Image: Square Enix

As many will no doubt know already, prior to the release of Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation 1 in 1997, Square was initially planning to develop the game for the Nintendo 64, even going so far as to make various tests for the console.

However, due to the overwhelming scope of the project and Nintendo's decision to stick with cartridge-based memory storage, Square eventually decided to defect to Sony in February 1996, in order to take advantage of the PlayStation's CD-ROM technology.

At the time, the news sent shockwaves through the industry and led to Square and Nintendo becoming estranged in the years that followed.

Final Fantasy VII Ad
Here's one of the North American ads for Final Fantasy VII, which poked fun at Nintendo's decision to stick with cartridge-based media

The Final Fantasy VII character programmer Hiroshi Kawai even told Polygon's Matt Leone in 2017 that the split was so bad that Nintendo told Squaresoft to "Never come back" after the decision, implying that Nintendo wanted nothing to do with the developer following its betrayal.

This story has been told time and time again across YouTube videos and articles, but there's an interesting part of the tale that we never even knew about until recently, which reveals that Square had some pretty big plans for the N64 before its defection.

While looking into the history of the N64 for an upcoming feature on the N64DD, we came across an interesting article in an old Game Machine magazine from November 1st, 1995, where Square announced it was planning to launch a ¥500 million joint venture comprised of itself, Nintendo, and the software developer Justsystems in October 1995 to “develop software for the 64-bit home video system ‘Nintendo 64’”.

Game Machine November 1st, 1995
Image: Game Machine November 1st, 1995

According to this article, Square was planning to invest 70% of the company's capital (an amount roughly equivalent to £2 million or ¥350 million), with Nintendo offering 20% and Justsystems chipping in another 10%. Hisashi Suzuki, vice-president of Squaresoft, was also slated to be the president of this new company.

However, as history tells us, none of these plans ever came to anything, with Square deciding to part ways with Nintendo just months later and abandoning the N64 completely.

[source onitama.tv]