Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Final Fantasy VII

If you ever sat around while you were playing Final Fantasy VII and found yourself wishing you could know the intricate details of the engine behind the game, then boy do we have a treat for you (and you most likely aren’t a lot of fun at parties). The Qhimm Team has put together what they call Gears: A look inside the Final Fantasy game engine. The document clocks in at 211 pages and is amazingly comprehensive, detailed, and incredibly well organized. Game engines typically don’t interest me that much as I like to focus on the actual playing the game part of the experience, but I started browsing this thing yesterday and when I looked up I was halfway in and had grown a full beard. Anything you could possibly want to know about the game engine is chronicled here, including an in depth look at the way the game manages memory, an astonishingly detailed account of the menu module, and the gritty intricacies of Chocobo breeding (in case you were looking for some late night reading to fill the void that 50 Shades of Grey left).

The most amazing thing is that this isn’t even the final version of their document.  If you scroll on down to the bugs section, you’ll find a large paragraph in what looks like drunken Latin.  My Latin is a little rusty, but Google Translate was able to alleviate my fears and indicates this is not some sort of ritualistic chanting that would summon Bahamut.  Turns out that this is just a sort of standard placeholder text, meaning that there are multiple sections in a document that is already over 200 pages that are either unfinished or incomplete.  This is absurd considering how well documented this thing is already, so presumably they’ll keep adding stuff as they come upon it.

Any huge Final Fantasy VII fan should definitely check this out if they have even the slightest interest in understanding how one of their favorite games worked. Just be sure to bring snacks, a canteen of water, and at least two Sherpa Indian guides, because there is a good chance you’re going to get lost in this.

  • inplainview

    I can attest to the problems the document states about the intial PC port of FF VII. However in the “Where are they now” section they should update so that it reflects the fact that you can now download FF VII at square’s PC download shop (on sale now too) with all the bugs fixed (from what it appears anyways. I’ve been playing through it but I’m not that deep in. I’ve only reached the first sequence at Kalm).

  • Nearlight

    Wow, that’s incredible. And it’s free. FF7 was the first game I played on the PSX back in my youth, and it’s still one of my favorite games despite the flaws. I’ve always wondered how the game mechanics work, especially with the GameShark codes to hack Aeris and Sephiroth into your party. Somehow the dialogue changes in certain parts? Thank you for writing this article, I’ll definitely give this a read!