top of page
  • Writer's pictureJames Stephanie Sterling

FFVII Rebirth's Unhinged World (Snaptime)

[I take a lot of screenshots for my critique, especially when there's a photo mode. I take far too many than can fit into a review, and some fun pictures go to waste. When this happens, it's Snaptime!]

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is a layer cake of fucking weird and I absolutely love it. It's a trainwreck of bizarre scenes and images that still tells a wonderful story while taking the "imagine" part of the word "reimagine" exquisitely too far. Full of weird minigames and narrative deviations that border on hallucinatory, Rebirth can provide a wealth of fun photographs.

I spent entirely too long playing with photo mode to try and capture the nonsense in every shot. Let's not allow all this work - which nobody asked me for - to go to waste!

Before we begin in earnest, a complaint: I despise how Square Enix watermarks captured console shots with an ugly wad of rights claims in the corner. Almost no other company does this arrogant crap. It should be considered vandalism on a scale fifty times more punishable than when a protestor chucks soup around a museum or whatever.

Welcome To Mog-Gar

I tried here to recreate the cover art of Final Fantasy VII, that iconic image of Cloud preparing to wield his sword while gazing up at the Shinra Building. I had to wait for Cloud's idle animation to reach for the Buster's hilt before pausing for a picture, and I did my best with the camera angles in photo mode.

Didn't quite nail it because I couldn't get the camera low enough to look up, but y'know, it's a cute enough facsimile.

Plushing Despair

There's a ton of unusual shit in Rebirth's mad world. Unusual starts to become quite usual.

With this piece (because I am creating art, darling) I tried to capture the ironic tragedy of depression. Depression does not care who you are, where you are, or what your circumstances are. To those who wonder why so many comedians are depressed when they're surrounded by laughter, my award-worthy photography may illustrate things.

The darling whimsy of the various monster plushies directly contrasts with the fucking misery on the faces of all around. To grimace with such regretful despair when you have a button-eyed Tonberry on your head demonstrates, truly, that mental health is a complicated subject. Sometimes, the pain we can't see is the pain that hurts most.

I want that Tonberry plush.

Adam Kwehst

I wanted a screenshot of the Black Chocobo climbing up a wall because it looks like when Batman and Robin would scale the side of a building in the 1960s Batman show.


This bit happened practically once an episode, Adam West and Burt Ward crouch-walking forward and having conversations with various residents while the footage was displayed vertically. You can tell how clever they thought it was, and honestly, even today I'm delighted by such a simple gag. Unfortunately, nobody pops out of a window to chat with Cloud in Rebirth. A real missed opportunity.


This is the lesser of two shots I caught while fighting Zemzeletts, creatures I wanted to have a picture of in my review. I don't know why, but the Zemzelett is a monster I always remember from Final Fantasy VII. That feathery fuckling managed to tie itself to good memories of pretending to be sick for two weeks so I could take a PSX to my grandparents' house and play VII every day.

In the original game, the Zemzelett was a momentarily important encounter if you were collecting Enemy Skills - it was the source of one of the best abilities across the Final Fantasy series, White Wind. Anyway, I wanted a Zemmy in my review because of my personal affection for a monster I don't even really like.

This actually isn't a great shot that I feel compelled to preserve, I just wanted to talk about Zemzeletts. I care far more about my screenshots than anyone else of course - no readers are judging my writing based on the composition of a picture of some mutant owls. Nevertheless, I do put a silly amount of thought into the presentation of my writing, as well as how best to represent each game.

Proud Clodomy

So, after discussing the thoughtfulness I put into image capturing, here's some Head Down Ass Up action for you!

The total sum of assets I collect for a game will almost always include a significant percentage of puerile pictures suggesting blowjobs and buttsex. This is because blowjobs and buttsexings can be as funny as they can be recreational. This particularly immature framing is hardly my fault though - if a guy's kissing the sky with his keister, I'm going to take the shot!

Seriously, it's shown throughout both Remake and Rebirth that Beck's bandits pretend to be KO'd whenever you beat them and are just waiting for Cloud to leave before running away. As far as I am aware, this bandit chose to get on his knees and present his ass, and I know I only ever do that for one reason.

Chocobo Run

Chocobo representation is important since they're such a huge part of the series, particularly Rebirth. This pic was almost going to be the header image. It was nice to catch the Bandersnatch as it turned to look at the heroes birding up from behind. Honestly I'm a bit proud of this one.

