I was sure that Final Fantasy VII was to end on an ambiguous note. Did they survive? Did the all perish? The Final Fantasy VII Remake is going to miss from this ambiguity. Well, maybe not for newcomers.
But I also thought that Final Fantasy VII & VIII were connected, in a sense that the latter was most likely a sequel to the former. At least, this is what I thought during my first playthrough. Final Fantasy VII, like many others, was my first Final Fantasy game.
I had the misconception that they all roughly followed each other in a linear progression. Final Fantasy VIII was a steampunk industrial post-apocalyptic dystopia. Final Fantasy VII was like a hyper-realistic futuristic cyber-utopia. But once Final Fantasy IX came out, I found that each Final Fantasy is actually a stand-alone title.
Are the worlds of FFVII and FFVIII the same, separated by millions of years? There are a lot of similarities to dissect here. The first and most obvious are the shapes and general layouts of the three main continents. Midgar ends up on the Galbadian continent, near Obel Lake or the D-District Prison. The Deep Sea Research Center lies directly on top of the lost island where you find the Knights of the Round Materia.
Kalm and Winhill are in about the same place. The Centra continent covers Bone Village, the City of the Ancients, and the Northern Crater. It looks like Wutai and the The Nibelheim continent collided, trapping a ton of salt water to create the Great Salt Lake and the site of Esthar. Mideel looks like it merged with the Galbadian continent near Dollet, but the island containing the former Temple of the Ancients drifted and froze over to form the Shumi Island.
So next I went to the Final Fantasy Wikia. I searched for any allusions to Final Fantasy VII.
Of course some exist:
Unfortunately for this theory, not in the same area. But who knows if islands drifted due to continental shifts in the geography.
The Deep Sea Research Center, also known as Battleship Island, is a hidden island located far out in the middle of the ocean, in the south-west corner of the world map of Final Fantasy VIII. It is an abandoned, half-sunken laboratory formerly used to research draw effects, however, other, less commonly known research may have been going on.
Different corners of the map.
If the player completes all chocobo forests, the chocobos present in the Sanctuary dance and reward the player the chicobo’s Triple Triad card. This is a nod to Final Fantasy VII, when dancing chocobos give the player the Choco/Mog Materia at the Chocobo Farm.
Then, Chocobos have similar dances throughout the world.
The greens exist in both games.
There is a shop in Esthar City named “Cloud’s shop”, a reference to Final Fantasy VII main protagonist Cloud Strife.
One thing that would contradict this theory is Cloud. Keep in mind that in Japan, there are businesses that have been in operation for at least a thousand years. Japan is the inspiration for many of these Final Fantasy games. But if this were the future of Final Fantasy VII, all of the human’s would have died. Cloud wouldn’t have descendants to carry on his legacy. But Squall could have been a descendant of Cloud. Speakings of similarities between Cloud and Squall.
But the game doesn’t follow this connection. Neither would it for Seifer and Yuffie.
Elements from monsters carry over, such as:
During Eden’s summon animation, the Ptolemy celestial diagram floats in space. This is actually taken directly from Safer∙Sephiroth‘s Supernova animation from Final Fantasy VII. Although likely a reuse of assets, it may also work as an allusion.
Maybe Cloud strife faced, and lost, against Ultima Weapon. Maybe Final Fantasy VII is actually a past world of Final Fantasy VII?