Final Fantasy VII is without a doubt the breakthrough entry in the Final Fantasy franchise as far as worldwide appeal goes. Without that entry, who knows where Final Fantasy would be on a worldwide scale at this point. No matter how you feel about the game itself, there’s no denying the importance of the installment.

There was a time when Final Fantasy VII was in the works for the Nintendo 64, but that was quite early in development. That obviously didn’t come to be, with Squaresoft moving things over to the PlayStation, causing a years-long rift between Nintendo and Squaresoft. That early N64 build was a 3D project, but it turns out Squaresoft had an even earlier build that kept things much more traditional.

An old prototype screen for Final Fantasy VII has been discovered, and it shows a version of the game that retained the sprite approach found in all previous installments. Eagle-eyed fans will note that this version of the game is so early that it’s using Final Fantasy VI’s Locke as a placeholder character.

Squaresoft clearly abandoned the sprite approach very early in the game’s lifespan, eventually getting us to what you saw on the PS1. If you still haven’t experienced this classic in its original form, remember that you can hop on the Switch eShop right now and download it!

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