Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s famous Honeybee Inn dance sequence took longer to prepare than any other scene in the game, according to co-director Motomu Toriyama.
In a Square Enix blog post, Toriyama explained that the sensitive nature of the original Final Fantasy 7 scene from 1997 – which saw protagonist Cloud crossdress in order to infiltrate a seedy playboy’s mansion – alongside the intricacy of the dance sequence itself, led to an incredibly lengthy preparation time.
“We had decided to change the original FFVII’s Honeybee Inn episode from a gender free perspective right from the start of development,” Toriyama said. “We remade the whole scene as a song and dance show, in order to make it the big stage for Cloud’s crossdressing event and to give it a ‘maximum showbusiness’ vibe as part of the Remake story.”
Deciding to recreate the scene in its entirety forced the development team to start researching from scratch, and once they had eventually collected enough reference material they still had to edit it together, add music and lyrics, and then start on choreography. “I think that just that preparatory phase here took up the longest period in the whole development,” Toriyama said.
The scene also went through various edits, as Square Enix previously revealed that it once included a pole dancing scene that was removed over rating concerns.
The sequence was well-received, keeping intact the spirit of the original game, but modernising it to remove the more insensitive elements of Final Fantasy 7’s verison. Ultimately, that preparatory work led to a scene that felt like a celebration, rather than a joke at Cloud’s expense.
Fans eagerly awaiting more Final Fantasy 7 Remake (outside of the brief DLC episode featured in the PlayStation 5’s Integrade edition) will finally get its sequel, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, in winter 2023. Square Enix also recently confirmed that the remakes will be a trilogy of games, and part three has already entered development.
In our 8/10 review, IGN said: “Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s dull filler and convoluted additions can cause it to stumble, but it still breathes exciting new life into a classic while standing as a great RPG all its own.”
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.
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Author: Ryan Dinsdale