Final Fantasy 7 Remake & Crisis Core story recapped ahead of Rebirth

Final Fantasy 7 Remake & Crisis Core story recapped ahead of Rebirth
Images via Square Enix

Written by 

Jack Roberts


22nd Feb 2024 17:00

Now that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is just on the horizon and already receiving rave reviews, now is the perfect time to sit back, relax and recap the story of Remake and Crisis Core before you dive into the game – and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

While the stories themselves largely follow the narrative of the original Final Fantasy 7’s opening hours, some parts have been significantly tweaked and changed to fit the Remake saga’s new and rejuvenated story.

SPOILER WARNING: This guide contains story spoilers for Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Crisis Core, so be sure to proceed at your own risk to ensure details in the games remain a surprise.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake recap

Midgar! A city-sized testament to the oppressive nature of capitalist greed. Sat on a large steel plate, it blocks the sun to the slums below, leaving those who can’t afford to live topside to dwell in sunless squaller.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake starts with a bang (literally). As a train pulls into the station of a Mako reactor, the guards inspect it and they are ambushed by members of AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist group aiming to dismantle the hulking reactors that the Shinra Electric Power Company have stationed. As they siphon Mako Energy, the very lifeblood of the planet, Shinra only has money and control in mind.

AVALANCHE members Jessie, Biggs, Wedge and their leader, Barret are joined by Cloud Strife, a former SOLDIER (Shinra enforcer) who has become disillusioned with Shinra and, for a price, is offering his assistance in bringing down the Mako reactor.

Aerith in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Click to enlarge

After fending off waves of enemies, the plan is inherently a success. However, the destruction (revealed to have been exacerbated by President Shinra himself) led to a huge amount of damage, making AVALANCHE public enemy number 1.

During the story, Cloud grapples with memories and hallucinations of Sephiroth, a former SOLDIER of legend (and perhaps one of the most notorious villains in modern gaming). His past is intrinsically tied with Cloud's, but we have yet to learn the extent.

As Cloud, his childhood friend Tifa, Barret, and the rest of AVALANCHE continue their mission, Cloud is separated from the group and meets Aerith in an abandoned church. Aerith, we later learn, is the last descendant of the Cetra, an ancient race that knows the location of a promised land filled to bursting with Mako, something Shinra will burn the world down for.

After defending her and reuniting with Tifa following a creepy encounter with Don Corneo, the trio learns that AVALANCHE and Barret are taking on Shinra as they attempt to collapse the plate and destroy the slums.

The team eventually battle their way to the upper echelons of Shinra to confront the President, along the way meeting Red XIII. As they do, he is killed by Sephiroth and control of Shrina is assumed by his devious son, Rufus.

As the story draws to a close, Cloud takes on Sephiroth who attempts to seduce him to his side. After an epic fight, Sephiroth spares him and the team looks on to the world of Gaia for the next part of their journey.

In other parts of the story, Zack Fair, another SOLDIER makes his way to Midgar. In the Intermission expansion of Remake, Yuffie Kisaragi, after an ordeal of her own, resolves to find a team that will help her defeat Shinra.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion recap

Crisis Core serves as a prequel to Final Fantasy 7, greatly expanding on the Nibelheim Incident that led to Sephiroth’s descent into evil, with the player taking control of Zack Fair instead of Cloud.

Taking place during the Wutai War, Zack and his mentor, Angeal are sent to reinforce Shinra’s forces. Eventually, Angeal disappears and Zack is tasked with finding him, as well as Genesis, another missing SOLDIER, and the scientist Hollander. After learning they have become deserters to the war effort, Zack is sent to kill them, along with Sephiroth.

Zack looks at an image of Angeal in Crisis Core
Click to enlarge

Eventually, Zack and Sephiroth discover that the deserters are an attempt by Hollander to fuse Jenova’s cells with the SOLDIERs to create super soldiers. Along the way, Zack also meets Aerith in similar circumstances to Cloud’s encounter with her later on.

Eventually, Zack meets Cloud, a standard SOLDIER, and is able to defeat Angeal and Genesis who were using Hollander in an attempt to return to normal. As he lies dying, Angeal gives Zack the Buster Sword.

With the threat seemingly quelled for now, Zack travels with Sephiroth and Cloud to Nibelheim to investigate the leaking Mako reactor in the area, eventually leading to the Nibelheim Incident and Sephiroth’s supposed death. After which, he discovers years later that he and Cloud were experimented on by the vile Professor Hojo.

As the story draws to a close, Shrinra attempts to kill Zack, along with Genesis and Hollander. Having defeated them, but mortally wounded, as well as carrying a Mako-poisoned Cloud, Zack succumbs, is taken by the Lifestream and bequeaths the Buster Sword to Cloud – who finally makes it to Midgar.

That’s everything you need to know about the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Crisis Core stories before diving into Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth. If you’re looking forward to getting stuck into Rebirth, be sure to check out our Final Fantasy homepage, where you can find out if FF7 Rebirth is open world.

Jack is a Guides Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) & MA in English and Creative Writing, he was also the Gaming Editor for The Indiependent. When not pondering which game has the best cup of coffee (and drinking far too much of it himself), he can often be found playing Dead by Daylight, Street Fighter or making yet another build in Bloodborne.

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