Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Could Be Setting Up A Wild Zack Twist

Image: Square Enix
Image: Square Enix

Despite what the creative team at Square Enix would have us think, Destiny and Fate probably still have a major role to play in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and beyond. Even though SOLDIER Zack Fair seems to have escaped death and joined the rest of the cast in a new timeline, the most likely outcome is a totally different—but equally tragic—twist of fate.

Pre-order Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

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Producer Yoshinori Kitase has confirmed already that Zack plays a bigger role in FF7 Rebirth than the original game.

“Within the original Final Fantasy 7, Zack Fair doesn’t appear as much,” Kitase told IGN in a September 2023 interview. “As for Rebirth, there will be a new episode with Zack that will contain even more of him than the Remake. I’m not able to say much more than this as I would like for players to play and experience this with it in their own hands.”

Cloud and Zack stand on either side of Sephiroth in this FF7 Rebirth Key Art
Cloud and Zack stand on either side of Sephiroth in this FF7 Rebirth Key Art

How is all of this going to shake out exactly? Well, Rebirth Creative Director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed on the official PlayStation blog in September 2023 that the second part of the trilogy ends at the Forgotten Capital, which is where Sephiroth kills Aerith while she’s trying to the White Materia to summon Holy.

“The future — even if it has been written — can be changed,” Aerith says in the June 2022 First Look Trailer for Rebirth. The original timeline has already been “written,” so to speak, which is why the Whispers strove to preserve this specific future. In other words, events can and should play out as they originally did except for in instances where characters make different choices.

The Whispers may not be around anymore to ensure that everything goes exactly according to plan, but it’s all but certain that Aerith will still try to summon Holy herself and be threatened by Sephiroth. Assuming everybody exists in the same continuity, what will Zack be doing while Cloud and friends pursue Sephiroth? In all likelihood, after arriving at the Sector 5 Church in the post-credits scene of the Remake Intergrade INTERmission chapter starring Yuffie, he’ll try to track Aerith down.

A fittingly tragic culmination of all this could be for Zack to finally catch up to Aerith at the end of the game in the Forgotten Capital just in time to push her out of the way and take the hit himself. The Whispers may not be around to ensure that Zack dies, but his continued existence in the timeline presents all sorts of cosmic continuity issues. This could be the perfect tragic ending to Rebirth that inspires Aerith and Cloud to continue their mission to stop Sephiroth in a way that thematically echoes the original without getting too convoluted. In this fashion, Aerith could successfully summon Holy to stop Meteor earlier than in the original, but who knows what kind of repercussions all of this would have.

Is it fair for him to make the ultimate Zackrifice? Probably not, but something about it feels fitting nevertheless.

Pre-order Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop


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