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My Game Log: Final Fantasy VII (PS1)


VegHead
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I am playing through Final Fantasy VII, in anticipation of the Remake launching in April 2020.  This playthrough is on original, black-label PS1 discs, a grey PSX, and hooked up to a Sony PVM.  

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!

Day 1:  Intro through to 00:53 minutes.

I did a brief scan of the manual, re-reading all of the character intros.  I don't know the ins and outs of the Japanese fascination with blood-type, but we get that particular statistic on most of the characters.  I think it has something to do with relationship compatibility, similar to how we match people by their zodiac sign.  Also, we have Aeris instead of Aerith.  This is pretty well-known, and I think I am actually going to rename her to Aerith when the time comes in-game.  I am hoping to revisit Advent Children afterward, as well as explore Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus for the first time, and I want to maintain consistency on Aeris/Aerith throughout, so I will be going with the later spelling.

The opening bombing mission is a great way to jump into the action.  I really enjoy it.  Don't forget to get that Phoenix Down after entering the reactor building!  It's like the first "secret" in the game, the way that area is rather obscured by the camera's angle.  Is this the first game with Biggs and Wedge?  I can't remember, but it's kind of a fun thing, and I like that they've referenced it again (in XIV, at the very least).  

Cloud talks a lot more than I remember.  My memory or impression of him was as the strong, silent type, but he really has a lot to say early in the game.  Also, as he places the bomb, that other voice, warning that the reactor is more than what it seems?  Very cool moment, and I'm not sure I clearly remember what it's supposed to be!  Also, the fighting is quite fun, and I did a lot of extra running around looking for hidden things I might have missed (didn't find any) and did a lot of random battles.  

I liked wandering through the town, fighting the MP's, jumping onto the train, and the banter Cloud has with Barrett upon rejoining the AVALANCHE crew.  Jessie's explanation of the train system, and how the wealthy and poor are treated differently strikes a sympathetic note with me early on (even though bombing a reactor is ostensibly a horrific act).  The train graveyard really illustrates some of the disparities.  Their stop is the last on the line, and it's an area where old, broken train cars are just left to rust and rot.  

I venture into town and observe the pillar holding the plate up.  I remember previously when that image appeared, I thought the supporting pipeworks were the pillar, and I didn't immediately see the massive structure it was attached to as the pillar.  It is seriously impressive tech.  Here, I saved and said goodnight.  

My final thought, though, is that Midgar is really small for the amount of train lines it has.  The one that AVALANCHE hitches a ride on before the bombing mission seems like it's on a really short line.  I feel like the scale of Midgar is slightly off, like it's maybe only a few urban city-blocks across.  It seems like it should be bigger!

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Day 2: 00:53 to 1:23

This was a whole lot of exposition.  Talk about going from the action of the bombing mission to nothing!  I like the story elements, but wow, you could spend forever going through all the tutorials.  It was fun to hit on Tifa (gave her the flower I bought from Aerith), but I doubt it has any affect on the later interactions with her or Aerith.  It would be fun if you could play the game in such a way that these choices had meaning.  I know it's not a romance simulator, but more of a branching storyline with regards to the relationships would have been cool.  We'll see if my continues attempts to woo Tifa over Aerith bear any fruit in this playthrough.  

Overall, a short play session.  When I come back to it later this week, I am going to read the tutorials and head out on the second bombing mission.

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Administrator · Posted
Just now, epiclotus said:

Day 2: 00:53 to 1:23

This was a whole lot of exposition.  Talk about going from the action of the bombing mission to nothing!  I like the story elements, but wow, you could spend forever going through all the tutorials.  It was fun to hit on Tifa (gave her the flower I bought from Aerith), but I doubt it has any affect on the later interactions with her or Aerith.  It would be fun if you could play the game in such a way that these choices had meaning.  I know it's not a romance simulator, but more of a branching storyline with regards to the relationships would have been cool.  We'll see if my continues attempts to woo Tifa over Aerith bear any fruit in this playthrough.  

Overall, a short play session.  When I come back to it later this week, I am going to read the tutorials and head out on the second bombing mission.

Just to confirm - you think your Tifa/Aeris choices have no bearing on what happens in the game?

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Just now, Gloves said:

Just to confirm - you think your Tifa/Aeris choices have no bearing on what happens in the game?

LOL, this question alone suggests that I am wrong, but that was my impression.  I haven't played this game through in 18 years, so my memory could be fuzzy.  I will be happy to be proved wrong, though!

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Administrator · Posted
Just now, epiclotus said:

LOL, this question alone suggests that I am wrong, but that was my impression.  I haven't played this game through in 18 years, so my memory could be fuzzy.  I will be happy to be proved wrong, though!

You want this to be a spoiler-free endeavor?

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Just now, Gloves said:

You want this to be a spoiler-free endeavor?

Yes, as much as I can.  I remember the major beats of the story, but certainly not the details.  For instance, I know which major character dies in the game, but a lot of the why's of it are lost to me right now.  I remember the various big bads, but not necessarily their relationships.  So on and so on.

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Administrator · Posted
Just now, epiclotus said:

Yes, as much as I can.  I remember the major beats of the story, but certainly not the details.  For instance, I know which major character dies in the game, but a lot of the why's of it are lost to me right now.  I remember the various big bads, but not necessarily their relationships.  So on and so on.

Sounds good! In that case, enjoy! I'll try to keep an eye out for more progress and when you're done we can share some fun details. 🙂

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Homebrew Team · Posted
5 minutes ago, epiclotus said:

I mean, I'm happy to have you guys discuss here, but maybe only as I come to those points in the game and post about it?  I don't know, it's a free message board.  I can't stop you, LOL. 

Once you get to the reveal of how or how not your choices impact Tifa / Aeris / ???,  I'll comment more.  

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Oooo.  This will be fun.  I played through this about 5 years ago for max completion and chronicled it in my blog.  It was a lot of fun to do, so I'm excited to "play" along with you as you go.

I think Midgar seems small because we only get to access a little bit of it for this story, but from the outside it seems like it's much much bigger than we have access to.

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Member · Posted

For all intents and purposes, this was still an early 3D game.  In fact, it's not even really a 3D game, considering how every scene has a flat background, 3D models are projected onto it.  I guess you could call this and many of the other Squaresoft games of the time 2.5D.

But, anyway, I think the world of Midgar and every town feels small because at that time, all worlds were relatively small compared to the 3D worlds of today.  This wasn't just due to the simple nature of the PS1 hardware, but keep in mind that tools that developers and modelers use are also built on top of each other. Back in 1995-1997 when this was being developed, Squaresoft had to build their own tools along with this game. This kept things simple. Regardless, at that time, Midgar felt massive and as StanJr pointed out, part of that feeling came from realizing that you were only running around a couple sectors.  The entire city should be about 3x larger than what you experience.

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5 hours ago, epiclotus said:

I know it's not a romance simulator, but more of a branching storyline with regards to the relationships would have been cool.  We'll see if my continues attempts to woo Tifa over Aerith bear any fruit in this playthrough.  

Spoiler

You go on a date with Aeris/Tifa at the Golden Saucer depending on who you romance.  Think you can also go with Yuffie if you have her at that point, or even Barret if you play or cards right.

 

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