There won’t be any new plot elements in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7, but that doesn’t mean it’s a basic remaster.

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Ever since the Final Fantasy 7 Remake ended with a shocking discovery, fans have been speculating about the possibility of a remaster of Crisis Core. The moment is definitely ripe for an updated release of the prequel starring Zack Fair, a warrior suspiciously similar to Cloud Strife. In addition to the connection with the plot of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, in recent years, Crisis Core has been difficult to find, which forced fans to resort to emulators and other measures.

This made Square Enix’s announcement of the Crisis Core remaster, which coincided with the release of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth last month, all the more welcome. It’s not just a port. Square Enix is revising the graphics, the interface and, somewhat controversially, the voice acting.

“Various improvements have been made to almost all other scenes and battles, and we can say that the work we are doing is akin to creating a remake,” says producer Mariko Sato. “However, since the main elements, such as the story, are based on the original work, we call it a ‘remaster’.

A true retelling

Speaking to IGN in a brand new interview, Sato discussed Square Enix’s intentions for the remaster, outlining the differences between the various platforms and whether it will eventually be linked to Rebirth. Veteran producer Yoshinori Kitase was also on hand to shed light on how the project got the green light in the first place.

According to Kitase, Crisis Core was not conceived in response to the infamous reveal of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Rather, Kitase says that the successful development of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake has led Square Enix to realize that other stories from the universe can also be updated.

Screenshots of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion

“I can’t give an exact date at the moment, but I remember it was towards the end of the development of Final Fantasy VII Remake when we realized that with the quality we were able to bring to Final Fantasy VII Remake, we could create something for the stories that actually surround Final Fantasy VII. And it is quite possible that we will be able to develop Crisis Core. So it was at this time that we decided that yes, this remake could really happen,” Kitase says.

The history of Crisis Core dates back to the days of the PSP, when fans longed for a remake of Final Fantasy 7 on PS3. Sony’s humble laptop computer couldn’t come close to its HD sibling, but Crisis Core still seemed like a technical achievement at the time, rethinking the locations of the original game with much more detail than the original PlayStation could have imagined.

“Not to mention the problems, Crisis Core is a great PSP game, no question. It pays homage to the legacy of Final Fantasy VII,” our review at the time said.

Since then, he has remained popular with fans, who consider his excellent finale one of the best moments in the series. Crisis Core also made Zack, who basically existed on the periphery of the original game, one of the most popular characters in the series. However, until now, Crisis Core has been largely tied to the PSP.

Since the main elements, such as the story, are based on the original work, we call it a “remaster”.

When the Reunion was finally announced last month, fan reaction was mostly positive, with many noting what appeared to be vastly improved visuals. But there were also questions. How deep will this remaster (or remake) be? And what about the cast led by Rick Gomez, who did so much to bring Zach to life?

Firstly, it is obvious that Crisis Core will indeed be a significant upgrade. In addition to the redesigned graphics, Crisis Core will be fully voiced, and the soundtrack will be redesigned. Gameplay is also getting an update: Zack’s attack combinations can now be linked, and limit breakthroughs are available at any time, not just when they appear in a slot machine known as the Digital Mind Wave or DMW system. DMW, for its part, will remain basically the same, which means that elements such as leveling levels will remain random, as always.

Meanwhile, all the resources of the original are being replaced with updated versions using Unreal Engine 4, in order to “visually align and meet the standards of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake,” according to Sato. To this end, the PC version will target an impressive 120 frames per second, and the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions will be 60 frames per second (Sato did not elaborate on the Switch version, but said there would be “differences” in resolution and FPS).).

“Our main goal with this game is that we wanted a really wide range of players to be able to play on any platform they wanted,” Kitase says. “Therefore, we are looking forward to which platform the players will choose, because the gameplay will be reliable and the same on all platforms.”