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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Impressions 180

Tim Butler writes " has posted impressions of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children from the premiere screening at the Venice Film Festival. The article also reveals that the film won't be ready until next spring -- but may clock in at more than an hour and a half in running time (is a big screen release a possibility now?)."
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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Impressions

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  • Holding out hope. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slusich ( 684826 ) * <slusich AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:07PM (#10169221)
    I'm just hoping they did a better job on this one then on the last FF movie. The last one looked gorgeous, but the plot was almost non-existent. It was as if they had spent every ounce of effort producing the visuals, and someone had forgotten to bother with a script. I loved FF:VII as a game, and I'm holding out hope that the movie will live up to the name this time. Of course, I'm also hoping for a direct to DVD release since I refuse to go to a theatre any more.
    • FF VII was my favorite, with FF X falling close behind.
      • by AndyChrist ( 161262 ) < minus caffeine> on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:13PM (#10169264) Homepage
        Was FFVII the first one you played?

        Almost invariably I find this to be the case with those who call it their favorite.

        • FF7 was the first I played. Then I played FFX, and then FF4. So far, FF4 is my favorite. I've beaten FF7, I'm probably very close in FFX (the cloister of trials in zanarkand), and in FF4... I forget at the moment -_- But I like it much better than FF7 and FFX.
          • Re:Holding out hope. (Score:2, Informative)

            by hc00jw ( 655349 )

            FF7 was the first I played. Then I played FFX, and then FF4. So far, FF4 is my favorite. I've beaten FF7, I'm probably very close in FFX (the cloister of trials in zanarkand), and in FF4... I forget at the moment -_- But I like it much better than FF7 and FFX.

            Sadly, Final Fantasy VII was the first real FF game us Europeans *could* play! Yeah, we had the original, the game boy titles, and Mystic Quest. One of those wasn't actually a FF game, (Adventure), one was the worst game ever (Mystic Quest), one was

        • I think most people find their first to be their favourite - like many things, there's the magic of it being new; despite all the FF games being very different, the magic of newness only happens once.

          Come to think of it, my first was actually mystic quest, a sort of Fisher Price My First RPG, made by square to introduce people to RPGs without all the scary stats. FFVII was my first real one though, and is my favourite; I liked 6 the one time I played it through, but 7's sidegames and subplots* mean I've p

        • The first one I played was FF4 (FF2 US) back in '92 or whatever. I've played every one since then, except for that gamecube one. And I never had the patience to beat Tactics.

          I doubt my opinion will be too popular, but I thought that 7 was the best until 10 came out. 7 is definitely my favorite, though. If that makes sense.

          I also think that 8 gets a bad rap. Definitely one of the better ones. 9 was my least favorite.

          I know old-school FFers are supposed to think that everything after 6 is eye candy.

          • I know old-school FFers are supposed to think that everything after 6 is eye candy. Sorry - can't say that I agree.

            Hell, you might as well just say that they're completely wrong. You know, because they are.

        • by Obiwan Kenobi ( 32807 ) <evan&misterorange,com> on Monday September 06, 2004 @04:39PM (#10170987) Homepage
          I think the reason for this assumption is that FF7 truly showed what RPGs could do with next-gen hardware. Before FF7 there were no 3D worlds, no 3D monsters, no true spatial and particle effects.

          The storyline was so intriguing thanks to the amazing visuals that it simply took the gameplay to a new level.

          They also killed a major character, a love-interest no less, right in the middle of the story. This, to my recollection, had never happened in such as quick, brutal and shocking manner before.

          It may sound silly, this is a video game yadda yadda, but the immersiveness of this game is unparalleled in any other Final Fantasy to date. They seem to be so hot on Amazing CGI Scenes and SUPER HUGE MONDO MONSTER SPELLS that take (I kid you not) 2 minutes a pop to pull off, that they leave the gameplay and the richness behind.

          That's not to say they haven't come close, but that's also to say that the magic in FF7 has yet to be repeated.

