: the next rare interview from V Jump's special February 15, 1997 issue is with Tetsuya Nomura. Involved not only with character design but overall planning and scenario, Nomura discusses FFVII's highlights and shares some of his art. (Scans from
Although Nomura didn't let the constraint of polygons affect his initial character designs for FFVII, when it came time to model them, he had to change various aspects and give detailed instructions. (Image text: "Remote control antenna"; "This shoulder is a little bigger")
Nomura says he was mindful to draw monsters that felt at home in FFVII's futuristic world, eschewing more medieval designs. The switch to CD-ROMs allowed for much more enemy variety and a reduction in palette swaps, which was something Sakaguchi wanted to do away with entirely.
FFVII marked the first time Nomura had a hand in the scenario. Although he didn't personally write it, he came up with the base ideas. FFVII's plot went from staff brainstorming, to a write up by Kitase, to Nojima's dialogue. Sakaguchi's message of "life" made it the deepest yet.
Nomura wondered if there were a way to leverage the embattlement and frustration players feel when facing hard-hitting enemies. He landed on the concept of limit breaks, and gave each character unique moves to highlight their individuality.
Nomura was also responsible for FFVII's summon storyboards. Despite his over-the-top sequences (especially Knights of the Round, which clocks in at over a minute), the staff were able to implement them as breathtaking 3D animations. Two of his favorites are Titan and Ifrit.
FFVII is a game with highly unique characters who are all concealing inner feelings and parts of their identity—Cloud his sense of inferiority; Tifa her dependency; Red XIII his immaturity; Barret his fraudulence; Aerith her anxiety and pain as a lone Ancient; and so on.
Nomura was able to do everything he wanted with FFVI's final boss, so with VII, he wanted to aim higher and create a spectacle more amazing than any in the series. He reworked things up until the last second, including the ending, which he says is unprecedented in all of gaming.