Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Square Enix
Entertainment Features Geek Lifestyle News Opinion

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is a Mess and I Love It

With Final Fantasy VII Rebirth finally out, most newcomers might be wondering what’s going on with the expanded media of the franchise. The full story of Final Fantasy VII, as it turns out, isn’t just contained to the games but extends over to a movie called Advent Children – a crucial watch if you’re interested in seeing the conclusion of the original game’s story. It may also fill in some questions raised in Remake and Rebirth, though be warned, it’s a bit of a mess.

Following the 1997 release of the original Final Fantasy VII – a groundbreaking title that put international eyes on the franchise – Square Enix (then SquareSoft) heard complaints from players that the ending of the game felt rather open-ended and inconclusive. Willing to right that wrong and give fans a “true” ending, Square created a CG-animated movie in 2005 called Advent Children, which would serve as a direct sequel to the original game and the closing chapter of the story.

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Square Enix

In case you haven’t seen it, we’ll refrain from talking about heavy story spoilers. For the most part, Advent Children takes place some time after the events of Final Fantasy VII (before the open ending). The children of Midgar have been hit with a strange ailment called geostigma and nobody can really explain it. However, when three individuals show up in the city seeking Sephiroth’s resurrection, Cloud and company must step in to stop the mysterious foes.

To put it bluntly, the story of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is messy. The dialogue is stiff with huge dumps of exposition and it can be difficult to piece together the disjointed plot at times. The “edgy” Cloud memes originate from Advent Children because the movie makes him a bit of a drab protagonist – not nearly as endearing as the confused, snarky merc who quietly cares for his companions in the original game. Granted, a lot has happened that could’ve changed Cloud’s outlook since then, though seeing him cut down to a sad, depressing husk is tough to watch.

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Square Enix

That said, his character does have an arc by the end of Advent Children which is quite rewarding, as long as you stick with the movie’s progression – which somehow moves at a fast pace and feels incredibly slow at the same time. I recently watched both the original 90-minute cut and the 120-minute Complete Edition. The shorter cut doesn’t do much to fix the pacing as it simply lacks that extra half-hour in the Complete Edition that really fleshes characters out and at least attempts to explain some of its more complicated plot points.

The best comparison I can make is Man of Steel (yes, that one). Like Zack Snyder’s DC flick, the first half of Advent Children is a lot of set-up. The editing just feels off most of the time as scenes struggle to flow naturally and make sense, cutting back and forth between heavy exposition dumps and brief bursts of action. You’ll need to be familiar with the terminology being used in the movie because if you’re a newcomer who hasn’t played or know of the game’s story and characters, you are most certainly going to be lost.

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Square Enix

Once Advent Children reaches the halfway point, the gloves come off and it bounces from one gigantic action set piece to another – it’s incredible.

For a full CG movie that came in out in 2005, you’d be surprised to see how well Advent Children actually holds up today. The animation is downright stunning at points. The action sequences are masterfully handled too, where the movie doesn’t just throw the laws of physics out the window – it straps it to a rocket and launches it into the stratosphere. These gravity-defying action sequences are so unbelievable, they make The Matrix look tame in comparison. But they’re absurdly entertaining; you’ll want to soak in every single second of them.

From giant monsters to physics-breaking motorcycle chases to city-reducing fights, Advent Children delivers action that has never been done on this ambitious scale before in the series, perhaps only matched by the Eikon battles of Final Fantasy XVI. Square clearly poured their heart and soul into making these set pieces exciting and heart-pounding from one minute to the next, only escalating as it goes on.

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Square Enix

The updated character designs in Advent Children are terrific as well. Tetsuya Nomura and the team did a fantastic job modernising the designs of the polygon characters from the original game – so much so that these same models were eventually used in Final Fantasy VII Remake too. They’re iconic in their own right, especially the redesigns for Cloud, Tifa and Sephiroth.

If you thought Nobuo Uematsu’s legendary soundtrack for Final Fantasy VII couldn’t get any better, well, it does in Advent Children. Uematsu returned to compose the movie’s soundtrack which features remixes and rearrangements of the original game’s score. For example, the awesome “One-Winged Angel” theme has been given roaring electric guitars and a booming choir for Advent Children‘s remix and made significantly better in my opinion. This extends to most tracks on the movie’s score which is, overall, arguably better than the original game’s (I know, hot take).

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Square Enix

Advent Children was clearly made for Final Fantasy VII fans as a way to satisfyingly conclude the original story. For the most part, I think Square did it. By the time the credits roll, you can’t help but feel warm inside. As messy as the plot can get at times and as insane as the action sequences are, altogether it makes for a dizzying ride that you experience rather than casually watch. It holds a special place in my heart with all its imperfections.

Do yourself a favour and try to get the 4K Remastered version as well.

Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *