DF Retro: Final Fantasy 7 - A JPRG Epic Analysed Across The Generations!

What made the original Final Fantasy 7 such an epic release for the original PlayStation way back in 1997? How well did the ports to other systems fare and how did Square seek to follow up on his stone-cold classic? Join Digital Foundry for a celebration of a groundbreaking game, culminating in its recent release as the Final Fantasy 7 Remake for PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro.
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  1. Chad Phillips

    Chad Phillips20 timmar sedan

    This is an absolute nostalgia overload and I love it!!! This game changed my gaming future by being the game that urged me to purchase a PlayStation when I had no desire before (mainly only gamed on Nintendo and Sega prior) and it ended up being the best thing happening with all the other great games that released on PS1.

  2. Robert Mal

    Robert Mal3 dagar sedan

    Somebody please tell me the name of the track at the beggining of this video!

  3. Robert Mal

    Robert Mal25 minuter sedan

    @Mopey bloke thanks a lot hero!!!

  4. Mopey bloke

    Mopey bloke3 dagar sedan

    The Promised Land. It's from the Advent Children movie.

  5. Ross J MacGregor

    Ross J MacGregor3 dagar sedan

    I spent well over 90 minutes fighting Sephiroth in the final battle, on my first try. That's 90 minutes, not being wiped, but just fighting him! It was amazing.

  6. Dave Lloyd

    Dave Lloyd5 dagar sedan

    'some things stick out more than others' Plays clips of tifas boobs bouncing 😂😭 I love how low key DF does their humour It's brilliant

  7. ShutterManAce

    ShutterManAce6 dagar sedan

    When released, it was the greatest RPG I ever played. I tried playing it again a few years ago, and I just couldn't, I don't get nostalgic about old graphics. The only old games I can play are Pac-Man and Street Fighter. The remake was a godsend. I loved it, I liked that they didn't follow the original 100%, so it felt fresh.

  8. Masato Indou

    Masato Indou7 dagar sedan

    the remake reveal.. i remember shedding a tear for this one and jumping around like a madman :)

  9. snozbucket

    snozbucket9 dagar sedan

    Brought a tear to my eye really when you started summing up the technical achievements. it's so weird to think that back then we were so easily awed but it was just undisputed that games were so transformative back then because in that period of time we've just never witnessed anything like it.

  10. Evangeliman

    Evangeliman10 dagar sedan

    336k views and only 10k likes? Yall need to hit them buttons

  11. SalveMonesvol

    SalveMonesvol12 dagar sedan

    John... you single handedly made an actual high quality documentary. Is there a 1440p version availibe?

  12. James M

    James M14 dagar sedan

    Masterpiece youtube video for a masterpiece game.

  13. Aelwyn Breuddwydiwr

    Aelwyn Breuddwydiwr14 dagar sedan

    Loooove this video so much.

  14. skins4thewin

    skins4thewin16 dagar sedan

    FF7 goes against everything that Japan is about today. Instead of being about the relatable and down to earth, they are all about these fantastical realities that are based solely in fantasy land. Today's Japan goes so much against what FF7 is that it's probably very difficult for them to make a FF7 Remake, because they want to take it into this insane fantasy based direction so badly even tho the real FF7 storyline and characters are very much grounded. Hence all the ridiculous crap at the end of Pat 1 of FF7 Remake. They just couldn't leave well enough alone & had to make it weird. What is it w Japan these days & being so god damned weird? They didn't used to be that way, or at least not as bad as they are now.

  15. Iskander67

    Iskander677 dagar sedan

    You miss the beauty of Final Fantasy : You start in a basic and materialistic world, and you often finish the game with abstract, ethereal and spiritual concepts(because this is a FANTASY game) and You fight godlike entity. Final Fantasy 1 : Story is pretty basic until You realize, there is a time-travel and time loop. Final Fantasy 4 : It starts like any Heroic-Fantasy game, and You end with going to the moon with a lunar whale and going inside a giant robot. Final Fantasy 8 : Futuristic and realistic game, that ends with time compression. Final Fantasy 9 : It starts like a basic medieval game, and you end in a place materialized by the memories of mankind that is totally fucked-up and beautiful, having philosophical debate about life and spirituality. You want to play down to Earth games ? great, no problem about that, go and play Call of Duty.

