In a detailed article, Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi from the Final Fantasy 7 Remake team explains how the designers and developers approached the monster task of reinterpreting the city of Midgar for the first episode. For the heart of the city, the Shinra building, an important building was used: the Square Enix office building in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Ever since exploring Midgar in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Episode 1, have you wondered how the developers actually managed to assemble such a large city from the 2D environment of the original? Not at all, writes co-director Naoki Hamaguchi in his latest post on the Square Enix blog. Because in the original Final Fantasy 7 the city was so illogically structured in its individual parts that none of it could really be transferred into a 3D environment. Accordingly, the Midgar metropolis had to be rethought.
Source: Square Enix
The designers and developers started by setting a standard that also appears realistic. Starting from Shinra headquarters in the heart of the city, the areas of all the visible sectors must eventually make sense. Therefore, unsurprisingly, one of the Square Enix office buildings served as a template: "We took an aerial photo with the roof of the Square Enix office building in Tokyo's Shinjuku district in the center. We laid diagrams of Midgar over it, with the Square Enix roof as the Placeholder for the Shinra building, "said Hamaguchi. "This comparison with reality allowed the developers to imagine the dimensions of Midgar, and they could use this aerial photograph as a reference point for our consideration of how closely we should put together the most realistically proportioned buildings."
Source: Square Enix
The individual areas of the city should again have their own identity and charm, if possible; The top plate of Sector 7 is more reminiscent of a typical working-class district, while the Wallmarkt was influenced by the Kabukicho district in Shinjuku. However, attention was also paid to details that one or the other player probably won't notice: "We also realized that the lighting would play a central role in differentiating the areas. Mako reactor 1, for example, is the oldest Mako reactor most of the light here looks like it's coming from mercury vapor lamps that have been around for a long time, "writes Hamaguchi. "In contrast, Mako Reactor 5 is comparatively new. The light here is mostly slightly bluish, like that of LEDs." The game developers also had a lot of fun with the design of posters and grafitti. The entire contribution to the creation of Midgar can be found on the Square Enix blog. If you're still toying with the purchase of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Episode 1, then maybe treat yourself to the current PSN sale.
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