Despite Final Fantasy VII having initially released as a singular cohesive narrative in 1997, Final Fantasy VII Remake has an episodic story, meaning April 2020's release is just the beginning of an ongoing series.
Cloud Strife's narrative will continue in the second part of Final Fantasy VII Remake at some point in the future. Will your decisions and progress carry over in any way to the direct sequel? Is it even worth it to find everything you possibly can in the first? Or will everyone be reset back to square one?
How has Square Enix handled interconnecting narratives in the past? — Contemporary Final Fantasy narratives often continue well past the initial release, so we can look to a few different precedents to help inform how Square Enix might treat upcoming FF7 Remake installments.
Final Fantasy XIII spawned two sequels that directly tied into one another. Final Fantasy XV led to multiple story-focused DLC packs that expanded on the base game.
For the saga of FFXIII, having save data from previous titles unlocked bonuses in the follow-ups. FFXIII save data unlocked a recap film, exclusive costumes, and a special charm in the sequel, FFXIII-2. If you entered the third FFXIII game, Lightning Returns, with save data from the first two, you'd unlock two exclusive skins for the main character. Absolutely no progress was carried over from the original game.
In the case of FFXV, the DLC took place during the events of the main game, making it even easier for developers to carry some progress over — but they didn't. Despite fitting perfectly within the narrative, nothing was carried over, but, yet again, you'd get a bonus for playing the main game and the DLC. The Episode Ignis DLC included a bit of extra content if played after beating the base game's story. There were other symbiotic unlocks within the other DLCs as well but nothing too over. Still, there was no inventory or progress sharing.
Will Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 let you to carry over progress from Part 1? — Square Enix has yet to say anything official on the matter, but looking at past releases, it's unlikely that anything you do in FF7 Remake will have any meaningful influence on whatever happens in the sequel. Unlike other video game series like Mass Effect or Dragon Age, there aren't any significant narrative decisions that have a lasting impact on the game or future storylines. Any dialogue options in FF7 Remake have barely any impact on what's going on.
The company has only changed their long-standing patterns once, by releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 Re: Mind as a DLC rather than re-releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 with a Final Mix subtitle.
However, unlike KH3RM, we have no clue when FF7 Remake Part 2 will be released or if it'll even be on this console generation, making it difficult for the company to plan for inventories to carry over. There will likely be some bonus in the second Remake for playing the first game, but don't expect your save data to carry over at all.
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