Happy 15th Birthday, Final Fantasy VII
Today marks 15 years since the release of Final Fantasy VII, AKA, The First RPG You Ever Played. The legacy of Final Fantasy VII looms large over the entire franchises and indeed, over the entire video game industry. It brought RPGs to the forefront of the mainstream, something that hadn’t happened at that point. It compelled thousands of games to have an amnesiac for a hero and it made teenagers the world over cry tears of sadness after the death of Aeris. Sure, Tifa was hotter, but Aeris was the kind of girl you could see yourself settling down with. Maybe bring her home to Nibelheim and start a family, away from the hustle, bustle and terrorist threats of Midgar.
I personally received FF VII for Christmas in 1997 and with it, a Playstation. It was the first non-Nintendo system I had owned since the Genesis and it felt so new and exotic to my 16 year old self. I remember that Christmas break like it was yesterday: my hands practically shook as I held the controller in my hand and the opening cut-scene played. My favorite game series in glorious 3-D graphics! My mom and I fought for control of the TV for the next 2 weeks. She was intent on watching as many year-end specials about Princess Diana as possible and I was trying to save the world from Sephiroth. Clearly, one of us had our priorities out of whack.
FF VII’s legacy is still strong today, although there was something of a backlash after a few years from some of the old-school Final Fantasy fans, myself included, who were upset that our particular favorite game from the pre-FF VII days was being overshadowed by the sudden surge of new fans. For me, that has largely passed. I remembed how much I loved playing FF VII and even today, hearing the music makes me want to boot it up for one more go. Final Fantasy VII was a landmark game for millions of people and the clamor for a remake has only grown stronger. Maybe Square Enix will grant our wish, but until then, we have the memories to hold us over.
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