Even though Final Fantasy 7 Remake has the word “remake” in the title, it’s more of an adaptation of the Midgar portion of the original FF7 story than straight-up retelling of the original tale. The new game takes some liberties with the old one, and because of those changes, FF7 Remake is full of moments that reimagine elements of the original, while creating new jokes, references, and Easter eggs based on the 1997 game.
The result is a game that’s slightly different from what fans of the original might remember, but which is lovingly paying homage to a classic. For fans new and old, we’ve put together a list of all the best Easter eggs, references, callbacks, and other jokes we found in FF7 Remake below–scroll through to see what you might have missed, and leave your own favorites that we might have not mentioned in the comments below!
Note: This article contains spoilers for Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the original FF7, so read on at your own risk if you haven’t finished them!
1. A Nibel of Nibelheim
FF7 Remake brings a few elements from later in the FF7 story to the forefront–like Cloud’s visions. In the original game, as he approaches Reactor 1 to set the bomb, Cloud hears a voice that warns, “Watch out. This isn’t just a reactor.” In the remake, that moment (and a few more) includes flashbacks to Cloud’s younger life in the village of Nibelheim. We also see flashes of him growing up with Tifa and telling her that he’s leaving for SOLDIER, as seen in the original.
2. My Heart’s In Correl
Though you spend a lot of time with Barret in FF7 Remake, the game doesn’t include much information about his background–or that huge gun attached to his arm. There are subtle nods to Barret’s backstory throughout the game, though. When we find the Avalanche leader arguing with Shinra employees on the Sector 7 train in Chapter 2, a version of the Correl Theme, the music from Barret’s hometown, plays in the background. It’s an allusion to Barret’s history with the company and how he lost that hand, something that doesn’t come up until later in the story.
3. Relax And Save
There are no save points in the remake, unlike the original game. You will find handy park benches scattered throughout the game that restore your HP and MP, though. Since they play a similar role, each is adorned with the save point icon from the first FF7.
4. Here’s Johnny!
The dopiest guy in the Midgar Slums, Johnny, is also a character in the original game, although his newer incarnation has better comedic timing. In 1997’s FF7, Johnny and his family lived next door to Tifa’s Seventh Heaven, and they’re dressed in much the same way. In the remake, you can spend a lot of time with Johnny if you want to, and even have some slightly weird conversations with his dad in Wall Market.
5. 32-Bit Seventh Heaven
Look closely on the wall of Tifa’s bar in the remake and you can find a photo of the interior of the same location from the original game, in all its pre-rendered glory.
6. Outfit Change
Complete enough side-quests with Tifa in Chapter 3 and you’ll unlock an event called “Discovery: Alone at Last,” which gives you a special scene with Tifa. Visit her in her apartment and you’ll spot a pair of cowboy boots that look a whole lot like the ones she wore in flashbacks of Nibelheim, both in the original game and in the remake.
7. Lucky Sevens!
As in the original game, the Avalanche crew has a secret hideout beneath Tifa’s Seventh Heaven, accessible by riding an elevator that’s hidden by a pinball machine. In the remake, activating the elevator makes the score on the machine read 7,777. In the original, if a character wound up with 7,777 HP, they would automatically launch into a massive, powerful damage combo that ravaged enemies. It’s closely associated with the Emerald Weapon, an optional boss in the original, which had an attack that made it easy to trigger the effect. FF7 is a game that loves its sevens, obviously. (Thanks to Twitter user @OneBigUniverse for pointing this out!)
8. Princess Understudy
In Chapter 4, you get a chance to visit Jessie’s house, but while everyone else enjoys pizza, Cloud has to sneak in the back. While you’re prowling around, you can find a letter Jessie sent her parents telling them she got cast in a play at the Gold Saucer. Cloud remarks aloud, “Jessie Rasberry as … The Princess?” In the original game, you’d take part in that play when you visited the Gold Saucer, with Yuffie playing Jessie’s role.
9. Reactor Slide
As you work your way through Reactor 5, Tifa suggests sliding down some pipes to reach Mako Storage. It seems like a novel idea (if a dangerous one), but it’s actually a callback to the original game’s Reactor 5 mission, which saw the team sliding down some pipes as well.
10. All In The Timing
Opening the security door in the Sector 5 Reactor has Cloud, Barret, and Tifa all trying to throw levers in time with each other. The moment is a direct nod to a timing minigame in the original in the same section.
11. A Certain Materia
Cloud meets Aerith in the same way as in the original when he plummets through the ceiling of her church and lands in her flower bed. During the encounter, Aerith mentions the Materia she keeps tied in her ribbon. When she brings it up, Cloud has a brief vision of a cutscene from the original game of that same Materia in the City of the Ancients–a hint of plot twists to come.
