Who’s ready to steal some Materia?
It’s already been a year since Final Fantasy VII Remake stole the hearts of gamers all over again, nearly a quarter-century after the debut of the landmark 1997 original. Now, as we wait for a glimpse of the next installment of Cloud’s story, we’re getting the chance to hang out with one of the heroes we didn’t get to meet in the first installment of FF7 Remake.
The enhanced PS5 version of the game, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, will include a wholly new side-story. Episode Intermission introduces Yuffie Kisaragi, the mischievous Materia hunter from Wutai. While she’s an optional character in the old-school PS1 game, it appears she has a far more consequential role to play in the FF7 Remake saga.
Ahead of Intergrade coming to PS5 on June 10, Inverse got a sneak peek at the early moments of Yuffie’s visit to Midgar. The adorable ninja brings some spiffy changes to Remake’s combat and traversal mechanics. There’s also a new-and-improved version of the Fort Condor minigame, and a new summon that’ll be very familiar to the Final Fantasy faithful. Let’s dive in!
The plot thickens
Yuffie’s adventure in Midgar takes place amid the confusion that follows Avalanche’s destruction of the Sector 5 reactor, so just before the halfway point of FF7 Remake’s 18 chapters. This means it’s unlikely she’ll cross paths with Cloud and his pals, since at this point in the story they’re tied up with the reactor raid and all the shenanigans in Wall Market.
Since we don’t exactly know what Barret’s up to at his point in the story, it’s possible he could appear in Episode Intermission, however briefly. Yuffie and her partner, Sonon, are on a critical mission from the Wutaian government — to steal Shinra Electric Power Company’s most powerful Materia, with the help of Avalanche HQ. It’s worth bearing in mind that this isn’t the same group of rebels as Barret’s crew, but a “more peaceable” organization that prefers to avoid the drastic measures taken by Barret’s “splinter cell.”
The story begins with Yuffie’s arrival in Midgar, as she’s tasked with tracking down Zhijie, the man who acts as a go-between for Wutai and Avalanche HQ.
Yuffie soon finds getting around Midgar’s no straightforward task, as anyone who’s played Final Fantasy VII Remake can attest. This is where her ninja skills come in handy. Yuffie can toss her shuriken at distant objects, allowing her to gather items from faraway crates or thwack faraway switches in order to move large crates and platforms.
She can also nimbly dart across hanging grates and fences, kind of like Red XIII in the later chapters of Remake.
If you’ve played the original Final Fantasy VII, you’ll notice a familiar sidequest quest tied to Yuffie’s homeland — collecting an assortment of well-hidden fliers for The Happy Turtle, a riff on the Turtle’s Paradise of yore.
Let the shurikens fly
Unlike the four playable characters in Final Fantasy VII Remake we’ve seen so far, Yuffie can be used as both a long- and short-range fighter. While her shuriken will eventually return to her after a long toss, you can snap it back more rapidly with a tap on the triangle button.
In addition to her own riffs on melee attacks, Limit Breaks, and materia, Yuffie can also use ninjutsu attacks. These initially deal non-elemental damage, but the ability Elemental Ninjutsu can change the attack’s affinity to fire, ice, lightning, or wind, making it easier to exploit an enemy’s weakness — and meaning you won’t have to rejigger Yuffie’s Materia loadout quite so often.
Sonon cannot be controlled in battle, but he can be given orders using the L2 button. This allows him to synergize with Yuffie to pull off powerful combo attacks and staggering moves. Both Sonon and Yuffie will need to have ATB charges available to pull off these attacks, so you’ll need to be mindful of your gauges and timing.
These staggering abilities will come in especially handy during more challenging fights, like this showdown with the massive mechanical Gigantipede. Thankfully, Yuffie has a lightning-powered ace in her deck — the summon Ramuh.
Could Ramuh be the Materia Yuffie’s trying to steal from Shinra at the start? There’s no official confirmation of this in the preview footage, but it's easy enough to connect the dots and assume Shinra Electric Power Company just might have found a nefarious use for the god of thunder. These guys love morally questionable lab experiments, after all.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade sees the return of the original’s Fort Condor minigame, a strategy auto-battler where you’re tasked with conquering an opponent’s base while defending your own. While Fort Condor was a prominent part of a late-game subplot in the original FF7 story, here it seems to exist purely as a form of entertainment for the inhabitants of the Sector 7 undercity.
You’ll select from a variety of decks, each of which contain an assortment of vanguard, ranged, and defense units. This time around, it’s a PvP game, which likely means you’ll be able to upgrade your decks and units as you beat progressively more challenging opponents. Rumor has it that those who manage to defeat the Fort Condor grandmaster can obtain a rare orb of Materia.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade comes to PlayStation 5 on June 10.