Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth hides a 27-year-old reference to the original JRPG that's so niche even today's devs don't fully understand it

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth hero Cloud shown against purple light
(Image credit: Square Enix)

We all love spotting references in games, especially if you manage to find something a bit niche, but when it comes to obscurity, it'd be hard to top this clever nod to a mysterious Final Fantasy 7 fight in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

The reference in question is the Test 0 battle, which, if you were unfamiliar, can be rarely found in original Japanese copies of Final Fantasy 7. So the story goes, lucky players can sometimes encounter dog-like foes named "Test 0" if they descend down the well found at the start of Corel Prison. Chances are that even if you're an enormous Final Fantasy fan, it's unlikely that you've seen this first-hand due to its rarity, which is why it's extremely cool that it's directly referenced in Rebirth. 

In an interview with Easy Allies, Rebirth co-director Naoki Hamaguchi said that he wanted to include the fight for the people who'd remember it. Admittedly, though, he added, he and the rest of the Rebirth team don't actually know the full story behind why Test 0 was found in the original game in the first place, so the mystery still lives on.

"I don't know exactly if it was a bug or something of like an Easter egg that was kind of snuck in there from people who worked on the original, but out of our team there was nobody that actually worked on the original Test 0, so we don't quite know what the original intention of it is," Hamaguchi said (via a translator). "But, I thought that people who know the original would remember this, and so I definitely wanted to incorporate it into Rebirth."

In Rebirth, Hamaguchi thought it was a "bit weird" to have us go to the bottom of the well for the fight, so the devs designed an arena there "to make it fit more within the worldview of FF7." He added that some players who don't get the reference might find the Test 0 foes a bit strange, but "if you know, you know."

Be sure to read our recommendations for the best RPGs if you're on the lookout for even more adventures to dive into.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.