Feature final fantasy Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Interview Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth PS5 Interview Naoki Hamaguchi PlayStation PS5 Sony square enix Yoshinori Kitase

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Exclusive Interview With Director Naoki Hamaguchi and Producer Yoshinori Kitase

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is now less than a month away from release. Recently, PSU had the privilege of attending a Rebirth Press Event where we had the opportunity to interview Director Naoki Hamaguchi and Producer Yoshinori Kitase, who provided additional information on the process of making Rebirth and what goes into the creative process.

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Thank you very much for taking time out of your schedule for this interview, and congratulations on the work you’ve done with Final Fantasy Rebirth and, of course, Final Fantasy 7 Remake. What have you learned from the Remake that you’ve incorporated into Rebirth, and what improvements have you incorporated into Part 2?

FF7 Rebirth Director: Naoki Hamaguchi

Yes, so I think it can be said, for the overall Final Fantasy series as well, that it’s story-based, which is sort of the focal point of many Final Fantasy series titles and, for Remake. Upon receiving this sort of positive feedback from the players, I believe that this was an area in which we could do a great job.

So I feel very confident about this area. So for Rebirth, this was, of course, intimidating; its story and this in-depth story experience, and kind of delving further into it, was something for sure that we wanted to sort of maintain.

I also knew that, uh, some players who played Remake felt that the story was very deep and fulfilling. There was, perhaps, some lack of freedom about the choices they could make within the gameplay. So, taking that into account for Rebirth, we started to build upon the strong storylines and characters further, the sort of in-depth experience that one can have by playing Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

On top of that, it includes a huge amount of quantity side content full of variety and the sort of gameplay experience along with this more expanded world that allows the players the sort of freedom to choose whatever way they wish to play the game. And in this sense, I believe we were able to elevate this gameplay experience for Rebirth.


Fans love the original Final Fantasy 7 story. There are some moments of the story you elaborated on in detail with the Remake. Some fans felt some changes, for example, the assumption that Zach may be alive. In one of the earlier trailers you showed, what seemed to be like an alternate scenario where Tifa, Barrett, and Arieth passed away in Midgar, and we now know that some members of Avalanche have may have also survived.

How do you go about essentially trying to make as many people happy as possible when it comes to the hardcore fans who love the original story so much, while, with the remake, there are also a lot of new fans who are experiencing this story for the first time, so they may not know about these changes. How do you try to appease both sides of fan’s kinds of scenarios?

Producer Yoshinori Kitase:

Okay, so, of course, this can be said also for players playing Final Fantasy 7 for the first time. But, for those players, as well as those who have played the original and are sort of very familiar with that storyline. I did feel very much that the gameplay should not, and the experience should not feel exactly the same as that of the original. And it needs to have its own newness that’s unique to Rebirth.

Seeing that the Remake series is a trilogy. Of course, we’ll go from the first title, the second, and then to the third. And between the release of these titles, there is that interval between them. I believe this interval and the communication during these intervals with the fans and players of this game is vital to the process.

Of course, after the release of Remake, there were many positive responses, but at the same time, as you noted, perhaps also some voices from players who wished to see the game in a different way, or it was not the way that they had, hoped to play out.

So, in that way, hearing these varying voices feeds into this sort of overall discussion that I think is very constructive to have in creating each of these titles. So that sort of back and forth of communication that can be had with the creators and the players is something very important and vital. And I feel that this very much aids in the creation process.


The first game primarily centered on Midgard, an isolated location, whereas Rebirth is now opening it up to a vast world for you to explore. How has the team gone about making a world that’s so rich, like Final Fantasy 7’s, and implementing enough content for people to enjoy going off the beaten path? What can players expect to be able to find and do to keep them entertained by exploring as much as they can in the world?

FF7 Rebirth Director: Naoki Hamaguchi

The world map of Rebirth is constructed in a way that has much more side content than the main story itself. And as far as keeping things interesting or intriguing for players to want to continue to explore, we really wanted to sort of leverage the sort of uniqueness of each location and really expand on, creating each side quest to be its own unique quest.

