Final Fantasy 7’s Honeybee Inn sequence has been iconic since the original, and the recent Remake introduced a number of changes that made it more festive, inclusive, and memorable. But some of the originally proposed changes for it were just a bit too exuberant for the final cut.
In a Square Enix-published interview with the game’s co-director Motomu Toriyama, he says that Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Honeybee Inn choreography originally contained a pole dancing scene for which at least some filming was done. However, it was ultimately scrapped.
”For [the Honeybee Inn] scene, we commissioned a team of professional dancers that create burlesque shows and choreography. They proposed changing the concept and choreography for each section of the dance-off.
”We actually went through multiple recordings and corrections when making the scene.
”Initially, for example, there was a pole dancing scene included, which meant that filming began on an elaborate set. We decided to take that part out due to the impact on the rating!”
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Toriyama goes into quite a bit of detail about how the team wanted to makeover the Honeybee Inn sequence for Final Fantasy Remake to both satisfy fans of the original who expected to see Cloud crossdressing, while also making the event more of a celebration. He came up with the idea to create a musical number on stage as the central attraction, taking inspiration from traditional Parisian cabaret and burlesque dance shows.
”Given how famous the cross-dressing was in the original Final Fantasy VII, we were aware that people would have high expectations for the remake,” he said. “We knew we had to do it in a way that both lived up to those expectations, but took modern sensibilities into consideration.
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”For example, fans these days expect stories and dialogue in games to go beyond stereotypical depictions of gender. Through Andrea’s lines and the lyrics of the backing track, Stand Up, we tried to build in a positive and supportive message for Cloud during his cross-dressing scene.”‘
Other changes occurred throughout the development of this section. For instance, Toriyama says Cloud and Andrea originally had a longer section of dialogue that had to be cut down to fit the music. Another idea had Andrea meeting with Cloud at a bathhouse and giving him a massage in a scene that would have been a bit closer to the original.
Toriyama says that more scenes in the Remake sequels could differ significantly from the original and that players should look at the Honeybee sequence as a good example of how the developers at Square Enix could change things up.
Ultimately, the various twists and turns Honeybee Inn took worked out into an incredible spectacle of a sequence, one of many improvements to the original game that led to us being so impressed with its ability to breathe new life into a classic. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is out on PS5 now with a number of improvements including a new storyline with Yuffie, and we’re eagerly waiting to see what changes to the original script are in store for Part 2, which is now in development.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
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