Earlier this week, Ultimate Fantasy 7: The First Soldier was shuttered. This left the final remaining gamers mourning the lack of their favorite battle royale, lamenting for the small however enraptured neighborhood round it, and grieving the friendships shaped inside it.
The sport, first introduced at Tokyo Sport Present 2021, had an unofficial Reddit now swamped with last posts, screenshots of characters, and a pinned thanks message to the a whole lot of followers current there. We reached out to a few of them to listen to their tales, and get some perception into how they spent their final day with Sq. Enix’s doomed battle royale.
“I’ve at all times been a fan of Ultimate Fantasy, 7 included, however I can not fairly put my finger on why I used to be drawn to this recreation,” writes Richard, an American streamer who jumped into The First Soldier when it launched November 17, 2021. “I hadn’t performed a battle royale recreation earlier than this level, both. I couldn’t get any of my mates to play it as they instantly disregarded it for being such a drastically totally different take for a Ultimate Fantasy.”
Trying again, it was a tough promote for a lot of. Not solely did the First Soldier drop proper as battle royale saturation was cementing itself into the online game business, it was one hell of a departure from what Ultimate Fantasy followers are used to. You could possibly even name it ‘cynical’. Even so, the sport bought itself 4 full seasons of content material, which – when blended with partaking gameplay and a coating of that FF7 aesthetic – made a cocktail some gamers simply couldn’t get sufficient of.
And a few beloved the experiemntal recreation greater than others. For Edenia, from Australia, the title was nicely price investing money and time into. “I truly beloved the sport a lot I bought roughly over $1000 AUS price of cosmetics and credit. I made many mates and loved being a part of the neighborhood, kind becoming a member of personal matches to serving to a good friend make a video about this recreation. It was implausible!”
Throughout its brief life, there have been moments of brilliance within the thoughts of the neighborhood. Richard spoke to me of a Bahamut occasion throughout Season 2, the place the summon was super-charged and required a number of gamers teaming as much as convey it down, while all of the whereas the standard battle royale shenanigans have been taking place round them. This proved tough to do naturally (attributable to these tired of taking down Bahamut not co-operating), so a devoted group of gamers shaped groups to take down the boss, securing kills for many who wanted them.
Heidi Van Vuuren, a participant from Zimbabwe, has been providing to recreate individuals’s characters as an act of memorial, with 18 individuals to this point taking him up on the supply, hoping for a everlasting memento of their avatar in The First Soldier. Van Vuuren shared related anecdotes of taking down bosses like Bahumut and Cloud with the assistance of a devoted crew, using round on chocobos in personal matches, and reaching prime rank in staff playlists. However for Van Vuuren, then spotlight was incomes their favorite chocobo from the sport’s restricted time Easter occasion. As of this week, all of those occasions – and the rewards for participating in them – are gone without end.
For a neighborhood like this, the information that The First Soldier could be shutting down was devastating when it dropped in October 2022. In an official submit written by the builders, the rationale for its closure was temporary and surgical: “Regardless of all our efforts to convey you common updates with contemporary and thrilling content material, we’ve not been capable of ship the expertise that we have been hoping to, and that you simply all deserve, so we now have made the extraordinarily powerful resolution to finish service.”
“It was a blindside to make sure,” states Richard. “We had simply had a livestream a day or two earlier than, speaking in regards to the upcoming anniversary occasion. Simply be crushed with the information [of the game’s closure] in a tweet. “I had began to stream the sport possibly a month after it launched, so for as much as about 10 months I used to be dwell each different day with it. Now it felt empty.”
Edenia felt an absence of motivation to maintain taking part in as a lot upon listening to the information, too. “I felt on a regular basis and funding I put into this recreation was wasted.” Trying again by way of posts on-line, this sentiment was shared with many having to decide on between hanging on till the top, or leaping ship earlier than it went away for good.
For people who did stick round up till the top, they have been capable of expertise one last day of enjoyable and video games earlier than the curtains closed and the sport booted them out unceremoniously. Edenia relished their final moments with The First Soldier: “On the final day I took many screenshots of my favorite cosmetics and recorded myself preventing towards different gamers. It wasn’t about being the strongest within the recreation, it was about going out with a bang. I stored taking part in till I could not log in anymore.”
Richard streamed the sport so long as he might, chatting with neighborhood members about one of the best elements of the sport, whereas Heidi (unable to get a lot time in attributable to work) additionally shared recollections together with his mates on-line whereas he “moped round at work all day, very unhappy”.
Now, with the servers down and all their progress in The First Soldier gone, the neighborhood is compelled to depart it behind. Nevertheless, there’s a push amongst these remaining to remain in contact – and transfer to a different recreation the place they’ll maintain the friendships they’ve constructed alive. “Most wished me to play Apex Cellular, however that is not as enjoyable as designing your individual character in FF7:TFS,“ says Edenia. “I heard good issues about Warzone Cellular, in order that could possibly be my subsequent one to play, however in fact I do not assume any battle royale will high FF7:TFS attributable to its distinctive play model.“
They continued: “For the time being we actually do not know what to do. FF7:TFS was what introduced us collectively as a household, so I actually hope I’ll discover one thing related, one thing that comes with JRPG components in a battle royale.”
Heidi feels the identical, not sure if any recreation might seize him like The First Soldier did. “I’m ready for Ever Disaster as a result of a whole lot of my mates say they are going to be taking part in it, however truthfully I do not assume any recreation could possibly be as large part of my life as this one was. Contemplating I had by no means performed a battle royal earlier than, I used to be stunned once I fell in love with the sport, so possibly sometime it would occur once more.”
The dying of Ultimate Fantasy 7: The First Soldier is very similar to the quite a few different multiplayer video games which have been taken round again and flushed without end: it leaves a nomadic fanbase behind, not sure the place to spend its money and time. Right here’s to them, and to their journey to discover a new gaming dwelling.