In the latest update for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the second in a trilogy of games Square Enix has remade from Final Fantasy VII, we get a fresh look at some of the NPCs Cloud and company will meet on their journey across the world chasing the black-caped Sephiroth.
These characters hail from Kalm, a town not far from Midgar that relies on mako energy pumped in through its massive outer walls, and Junon, a republic west of Midgar where Shinra has built a massive military installation. The party will meet many characters who have their own views towards the company, such as Broden, an inkeeper in Kalm with a grudge, and Rhonda, who looks the other way when she discovers their bounty in Under Junon. It’s here the party will meet Priscilla, a girl who has befriended and trained dolphin. Back in the grasslands, Billy and Chloe are a pair of orphaned youngsters helping on their grandfather’s chocobo farm.
Synergy abilities and skills are a new feature of the combat system, where two characters team up to deliver powerful attacks. These attacks are learned and strengthened as the party’s level increases, and synergy skills can be deployed while guarding for a various effects.
Summon materia is a prominent feature in Final Fantasy VII Remake and in Rebirth you will be able to summon Kujata, a massive bovine creature who charges through the battlefield and uses powerful fire, ice and lighting magic to strike enemy weak points.
Chadley will return in this game as well, the budding scientist will assist you in collecting “World Intel” by exploring the large zones that compose Rebirth’s world. Here he will have you seek out Protorelics, items of dubious origin that seem to manipulate space and time. Chad can also offer new types of materia just like in the first game for meeting various requirements, and one reward is a single orb of materia that will allow its user to cast both fire and ice spells.
Out in the world, you’ll encounter and befriend chocobos that Cloud and co. can use as mounts. They can also be customized with different gear, and you can do so at a Chocoboutique.
We also learn that there will be additional difficulty mode in the game aside from an “Easy” and “Normal” mode present in the first game. “Dynamic” mode will see creatures get stronger as the party gets stronger and is geared for players Square Enix says are looking for a “a constant challenge.”
From Square Enix:
Regions of the World
The world is comprised of multiple regions, each boasting unique environments for you to explore and experience on your adventure.
Let’s take a look at a couple:
A halcyon hamlet kept safe from the outside world by a sturdy stone wall. Though it lacks a reactor of its own, it thrives thanks to a steady supply of mako piped in from the metropolis of Midgar, which is visible from atop the town’s famous clock tower.
A once-bustling mine that connects the grasslands with Junon. Though once prized for its rich mythril deposits, the quarry fell into disuse after Shinra developed a superior mineral of their own, and the miners that once worked its tunnels have been replaced with monsters.
Owner and operator of the Inn at Kalm. He bears a grudge against Shinra, and offers to help Cloud and friends escape their would-be corporate captors. His gaunt appearance may be due to his recent bout with an unknown illness.
Mayor and sheriff of Under Junon. Her home, once a prosperous fishing village, fell into decline after Shinra constructed a military fortress overhead and a deep-sea mako reactor offshore. Despite Cloud and friends’ status as alleged terrorists, Rhonda still allows them to pass through her town.
A cheerful young girl who lives in Under Junon, often seen swimming with the dolphin she trains. The offshore mako reactor has contaminated the surrounding waters, and Priscilla fears for the safety of her dolphin friend and other aquatic creatures.
Paul Castro Jr.
Grandson of Bill, owner of a chocobo ranch in the grasslands. Having lost his parents at a young age, he and his sister were raised by their grandfather. This young ranch hand kindly offers to teach Cloud and company the ropes of chocobo wrangling – on the condition that they patronize his sister’s shop.
Billy’s younger sister, she runs a shop on the ranch where she sells crafting materials and other curios. Warm and kindhearted, she engages politely with Cloud and company and is grateful for their patronage. At the same time, she is worried about her brother’s fixation on making money.
Red XIII & Aerith in Combat
Next up, we’ll look at some of the combat abilities for Red XIII and Aerith.
Red XIII slashes at foes with his sharp claws. Hold down the button to unleash a wide-range attack that helps build ATB quickly.
Red XIII boasts a vast array of skills, from lightning-fast physical strikes to ranged magical attacks. Stardust Ray conjures an exploding orb of light that scorches all foes caught in the blast.
Block incoming attacks to fill the vengeance gauge, and unleash that energy to enter vengeance mode, enhancing his physical attacks and his evasive prowess. Siphon Fang delivers a powerful blow while absorbing some of the enemy’s HP – all without expending ATB.
Aerith can instantaneously warp to any sigils she has created, allowing her to move about the field with ease and maximize the impact of her magic.
Synergy Abilities & Skills
Synergy abilities are powerful attacks in which two characters team up to turn the tide of battle. More abilities will unlock as you increase the party level – a numerical expression of how closely-knit your team is, and deepen the affinity between party members.
Fill the synergy gauge by using abilities, then unleash a synchronized assault! Here are some more examples:
Cloud + Tifa
Cloud launches Tifa toward an enemy to attack in tandem.
Barret + Red XIII
Barret sends Red XIII flying toward an enemy at high velocity.
Two party members can team up to activate useful abilities without consuming ATB. These commands can be executed while blocking, and provide a wide array of beneficial effects. Each pair has their own unique set of abilities; some deal damage, while others offer support.
Here are some examples:
Cloud + Aerith
Gather strength, then team up to unleash a charged magical attack.
Barret + Cloud
Team up to charge forward while guarding against incoming attacks. Activate in sequence to trigger a three-hit combo.
Setting summoning materia will grant access to the power of the gods. A conjured deity will follow the player’s lead and fight enemies automatically, but you can also instruct them to use special abilities.
Before they depart the battlefield, summons will unleash one final attack that will wreak immense havoc.
A bovine deity that charges around the battlefield wielding the power of fire, ice, and lightning. It throws foes with its enormous horns and unleashes magical attacks that strike even distant enemies’ weaknesses.
Kujata bounds towards foes with reckless abandon and manipulates its elemental affinities to deliver magical attacks. Blazing Horn launches a concentrated burst of fiery energy at an enemy, blasting them back.
Kujata unleashes Tri-Disaster just before leaving the battlefield, a powerful wide-range attack imbued with the powers of fire, ice, and lightning–sure to hit many foes right where it hurts and potentially wipe them out.
World Intel & Difficulty Levels
Chadley enlists your help with deepening his understanding of the world. As you explore the various regions, you will uncover new areas rich with treasures and natural wonders. Data points accumulated in your travels can then be spent to develop useful new materia.
Protorelics are artifacts of unknown origin that emit a unique energy signal. These elusive antiquities are hidden throughout the world─but with the aid of activated remnawave towers, Chadley should be able to point you in their direction. Be warned, however: they seem to alter space-time, and are known to cause strange phenomena.
Chocobo ranches are also home to chocoboutiques, stalls at which you can freely customize and recolor your bird’s equipment from head to talon. Gear will impact its performance in chocobo races, so find an ensemble that suits your style and go for the gold!
Assisting Chadley with his world-spanning research will allow you to accrue data points, which can then be spent to develop new materia. Some offer access to spells of multiple affinities, while others grant the use of unique abilities – all of which are sure to prove useful against even the most formidable foes.
Combat Syles & Difficulty Levels
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth offers multiple combat styles and difficulty levels for players of all persuasions. “Active” mode offers players total control over their characters’ every move, allowing them to execute advanced strategies. “Classic” mode automates characters’ basic actions, giving players time to focus on specific command selection.
Easy” difficulty allows people to focus on the story rather than battles, while “Normal” provides a reasonable challenge for most players. In the newly added “Dynamic” difficulty, enemies grow stronger as your characters do – perfect for players who crave constant challenge.