So. Finally, and after much heated and over-enthused fan speculation, Square-Enix have decided that at long last the time is right for a remake of their opus Final Fantasy VII.
Of course, I’m not personally a fan. I tell this to anyone who’ll listen (and sometime those who won’t). This isn’t because I’m one of those people who has to take every effort to hate a thing because it’s popular; I love Coke. Nay, it is because I had this nagging feeling on release that I’d seen it all before.
Specifically, two years earlier with Phantasy Star IV.
Far be it for me to whine about how they’re both RPG’s set in a quasi-futuristic dystopia and featuring a blonde-haired sword-wielding young man with militaristic ambitions as hot-headed protagonist who eventually grows up. That seems to be a pretty generous default for this style of game; but the similarities run deeper.
Their names both begin with ‘C’, too. Pure coincidence, as is the black-clad antagonist with a name pulled from Jewish culture acting on behalf of powers from above. That could be any two games, right?
Any two games where these similar characters both plot-killed a party member whose name begins with ‘A’, possibly. But I’m splitting hairs here.
Jenova appears at one point in Final Fantasy VII as a legless torso attached to a wall in a technological facility.
Dark Force appears at one point in Phantasy Star IV as a legless torso attached to a wall in a technological facility.
Toward the end of Phantasy Star IV, a second Dark Force appears, a fight waged against coastal scenery.
Toward the end of Final Fantasy, a second Weapon (Diamond) appears, a fight waged against coastal scenery.
The Profound Darkness is an androgynous winged entity floating against an abstract background.
This is all just for fun, of course; Phantasy Star IV has nothing like the kind of rich world-building seen in Final Fantasy VII’s Midgar and similarly, the plot-mandated character death in FFVII is not handled nearly as respectful or sensitively as in PSIV. Really, they’re both great games.
Regardless of the similarities.