12. Improvised Weapon
A lot of weapons and items in FF7 Remake also appeared in the original game, but a few appear in a new capacity. The Nail Bat you get in the original is a powerful weapon but with significant drawbacks, including a lack of Materia slots. In the remake, the weapon pops up much earlier, in Sector 5–you earn it from the kids of the Sector 5 Slums, who brandish it on patrols to take on monsters (and who later replace it with wooden Buster Sword knock-offs). But in the remake, the Nail Bat is actually a weapon you can use throughout the game, with Materia slots and perks that make it pretty handy.
13. Lookout Below
Just like in the original, your escape from the church with Aerith involves dropping things from the ceiling on the unsuspecting Shinra troops below, though not in the same gamified fashion this time.
14. Great Minds Mosey
As you leave the Sector 5 church to cross the rooftops with Aerith, she asks, “Should we mosey on over?” This has to be a nod to one of Cloud’s more famous lines in the original: “Let’s mosey.” Cid gives him guff for it, but in the remake, Cloud rolling out the word “mosey” in preparation for a battle would make sense as a callback to Aerith.
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15. Sneaky Sneaky
Final Fantasy 7 Remake revamps a number of minor moments and mini-games from the original, like sneaking out of Aerith’s house. In the remake, you need to avoid bumping into objects and making noise that would alert Aerith, while in the original, moving any faster than a walk would cause her to hear your footsteps and come investigate.
16. An Extremely Dangerous Item Shop
Drop by Wall Market and you might be confused by the automated item shop, where you’re supposed to be able to get any item you want–for a fee. When you try to use it, a gun descends from the ceiling and attempts to fire at Cloud. That same “prank” item shop is in the original, and returning to it later in the game is the only way to get Tifa’s ultimate weapon. We’ll have to wait and see if they ever get that wiring fixed in one of the remake’s next entries.
17. Strike A Pose
Most combat encounters wrap up with the team going about their business, maybe engaging in a little banter. That’s not the case in the Corneo Colosseum, where you’ll see your party’s special animations when they’re victorious. Cloud spins his sword over his head, Tifa stretches, Barret throws a fist in the air, and Aerith smooths out her dress–all the victory animations from the original game. And while the victory fanfare music from the original doesn’t usually play in FF7 Remake, Barret often fills in by singing the tune himself.
18. Extreme Makeover: Hell Home Edition
A lot of monsters from the original game wind up with a slightly different twist in the remake. The Hell House was one of the weirder enemies in 1997, and it makes a special return in the remake with a flourish. Given how tough it is to get anything but a ramshackle hut in the slums, it kind of makes sense to catch unsuspecting victims with a killer house. Maybe this was one of Hojo’s robotic creations?
19. Wall-to-Wall References
Just about everything in Wall Market is a callback to the same location in the original game, but even the structure of the side-quests is an homage. Several of them mirror the steps it took to get Cloud dressed up to infiltrate Don Corneo’s mansion. In “The Party Lasts All Night,” you run errands for the local dressmaker–which is what it took to get Cloud a dress in the original. Winning a squat-off at the gym earned Cloud a wig in 1997.
20. Those Are Some Specific Threats
While a lot of the things about meeting Don Corneo have been changed, one thing about it is taken directly from the first game. Tifa, Aerith, and Cloud’s various threats to Don Corneo’s private parts are all lines used in the original’s script.
21. Lost In The Graveyard
In Chapter 11’s Train Graveyard, you’ll face the Ghoul, an all-new boss. But much like the Hell House, there’s a returning foe that’s been revamped–Eligor is another minor enemy encounter from the original that’s gotten the full boss fight treatment.
22. That Was a Very Rude Thing to Do
As Cloud and Tifa climb the Sector 7 pillar in Chapter 12, Reno lines up a shot on Tifa with his helicopter’s minigun. At the last minute, Rude swerves the helicopter, causing Reno to miss the shot. The remake gives no explanation for Rude’s behavior, but we know the reason from the original. During the Gongaga section of FF7, we find out Rude’s been crushing hard on Tifa–enough to save her life.
23. Only Sith Deals In Absolutely Out-Of-Place Cameos
During the Sector 7 plate collapse cutscene, we briefly see a strange cat overlooking the devastation. That would be Cait Sith from the original, a character the remake has only introduced indirectly so far. In the original, the plushy Cait Sith is controlled by Shinra executive Reeve–we get a Cait Sith tease here after seeing Reeve try and fail to stop Shinra’s plan to drop the plate several times from his position on the board.
24. A Kalm Before the Storm
In the original game, depending on how you treated and responded to certain characters, you would wind up on a date with either Barret, Tifa, Aerith, or Yuffie when visiting the Gold Saucer. While you don’t visit the Gold Saucer quite yet in the remake, there’s a much more somber take on the concept in Chapter 14. Depending on your actions throughout the game and how you choose to respond to Aerith and Tifa, you’re treated to a (mostly sad) scene with one of them. Choices that show a cold attitude to both the women land you a scene with Barret.
