Trouble & Strife For The Final Fantasy VII PC Remake

By Alec Meer on August 6th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

that makes it look pretty cool, actually.

N.B. – please feel free to interchange the words ‘bad’ and ‘good’ in the next two sentences as you see fit.

Bad news: the deathless 90s JRPG that inspired a hundred million DeviantArt pages, Final Fantasy VII, is to be re-released for PC, in a shinier form with new bits. Good news: its launch over the weekend was pulled due to technical problems.

The issue was one of – hey-ho – DRM, with the boo-hiss Securom the remake is saddled with apparently failing to activate the game for a whole bunch of people. The official site bears no mention of the problematic release, having reverted to ‘Coming Soon’, but you can read people doing sadface en masse on the Squeenix forums.

The game will be $12.70 when properly released, sez VG247, and we’re likely to see more of it at Gamescom later this month. No doubt a re-release of a 15 year-old JPRG about people with big hair will be the first thing Jim and Adam make a beeline for when they’re out there.

I played FF7 on PS1 back in the day. It was ok. Spoiler: something happens to one of the characters.

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112 Comments »

  1. Eclipse says:

    Final Fantasy VII with securom for $13? ROTFL, keep on dreamin’ Square Enix…
    I’d probably see it better for $9.99 DRM free on GOG

    • Toberoth says:

      Yeah… I’d happily pay ten euros or so to get it DRM free and without the dumb achievements. The “character booster” idea is kind of interesting I suppose, for those who don’t like grinding and just want to enjoy the story, but I always kinda liked the grind (back then at least, I might not have the patience for it nowadays).

      • FlammableD says:

        Because achievements totally ruin a game.

        • Toberoth says:

          Did I say that?

          • ScubaMonster says:

            Well you did say you’d buy it without DRM and “dumb achievements”, so that would imply for you at least, they ruin the game.

            That being said, I don’t care if someone thinks achievements ruin a game, to each his own. I’m indifferent, don’t care one way or the other. I won’t be buying this game because of the DRM.

          • Toberoth says:

            I don’t think they ruin a game–I’ve bought plenty of games that include achievements and wouldn’t consider them ruined by any means–but I do still think they’re dumb, pointless, and distracting. Also completely unnecessary in a game like FFVII, where your achievements (killing the weapons, for example) are already rewarded in-game with gear or materia or whatever else.

          • alinos says:

            @Scubamonster

            I think the achievements are dumb. They don’t ruin games because games aren’t designed around them. But when you have an achievement that exists solely to cause a player to do something they normally wouldn’t do in order to get some magical E-Peen points.

            They can make MP annoying if the Achievements encourage doing things counter to the gameplay

      • x1501 says:

        “With the Character Booster you can increase your HP, MP and Gil levels to their maximum, all with the simple click of a button.”

        Yes, what an interesting idea indeed. They should just include this revolutionary feature into every single game and auto-enable it by default.

        • Toberoth says:

          iddqd
          idkfa

          • x1501 says:

            Are you saying that cheat codes and game trainers existed before this “remake”? You just blew my mind.

            And by the way, what was that “grind” you referred to? Unless you’re going for the optional endgame Ultima Weapon, the game doesn’t really force you to grind XP or Gil in order to progress through the main story. Cheating or not, you still have to fight through the same battles that really weren’t that difficult to begin with. Using the built-in cheat tool (as if the game didn’t have a dozen of much more interesting trainers already) would only make them mind-numbing boring, not interesting.

          • Milky1985 says:

            The main optional endgame was ruby weapon,emerald was just a long drawn out fight and ultimate was actually quite easy in comparision.

            Ruby was a git i never actually beat cause of the whole losing 2 party members thing!

          • Toberoth says:

            Nope, I just felt like typing some cheat codes out, I wasn’t trying to make a point really. Saying that, when I was a wee lad playing FPS’s for the first time I went through Doom with cheats enabled, because I was crap at it and shit scared, but still wanted to see all the levels. Nowadays I tend not to cheat, not only because most games don’t even give me the option, but because I enjoy being challenged more than I did when I was young.

