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In what is likely to be a landmark development for online spoiler etiquette, the international paper of record, The New York Times, today plastered unmarked, decades-old Final Fantasy spoilers on the front page. The second part of the modern pseudo-remake, Rebirth, is just over a week away (releasing exclusively on PS5 on 29th February), and the move sparked still more discourse about how soon is too soon for spoilers. Take notes, NYT; Spoilers for 1997's Final Fantasy VII to follow!

Spotted by ResetEra, The New York Times instead blithely posted an article titled "The Shocking Death That Has Devastated Gamers for Decades", accompanied by a picture of the original, gloriously polygonal Aerith Gainsborough. The piece is excellent, looking at the legacy of one of the most influential narrative moments in gaming history and interviewing cast and development team members. The issue is the placement; It's impossible to miss, sent directly to the Times' 10.5 million paying subscribers, who may or may not be up on the latest lore.

The New York Times
Image: ResetEra

Final Fantasy VII spoilers have been a contentious topic since the original game first launched and ever since the concept of Remake surfaced. It's this humble scribe's opinion that a spoiler on this scale is almost impossible to keep secret, becoming part of the culture over enough time (like the identity of Luke Skywalker's father). And yet, we remain sympathetic to Zoomers and younger Millenials, who might not have gotten around to beating the original and its Remake.

What do you think? Is The New York Times in the right here? Have we become too sensitive? Let us know your thoughts on the shelf-life of retro video game spoilers in the comments section below.

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