With only a few months away from what could be a juggernaut release in the gaming world, we’re curious about that gay scene and character in the game.
If you ask a series of gamers what new game release they’re looking forward to in the coming year, most would respond the Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4. Even younger gamers who never had the chance to play FFVII on the original PlayStation know of its name and legacy.
But as excited as everyone is for the March 2020 release, there are more questions than answers. Despite knowing when this game will release, we currently don’t know how much of the game will release. The original FF7 game was so big that it came in several CDs. With the new remake having updated graphics, game mechanics, and more, it’s no surprise that FF7R will be released in parts as well.
Except for this time, it’s most likely that the parts will come out separately and not altogether like in the original. Gaming distribution company Square Enix hasn’t shared the specifics on whether fans will get the whole game on March 3rd or just one of the parts. But it’s generally assumed it’ll only be a part of the game. As such, the next question is where “episode 1” will cut off.
Thanks to the new trailer released at the Tokyo Game Show last week, we now know that the Don Corneo storyline will at least be covered in part. That then brings up a new question for gaymers and LGBTQ media lovers. Will a questionable scene of the past be remade?
The Group Room Scene
Spoiler Warning: Plot details follow below.
In the original Final Fantasy VII, main character Cloud attempts to rescue his friend Tifa from the clutches of mafia member and Honey Bee pleasure house owner Don Corneo. As such, he infiltrates the building to steal clothes and go undercover. It’s during his exploration of the room that the player can optionally enter “the group room.”
Once there, Cloud is cornered by a gay bodybuilder named Mukki and a gang of other men. Thinking Cloud is there to engage in some water sports, Mukki and his gang then coral him into the bathtub. Some questionable dialogue follows that implies that at the very least, Cloud is molested by the group of men.
“Isn’t bathing great? It soothes you. How is it buddy?” asks Mukki as the camera only shows the group of men’s heads submerged in water. “Feels good, huh?”
The player can then respond by saying “I don’t feel good. Let me out…” or “It hurts.”
Mukki then responds by saying, “You’ll get used to it. Try counting to ten.”
Cloud then continues to count down while Mukki asks him to stick around and join his Young Buddy’s Club.
“Daddy’s so lonely…”
Questionable and Uncomfortable
While the literal translation of the scene is that Cloud is in a crowded hot tub and uncomfortable with the closeness, there’s no question that the scene is meant to be a joke about gay sex. And that’s simply the problem. The entire scene is made to make a joke out of gay men and also to frame them as pedophilic, Mukki notes that Cloud is half his age, rapists.
Things get even worse later if Cloud enters the “&$#% Room.” The main character starts to experience a hallucination of himself and faints. He then wakes up in pain, but with his HP and MP restored. When he comes to, he is lying in bed with Mukki lying on top of him. Mukki hits him repeatedly in the face and yells at him to wake up. He notes how happy he is to see that Cloud is alright. He then tells Cloud to “give this next one his best shot” before leaving because his “time’s up.” The girl Cloud entered with apologizes by saying there are “a lot of adult things going on” and tries to compensate him for his trouble with a piece of clothing.
Again, the literal translation tries to play it off as Mukki was just helping a new friend in need. But the thinly veiled implication is that Cloud was somehow drugged and Mukki took advantage of him while unconscious.
This is a classic case of coded gay characters in Japanese storytelling that we’ve seen many times before.
But so what? This was a game released back in the 1990s. Clearly gay characters and representation were not where they are today. But, with a remake just around the horizon and the guarantee that we’ll at least start the Don Corneo and Honey Bee storyline, those mostly forgotten scenes are resurfacing in our minds.
On one hand, we hope that Square Enix will just not include the scenes and provide another route for gathering clothing in this covert mission. But on another hand, there are some on gaming forums and YouTube comments who make the argument that the scene should stay for the sake of posterity and honoring the original game. While the scene is unfortunate, its addition is in continuity with the original product that everyone wants to re-experience through enhanced visuals.
But that then begs the question, how would the updated graphics handle this questionable scene? How would having more realistic looking characters change the scene for the better and the worse? Will it be worth it or will it cause a major uproar. Knowing today’s social climate, most likely the latter.
So what will become of this scene in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake? Will Mukki swim on and return to plague our protagonist again, or will he be lost in time? We’ll find out when the Final Fantasy VII Remake drops on March 3, 2020.