Final Fantasy VII fans will always find something to be upset about, and today it’s the fact that Square Enix wants to take social changes into account when recreating certain scenes in the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Specifically, optional scenes set at the Honey Bee Inn, a kind of high-class brothel in Midgar. People think that the issue is an infamous scene where Cloud has to share a bathtub with a bunch of gay bodybuilders. Though, surely the entire Honey Bee Inn has to be handled carefully in order for the end result to be tasteful (and funny)?
The comments over at Siliconera are full of upset gamers whining about “censorship” and “political correctness”. They are asking why people today ar so thin-skinned that they are “triggered” by every little thing? (I am glad that there are also some commenters pointing out that the only people currently flipping out over small details … are the anti-PC brigade.
Now, here’s the thing. A lot of FF7 fans have been deluding themselves into thinking that a remake is a simple and quick affair where you just switch out the old graphics for new graphics and that’s it, the game will naturally retain its original atmosphere and identity.
But no. Having more realistic graphics means that Square Enix must replace the relatively broad, exaggerated animations of the original sprites with more nuanced body language – and with facial expressions. A remake of this caliber will always also be a reinterpretation of the story and characters, because the creators must decide in every cut scene whether a character is going to look worried, amused, afraid, bored, and how they will show this.
So it’s not as if Square Enix would be choosing to question the message and implications of the Honey Bee Inn scene. They have to. Not because evil SJWs are going to boycott them if they don’t, but because that’s what remaking the game actually means. Because they are retelling the story with new words and images and need to decide how exactly to do that in order to get the original, intended meaning across.
But yeah, the content at the Honey Bee Inn deals with sex work, homosexuality and kinky things. It is tricky stuff and should be done thoughtfully, because there is a real danger that these scenes, reinterpreted in a realistic and detailed style, would be offensive today – or that the humour would simply be lost.
Those anti-SJ martyrs should wait with their outrage until we actually see how Square Enix will have chosen to reinterprete these scenes. Maybe it will suck! Maybe it will be hilarious! Who knows? Yes, the average FF7 fan thrives on pessimism and negativity, but it feels like such a waste of energy to be preemptively upset over possible changes to an easter egg in a videogame remake.