There are few games as prolific and influential as the original Final Fantasy 7, a title that completely redefined storytelling in not just JRPGs, but the medium at large. Countless titles have been inspired by Final Fantasy 7’s dystopic tale of a ragtag group fighting to save the planet, and to date, Final Fantasy 7 is still the best-selling game in the franchise, by a wide margin. The seminal title’s legacy has now been secured even further, as Final Fantasy 7 has been given a commemorative holiday in honor of the game’s original release date.
As announced on the official Twitter account, January 31 has now been made “Final Fantasy VII Day” in Japan. The original game was released in Japan on January 31, 1997, but wouldn’t be released in the West until September 7 of the same year. The account posted a picture of the certificate along with a message from the game’s director, Yoshinori Kitase.
“I remember being overwhelmed at the breakneck speed with which video game technology was evolving, but also dreaming of big things for the future,” says Kitase. “With the establishment of this official anniversary day, I will now always remember these things, and hold them dearly in my heart.”
Of course, this holiday is more of a commemorative event than an official holiday, there won’t exactly be any parades or partying in the street. The official post on the Japan Anniversary Association website describes the game as “a huge hit in Japan and overseas,” and hopes that "more people will enjoy FF7, which is newly developed with the latest technology as the REMAKE series.”
A quick cursory glance at the site will also inform you of some of the other fun holidays in Japan, like Wet Towel Day on October 29 or Cheese Cod Day on February 23.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time a Square Enix series has seen the formation of a commemorative holiday, as in 2018 the Japan Anniversary Association declared May 27th “Dragon Quest Day,” in celebration of the original game’s release back in 1986.
Kitase served as the director of the original Final Fantasy 7, but now he’s serving as executive producer on the entire Final Fantasy VII Remake project. The series has big things on the horizon with the mobile title Ever Crisis due out this summer, and the second part of the remake trilogy, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, scheduled for this Winter.
An original novel written by Kazushige Nojima, the scenario writer, of Final Fantasy 7 is also due out in March. Titled “Final Fantasy VII Remake: Traces of Two Pasts,” the novel chronicles the experiences of both Aerith and Tifa in the time period between Crisis Core and Final Fantasy 7.
The wild ending of Final Fantasy 7 Remake blew things wide open for the new trilogy, and the big question at the moment is where things go next. Some theories say the Remake trilogy is actually a sequel to the original game, and the return of Zack Fair has some massive implications for where the story could be going.