Final Fantasy VII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase revealed the reason why antagonist Sephiroth pops up earlier in the new game than the original game, and drew a comparison between the angel and the shark from Jaws (via Siliconera).
Yep. The tidbit comes from an interview published by Square Enix, with Remake’s co-director Naoki Hamaguchi and producer Yoshinori Kitase. Kitase worked on the original Final Fantasy VII, and although it is a remake, not everything is identical to the 1997 game. For instance, Sephiroth appears a lot earlier in the remake than in the original, and so his characterisation is slightly changed.
Kitase had two main motivations in doing so. “Firstly, the way we handled Sephiroth in the original Final Fantasy VII was to hide him—hold him back,” explained the producer. “You may not know this, but I was inspired by the movie Jaws which took a similar approach of teasing this powerful presence, but never fully showing you the shark until later in the story.” Thus, the original Sephiroth generated this “feeling of fear and oppression—so when he makes his first appearance, it’s a big deal.”
But, in recreating a twenty-year-old game, the developer had to account for the time that has passed since the original. “Everybody knows who Sephiroth is!” laughed Kitase. “We didn’t think it would be as effective to have him held back until later on in the story.” Moreover, the character is a “massively overarching presence that looms over the whole Final Fantasy VII saga.” Square Enix “[made] sure that aspect of him was present in this first game in the project,” as Sephiroth has evolved in the canon and in players’ imaginations.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is out now for the PlayStation 4.