Spoiler warning: The following article contains spoilers for the original 1997 Final Fantasy 7 and potential spoilers for the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
The ESRB has rated the highly anticipated Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, revealing its deep cleavage, pools of blood, and a potential clue to Aerith’s fate.
“This is an action role-playing game in which players follow the story of a mercenary (Cloud Strife) on a quest to save the planet from evil,” it said, which is all standard so far. “Players explore fantasy landscapes, perform missions, and battle monsters and soldiers in frenetic melee combat. Characters use swords, staffs, guns, and magic spells to fight monsters and human soldiers; combat is highlighted by impact sounds, cries of pain, and explosions.”
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That’s expected, but the next sentence will likely have Final Fantasy 7 fans raising eyebrows, as it mentions cutscenes showing characters being impaled or slashed by swords, sometimes in slow motion. “Cutscenes depict further instances of violence, sometimes with splatters/pools of blood: characters impaled or slashed by swords, sometimes with slow-motion effects; an assassin throwing a spinning blade at a targeted figure; characters shot by soldiers.” Rebirth remakes the section in the original game when Aerith is impaled by Sephiroth’s sword and killed, and this mention could imply that it’s happening as it did back in 1997 with no changes.
While this wouldn’t be unusual for a standard remake, the trilogy of new Final Fantasy 7 games actually changes some key events from the original, and fans have theorised that Aerith’s death is one of these moments.
There will be plenty of other slashing and stabbing going on in the game, of course, so the mention here could be nothing to do with Aerith, but fans will just have to wait and see what happens when Rebirth launches.
The ESRB rating also highlights “deep cleavage” as part of female characters wearing revealing outfits and having suggestive dialoge. “Just admit it. You’re obviously captivated by my bodacious beach bod,” reads one line of dialogue, though the ESRB failed to mention who said it. Hopefully it’s Barret.
Here’s the rest of the rating in full: “Some female characters are designed with revealing outfits (e.g., deep cleavage); suggestive dialogue sometimes accompanies camera panning/close-ups of characters’ bodies/outfits (e.g., ‘Just admit it. You’re obviously captivated by my bodacious beach bod.’). The game contains some alcohol content: as Cloud, players can drink a version of moonshine while at a bar; cutscenes sometimes feature drunk characters slurring their speech. A handful of scenes depict characters smoking cigars or out of hookahs. The words ‘sh*t,’ ‘a*shole,’ and ‘pr*ck’ appear in the game.”
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s February 29 release date is getting closer and fans are finally learning more and more about the game. Square Enix confirmed it will feature new story content centred around Zack, and perhaps even incorporate backstory for Sephiroth included in mobile game Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.