final fantasy 7 is the seventh game in the final fantasy series and was released in 1997. It was directed by yoshinori kitase, written by Kitase and Kazushige Nojima, and produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi. It was the first game of the Final Fantasy series to be produced for the PlayStation rather than a Nintendo system, and the first game in the series to be ported to Windows. Final Fantasy VII is one of the most popular games of all time, with the highest sales (9.9 million copies) of any game in the Final Fantasy series and the second highest sales for a game on the PlayStation platform. It received GameSpot’s Editors Pick, Scoring a 9.5/10 and a 9.6/10 user score. Since that original release Final Fantasy VII has been released on the PC and later the PlayStation Network. It is widely considered one of the most influential RPGs to date. Final Fantasy VII is a largely menu-driven role-playing game. Initially, the player is restricted to the city of Midgar, but as the game progresses, more and more of the fantasy world becomes accessible, and the scripted adventure sequences gradually give way to greater freedom and opportunities to explore. At several points in the story, the game is interrupted by entirely scripted dramatic sequences, some of which are quite long.
During its turn-based battle sequences, the game uses the same Active Time Battle (ATB) system utilized in the three Final Fantasy games preceding it. Unlike previous games in the series, which traditionally allowed for a maximum of 4 – 5 friendly characters to participate in battle, Final Fantasy VII allows for only three characters to be present in the party (and therefore, to take part in battle) at any one time. Final Fantasy VII’s skill system utilizes materia, magic orbs which can be placed in special slots on weapons and armor. Materia allows characters to access magic spells, special commands, and a variety of other abilities. Materia can be combined in a fixed number of ways, and strategic use of the Materia combinations allow you to use various tactics suiting your own personal style of play. A feature introduced in Final Fantasy VI, the “desperation attack,” re-appeared in this game in a new, modified form, now known as the Limit Break. Every playable character has a special “limit bar” which fills up slightly every time the character suffers damage in battle. When the limit bar is completely filled, that character has access to his or her limit break, a special attack which generally inflicts much more damage on an enemy than normal physical attacks. The main playable characters in Final Fantasy VII are Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, Tifa Lockhart, Aerith Gainsborough, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Cid Highwind, and two secret characters: Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi. Sephiroth joins the party during a single sequence, but he cannot be controlled, nor his equipment changed. However, his status, inventory and equipment, can be checked during Cloud’s flashback. Planning sessions for Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 after the release of Final Fantasy VI. At the time, the game was planned to be another 2D project for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi intended the story to take place in modern New York City in the year 1999. Several of the staff members were working in parallel on Chrono Trigger, and development for Final Fantasy VII was interrupted when the other project became significant enough to require the help of Yoshinori Kitase and other designers. Some of the ideas originally considered for Final Fantasy VII ended up in Chrono Trigger instead. Other ideas, such as the New York setting and the sorceress character Edea, were kept unused until the later projects Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy VIII respectively. The original script of Final Fantasy VII, which was written by Sakaguchi, was completely different from the finished product. Tetsuya Nomura recalled how Sakaguchi “wanted to do something like a detective story”. The first part of the story involved a “hot blooded” character named “Detective Joe” who was in pursuit of the main characters. The main characters managed to blow up the city of Midgar, which had already been developed for the story. Development of Final Fantasy VII resumed in late 1995, and required the efforts of approximately 120 artists and programmers, using PowerAnimator and Softimage|3D software and a budget of more than US$30 million. Final Fantasy VI’s co-director and scenario writer, Kitase, returned to direct and co-write Final Fantasy VII and was concerned the franchise might be left behind if it did not catch up to the 3D computer graphics used in other games at the time. Production began after the making of a short, experimental tech demo called “Final Fantasy SGI” for Silicon Graphics, Inc. Onyx workstations. The demo featured polygon-based 3D renderings of characters from Final Fantasy VI in a real time battle. This experiment led the development team to integrate these design mechanics into Final Fantasy VII. However, as a result of the high quantity of memory storage required to implement the motion data, only the CD-ROM format would be able to suit the project’s needs. Nintendo, for which Square had developed all previous titles in the Final Fantasy series, had decided to continue to use cartridges for its upcoming Nintendo 64 console. This eventually led to a dispute that resulted in Square ending its long, tumultuous relationship with Nintendo, and Square announced on January 12, 1996 it would be developing Final Fantasy VII for Sony’s PlayStation platform.