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Final Fantasy VII is available on Steam (steampowered.com)
81 points by ValentineC on July 4, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 58 comments

I still have my original discs but it's such a pain getting it to run on anything newer than WinME that I'd given up trying to play it.

Is the rendering performance OK? Are the movies intact? Do you get the choral music that was only accessible to people who had a creative card with soundfont support?

Also, this reminds me of several video gaming magazine jokes:

    Character Booster – Find yourself stuck on a difficult section or lacking the funds to buy that vital Phoenix Down? With the Character Booster you can increase your HP, MP and Gil levels to their maximum, all with the simple click of a button, leaving you to enjoy your adventure.

The music is the same as Enix's old version, i.e. MIDI and not nearly as good as the original PSX music. There's a mod for that though - google Ficedula's music patch

Did Enix do the original PC port? That would be kinda weird since, Square and Enix were competitors at the time.

Guess the use of MIDI is what you do when the hardware doesn't for sure come with support for redbook audio.

Actually, the PSX version of FFVII is /sampled and sequenced/ (like a surprising chunk of PSX music) from a Roland SC-88 MIDI module and part of the reason why a lot of video game music enthusiasts found the PC port of it interesting was because of the Yamaha XG support, an extension of General MIDI that was competing against Roland's GS extensions.

It had nothing to do with a 'lack of redbook', especially given the PC port shipped on disc and no one was releasing stuff on floppies anymore. It simply was common for Japanese computer games to support MIDI modules, even into the late 90s. They kept at it longer than Sierra!

The original PC port was done by Eidos, actually. Even weirder for the time (when Eidos was primarily pumping out Tomb Raider games).

Pretty sure you meant Eidos, not Enix.

FYI: The Steam version of the game still has a phone-home, always-online DRM which requires you to maintain connectivity in order to play. This is not the standard Steam DRM.

I was about to buy Chrono Trigger for my Android the other day but luckily I read through reviews before. It too requires an online authentication at least at every start. I passed.

And, in an attempt to secure their software, they push people into the arms of emulation and easy to find, DRM-free, ROMs. Bafflingly short sighted, as usual.

Yeah this screwed me. I bought it right when it came out and planned to play it on a long flight.

Mind numbingly stupid DRM for a mobile device.

Thank you, this is the information I was looking for. They won't have my money, then.

Why is it so difficult to do GOG-like releases? I would buy things like this with my eyes closed.

Still? I bought the game from Square a few months ago, and it works perfectly without internet connection. I don't know about this Steam version though.

Still waiting for a proper HD rerelease - fans have already hacked the game to load high-res character models / sprites / menus / etc; but it looks silly with 1080p characters wandering round a 320p world :(

How hard can it be to re-render an already-created CG scene with a few more pixels?

This is the hi-res model re-release. It looks like it's identical to the one square released last year, but available via Steam instead of Square. It has all the updated models of the hacked versions and (slightly) improved sound quality, plus a few new `features' like cloud-saving (anti-feature?) and character boosting (who knows).

I bought the square version and the cloud-saving was pretty awful, you sometimes had to wait up to 10 mins to contact their server and save the game. I can only imagine they've fixed that for this release.

Quite hard, because all the backgrounds are bitmaps. It's an unfortunate era for that - Final Fantasy X looks fantastic on a modern system, because it can be rerendered at higher resolution.

Personally I've always thought that it was number of details rather than pixels which counts - in that sense a 320p game where every pixel is hand-drawn with deliberate care would beat a modern game where all 1080 pixels are full of the same "generic explosive barrel" model copy/pasted 50 times :P

In my retroactively ideal world, Square would have had had the foresight to render FFVII at 1080p and downscale at runtime for the playstation - then even today, 15 years later, we could load the game up in an emulator and unlock enough detail to max out a modern HD display.

I don't think he means from the consumer end, I think he means that Square certainly has the CG models sitting around somewhere and can re-render those backgrounds for an HD version. But why sell your best horse when people will gladly buy the hobbled one?

