While hacking and game modding are commonplace in the PC gaming space, it’s always far more surprising to see it pop up in console games. The proprietary hardware architecture is a much larger hurdle that it either scares off any potential tinkerers or limits the potential of what can be discovered–though not always, if the discoveries made through modding in Bloodborne are any example. One adventurous modder is pulling piles of secrets from Final Fantasy VII Remake with his recently released editor, allowing for tricks such as the inclusion of everyone’s favorite lab rat dog, Red XIII, as a playable party member.
Also the creator of the popular Kingdom Hearts III editor, Xeeynamo applied similar modding prowess to crack open the recent remake of Final Fantasy VII, making discoveries along the way. The editor allows for inventory swapping, changing party members at-will, and increasing character levels and materia on the fly. The biggest–and maybe least surprising–inclusion in the editor is the ability to make the non-playable Red XIII into a playable party member. This seemed possible regardless, as Red even has materia visibly equipped on him when he’s met at the Shinra Building towards the end of the game (and presumably playable in the next part).
Yep Red XIII is playable via save editing pic.twitter.com/9eoacm2VsA
— James (@MP1stLara) April 22, 2020
Square Enix previously explained why Red XIII was not made playable in this entry, due to his late discovery near the end of the game. They want players to feel an attachment to the characters with an opportunity to grow them (gain weapons, level up, etc.) as well as learn more about their story. Red XIII joins the party as an occasional guest fighter in various encounters during the game’s final three chapters.
The editor is finicky, with Red’s status as a party member changing depending on cutscenes and where the player is at in the game. An equally cool tricky with the editor is the ability to change the in-world lead party character used to traverse Midgar, allowing modders to swap Cloud for any of the party members as their exploring avatar. A caveat to any would-be modders: The editor appears to be incredibly unstable and freezes the game at a moment’s notice, so user beware. (It may also be against the terms of service for the PS4.) Regardless, this may shed some light on what is possible if and when a PC version of Final Fantasy VII Remake ever comes around when the PlayStation exclusivity period comes to an end.