Ever since the release of Final Fantasy VII in 1997, fans have been asking for a sequel. With the advent of the internet, fan fiction and roleplaying games, it’s now possible to continue the adventures of Zack and his friends in a virtual environment.

Released twenty years ago today, the seventh installment in the popular Final Fantasy series takes players on a journey to defeat the villainous Count Bleck, who wants to turn the world into crystals. It’s always been a popular destination for RPG players, as it features a fully implemented turn-based combat system and numerous side quests that can be undertaken at any time. Additionally, the game’s world is open for exploration, meaning that new areas and content can be unlocked with ease through sheer gameplay.

But what would a sequel to Final Fantasy VII look like? Would it continue the adventures of the heroes of FFVII, or would it put an end to the series?

An In-depth Analysis

First up, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each direction. I’ll begin with a summary of the original game, followed by a detailed analysis of each option.

The Good

So basically, everything. Final Fantasy VII is widely considered to be one of the best roleplaying games ever made. It introduced elements that would later be adopted by other roleplaying game franchises, such as the Elder Scrolls and the Diablo series. The combat systems and quests are amazing; they still manage to feel fresh even after all these years.

Although the game was released in 1997, its world and characters have aged well. The English voice acting is top-notch, and the game’s music still chills players’ ears. There’s also an incredible amount of content in the game, with over 200 hours of gameplay if you complete all of the side quests. And who doesn’t like a massive RPG with hours of content?

The Bad

In most situations, there isn’t anything bad to say about Final Fantasy VII. Sure, the inventory system gets incredibly tedious, especially since there are a lot of recycled items that are just as good as the ones you find early in the game. It takes a while to get used to the game’s strange control scheme, which features a combination of pressure-sensitive pads and analog sticks. And the camera frequently gets in the way during boss fights and action scenes, preventing players from seeing what’s going on. Still, these are minor complaints. On the whole, it’s a fantastic game.

The Ugly

While most people will tell you that there isn’t anything wrong with Final Fantasy VII, it’s actually quite flawed. To begin with, the game’s ending is kind of unsatisfying, especially since it doesn’t give you the option to save the day. There is also a significant amount of racism in the game, especially concerning the Black characters. And let’s not forget about the whole planet-saving thing, which, while in-line with the original idea behind the game, doesn’t feel like an organic part of the atmosphere. In fact, many fans consider the ending to be one of the weakest points of the entire franchise.

The truth is that the original Final Fantasy faced a lot of criticism when it was first released. The control scheme was widely ridiculed, as was the game’s pseudo-3D graphics (which were actually flat). However, fans have mostly stuck with the game, and it continues to be one of the most popular and iconic titles in the franchise’s history.

So, what would you do if you were in charge of developing a sequel to Final Fantasy VII? Would you leave the ending unchanged and keep the same gameplay elements? Would you improve the camera and remove the analog sticks in favor of a better control scheme? Would you rework the entire combat system in favor of a more modern approach? Or would you scrap the whole thing and start over?

My Conclusion

As you might guess, I think that each option has its perks and quirks. While FFVII is still one of the most popular and recognizable titles in the franchise, it’s also the most criticized. Many gamers who experienced the game first-hand didn’t like how it ended or how the camera worked. Still, I think that most fans would agree that there’s a lot to like about this game, especially concerning its gameplay and originality. For that reason, I would keep much of the same, while also making a couple of changes to accommodate better touchscreen controls and a revamped camera.

Ultimately, all of this is just an exercise in futility. Whatever you choose – whether it’s the status quo, a complete remix, or something in between – the most you can hope for is that you made the right decision based on your circumstances at the time. If that’s the case, then you’ll live happily ever after.