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News / 2006 / May / 19

Project G - Life imitates Nomura

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As the first of the 2006 Square Haven Editorial Prose of Doom series, affiliate homeboy duckroll's expos? muses on Japanese rockpimpstar Gackt's "contribution" to Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Note: Dirge of Cerberus spoilers abound

It had to happen, Nomura has come full circle. Sometimes I wonder if I'm out of touch with gaming and that this is what most people really want. Then I think for a moment, and a moment more, and I realize that no, this is definitely not what the majority of people want but simply what they have to live with. The reality is that most gamers don't think too much about what they play when they're not playing it, and while any flaw might bother them while the game is on, once the game is off they would likely move on with life and forget any misgivings they had with the game, ready to buy the next one. I guess this really only affects those of us who take gaming as a more serious hobby instead of just another form of entertainment, but yeah, it really sucks.

So what the fuck am I really talking about? Gackt's "contribution" to Final Fantasy VII, that's what. On a purely commercial and logical level, it makes perfect sense. Gackt is literally the closest thing on this planet to a Nomura design in the flesh. While most gamers in the West will not have experienced the full force of this "Project G" yet, Japanese FFVII fans have already experienced the first wave of it when Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII was released on the Playstation 2 early this year. While reactions were mostly mixed, and the game itself fairing poorly critically, the sales more than justified the half-assed effort Square Enix put into this third person shooter featuring Vincent in a post-Advent Children Midgar. That means Project G doesn't end there, it continues indefinitely!

So what is Project G? Project G is the worst nightmare of every hetrosexual male Final Fantasy VII fan unsure about his own sexuality. If you are still interested in maintaining a virgin spoiler-free view of the plot in Dirge of Cerberus for whatever reasons knowing full well that the game is and still will be complete shit when it hits American and European shores, then I suggest you stop reading now and come back to this article after you're done with the game. If you're a normal person like everyone else, read on and experience the horror of Project G.

Here's the main breakdown of Dirge's plot: Three years after Advent Children, Vincent encounters a group of special forces soldiers that resemble every other armored soldier group that Nomura has designed led by a group of stylish misfits that wouldn't look out of place in Kingdom Hearts II's Organization XIII. Eventually he discovers they work for a topless muscle-bound pretty guy with Goku's haircut whose weapon choice happens to be twin katanas. He also discovers this person is in fact Hojo, who survived Final Fantasy VII by transplanting his mind into another body. Now if you think that was really, really stupid, you should worry because that's not Project G. It doesn't even come close to the horror that is Project G. That is only a taste of what Nomura has in mind for the rest of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

You see, throughout the game in Dirge you can collect these mysterious reports scattered around similar to the Ansem Reports in Kingdom Hearts. These are the G Reports. What are they? They detail a top secret Shinra experiment pre-FFVII named Project G. Another attempt to create the super soldier and the perfect weapon. It is said that Project G is the only test subject that can stand against Project S. Sounds like a load of retro-continuity bullshit right? It gets better. If you complete the game with every single G Report collected, there's a bonus FMV at the end. It is here that Project G makes his first appearence. It is here where Square Enix felt the need to employ the special services of Gackt for full facial and motion capture. It is here where you see Gackt, decked out in full Nomura dresswear, belts and buckles galore, holding the body of the dearly departed "father" Hojo. It is here where you see Gackt fly away with one wing (which happens to be the exact opposite of Sephiroth's one wing) with parting words that pretty much cements his eventual return to the official mythos.

I wondered after the release of Dirge why Square Enix would spend all the time and money adding the G Reports and making that one single Project G FMV, when it did not factor in to the actual game at all. It was simply retro-continuity with no pay off. Well it turns out I was wrong! In the most recent issue of Dengeki Playstation and Famitsu, the first official screenshots of Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII were unveiled. The latest in the line of spin-offs, this time it's an action RPG set before FFVII starring the lovable soldier Zack. With the screens and characters revealed, it is clear that Sephiroth will not play a lead villain role this time, as he is still regarded as a great hero in Shinra at this period. Instead the story will dwell on other going-ons within Shinra which only Zack would have known about, including mysterious characters linked to the Project G being conducted. Woo Hoo! Uncontent with simply being a single offending FMV in PS2s everywhere, this century-old vampire rock star has decided he needs to invade gamers on-the-go as well!

Great job Square Enix, you've probably just sold about 400,000 copies of Crisis Core to raving fangirls everywhere who'll probably never understand why their boyfriends want to break the UMD into two viciously. Personally I never cared much for Final Fantasy VII, and thanks to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, I care even less. For everyone who cares, there's always: L+R BAIL OUT.


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pixel
that really doesent seem that bad..
sure it kinda stupid but its not like the complication doesent already suck.. i really dont think gackt can make it worse.
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I loved Final Fantasy VII, because it made me think. Orson Welles stated that a movie can't convey everything, because then the viewer will be unable to contribute anything of his/her own. I felt that FFVII demanded my imagination, my rumination, my time. It was good. I wouldn't have asked for anything past a remake, regardless of the feasibility of that avenue.