            As for the grind, sure you don’t have to grind to get through the main story, but some of the fights are pretty fucking protracted, and the speed of them can only be increased so much through fiddling with the battle settings. Although I don’t think I’d do it myself, I guess I could understand if someone wanted to boost themselves up a bit in order to one-shot their way through the random encounters. However it would be great if the boss fights scaled up to your adjusted level to still present a bit of a challenge, otherwise they risk becoming narratively meaningless through being inconsequentially easy. It’s like the final battle against Sephiroth if you’ve maxed out your level and all your materia: you can basically one-shot him (IIRC), which totally kills all the tension built up before the fight.

  2. mistwolf says:

    I’ll be picking this up, I loved it back in the day, and my kids love FFX and such. So they will like this!

  3. E_FD says:

    DRM for *this*? Anyone who’d want to bother pirating it could’ve just picked themselves up a PS1 emulator + rom years ago.

    • Toberoth says:

      Agreed, it’s mental to bother adding DRM.

    • Srethron says:

      …or they could have picked up a copy of the old PC version, along with all the awesome fan patches and mods all the people at the Qhimm community have come up with over the last 15 years (fun fact: includes the fellow who made that Starship Enterprise in Minecraft project.) Off the top of my head there’s a custom graphics driver so FF7 plays nice with cards newer than a Riva TNT (remember those? I barely do.) and can actually display in resolutions higher than 640×480. There’s patches that fix crashes/timing bugs in XP and later. There’s that higher res character model mod that got featured on Kotaku and RPS recently. There’s dialog cleanup patches, and a lot more I haven’t kept track off. All DRM free.

      It just goes to show that, given enough time, everything is better on the PC, because if your game is worth it modding communities will spring up, even if they have to reverse engineer everything and write all their own tools.

      • Mollusc Infestation says:

        If i remember correctly, there’s also a patch which allows you to use the mp3 soundtrack in the place of the MIDI version. I could merely have had “confuse” cast upon me though.

        • Jon Tetrino says:

          This may be me getting confused with this and VIII, but in one of the two (possibly both) it wasn’t actually a “patchable” thing. Well, okay, it /could/ be patched in, but the original (PSX) files were there anyway and you could play them with a tiny file tweak.

          Again I may be wrong with FFVII being able to do this. I am aware of the fan patch for it and frankly, sounds awesome regardless.

          • Spengbab says:

            FF7 was notorious for only having MIDI sound effects (and depending on the MIDI driver you selected, you could get slight variations on the music).

          • RegisteredUser says:

            Notorious for supporting the XG addon MIDI waveboard to produce incredibly awesome music compared to the general midi crap?

            Yes. It was pretty incredible what you could do with good MIDI soundboards.

      • noodlecake says:

        although untouched it is an appalling port and all that extra stuff is a pain to install

        • Ruffian says:

          That’s odd, Idk if I just got lucky or what, but I’ve had it up and running in win7 for almost a year or so now, and I don’t recall it being too hard to install. I think I had to add like 2 patches or something.

      • Premium User Badge

        mpk says:

        I have an original copy of PC FFVII and it refuses to work on my system because I don’t have a sound card installed. I’d rather pay for a digital copy of a game I already own than pay for a sound card I have no use for.

      • Ragnar says:

        Where do you go to get all these patches and fixes? I checked Qhimm and only saw the Chocobo patch.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        I pity the fool who didn’t play it on a Voodoo 2 / XG MIDI combo.

        It was – for the time – incredibly pretty and awesome music wise.
        (You can still go and listen to the XG enhanced mid files on the internet on various fanpages as MP3s, although I don’t think there are direct “normal” MID comparisons next to them)

    • Shooop says:

      Have you ever seen a Final Fantasy fan? They’re like bronnies only with lots of impractical belts.

      They’ll buy multiple copies of this.

      • The Magic says:

        as a brony and best friend to a crazed final fantasy fan, I whole heartedly agree with this statement

      • Koozer says:

        As a fan of early FF games and modern spinoffs, I want to slap you in the head.

      • Khymus says:

        As a casual brony and fan of pre-VII Final Fantasies, as well as IX and XII, I can find no fault in this statement.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      Yeah.

      Why did I see something like this coming?