  16. Luis Rivera

    Luis Rivera16 dagar sedan

    Great job DF,it hit me with the time machine effect,thank you!

  17. skins4thewin

    skins4thewin16 dagar sedan

    Speak for yourself. I was already a diehard JRPG fan a full decade before this came out, and yes I am an American. The very first Dragon Quest was the game which instantly made me fall in love with the genre and molded my gaming life into what it is to this day. Only the fakers first got into JRPG"s with FF7. I'm the kind of guy that will purposely never mention that I like an album if it's an even remotely popular one, because wtf's the point in liking something everyone & their brother likes? F following the crowd, that shit ain't even remotely cool & you shouldn't be proud of it either. But yes, I absolutely loved FF7 & still do, I just won't mention it to anyone cus why would I bother? Everyone loves FF7, there's no reason for me to even bother saying that I do as well cus who cares? But if I tell you that I love something like Lufia 2 or Legend of Legaia or Valkyrie Profile, now that's meaningful. Those are games that matter, not this mainstream S that literally EVERYONE bought when it came out. Point being, if you waited til FF7 to try JRPG"s then shame on you, you faker. You only bought into it because it was the next big thing, not cus you were a true fan.

  18. skins4thewin

    skins4thewin16 dagar sedan

    ..... Did you just say Draygin Quest? I rewound the video like 5 times to be sure.

  19. skins4thewin

    skins4thewin16 dagar sedan

    Oh please.... The PS1 had smash hit after smash hit. It absolutely did not need this game to be successful. It certainly didn't hurt of course but yeah, let's be real here. The PS1 was already a roaring success before this game even came out.

  20. Lora Boeger

    Lora Boeger19 dagar sedan

    Thank you for doing this!


    G1GRIM LOCK21 dag sedan

    I love ff7 as original og 1997 or 1998 I can’t remember Ben so long I was a about 14 I think and the dreaded red scorpion 🦂 was tuff!. But the ending i hated it but that my opinion but I’m happy it’s here I hope in episode 2 they remain more close to the sauce material no more fate gods! Plz

  22. Всеволод

    Всеволод22 dagar sedan

    This retrospection is a masterpiece in itself. Great work, John.

  23. Jerry Flowers

    Jerry Flowers23 dagar sedan

    I don't own a PSP but I do own Final Fantasy Crisis Core.

  24. Marcel Himmel

    Marcel Himmel23 dagar sedan

    Love Adventure Experimente

  25. Hooch

    Hooch23 dagar sedan

    As brilliant as the day i 1st played it

  26. Mopey bloke

    Mopey bloke25 dagar sedan

    I wonder whether John would still play Chrono Trigger as it is the most "pick up and play" JRPG.

  27. Small Town Volcano

    Small Town Volcano27 dagar sedan

    I am one thousand percent going to fire it up and get Tomba and Klona

  28. HalfLifeOfHumanity

    HalfLifeOfHumanity27 dagar sedan

    51:37 I did a double take when I first saw this credit and my brain read it as "Producer: Yoshikage Kira". I had to rewind and double check what I saw, even though I knew there was no way it could bet true... But in my mind, the first time I saw the credit all I saw was "Yoshikage Kira".

  29. Harley Norris

    Harley Norris28 dagar sedan

    ff8 has a place in my heart first ff i played over and over

  30. Tendo Pain

    Tendo Pain28 dagar sedan

    I'm subscribing now hands down

  31. Piotr Vanderer

    Piotr Vanderer28 dagar sedan

    24:11 - what is the game?

