NOTE: THE FOLLOWING BLOG WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS ABOUT THE ORIGINAL FINAL FANTASY 7 FOR PS1. THOUGH YOU PROBABLY KNOW THE MAJOR TWIST WE'RE DISCUSSING, YOU WERE WARNED!
No, we're not talking about the cross dressing scene, but that I think they should leave in because it's freaking funny, especially what happens right after the Don gets questioned ("if you don't tell us, we'll castrate you in many ways").
However, what I'm talking about is what many considered the scene that changed how many view video games. Yes, the death of Aerith, or Aries, or whoever you named her. In case you were living under a rock these past 15 or so years, let's do a refresh:
The team is pursuing the Jenova clones on the way to the Northern Crater, with Cloud having multiple personality episodes that make keeping the Black Materia, which can be used to summon the cataclysmic Meteor to shatter the world. En Route, Aerith knows she can do something to stop it (which becomes the Holy spell) and heads to the Forgotten City on her own. When you get there, she's preying, and Cloud fights to keep himself from having another episode and beheading her. Suddenly, Sephiroth, in one of the most famous video game scenes of all time, does a "do I have to do all the work myself" moment and skewers Aerith to her death with his long katana. Of course, it's Jenova Life that did this, which you then have to fight with the sad music in the background. The cutscenes later (which also concludes Disc 1) are some of the more poetic moments of the game, and the constant reminder that she was a person in your party - one of the main characters - that is permanently absent is one that had many believing and hoping that there was some way to bring her back.
Note that, in the defense of those that thought there was some way to do that, the game opened up that possibility the way that two more party members, Tifa and Cloud, also became absent for a while during the course of Disc 2 during that whole Lifestream bit that confused more people that a Metal Gear plot would.
But the talk with the current remake, now a reality, of FF7 is if they would change that cross dressing scene (because we're in an age where anything can be deemed offensive just because someone wants to piggyback those issues for PR points). But what we SHOULD be asking is if Square would change the scene that kills Aerith to have the opportunity to save her. To have her with you the rest of the game legitimately. In other words, Sephiroth doesn't succeed in killing her.
Many would scoff right away at the idea, and I wouldn't blame them. It had so much of an impact that it changed how people saw cutscenes and storyline elements in games. It had an emotional connection to gamers. But hear me out on this one: they should at least give gamers the option to try, and to have the game's story take a different turn if she is saved.
I said to hear me out before you keyboard warriors begin your assault, now. The player would have a set amount of time to get to where she is, where, if they make it, they can stop the attempted murder. If unsuccessful, the game continues as it did in the original, but if successful, then the story takes a shift of how she would react to someone trying to kill her, to what Cloud does later, the blossoming relationship that formed between her and Cloud, and, gameplay wise, how the player uses her for the rest of the game (face it: you wanted to actually SEE what Great Gospel did, did you?).
The reasons, though, are not what you expect. I'm not one of those people that was obsessed over this whole thing, but I think this could be an awesome thing to try for the remake. For one, this would be a different tale for those that have played the original countless times, and know the story by heart. They know what to expect, and thus, no surprises for them. But what if there was a surprise in there. A carrot to dangle in front of them as an option to see the what if in action. What WOULD happen to Holy had she survived? What about all those storylines that would be changed? How would the player change their strategy for the later fights (like the Carry Armor battle)? It would definitely serve as a reason for players who aren't expecting anything different story wise to really pay attention. I think it would be really fun to do.
But a more stable reason is this: we have become a group of gamers who value storylines that give us choices and letting us see the consequences of those actions taking place. Mass Effect, Infamous, GTA5, and even the WWE 2K games have given us the option to choose the stories we want to take, and the paths we decide to make. We value replayability more now than ever before. When FF7 first came out, that wasn't even in our thought process that we would want that much of a choice in a game. Maybe there was something small, seeing as how everyone looked for a way to revive Aerith (wondering why the crap the party never thought of using a Phoenix Down on her), but not in the way we EXPECT it now! We don't want anything to be linear anymore. Though we believe we do with the amount of open world games that are out there, the fact is that we want to have that choice. We want to feel as though we are in control of our own destinies within the games we play, even though the developers are still in a manner of trying to tell us the stories they want to tell us. In the case of FF7, the simple fact that you can get that choice (and perhaps others if we're going that route) would be very enticing, and would breath new life, no pun intended, into the story and would give the player a choice of how to progress. You don't HAVE to save her, but for those that want to, they are given the additional challenge of getting to the place on time (hey, another thing you can try to achieve, too).
Of course, could and WILL are two separate things, and I don't expect everyone to agree with me, in part or in whole. But I believe this change would be very beneficial. I'm interested in hearing what all of you think. You think we should be given that option? What could be gained, if anything, from changing this up? Would love to know your thoughts (mind the date this was published, though: N4G has a time limit to when you are allowed to comment on a particular article before it's closed for any more).