Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a tremendous reimagining of the original game, and that’s only becoming more clear with Intergrade, the upgraded PS5 version of the title. One of the biggest changes to the story is coming with Yuffie’s DLC episode, as it introduces the ninja much earlier and gives her a more involved role.
Arriving in Midgar to steal the “Ultimate Materia” from Shinra, Yuffie’s DLC takes place alongside the events of the Remake. At the same time, the trailer holds quite a few surprises for fans of the series, with the biggest being the introduction of Deepground and Weiss the Immaculate.
Deepground was first introduced in the PS2 spinoff Dirge of Cerberus, which took place after the events of Final Fantasy 7 and Advent Children. The involvement of Deepground could mean huge changes for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and it’s important to explain the group’s role in the series previously.
According to Dirge of Cerberus, Deepground does exist during the events of Final Fantasy 7, but the group doesn’t surface until much later. At the same time Shinra Headquarters was built in 1976(in FF7’s timeline) the Deepground facility was established at Maker Reactor 0. The secretive facility served two purposes; as a img of power for the headquarters, and as an experimental lab for wounded soldiers. The only members of Shinra that know about Deepground are the top executives, Heidegger, Scarlet, President Shinra, and Hojo. Not even the Turks in FF7 know of the existence of Deepground.
Shinra hoped to create a loyal group of supersoldiers with Deepground, that would follow orders without question. Exceptionally talented members of Deepground are formed into a SOLDIER group called “The Restrictors.” Under the Restrictors more and more troops were sent to Deepground against their will and assigned into ranks, with Tsviet being the best of the best. It’s also important to note that the Tsviets were, in part, created through the research of Vincent Valentine’s father, Grimoire Valentine. Eventually, the Tsviets, led by Weiss the Immaculate overthrew the Restrictors and took control of Deepground. At the end of Crisis Core, the Tsviets recover the Genesis and help him reform and get back to full health. Although Genesis refuses to join Deepground, the Tsviets are injected with his cells, granting them even more immeasurable power.
Years after the finale of Final Fantasy 7, Deepground is working to dig themselves out of the destroyed remains of Shinra, while other groups like the World Regenesis Organization are working to search for secrets left by Shinra. This results in Deepground being unleashed on the world, and from there the plot of Dirge of Cerberus kicks into gear, with Deepground, under the manipulation of Professor Hojo, trying to use Vincent Valentine to unleash Omega, the planet’s ultimate defense.
Deepground’s role in the series is pretty convoluted, but it basically boils down to an experimental section of Shinra that holds unimaginable power. The Final Fantasy 7 Remake sort of hints at the possibility of Deepground when the party goes into the Underground Test Site and fights the failed experiments. Now Yuffie’s DLC is directly bringing Deepground into the story, as a shot from the trailer shows Yuffie and Sonon being surrounded by Deepground soldiers. The trailer also shows Weiss the Immaculate, but it’s not exactly clear how he factors into everything. A Famitsu interview with Tetsuya Nomura reveals that Weiss will be a boss fight done through the combat simulator in the DLC, and Nomura has wanted to see Cloud fight Weiss for a long time. This could mean that he’s simply a cameo fight and doesn’t have a role in the story, but that seems unlikely given that Deepground itself does play a role in Yuffie’s story.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake splits from the original timeline more as the experience goes on, and the ending leaves things wide open for wherever Square Enix wants to go. The Remake version of Sephiroth may have decided to use Deepground to his own ends, but it’s also possible that Yuffie and Sonon just accidentally stumble upon them. Yuffie played a central role in Dirge of Cerberus, so it makes sense she’d be the character to first encounter them. With Yuffie and Deepground both coming to the Remake, it also seems like Vincent Valentine is right around the corner.
Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade released on June 10 for PS5.