The Reverse Design series looks at all of the design decisions that went into classic video games. This is the fifth installment in the Reverse Design series, looking at Final Fantasy VII. Written in a readable format, it is broken down into eight sections examining some of the most important topics to the game:

  1. How latter-day critics have misunderstood the artistic goals of Final Fantasy VII
  2. How RPG history began to diverge significantly after 1981, allowing for the creation of specialized RPGs like Rogue, Pokemon, and especially Final Fantasy VII
  3. How Final Fantasy VII does not abandon complexity in its systems, but simply moves that complexity to the endgame to aid the narrative elements of the game


Key Features

  • Comprehensive definitions of key concepts and terms, introducing the reader to the basic knowledge about the study of RPG design
  • Summary of historical context of Final Fantasy VII going all the way back to Dungeons & Dragons
  • Extensive collections of data and data visualizations explaining how Final Fantasy VII’s systems work, how they are organized to prioritize exploration, and how they interlock in a positive feedback loop that peaks at the end of the game
  • Chapter 1 Final Fantasy VII and the History of RPGs

    Chapter 2 Narrative and Design

    Chapter 3 Quantitative Analysis of the Game Script

    Chapter 4 Game Difficulty and the Four Phases of FFVII

    Chapter 5 Finding Complexity in Wide Levels

    Chapter 6 Enemy Archetypes

    Chapter 7 The Design of Towns and Dungeons

    Chapter 8 Music and Design

    Chapter 9 Conclusion