          The next final fantasy will be a continuation of the FF7 story. That has never happened before (the revisit of an older universe to tell a continuating tale). This alone tells the power it had not only on gamers, but on SquareEnix as well.
          • They seem to be so hot on Amazing CGI Scenes and SUPER HUGE MONDO MONSTER SPELLS that take (I kid you not) 2 minutes a pop to pull off, that they leave the gameplay and the richness behind.

            Well, how about that it was the success of FF7 in the first place that set Square on this path? Let's face it, one of the big reasons why FF7 did so well beyond the existing market for RPGs at the time is that it had very pretty graphics (for the time). In some ways, this is a very big problem because since then, Squa
          • They also killed a major character, a love-interest no less, right in the middle of the story. This, to my recollection, had never happened in such as quick, brutal and shocking manner before.

            Final Fantasy IV - Tellah died casting Meteo on Golbez
            Final Fantasy V - Old man (can't remember his name) died, passing his power onto his grandaughter who replaced him as a character
            Final Fantasy VI - General Leo (NPC, but a central plot character) murdered by Kefka. Shadow could also die, depending on player ac
        • Or maybe so many people like FF7 because *gasp* it was good?

          Sorry, bub, your argument was discredited a long, long time ago. Personally? I started playing FF right from the beginning, back in 1990. FF7 and FF8 are tied as my favorite FF. Besides, even if your argument did hold any water, all it would prove is the inane obstinance of the nostalgia freaks who can't handle their games maturing beyond their simplistic plots, characters, and gameplay.

          • Re:Holding out hope. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Zangief ( 461457 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @08:00PM (#10172546) Homepage Journal
            The first FF I played was FFVII. However, after liking a lot said game, I went back, and played the older ones. I have played FFI (never finished that way too primitive), FFIV (hyped by nostalgic fans; good if you like basic rpgs), FFV (good game, a shame that west skipped this one) and FFVI (f*cking great game).

            FFVI is my fav. The history is great, the fact that you could select (at some point of the history) which group of characters follow, and a lot of other small details that help making the story a little less linear, make it a winner.

            Yeah, FFVII was good, but:
            -Had a lot of long cutscenes.
            -Summons were way too powerful (and boring. Here is a hint: play the game without ever using summons, and the game quality will go up a little)
            -Way too easy (even without summons).
            -Very linear game.
            -Worst. Ending. Ever.
            -Horrible load times for battles.
            -The battles were tiring. (When I was reaching the end of the second disc, I started playing without volume, because the battle theme was driving me mad).

            The bottom line: great story, and 3D characters against good (at the time) 2D backgrounds don't

            FF8 fixed the summoning problem (replacing it with the renzokuken problem, which was worst. :), and a great ending. However, you couldn't care less about the villain (Ultimecia? who the heck was her...pseudo-spoiler: some people say she was Rinoa), and the magic system was broken. I liked FF7 best.
            • Most of the problems you listed are also in FF6, which isn't too surprising since FF6 and FF7 had very similar gameplay (and every FF has had long cutscenes and annoying random battles). The nonlinearity in the second half of FF6 didn't mean too much when the whole game fell apart.

              • Mmm, I don't think so.

                -Summons: The FF6 summons weren't as broken as in FF7. Yeah, they were powerful, but not so much. Even of you didn't got Knight of the Round, you could easily grab Odin, which was also very good (yeah, KOTR killed everything in sight, but Odin wasn't bad).
                -Bad Ending: at least the characters talked in FF6! FF7 left you hanging there! Makes me think about Neal Stephenson...
                The best FF ending I have witnessed was the one from FF8. FF5 was good also.
                -Way too easy: FF6 was easy, but not t
      • Have you tried FF6 on SNES? I would love to see a movie with FF6' steampunk ambiance. Sadly, I find that Square moving from fantasy to SF was a bad decision.
        • FF has always had a fusion between the magical and the technological. FF7 is hardly more science-fiction than FF1 (remember Warmech and the time-travel plot that FF8 rehashed, among several other things?) is. The "movement from fantasy to SF" is just a figment of detractors' imaginations.

