Motomu Toriyama had a huge mountain to climb. As co-director and scenario designer for Final Fantasy VII Remake, he was tasked with upgrading and updating one of the most classic games of all time for a modern audience.
As such, Toriyama and his team knew that the game had to be developed both for new fans and legacy fans of the original PlayStation 1 release of Final Fantasy VII. One of the best ways to appeal to those ride or die fans was to include characters in the remake who, before now, only appeared in side stories outside the game.
When asked about how the storyline for the Guardian Angel of The Slums side quest was created, Toriyama spoke at length about the inclusion of these characters.
“The character Mireille originally appeared in a novel portraying the events following Final Fantasy VII’s Meteorfall, called Final Fantasy VII: The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story, and we decided to include her in Final Fantasy VII Remake. After some deliberation over how she would have spent her time in Midgar, we came up with the idea of her being a Robin Hood style thief for the people of the slums.”
Of course, anyone who has played the game knows that Mireille was not the only character to be included from that novel. There was also Kyrie, Mireille’s granddaughter, and Leslie, who worked for Don Corneo in Wall Market. He later factored into a major storyline.
Toriyama was asked why the characters were included in Final Fantasy VII Remake, and whether they were given more backstory in the game.
“Because Kyrie and Leslie were both parts of that story, we decided to include them in the game as undercity residents,” he said. “From the very beginning of development, we wanted Remake to feature characters from the larger Final Fantasy VII universe – characters who weren’t a part of the original. So, we came up with pasts for these characters that would fit their stories in the novel. Leslie, in particular, got a lot of screen time since he was one of Don Corneo’s lackeys, involving him in the main story.”
Toriyama also went on to talk about his favorite background character in the game.
“A great deal of NPC characters and dialogue from the original game, a lot of which I worked on, were repurposed for Remake,” Toriyama said. “That’s always fun to see. One of the NPC’s, the lovey-dovey couple at the sector 7 slums train station, is my favorite.”
Final Fantasy VII Remake is currently available on the PlayStation 4 console.