Final Fantasy 7 fans are using machine learning to create their own HD remaster

Final Fantasy 7 is still revered as one of the greatest and most influential games of all time. It has been re-released on modern day consoles in HD, but fans are looking to do one better: they are using machine learning to create an even better HD remaster of FF7 that they can be proud of.

One of the downers about the Final Fantasy 7 re-release was that while the graphics were upscaled, the CG pre-rendered backgrounds were not. This is due to Square Enix losing the original files back in the 90s, and as a result they had to apply blurring and smearing filters to hide glaring problems with the models in modern HD settings. The end result is acceptable, but still comes off looking extremely dated.

Thanks to the PC modding scene, there appears to be a remedy. The Final Fantasy modding forum Qhimm has a mod called the Remako HD Field Mod which uses AI upscaling technology to improve the backgrounds. CaptRobau, the mod’s author, cites a program called Gigapixel that takes the blurry images and upscales the pre-rendered backgrounds by as much as 400 percent.

The results are impressive, as you can see below. The easiest way to see improvements are around the train, or the detail of the background behind Barret. (Larger version here.)

Square Enix are working on a full remake of Final Fantasy 7 for years now, but news has been scant since it was first announced back at E3 2015. Earlier this year, the remake’s director Tetsuya Nomura said that news regarding the remake is being put on holdin order to focus on Kingdom Hearts 3, which is set for release on January 29.

Despite the lack of news, the development of the remake is going along smoothly, according to Nomura. Back in November, he said that the development team is still hard at work.