Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children — the 2005 CGI spinoff film that dared to ask “What if the already incredible, intricate story of Final Fantasy VII was made even more confusing?” — is getting a 4K HDR remaster this summer.
The newly updated version of the film is due to arrive on June 8th, setting up a week of narrative whiplash for Final Fantasy fans who will also get to enjoy the PS5 upgrade of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade on June 10th.
One might think Advent Children would be a good next step for fans who have only played the modern Final Fantasy VII Remake as a way of preparing for future remade installments. That instinct, I can assure you, would be wrong. The film is actually a pseudo-sequel to the original Final Fantasy VII game’s epic and occasionally bewildering story, and it relies heavily on an intimate knowledge of its twists and turns. Final Fantasy VII Remake, by contrast, gives you a mere fraction of the saga.
For example, here’s apparently a wholly accurate description of the film’s key plot point from my colleague Nick Statt, and definitely not a series of random words that he typed into Slack:
The Sephiroth clone cloning himself into Sephiroth using Jenova, from which he is also a clone (?) makes perfect sense. Ok, like technically Sephiroth is not a clone except for he was merged with Jenova cells in the womb so you could make the argument that he’s a clone.
Despite the somewhat obtuse sci-fi storytelling, Advent Children was a notable jump forward for fully CGI-animated movies when it was first released in 2005. It offered fans the best look yet (at the time) at favorite characters like Cloud and Tifa in full 3D form, with designs and fight scenes that the blocky graphics and CGI of the PS1 original had only hinted at. And while the film itself has since been eclipsed by the even better-looking (and playable) Final Fantasy VII Remake, that reimagining owes plenty to the foundation that Advent Children laid.
The upcoming re-release is part of an ongoing renaissance for the sometimes unappreciated movie. Advent Children also recently got a call-out in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: when Cloud’s longtime nemesis Sephiroth was added as a DLC character, Smash Bros. also updated Cloud’s Omnislash attack to match his multi-sword version from the movie whenever you equip him with his film-inspired outfit as well.
Additionally, Square Enix is also working on Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis, a single-player mobile RPG that aims to span the entirety of the Final Fantasy VII storyline — including Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children, Before Crisis, Crisis Core, and Dirge of Cerberus — into a single, cohesive title. That will either help clear up the confusion surrounding FF7… or just make it worse.