Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, players had the chance to thoroughly explore the movesets of Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and Aerith through an extended stay in Midgar. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth adds several new playable party members. While we already covered how one of those new playable characters, Red XIII, controls (read more here), this time, we're talking about another playable party member: Cait Sith.
The cat creature joins the party during the course of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth following a brief cameo in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Just like Red XIII, he becomes a playable character for the first time in the Remake trilogy in Rebirth. As the team began adapting the underappreciated character for gameplay fitting the Remake trilogy and, in particular, Rebirth, they looked towards Cait Sith's original Final Fantasy VII mechanics.
"For Cait Sith, we wanted to keep intact the really fun elements from the original, like the dice attacks and the luck components in his battle play; that's shown in Rebirth as well," director Naoki Hamaguchi tells Game Informer. "Of course, given its very cute appearance, it's going to have a more quirky and extravagant fighting style as opposed to the more orthodox battle style of Cloud."
Battle director Teruki Endo agrees with Hamaguchi's desire to rely heavily on the original elements prevalent in Cait Sith's style. "It really goes back to looking at and analyzing what is at the core of these characters going back to the original," Endo says. "For Cait Sith, there are these luck-based abilities; we really wanted to express these in Rebirth. Starting from there, we would then build upon it with commands and actions we felt were suitable for this character. It's not just the case for [new additions like] Cait Sith or Red XIII, but the same games for other characters like Cloud or Barret. Seeing what fighting style or battle experience players think of or imagine when playing as Cloud or Barret, and then analyzing this on a more micro level let us express it as we do in Rebirth."
Cait Sith starts battle as a singular character, with the option to attack, perform a special ability known as Kitty Wallop, or use a luck-based command like Lucky Roll. However, the main differentiating factor for Cait Sith's battle style lies in his ability to summon a secondary character to lend a hand and, in the process, change his combat mechanics completely.
"By calling a Moogle into battle, Cait Sith's battle style will change," Hamaguchi says. "You can jump off and control Cait on your own. In that case, the Moogle is just an A.I. character that battles on its own. When the HP is depleted to zero, it disappears, but you can call it again to make it appear again. There are attacks you can only do when you're solo and not on the Moogle, but there are some that you can only do when you're riding it."
During a hands-off demo showing off a side mission (read more here), Hamaguchi, who is giving the demo, shows off Moogle Mine, an ability the Moogle can use while on the battlefield. This ability spreads mines within a radius of the Moogle, damaging any enemy that gets close enough to one. While I wasn't the one controlling the action, it did seem to be a fairly impactful move from Cait Sith and the Moogle.
As with all party-character pairings, Cait Sith has Synergy Abilities with every other character in the party. Sadly, I only got to see one of Cait Sith's Synergy Abilities, but if it's any indication, we're in for some fun interactions with the other characters in the party. Hamaguchi activates a Synergy Ability between Cloud and Cait Sith. The result is one of the zaniest attacks I've seen in the Final Fantasy Remake trilogy to this point. Cait Sith summons a Moogle, who grabs Cloud's Buster Sword while Cloud rides on its back. Even as Hamaguchi touts the juxtaposition between Cloud's more orthodox style and Cait Sith's over-the-top, extravagant style, their combination in this Synergy Ability feels natural and fitting while also being completely wild and silly.
I can't wait to play more of Cait Sith and learn how he interacts with the other characters when Final Fantasy VII Rebirth arrives on PlayStation 5 on February 29. For more on Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, be sure to check out our exclusive coverage hub by visiting the banner below!