Decades later, these remakes haven’t fixed their racial representation issues

Enlarge / Barret was a complex character in Final Fantasy VII. Then you hear him speak in the remake…

April saw the release of both Final Fantasy VII Remake (FF7R) and Trials of Mana, two 20-plus-year-old roleplaying games recreated for modern times. These re-imaginings have received solid receptions from both critics and players and introduced these titles to a new generation of potential fans.

But despite all the changes introduced in the intervening decades, both remakes unfortunately still include some of the same issues present in their original inspirations. Specifically, these games still do a poor job portraying people of color, via Barret in Final Fantasy and Kevin in Trials of Mana.

Blaxpoitation Barret

In the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Barret Wallace is many things: he is a good parent, a vigilante, a commanding officer, a robust party member, and a hero. He is shown to be an interesting and endearing person in a number of different ways. Through him we learn of how dedicated Avalanche is to stopping Shinra. He’s the first character to fully accept that their eco-terrorism has serious consequences, such as harm to innocents. Barret also reminds players of the hypocrisy in working for an evil corporation.

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