Final Fantasy VII is the 7th installment in SquareSoft (now known as Square Enix), and the first one to appear on the original Playstation.
It was also the first game in the series to use 3D computer graphics to superimpose fully rendered characters over pre-rendered backgrounds. It was also the first game in the series to be released in Europe. Since inception in 1997, several ports have been brought to light, totaling at about 11 million copies by 2015. Earlier this year, an upscaled remake was announced.
The original version boosted notably the sales of the original Playstation and also popularised Japanese RPGs outside of Japan.
It is considered, till this date, one of the best videogames ever made.
Final Fantasy VII follows the adventures of the main character Cloud Strife – a member of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE – along with a group of allies, fights to take down the mega corporation Shinra, who is attempting to drain the world of its life and use it as its own energy source. These rebel fighters get involved in bigger world-threatening battles, and things culminate in a face-off with the main antagonist – Sephiroth.
The world in FFVII is presented by way of three types of maps – an overworld map, field maps, and battle screens. The first is a scaled-down version of the FFVII world done in 3D. Field maps are pre-rendered 2D maps depicting towns, forests, etc. Progression through the storyline occurs by means of scripted sequences as well as CG cut-scenes.
Battles occur either randomly or are triggered at preset times by certain events. The protagonist’s party is pitted against a group of enemies. Winning gives you experience, gil and items. These battles take place on 3D representations of an area. The player takes control of all characters in the party and inputs orders following the series’ trademark Active-Time Battle (ATB) battle scheme.
The skill system revolves around magical orbs composed of condensed Mako (the world’s life energy) called Materia. These Materia orbs are differently colored so as to distinguish between their different functions. One particular type of orb summons different types of deities to generate more powerful attacks. Characters are also capable of ‘Desperation Attacks’ also known as ‘Limit Break@. This is accessible when a bar fills up as a result of accumulated damage taken during battle.