A year after the launch of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix has given us Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade — an expanded version of the game featuring an additional episode, known as Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode INTERmission.
This new episode occurs eight chapters into the main game and features the adorable Wutaian ninja Yuffie as the main character. It only has around 5 or so hours of additional story content, assuming you avoid doing anything other than rushing through the main quest, but has much more to offer should you look for it. If you’re a completionist looking to get that Platinum trophy, much like myself, the game offers a good 10 hours of content or more.
Final Fantasy VII Intergrade and Episode INTERmission is most definitely something more than just some DLC content to hold us over until the release of Remake Part 2 — the latter does a lot to expand on Yuffie and her motivations throughout the story of FF7 Remake.
Around the time Yuffie’s story begins, our main party has travelled to the Sector 5 Mako Reactor and beaten the Air Buster, and Cloud has been separated from Tifa and Barret, only to later wake up in Aerith’s church. Enter Yuffie! She has departed from Wutai on a secret mission: a mission to steal a rumoured “Ultimate Materia” that the evil Shinra Corporation is developing.
After Yuffie makes her way into the Sector 7 slums and meets with her accomplices, we are introduced to Sonon, a new character and fellow Wutaian who keeps Yuffie company as she goes off on her mission. I was somewhat hesitant with regards to Sonon upon seeing the trailers for Intergrade; however, after playing through the game I found myself quickly feeling attached to the character. He is exactly what Yuffie needed, and complements her overly rambunctious personality perfectly — he is something of a straight man in their comedy duo.
Even as a lover of the original Final Fantasy VII, I can admit that Yuffie’s motivations for joining Cloud and the party are probably the weakest when compared to someone like Vincent Valentine, the other optional character. Throughout all of Final Fantasy VII Remake, however, much of the history of Final Fantasy VII is rewritten slightly — and Wutai is much more important than it was in the original 1997 game.
Yuffie still retains her materia-focused mindset and we already know of her hatred towards Shinra. But throughout Intergrade we get to see Yuffie witness the maliciousness of Shinra and its leading members firsthand — including the ways in which it affects not only her but those close to her. She feels the impact of the Sector 7 Plate falling and crushing the slums below it the same way our main party members did. And without spoiling, but still alluding to something in the future, Sonon will definitely have an important part to play in Yuffie’s story throughout the rest of Remake.
At the end of the day though, Yuffie remains the adorable, bubbly, childish ninja that everyone loves. I can’t wait to see more of Yuffie and her interactions with the other party members in Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2.
Intergrade’s teases towards the future
For those who at least watched the trailer for Intergrade, you will know that both Weiss and Nero are present within this game — confirming the addition of narrative content from Compilation of Final Fantasy VII to the story of Remake. I will avoid going into further detail about who these characters are — but it’s fairly concrete evidence that many more surprises could be in store.
Playing throughout Intergrade as Yuffie is a ton of fun, as she wields her windmill shuriken and moves around at high speeds, while Sonon offers a supportive tank role of provoking enemies and keeping them away from Yuffie. While this is fun on its own, Intergrade introduces a whole new mechanic to the combat system that gets me excited for the future of Final Fantasy VII Remake: Synergy.
By tapping the L2 button, Yuffie and Sonon “synergise”, and this alters the way in which Sonon acts, along with introducing a whole new strategy towards fighting enemies. While synergised, whatever commands the player inputs for Yuffie will be mirrored by Sonon. This means that you can focus more on ranged combat if you feel like it, then zoom forward and switch to close range to have the two team up.
There are also new ATB abilities that turn Yuffie’s abilities into much more powerful versions. To top it all off, there is a new type of materia that allows for Yuffie and Sonon to perform a new unique attack: the Ninja Cannonball! This ability not only looks awesome, but it has massive benefits when used in synergised combat with your party member, such as increasing the ATB meter — which in turn leads to more frequent use of the new synergised abilities.
If you love Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake, this game was made for you — literally. It expands upon character motivations, adds backstory, creates new relationships both good and bad, and finally, it lets us play as a fan-favourite character who is the polar opposite to the main game’s aloof, Buster Sword-wielding spiky boy.
With not only the addition of an extra story, but also the Fort Condor mini-game, new box-breaking challenges, and even more VR combat simulator missions, Intergrade has a good chunk of content to offer fans who love the world of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
As of writing this, I have already beaten Intergrade twice, and have my Platinum trophy. That should give you an idea of how much I enjoyed it!
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is available now, exclusively for PS5.
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