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To truly understand Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, I would have had to play a failed mobile game and numerous spin-offs

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Anyone who has played Final Fantasy 7 Remake should actually be able to follow the story in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth very well. But MeinMMO editor Jasmin Beverungen quickly realized that she had numerous gaps in her knowledge – because she ignored the numerous spin-offs.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is followed by Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. The story continues seamlessly from the finale of the first part and sends Cloud and his troops into an open game world. In order to be able to follow the story, the title offers a summary of the events from Part 1. So far so good.

Since I had only played Remake a few months ago and also looked at the INTERmission DLC shortly before its release, I felt well prepared. So the experiences from part 1 remained fresh in my mind and I already knew who Yuffie was. I also watched a summary of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion. That's why I knew a lot about Zack's past.

But I realized that I was seriously mistaken.

During my run I saw a number of characters who were not introduced in more detail. There were flashbacks that left me with a big question mark on my face and I had to do more research afterwards to find out who it actually was. And I came across a game that no longer exists today, but provides the background of an important person.

The main characters can be seen in the trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth:

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth – Trailer

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Failed mobile game is the background of an important character

Glenn Lodbrok appears repeatedly throughout the game. He is a mysterious blonde boy who seems to be immortal. Through a flashback by the incumbent Shinra president, it becomes clear: Glenn is already dead and has become a follower of Sephiroth, a great villain. But the scene conveys that the two know each other from somewhere – but where?

After the game left me with numerous questions, I came across the mobile title Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. The game was developed for the Japanese market in 2004 and was discontinued in 2018. There we learn that Glenn Lodbrok was considered the first SOLDIER and was shot by Rufus.

Glenn also had a major appearance in Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier. But this game has already been discontinued – the servers were switched off on January 11, 2023.

There is still a way to catch up on at least part of the story: The mobile gacha game Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis combines the stories from Before Crisis, Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus – which I haven't said a word about yet. However, not every player likes the gacha genre and the events from The First Soldier don't play a role here.

But it doesn't stop with Glenn Lodbrok: There are a few other characters like Nero and Weiss who I have no idea who they actually are. This lack of knowledge didn't stop me from enjoying the game, but it did mean that I couldn't follow some of the cutscenes at all.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Glenn Lodbrok
Who actually is Glenn Lodbrok? This isn't really clarified in Rebirth.

A compilation of Final Fantasy VII

The fragmented story seems to be what Square Enix wanted. In 2003, the company announced the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. These are smaller projects that are part of the main story of Final Fantasy VII.

These include:

  • Advent Children (film)
  • Last Order (film)
  • Before Crisis
  • Crisis Core
  • Dirge of Cerberus
  • the remake and rebirth
  • The First Soldier
  • EverCrisis

So you can see that it takes a lot of playing time to really understand everything in Final Fantasy VII. If you want to know completely what's going on in the current trilogy, you'll have to invest around 67 hours (via HowLongToBeat). That's how long you need on average to play through or watch everything – not including the trilogy itself.

This splintered structure reminded me of Kingdom Hearts. Here, too, there are now so many spin-offs that at some point I decided to throw in the towel and cancel the series. I no longer enjoyed the fact that I could no longer follow the story because I was missing an important piece of information from another game.

Fortunately, things haven't gotten that far yet with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. I had a lot of fun with the story and Cloud, Tifa, Aerith and Co. stole their way into my heart. But I hope that the third part takes things down a notch when it comes to knowledge from spin-offs.

When I put on a video game, I want to enjoy it without having to collect all the information from other titles as a hobby agent. I had expected that I would have to know the experiences from FF7 Remake and INTERmission.

Therefore, I hope that I will enjoy the third part of Final Fantasy VII without any further background information. I'm already looking forward to having more adventures with Cloud and his friends.

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