Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth fan makes shot-for-shot comparison with the original Nibelheim to show how faithful it is

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's opening has been compared to the original game, and it's a surprisingly faithful recreation of the Nibelheim sequence.

Rebirth's new demo lets you play through the remake sequel's opening, which follows Cloud and Sephiroth as they venture through Nibelheim to sort out a monster problem and fix a Mako reactor. Things spiral out of control pretty quickly, but it's this entire sequence that's available right now as part of Rebirth's demo.

One very dedicated Final Fantasy 7 fan has taken footage from the Rebirth demo and put it side by side with the same events in the original game from 1997. You can see the entire thing just below, going from when Cloud and Sephiroth arrive in Nibelheim, all the way to when Sephiroth has his iconic villain moment as the fires of Nibelheim swirl around him. 

The video is a really great look at how faithful Square Enix has been in recreating the Nibelheim sequence, down to individual dialog lines. I completely forgot Cloud asks one of the Shinra troopers in the original game if he's doing alright, then responds that he can't relate when the trooper reveals he has motion sickness. He's pretty cold like that.

After that, Cloud gets knocked back by an enemy in Rebirth's demo, and Sephiroth has to finish off the monster for him. Again, this is exactly what happened in the original game - Cloud actually gets killed in one hit in the turn-based combat, and the game uses Sephiroth to then kill the same monster in one hit, demonstrating his power and stardom. 

Sephiroth even does his weird little laugh in the original Fantasy Fantasy 7. I'm curious to know why Rebirth's developers recreated the opening Nibelheim sequences in a near shot-for-shot remake, while introducing entirely new characters and sections like Roche in other areas of the remake trilogy. 

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launches later this month on February 29 for PS5. You can read up on our full Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth preview for a look at what we made of the opening few hours of the sequel when we played it for ourselves. 

You can also look over our upcoming PS5 games guide for a look ahead at all the other exclusives Sony has in the pipeline for this year. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.