I didn’t go to NYCC expecting much of the gaming world. But sometimes, opportunities arise unexpectedly, and that’s exactly what led to my attending the Meet the Voice Cast of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth panel. Not only was I lucky enough to secure a prime seat, only a couple rows away from the stage, but I took plenty of photos of the experience.
It started with the jovial MC hosting a competition with volunteers from the audience. They alternated in rounds posing as famous characters, and many were dressed for the occasion. My favorite was a tall, slender man dressed as Wailuigi, but there was another seasoned contender wearing a pretty bow. She played to win, and regularly posed as characters from Final Fantasy, which kept her high in the audience’s favor. It wasn’t enough to win it big, though, as the MC finally told both contestants they couldn’t use FF for the final pose, and Wailuigi won it big.
After that mayhem, T-shirts were thrown to those dancing to the music, which lasted for a surprising amount of time, but all in good fun. Finally the MC went aside and a new person took over as the mouthpiece for the event – some guy named Matthew Mercer. Maybe you’ve heard of him?
Bad jokes aside, Mr. Mercer lived up to the hype, and was engaging and full of jokes as he introduced the cast members – Cody Christian (Cloud Strife), John Eric Bentley (Barret), Britt Baron (Tifa Lockheart), Max Mittelman (Red XIII) and Suzie Yeung (Yuffie Kisaragi). Not present on the stage was Briana White, who voices none other than Aerith Gainsborough, though she did appear on one of the massive screens to either side of the stage to say hi briefly.
One of the more fun reveals from Meet the Voice Cast of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth was that Matthew Mercer wasn’t just the announcer for the panel, but he’s also going to be the voice actor for moody vampire Vincent Valentine! He even went full Vincent a couple times in the panel, changing his voice at a moment’s notice. Not only was I really impressed by Matthew, but I was surprised to see on the big screens he had colorful pinkish purple fingernails. Clearly a man of style and taste.
Besides that, they also brought on Naoki Hamaguchi and his translator, though Yoshinori Kitase didn’t make the trip. Instead, he made a brief announcement from the big screens. There was a lot of love and brotherhood on display during the voice panel, from John Eric Bentley’s warmth and big brother energy to the cast being welcoming of Cody, who hadn’t ever done voice acting prior to this. Suzie showed how to channel her inner brat for playing Yuffie, and Max talked about the challenges of riding a chocobo while being a four legged cat creature. They even showed off Cloud in a resort town riding a really awkward vehicle around.
All in all, I’m very glad I was able to attend the Meet the Voice Cast of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth panel at NYCC. Be sure and check out some of the pictures I took. And stay tuned for more coverage from NYCC 2023!