Final Fantasy VII was iconic for its time (though we still stan pretty darn hard for Final Fantasy VIII), so it's no wonder that Square Enix would look to encapsulate that same success within this generation and the generations on the horizon. With the remake proving to be no small task, even so much so to be spliced up into numerous parts, one aspect we're excited to explore is Midgar and how it's evolved. Luckily, we've got a little insight into the process.
The PlayStation Blog recently sat down with the remake's producer, Yoshinori Kitase, and co-director, Naoki Hamaguchi, to talk about some of the biggest design choices when it came to bringing Midgar into this generation. One of the first introductions to the new changes comes with the literal bird's eye view of the industrialization of the area, "there is very much the nuance that [Midgar] is damaging the surrounding area.”
“You know the structure of Midgar; you’ve the big central pillar, and each sector is supported by its own sub-pillar,” continues Hamaguchi. “We worked out the right size and construction, how big those pillars would need to be to physically support the weight of the plate on top of them. Also the honeycomb structure of the pillars and where the tunnels would have to go for it to still work as a physical structure.
“That has all been mapped out and we understand quite a lot of detail about the realities of how Midgar would be constructed as a city.”
More than the city, the team also wanted to show the normalcy of city life, a welcome juxtaposition to the outlandish events that occur throughout the game's narrative: “We really wanted to show the everyday lives of Midgar’s citizens. [Partly] to show how they lived in this massive city powered by Mako energy, how and when they’d be using it, to tell that aspect of the story.
“The original version went straight into the bombing mission. We wanted that feeling that things were already underway, you were in the middle of the action. Yet if you immediately went from there into the panic caused by the bombing mission afterward, you wouldn’t understand the impact it had on the inhabitants’ everyday lives before that event interrupted them. That’s why we started with this domestic kind of scene.”
That same juxtaposition can also be felt in the nightlife - there is so much love and life that can be witnessed, though the echo of the reactor bombing's impact can still very much be felt. The entire city was rebuilt with the player in mind to encourage exploration and inspire conflicting emotions for a maximum narrative impact.
"The first entry in a multi-part saga, delivering a level of depth inconceivable for the original. Mind-blowing story, unforgettable characters, epic battles and technical excellence collide. The world has fallen under the control of the Shinra Electric Power Company, a shadowy corporation controlling the planet's very life force as mako energy. In the sprawling city of Midgar, an anti-Shinra organization calling themselves Avalanche have stepped up their resistance. Cloud Strife, a former member of Shinra's elite SOLDIER unit now turned mercenary, lends his aid to the group, unaware of the epic consequences that await him."