      And it’s freaking SecuROM! You’d think that if they wanted to put DRM in there, they’d at least use a more modern form of it, like a one-time online activation or something. You know, as opposed to the DRM equivalent of a hair-metal band.

      • Slurpy says:

        Hey! Don’t be knocking hair metal bands like that!

        It’s the DRM-equivalent of Nickelback!

    • Phantoon says:

      The Playstation 3 is a Playstation 1 emulator BUT FOR SOME REASON THEY DO NOT ADVERTISE THIS.

      • Milky1985 says:

        Have you tried using the thing? PSX resolutions on a HD tv look fugly as hell. Theres no decent scaling options either (from what i remember it scales the whole image, not each model texture etc the emulators do) so you either have a tiny teeny window or massive streached piece of horribleness.

  4. coldvvvave says:

    Chocobo race still gives you CTD?

  5. Flukie says:

    They really have to make it better than the ones people are pirating with mods out there. Make it attractive to people with the “Cloud” (Makes me laugh each time I think of it) saves and other features.

    Hell if they give cloud saves, steam overlay and a promise of it working natively with Win 7 + 8 then I’ll put down cash on each entry in the franchise.

  6. Derppy says:

    Meh, remakes and re-releases.

    Squeenix should just make a new Final Fantasy with truly interesting characters, world and story. FFIX is a great example of a game with unique characters you’ll remember for the rest of your life, because they weren’t generic in any way. Complex personality and relations to each other combined with unique looks.

    Of course it’s impossible to create a game like Final Fantasy IX with full 3D environments, because every single scene had tons of unique stuff seen nowhere else in the game (I believe this is what they said when asked if 3D remake of previous games would be possible). So just use high-resolution 2D backgrounds, it gives total freedom to the artists and you don’t need to worry about polycounts, or use hours modelling a barrel you have to recycle through the whole game.

    • Gusj says:

      Redrawing every single background in the game is still an insane amount of work that potentially could have been used to creating a new good entry in the series. I know Square haven’t exactly been on top of its game the past few years, but I think they should stop trying to ride on their past glory and start making some great games again.

    • kael13 says:

      Ahh I’m so glad that whenever I see someone praising FFIX, it’s always a cohesive, dignified argument.

      FFIX was the first and best Final Fantasy I ever played. What a classic it was.

      • Lemming says:

        Agree, 100%. It had a Ghibli feel to it, which is why I’m looking forward to Ni No Kuni so much.

      • Voon says:

        Brofist, man.

        Shame Squeenix didn’t pay much attention to it after its release. It’s the last, best FF game ever made before it went to shit again.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I never got why everyone liked FF 9 so much, i personally thought it was the worst of the PSX 3 ( i thought 8 was the best of them). Not a bad game by any means but worst of the three. The characters were the generic fantasy types, except zidane, but then he was the agile thief so kinda dragged him back into it. Vivi the black mage, who looked like a black mage and wore the clothes of the black mage (with the same colour), super powerful but didn’t want to fight.

      Character roles were so stringent that everyone had the same team, plot pulled a fast one with some major jarring no clue changes have way through. Couple of good memorable moments (zidane dragging himself forward while everyone supports him after he found out about an important plot changing bit, with the music they played during that bit, that was magical. Music was called “your not alone” i think which should mean anyone whos played it will know the bit, not i’m not spoiling anything , don’t care how old the game is :P)

      A massive dick move by the developers for anyone who missed a staff from a shop in an area you visit once really quickly, if you didn’t buy vivi his weapon from a place on disc 3 that you are in for about 10 minutes, you lose access to it in disc 4.That staff was the only way to learn the “aga” class spells, luckily my ocd means i got it but read stuff from people who didn’t.

      I will agree with the disinctive look and design of the backgrounds, but its not my favorite.

      • Jon Tetrino says:

        I think you’ll find the people that call out IX as the ace of the series are people who played VI first rather than VII. It was essentially a return to the roots of the series for us.

        I enjoyed it more than 7 or 8, myself.

        • Milky1985 says:

          I can see that kinda, although 6 had a lot more party customization oppertunities than 9 ever had :P And a better plot/villian

          Being from the UK my first FF was 7, simply because it was the first one they sodding well released over here so that might be why my preferences are different.

