Final Fantasy 7 Remake takes problematic ‘cross-dressing’ scene and turns it into a queer celebration
Final Fantasy 7 Remake expands and reimagines the 1997 classic with a modern lens, transforming the problematic Honey Bee Inn “cross-dressing” scene into something which celebrates the breaking down of the gender binary.
The highly-anticipated game is released on Friday (April 10) as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, almost five years after it was first teased at E3.
Early reviews for Final Fantasy 7 Remake have called it a “thrilling, thoughtful take” on the original, which brings the story of Cloud Strife up to date while staying true to the original.
The remake is envisioned as a multi-part project, with this release retelling the opening Midgar section of the story.
This includes of the most memorable sequences of the original, when Cloud “cross-dresses” to gain access to crime boss Don Corneo’s manor.
Original Final Fantasy 7 included problematic Honey Bee Inn scene.
Cloud collects items of clothing traditionally coded as feminine from Midgar’s Wall Market, with a search for make-up and underwear bringing him to the Honey Bee Inn.
There, the player could take a number of routes, ending in scenes fraught with homophobic and transphobic undertones and suggestions of sexual assault.
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Speaking before the release of the game, director Tetsuya Nomura said that it was important to make the sequence “more modern”.
“If we made the facility like we did in the original game, the physical unease would be staggering, so that was no good,” he told Weekly Famitsu.
How Final Fantasy 7 Remake updates ‘cross-dressing’ sequence.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake tweaks the sequence by recasting the Honey Bee Inn as a campy cabaret bar, and Wall Market as a sort of holiday resort, according to The Gamer.
In the new version, Cloud catches the eye of Andrea Rhodea, proprietor of the Honey Bee, and is challenged to a dance contest.
Andrea then gives him a makeover so that he can enter Corneo’s home, and tells him: “True beauty is an expression of the heart, a thing without shame, to which notions of gender don’t apply.”