Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
Having Yuffie as a party member in Final Fantasy VII will lead to one of the most annoying side quests in the game. When you acquire the Tiny Bronco for the first time, Yuffie will advise you head West. If you follow her advice, then you can visit the town of Wutai.
Yuffie will steal all of the party’s Materia and run off with it. This will start a quest that involves reclaiming all of your Materia, and you won’t be allowed to return to the main quest until you have visited Wutai. The enemy of this quest is Don Corneo, who is a minor enemy from the start of the game. You have to team up with the Turks in order to squash Don Corneo and get all of your Materia back.
The lack of Materia throughout the quest is a form of artificial difficulty that slows everything down and forces you to rely on items. Wutai is the most frustrating quest in the game. If it is going to come back for the remake then it needs to be altered in order to make it less annoying.
I remember how annoying this sidequest was back when I first played Final Fantasy VII. It truly was somewhat of a pain to navigate through. Sure, it’s an fun break from the main game, but none of your characters have time for this. We the players don’t have time for this either. We’re trying to save the world, and some ninja girl makes off with all of our Materia? Please. We could definitely do without this now…
And by do without, I mean Yuffie’s childishness from the point of the characters, not the sidequest itself. I can admit, it grew on me. And it was in the original game, so it still holds a place in my mind for nostalgia. Take it from X7Strife, who said:
I love this sidequest, simply because it proved that the game had the guts to show the player the middle finger. I mean when a girl steals your materia, you are supposed to be a little pissed and things arent supposed to be convenient for. Other than that, it was a very non-contrived way to introduce Wutai and its culture as well as Yuffie’s motives…so no
That’s right. The same game that kills one of your party members makes another act against your characters’ best interest. Why? Why not! The amount of depth to the character interaction is cool. It shows that as a team, they don’t all get along. Sometimes, we suffer consequences of adding new people you don’t know if you can fully trust your party. And what a pretty cool way to set up the introduction to a new town. I agree this should stay.
But Scott isn’t talking about getting rid of the sidequest. He’s talking about getting rid of the option to go to Wutai altogether! What? Why would anyone cut Wutai? And if this is about nostalgia, why would we the player not want to go to Wutai? That’s ridiculous.
Of course, Scott is open to the possibility of altering it to make it less annoying. But then again, that’s the point. And the Materia quest isn’t the only thing Wutai has to offer. Wutai’s a new town that gives background for Shinra’s international schemings. Plus, we can participate in more side quests: the Pagoda battles, the Turtle Paradise flyers, and the Materia Cave.
But just imagine how retrieving the stolen Materia would be in the remake? Part of what made that sidequest difficult for me was looking for your Yuffie in a tiny screen. Now imagine the Wutai Village in full HD, rather than a pre-rendered screen. Imagine wading through people to catch a cringy Yuffie hiding in places she obviously shouldn’t. We’ll get to feel the frustration the characters felt as they frantically search all around for Yuffie.
If anything, they make sidequest longer by giving her more hiding places.