Final Fantasy 7 Twitter reveals that FF8’s Edea was originally the game’s villain, not Sephiroth

What could’ve been.

Image via Steam and Square Enix

Video games tend to change a lot throughout development, with initial concepts and ideas becoming entirely different over the course of development. It’s well known that Final Fantasy VII changed drastically from its initial concept, initially taking place in real-life New York before transforming into the steampunk futurism that we all know and love today. It’s also a well-known tidbit that Edea from Final Fantasy VIII was initially designed for VII. However, the official VII Remake Twitter account has finally confirmed that Edea was going to be the main antagonist of VII, not Sephiroth.

According to the Japanese Final Fantasy VII Remake Twitter account, the original plot of VII would revolve around a battle with a witch in New York City. The account also shared an image of Edea from Final Fantasy VIII. It’s previously been known that developer Tetsuya Nomura created Edea for VII, but she never made it into the final game, and he would later re-use Edea’s design for VIII. The VII Remake Twitter account has now clarified that Edea was actually going to be the main villain of VII before the game shifted from New York to the fictional world of Midgard.

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Even though Final Fantasy VII evolved from a radically different game than initially conceived, many elements of the original VII concept ended up in other Square Enix properties. The New York setting and detective story from VII would eventually transform into Parasite Eve, an RPG horror game set in New York. Meanwhile, witches and sorceresses would later end up being the primary focus of Final Fantasy VIII.

Edea was a sorceress and main antagonist in the first half of Final Fantasy VIII. Given her striking design, it made sense for Nomura to bring back his initial witch design from VII and transform it into the main villain of the next Final Fantasy game. Edea was featured heavily in the promotional materials of VIII and is often viewed as one of the most iconic villains in the Final Fantasy series. While Edea never matched Sephiroth’s popularity, it’s neat to find out how close she was to taking over Sephiroth’s place in VII.