Final Fantasy VII Remake has now been out for several months on the PlayStation 4 after years of waiting. What with the ongoing pandemic and all, there is a good chance that if you're at all interested in it, and have it available to you, that you've plugged enough hours into it to at least beat it once by this point. If nothing else, by now you've figured out what happens to the cast, including the secondary characters like Biggs, voiced by Gideon Emery in the game. ComicBook.com recently had the opportunity to chat with several members of the voice cast, Emery included, via email about their work on Final Fantasy VII Remake and what they make of it now that it's out in the world and in the hands of folks.
At this point, Emery himself almost needs no introduction. He previously played the villain Deucalion in MTV’s Teen Wolf, yes, but he’s also a prolific voice actor with credits in animated projects like Tangled: The Series and Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay in addition to providing the voice for a number of characters in video games like Balthier in Final Fantasy XII, Fenris in Dragon Age 2, and, of course, Final Fantasy VII Remake's Biggs.
Warning: Beyond this point, there be spoilers for Final Fantasy VII Remake.
So how does Emery feel about the reception of Final Fantasy VII Remake? As you might expect, he's thrilled. "It’s been fantastic to see how well it’s been received," he says. "I know there was a lot of expectation since the original game was so well loved and I’m especially glad that the remake has touched people in a similar way."
Even so, Emery himself has yet to actually play the remade title and wasn't familiar with the original prior to getting the role. According to him, he doesn't have a console any longer -- not since he became a parent. That doesn't mean he won't ever play it. "Perhaps I can get ahold of an old [PlayStation] to play [Final Fantasy XII], too," he adds. Balthier, the character Emery voiced in the 2006 mainline Final Fantasy title, plays a major role, and is arguably in some ways more of a protagonist than the main player character, Vaan.
Just because he voiced Balthier doesn't mean he was guaranteed to play a character in Final Fantasy VII Remake, however. "I audition for most everything although it certainly helps that I’ve worked on many games in the Final Fantasy franchise," Emery says. "I’m always happy to work so it’s always a thrill."
Biggs, if you're not already aware, is a relatively small part of the original game, and his role as a member of AVALANCHE is seriously expanded in the remade title. There is just more meat on the bone, so to speak, with his interactions with the main cast like Cloud and Tifa and Barrett in addition to those with fellow AVALANCHE members Jessie and Wedge. "I love the banter with Jessie and Wedge," Emery says of the trio and more specifically his favorite scenes. "But seeing Biggs riding on the back of Wedge’s bike had me laughing uncontrollably for several minutes."
Voicing Biggs wasn't all fun and games, though. Because Emery isn't completely originating the role, which as with other Final Fantasy titles is in Japanese first, the most difficult part of playing him was actually the technical aspect of it all. "Biggs doesn’t have heavy emotional lifting to do," Emery admits, "so I’d say the biggest challenge for me was fitting some of the dialogue into precise timings we were given to match the Japanese. We had to be frame perfect."
As you likely know by now, Biggs suffers some serious wounds in battle with Shinra forces later in the game. The actual end of the video game makes his fate somewhat more ambiguous, however, thanks to... well, let's just call them "shenanigans." It's unclear whether he will appear in future releases, but that doesn't phase Emery. "Many of my acting roles have met with some kind of demise," he says. "It’s sad but hey, I get to walk away and act in something else, unlike the character."
And it is well known at this point that there will be further chunks of Final Fantasy VII Remake, though there is no telling when they might release or what they will be called. (After all, this first distinct part is simply "Final Fantasy VII Remake" so, uh, that name's taken.) If it should be the case that Biggs does return, and Emery is once more asked to play the beloved character, he is ready. When asked whether he'd be up for returning, he responded simply: "When do I start?"
Final Fantasy VII Remake is now available for PlayStation 4. It's currently unclear exactly how many games the Final Fantasy VII Remake will be comprised of, as it's known that it will be releasing in distinct chunks. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the title right here.
Have you had a chance to check out Final Fantasy VII Remake? What do you think of Emery as Biggs? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!