Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth reveals another Crisis Core Reunion callback

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will bring back Cissnei, a key character returning from the prequel title Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth reveals another Crisis Core Reunion callback
Lee Brady

Lee Brady


Are you currently planning on jumping head-first into those Final Fantasy VII Rebirth trophies without having played any earlier entries in the series? Well, we previously suggested you play Crisis Core Reunion before Final Fantasy VII Rebirth; what with that game's lead character Zack Fair appearing in the upcoming sequel. Plus, with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth bringing back Cissnei, it's about to get even more confusing for newcomers.

Spin-off character Cissnei joins the mainline series in FFVII Rebirth

The return of Crisis Core Reunion supporting character Cissnei was revealed in the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth State of Play showcase — a big surprise for fans of the FFVII prequel. For those who have never played Crisis Core or the now-defunct mobile title Before Crisis, Cissnei was introduced to the story as a young recruit for the Turks (Shinra's special task force).

Crisis Core Rebirth Reunion Final Fantasy VIIThis is Cissnei.

She plays a central role in Crisis Core as one of Zack Fair's colleagues and close friends, and the two share an occasionally flirty relationship with one another (at least until Zack starts dating Aerith Gainsborough, at any rate). That said, if you've never played one of the Final Fantasy VII spin-off games, you might never have heard of her. After all, she doesn't feature in the original FFVII as she was created after that game's release.

Cissnei will play the role of an NPC in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, having seemingly settled in Zack's hometown of Gongaga after the events of Crisis Core. That's great news for fans of Crisis Core Reunion who enjoyed the character, but it might present a brand-new headache to players who have only ever played the original FFVII or even just Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Previously, we figured it would be fine to recommend skipping Crisis Core Reunion to those who had played the original FFVII because the gist of Zack Fair's story is covered by the original PS1 game. However, now that Cissnei — a character who does not feature in the original game — is in FFVII Rebirth's story, it might not be so simple for long-time fans to jump into the new game without having played Crisis Core.

It's even more complicated for players who haven't played the original FFVII, as now that's two major characters appearing in Rebirth whose stories are largely covered by Crisis Core Reunion — a prequel game that is filled with spoilers for FFVII Rebirth. It leaves new players with three choices: either book up on all the major releases to date; play Crisis Core and take the Cloud Strife twist spoilers on the chin; or go into Rebirth blind and try to make sense of it as you go.
Honestly, at this point, there is no right answer. The Final Fantasy VII franchise is a chaotic, interlocking web of spoilers and references you're not going to get. Play all the games and you'll rob yourself of much of the remake's novelty. Plus, even playing most of the old games might not be enough. I recently played FFVII Remake's DLC before Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and found myself blindsided by references to Dirge of Cerberus that I didn't get. Am I really supposed to play that poorly received PS2 game now just to keep up with that?

No; we've all got to draw a line in the sand somewhere. For many of you, I think that line in the sand could be a lot closer to home than mine. At the end of the day, as central as Cissnei is to Crisis Core, you could probably grasp the entirety of her relationship with Zack with a few lines of dialogue in Rebirth. So, if you're worried that you don't know who this character is, I say don't worry about it. It's cool if you recognize her, but it's not set-aside-30-hours-of-your-life-to-get-the-reference cool.
That said, if you do think you'll have the time, I do think most fans of the series should get to know Cissnei by playing the prequel — after all, I did recommend it in my Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion review. If you've already played Crisis Core, let me ask: are you surprised to see Cissnei make a reappearance in Rebirth? Let us know in the comments.
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Final Fantasy VII Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Sonic games; Kingdom Hearts). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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