Things are changing pretty rapidly for Cloud and Co. as they move on to the next portion of their renewed JRPG adventure. Obviously, the very core idea of a remake is to iterate on an established media in a formative way, without detracting from the spirit of the original. Square Enix evidently intends to follow that mantra with Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which has already made and inferred several crucial changes to the original game's storyline that subsequent episodes will need to address. Even without knowing virtually anything tangible about Final Fantasy 7 Remake's second episode, it's clear numerous things are going to change in the game's story.
Just based on the narrative threads and inferences made in the first episode, subsequent parts of the remake will likely be very different from the original game. Overarching beats of the original game's narrative will mostly remain the same, but the moment-to-moment storytelling in Final Fantasy 7 Remake will likely diverge in several key moments. Given the nature of the first episode's hints and ending, it's going to be impossible to pinpoint exactly where the subsequent story will shift, but it's clear that a lot of key details are changing. While aspects like The Whispers and Sephiroth's presence were obvious changes, subsequent differences may be more subtle.
Starting with the existing Final Fantasy 7 Remake's first episode, there's several clear changes that range from incredibly obvious to slightly subtle. Starting with the former is easy enough when players consider two pivotal, recurring narrative devices in Remake's story: The Whispers and Sephiroth. These two are the most obvious choices, given that Sephiroth doesn't even physically show up in Final Fantasy 7's original timeline until way after the beginning events in Midgar. The One-Winged Angel makes his presence known very early on in the story compared to the original, and it's very clearly implied that he knows something about his, and the world's, fate.
Speaking of fate, The Whispers end up being an even more obvious hint that the story has changed significantly, despite their mysterious outward appearance. The Whispers are literal "arbiters of fate" meant to, in the most literal sense, railroad the main party so that they follow the main canonical events of Final Fantasy 7. This ranges from as simple as injuring Jessie the night before the second reactor raid so Tifa goes on the mission, to literally saving Barrett's life after he's preemptively killed by Sephiroth. The main party's penultimate battle is against the Whisper Harbinger, which by definition alone means it's some kind of forerunner directing "destiny."
That's not all: All of this is without even mentioning the existence of a much greater Avalanche resistance force, expanded reveals of Shinra's shady research, as well as the implications of an alternate timeline where Zack is alive, among others like the Avalanche members. A ton of changes, large and small, have already been made evident in Final Fantasy 7 Remake's first episode. Now the Intergrade version is bringing even more significant story changes.
While the original Final Fantasy 7 Remake is receiving an enhanced port on the PS5, Sony's latest console is also receiving an exclusive DLC episode as well. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade includes the entirety of Remake's first episode alongside an entirely new episode dedicated to Yuffie, an originally optional party member in Final Fantasy 7. Taking place during the time when Cloud meets Aerith in the Sector 5 Slums, Yuffie meets with an official branch of Avalanche in Midgar, on mission from Wutai. Of course, being this early on, it still remains unclear what Yuffie's goal is in Midgar, but her existence in Remake alone is proof of significant changes coming.
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