In the opening of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife, a mercenary and former member of an elite private military group called SOLDIER, takes on a job with an eco-terrorist cell named Avalanche. Their mission is to blow up a reactor that siphons Mako, the lifeblood of the planet, and uses it to power the sprawling industrial metropolis Midgar. The group infiltrates, braves resistance from Shinra Electric Company’s forces, and sets off an explosion that renders the reactor inoperable.
In the 1997 original, what followed was a hop, skip, and jump through a few sections of the city back to Sector 7, and the safety of Avalanche’s hideout. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, having carried out the mission, you’re asked to walk the streets in the aftermath and witness the harrowing consequences of your actions. The sector lies in ruin, fires rage, buildings are crumbling, and the heartbreaking human cost is laid bare.
A somber violin plays as you walk Midgar’s streets, with each pull of the bow across strings tugging at your conscience and stirring the heart, asking you to question whether you’re doing the right thing. The cries of confused children echo, people fall to their knees attempting to grapple with the magnitude of what has happened, and citizens decry this so-called group of freedom fighters you’ve joined just to make a quick buck.