FFVII Remake director reveals he had snuck his beloved pet cat into the game

In Final Fantasy VII Remake, a cat modeled after Director Naoki Hamaguchi’s beloved pet cat makes an appearance. Hamaguchi himself has now confirmed the fact, revealing photos and the name of the feline muse. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake is a title that faithfully recreates the original PlayStation title Final Fantasy VII. The remake revamped the game’s graphics to full 3D and transformed the turn-based combat into an action-based system.

Final Fantasy VII Remake is the first part of what is planned to be a trilogy, and it tells of the events up until Cloud and the gang leave Midgar. While faithfully tracing the original, the remake incorporates unique new elements and has received high acclaim. 

Now, approximately three and a half years after the game’s release, Director Naoki Hamaguchi has shared some details about an “anecdote” related to the game. This anecdote revolves around a stray cat near Jessie’s childhood home. In Chapter 4 of the main game, Avalanche’s members visit Jessie’s childhood home in the Sector 7 residential area, where Cloud is left waiting on the porch for a while. Apparently, one of the stray cats that passes over the fence during this moment is modeled after Hamaguchi’s beloved cat. 

Image Credit: 浜口直樹氏 on X 

This information had also been revealed in an official development blog post published in July 2022. However, it wasn’t Hamaguchi, the owner, who disclosed this anecdote, but Senior Assistant Producer Yuma Watanabe. According to Watanabe, when they were looking for a model for the cat, they ended up borrowing a photo of Hamaguchi’s American Shorthair, which led to the implementation of the cat in the game. 

Now, Hamaguchi himself revealed the name and photo of the beloved cat that served as the model. His name is Musashi-kun, a dignified and noble-looking cat. Comparing the real thing to the in-game counterpart, you can tell how faithfully Musashi-kun’s fur was reproduced. 

In addition to the Musashi-kun model, the game features many other scenes with cats. The modeling of these distinct and high-quality cats was one of many noteworthy aspects of the game. It’s likely the photos provided by Hamaguchi of Musashi-kun were also used in creating these cat models. 

Additionally, according to Watanabe, the development team loves cats (and dogs). Their dedication to using real cats as models may have arisen from the team’s love for animals. As Hamaguchi will continue to be the director for the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, it will be interesting to see whether his attention to animal depictions will show in the new release as well. 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is scheduled to be released for the PlayStation 5 on February 29, 2024. 

Written by. Remi Morisawa based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-10-30 15:29 JST) 


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