Final Fantasy 7 is one of the most influential RPGs ever made, and the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a complete re-imagining of the classic. Everything about Final Fantasy 7 is being expanded upon, from the combat to the city of Midgar.
The Final Fantasy 7 Remake introduces a brand new action system that’s a hybrid between real-time and turn-based. With a demo now out in the wild, it’s clear that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake has taken inspiration from a previous entry.
Final Fantasy 13, in particular, has quite a few similarities in terms of its combat system, and there’s a good reason for that. Motomu Toriyama, one of the co-directors of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, was the lead director on all three games in the Final Fantasy 13 trilogy.
Pressuring and Staggering Enemies
The most obvious comparison between Final Fantasy 7 and 13 comes with the stagger system, which is almost exactly the same between the two. In Final Fantasy 13 enemies have a stagger gauge that builds up as characters attack, and once broken the enemy enters a break state. This makes them much easier to interrupt and drastically increases the damage they take.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake has an incredibly similar system, with a pressure gauge that builds as characters attack enemies. Exploiting weaknesses drastically increases the gauge, and once it’s full the enemy will be staggered. This state, just like Final Fantasy 13, drastically increases the damage that enemies take. It’s a system that works well for the fast-paced combat of the Remake, but clearly, something that took inspiration from Final Fantasy 13.
ATB System and Different Roles in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Two other aspects of the Remake’s combat feel like an evolution of systems set up in Final Fantasy 13. The first of those is the ATB system, that builds up as your characters give and take damage. When an ATB gauge is full that character can use the command menu to execute a skill or magic spell. This is very similar to the technique gauge of Final Fantasy 13, with points that build up as players battle, allowing them to use specific techniques like Quake, Libra, or Renew. The ATB system works much faster than techniques, but it’s the same general idea.
The next one isn’t as direct an inspiration, but both games have your characters taking on different “roles.” In Final Fantasy 13, this takes the form of paradigms that players can switch between on the fly, changing up the skills and focus of their party members. Final Fantasy 7 Remake has a much more direct interpretation of this, with different character’s playstyles fitting different needs. Barret is necessary for taking down ranged enemies and helping defend party members, Tifa is great at comboing, and Cloud is the best at dealing damage. Battles demand that players switch between these two characters, like the Scorpion tank battle where Barret needs to hit it with lightning and bring down barriers, while Cloud is great at causing huge damage after the boss is staggered. Obviously, it’s not a one-to-one similarity, but both games necessitate that players switch between multiple playstyles during combat.
Summons Join You on the Battlefield in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Summons return once again in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but they’re drastically different from how they functioned in the original. The series traditionally used summons as a single powerful attack, but Final Fantasy 10 evolved the system by bringing summons into battle under the player’s control. Final Fantasy 13 then took this one step further by making summons an AI ally that fights alongside the character that summons them.
This, once again, happens in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, with summons being contextually based on where players are and the environment around them. Summons are AI-controlled and fight alongside the entire party, although there are ATB commands players can choose. Out of the entire series, the summon system in the Remake is closest to Final Fantasy 13, which serves as yet another similarity.
Games, of course, take inspiration from past titles all the time, but the Final Fantasy 7 Remake feels like it’s directly evolving systems that were present in Final Fantasy 13.
The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez: What The Netflix Docuseries Leaves Out
Hayes is a Features Editor for Screen Rant. He’s been writing and podcasting about games for over a decade, and he’s a graduate of the Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Journalism program. He’s been diving into RPGs ever since discovering the Final Fantasy series at a young age. You can find him on Twitter @Solfleet.