In that sense, we’ll have mini-games that are unique on their own. Or, for example, we will implement some gimmick or sort of strategy that one might need to use to solve the mini-game that’s very original to that particular mini-game. With that, we’ll also introduce bosses and enemies that are unique to a certain side quest.

So that way, we really keep this experience very fresh and new for players. It evokes this feeling of wonder and the sense that if you keep traveling to a new area, what will wait for that player? What kind of quest will be available there for them to explore? I think this is a noticeable strength of Rebirth.

Further expanding on that aspect of the users venturing out to various regions within the world map, you’ll encounter Chocobos with distinct characteristics, like an ability. So, for example, in the Grasslands, we’ll have more standard Chocobos that allow players to ride and travel on them for faster movement.

But in another region, you might find a Chocobo, like a mountain Chocobo, that can scale cliffs. There are also Chocobo that can fly and can be used to travel through the oceans and seas. There are just various new modes of exploration that the player can use. Along with that, these unique and varied mini-games and side content keep adding to this new feeling and wonder of exploration.


In the demo that i played there are parts in the the game where you’ll have conversations that characters where you get to select various dialog options. I know depending on how you respond, it affects your relationship with that character.

Do these moments impact the main story as it goes along, or is this primarily more for site content and character relationship building rather than affecting the main scenario?

FF7 Rebirth Director: Naoki Hamaguchi

Okay. So, regarding the sort of character parameters. One is affinity, which deals with a sort of Cloud, and another is character and the affinity between those two. For example, in the Grasslands area, there’s a card game-centered quest that Cloud and Tifa will take on. By accomplishing this quest, you can raise the affinity between these two characters, which mainly affects the sort of gold saucer date scene in the game.

The other character parameter is called Party Level. This refers to the bond within the overall party. This is increased by the characters leveling up throughout the game. There is a character skill tree within Rebirth. Leveling up the characters, there’s a sort of growth aspect that increases, and you can learn new synergy attacks and synergy commands.


Summons have been a staple of Final Fantasy since the beginning. The Remake introduced a couple of summons that weren’t in the original with Carbuncle and Cactar. We know Rebirth is introducing a brand new summon for the first time we’ve ever seen, but some summons are also available for pre-order only, and you have to have the save file from Remake to unlock, such as Leviathan.

The first part of this question is, will you be able to get those summons in the game if you don’t pre-order the game or if you don’t have the save file from the original Remake?

The second question is, what goes into your decision of what summons to introduce into the game? Is it something you feel should be in the game, a fan favorite decision, or something you brainstorm?

A third party of that question, will you bring back some of the summons introduced in Final Fantasy 7, such as Hades and the Knights of the Round?

FF7 Rebirth Director: Naoki Hamaguchi

Okay. So, regarding your first question about whether you can retrieve these summons that are only currently available through pre-order Save files.

Yeah, so both, so for both the pre-order bonus and the save data file bonus. Right now, those are the only ways in which players can take ownership of those summons. We would like to see how it plays out in players’ feedback.

Regarding what goes into deciding which summons make it in the game. We do consider the original Final Fantasy 7 title and how and which summons are present there. So, we try to stick to how a summon may have been acquired in the original Final Fantasy 7. We try to make it close in Rebirth to provide a sense of nostalgia in playing the game. So this is something we do keep in mind, but we also want to introduce new summons for players to try out.

We have gone into deep discussions to determine Which sort of summons would be great to include in the game.

Answering your third question of whether certain summons are going to come back or be introduced again, this is something that we want players to wait in anticipation to see whether this will be realized. I look forward to players playing and wonder if their favorite summons will return.

PSU would like to thank Naoki Hamaguchi and Yoshinori Kitase, along with the rest of the staff and the Square Enix PR team Chad Conceimo, Kyle Prahl, and Jordan Aslett.