  32. UnStable Sanity

    UnStable SanityMånad sedan

    Can’t believe I’m just now seeing this. Great video but wish it included Xenogears was originally going to be FFVII. During development SquareSoft found the story to be too dark and complicated so it became its own game and FFVII became what we see today. Both games have great stories, gameplay, and character progression. If you haven’t played Xenogears I’d highly recommend it.

  33. Agares Jeffer

    Agares JefferMånad sedan

    nostalgia is one hell of a drug, the intro music alone give me the feels

  34. Tariq Khan

    Tariq KhanMånad sedan

    Even after I've played FFVII remake and am eagerly awaiting the next instalment, when you showed the reveal trailer, I still got a flutter in my chest, a shiver down my spine and I couldn't say a word. Just like when I first saw the reveal trailer myself. What a moment in gaming.

  35. RecklesFlam1ngo

    RecklesFlam1ngoMånad sedan

    What's up with the weird upscaling? Looks horrible


    ILJA ZIMAKOVSMånad sedan

    50$ in 1998 for the game? It is something about 150-200$ for today standard?

  37. diarykeeper

    diarykeeperMånad sedan

    AG. CrisisCore. So great. Sang SE...

  38. Caio Brito

    Caio BritoMånad sedan

    Love you, John

  39. Sepia Quotient

    Sepia QuotientMånad sedan

    Weird to se now all is backwards

  40. attilathehun0

    attilathehun0Månad sedan

    The only thing that looks good is the prerendered 2 backgrounds. Those polygons look horrific!

  41. Jefferson Gomes Moreira Morais

    Jefferson Gomes Moreira MoraisMånad sedan

    Grandia > FF7

  42. Mopey bloke

    Mopey bloke25 dagar sedan

    That's just the nostalgia speaking.

  43. Arcadian

    ArcadianMånad sedan

    Since this video the Xbox One version has had a straight port to Windows 10 with a new launcher among other things.

  44. Canal MiniMapa

    Canal MiniMapaMånad sedan

    That intro with Sega Saturn logo sound. The nostalgia.

  45. Garp

    GarpMånad sedan

    Love the Saturn sound at the beginning

  46. Japyoo

    JapyooMånad sedan

    I love the original game not a fan of the remake though. But can't please everyone I guess.

  47. Daniel Neubauer

    Daniel NeubauerMånad sedan

    Love these retro aspects and history bits!

  48. dann

    dannMånad sedan

    Do that wen you have the time because is coming out to xbox series x

  49. Raime

    RaimeMånad sedan

    You produce some incredible work John

  50. mstewart248

    mstewart248Månad sedan

    How can you say the Voodoo was the best choice at the time? You have the scan line artifacts on top of only being able to render in 16bit color. I bought the same box back in 98 and it ran fine on Riva TNT. Maybe theyhad patched it for OpenGL or Direct3D by the time I played through. It’s good that 3dFX lost and GLIDE isn’t the standard.

  51. C. H.

    C. H.Månad sedan

    This is some of your best work here.

  52. Chip Wiseman

    Chip WisemanMånad sedan

    Fun fact, while FF7 was America's 4th mainline FF game, it was Europe's _first._ Deciding to localise and release it in Europe was a bold move for a game with so much text, but it paid off.

  53. Jay Time

    Jay TimeMånad sedan

    If you went threw FF7 & never playd it again for 20 years the remake is what was in your imagination

  54. Marius Kopp

    Marius KoppMånad sedan

    Just started playing crisis core again on My Xperia 5 and even on German. Loved this Game on My PSP back in the Days and will love to fully replay it again...

  55. Alaskan Malamute

    Alaskan Malamute2 månader sedan

    FF7 managed to put cut scenes into the game with no loading times between the action, yet today developers still struggle to keep the gameplay fluid ahead of its time also shows how lazy and rushed games are today. I still have FF7 on ps1 and ff7 advent children although I know longer have a ps1 lol i kept the ff7 box as it was my favourite game :) Still waiting for the FF7 Remake PC release! :P Great video btw

  56. George Stark

    George Stark2 månader sedan

    *JRPG *analyzed

  57. Saucy

    Saucy2 månader sedan

    My favorite game of all time. I replay it every year or two, and it always reminds me of the ludicrous, unparalleled potential video games have to be the greatest of all storytelling mediums. The extensive story depth of a novel, the flashy visuals of an anime, that baller fucking soundtrack by the master, but most of all, it's the interactivity. You _lived_ that grand adventure.