> How hard can it be to re-render an already-created CG scene with a few more pixels?

Quite tricky, seeing that Square-Enix no longer has the original source files to re-render these. A proper re-release would require artists to remake the environments from scratch (based on concept art or the original game).

They don't have the original sources anymore? Do you have a reference for this? What a terrible loss that would be.

considering that they've laid off a huge fraction of their veteran programmers and have been outsourcing development overseas, this doesn't surprise me in the least.

Even if they did have it, there's a good chance their systems aren't compatible with whatever they used to render them.

The game is nearly 20 years old, a millennia in video game time. Oh my goodness... 20 years!

Actually that works in their favor. It's been long enough that they can probably run the original system and software on an emulator with a faster CPU setting.

16 years... come on, don't let us feel THAT old yet.

I've heard that from a few comments on various forums, but no official confirmation. Surely one person in a company of hundreds would have thought to take a backup of the company's most important (at the time) data?

I would love to see this.

You should stick with the original. Remakes have higher resolution graphics, but at the cost of the creative passion that went into the original games.

If the FFX/FFX-2 remake will sell, i'm sure they also do VII.

The problem with these remakes is that the original assets are in crappy resolutions so they'll basically have to remake everything. And that takes time. And Square is not exactly known as being a efficient company.....

They've said they won't do an FF7 remake until they release a better new Final Fantasy game.

...So I wouldn't count on it.

> Still waiting for a proper HD

I am sure it will come out in the same period of the pokemon MMORPG

There is one of those, or in fact, multiple. Fan-made, yes, but MMO's nevertheless.

One could arguably state that all of the pokemon games are MMORPG's already, seeing that you can connect to other players and exchange creatures, combat, etc.

My all-time favorite game. Got it for PC in 1997, and it changed my life.

Ditto. Ditto. For emphasis. Thank you for liking FF7. It's been a fad for the past 5-10 years for people to say "I don't know why everybody likes it, it wasn't that great." They are not correct.

The only game I've played through more times is Ocarina of Time - I rarely replay games, especially very long ones. Especially more than twice. FF7 has been the only exception.

I didn't have a psx, couldn't afford it back then, but I had a PC and got the PC version shortly after it had come out. It was my first FF game.

Stories like to have heroes, give them flaws, mess with them, and then miraculously help them win. The monomyth/hero's journey being the framework.

I don't know if any FF messed with their main character as much as Cloud. Well, they were on a streak after FF6 (Female protagonist who was definitely different from not just other games, but even her fellow party members... man they had good writing) The guy was messed up. Very bad things happened to him. Many times. People died, and not just for shock value.

Some of it has been overhyped, and so the backlash against overhype has caused too many people to rate it lower than it deserves. Others expect too great of things and are disappointed when FF7 doesn't floor them - after all, they are told the title is one of the best RPGs of all time. It is, but it's impossible to look at it nowadays without already having an expectation in mind.

Back then, when we were still young and living off RPGs after school, some fantastic games were made. Some, like FF7 and Xenogears and Chrono Trigger were life-altering. These are the reasons why I want to work as a creator. They are the reasons why I love good entertainment and good writing.

They established the tropes. They get a pass on having the tropes used against them. Man, I always feel like writing a treatise when FF7 crops up. I loved the game, but I was never a full-on fanatic of it. It just deserves some love for it's age.

Yep. I'm perpetually waiting for square to get their shit together and just give us what we want: A frame-by-frame remake with PS4 generation graphics.

But is it really what you want? What you want is to relive that experience; a full-on PS4-style graphics remake will change the whole experience. It'll be a game with the same characters, environments, story and basic gameplay, but the feel of it will be completely different.

I run a FFVII-based fansite (thelifestream.net, [/plug]), and the general consensus of the community there is that while a full FFVII remake would be nice, it would generally be criticized by the original fanbase, no matter how awesome they make it, simply because it's not the same game anymore.

