I entered Episode Intermission in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade expecting a relatively standalone adventure. I was a fool, and should have predicted Square Enix would pull the rug out from beneath me with absurd plot revelations and surprises that lean heavily into exactly where the universe might be going next.
While Intermission remains a compelling adventure focused on Yuffie Kisaragi and her hunt for the Ultimate Materia, it’s also an uncompromising evolution of the game’s universe that courageously sets the stage for what’s to come in Final Fantasy 7 Remake 2. It assumes you’ve played the base game already and indulges in several new narrative revelations while expanding upon the original ending. There’s a lot to take in, so we’re going to break down the ending of Episode Intermission, explain exactly what it means for the wider reimagining, and speculate on where Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and Barrett could be headed next.
The final act of Intermission follows Yuffie and Sonon as they infiltrate Shinra HQ in search of the aforementioned materia. Unfortunately for them, the object is still in development, an unexpected twist made clear by Scarlet after you defeat her in battle. The true nature of this facility is far more sinister, with the darkest confines being home to Deepground, a bastion of experimentation that players will remember from Dirge of Cerberus. Yep, Vincent Valentine’s emo adventure is now canon in the world of Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Deep within the facility, Shinra is attempting to clone Weiss, a supremely powerful being who seems to be playing along with the company’s wishes, seemingly having more disturbing motives that are yet to be fully explored. Alongside him sits Nero, a more submissive villain who abides by the whims of his silver-haired master. He also acts as the final boss of Intermission, with Yuffie and Sonon forced to do battle with the gothic mastermind in what is a surprisingly tough confrontation. Once this battle starts, we don’t see much more from Weiss, left to ponder exactly what he’s up to. Dirge of Cerberus fans (all ten of them) will have a better idea of specifics, but even those could change dramatically once Final Fantasy Remake 2 rolls around.
After the fight with Nero concludes, Yuffie and Sonon rush towards a nearby elevator to escape. Before they can both make it inside, Sonon is pierced through the chest by several of Nero’s blades, blood spurting from his mouth as a painful death comes to greet him. It’s a heartbreaking moment as he begs Yuffie to run, to leave him behind and ensure their fight and the sacrifice of his fallen sister isn’t for nothing. In tears, our heroine accepts and rushes away, returning to the surface and pushing past myriad employees and news reporters while trying to distance herself from the tragedy that just occured. She stops at the edge of the road, just in time to witness the Sector 7 plate dropping as it crumbles the slums below into flames of urban nothingness. The true horror of Shinra has finally been revealed, and the playful ninja finds herself being forcibly thrown into adulthood.
From here, the screens fade to black, and we return to see Yuffie riding a chocobo across a sprawling landscape. She lays back, pointing to the sky before exclaiming that “The Amazing Yuffie wants you!” The credits roll, but it doesn’t end there – because post-credit scenes are all the rage nowadays. The next scene begins with Aerith, Tifa, Cloud, Barrett, and Red XIII walking down a dusty and lonesome road. They’re heading towards Kalm, the first town our party descends upon after escaping Midgar in the original game. It’s a full day’s walk away, and because nobody wants to do that much exercise, the gang decide to sit by the side of the road and try their luck at hitchhiking.
It’s an adorable sequence, and after a cutesy interaction between Aerith and Tifa, the crew manage to attract a van transporting Chocobos to a nearby farm. They jump onboard and finally make their way towards Kalm. With this, the wheels of Final Fantasy 7 Remake 2 are well and truly spun into motion. As they depart the van and walk towards Kalm it begins to rain, with Cloud asking Aerith if she’ll be okay with the journey they’re about to embark on.
She responds with positivity, but notes that her stomach is in knots due to circumstances she still can’t quite piece together. This dialogue fades into a new scene taking place outside Aerith’s local church, where Zack Fair is seen rehearsing lines before stepping inside, seemingly nervous about reuniting with his girlfriend after dying and being brought back to life. He’s not greeted with Aerith, but a number of citizens suffering from the dire straits that have befallen them. Before he can even react, the screen fades to black one final time.
This ending is far more substantial than anything I could have expected from Intermission, acting as somewhat of a prologue for the upcoming sequel as additional characters and situations are introduced which will undoubtedly be built upon in the months and years to come. Kalm has been confirmed as the next major location, showcasing that Remake 2 will continue the narrative structure of the 1997 classic, yet also isn’t afraid to deviate from it with the presence of Zack Fair’s revival and the complications that will inevitably arise from such a thing. Perhaps he and Cloud will be dual protagonists, or fate will continue to be reversed as Aerith survives her next encounter with Sephiroth and continues on to save the world. Anything can happen, and it’s so difficult to predict where it could all go.
It’s safe to assume that Yuffie Kisaragi is no longer an optional character, and will meet the party in Remake 2 and perhaps even become a permanent member of Avalanche. There’s also the inclusion of plot threads from Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus, both of which now exist as part of a single cohesive universe. There’s so much lore here to contend with that I wouldn’t be surprised if Remake 2 writes itself into a convoluted corner. But if the characters and personal connections between them remain emotionally meaningful, I’m not sure that will matter. I’m along for the ride, no matter how wild it becomes.
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