  58. Byron Bae

    Byron Bae2 månader sedan

    I recently started playing the original on Xbox. I'm 11 hours in and loving it. Truly amazing game with great characters, story, and world. It lives up to the hype to this day.

  59. Yang

    Yang2 månader sedan

    The timing of the FF7 Reveal in your documentary brought tears to my eyes yet again. Such a fantastic delivery of your presentation, thank you so much.

  60. 2rue

    2rue3 månader sedan

    I played that back in the days on my Pentium MMX 166 (overclocked to 200), a 3dfx Voodoo Graphics and AWE 64 with the soundbanks.

  61. 권용대

    권용대3 månader sedan

    Incredible works! I daresay this is the very best video of DF.

  62. André Gomes de Oliveira

    André Gomes de Oliveira3 månader sedan

    Incredibly detailed overview of the tech that powered the original game. GREAT work folks. I had no idea of all the hoops you had to go through to play it on pc. Can't wait for what the next chapter will look like on PS5, and for the inevitable DF analysis of course. keep up the great work folks.

  63. Spandan Pujari

    Spandan Pujari3 månader sedan

    I never played FFVII while growing up but this video so well made that it made me nostalgic for something I never experienced in the first place. Kudos.

  64. AkiKimurr

    AkiKimurr4 månader sedan

    Amazing video, thank you so much John! I'm not a FF fan but this one question does bother me: how much more technologically advanced would've FF7 been if development team stuck with Nintendo and released it on N64... what a dream

  65. Mopey bloke

    Mopey bloke25 dagar sedan

    Probably not much is my guess. N64 didn't seem suited for RPGs which is why it had so few of them. They wouldn't be able to use FMVs to even close to the same extent. Everything would probably more compressed AND filtered, so it would look extra bad now (like the pre-rendered backgrounds in the Zelda games). I also bet frame rate would be lower and rockier. The soundtrack would be smaller, and sound worse.

  66. alt Ramen

    alt Ramen4 månader sedan

    I remember being a kid and having never played many video games. My older cousin told me this was the best game ever made and when I bought a psp I downloaded it. I was blown away by how big the game was and how good the story was. No other game means as much to me as this game does. This was the video game that got me into videogames.

  67. Adolfo Roman

    Adolfo Roman4 månader sedan

    Love this analysis!

  68. Chris Zorsatrons

    Chris Zorsatrons5 månader sedan

    amazing video

  69. Joshua Walker

    Joshua Walker6 månader sedan

    "Gears" Hey, that's a thing I wrote :)

  70. Joshua Walker

    Joshua Walker25 dagar sedan

    @Mopey bloke the wiki far exceeds anything I've done. The Discord server is also an unbelievable resource. The community has grown huge. I'm just a simple corporate application analyst now :)

  71. Mopey bloke

    Mopey bloke25 dagar sedan

    @Joshua Walker That's good to know. I frequented the threads for a while in his namesake forums, but don't remember ever seeing him post. Anyway. Where's Gears 2?

  72. Joshua Walker

    Joshua Walker25 dagar sedan

    @Mopey bloke I've been around as long as Qhimm, and chatted with him every once in a while. He lives in Scandinavia. Also, his name is pronaunced "Kim"

  73. Mopey bloke

    Mopey bloke25 dagar sedan

    Are you Qhimm? People tell me the Qhimm wiki substituted Gears.

  74. Just Another Youtube Channel

    Just Another Youtube Channel7 månader sedan

    My favourite MIDI music track is the Golden Saucer theme, it’s much softer and nicer than the harsher PS1 music. Several tracks sound better on PC due to this in my opinion, although the other samples in the PC version are worse, which kinda cancels out the improvements.