      • Apparently you've never played FF IV, or VI, or Tactics. VII is a great game, but it reminds me of the whole Halo situation. People who think Halo is the best game ever, have ONLY played ONE FPS, and it hapened to be Halo on the X-Box.
        • by jandrese ( 485 ) * <> on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:55PM (#10169541) Homepage Journal
          I'm not sure I'd really tout FF Tactics for it's storyline either. It's got a great battle system and a fiendish (if somewhat predictable) AI, but the storyline was a convoluted mess that at best didn't detract too much from the gameplay.
          • I'm not sure I'd really tout FF Tactics for it's storyline either. It's got a great battle system and a fiendish (if somewhat predictable) AI, but the storyline was a convoluted mess that at best didn't detract too much from the gameplay

            You mean the translation was a bloody mess. the original story line came through, but with a bit of engrish confusion. It was said to be a very nainced storyline in japanese.
    • by jaredcat ( 223478 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:15PM (#10169270)
      Actually as sucky as the last FF movie was, it's plot had every element of a FF game story...

      . A small team of unlikely characters fighting impossible odds.
      . A government with factions out to kill that team.
      . The earth nearly destroyed or in its final days.
      . People with magical/spiritual powers.
      . Some kind of religeous overtones.
      . Scary monsters everywhere!
      . A top bad guy evil character, out to get our team!

      I think what made it suck was that those good game elements that play out over 40 hours of interactive gameplay as you are descovering the world don't neccesarily make a good 2-hour non-interactive movie where there is a lot of exposition and all of these elements are crammed together.

      The difference in the plots between FF: TSW and FF VII: Advent Children is that the FFVII Universe is already established (as the most popular FF of all time), and pretty much anyone wanting to see FFVII has already a good idea of the backstory. That allows for better storytelling.
      • Actually as sucky as the last FF movie was, it's plot had every element of a FF game story...

        You forgot the glue that binds every Final Fantasy premise: an ally character named Cid.

        • Re:Holding out hope. (Score:2, Informative)

          by MMaestro ( 585010 )
          Cid didn't appear in the series until FFIV, and in VI he was originally working for the bad guys. I'd say a more appropiate subject would be the airships/spaceships(FFVIII) since those appeared from THE beginning of the series (FFI)
        • There was a Dr. Sid in FF: TSW! He was voiced by Donald Sutherland of all people. Dr. Sid was the batty professor who came up with the idea that spirits from plants and dying children would defeat the alien monsters.
        • Did it have chocobo? I don't remember any of those.
        • You forgot the glue that binds every Final Fantasy premise: an ally character named Cid.

          And the "some kind of crystal" thing. Unfortunatly Square has been falling down on that one a bit after FF9. And did FF8 have any? I really can't remember much about that game.

          • Re:Holding out hope. (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Speare ( 84249 )
            FFX and FFX-2's crystal are in Luca (the center of the round plaza), and in the tops of Macalania Woods.
            • Wow, you're right. Certainly in about the one in Luca at least. I _guess_ that thing in in Macalania could be a crystal.

              So they started out as the four (or eight) elemental crystals that provided order to the world, and then became something you could equip in weapons or store memories in, and now they've become lawn ornaments.

              "So it's come to this. And hasn't it been a long way down?"

      • Re:Holding out hope. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LtOcelot ( 154499 )
        Another take on this is that FF game plots have always been weak, but the interactivity distracts players from that. They've been considered "good" relative to other games, but the average quality of game plots in general is pretty poor.
      • You forgot the effeminate men and strong powerful but still good looking women.
      • . a trip to outer space - you know the game isn't close to the end if you haven't gone to space yet
        . an aloof, misguided young man who could be the key to everything (well FF the movie didn't have that)
        . a protoenemey - the enemy you think is the bad guy in the beginning pales in comparison to the real bad guy

        the fomula goes beyond just square games too - many, many other RPGs do the same.

      • Many movies (Score:3, Informative)

        by phorm ( 591458 )
        There aren't really any "magical" powers in this one, at least in the sense of your traditional fantasy spells etc. The "evil government" "unlikely heroes", "earth nearing destruction" "main bad guy" themes are all basic to many other movies as well.

