The World of Final Fantasy VII

Essays on the Game and Its Legacy


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Imprint or Series:Studies in Gaming

About the Book

Final Fantasy VII altered the course of video game history when it was released in 1997 on Sony’s PlayStation system. It converted the Japanese role-playing game into an international gaming standard with enhanced gameplay, spectacular cutscenes and a vast narrative involving an iconic cast. In the decades after its release, the Final Fantasy VII franchise has grown to encompass a number of video game sequels, prequels, a feature-length film, a novel and a multi-volume remake series. This volume, the first edited collection of essays devoted only to the world of Final Fantasy VII, blends scholarly rigor with fan passion in order to identify the elements that keep Final Fantasy VII current and exciting for players. Some essays specifically address the game’s perennially relevant themes and scenarios, ranging from environmental consciousness to economic inequity and posthumanism. Others examine the mechanisms used to immerse the player or to improve the narrative. Finally, there are several essays devoted specifically to the game’s legacy, from its influence on later games to its characters’ many crossovers and cameos.

About the Author(s)

Jason C. Cash is an associate professor at SUNY Delhi, where he teaches literature, composition, and film. His research interests include Irish fiction and video game narrative. He lives in Oneonta, New York.

Craig T. Olsen is an associate professor and director of the writing center at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. His areas of research include gaming literacy, music and storytelling within video games, multimodality, digital spaces, writing centers, and creative rhetoric.

Series editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell teaches American studies, anthropology, and writing at Pace University in New York.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jason C. Cash and Craig T. Olsen

Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 237
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8186-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4725-8
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Studies in Gaming

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Editors’ Note ix
Introduction: Let’s Mosey
Jason C. Cash 1

Disc 1: Narrative
The Bringer of Light Becomes the Fallen Angel: Sephiroth, Lucifer, and Frankenstein’s Creature
Ceschino P. Brooks de Vita 13
Angelus ex Machina: Economic and Environmental Justice in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Jason C. Cash 33
The Death of Aerith: Traumatic Femininity and Japan’s Postwar Modernity
Yasheng She 53
Fragile Materials: Memory and Ecology in Final Fantasy VII
Nickk Hertzog 68

Disc 2: Player Experience
“A body hast thou prepared me”: Algorithmic Suture, Gamic Memory, and (Co-)creating a Rhetorical Network of ­Identity-Trauma in Final Fantasy VII
Samuel Stinson 87
Final FantaSi’ VII: ­Role-Playing the ­Eco-Ethics of Laudato si’
Gregory D. Jones, Jr. 104
“Action combat trash”: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Control, and Combat Nostalgia
Indira Neill Hoch 122

Disc 3: Legacy
Very Superstitious Spoilers on the Wall: A Deep Read of Fan Reactions to Tragedy in Final Fantasy VII
Craig T. Olsen 141
“Because, you are … a puppet”: How Final Fantasy VII Anticipated the “Posthuman Turn”
Nicholas Langenberg 157
Square’s Lifestream: Examining the Impact of Final Fantasy VII Characters Across the Gaming World
Carlos Cruz 179
The Timelessness of Final Fantasy VII
Kathleen Morrissey 197
Conclusion: Where the Rail Takes Us
Craig T. Olsen 213

About the Contributors 219
Index 221