Ask any gamer what their favorite Final Fantasy title is and chances are their answer will be Final Fantasy VII. The first Final Fantasy game with 3D graphics became an instant classic when it released on the original PlayStation in 1997, and fans have been asking for a modern day remastering (or a sequel) ever since.
Since then we've seen a number of official spin-offs starring some of the game's iconic characters, but one fan is taking the idea of a Final Fantasy VII sequel a step further by creating a proof-of-concept for an open-world Final Fantasy title set in the same universe.
Called Final Fantasy VII: Time Guardian, the project uses original PlayStation hardware and expands upon the world of Final Fantasy VII by adding a number of new features, first among them an open world. Players can explore environments as any character from the game's party as they wish and swap between them at any time. A brand new crafting system has been implemented, as well as the ability to purchase property, embark on repeatable quests and join various factions throughout the game world.
Developer Rodensoft even has a fully functional day and night system for the project, which affects when shops will open and close. The creator says they were inspired by the cult classic game Shenmue, which incorporated many similar open-world elements.
It's an impressive feat, even if it's not yet fully realized. The developer says the project originally started as a mod but since became a proof-of-concept only, the goal being to demonstrate the power of the original game's engine.
"I wanted to demonstrate how much power even the original FF7 PS1 engine has," the developer says in the description for project's trailer. "No uber PS4 needed. There is more than enough savemap variables and scripting space for such a complex project."
While the game systems outlined above all work, Rodensoft says there isn't "much content" for players to actually enjoy. Rodensoft originally intended to extend upon the original game's storyline by adding in cut game files and backgrounds.
Even if players never do get to experience a true sequel to Final Fantasy VII, there is little doubt the game will continue to inspire players and developers for years to come.