Despite what Square Enix’s creative team would have us believe, Destiny and Fate likely still have a major role to play in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and beyond. Even if SOLDIER Zack Fair appears to have escaped death and rejoined the rest of the cast in a new timeline, the most likely outcome is an entirely different, but equally tragic, twist of fate.

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Spoilers for the original game and FF7 Remake follow.

In the original version Final Fantasy VII timeline, Cloud and Zack are injured by Sephiroth according to what is called “The Nibelheim Incident“, five years before the events of the main game. Mad scientist Hojo kidnaps them and experiments on them for four years, boosting Cloud’s strength but scrambling his brain. After Zack frees them, they travel for about a year until Shinra catches up with them on the outskirts of Midgar. Originally, Zack dies fighting Shinra soldiers, but as the group defeats the Whisper Harbinger at the end of FF7 Remakeevents from the past, present and future are changed.

RedoThe ending cutscene shows Zack surviving the battle and helping Cloud make his way to Midgar. It is plausible that these events occur in an alternate timeline separate from the new continuity. However, it is entirely possible that when the group entered the Singularity at the end of Redo and destroyed the Whispers, they did not return to their original world. Instead, they were taken to a different location: a timeline created by the destruction of the Whispers in which Zack is alive.

Producer Yoshinori Kitase has already confirmed that Zack is playing a bigger role in FF7 Rebirth than the original game.

“In the original Final Fantasy 7Zack Fair doesn’t appear as much,” Kitase said IGN in a September 2023 interview. “As for Renaissancethere will be a new episode with Zack that will contain even more of him than the Redo. I can’t say much more because I would like players to play and experience this in their own hands.

Cloud and Zack stand on either side of Sephiroth in this FF7 Rebirth key art

Picture: Square Enix

How exactly will this all play out? GOOD, Renaissance Creative Director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed on the official PlayStation blog It is in September 2023 that the second part of the trilogy ends in the Forgotten Capital, where Sephiroth kills Aerith while she tries to summon Holy with the White Materia.

“The future, even if it has been written, can be changed,” Aerith says in the June 2022 issue. First Look Trailer For Renaissance. The original timeline has already been “written”, so to speak, which is why the Whispers have worked to preserve this specific future. In other words, events can and should unfold as they originally did, except in cases where characters make different choices.

The Whispers may no longer be around to make sure everything goes exactly as planned, but it’s almost certain that Aerith will still attempt to summon Holy herself and be threatened by Sephiroth. Assuming everyone exists in the same continuity, what will Zack do while Cloud and his friends chase Sephiroth? In all likelihood, after arriving at the Sector 5 church in the post-credits scene of Remake Intergrade INTERmission chapter featuring Yuffie, he will try to find Aerith.

A completely tragic culmination of all this could be Zack finally catching up with Aerith at the end of the game in the Forgotten Capital, just in time to push her aside and take the hit himself. The Whispers may not be there to guarantee Zack’s death, but his continued existence in the timeline presents all sorts of cosmic continuity problems. This could be the perfect tragic ending for Renaissance this inspires Aerith and Cloud to continue their mission to stop Sephiroth in a way that thematically echoes the original without becoming too convoluted. This way, Aerith could manage to summon Holy to stop Meteor sooner than in the original, but who knows what kind of repercussions all that would have.

Is it right for him to create the ultimate Zackrifice? Probably not, but something seems appropriate nonetheless.

Pre-order Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Amazon | Best buy | Stoppage of play

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