        The problem with FFTSW was not that it wasn't established, it was that it was a sci-fi futuristic "alien menace" type movie rather than a Fantasy type one. Your typical FF tends to have elements such as:
        • A mix of high/low technology. For some reason swords te
      • But it has :

        No sword.
        No summon.
        No typical FF magic (fire, ice, life...).
        No muggles.
        No boss fight (and no final boss).
        No typical items (potions, ethers, phoenix down).

        I would have like on top of that see the character camp in the middle of a field. To see them improve their skills (level up), etc.

        It lacked too much FF elments for my taste.
    • "Looked gorgeous"?

      Maybe in stills. In the film though, it became obvious that the animators had never seen a human moving. Bugs Bunny cartoons had more convincing animation than FF did.

      Not to mention the few places where the animation broke down. Watch Aki's forearms and wrists - I noticed them break into rectangular surfaces at least twice during the film. A valiant effort, sure, but ultimately an attempt that failed, and not just due to the absence of a script - technically the visuals weren't up to
  • Screenshots anyone?
  • This movie is going to kick ass!

    1 [] 2 [] 3 []
  • I have no doubt that there will be showings on big screens across the country when this thing comes out. However, I sincerely doubt that a Great company would put themselves through anything even resembling the fiasco of Spirits Within on their second release. Lets hold out hope for the next one, and enjoy this one as it comes!
  • Creepy Faces (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Feneric ( 765069 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:14PM (#10169267) Homepage

    I'm in agreement with this article [] that computer-generated human faces still look creepy. I can't quite place what it is, but computer generated skin (even when done well as it was with Gollum from the LOTR movies) doesn't look right.

    Maybe it's that the faces look somehow too regular; maybe it's that they look somehow luminescent.

    It's even evident in the little thumnail image at the top of the article.


      The you should check out NVidia's Dawn Demo. It's so real it makes you do a double take.
    • Taking a cue from Doctor Who, but maybe your experiencing a form of Grimwold'S Syndrome.
    • Re:Creepy Faces (Score:3, Interesting)

      You better check out Square USA's CGI work in an episode in Animatrix [] anthology, as it has photorealistic rendering of human faces much more advanced than FF:Spirits Within. The characters are very very close to real human faces.

      As for FF7:Advent Children, those character designs are intentionally more anime-style oriented, reminiscent of the original FF7 designs, so realism is not wanted by viewers. it should be rendered in surrealistically beautiful, fantasic tastes as it is Final Fantasy anyway.
    • I thought the best-looking face in the first FF movie was the old guy. His skin had lots of imperfections and was the most real looking. Everyone else was flawless 20-year-olds that just looked fake, like a wax sculpture or something.
    • These days I think they're getting pretty close to modelling skin, from things like how it reflects light to including the small imperfections like scars, moles and asymmetry without going overboard.

      What still bothers me about computer-generated people, though, is the animation. They generally get simple body motions like walking and running right, but they haven't quite mastered realistic "body language" motions from leaning back against walls to indicate relaxation to things as apparently-simple as the f

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:17PM (#10169278)
    But they are right about synthetic humans looking creepier and creepier as they get more accurate. Look at the 4th picture down. Quite nightmarish. Even creepier than that last final fantasy movie.
  • Aeris! (Score:5, Funny)

    by JohnPerkins ( 243021 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:17PM (#10169279) Homepage
    If you buy 3 large popcorns, 1 small no-ice Dr Pepper, 1 box of Jr Mints, then enter the hidden theater 5 spaces down and 2 spaces to the left of the ticket booth, you can see the version with Aeris resurrected!
  • I'm calling it here. They'll include it for a discount when you buy the game.
    • Releasing it with a game is unlikely. There aren't any FF games at a point in their production cycle that Square Enix could release FFVII:AC with (FFXI will see its second expansion in a little more than a week, FFXII has already been pushed back, Before Crisis: FFVII is already in a Japanese beta, but that's a cellphone game).