Shots like these make me really appreciate the popularity and growing scope of photo mode. Some of the folks making use of it are creating genuine art. I'm not arrogantly referring to myself there, I'm talking about people with actual talent.

Anyway, these writeups were supposed to be dumb one-liners, not preening descriptions of my "process" as if you'd be impressed by such useless information.

Final Frogtasy VII Ribbit

By the time my party was transforming into adorably dressed frogsonas, I hadn't yet stopped questioning the absurdity of what I was experiencing. My surrender came pretty soon after this moment, though, as VII's intrepid heroes played an amphibian-themed version of a Fall Guys mode. Of course they did.

It was hard to get the entirety of the team in frame, and this was the best I got. Yuffie is obscured behind Cloud, but otherwise you get a nice look at how each frog is styled after its human counterpart, which is just a lovely detail.

How many more times are you ever gonna see a frog wearing shorts? Five, maybe six? Appreciate it while you have it!

Shinra? I Hardly Knew 'er!

If you know, you know.

Just a sweet little moment from the game that I had to capture. Indicative of the Rebirth experience, your briefly aligned Shinra soldiers are given so much of a lovable spotlight compared to their actual screentime or plot relevance. One of the Remake series' best achievements is how it can take any NPC, no matter how forgetful, and make them into something you'll remember for a long time.


That's just grim, that.

Cait Out Of Ten

As I've laboriously explained already, Cait Sith is an incredible visual achievement in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. The adorably evocative animations, the way his Moogle's squishy softness is visually communicated, the sheer wanton plushness of the whole fuckin' show!

As one might imagine, I grabbed loads of pictures of Cait. This is one of his special moves, where he showers the battlefield with explosive toys. He's incredible fun to control and has some super creative special abilities.

Awakening Some Felines

I did not take this screenshot for any other purpose than strictly professional. Yes, catgirls may be relevant to my interests outside of work, yes the idea of a fem being made from solid gold is a new kind of sexual fantasy I'd never considered until now, and...

I just thought she was cute.

Flying The Coop

What I'd hoped was to have a funny picture of the chicken running away in the foreground while Cloud fought the Levrikon in the background. Sadly, the camera's limitations were just enough to stop me getting the exact picture I wanted. I still grabbed it in case I could make it work, but it just looks weird, really. The subjects hardly feature.

Flying The Co-Op

This was taken before the previous one I showed, another attempt to get an amusing contrast between a big monster bird and a little chicken. It looks like they're friends, or that Cloud was about to wage war on the chicken before a violently righteous ostrich stepped in to settle his bullshit.

Again, the overall picture just didn't work out too well, as I couldn't get everything I wanted onscreen while keeping the details clear enough for a review screenshot.

You can appreciate the avian juxtaposition I was going for... if you squint.

Well, I Cockatried

An attempt on my stupid part to make it look like Yuffie was cramming her fist down a Cockatrice's throat. No angle really worked out well enough to get the unfunny idea across so I gave up.

In fact, why did I even keep this one? I can't remember. Maybe I just thought the dumbfounded rooster face was funny. It is a bit.

Mog Off

I'm not too fond of shepherding challenges in videogames to begin with, but the Mog herding minigame of Rebirth is easily the worst fucking example of such garbage I've ever suffered through.

The skittish Mogs have a wide aggro range that makes it hard to get behind them before they run off in an undesirable direction, the twitchy fuckers are really hard to direct when you are positioned well, and they repeatedly throw projectiles or traps around even after they've been successfully herded.

It's so harsh, twitchy and unwieldy it makes my skin itch. There's nothing particularly interesting about the above picture though - I'll just exploit any opportunity to slag off the Moogle game.

Thirsty Turksday

We'll wrap things up now, because I cannot stress enough how this was supposed to be low on text and instead has been something I've taken hours to compile and write.

So, I usually grab a bunch of stuff from downtime moments like this. It's handy to have backup if I used all my top pics too soon, or if I want to break up all the obligatory combat shots with something more unique. Always shoot more than you need, as people who can operate real cameras like to say.

Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith looking like they're impatiently waiting for Elena to stop drinking her problems away is one such backup shot. Not brilliant enough to be a first choice, but I'm personally amused enough by it that it's in reserve, and now you can be everso slightly entertained by it too.

Anyway, that's the first installment of Snaptime, and perhaps the last if y'all don't care for it. I hope you do, at any rate. I've got gigs of these bloody screengrabs for a bunch of games and I need to do something with them.


bottom of page