  75. Ultimus Shadow

    Ultimus Shadow8 månader sedan

    I'm still waiting for an FFVII Remake, not a re - imagined unfinished Fanfiction.

  76. Glitch Walker

    Glitch Walker8 månader sedan

    This has made me want to finally play Dirge of Cerberus

  77. Glitch Walker

    Glitch Walker8 månader sedan

    I'm sure that the remasters are essentially based on the techniques the modding community developed for the original PC version, with a hacky dll file modifying the base game. Because they threw away the source code and assets. They did the same for FF8... FF9 got a ground up remaster as it never came out on PC originally, I think using Unity.

  78. TJ Brawley

    TJ Brawley8 månader sedan

    I’m only 17 and missed out on all the original ffvii hype. I completed the original and remake recently and watching this video gave me an excellent window into what this game really did for the genre and industry in general. I fell in love with ffvii when I played it and this video really did it justice. I’ve watched a lot of SEtoos but when I say this is by far my favorite video on this website, I mean it. Amazing work

  79. rkramer105

    rkramer1058 månader sedan

    Fantastic video John!

  80. Keith Jr

    Keith Jr8 månader sedan

    Squaresoft has always existed in the industry, but this game made them iconic. Took them to the upper echelon of game publishers.

  81. nabeel salam

    nabeel salam9 månader sedan

    amazing effort😀

  82. kingofthesharks

    kingofthesharks9 månader sedan

    fantastic retrospective. Old-school PC Eidos port player here! I remember desperately trying to get One Winged Angel vocals to work but to no success back then lol

  83. Ricardo Fernandes

    Ricardo Fernandes10 månader sedan

    47:20 bought a psp JUST FOR THAT GAME 50:40 in bird culture that was a dick move. 51:30 and screamed like i was 14 again 55:30 and why the sucker punch at the end?

  84. Ptolemy336VV

    Ptolemy336VV11 månader sedan

    I thought that when the FF7 remake trailer reveal in 2015 was shown together with all the other games at that Sony press conference, I never have seen a bigger KO ever than this one. Sony completely obliterated Microsoft, and Im sure this was a major impact from there on strongly in favor of Sony.

  85. Alfsen_

    Alfsen_11 månader sedan

    I was 11 when I played this for the first time. I'm in this industry because of this game and Metal Gear Solid

  86. wave

    wave11 månader sedan

    Amazing, sad I didn’t see this when it was first uploaded.

  87. CS64

    CS6411 månader sedan

    Almost done this game on Switch, it's a complete masterpiece. So is IX as well.

  88. Captain Zeppos

    Captain Zeppos11 månader sedan

    The video is good. My cousin who just visited from upper Tanzania-Burkina Faso hungry region saw this game and farted so hard from his eagerness to play that he melted the bedroom chair. Now I need a gameboy and a bedroom chair. Cousin, if you read this please eat less peppery food and drink more water without manure in it.

  89. LiK

    LiK11 månader sedan

    Amazing job, John.

  90. Colossal Gameplays

    Colossal Gameplays11 månader sedan

    2 Super analysis in one video!

  91. Moises Soto

    Moises Soto11 månader sedan

    Really good job on this one. I didn’t expect to watch the entire video but you kept it interesting all the way! Final Fantasy is a very special game, I didn’t have a PSone back in the day, and hated the graphics compared to N64. It turns out that almost all games I missed on PSone were released as updated games on N64/Gamecube. I remember playing RE2 on N64 with the memory pack upgraded visuals, later on Gamecube I got to play REmake and MGS Twin Snakes. It was around that time after waiting a FF VII updated release for almost 10 years that I bought the original PSone discs and decided to play them on my PS3. Now seeing your amazing work here I realized there were a lot of details I missed about how well designed this game was, maybe because it was on the PS3 era. The only thing that bothered me was how it seems you were told that most of these technical aspects of the game could not be realized on the N64 and how PSone “unique hardware” allowed to make these feats. The reason why PSone had to be used is because they needed the massive space provided by CDs compared to cartridges. At the time the compression algorithms were not as advanced, so they really had to use CDs for the cutscenes, and backgrounds. Other than that, the N64 was a better machine in every other aspect. A few years later it was possible to bring games with voiceovers and compressed video to N64 and just looking at games like Perfect Dark and RE2 you could tell that FFVII would have far better graphics on N64. Still I’m glad Square went ahead with their vision and released the game as it was envisioned by the designers. It was really an industry changing game.

