Final Fantasy 7: An oral history

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SeeD A-Class
Oct 30, 2016
These long-form Polygon articles are the best.

My favorite bits:
* Sakaguchi remembering just about everything differently than everyone else. (Champaign King, haha.)
* Nomura making a 2,000 poly Behemoth model for an N64 prototype (and Square getting frustrated that it tanked the frame rate).
* Square putting out TV and print ads declaring to the world that they were developing for PlayStation.
* Square sending their recruitment team to Skywalker Ranch.
* Square buying 200 SGI workstations for $70,000 a piece and many $20,000 PSOne dev kits and leaving them out in the hallway with no security.
* SGI workstations had the same amount of RAM as a PS3. o_0
* Square made coding to the metal a thing on PlayStation. xD
* Nojima wanted to kill off everyone but the characters you chose as party members during the parachuting into Midgar scene, the heck.
* Uematsu thinks he would have written something completely different for Aerith's death if he knew the reaction it would get, but thinks the way it turned out might have been better since it allowed people to fill in the missing bits with their imagination. Nomura says he wasn't trying to make people cry in the first place.
* Square's optimistic hope for US sales was 1 million copies. xD
* Barrett was apparently controversial even in 1997.
* The Japanese dev team was so oblivious to translation issues that translators had to hack the game with a Gameshark to gain access to the files they needed.
* The difference in development cost between FFVII and Tomb Raider is completely outrageous... and costing close to$1 million made Tomb Raider an expensive game at the time.
* FFVII had five different game engines. The heck.
* Square and Eidos almost merged in 1998.
* Square Pictures was in Hawaii because Sakaguchi liked it there. xD
* Nomura compares the impact from Sakaguchi leaving to Romance of the Three Kingdoms. xD
* Shinra Technologies was Wada's baby, which seems amusingly appropriate.
* Lost Odyssey's development was a complete nightmare thanks to Unreal and Microsoft.