          • wastelanderone says:

            Where that leaves those of us who played 7 first but enjoyed 9 the most I’ll never know.

        • Jenks says:

          Final Fantasy VII is by far my favorite JRPG of all time.

          I played FF I – III (in NA – I believe that is I, IV and VI in Japan) on NES and SNES. Vivi and co certainly made me smile in IX, but I believe most people that didn’t start with FFVII still like it better than IX.

          For my money, Phantasy Star IV is the best RPG of the 16 bit era, followed by Chrono Trigger.

      • dethtoll says:

        > FF9 worst of PSX FFs
        > FF8 best

        boy you pretty much ended that conversation before it even began!

    • noodlecake says:

      Out of 7, 8, 9 and 10, I liked 9 the least, I think. I still liked it a lot and thought it was quite distinct but it felt like a let down after how good 7 and 8 were. I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it as much. The combat was certainly better than 8 (which is completely broken!).

      Final Fantasy VI seemed the most overrated. The dialogue was limited. They crammed in a ton of characters for the sake of it who don’t even have a proper back story and I found it completely predictable right to the end. It was still fun but compared to VII I thought it was lacking a lot. It was good fun but the psx games were much better in my opinion. I did play it afterwards when I was older, however, which could taint my view of them. I think they are all games that are much more fun to play between the ages of 10 and 18 and gradually lose their charm after that…. At least for me anyway.

      • Phantoon says:

        Well yeah, the dialogue was generally limited on the SNES.

        Unlike its successor, it lacked long, pointless diatribes.

      • Milky1985 says:

        8′s combat was fine until about 2/3 of the way through when you got the aura magic and just limit breaked everything to death. Although the optional bosses were still a pain even with that, you needed to hunt down the magic for the junctions.

        They made a bit of a mistep as well i think giving you wizard stones early game, they could very easily give you -aga class magic on the first disc. Junction to squall’s strength and get the gunblade trigger down (i can do the trigger now in my sleep i got so practiced at the damn thing) and you were laughing.

        Until you fought that t-rex in the training guarden before you were prepared anyway :P

    • Slurpy says:

      “FFIX is a great example of a game with unique characters you’ll remember for the rest of your life. . .”

      Wasn’t IX the one with the black mage. . . that looked like the original Final Fantasy black mage?

      • Lemming says:

        Yep, Vivi. and Zidane the monkey-tailed hero. And that giant cook thing with the big lolling tongue. And the rat/rabbit with the big spear and the disturbing 5 year old with the crotchless pantaloons. Yep I remember them well. Vivi is just the best though.

  7. Zeewolf says:

    It’s odd that Square Enix thinks it’s okay to release far newer games DRM-free on GOG, but _this game_ needs to be protected at all costs.

  8. Tei says:

    Nostalgia is a type of necrophilia. But I still wellcome this mostly for these people that like jrpg games (not me).

  9. Commander Gun says:

    IF there should be a remake/rerelease of a FF game, just take FF6 instead. I know, i know, FF7 was much more popular back in the days, as one of the starmakers of the Playstation. But storywise and especially on character-development, FF6 (the one with the Espers, europeans might know it as FF3)was MUCH better.

    • derbefrier says:

      I agree. I would have much rather seen a full remake of FF6 (or 3 depending on were you’re from).
      I loved 7 too but i have a perfectly working copy of it already so i don’t see myself buying this. A complete remake of FF6 with modern graphics and stuff would be much better.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        Agreed. With the exception of Final Fantasy Tactics, the PSX FFs were actually what turned me off to the series. (that and the fact that I was transitioning into PC gaming anyway…) FFVI for the SNES is my favorite, and it’s pretty tough to get me to replay a 1994 game in 2009. (which I did)

      • Slurpy says:

        There already was a remake of FFIII.

        • Dark_Eternal says:

          When he mentions FF3, he’s referring to how FF6 was originally released as FF3 in the West. (The real FF3 hadn’t yet made it over back then.)

          Nowadays it’s called FF6 again, of course – like the GBA’s FF6 Advance version.