25. Leslie Knopes On Out of Midgar
Leslie, a brand-new character in the remake, initially warns Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa of the danger that comes with interacting with Don Corneo. Eventually, it’s revealed that Leslie is helping out because he’s looking for revenge against Corneo after Leslie’s fiancee was chosen to be one of his consorts. In the original, the next time in the story you see Don Corneo is if you decide to go visit Wutai. Is that when we’ll see Leslie next, still hunting the slumlord?
26. Fight of the Valkyrie
Chapter 15 sees you ascending the collapsed Sector 7 Plate in the remake, before facing a Shinra weapon called the Valkyrie–a flying machine with dual machine guns and a drill for a butt. In the original, you only battle this machine in the second half of the boss fight against the Arsenal (which shows up in Chapter 17 in the remake). Though it appears out of order, we’re glad the Valkyrie made it back in some form.
27. Stairway to (Seventh) Heaven
Just like in the original, you can either sneak into the upper levels of Shinra HQ by taking the stairs, or, per Barret’s advice, by taking the elevator to go in gun-arms-blazing (and with a lot less cardio). The remake’s elevator ride even features a few battles with Shinra troops like FF7 did in 1997, but the chief difference between the two choices are the dialogue and story moments you get in each one. And there’s no elixir halfway up the stairs this time, unfortunately.
28. I’ll Never Let Go
During the guided tour of Shinra’s history, Barret makes a comment about never trusting Shinra, while looking at his gun-arm. Like the Corel theme back in Chapter 4, this is another allusion to Barret’s backstory and how he wound up using a gun for a prosthetic, which comes up later in the original but hasn’t been covered yet in the Remake.
29. City of Angels
As the characters learn about Shinra’s goals in the Entertainment Hall in Chapter 16, the section covering the Ancients shows a snippet of what could very well be The City of the Ancients, with the architecture resembling the sea shell-like design the location had in the original game.
30. Nanaki, The Big Red Lab-Rat-Dog
When the team encounters Red XIII in Chapter 16, Tifa asks what his real name is, rather than the designation he got from Hojo. Red responds by bowing his head, ashamed he’s become so far removed from his old life. Cloud changes the subject, but if they hadn’t so quickly moved on, Red might have revealed his given name from his hometown in Cosmo Canyon, Nanaki. Enjoy being called “Red” for the rest of the game, ya goof.
31. “Hey, What If We Turned Swordipede Into a Boss Fight”
Yet another enemy found in a random battle has been given a makeover: Swordipede. What was once an enemy that could be taken down with a couple of Lightning spells now takes on all five members of your party in one of the cooler encounters of Chapter 17.
32. A Long Time Ago, In a Promised Land Far, Far Away
In the original game, after rescuing Aerith, Cloud and the gang are captured by Reno and Rude before they can escape Shinra HQ, and are tossed into jail cells. To progress the story, you have to have conversations with Aerith, Tifa, Red XIII, and Barret. Instead for the remake, Cloud awakens in the room where Aerith grew up, and she shares a similar story about her heritage as an Ancient in a nod to the original scene.
33. Answer The PHS
To make it through Hojo’s research laboratory, The Drum, you have to make use of communication machines scattered about with the name PHS written across them. These allow you to switch control between Cloud and Barret in one section of the lab, and Aerith and Tifa in another. In the original, you used the PHS device to swap your party members in and out at save points.
34. Company Man’s Best Friend
Just like the original, Rufus fights Cloud with his faithful companion, Darkstar, when he shows up in Chapter 17. Rufus also exits the fight by grabbing onto a passing helicopter with one hand. Classic, Rufus, am I right? No, literally, it’s classic Rufus.
35. Get Back, Flashback, You Don’t Know Me Like That
At various points, but especially in chapters 16, 17, and 18, your characters receive flashes of the future. In them, you’ll see cutscenes that are taken shot-for-shot from the original game and from the Final Fantasy 7 CGI sequel movie Advent Children, redone in the remake’s engine. For example, one flash shows Meteor plummeting toward Midgar amid a red sky, creating tornadoes in the city. Another shows Red XIII running with two little pups by his side. Still another shows Cloud in a pool of water. You can also briefly catch a glimpse of a scene from the introduction to Advent Children as Cloud leaps towards Sephiroth. Based on the way the game ends, it’s anybody’s guess if these scenes will recur in further FF7 Remake installments.
36. “What a Crew”
At the end of Chapter 17, the team is stopped by Heidegger and a batch of Shinra soldiers, where Barret, Aerith, and Red give a hilarious intro to their identities. The gist of the scene is the same in the original, although the details are slightly different. In the first FF7, it’s Rufus who asks, “By the way, just who are you?” with each member of the party describing themselves in response. It’s one of the first moments that reiterate what a rag-tag team you’ve assembled.
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