This Final Fantasy article contains spoilers.
Final Fantasy fans have been waiting years for the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, a completely reimagined retelling of one of the most beloved chapters in the series. And while the game released by Square Enix this week only covers a portion of the original experience (with more coming in later installments), it gives fans a largely expanded and graphically improved version of Midgar to explore.
There are plenty of familiar faces, too. Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith are front and center in the struggle against the dastardly Shinra Electric Power Company, which is draining the planet Gaia of its lifeforce (“mako” in the game) in order to fuel its own technology. Avalanche, an eco-terrorist group created to stop Shinra, launches a plan to destroy the organization’s energy reactors and put a halt to its grotesque machine.
Cloud, an initially disillusioned mercenary and former member of SOLDIER, Shinra’s elite security force, joins Avalanche early in the game and meets many of the group’s most colorful members, including Wedge, Biggs, and Jessie. If those names sound familiar to you, it’s because they all appeared in the original Final Fantasy VII. In the remake, these characters are fleshed out a little bit more and their time on screen is expanded.
Those who played the original game know how their stories play out and will find that a familiar fate may await this trio in the remake, although their endings are more ambiguous than in the original. After bombing the Sector 1 and Sector 5 reactors in Midgar, Shinra decides to retaliate by dropping part of the upper city on the Sector 7 slums and the Avalanche headquarters below. In an effort to stop Shinra, the Avalanche members rush to defend Sector 7’s pillar but they fail and most of them are killed in the process. Wedge, Biggs, and Jessie all die during this attack in the original game.
But Final Fantasy VII Remake plays around with events and changes certain things that might surprise fans. While Jessie dies under slightly different circumstances than in the original — crushed by rubble — Biggs and Wedge both barely survive this attack. Biggs is wounded during the attack but is saved by Cloud, while Wedge is rescued at the last minute as Sector 7 is destroyed. We later see Biggs recovering in bed, his fate unknown.
Meanwhile, Wedge helps the heroes during the attack on Shinra Tower but is eventually overwhelmed by Whispers, and the game hints that he’s been pushed out of a window to his death, suggesting that Wedge has died as he did in the original game. But we never see him actually thrown through the window. We only hear the shatter of glass as the screen fades to black. This could mean that he survived the fall or it’s simply a fake-out.
It’s clear by the end of the game that Final Fantasy VII Remake is creating an alternate timeline of events and that things might not play out how fans expect. While you’ll be left to wonder what became of Biggs and Wedge after the credits roll on Final Fantasy VII Remake, which ends just after Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barret, and Red XIII escape Midgar, this isn’t the only time in the series you’ll encounter Wedge, Biggs, and Jessie in the franchise. In fact, alternate versions of all three of these characters exist in other installments.
Fans of the series know that Final Fantasy has a tradition of re-using characters across installments, even though most entries don’t have anything to do with each other. For example, each main entry in the series since Final Fantasy II features a character named Cid in either a major or minor role. (He was even retconned into a remake of the original Final Fantasy years later.) Each version of Cid is slightly different — in Final Fantasy II, he’s a minor character who flies an airship as a taxi series, while in Final Fantasy IV he’s a playable character who designs airships and in Final Fantasy VIII he’s the headmaster of a school. Despite the fact that each Cid is technically a different character, he is usually some sort of mechanic, engineer, or pilot who helps the protagonists.
Wedge and Biggs originally appeared in Final Fantasy VI as soldiers of the Gestahlian Empire who accompany protagonist Terra Branford on a mission to the mining town of Narshe, which opposes Imperial rule. The duo is presumably killed when confronted by the frozen esper Valigarmanda inside the Narshe mines.
These characters were, of course, inspired by the wingmen who fly alongside Luke Skywalker during the Death Star attack in the original Star Wars, Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles. The callback to Star Wars in Final Fantasy VI is a fitting one since the story pits a ragtag group of freedom fighters against a powerful Empire.
Biggs and Wedge have appeared in several other Final Fantasy games, including the most recent installment, Final Fantasy XV. They’re also in Square’s beloved 1995 RPG Chrono Trigger, where they team up with another character named Piette, named after the Imperial admiral in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Biggs and Wedge usually show up as soldiers, security guards, or government operatives.
An alternate version of Jessie appears in the MMO Final Fantasy XIV, where she’s known as Jessie Jaye. In that world, she’s the deputy president of Garlond Ironworks, an organization of engineers who help in the war effort against Garlemald. (Versions of Cid, Biggs, and Wedge also work for Garlond Ironworks in this game.) Jessie Jaye, who wears a headband and has her brown hair tied in a ponytail, even looks like her Final Fantasy VII counterpart.
While these characters may have fallen in Final Fantasy VII Remake, their story continues in other parts of the series. If you fell in love with these characters so many years ago or are getting to know them for the first time now, there are plenty of other adventures in which to encounter this trio. This is certainly a great excuse to go back and play Final Fantasy VI.