Even before Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth has been officially revealed, fans had a lot of questions about its story. The ending of the Remake opened the studio up to do just about anything they would like, and even introduce some changes to the original storyline. One of the biggest questions in the community, however, has been the fate of Zack Fair, and what kind of treatment he could get in Rebirth’s narrative. Yesterday’s release of the Theme Song Announcement Trailer at The Game Awards 2023 gives us just a little bit of insight into what we can expect.
This article contains major spoilers from the original Final Fantasy VII, Remake, and Crisis Core.
The reason Zack’s presence in Rebirth is such a huge question is because he infamously dies at the end of Crisis Core while making a last stand against an army of Shinra troops. As this game takes place before Final Fantasy VII, Zack is obviously absent from the main game’s events, and is only mentioned and appears in a flashback.
Final Fantasy VII Remake decided to make a major change to this moment, however. Towards the end of the game, Cloud and the party defeat the Whispers — once this happens, an alternate timeline is created where Zack lives through his final stand. Then, at the end of the Intergrade DLC we are left with a cliffhanger when he reaches Aerith’s church, only to find that she’s not there.
This now brings us to Rebirth: how will Zack’s story play out in this alternate timeline, and how will it connect to Cloud and company in the main timeline?
While it’s obvious that he will be trying to find his Aerith, it could be possible that the two timelines are connected, which can eventually lead to Zack joining Cloud towards the end of the game, or even during the third game!
While there is plenty to talk about in the TGA trailer (including the vocal theme and the reveal of Cid Highwind), there were a few scenes that featured Zack that we would like to address — in fact, the very first scene shows a snippet from his infamous last stand, where you can hear him saying that “I’m feeling every single bullet.” It’s very possible that either through a dream or vision, he is seeing the version of himself where he dies, and he is noting how real it feels.
The most interesting line here, however, is when Marlene tells Zack, “When she wakes up, a scary man is going to kill her!” The ‘she’ here is certainly referring to Aerith (a later scene shows Zack sitting with her, while she is unconscious in bed), while the ‘scary man’ is more than likely Sephiroth. Since this trailer’s release, there has been a theory circulating that this line could be a bit of a misdirection, and that this event will further prove the connection between the two timelines.
The theory states that towards the end of Rebirth, Aerith will die by Sephiroth, as she did in the original story. However, when this happens, her consciousness will be transferred to her comatose self, where she will ‘wake up.’ From here, Zack and Aerith will finally be reunited, and then will go on a journey to make their way to the main timeline, and help Cloud and his party stop Sephiroth once and for all (potentially making use of the Lifestream).
If this all pans out to be true, it would be a great way to connect Zack’s story with Cloud’s, and eventually have them merge for a grand finale. Sadly, we won’t know for sure until Rebirth releases on February 29, 2024! In the meantime, we will be on the lookout for more trailers and clues from Square Enix.
What did you gather from the new trailer? Do you think Zack will eventually join up with Cloud? And how so? Let us know in the comments below!
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I'm a huge gamer who especially loves the Final Fantasy series. I will play just about any game, especially if it has anything resembling a Dragoon.