When the release date announcement trailer for Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Rebirth dropped last month, fans eagerly poured over every detail, trying to find out as much as they could about the middle game in the acclaimed trilogy expanding and remaking the classic game. Where would Cloud, Tifa, and the crew end up now that they’re getting to explore the wider world? What threats awaited them? What new friends? Wh — wait. Look at what’s happening at the 1:06 mark.
Is… is that a Segway? Why, yes, it is — and at the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth panel at New York Comic Con 2023, special surprise guest, and the game’s director, Naoki Hamaguchi was asked just how a Segway of all things ended up in the world outside of Midgar. (Not that it wouldn’t be any less surprising in Midgar.)
Speaking through a translator, Hamaguchi explained, “In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, you may be spending a lot of time adventuring through the world map on a Chocobo, but thinking about Costa del Sol, which is a resort town, it may be a little odd, or cumbersome, to be on the Chocobo. I really want people to have fun navigating around this place, [so] I was like ‘What’s a new and exciting way to get around this place?’ And I thought, ‘Ah!’ This two-wheeled, Segway-like vehicle had come to mind.”
That’s not to say that the game developers are unaware of the comedic potential of the visual; just the opposite, in fact. “Throughout the Final Fantasy series, we just have this theme of sort of having a serious undertone with these very comical elements interspersed throughout… and the sight of Cloud riding it is just really funny,” Hamaguchi added. “I’m happy that this vehicle’s getting noticed.”
You can watch the full Final Fantasy VII Rebirth panel from NYCC 2023 right here, and learn all about how the voice cast prepared for their roles in the much-anticipated game, as well as other stories that will only make the wait for the February 29, 2024 release date all that much longer.
Popverse will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of New York Comic Con 2023, with an all-star crew of writers, editors, and video producers there all four days (and nights), as well as in advance of the show. You can follow along to this coverage as well as the panels we're streaming with our NYCC Popverse coverage guide.