Final Fantasy 7 Remake Won’t Let Fans Play as Red XIII

7 Remake‘s new battle system will allow players to take control of main cast members like Aerith, Tifa, and Barret in real-time. However, despite his contribution to the original story, the fan-favorite canine Red will not be one of these playable characters.

Red XIII’s exclusion comes as a bit of surprise since he was playable in the original Final Fantasy 7, and his abilities made him seem like he would be a perfect pick for FF7 Remake‘s gameplay. Every playable character confirmed so far has a unique fighting style that would entice a player to pick them over someone else, and Red would be the only one fighting on all fours.

However, Final Fantasy 7 Remake‘s Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi has given a pretty good reason as to why players won’t be able to take control of Red in the game. In an interview with VG24/7, Hamaguchi explained that Remake doesn’t introduce Red until near the end of the story. By this time, players will have already learned and developed their main party. Essentially, the team felt that the story didn’t have enough time to offer players a chance to connect to Red’s character through playability.

So, the solution that the group came up with was to make Red available as a “guest character.” Typically, players only have three members in their party at a time. But at the time of his introduction, Red will be available to the player as a fourth party member controlled by AI until the end of the game. In this way, players can sort of think of him as a special type of Summon: He’ll act autonomously and provide support, but he won’t cost anything or be restricted by a time limit.

And while the player may not be able to take command of Red XIII’s fighting style personally, Hamaguchi assured that all of Red’s old and nostalgic moves would be available to his AI. So, players will still be able to see things like his signature Sled Fang and Blood Fang in action. The team felt that this would be the best way to show “him off as a character and who he is.”

Also, while Red may not be playable in this game, it’s highly likely that he’ll be playable in Final Fantasy 7 Remake‘s Part 2. Though, it should be noted that Hamaguchi didn’t officially confirm this or really speak about Part 2 in the interview.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake will launch on April 10, 2020, for the PlayStation 4.

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