PSA: Crisis Core Reunion does not contain a new secret ending
In the wake of the release of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, there's naturally been a lot of chatter online about what this remaster might change from the PSP original. However, one thing appears to be the same: the ending.
Given the nature of Final Fantasy VII Remake, which deliberately turned the entire universe of FF7 on its head in a meta way, a lot of fans have been anticipating the remastered version of Crisis Core to do the same - but as far as we can tell, it doesn't.
That means that there's no Crisis Core Reunion Secret Ending, no FF7 Remake or Rebirth related teaser or stinger, and no major changes to the narrative of the game. While there is still a margin of error where we could be proved wrong by some esoteric unlock, multiple RPG Site staff have now finished Crisis Core Reunion multiple times, including New Game Plus, and we've found no signs of any new ending stinger.
The ending has been changed ever so slightly, however. We'll explain how below - but please be aware that the rest of this article contains Crisis Core ending spoilers.
What's different in Crisis Core Reunion's ending?
Like much of the rest of Crisis Core Reunion, the ending has been tweaked compared to the original, but in subtle ways. Here's what's changed:
- As is the case for all of Crisis Core Reunion, in the final scenes of the game, the CG scenes have been altered so that Zack's Buster Sword design matches that of the sword in FF7 Remake - which itself more closely resembles the sword's design in the original FF7. In the Compilation of FF7 & the original Crisis Core the Buster Sword was given a more ornate design, but this has been retconned out of existence in Reunion.
- In the final stinger of the game that replicates part of the original FF7 opening, shots of Aerith on the Midgar streets and the city from above are cut from the introduction of FF7 Remake, replacing shots of the same things from the original Crisis Core release.
That's it for the changes. A lot has been changed in Crisis Core in general, but it's all been gameplay-related, or around smaller presentational choices - such as replacing the voice cast with those from FF7 Remake.
In terms of context, however, the ending has not changed. There's no new story revelations to be found here.
What changes were fans expecting?
This section will include full-game spoilers for FF7 Remake and its Intergrade expansion, as well as Crisis Core.
Final Fantasy VII Remake changed everything, with the finale of that game featuring the game's cast choosing to fight fate - and therefore break out of the prescribed FF7 storyline as we know it. Their meddling means that the next game in the series, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, is sure to be quite different from the original while still hitting those fan-service beats of following at least some of the original game's story - but things are definitely different.
One of the major changes in the ending of FF7 Remake actually involves the ending of Crisis Core - in that it flashes back to Crisis Core's final moments, right before Zack perishes at the hands of an army of Shinra soldiers. While in Crisis Core Zack dies, FF7 Remake shows him survive, a direct result of the actions taken by Cloud, Aerith, Tifa and company in FF7 Remake's final moments.
The Intergrade expansion for FF7 Remake teased this further, with Zack returning to Aerith's church only to find her gone. Questions abound, primarily about Zack's status. Is he alive in the same universe as the rest of FF7 Remake's cast? In an alternate universe? If there is a man alive in this universe who isn't supposed to be, what does that mean for the story? And will Zack be a playable character in Rebirth, making it as much a sequel to Crisis Core as it is FF7 Remake?
Many fans were hoping Crisis Core would give a hint as to the answer of some of these questions before we get to FF7 Rebirth next Winter - but it doesn't appear there's any teases.
In fact, the biggest teases appears to have come from outside the game, with Zack's Japanese voice actor Kenichi Suzumura telling Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu that Zack will have an "active role" in that game's story. We'll have to wait and see what that entails - but Crisis Core Reunion offers us no clues.
It does, however, give fans who didn't play Crisis Core on PSP a chance to get to know Zack better - which might be vital for Rebirth. That might explain why FF7 Remake producer and original FF7 director Yoshinori Kitase said that playing Crisis Core Reunion between Remake and Rebirth would "enhance everybody's experience of this entire remake project."