Square Enix has been putting some of their most beloved role-playing games on Nintendo Switch and that includes the enhanced ports of Final Fantasy 7 and 9. While these versions are nearly identical to the original games that released on PlayStation, they have one gigantic addition in the form of various cheats that can be enabled. In fact, these in-game modifiers can negate many of the flaws in these classic games and make them more palatable to get through in 2019. Unless you’re looking to perfectly relive your childhood nostalgia, then playing with cheats are the best way to experience these classics.
There are three different cheats and all of them have plenty of merit. The first speeds the game up, which is triggered by clicking the left analog stick in. This essentially overclocks the original software and allows players to get through sections in one-third of the time. The second, which is done by clicking in the right analog stick, provides an infinite amount of health, magic, and limit breaks. This is the closest thing to a god mode that a Final Fantasy has ever had and it can be a life-saver if your party is not appropriately leveled. Finally, clicking both of the analog sticks in at once will disable random battles. This negates one of the most longstanding annoyances of role-playing games.
Having these sort of aids is not a new thing for a re-release of a classic title. Many compilations have included save states and other tweaks (such as infinite health or lives) that make some of the harshly designed games of the past easier to enjoy. As such, there has been a divide in players on how one should “properly” play.
It’s a silly discussion as there’s no wrong way to play something, but there are merits to both ways. After all, if you truly want to experience what players did in 1997, then enabling all of these cheats would be doing yourself a disservice. However, not everyone wants to make their time spent with a game needlessly frustrating.
Why using cheats is helpful for Final Fantasy 7 and 9 veterans
From incredibly long summon animations to waiting for random encounters to actually happen, there is no shortage of downtime in either of the RPGs. Having the ability to speed up the gameplay is a great feature that allows you to blast your way through the title in shorter times than were thought possible. By running at 300 percent speed, it also makes sure the game isn’t wasting your valuable time; a resource that can easily be spent with other, newer titles. Plus, if you’re replaying something that you’ve already played before, then it’s not like you’re missing anything that you haven’t witnessed. This option is particularly great while grinding or getting through standard battles.
The character booster is just as helpful and can save the player a lot of frustration. While it doesn’t happen often, it is possible to get stuck in areas where the player’s party isn’t properly leveled. These are always terrible moments as even grinding can become overly difficult.
Thankfully, if you aren’t getting killed in one hit, then this cheat will allow players to regain their health and dish out their most devastating attacks every turn. Considering how archaic the save system is in Final Fantasy 7 and 9, this is useful whenever a foe starts to get the upper hand. After all, who wants to replay hours of an RPG just because you died before you hit a save point?
Finally, the ability to disable random encounters is a great tool. While players will have to fight some random battles in order to stay leveled up (even with the character booster enabled), every person has come across times when they wish they could just avoid battles for a bit. Examples are when your characters are suffering from a status ailment, are low in health, or you just want to get through an area without being annoyed. There are plenty of valid reasons to turn these encounters off and having the option can make some of the slower sections of the game breeze by.
Sometimes playing games not as intended is better for newcomers
While both of the Final Fantasy titles are undeniable classics of the genre, not every design element has withstood the test of time. As mentioned previously, both games use save systems that can only be described as archaic. Disappointingly, the enhanced port doesn’t come with full save states, but the aforementioned cheats can make reaching a save point a lot quicker and easier.
Beyond that, some of the boss fights can be needlessly difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing and the character booster can save players from a lot of frustrating trial and error. Plus, grinding in any game has never been fun and speeding up that laborious process can only be seen as a positive element.
Many of these elements can throw a wrench in a spirited playthrough and can frustrate the most patient of players. By souring the experience, they can make players wonder why these games were so highly regarded in the first place. So, while this isn’t the authentic experience, it is probably a better way to actually appreciate all of the things that both Final Fantasy 7 and 9 do right. The great character arc of Cloud Strife isn’t damaged by using them and the battle system is still enjoyable if you don’t have the character booster on constantly.
Of course, how you ultimately play Final Fantasy 7 or 9 all comes down to your own personal desires. The best playstyle is dependent upon what you want out of the experience. If you’re trying to relive your childhood and want to spend over 100 hours exploring and battling in these great fantasy worlds, then you’ll probably want to play in a way that’s authentic to its original release. However, for most players, these cheats deliver a far more enjoyable experience by streamlining many of its tedious aspects. Hardcore players may scoff at the existence of these options but it gives new players the best, most welcoming way to play games that be left on the pile of shame otherwise.