Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s new relationship system can ‘alter portions of the story’

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Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth features a brand new relationship system that allows you to review your bonds with characters. 

The upcoming sequel to Final Fantasy 7 Remake is set to modernize a ton of features from the original 1997 title, including battle mechanics, cutscenes, locations, and more.

One of those locations is the Gold Saucer and, if you’ve played the original, it features a fan-favorite moment that allows you to go on a date with a party member. The options can be between Tifa, Aerith, Barrett, and Yuffie, however in the original game, the person who shows up to your date is vaguely based on dialogue choices. 

With Rebirth, the game has introduced a new Bonds of Friendship system that will allow players to check the status of their relationships leading up to the event so there’s no mystery behind your date night.

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“In the original Final Fantasy 7, [the affinity level system] wasn’t made visible to the player at all,” said Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth director Naoki Hamaguchi in a recent interview with IGN. “…And that worked in the first game obviously because you didn’t know the date scene was coming up. 

“But obviously for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, a lot of people understand that there’s that very famous date scene on the gondola coming. So because people sort of know where this is heading, if it was still kept in the dark and they didn’t know roughly what level of affinity they were with each character, this could be quite stressful for the players.”

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At one point in the story, Aerith asks Cloud to gp on a date to Kalm’s clock tower which will introduce the Bonds of Friendship system to the player. The system will also “alter portions of the story” according to the tutorial and Hamaguchi adds that when you do a side quest, the game will tell the player which character the quest will “affect your relationship with.”

So it seems there’ll be plenty of opportunities for Cloud to bond with his party leading up to the infamous Gold Saucer date. Players can also check their relationship status whenever they like to ensure they’re on the right path as they engage in side quests in towns and settlements. 

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In our preview, TRG staff writer Cat Bussell says: “Not only does it [the system] add another layer of play, but it’s also reminiscent of the hidden affinity values in the original.”

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launches on February 29 exclusively for PS5.

For more, check out our list of the best JRPGs along with our picks of the best PS5 games.

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