|Final Fantasy VII Advent Children|
|Developer(s)||Shenzhen Nanjing Technology|
|Publisher(s)||Shenzhen Nanjing Technology|
|Designer(s)||Shenzhen Nanjing Technology|
|Series||Final Fantasy series|
|Release date(s)||End of 2006|
|Genre(s)||Console role-playing game|
|Media||2 megabyte cartridge|
|Input methods||Game controller|
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children (Chinese: 最终幻想7) is a China-exclusive unofficial, unlicensed remake of the 1997 console role playing game of the same name originally developed by Square for the PlayStation. The "port"was developed and published by the Chinese company Shenzhen Nanjing Technology for the Famicom. The cartridge itself is unique, structurally different than a majority of Famicom cartridges.
The game features an adaptation of the Materia system and many other gameplay elements of the original Final Fantasy VII. The items and magic spells are based off those in the original game, although a large number of them have been omitted.
The game features elements akin to the original, such as a three-member party structure. However, due to the Famicom's restricted hardware, the remake is entirely 2D, unlike the original Final Fantasy VII. Special compensation was done for some of the battle sprites such as Cloud Strife's, combining two 16x24 size sprites side by side instead of the usual single sprite to account for weapons such as Cloud's sword or Barret's gun.
The story was faithfully reproduced in very minute detail however some later cutscenes are condensed. Despite this the game plays through the entirety of the original game's plot, including the final battle. However due to the size of the game, many elements were dropped, including Yuffie Kisaragi and Vincent Valentine, who are no longer present in the game. Summons, limit breaks, and some entire sidequest areas have additionally been removed, and while some vehicles do remain, including chocobos (though without the breeding option), the player is never granted an airship to use.
Materia and spell casting are handled somewhat differently. Each character brings one materia into the party when they join, and said materia levels up to a maximum level of nine with usage. Once the materia have earned enough points, characters can take them to one of the game's magic shops, and get the spell related to that particular materia leveled up as well (each character's weapon follows the same principle, needing to be taken to the game's Weapon Shops to be leveled up). Characters can still swap materia amongst themselves, and unequipped materia can also be used mid battle to do things such as heal party members, which is valuable given the number of boss battles in some latter areas and the limited types of healing items. Armor too has been revamped in the game. It now affects vitality, which will in turn affect the amount of life gained when leveling up. However the game's strongest armor will severely impact a character's fighting ability negatively, even though they can absorb large amounts of damage.
Final Fantasy VII was originally developed by Square and released worldwide in 1997 for the PlayStation. At an unknown date, Shenzhen Nanjing Technology developed an unauthorized remake of the game, for the Famicom. As the box and name both make reference to Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, this places the release window sometime after 2005 and towards the end of 2006. The cartridge is yellow, featuring a label on the front that reads "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children" and the serial number NJ063. Despite the name on the box and cartridge, the title screen simply states "Final Fantasy VII", and the game itself includes no content or plot elements from the film.
The board for the cartridge is unique: unlike most Famicon boards, it has a single two megabyte PRG (program) rom without any CHR (character/sprite) ROMs. As a result, character graphics are strewn across the PRG ROM in various banks, a method more commonly seen used in Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis games. It only features one eight kilobyte battery-backed SaveRAM, giving it just enough room for the game's single save slot.
Despite similar appearance to and sharing some elements with Final Fantasy III, the game is not a ROM hack but coded from scratch instead. However, many of its sprites are borrowed from other games (mostly other Final Fantasy titles), including some SNES titles with the graphics scaled down in quality for the Famicom to handle. Similarly, much of the music is borrowed from other games as well, though in many cases shortened significantly to a few repeating notes.
While most Japanese games use only 8x8 hiragana or katakana fonts and most Chinese games use 4-color 16x16 tiles stored in dedicated CHR ROM pages, the game uses it's own several-hundred 16x16 monochrome font instead. The script itself is strewn in chunks across the code; at the beginning of each dialog box script piece is a three digit code in the form of "@###", which represents which character portrait to display.
While the game has received praise for covering the entire story within the game, it's been noted to be extremely difficult, with an inconsistent battle rate and a habit of fights that take quite a while to complete. A lack of healing options and slow rate of item level-ups hinder things a bit more, with Cinnamon.com's article on the game to state "play it — but cheat." The game has additionally drawn some comparisons regarding look and handling to Final Fantasy III (see Development). Despite these issues, interest has been shown regarding an eventual English patch now that the game has been dumped, and the game has gained mention on several major gaming websites, including Gameworld Network and Japan-based Gpara.com.
The game has managed to receive a great deal of praise from various sources in very short time. Kotaku's article on the game cited the Famicom game as "...an achievement I have no hesitation in labelling Herculean" and "...a triumph of the human spirit." Boing Boing Gadgets followed with their own article on the game, calling the game "more than just a knock-off — it's an act of true skill and commitment by an unknown team of Chinese coders." On the other hand, Michael Trouten of The Tanooki chastised the game for removal of many elements such as limit breaks and chocobo racing, and the choice of Famicom hardware over the Super Famicom, adding "is there any point in playing a downgrade remake of a game that is already starting to feel dated?"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 SKY LEAGUE SKY LEAGUE Retrieved on 2008-03-12
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 http://www.geocities.jp/rinkaku89/pachigame3/63_fc_ff7.html, as referenced by insertcredit.com. Retrieved on 2008-03-02
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Bianco, Karn Video: Final Fantasy VII On The NES. Gameworld Network(2008-02-26) Retrieved on 2008-03-08
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Orland, Kyle (2008-02-22). "Final Fantasy VII ported to the Famicom. Finally!". Joystiq. Weblogs, Inc.. http://www.joystiq.com/2008/02/22/final-fantasy-vii-ported-to-the-famicom-finally/. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 From Polygons to Pixels: Final Fantasy VII
- ↑ Final Fantasy 7 for Nintendo NES Retrieved on 2008-02-22
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Baidu.com Baidu Retrieved on 2008-03-06
- ↑ NES info, programs, and demos: Cartridge Hardware schematic subsection Retrieved on 2008-03-06
- ↑ News: FF VII Famicom, with video, insertcredit.com (2008-02-24) insertscredit Retrieved on 2008-03-02
- ↑ Gpara coverage of FFVII Famicom (2008-02-22) Retrieved on 2008-03-13
- ↑ FFVII On NES Is A Triumph Of The Human Spirit. (2008-02-25) Kotaku Retrieved on 2008-03-04
- ↑ Joel Johnson, Amazing Unlicensed Backport of Final Fantasy VII...to the NES (2008-02-25) Boing Boing Gadgets Retrieved on 2008-03-04
- ↑ Michael Trouten. Final Fantasy VII remake, for the NES? (2008-02-27) The Tanooki Retrieved on 2008-03-07
- Gpara coverage (Japanese)
- Gamespark coverage (Japanese)
- Shenzhen Nanjing Technology website
- CinnamonPirate.com review and information on Final Fantasy VII Famicom
- Screenshots and box art (Japanese)
- Gameplay video, courtesy of insertcredit.com