The problem, I think, with Compilation is that it's now being treated as a franchise. Final Fantasy VII is not a franchise. Final Fantasy is. Final Fantasy VII is rapidly turning into some bastard, in-bred cousin of Pokemon in this regard. Buy Pokemon Red, you still need to get Blue to catch them all. Buy Dirge of Cerberus, you need to catch them all again, only this time "them all" refers to the G reports. Then, you see a short little blurb with promises to come. That's not plot enrichment, that's a fucking teaser. The tease-ee is Crisis Core (hence my comparison to Pokemon). The theory seems to be that playing FFVII will make you want to know what the hell happens next, because the ending is so ambiguous. So then you see the movie, which is nothing but action scenes and about fifteen minutes of actual plot. Maybe the English dub is more comprehensible; I've only seen a Japanese subtitled. By now, Demographic Iteration #1457368 is feeling rather pissed off and unfulfilled. But wait! There's ANOTHER game that picks up AFTER Advent Children! Maybe that'll answer some questions! And then the teaser. Leading to Crisis Core, which answers the unasked question of what happened BEFORE FFVII to a character with little significance to the plot past validating Cloud. But apparently he had tons of significance to the plot, according the another game that apparently had tons of significance to the plot, neither of which were even ALLUDED to in FFVII.

But, whatever. I'll probably play through it like an idiot because of my sentimentality. It's like drinking shots; they're gambling to see how far they can go before the gamer community can't take it anymore.
pixel
Boooo!
pixel
They're just trying to tell a story about some Fantasy that's Final. That's all it is. They should have turned it into an anime to tell the story. I don't think the franchise is all that bad. I find it interesting that you play with different characters to tell their story.
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"Some Fantasy that's Final", huh. That's deep.
pixel
very profound, but my god Demosthenes is like a fucking dictionary of profound and contradictory statements.
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Demosthenes has something we like to call "verbal diarrhea". It's definitely worth having in the face of being illiterate and/or an analphabete like most buttmunches here, but on the other hand, I'm not sure I've read anything of his without falling asleep after the thirteenth paragraph.
pixel
Booooo!!
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Mmm. Does that mean ToU is fair game from the 14th paragraph on?
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at least Demosthenes' affliction is better than Rahul's "facial diarrhea".
It's so much more of a contribution to this community to have a valid, comprehendable point than it is to be an irrelevant, sticky-fingered child like many are around here.
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Thank you for the support!

This is completely random, but that's fine by me. It is also no new news, nor great insight. Also fine. The most humanitarian thing that Jack Thompson could do would be to play Manhunt, admit that his predilections towards psychosis remain at their constant high, no greater no lesser, and that he was wrong. Then, be afflicted with a stroke to render him speechless for the rest of his days and have his license to practice law revoked, all in the interest of paying off his karma deficit.

/endfrivoloty
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pixel
Facial diarrhea? Fuck you, Matt! At least I don't look like a monkey!
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vip
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Word.
pixel
yeah, i'm just asking demosthenes to just tune it down a bit. Some people can't comprehend the extraordinary large words.

I not being one of them.
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I'll not demean myself for the sake of others who could just as easily figure it out. If people are too lazy to not comprehend, then they don't deserve to know what's going on.
pixel
That would be me then.
pixel
cmon, have some compasion for the common man.
pixel
Yea compassion mate! Compassion!
Demosthenes can write wateva he wants, but maybe his got too much spare time on his hands. I never read anything he says. oh, and Nomura Rocks.
pixel
ok the first step to self pride is: ?????????????
pixel
meh, gotta milk the cow while it's still on board right? OK That made no sense, I meant that SE is just trying to do what they can before they make that one game that'll end SE hahaha. I love Se and everything, but enoughs enough. As far a DOC goes, let them, it's not like we have to but the damn retarded game. It's SE that's killing themselves, and besides when you got an advantage to make money, why not? I mean if I had the oppotunity to make some extra profit, why not?
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Er... what? SE aren't killing themselves. They're making more cash than ever. The problem is that they're dirty sell-outs who'd include their mom in the game if it meant more sales.
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Whores, in other words.
pixel
Yeah, I guess you are right Rahul, but I mean, that's okay in the business world that is. But what I meant was that SE may have cash but, Lately a lot of their games haven't felt very satisfying. I mean they sell, but once I complete them, I'm like, "Meh, now what?" Is it me, or has it been like that since FFX? I dunno, maybe it's just that SE is changing too fast for me. hahahaha I'm too old school perhaps. OR maybe I'm referring to the strange direction the FFs have taken. The last satisfying FF I played was FFX, X-2 was just weird, and FFXI was so-so. I hope FFXII can make up for it. Actually it's been so long since I checked on that game is it getting good ratings?
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Well, there's been a lot of change inside the company since FFX. So it's not surprising that we feel that change in their games as they go through that period of mixing around their development teams and processes. I think it'll stabilise soon enough and I think that games like Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy XII took so long partially because they didn't want to let them out the door until they'd figured themselves out as well as the game.
pixel
Clearly they're still figuring things out...but it's getting better. I wonder what Taito's doing???
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supposedly mario hoops is pretty fucking great.
pixel
Fuck whoever curses the name of any Final Fantasy VII spin off. Get over your faliure to suspend reality asshole. It's a god damn video game, an interactive story so don't bitch about it duckroll
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Yeah duckroll. Shitty Final Fantasy VII fan splurge spinoffs are holy!
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