The new Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Intermission ending contains its fair share of shocks and revelations, whilst also posing many new questions. It’s time to explore these in as much detail as possible, and hopefully shed some light on the more confusing points.
There will be HUGE SPOILERS for just about everything Final Fantasy 7, including the original game, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Intermission (Yuffie’s DLC).
If you are not completely up to speed with all of these, I do not recommend you continue.
On the other hand, if you’ve simply found yourself confused at the various story threads, you are certainly not the only one.
Here’s everything recapped, as well as our best efforts to provide a Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Intermission ending explanation.
How to get the new Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade ending
As a point of clarification, this is an article covering the new ending from Final fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade. You can obtain this ending by completing the Intermission DLC starring Yuffie, which adds some additional scenes to the main ending of Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
If you wish to view or recap the new FF7R Intermission ending first, check it out here.
What happened in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Ending?
Yuffie and Sonon’s mission to recover the ultimate materia from the Shinra Building ends in disaster. Scarlet reveals the materia doesn’t exist after all, due to their accelerated plan to drop the Sector 7 plate. Yuffie and Sonon face a series of tough battles, culminating in a showdown against Nero where they apparently get the better of him. However, as they flee he reemerges and attacks the Wutaians from behind. Sonon has a flashback of his sister’s death and sacrifices himself so Yuffie can escape, getting stabbed several times as he protects her.
After escaping in a frenzy, Yuffie witnesses the Sector 7 plate falling on the slums and despairs. Some time later, she is riding a chocobo outside Midgar. She looks up to the sky and muses that she will need some companions for her next mission.
Matters then turn to Cloud’s party, who are strolling from Midgar to Kalm. After some pleasant conversation they stop to rest, lamenting the length of the journey. Suddenly a truck appears in the distance and Tifa and Aerith leap to their feet, signalling they wish to hitch a ride.
Barret jumps in front of the truck (somewhat unnecessarily – would any man drive past Tifa and Aerith?) and we learn it is driven by none other than Chocobo Bill, of the Chocobo Ranch. The party are dropped off at a fork in the road, where they see Kalm in the distance and start heading towards it as rain starts to fall. Aerith comments she has a knot in her stomach.
The final scene shows Zack outside the Sector 5 church. He repeatedly practices an opening line to greet Aerith before he bursts through the door and shouts “I’m back!”. Aerith is nowhere to be seen and instead a group of people are weeping inside. “Aerith…?”, asks a dumbfounded Zack as the screen fades to black.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intermission Ending explained
There’s quite a lot to unpack here, with some indications of what to expect in the next game in the series. The first thing to note is that the immense scale of Final Fantasy 7 Remake clearly extends beyond Midgar. In the original, the journey from Midgar to Kalm literally took a few seconds on the world map. Though it’s obvious this would be expanded, Barret states that this journey would take an entire day on foot. This scale suggests we are unlikely to get anything resembling a main world map in future, as it’ll simply be too big.
Elsewhere, Yuffie’s comment about needing backup gives her a ready-made motivation to join Cloud and company. Her link to Avalanche is also a good ice-breaker. Originally, the earliest Yuffie could be recruited was in the forest around Fort Condor, but it was possible to miss her altogether. There is no way Yuffie will be an optional character this time, and she’ll surely be a member of the party sooner rather than later.
Plenty of other questions naturally arise from the Intermission ending, which we’ll try to answer with some background knowledge and admittedly plenty of speculation. Let’s take them one by one.
What is Deepground?
Deepground is mentioned in the closing scenes of Yuffie’s mission, becoming the latest reference to one of the many Final Fantasy 7 Compilation titles. This relates to Dirge of Cerberus, the Vincent-centric adventure on PS2 that never quite took off.
Housed below Shinra HQ, Deepground is a site used to conduct dangerous experiments on wounded soldiers, eventually leading to inhumane and terrifying results. These experiments created warped, twisted super-soldiers who are led by the Tsviets, the strongest of the lot. Among these are Weiss the Immaculate and Nero the Sable, who we met during FF7R Intermission.
Vincent comes up against these during Dirge of Cerberus, and Weiss is actually the final boss of the game. Turning back to FF7R Intermission, Weiss mentions that Shinra are now trying to digitally recreate him, and that he is “indulging them”. Nero is his brother, who remarks that this seems impossible.
Nero is the final boss of Intermission, possessing the ability to manipulate darkness. Meanwhile, Weiss can be fought in the Combat Simulator in Chapter 17 of the regular Remake game. He is arguably the toughest single enemy in the game, but there’s a guide of how to fight and defeat him here.
Either way, it looks like Deepground and the Tsviets are going to play a prominent role in Remake, and by extension Vincent will be more heavily involved in the main story.
Is Sonon dead?
The final shot of Sonon shows his maimed body grasped by Nero before they disappear behind the essence of darkness.
This is just speculation, of course, but I highly doubt we have seen the last of Sonon. It’s likely his body will be subjected to Deepground experimentation, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we battle a twisted version of him in a future Final Fantasy 7 Remake instalment. If so, this would be an interesting and testing experience for Yuffie, who formed a sisterly bond with him.
Is Zack in the same timeline as the main Remake story?
