Final Fantasy VII Remake only came out a few months ago, and we don't have any official word yet on a release date for the second installment. Producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Tetsuya Nomura have both confirmed multiple times that the sequel is currently in development, most recently in a July 2020 issue of Japan's leading gaming weekly, Famitsu. But while we patiently wait for word on the next phase of Cloud's journey, that wild ending to FF7 Remake still has our head spinning with possibilities. Perhaps one of the biggest among them is the role of Wutai in the next stages of the story.
If Wutai plays a bigger role in FF7 Remake Part 2, that likely means the creative team will have to dramatically rethink one of the game's seven playable characters. Here's why. Spoilers ahead for 1997.
Throughout Final Fantasy VII Remake, President Shinra repeatedly suggests that Barrett, Biggs, and the rest of the Sector 7 eco-vigilantes (fine ok, "terrorists") are somehow in cahoots with the Mako City's sworn enemy, Wutai. This conflict between the two city-states seems to be overhyped by Shinra propaganda to keep the residents in order.
Despite President Shinra's bloviating, there's quite a bit of evidence to suggest the Midgar chapter of Avalanche actually does have some pretty strong links to Wutai. In Chapter 4, when Jessie "borrows" her ailing dad's work ID to get some supplies for their next reactor bombing, Cloud and his pals are saved by the intervention of fellow Avalanche members from "HQ." We eventually learn that Avalanche's global headquarters is located in — you guessed it — Wutai. During the showdown at Shinra Tower late in FF7 Remake, it's Avalanche members from Wutai who bring Wedge and the helicopter to save Cloud and his pals from Sephiroth and Rufus.
There's some pretty subtle, though important, differences in how this all plays out in FF7 Remake. The original game places far less emphasis on the past conflict between Midgar and Wutai — unless you played some of the spin-off games, like Crisis Core. That's because the original plans for the 1997 game involved a far bigger, more vision of the city that was ultimately cut from the final version. It's an easy detail to miss if you've only played the original game, but Elmyra's husband — that's Aerith's foster mom — died during the Wutai War. It's also, apparently, where Sephiroth established his reputation for being a formidable Kicker of Ass, although the official details on that are pretty wobbly.
Basically, this war boiled down to Wutai paying a big price for resisting Shinra's attempts to install a Mako reactor on its holy mountain. Wutai, led by Godo Kisuragi, was reduced to a kitschy tourist trap. That's where our playable character comes in. In the 1997 game, Yuffie's the rebellious daughter of the hamstrung leader of Wutai. She's an optional character who steals Materia from the party — if you're not prepared, this can be an infuriatingly difficult sequence to get through.
In the original FF7, Yuffie's a yappy ditz who doesn't really add much to the overall story, even if she's a worthy addition to your combat trio. (She's actually a lot like Kyrie, the hotpants-clad thief who attempts to rile up the rubes in Sector 6 about Wutai.) Given the expanded importance of Avalanche in FF7 Remake, it's likely Wutai will play a far bigger role when Cloud and his friends continue their unknown journey.
That also likely means Yuffie's relationship with her father and her feelings about Wutai's subjugation to Midgar will be presented in a more serious, complex way in FF7 Remake Part 2 than in the original game. Hell, it would make perfect sense for Yuffie to be the leader of Avalanche — it's a way of rebelling against her dad and fighting for Wutai at the same time. It also wouldn't be the first time a little girl bossed around Barret — we've all seen what a pushover he is for Marlene.
Bringing more depth to the stories surrounding Yuffie and Wutai has another huge potential benefit for FF7 lovers — more chances to see Sephiroth and Zack Fair being cool in flashbacks to the Wutai War. When Yuffie fans win, everyone wins!
Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 is currently in development.