For an example of the only full-on remake Square ever did of one of their older titles, you could look at FFIII on the DS, remaking a 2d, sprite-based game into a 3D one. Of course, FFIII doesn't have nearly the fanbase of VII so there were less tears on the internet over it.

I would love a full remake. While they're at it they can remake Chrono Trigger (my all-time favorite) and FFIII (VI) as well.

Does this still use Square's DRM, or is it all handled by Steam now? I was playing the re-release through Wine on Linux last year, but the DRM workarounds made it activate as a new PC each time it started. Since it has an activation limit, I got locked out after a few launches.

Relatedly, does it use Square's "Cloud Saves" (ho ho ho)? I've got the square version, but it was largely unplayable because you when the cloud servers are down / timing out (as was the case 9 times out of 10), the load / save functionality would be disabled (can't even load or save local files :-/). And then after playing for ~20 hours, the game decided to overwrite my save file with a cloud backup from ~19 hours ago...

It does, but you can turn it on/off. Its off by default.

Remember how the original PC version always crashed at the chocobo races if you tried running it on Windows XP? I remember being so bummed about that until someone released a patch for it on the internet. What did we do before automatic game patches?

I remember when the demo for FF7 was released alongside Brave Fencer; I think I played that demo alone 50+ times. Completely changed my expectations on how immersive/cinematic/emotive games could be.

The demo was released with Tobal No.1, not Musashi. I also played the crap out of that demo. It was amazing for its time having just come from the SNES.

It's funny how we remember the games from the early years of a console over the more polished final ones, even when trying to choose "best of all time". Perfect Dark improved on Goldeneye in every way, but rarely makes such lists (and similarly with Majora's Mask). FF6 and Chrono Trigger were stunning, pushing the SNES far further than one would have imagined possible - but it's FF4 you hear people rave about. And sacrilegious as it may seem, I think FF9 actually improved on 7 - but it's far less remembered than that first, stumbling foray into 3D, FMV and all the rest of it.

I think is a pretty common psychological tendency, no?

It's like more about the derivative (delta/improvement) of quality, the velocity of the game relative to previous efforts not its actual position in space.

Wasn't FF8 released along Brave Fencer Musashi?

Good call -- it WAS totally tobal #1.

PC only? Really square? I guess it would be really difficult to port those amazing, cut-edge graphics to opengl...

I guess the business plan was something like "let's make this old win32 code run on win7 and ship the fucker", rather than any well-thought-out long-term effort...

"and print money!"

Apparently it works pretty well on WINE http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId...

Yes, it would be quite significant effort.


This PC version was actually released over a decade ago; it's pretty ghetto and old. That said, it Wine-wraps decently.

The same treatment was given to FFVIII, as well, so it likely won't be long before it joins its predecessor on the Steam store (its appearance leaked in the registry moons ago).

Ow c'mon Steam, you were on your way to support Linux so well -- windows only :(

Valve had literally zero input into this decision, so direct your frustration at Square Enix instead.

Why are they charging so much for such an old game?

Simple: because people are willing to pay for it. People pay fortunes for vintage toys because their parents got rid of them two+ decades ago and they want to relive their youth and have expendable income. Similarly, people want to relive their youth from 15-20 years ago with video games, and are willing to re-buy a version of the game that runs on modern-day systems.

Re-releases of old / 'vintage' video games are quite popular on Steam, allowing the owners of the rights of said games to sell them again with relatively small investments. This also happens on modern consoles (PSN on the PS3, etc), which no longer have backwards compatibility, so that the game manufacturers port the game to modern systems (at minimal investment) and sell them again. Optionally rendering the game at a higher resolution and calling it a HD re-release.

I have always loved (J)RPG's. I tend to think of them more as great books than simple games. Graphical quality is typically not of much importance for us who love this sort of game. Old or not, it is a great game, and we'll pay for it.

A nontrivial number of people consider it to be the best game of all time. If you compare to other media there are plenty of old books or music albums that sell at full price.

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