          Anyway, the remake we want is of 6. :-P

    • noodlecake says:

      The story as in “what happened” or the story as in “how it happened”? In VI things just happen the quickest, most direct way that requires the least number of words to explain. VI just seemed to have tons of characters, most of which had no personality and were obviously tacked on to make character collection a game mechanic (like the moogle and the yeti). The only way I can think that Final Fantasy VI had a better story is if you were to switch “better story” with “pixel art”… Which is certainly did have! So if you despise any games that don’t have pixel art then Final Fantasy VI is the choice for you. :P

    • MasterDex says:

      Just a quick correction here. Every European should know FF6/FFVI as FF6/FFVI. The FF6=FF3 thing was a US problem. The game was released there as Final Fantasy III, after Final Fantasy IV was released as Final Fantasy II.

      Europeans first Final Fantasy was VII and it wasn’t until 2002 that we got FFIV-VI, all named in correct chronological order.

    • Phantoon says:

      Huh. Well, people overrate FF7 because it was their first Final Fantasy (and in a lot of cases, RPG!).

      Turns out, nostalgia applies to everyone.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Maybe you are onto something. My first RPG was Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, and I always found the Advanced version cumbersome and overcomplicated!

    • RegisteredUser says:

      I still view “FF III” (3) and FF VII (7) as the best FFs.

      I tried 8, didn’t like it(just didn’t reel me in from the outset like 7 did), and by the time the more modern ones on the consoles came out, I already had seen what true, proper PC gaming can do and all the former console gfx-wow just turned into “meh”.

      And there’s only so much “long haired J-style people saving stuff” plot you can take.
      Which is why I liked the SNES one alongside of 7; it had its own classic 16 bit adorable style.

  10. elevown says:

    Wow- my fav ff game re-relesed in HD for pc? Gotta get this :) Hopefully after they punt the securom shit into orbit.. Its my fav ff- probably because it was the first 1 i played.

    I tried the pc version a few year ago but it looked too awful – ps1 3d games do NOT age well- so this is great.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      It’s going to look identical, what we’ll get is (hopefully) non-midi music and some extra stuff including an ‘I win’ button. And hopefully no random crashes, hopefully.

    • Yuri says:

      Who made any mention of HD?

      • elevown says:

        If they havnt put in HD textures etc wtf is the point in re releasing the same thing thats been out years?

        • Toberoth says:

          Exactly :-P

        • x1501 says:

          They’re re-releasing it to make more money at practically no cost, stupid. There are no texture, model, or gameplay improvements of any kind.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I think Square mentioned they might be putting in some fan patches,and fans have made some nice hd patches to everything (including making cloud in the field look like cloud, and less like a lego man)

      If not hopefully it will at least support them.

      And yes, no midi music, they did that with 8 on the PC and it ruined it, the attack on dollet near the start completly loses its impact with the crappy midi music.

  11. Hoaxfish says:

    This isn’t even its final form no doubt

  12. caddyB says:

    after another 15 years they’re gonna remake it for Oculus.

  13. Yuri says:

    Securom. Bloody genius move.

    • lordfrikk says:

      My thoughts exactly! What a bunch of dummies. I am pretty indifferent towards FF so I don’t really mind but if they pulled off a top-notch re-release for a fair price I might’ve bought it.

  14. CaLe says:

    I really hate the ‘Squeenix’ abbreviation. Probably because skwee just sounds terrible. Square-Enix please, thanks.

  15. MeestaNob says:

    Securom for a Steamworks version of a remake of a 15 year old game.

    Astounding.

    • Matt7895 says:

      Why are so many people saying it has Steam/Steamworks? It has no such thing – for now, it is a Square Enix store exclusive.

      • MeestaNob says:

        I just assumed it was, seeing as it has achievements.

        A Squenix system makes even less sense.

  16. Askeladd says:

    Jenova is sad over DRM.

  17. caddyB says:

    I’ve always wanted to play a FF game, but I also dislike ridiculous drm moves. Sure, Steam is DRM, but that’s enough. No need for more.

  18. Belua says:

    My take on this: Screw Final Fantasy and remake The Lufia games instead. Oh, and of course Terranigma and Chrono Trigger.
    What do you mean, that wasn’t even the same company? Who cares?