  92. Mopey bloke

    Mopey bloke25 dagar sedan

    The N64 wasn't better in all other aspects. Its only real advantage was accurate 3d rendering. However, laggy memory would force people to use very low quality textures on the system (which were then heavily blurred by its bilinear filtering and anti-aliasing). Games in general had lower quality textures, worse sound quality, worse frame rates. Those pre-rendered backgrounds in Zelda were much lower quality than the ones used for PSX RPGs/ Adventure games for instance, and they would necessarily be filtered and more compressed. The PS1 also has hardware acceleration for FMV, and more storage space for video. Also a more independent sound chip. There would be many cutbacks if the game was on N64, as you could see from the Resi 2 port. Which was still pretty good, but that doesn't have as many assets as RPGs would have so quality would've likely suffered more.

  93. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu11 månader sedan

    how do you misspell JRPG lol

  94. JonJ3000

    JonJ300011 månader sedan

    Real good!

  95. Oru

    Oru11 månader sedan

    A retrospective masterpiece ❤️

  96. wall lee

    wall lee11 månader sedan

    100 dislikes are xbox fans

  97. Jackal

    Jackal11 månader sedan

    So, what's a JPRG?

  98. Andrii Surzhenko

    Andrii Surzhenko11 månader sedan

    Who remembes why a girl was holding dead man at the end of the cgi FF movie?

  99. Xavier McCloud

    Xavier McCloud11 månader sedan

    Bruh I have a love and hate relationship with Digital Foundry's BUT I will say, this is Amazing and I'm only @2:13.

  100. 7Dano5

    7Dano511 månader sedan

    FF9 Still rules for me

  101. 7Dano5

    7Dano511 månader sedan

    I prefer the music in the original better than in the new remake.. Wish you you could swap it in game. Lets hope we get an option

  102. Alexander Garro

    Alexander Garro11 månader sedan

    The Best game I have ever played

  103. Pp Lime

    Pp Lime11 månader sedan

    Original design for N64DD...

  104. Alexander Sinco

    Alexander Sinco11 månader sedan

    What's up with Eva Unit 02 at 37:10 ?

  105. David Addis

    David Addis11 månader sedan

    Blimey this was a bit of a treat, thank you DF!

  106. Jahz Robin Son

    Jahz Robin Son11 månader sedan

    Omg! The evolution and transformation of this game is so legendary and magical. I just cannot wait to see what is to come in our near future of next-generation console the PS5. I can only imagine the PS5 hardware/software will do absolutely wonders for this game beyond our expectations.

  107. Lord Of Black Flames Canti

    Lord Of Black Flames Canti11 månader sedan

    Dirge of Cerberus and Play well in the same sentence but not with "didn't" wow.

  108. Hemang Chauhan

    Hemang ChauhanÅr sedan

    Dierge of Cerbrus is so goofy

  109. ForTehNguyen

    ForTehNguyenÅr sedan

    N64 didnt have the storage capability of CD-ROMs which is what FF7 needed. N64 cartridges went up to 64MB, CD-ROM had 700MB each, and FF7 had 3 discs.

  110. sacmienboi916

    sacmienboi916År sedan

    It’s not the end of the journey. This is just the beginning. “ The unknown journey will continue.” Excellent video that showcases the history and effort Square put together in the last 20 plus years.