticipating a particular gondola ride for a very long time. The Gold Saucer date scene is shaping up to be more dynamic and romantic than ever; the mysterious system that determines your potential partner laid bare, as it were.
During gameplay shown off today during a Final Fantasy VII Rebirth-centric State of Play, players were given a glimpse of the new relationship system called Bonds of Friendship. Apparently, "the strength of these bonds can alter portions of the story", and one such moment will surely be the anticipated Gold Saucer date sequence. Director Naoki Hamaguchi explains why the developers are lifting the lid on the system, which was determined by factors hidden from the player in the 1997 original:
"For Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, a lot of people understand that there's that very famous date scene on the gondola coming. So because people sort of know where this is heading, if it was still kept in the dark and they didn't know roughly what level of affinity they were with each character, this could be quite stressful for the players."
Certain side quests will now indicate that completing them will influence your relationship with a specific party member. Pleasing these characters will reward the player with an emoji, which is basically how romance works in real life, as far as we can tell. Players could take Aerith, Tifa, Yuffie, or Barrett out on a date in the original game. Hamaguchi teased that allies not interested in the original could be persuaded to accompany Cloud this time around.