    • mazzratazz says:

      Loved Chrono Trigger and Terranigma. Are the Lufia games any good then? Sell me on them, sir.

      • Belua says:

        Well, I only really played Lufia 2, as it was the only Lufia game that was released here in Germany, and it’s been ages since I played it, but even though my memories are a bit faded, most of them are good. The combat system was more or less FF like, although I remember it feeling better. No random encounters, by the way – all enemies are visible on the map, and you can choose to outmaneuver them, if you’d like. Movement is turn-based, and each enemies moves the same amount as you do.
        I remember the story being really good, with interesting characters and relations between them.
        Also, there’s a good amount of puzzles in the dungeons, which sometimes involve the abovementioned movement of enemies, if I remember correctly.
        You could even have Pokemon-like monsters to help you, and you could feed them potions and equipment that you didn’t need to level them up.
        There was also a sort-of almost rogue-like endless dungeon, which you could descend into to hunt for items, fun and profit.
        And I remember sinking a lot of time into the ingame casino, where you could play black jack and some other minigames.

        • mazzratazz says:

          That sounds very interesting indeed, I shall check it out. Thanks!

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            If you are quite hungry for SNES rpgs, Lufia 1 is certainly serviceable but not a big standout (well I had much fun playing it but I’m a sucker for a plain/simple old console RPG). Lufia 2 is a significant step up, IMO. However the stories do relate if you’re into that sort of thing.

      • Toberoth says:

        You might think about looking at Tales of Phantasia as well. Pretty fun combat system, nice story, and absolutely stunning graphics for the SNES era (screenshots don’t do it justice). It was overlooked for ages because it was only available in Japanese, but a few people put together a translation over the years so you can play it emulated in English.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I wasn’t a huge fan of Lufia. I thought it kinda paled behind the ones you mentioned plus some other Square ones like Tales of Phantasia, Super Mario RPG, and Live a Live (with English fan patch). I feel kind of bad saying this because I never owned a Super Nintendo.

  19. Drake Sigar says:

    FF VII is worth playing for the music alone.

    Still, DRM on such an old game? Square blew their chance to earn some easy goodwill.

    • Premium User Badge

      mpk says:

      True dat. The Cosmo Canyon theme is one of my favourite pieces of game music ever.

      As opposed to the piece in FFX (iirc) which had a sampled loop of someone shouting “AN ANNOYING SOUND! AN ANNOYING SOUND!” It was funny for ten seconds. I’m reasonably sure that section went on for hours.

  20. waywardson says:

    I’m all for remakes, but this isn’t a remake, it’s just a rerelease with achievements. The PC version already has better music and graphics with mods, so I don’t really see the point, other than making it easier to buy..

  21. mrmalodor says:

    Hmm, I read that another recently released game, Battle Chess or something like that, was pulled from Steam because its Securom DRM also wouldn’t activate. It’s still broken apparently, so nobody who bought it can play. Ironically, there is a cracked version out there. Oh Securom, how you amuse us.

  22. bill says:

    I bought the original 4 cd PC version off e-bay for about 30 quid… about 7 years ago. And that was a bargain because it was usually going for 50-60 quid at that time.

    Of course, that was in my ebay phase, and I haven’t actually ever played it..

  23. Suits says:

    Oh my, the thought of a 15 year old game getting pirated.. Bring the DRM

  24. Jimbo says:

    Oh you bitch, Meer.

  25. tlarn says:

    At this point, FF7′s PC rerelease just doesn’t seem worth actively paying attention to.

    If we’re going to be bringing back old games, I just want an HD remake of Gunstar Heroes. There’s already one for Guardian Heroes; a man can dream.

  26. Gasmask Hero says:

    I played this on the PSX. I played the first release on the PC. I played the re-release on my PSP. I’m fucked if I’m going to go through the Gold Chocobo grind AGAIN for the fourth time in my life. You may say “Well, once is too much huh huh” and you’d be right.

    They could re-release VIII though, and that would be just fine with me. Because, y’know, that had a pc release as well.

  27. roxahris says:

    On the less downcast side of things, Square seems to have sent emails to everyone who bought the game with refund instructions and a note that they’ll get a free copy of the game once it really launches.