      It was already announced as a direct-to-market video (in DVD and PSP UMD format). The question now is whether it sees a theatrical release, which it probably could in the US if it do
  • by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:24PM (#10169327)
    if the film "isn't ready"?

    • And cartoons, by their very nature, are produced very differently.

      For example, Disney's Beauty and the Beast was screened incomplete. Several scenes were animatics.... several scenes were pencil tests, some scenes were inked, some were inked and had paint but no backgrounds. Being a Disney production, the audio track was complete, but they were still busting their butts to get the visuals finished when it was previewed at a film festival (in NYC, I think).

      In the case of Advent Children, I imagine "incom
    • by JabberWokky ( 19442 ) <> on Monday September 06, 2004 @01:21PM (#10169698) Homepage Journal
      I've seen screenings of many many movies in unfinished states. In some cases (like the Italian Job screeners), they were heavily edited afterwards and had a totally different soundtrack (they had to get the rights to the songs that eventually went into the movie - in the version I saw, the director put whatever he wanted in). In the case of Beauty and the Beast, several scenes cut to black and white sketches, "motion storyboard" to give the idea of the scenes. All the voices and foley were there, but the animation wasn't done.

      I, Robot, for instance, wasn't finished until a scant couple weeks before it appeared in wide release. All the effects were still being finished up until then, and the animators were pulling late nights. That's pretty typical.


  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by red floyd ( 220712 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @12:34PM (#10169387)
    Another FF movie? Won't somebody please think of the (advent) Children????
  • this [] should be a torrent for it. I am still downloading it, so I don't know for sure yet.

  • by Glowing Fish ( 155236 ) on Monday September 06, 2004 @05:16PM (#10171274) Homepage

    It would have been awesome to just reshoot the orginal Final Fantasy VII, but along with the fact it would be hard cutting the 40 hr long story down to 2 hours, most movie goers wouldn't believe Final Fantasy VII's wild, science fiction plot. Final Fantasy VII would have us believe that:

    • Someone can become president just because their father is. If someone becomes ruler because of their father, that makes them a king, not a president.
    • That a government could be nothing more than a front for corrupt energy company executives, and for a clique of people whose fanatical devotion to a "promised land" blinds them to all reason.
    • That a country with a large space program would suddenly abandon it, simply to produce more and more deadly weapons.
    • That a government, when confronted with terrorist attacks, would use it as a way to further clamp down on anyone who was trying to challenge their politcal and economic power.
    • That a nation's economy could be totally wiped out, leaving industrial areas blighted, while close by, people spent all their money playing in high tech floating gambling palaces.
    • That energy executives, when their productive capacity is destroyed, would merrily celebrate having to raise rates.

      • These are just some of the points that make the plot of Final Fantasy VII, no matter how intriguing, too unrealistic for people to take seriously.
  • I didn't really read the article too closely -- it had a few too many details and I'd prefer to wait for the movie. Having said that, Cloud seems to still love using his sword.

    When I played the game, Cloud ended everything with about thirty uses of his ultima materia.

    Unless the whole rebalancing of everything effected by Cloud rendered materia useless, what's the deal with the sword still?
    • For one the final (FINAL) battle in the game is Cloud with his sword and limit break...I rarely used anything with Cloud other than double cut because he just owned on everything straight sword still. Also there is the fact that the bad guys have swords and one would chop him in half while he was casting ultima on another. Not to mention how gay would it be if he fought with nothing but materia he is not a fricken black mage type character. I just don't get what you getting at here...
      • Cripes, it's been a while. I only vaguely remember the sword. I do remember beginning FFVIII and my main concern was that the main character's weapon (I said it'd been a while!) didn't seem to become so powerful as quickly as Cloud's did. The more I think about it, I reckon it was Barrett (in my game) that used the Ultima materia in the final showdown.

        And you're right -- the very last battle was against a severely weakened Sephiroth, which wasn't too difficult to do.

        I really must spend less time /.ing and
  • I don't care how realistically you try to render it. Real people still don't have hair like this []!

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.