It may be a bit of a wait yet for the next part of Final Fantasy VII Remake, but meanwhile, the PS5 release of the game brings a couple new story chapters focused on an optional character from the original game, teen ninja Yuffie Kisaragi. In the 1997 release, both Yuffie and Vincent Valentine were optional characters that players didn’t need to pick up through the game’s story, which gave the developer freedom around playing with gaps in their stories. Co-director Motomu Toriyama revealed to TheGamer why Yuffie was chosen as the star of Episode Intermission over Vincent Valentine.
While Remake is starting to make some curious small changes to the canon of the original game, Vincent Valentine is still fast asleep in a coffin under Shinra Mansion near Nibelheim. It seems that this element of Vincent’s story is too massive to change, even if Final Fantasy VII Remake’s story has already hinted about story changes as enormous as Zack Fair being alive. Essentially, Vincent’s canon doesn’t allow the team to play with his story as much just yet, whereas much of Yuffie’s story has blank pages that are effectively filled with the Episode Intermission story.
Toriyama told TheGamer:
Yuffie, the heroine of Episode Intermission was not guaranteed to join your party in the original game, but that actually made her a character that we had more freedom to expand on the backstory for. Toriyama-san tells us. “Compared to Vincent, who was canonically sleeping in a coffin under the Shinra Mansion and so could not be moved around, Yuffie was journeying around the world as a materia hunter. By inserting the events in Midgar from FF7R Episode Intermission into that journey, we can show the feelings that she had towards that incident that are usually hidden behind her cheery personality, and that will tie into her story further down the line.”
The other big part of choosing Yuffie was to provide additional context into Shinra, the war with Wutai, and the general state of the world beyond Midgar. While we found in our own review that Episode Intermission felt as standalone and optional as Yuffie did in the original game, the added background will become a valuable part of engaging with the story and world in the rest of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Some elements of Vincent’s story were present in the Episode Intermission story, including additional details about Deepground, which Vincent will face off against years later in the Dirge of Cerberus story canon. Vincent himself, however, remains fast asleep until Cloud and company stumble across his not-so-final resting place, which may or may not happen in the next part, depending on how far the story of the sequel goes.
With some deviations occurring in the Final Fantasy VII Remake story, we now know for certain that Vincent’s story remains intact, at least as far as his long sleep under Shinra Manor goes. What part he will play in the new story’s fight with “destiny” should add some fascinating new elements while eventually bringing back a fan favorite character with a deep and troubled past.
The developers have also talked about elements from Episode Intermission potentially making their way into the next part of Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is still light on details at this point.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, including the Episode Intermission DLC story chapters, is available exclusively on PS5 now.