In a surprise announcement, Square Enix revealed on 1/11/2020 three trademarks related to Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 7 series. As reported on Gematsu, they trademarked “Ever Crisis,” “The First Soldier,” on December 17th. On December 22nd, they trademarked the Shinra Electric Power Company logo. Many fans are scouring for information about what the trademarks mean. I’ve decided to throw my 2 cents in. So let’s first discuss the ambitious project known as the Compilation of Final Fantasy 7.
Square released the original Final Fantasy 7 in 1997, and it captured fans’ hearts. There’s a great debate among fans about which Final Fantasy is the best of them all, and we can’t have that conversation without 7. With iconic characters and moments we never forget, Cloud Strife’s adventure is a game strong enough to power along as its own franchise. Wanting to create more entries in the FF7 universe led to the creation of the compilation.
Square Enix developed Final Fantasy 7 multimedia
Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII was the first new video game in the series in 2004. Sadly, I know extraordinarily little about it because Square Enix never released the game in western markets. It serves as a prequel to Final Fantasy 7, taking place six years before the original game. It focuses on the Turks. They are a group of covert operatives working for the Shinra Electric Power Company. It’s their task to not only keep the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE at bay but also to weed out corruption in their ranks. Before Crisis was a mobile game that Square Enix shut down in 2018.
Dirge of Cerberus, a first and third-person shooter hybrid, came to the PS2 in 2006. It’s a sequel to Final Fantasy 7 and follows one of the game’s optional characters: Vincent Valentine. Square Enix used the game to explore his backstory, as well as bring new characters into the fold. The organization Deepground arrives, led by Weiss the Immaculate. They plan to use a being known as Omega to destroy all life on the planet. Old characters return, but this game’s importance lies in exploring who Sephiroth’s Mother is. A secret ending also introduces us to the character Genesis, an important figure in a different prequel game.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a PSP game that focuses on a character named Zack Fair. He’s a young member of SOLDIER who must locate the missing SOLDIER Genesis Rhapsodos. We see Cloud Strife in his younger years and Sephiroth as a protagonist. We also explore Sephiroth’s relationship with Zack, Genesis, and Angeal Hewley. As a backdrop, Shinra and Wutai’s war rages on; This is an event spoken about in the original game. It gave us this epic fight scene that I’ve watched far too much over the years. Fans are eager for a remaster.
More is included in the compilation
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a CGI animated sequel that takes place two years after Final Fantasy 7 and one year before Dirge of Cerberus. Once again, Cloud Strife is the main protagonist, and he deals with the fallout from FF7’s events. The film’s plot is a convoluted mess. That’s not to say it’s hard to follow; it just seems like a cash-grab slapped together to appease fans. A director’s cut called Advent Children Complete brought 25 minutes of extra scenes. It also updated visuals and added scenes that tie the movie to the compilation.
An animated film called Last Order takes us down memory lane but changes the events of two flashbacks from Final Fantasy 7. While Square Enix released it to the US, they did not dub it in English. It has subtitles, in any case. Beyond these two movies are also two short stories called “The Case of Denzel” and the “Case of Tifa,” the former of which became an OVA (original video animation). There are a few short stories and a novel I have yet to read.
Square Enix is using an alphabetical pattern for the compilation
To make these trademarks make sense, I’d like to offer a quick visual of the way Square Enix names its titles.
Advent Children – AC
Before Crisis – BC
Crisis Core – CC
Dirge of Cerberus – DC
To see “Ever Crisis” does make me think it will be another title for the compilation. However, Tetsuya Nomura, the main character designer, stated years ago that the compilation was intended to extend to three games and a movie, with Crisis Core closing it out. The staff noted their fear about saturating the market with Final Fantasy 7 titles.
EC is the next in line, but what could it end up being? I have a few ideas.
Square Enix can revisit the compilation with Ever Crisis
Despite the report that the compilation ends with Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus ends with Genesis Rhapsodos. When he appears in the secret ending, he states he has much work to do. In Crisis Core, we witness a being called Minerva, thought to be the personification of Gaia (The world FF7 takes place in). Genesis, an antagonist during the prequel, seeks out the “Gift of the Goddess” to cure his cellular degradation. To him, this Goddess is Minerva. At the end of Crisis Core, he heals his degradation and seals himself away. He reappears in Dirge of Cerberus to protect the planet.
There are no forms of media that explore the events that happen after Genesis returns. Every other title takes place in the past. Once the Final Fantasy 7 Remake emerged, hopes for a continued tale dissipated. The Ever Crisis trademark has me thinking about two things:
Ever Crisis will be a sequel that explores the threat that calls Genesis back into action, OR Ever Crisis will be a remaster of a previous game. If it’s a remaster, I’m still holding out hope for Crisis Core. However, the US never got their hands on Before Crisis. If fans did not turn to YouTube to follow the events, that game is still a mystery to people. It would make sense to remaster, although the industry is full of them.
What could First Soldier Be?
People are speculating that First Soldier could be about Sephiroth.
SOLDIER is Shinra’s elite fighting force of advanced super-soldiers. The company divides them into three classes: 1st Class, 2nd Class, and 3rd Class. The series mostly focuses on the 1st Class SOLDIERS. Sephiroth is the most notable, easily the strongest, while Genesis, Angeal, Zack also enjoyed the ‘perks’ of 1st.
Years before the beginning of Final Fantasy 7, Shinra captures an alien called Jenova. They intend to use it to create human-Cetra hybrids. Cetra are the original beings who frequented Gaia, but something happened in the past to eradicate most of them. That something is Jenova. Mistaking Jenova to be a Cetra, Shinra starts to Jenova project. In the experiment, Sephiroth’s fetal form merges with injected Jenova cells. He’s born with exceptional abilities but not the power of the Cetra: The power to communicate with the planet. Once Sephiroth discovers pieces of the truth, he goes mad.
The evidence for this game or movie being Sephiroth-focused is too strong to ignore, though. He is a fan-favorite villain that Square knows people can’t get enough of. Also, trademarking the Shinra logo means the shady company will rise to prominence in some form soon. If this title is about Sephiroth, Dirge of Cerberus showed us he was born in their clutches and separated from his mother, Lucrecia. If Square Enix intends to show us Sephiroth’s earlier years, this game is a must-have for me.
What do you think? Am I looking too deep into this or might the compilation make an unexpected return?