Secrets? Again?

How to unlock the Final Fantasy 7 Remake demo's eerie secret ending

Sephiroth will haunt you.

Most respectable JRPGs have a secret ending — Persona 5, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy XV — especially when it's directed by Tetsuya Nomura, and somehow that even applies to the recently released Final Fantasy VII Remake demo.

For anyone willing to take on something of a challenge, you'll be treated to an eerie little bonus scene that teases a key part of the story from the full game, but just how manageable is it to pull off?

Tetsuya Nomura loves a good secret ending! He threw one in for Kingdom Hearts III and its DLC, compelling players to rise to some pretty extreme challenges just to watch a special scene. He also applies this mantra to his game demos: The first Final Fantasy XV demo housed a secret trailer after completing the trial. Now, in the demo for Final Fantasy VII Remake, Nomura has done it again, including a secret ending for those up to the task.

How do you unlock the Final Fantasy VII Remake demo secret ending?

Unlike Nomura’s mainline games, where unlocking a secret ending often requires some ridiculous grinding or endless hours of collecting something, FF7 Remake demo’s secret ending is unlocked by just making the right choice that sets you on an only slightly-more-challenging path.

Midway through the demo, where Cloud Strife and Barret Wallace are venturing through the Mako Reactor, they reach the core and plant a bomb. You’re given two options for the bomb’s timer: 30 minutes and 20 minutes. This will be the amount of time you have to escape the facility after finishing the annoyingly tough Scorpion Sentinel boss fight.

If you choose the 30-minute option, Barret will give you a little grief, saying, "Hah! That long enough for you?" (That's probably something of a hint that it's the wrong choice.) If you choose the shorter 20-minute option, Barret will instead say, "Pretty cocky, ain't you?"

Yes, as an ex-SOLDIER, Cloud Strife is pretty darn cocky, and by embracing your arrogance of the 20-minute timer, you’ll unlock the demo’s secret ending — assuming you can make it out in time.

If this is your first time playing this demo, don’t worry about having enough time to escape. The escape route is pretty linear, making this sequence almost impossible to mess up. We were able to escape the facility in less than 10 minutes with plenty of time to spare, so Barret’s concern, while appreciated, is unwarranted.

Cloud wondering about this secret thing! Square Enix

What’s in the Final Fantasy VII Remake demo's secret ending?

Perhaps you’ve played the demo already and hardly want to replay the hour-long demo again for just a little more content! That’s totally fair! The secret ending is a small addition to the post-demo trailer that pops up after the FF7 Remake logo flashes across the screen upon completion of the demo.

Spoilers follow for the original Final Fantasy VII and FF7 Remake.

Cloud stares off into the distance and suffers some kind of vision. We see a close-up shot of his eye, and his face freezes in shock. The camera cuts to Sephiroth's back as he's surrounded by flames, which is one of the more iconic shots from the original game that most gamers probably recognize. Final Fantasy VII's story grapples a lot with Cloud's memory problems and his obtuse biological connections to Sephiroth, and without going into too much detail here, Cloud is experiencing a flashback to an event from earlier in his life that he misremembers.

Cloud visited his hometown of Nibelheim while on a mission with Sephiroth, but upon learning the truth of his origins, Sephiroth destroys the town and burns most of it down. It's a horrific moment in Cloud's life where his former hero becomes the worst villain imaginable who destroys everything he holds dear. FF7 Remake could retcon Cloud's memory of the event. He seems pretty surprised here, so it's possible that he forgot it entirely. In the original game, the team regroups at a small town outside Midgar where Cloud recounts an altered version of the tale, which would make this flashback essentially the first section of FF7 Remake Part 2, so its inclusion here is an interesting choice. What else might we see in the full game?

Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released on April 10, 2020 for PS4.

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