Final Fantasy VII Remake is a long game. It hardly put a dent in the run time of Persona 5, but it certainly adheres to the JRPG tradition when it comes to its length. Because of its linear storytelling, there’s plenty you can miss along the way if you press ahead with the main scenario before tying up any loose ends.
Thankfully, unlike some other classics in the genre, Square Enix’s bold remake makes prominent use of chapters to split up its campaign into easily manageable chunks. But how many are there, and how long does it actually take to complete Final Fantasy VII Remake?
Final Fantasy VII Remake doesn’t do what the last few main-series Final Fantasy games have done. It doesn’t stuff everything into seven chapters just to make some kind of cutesy statement about its own title.
The mission to shut down Shinra takes up all of 18 chapters, with some coming and going with much less fanfare and grandeur than the others. You won’t have a massive payoff at the end of each chapter, but it does try.
Depending on how you intend to play, Final Fantasy 7 Remake will take around 35-40 hours to complete. It’s a timeframe some of the best JRPGs traditionally strive for, and we’re beginning to wonder if it was Square Enix’s now 30-year-old franchise that started it all.
That initial time frame is based on not only our own first run-through with the game, but the average posted by other outlets and users around the time of the game’s release. That’s with all the side quests in the bag, too. There’s not a massive amount of exploration to dive into, so run times shouldn’t change much between players.
If we’re talking about post-game content, a few extra optional bosses and Hard Mode are unlocked at the end of that initial 40-hour romp, possibly stretching the entire worth of the game closer to 100 hours once you factor in all the deaths you’ll accumulate and the grinding you’ll no doubt need to do to level up your characters to get through its challenges.
In true JRPG fashion, there comes a point in every story of grand adventure and righteousness where it’s impossible to go back to life before. A point where any side quests and items you might have missed are gone forever. Maybe someone was injured or killed, or the place you needed to go has been rendered inhospitable, is too dangerous to traverse, or just exploded into a ball of fire.
We’re not saying that’s what happens in Final Fantasy VII Remake, but there are instances where side quests and missions can be left incomplete if you’re not careful. Here’s when.
Location: Sector 7 Slums
Once you’re done with all the Mako Reactor shenanigans, you arrive in the Sector 7 Slums. Between trying to get paid for your work and having Jessie flirt with you some more, you have plenty of time to run about the town and do a few errands for its people.
The point of no return for this one is pretty clear. Your main mission will be to head to Seventh Heaven to move the story along. Try to enter the building and you’ll be asked to confirm if you’re done with your business about town. Back off if you have any outstanding side quests.
Location: Sector 5 Slums
Once you’ve followed Aerith around for a bit, you’ll end up at the Sector 5 Slums — specifically the Center District. Here, you’ll have another set of six side quests to sink your teeth into. The first relates to the elusive Moogle Medals, which are needed to pick up two different quest items you’ll need later in the game. More on that here.
A few other quests, like The Angel of the Slums, are chain missions that get picked back up later, so you’ll want to make sure you get these done before moving beyond Chapter 8. Some of these are quite long, so make sure the quests properly wrap up before moving on.
Location: Wall Market
Once you hit Wall Market and have some time to spare following its dubious events, you’ll be able to get involved with three different side quests. Aside from the quest The Party Never Stops, they’re relatively short, so you won’t be held back from your main mission for too long.
Attempting to enter Don Corneo’s mansion while Aerith is getting ready for the audition will nudge you into chapter 10, so be sure to wrap these quests up before then.
Location: Wall Market and Sector 5 Slums
Here’s the final leg. Chapter 14 has the biggest selection of side quests in the whole game, split between Wall Market and the Chapter 5 Slums. Despite calling on a few storylines from previous side quests, these new ventures can be started even if you missed their precursors. You’ll be running all around the various slums of Midgar for some of these, so prepare to set aside sufficient time.
You can actually start these as soon as Chapter 14 gives you back control of your characters, but you’ll need to progress through what looks like a point of no return at Don Corneo’s house to finish the mission relating to his secret stash locations. The locations of each stash are included in our Moogle Medal guide.
Once you’ve gone through his house and emerged back from the sewers, Leslie will tell you of the true point of no return. Use his grapple guns to vault over the wall into the city and you’ll forfeit your chance to wrap up the last lot of side quests in the game.
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