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Here’s why the party is dead in the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailer

The opening of the FF7 Rebirth trailer at Summer Game Fest has a lot of fans scratching their heads, but this theory seems to have worked it out.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Dead Characters: Zak can be seen

Wow, that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailer was a wild ride. After a number of teases over the last few days, Summer Game Fest has wrapped up its showcase with an extended three-and-a-half-minute trailer. But, the most interesting scenes in it came right at the beginning, which seemed to show that the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth characters died, with Tifa, Red XIII, Barret, and Aerith all being stretchered away.


While this may seem confusing at first, die-hard fans of the Final Fantasy 7 timeline have already seemingly figured out what is going on. There will be spoilers ahead for Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and potentially Rebirth as well, if this theory is current.

Streamer Maximillian ‘Maximillian Dood’ Christensen, in his live reaction to the trailer, has come to the conclusion that the scene in the FF7 Rebirth trailer where our characters have seemingly died is actually from Zack’s alternate timeline. In this scene, the party dies from a mysterious tornado according to the news report, which is actually the large explosion we see at the end of Final Fantasy 7 Remake after we defeat the Whispers in all timelines. You can watch the end of FF7 Remake below.

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At this moment, the party in Zack’s timeline is in Midgar, either on a mission or just hanging out in Seventh Heaven and the tornado, and subsequent explosion, killed them. Of course, Zack hasn’t made it back to Midgar yet with Cloud, as this scene takes place before the original Final Fantasy 7 begins. Therefore he survives here in this scene in FF7 Remake, instead of dying which is the ‘canon’ event that takes place during this moment in Final Fantasy 7 Crisis Core and its remaster last year.

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Normally Zack is swarmed by Shinra soldiers and killed, but we can gather that the reason he isn’t here in the remake scene is that they are dealing with the Whisper tornado in Midgar itself so reinforcements were diverted towards Midgar and not Zack. This is why we are able to see him make it back to Midgar with Cloud (which we saw in the reveal trailer for Rebirth), survive, and visit Aerith, who we learned had died in his timeline at the end of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intermission. No we know everyone else has too.

So yeah, that is all there is to it. Our party in the remake timeline is fine for now and all the teases and scenes now connect up and set the stage for the eventual convergence of these two timelines. Or, at least some big ramifications considering both Zack and Cloud are the only members of the party alive in his timeline.

You can watch Max come to this conclusion with the help of his chat in the stream below, the timestamp of the moment is 02:16:23.

That is the only detail we get about Zack’s timeline in this trailer with the rest of the trailer focusing on the remake timeline, our characters, showing off the large expansive areas, and confirming that Red XIII and Yuffie are playable in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Overall, this trailer actually ties up many of the questions we had at the end of both Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Intermission, now that we understand Zack’s timeline better.

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The Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth release date is set for early next year so we still have a while to wait to truly understand Zack’s timeline. But, I’m excited to see how Zack’s timeline collides with the party’s timeline when the game launches on PS5.