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500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of Special Box Set Edition

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Our Final Fantasy 7 oral history book is out now

Check out photos of the final book

Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory

Late last year, Polygon teamed up with publisher Read-Only Memory to launch a Kickstarter campaign. We’d gotten a number of requests to turn our Final Fantasy 7 oral history feature into a book, and we thought it seemed like a fun experiment. So we gave it a shot. And thanks to 1,871 backers, the idea became a book.

Since then, we’ve been churning through the details, putting together what we’re calling 500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII. And as of today, we’re happy to announce that the book is done, starting to arrive into backers’ hands and available for purchase.

If you’re counting, that makes it nine months since the Kickstarter campaign closed, 20 months since the original article ran on this site, almost four years since I started thinking of this story, and about 21 years since Final Fantasy 7 went on sale in the first place. These things take time.

When I started working on this story, people still cared about Flappy Bird. Square Enix hadn’t even announced its Final Fantasy 7 remake. And now, through some combination of laziness, perfectionism and whatever else, I’ve had a hand in this story for about three times as long as the development team spent making the game itself.

In that time, we’ve put together essentially a director’s cut of the story that originally ran online, with a foreword from series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, new interview material, outtakes that didn’t fit in the original story, art from illustrator sparrows, design from Rachel Dalton and production from Darren Wall. It even comes with three bookmarks, one of which unlocks a particularly elaborate Easter egg.

All of which is to say, check out the book at Read-Only Memory’s site. Buy a copy if you like. Or just read the online version of the story again. Chances are you’ll have plenty of time before Square Enix’s remake hits.

500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of book with belly band wrapping
In place of a dust jacket, 500 Years Later comes wrapped in a belly band with art from illustrator sparrows.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of first two pages of foreword
The book opens with a foreword from Final Fantasy series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of two pages of interviews
The bulk of the book consists of commentary from more than 30 interviews with people close to Square.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of two bookmarks next to the book
Every copy of the book comes with three bookmarks, one showing the table of contents and a second showing a map of the area around the office where Square developed Final Fantasy 7.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of the third bookmark, a cipher
With the third bookmark, you can find a hidden message to unlock an Easter Egg.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of illustration of Hironobu Sakaguchi
Sparrows’ art carries over inside the book with a series of black and white illustrations of key people and moments in the story.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of illustration of developers huddled around a computer
One of the illustrations shows when Square got Final Fantasy 7’s tech up and running.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of illustration of announcement that Square will make PlayStation games
Another of the illustrations shows the announcement of Square making games for PlayStation.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of Special Box Set Edition
Exclusive to some Kickstarter backers (and shipping next week), the Special Box Set Edition comes with a numbered box, a fold-up poster and a series of art cards, along with everything that comes with the regular edition.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of book sitting inside Special Box Set Edition
Open the Special Box Set Edition up and you’ll see the belly band front and center.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of multiple Special Box Set Edition copies, taken of the backs of the boxes
The back of the Special Box Set Edition lists each of the book’s interviewees.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of art cards inside Special Box Set Edition
The Special Box Set Edition comes with a series of exclusive art cards.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory
500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII - photo of Special Box Set Edition poster of belly band artwork
The final bonus from the Special Box Set Edition: a poster of the belly band artwork.
Darren Wall/Read-Only Memory

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