It’s been three years since Square Enix released Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the first part of an ambitious trilogy that revisits the 1997 masterpiece. While Remake made it clear that the trilogy is willing to change the script in big ways, there is still a lot we don’t know about how the second part, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, will play out.
Thanks to a lengthy trailer during PlayStation’s September 2023 State of Play, we have plenty of hints as to how Rebirth will continue Remake’s trend of playing with alternate timelines. Here are five of the biggest reveals.
5. Sephiroth’s Choice of Words
In the middle of the State of Play trailer, Sephiroth says “When worlds collide,” underscoring that the remake trilogy is potentially a stealth sequel. FF7 Remake plays with our expectations for how the iconic story will unfold, even hinting at multiple timelines playing out at the same time.
Sephiroth’s words set the stage for Rebirth to take some big risks with the story and characters fans love from the original FF7.
4. Where Is Cid?
FF7 Remake acquainted players with a majority of the original game’s party. Intergrade expanded that with Yuffie. Going into Rebirth that leaves only three party members left to gather: Cait Sith, Vincent Valentine, and Cid.
We see both Cait Sith and Vincent Valentine in the State of Play trailer, but the disgraced Shinra rocket scientist Cid is conspicuously missing in action. Yuffie and Vincent were both optional party members in the original game, but Rebirth clearly integrates them into the main story. That makes it all the more surprising not to see the foul-mouthed engineer.
Cid’s storyline includes a backstory that brushes against death in some interesting ways. So if we are seeing multiple timelines, it’s possible Cid may not have survived one of them, which could create interesting obstacles for the party.
In an official PlayStation blog post, creative director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed that all of the original party members will appear, though did not elaborate on how big of a role everybody will have.
3. The Weapons Make an Appearance
A major late-game obstacle in the original Final Fantasy 7 is the Weapons, a collection of powerful bosses who emerge to protect the world from destruction. FF7 Rebirth makes mention — and gives a brief look — at the Weapons in its latest trailer, which implies that a large swath of the original’s story will be covered in Rebirth, despite being only the second part of the trilogy.
If players will be facing the Weapons in Rebirth, then the story may be more truncated than in the original. This also implies that there may be even larger changes ahead for whatever comes in the finale to the remake trilogy after Rebirth.
2. Zack Is Alive and Well
As those who finished FF7 Remake will know, Zack Fair is seen alive and well in a cutscene that changes one of the most important plot points leading into the story of Final Fantasy 7. The role of Zack in the rest of the trilogy remains unknown, and he could even end up being another foe for Cloud to face. But the State of Play trailer shows that we will be seeing more of Zack in FF7 Rebirth, as we see him help an injured Cloud into Midgar.
As we see in the ending of FF7 Remake, it looks like there may be timeline wonkiness going on and the living Zack exists in a new timeline that the player may get to explore more of and see how things might have gone differently if he had survived in the first place.
1. No Sign of the Forgotten City
The biggest question fans have had since Final Fantasy 7 Remake made it clear that the new trilogy would play fast and loose with the original game’s story is whether or not the game’s biggest twist will happen.
[Spoilers for the original Final Fantasy 7]
At the end of disc two, the party chases after Aerith and finds her in the Forgotten City, where Cloud witnesses Sephiroth brutally murder Aerith. Fans spread rumors across the internet that the game had some way to save her, but there was no way to change her fate.
The remake trilogy may give her another fate, but FF7 Rebirth‘s latest trailer notably never shows anything related to the Forgotten City — or the fateful encounter between Aerith and Sephiroth. This could be to keep fans guessing, but it could also mean that her fate has changed so much that these events may not happen at all. What ramifications that will have on the timeline — and how it plays into Sephiroth’s plans — remain unknown.