I’ve seen a few theories out there that the defeat of the whispers in Final Fantasy 7 Remake has amalgamated the timelines together. Personally, I don’t think this is correct. The most obvious hint to this was the alternative design of Stamp blowing past during Zack’s encounter with the Shinra troops. Furthermore, the fact that Zack and Cloud walk past the main Remake party without perceiving each other (except perhaps Aerith) is a clear indication that these separate timelines still seem to exist after the defeat of the whispers.
In the Intermission ending, the Sector 5 church also looks different. This may be over-analysing things, but the cross at back of the church appears to be coloured differently. The picture below demonstrates what I mean. Zack’s version (right) is a wooden design whereas Cloud’s (left) looks more like stone.
All things considered, I’m concluding the timelines are separate, at least for now. Not only would the timing of the events be off, but there would be two Clouds existing at the same time. Granted, we never really know what’s going to come out of the mind that created the absurd Kingdom Hearts story, but this would be a bit much.
Finally, Zack is definitely not altering the timeline of the original Final Fantasy 7. The developers would never risk the sacrilege of tinkering with the beloved game and retconning these events. We also know Zack’s ‘survival’ timeline had a version of Stamp, whom was not in the original. His actions are completely separate to the original, as are the events of the main Remake timeline.
What happened to Aerith in Zack’s timeline?
If we assume Zack exists in a different timeline, this raises all sorts of questions. The most pertinent one for now relates to Aerith, who was not in the church.
The weeping children, the melancholic version of Aerith’s theme and Zack’s distraught face may imply a tragic answer… Is Aerith already dead in this timeline?
Remember, the whispers are there to preserve the correct timeline, and this involved Zack dying. Without them ensuring Zack’s death, Cloud never adopts his personality and perhaps never gets involved with Avalanche. Maybe Cloud’s absence caused Aerith to be kidnapped or killed at an earlier stage of the story, thereby never summoning Holy.
It also begs the question of what happened to Cloud himself, but it’s likely Zack has dropped him off to recover somewhere. In this timeline, the original and Remake events have never happened. Zack seemed to be walking into Midgar with Cloud at the same time the others were leaving, but was still clearly dirtied and tired from the battle with Shinra. The timings don’t match, since this should have happened significantly before the Sector 7 plate collapse. This leads us to our next big question.
What about Biggs, Wedge and Jessie?
One of the Remake ending mysteries was that Biggs woke up relatively unscathed, with Jessie’s gloves and headband on the table nearby. Even the defeat of the whispers didn’t explain this scene, since he and Jessie were apparently already dead when this happened. Defeating the whispers can’t undo events in the past of Remake’s timeline, can it? Otherwise, Barret would have dropped dead.
The implication was that Biggs awoke in the main Remake timeline. White light scattered around Midgar, fluttering around Marle and the Sector 7 inhabitants before the camera transitioned to the Sector 5 orphanage where he awakened. This initially suggested we were simply checking back in with characters from earlier in the story.
Speculation time: I think this might be a red herring. The very same light fell on Zack after his battle, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s more likely that Biggs and Jessie are actually in Zack’s new timeline. Maybe the knock-on impact of Cloud’s absence was that a different version of the tragedy occurred, somehow allowing Avalanche to survive. If so, Wedge is probably still around as well.
The fluttering light may have fallen around Sector 7 and the Sector 5 orphanage in Zack’s timeline at the time of his battle outside Midgar, which was a considerable time before Zack appeared outside the church.
Will Zack be a playable character in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2?
Let’s be honest, Square Enix are going out of their way to involve Zack in Remake. The defeat of the whispers and the fact we are now in an ‘unknown’ timeline could just as easily work without Zack being mentioned at all.
The decision to give focus to a fan-favourite character along with other repeated connections to the Compilation of Final Fantasy 7 only points me in one direction. I’m almost certain Zack will be playable in future instalments, one way or another. This is more pure speculation on my part but I’d wager some serious Gil on it.
The real question is the role he will play in the wider story. Are they going to keep Zack’s segments completely separate to Cloud, or somehow merge the two timelines together? After the bizarre, world-bending events of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, they could probably manage it somehow. Though perhaps not until far later in the journey.
What happens next?
Well, we obviously don’t know but it’s always fun to guess. Details are very light at this point, though the developers have commented that they still intend to follow the original story fairly closely. For good measure, here are a few final predictions:
- As already mentioned, Zack will be a playable character – I think this will be largely in his own, separate timeline
- Part 2 will commence at Kalm. This is the part in the original story where Cloud recounts the events of Nibelheim from five years ago, and I expect the same to happen as a sort of gameplay reminder/tutorial. Yuffie will join the party shortly after leaving
- I doubt we are going to carry over equipment, materia or EXP. This would make it hard for Square Enix to design the game since everyone would be starting with different strength. I think it’s more likely there’ll be a token bonus materia for those with a clear save file
- The next Remake instalment will cover far more of the story than the first one. I think we’ll get to around the end of disk 1. This may be wishful thinking but if we don’t get at least this far, the entire story is literally going to last decades – unless they significantly change it
That’s all the speculation and guesswork we’ve got for now. Time will tell how accurately we’ve called it, and I’m sure Square Enix have got plenty of further surprises in store. One thing’s for sure – we can’t wait.
Do you have any further Final Fantasy 7 Remake ending theories? Comment below!