Final Fantasy 7 Remake is full of small choices that can affect your overall experience in a bunch of subtle ways. Sometimes these choices add to a behind-the-scenes tally that changes which characters show up for specific story moments. Other times, the changes are more obvious, like when you choose between taking the elevator or the stairs in Shinra Tower in Chapter 16. Like the original FF7, your route gives you a slightly different experience.
Here’s what you need to know about the choice between the elevator and the stairs in Shinra Tower, what you’re missing depending on your choice, and how you can see both sides of the coin.
Should You Pick The Elevator Or The Stairs?
The choice between taking the elevator and the stairs echoes a similar one from the original Final Fantasy 7. In that game, taking the elevator was more convenient, but also forced you into additional battles with Shinra troops as you approached the top floors. The stairs were a safer alternative, but you had to run up all 60 flights; the upshot was, you got an elixir midway through.
FF7 Remake’s stairs and elevator are similar, but the reason to try one (or both) is for the dialogue between characters on the way. Both build up the characters and their relationships, but each has a specific tone.
Choose the elevator if you want a little more somber character development for Tifa, and to a lesser extent, Barret. The trip up will stop a few times as other people try to get on the elevator, resulting in a couple of quick fights with Elite Officers that shouldn’t trouble you too much.
As you head up, a regular Shinra employee will also attempt to take the elevator. Upon encountering the Avalanche squad, she’ll run off in another direction. Seeing the regular people that work for Shinra pushes Tifa to reflect a little more on what she and the rest of Avalanche have been doing.
Overall, the elevator is the (much) quicker and more convenient choice, and it comes with a heavier story moment. But it also continues to give you insight into Tifa’s frame of mind, suggesting that while she believes in Barret’s goals of saving the planet, she doesn’t have nearly the ruthless conviction that he does.
Pick the stairs if you want a funnier moment between the characters, particularly concerning Barret. Taking the stairs is the safer option–there are no battles on the way up–but it is the longer option, requiring you to physically run up all 60-some flights.
It’s tiresome, not just for you and your thumbs, but for the characters. Over time, Cloud and Barret will slow their ascent, making the whole thing take even longer. But that leaves room for some pretty funny dialogue as Barret, lagging behind, calls for Cloud to wait up for him, and Tifa burns ahead, wondering what’s taking so long. The stairs lead to a lighter moment than the elevator trip, one that suggests the bonds growing between Cloud and his pals.
You Should Really See Both
Picking the stairs or the elevator doesn’t have a discernable impact on the rest of the game (that we know of–FF7 Remake seems to take a lot of minor decisions into consideration for some big moments, but all that tracking happens behind the scenes), so hit the scene that sounds more interesting to you. Or better yet, save your game right before making the decision and check out both scenes. Both expand on the characters of FF7 Remake, which are the best thing about it, in different ways, and both are worth your time, even if you have to run up an entire tower’s worth of stairs to see them.
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