Final Fantasy VII Remake is a sprawling reinvention of the 1997 original’s opening Midgard section. Square Enix not only lovingly recreated one of the most iconic video game settings ever, but they fleshed out short sequences like Wall Market into grand adventures in their own right. With the approach of the second chapter in the remake series, Final Fantasy VI Rebirth, Square Enix needs to give some love to one of the best moments of Final Fantasy VII: the dating sequence in the Gold Saucer amusement park.
Lady’s man, man’s man, man about town — Cloud Strife is popular with the ladies. Maybe he doesn't ooze charm like Zack Fair, but something about his moody vibes and spiky hair just screams “you can fix him.”
FF7 doesn’t shy away from romance. In fact, it leans hard into it often to the point of just being out of control horny. While the party is trying to stop the end of the world, they are still able to pursue other activities thanks to the myriad of wacky mini-games available. In one of the most memorable sequences from the original game, Cloud goes out on a legit date.
While spending the night at the massive amusement park the Gold Saucer, Cloud will get a knock on his door. Upon answering, he’ll find someone asking him out on a date (either Tifa, Aerith, Yuffie, or Barret depending on previous dialogue choices). These dates are luxuriously crafted to let the player see Cloud as a regular guy who wants to kiss the girl he likes. How relatable!
There are over 10 individual mini-games in the Gold Saucer, and on date night they are all 100 percent free. Cloud can take his date around the park and try to impress them as he gets high scores on games. Then Cloud goes on a gondola ride, which is just as romantic as being on a Ferris wheel at a state fair. This moment is different for each date, but in every instance, it strikes a balance of humorous and heartfelt. Aerith confides in Cloud that she wants to truly get to know him, beyond this facade he puts on.
Final Fantasy dating sim?!? — Wall Market was a small section of the original FF7, but FF7 Remake turned it into a massive hub area filled with mini-games and side-quests. The moment in Wall Market that stands out the most to me is the Honeybee Inn, which gives players a full-on rhythm game to play.
Square Enix went all in on making FF7 Remake a weird game for weird gamers. In a time when the mainline franchise is pushing for more “mature” storytelling, the joyous absurdity of these mini-games feels refreshing. This isn’t to say it takes away from the deeply emotional story of FF7. In fact, watching these characters experience joy makes the story hit that much harder.
So, it falls to Square Enix to make the Gold Saucer date an absolutely luxurious event in FF7 Rebirth. I want a full-on dating sim in-game. Let me tell Aerith I think she looks pretty, but also let me absolutely beef it and tell her she looks “OK, I guess.” I want to SWEAT on this date more than I have during any boss fight in a Dark Souls game. The original FF7 decided who Cloud would go on a date with by checking a number invisible to the player that had tallied up over the game’s playtime through numerous choices. If you had been so bad at flirting with any of the girls in the game, then you would go on a bros night out with Barret.
Square Enix is on the same page though, and we have already gotten our first taste of dating mechanics. In FF7 Remake there are a series of choices that will lead to a pivotal cutscene in Chapter 14 changing. There is already a hidden counter in the game tallying up how you act towards Aerith and Tifa, and gaging which one is your true love.
Every choice you make will add up and lead to the Gold Saucer, for one wonderful night.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is coming to PlayStation 5 in Winter 2023.