The sadness and uncertainty of a destroyed community: The final days of Last Fantasy 7 The First Soldier

Earlier this week, Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier was shut down. This left the final gamers mourning the lack of their favourite battle royale sport, mourning the small however enraptured neighborhood that surrounded it, and mourning the friendships fashioned inside it.

The sport, first introduced at Tokyo Sport Current 2021, had an unofficial Reddit now flooded with closing posts, character screenshots, and a thanks message pinned to the lots of of followers current there. We caught up with a number of of them to listen to their tales and get some perception into how they spent their final day with Sq. Enix’s doomed battle royale.

You’ll be able to watch the sport’s opening film right here!

“I’ve at all times been a fan of Final Fantasy, together with 7, however I can not determine why I used to be drawn to this sport,” writes Richard, an American streamer who jumped on The First Soldier when it launched on November 17. , 2021. “I hadn’t performed a battle royale sport earlier than this level both. I could not get any of my buddies to play it as they instantly brushed it off for being such a drastically completely different model of Final Fantasy.”

Wanting again, it was a tough promote for a lot of. Not solely did First Soldier drop simply as battle royale saturation was taking maintain within the online game business, but it surely was an enormous departure from what Final Fantasy followers are used to. You can even name it ‘cynical’. Even so, the sport received 4 full seasons of content material which, mixed with participating gameplay and a layer of FF7 aesthetics, made for a cocktail some avid gamers simply could not get sufficient of.

And a few cherished the experimental sport greater than others. For Edenia, from Australia, it was price investing money and time into the title. “Actually, I cherished the sport a lot that I purchased roughly over $1000 AUS price of cosmetics and credit. I made plenty of buddies and loved being part of the neighborhood, from becoming a member of personal matches to serving to a good friend make a video about this sport. It was incredible!”

Throughout his brief life, there have been moments of brilliance within the minds of the neighborhood. Richard instructed me a couple of Bahamut occasion throughout Season 2, the place the summon was supercharged and required a number of gamers to staff as much as take it down, whereas all of the whereas the same old battle royale antics have been happening round it. This proved tough to do purely (resulting from these not involved in defeating Bahamut not cooperating), so a devoted group of gamers teamed as much as take down the boss, making certain kills for individuals who did. they wanted.

You’ll be able to now not ‘rule the sky’.

Heidi Van Vuuren, a participant from Zimbabwe, has been providing to recreate folks’s characters as a memorial, and to this point 18 folks have accepted the provide in hopes of a everlasting memento of their avatar in The First Soldier. Van Vuuren shared related anecdotes of taking down bosses like Bahumut and Cloud with the assistance of a devoted staff, driving chocobos in personal matches, and reaching prime rank in staff playlists. However for Van Vuuren, the spotlight was profitable her favourite chocobo from the sport’s limited-time Easter occasion. As of this week, all of those occasions, and the rewards for taking part in them, are gone ceaselessly.

For a neighborhood like this, the information that The First Soldier can be shutting down was devastating when it launched in October 2022. In an official put up written by the builders, the explanation for its closure was temporary and surgical: “Regardless of all our efforts To be able to convey you common updates with new and thrilling content material, we now have not been in a position to ship the expertise we anticipated and that you just all deserve, so we now have made the extraordinarily tough determination to finish the service.”

“It was a shock hit, for certain,” says Richard. “We had simply had a dwell broadcast a day or two earlier than, speaking in regards to the upcoming anniversary occasion. Simply get squashed with the information [of the game’s closure] in a tweet. “I began streaming the sport perhaps a month after it was launched, so for about 10 months I used to be dwell each different day with it. Now he felt empty.”

Edenia additionally felt a scarcity of motivation to proceed taking part in upon listening to the information. “I felt like on a regular basis and funding I put into this sport was wasted.” Wanting again by way of the web posts, this sentiment was shared with many who had to decide on between holding out till the closing or leaping ship earlier than it was gone ceaselessly.

There have been many nice occasions within the sport which have now been misplaced ceaselessly.

For many who stayed till closing, they have been in a position to expertise one final day of enjoyable and video games earlier than the curtain closed and the sport unceremoniously kicked them out. Edenia loved her final moments with The First Soldier: “On the final day I took plenty of screenshots of my favourite cosmetics and recorded myself combating in opposition to different gamers. It wasn’t about being the strongest within the sport, it was about popping out sturdy. I stored taking part in till I could not log in anymore.”

Richard streamed gameplay for so long as he might, chatting with neighborhood members about the perfect components of the sport, whereas Heidi (who could not spend a lot time resulting from work) additionally shared recollections along with her buddies on-line as she “was moping round.” for work on a regular basis.” very unhappy day.”

Goodbye, Shorthaired Cloud.

Now, with the servers down and all their progress on The First Soldier gone, the neighborhood is pressured to place it behind them. Nonetheless, there’s an urge amongst those that stay to be in contact and transfer on to a different sport the place they will preserve the friendships they’ve constructed alive. “Most wished me to play Apex Mobile, however that is not as a lot enjoyable as designing your individual character in FF7:TFS,” says Edenia. “I’ve heard good issues about Warzone Mobile so it might be my subsequent sport, however after all I do not assume any battle royale will beat FF7: TFS resulting from its distinctive gameplay.”

They continued, “Proper now we actually do not know what to do. FF7:TFS was what introduced us collectively as a household, so I actually hope to search out one thing associated, one thing that comes with JRPG components right into a battle royale.”

Heidi feels the identical manner, not realizing if any sport might seize him like The First Soldier did. “I am trying ahead to Ever Catastrophe as a result of plenty of my buddies say they will play it, however I truthfully do not assume any sport might be as a lot part of my life as this one was. Contemplating that I had by no means performed a present battle earlier than, I used to be shocked after I fell in love with the sport, so perhaps sooner or later it’ll occur once more.

The demise of Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier is very similar to so many different multiplayer video games which were retired and scrapped ceaselessly: it leaves behind a nomadic fanbase, not realizing the place to spend their money and time. Here is to them and their journey to discover a new playhouse.