Just today, game director Tetsuya Nomura shared new information regarding both Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake. In the article, he states that both still have a long way to go, with Kingdom Hearts III having many worlds that they haven’t touched yet, which firmly puts it beyond the grasp of 2017. In the case of Final Fantasy VII Remake, he says that work is progressing steadily. He doesn’t make mention of how far long along the remake is, just that fans will have to wait a little longer for a release. To many this means that VII Remake is also a post-2017 title, but he never exactly ruled that out, and his statements on VIIR were different from KHIII which he made clear wasn’t going to release this year simply because it’s very unfinished. But what if VII Remake won’t be ready by the end of this year? Well it would certainly be a missed marketing opportunity for Square Enix considering this year is Final Fantasy’s 30th anniversary and Final Fantasy VII’s 20th anniversary, and they’re holding a special event for the franchise on January 31st, which also happens to be 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII’s Japanese release. Something’s up.

So we know what this year is, and it seems apparent that VII Remake is probably farther along in development than Kingdom Hearts III somehow, but what if it doesn’t make it by the end of this year? Well, Nomura did mention surprise releases for this year. So what kind of surprise could there be? Well, these are my best guesses(Final Fantasy VII Remake related of course.):

1) Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core HD

I know there are many people who dislike the titles that make up the Compulation of Final Fantasy VII(Aside from the original game of course.), but love it or hate it, Crisis Core is probably the most important entry besides the original game itself. It’s a prequel to Final Fantasy VII that explains a lot of things in Final Fantasy VII’s plot like Sephiroths history, who Zack was, and how Cloud came into possession of the iconic buster sword. However, there is the problem of how old the game is and what platform it currently resides on: The PSP, if that tells you anything. If we were to get this game as something to hold us over until VIIR it would definitely have to be an in-depth remaster or a straight up PS4 remake. Of course, there is the problem of the rights to Gackt’s likeness that would need to be sorted out, but I’m not gonna get into that.

2) The Opening of Final Fantasy VII Remake

This may sound far-fetched at first, but when you take into account that Square Enix released Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae and later the Judgment Demo which were very large slices of the game made to both tide fans over and advertise the game/receive feedback, it makes this seem more possible. Fans are already wary of the episodic nature of the remake and they’re also not 100% on the new action-oriented combat system. Giving them something to reassure them that this remake will be worthwhile and fun to play would go a long way. The second trailer for the game showed that by December 2015 development of the game had progressed past the Guard Scorpion boss fight aka the infamous Bombing Mission opening, so it stands to reason that they could cut that out of the main game and give it to us as a demo.

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And that’s what I got on this front. If you have an alternate idea I’d love to hear it.