Preparing for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth – Who is Zack Fair and what’s happening with the timeline?

Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth are two masterfully made retellings of the classic PlayStation RPG from 1997. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is the second entry in the Remake project and continues where the previous title left off, hopefully bringing answers to questions posed with it. Not only is this new sequel a nostalgic experience for veterans of the 90s original, but Square Enix has crafted it to be another perfect spot for newcomers to join Cloud and the gang. 

Regardless, the Remake project is bursting with intriguing stories, colorful characters, and rich lore. Here, we’ll reflect on the story so far, how Final Fantasy VII Remake differs from the original, and some of the mysteries it left us with.

Spoiler warning for Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Where we left off

Final Fantasy VII Remake took us down memory lane, beginning with Cloud’s first mission alongside the eco-terrorist group Avalanche and ending with the team leaving the steel skies of Midgar. But throughout this story, things happen differently from the original 1997 FFVII, following the constant theme of the antagonist Sephiroth’s proposed defiance of fate. 

This is further showcased by characters facing off against Whispers, ghost-like creatures that fight the characters to ensure they don’t deviate from the initial timeline. However, the Whispers fail at many points of the story, resulting in certain characters being depicted in a different way than the original game. One of those characters is Cloud’s brother-in-arms, Zack Fair.

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Who is Zack Fair?

He’s standing equal to Cloud in the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth game art, but who is this mystery man? Zack is one of the most essential characters in the series mythos, being the hero who kickstarts the legend of the title’s headlining character, Cloud Strife, before the events of the actual game. In the prequel game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and the original 1997 game, Zack Fair acts as a big brother and inspirational figure to Cloud. This fellow Soldier stood as a pillar to a girl with whom he had a fateful encounter, Aerith Gainsborough, and witnessed Sephiroth’s fall from grace.

In the original  Final Fantasy VII, Zack meets an untimely end protecting an incapacitated Cloud from a barrage of Shinra troops. The ending of Final Fantasy VII Remake showcases an opposite fate for the fallen Soldier, depicting him carrying an injured Cloud to Midgar after successfully defeating these Shinra troops, shrouding the diverging timelines of the Remake project in even more mystery.

An intermission between remakes

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Episode Intermission is an extra DLC episode for Final Fantasy VII Remake. This title takes place between Remake and Rebirth, serving as an introduction to one of Rebirth’s new party members, Yuffie Kisaragi. Fellow Wutain ninja, Sonon Kusakabe, accompanies her as they infiltrate Shinra to steal the ultimate materia and restore glory to Wutai.

Of course, nothing is that simple. Sonon meets his end, sacrificing himself to save Yuffie during the mission. The young Wutain is left to leave Midgar on a Chocobo to find allies to help her on her new mission to take down Shinra. She doesn’t know that she’s on a direct course to cross paths with our main heroes of Cloud and company.

This new addition doesn’t just add a new character but also the new Synergy Ability mechanic featured in Rebirth. Characters can now Synergize, which lets them team up to attack an enemy simultaneously with team attacks to stylishly rack up extra damage.

How the story continues in Rebirth

In Rebirth, our party goes from freedom fighting against Shinra to pursuing Sephiroth who seeks power that would doom the world. Not only have the stakes evolved, but the gameplay has, too. Rebirth introduces a much larger world outside Midgar to the Remake’s universe, giving players a much more non-linear adventure.

There are tons of quests, side content, and other World Intel objectives to tackle in various open, explorable regions. Characters can ride atop unique Chocobo types that excel in different biomes to quickly travel from place to place. Along with these additions, new playable characters join the party, like Yuffie, Red XIII, and Cait Sith, which means FFVII Rebirth is bursting with content to discover.

The iconic story continues in a big way with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Enter a larger reimagined Final Fantasy world on PlayStation 5 today.

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