Don’t use a guide for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s dating choices – it’s better if you revel in the joy of the unknown

When I think about it, the original Final Fantasy 7 was probably the first game I ever played with ‘dating sim’ elements. Back in the late 90s, I was yet to play Persona, and wasn’t yet a PC gamer, so I was yet to discover the stripe of CRPGs that preceded the dating-mad shenanigans of the likes of Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

In my first run through of FF7, I didn’t even think about it. I wasn’t following a guide, so every dialogue choice I made just went with my gut. When you reach the Gold Saucer a little under halfway through the game, I made the assumption that everybody saw the scene I did – a cute little ferris wheel date between Cloud and Aerith. Later, I learned the truth – and in subsequent playthroughs, I augmented my choices in the earlier parts of the game to see scenes with all of the eligible cast members, (including Barret).

This was part of the joy of FF7’s dating system, I think. Either deliberately or simply through developer oversight, it was an obfuscated mechanic, the stat that determines your date and the events that adjust it a shadowy thing only visible to fans who fire up a save game editor or peek into the game code.

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