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Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1997, it is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in the West by Sony Computer Entertainment, becoming the first in the series to be released in Europe. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop the world-controlling megacorporation, Shinra, from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a powerful man intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.
Development on Final Fantasy VII began in 1994 for the Super NES. After delays and technical difficulties from experimenting on several platforms, Square ultimately moved development to the PlayStation, largely due to the advantages of the CD-ROM format. The title became the first in the series to use full motion video and 3D computer graphics, with most scenes using character models superimposed over pre-rendered backgrounds. Although the gameplay systems remained mostly unchanged from previous entries, Final Fantasy VII featured science fiction elements with a more realistic presentation. The scale of development was unprecedented at the time, with a combined development and marketing budget of over USD$80 million, and a staff of over 100.
Assisted by a large pre-release promotional campaign, Final Fantasy VII received widespread commercial and critical success upon release, and is still widely regarded as a landmark title and one of the greatest games of all time. It was acknowledged for boosting the sales of the PlayStation and popularizing Japanese role-playing games worldwide, with praise being given to its graphics, gameplay, music, and story, although some criticism was directed towards its English localization. The game won numerous Game of the Year awards, among other accolades. Its success has led to enhanced ports on various platforms, a subseries companion of media called the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, and a high-definition remake for the PlayStation 4.

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