Review of “500 Years Later: An Oral History Of Final Fantasy 7”

This book delves deep into the creation of a timeless classic, Final Fantasy 7, one of the most legendary video games ever made. The creation of this game is viewed with mystery and gravitas, but through interviews and retrospectives, many details regarding its creation have been revealed. “500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy 7” takes it a step further with stories from multiple developers, bespoke illustrations, and a keen understanding of the game’s legacy. The book explores the companies and individuals that made the birth of Final Fantasy 7 possible, with insights from series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and other key figures in the industry.

It chronicles the historic battle between Sony and Nintendo at the dawn of 3D graphics, the early technologies, and trade show demos, and the balance between visual spectacle and budgetary realism. The book includes anecdotes from series producer Yoshinori Kitase, providing a personal and nostalgic insight into the game’s development. It also features perspectives from companies like Eidos and Nintendo, highlighting the backstage politics of hardware and publishing deals. The book covers the game’s evolution from a humble 2D success to a global juggernaut that changed the realm of video games.

The developers’ personal feelings and experiences are interwoven with technical details, providing a deep understanding of the game’s creation. Despite the technical jargon, the personal and engaging storytelling makes it an insightful read. The book also highlights the unprecedented speed at which Final Fantasy 7 was developed, pushing boundaries and techniques that were ahead of their time. It chronicles how RPGs evolved into their current form and continues to change in the shadow of this timeless titan.

Overall, the book explores the history of Final Fantasy 7 in fascinatingly personal detail, making it a valuable read for fans of the game.

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