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The Crisis Core remaster is pivotal for the Final Fantasy 7 remake's future

Shot of Zack Fair in his Soldier uniform
(Image credit: Square Enix)
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In a surprising move, Square Enix has announced Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion, a remastered port packing significant upgrades.

Crisis Core is a prequel to the original Final Fantasy 7, first released in 2008 on PSP. Focusing on SOLDIER member Zack Fair, we're initially assigned to investigate the disappearance of Genesis Rhapsodos, befriending Cloud Strife and Aerith along the way. More importantly, Crisis Core gave us a direct look at the events which eventually shape Final Fantasy 7, in which Zack plays a pivotal role. 

Arriving on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC, Square Enix is going the extra mile for this re-release. It's revealed Reunion will include new 3D models for sharper visuals, full voice acting for all dialogue, and a newly-arranged soundtrack. Launching this Winter, we don't have an exact release date just yet, but you can watch the full trailer below: 

Reunion was announced through the Final Fantasy 7 25th anniversary broadcast, which held some additional surprises. After six months of Epic Games Store exclusivity, Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade has arrived on Steam with Steam Deck compatibility, and we've learned Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis is getting an open beta later this year. More notably though, we got our first look at Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, which is now subtitled Rebirth.

Crisis Core is a key component for Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth was undeniably the star of last night's showcase, and it also confirmed why a Crisis Core remaster makes perfect sense right now.

Spoilers ahead in these next two paragraphs who haven't played Crisis Core or Remake. If you didn't know, Remake surprised many fans back in 2020 by diverging from the established timeline. While Remake acknowledges the original PS1 game's storyline, the game sees our party actively altering the course of destiny, meaning long-established events are no longer set in stone. 

Crucially, that includes Zack's fate. Despite putting up an incredible effort, Crisis Core ends with him getting fatally wounded by an army of Shinra forces, an event which left no room for ambiguity. However, in a move that surprised many, Remake blatantly changed the fight's outcome. In a flashback during the Remake's ending, we see him emerge victorious, later heading to Midgar with Cloud. 

By venturing off the beaten path, Rebirth's heading into unfamiliar territory for Final Fantasy 7 fans but still looks to the past. It's clear Zack holds a crucial role going forward, we just don't know how that'll shape up. All things considered, there's never been a more fitting time to revisit his main adventure.

Henry is a freelance writer based in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. When he's not wandering in VR or burning through his RPG backlog, he's probably planning his next D&D session.