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Cloud Strife’s muscle mass on PS5: a very important investigation

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Image: Square Enix

Square Enix just announced Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, a PS5-enhanced version of FF7 Remake that includes graphical improvements like “improved textures, lighting, and background environments.” But some users on ResetEra noticed one other potentially huge graphical upgrade: Cloud’s famously skinny arms may have gotten a bit beefier.

Did Cloud get more swole for next-gen, like the PS5 itself?

Clearly, this warranted a full investigation.

Check out this image, from user Tyaren:

 Image: ResetEra user Tyaren

And this GIF, from user Rickenslacker:

 GIF: ResetEra user Rickenslacker

Convincing, right? These two images make a strong argument. But my Verge colleagues and I weren’t totally sure. Like our brothers in arms at Reddit suggested, it could be a trick of the improved lighting or slightly different angles in the images.

We needed sturdier evidence, and because we’re professional journalists here at The Verge, we knew we had to dig in deep to try to solve this question — like we did when comparing the tall lady in Resident Evil Village to other tall things. So we’ve spent the better part of an hour arguing about the issue in Slack, zooming in super closely on photos of Cloud’s arms, and poring over trailers frame-by-frame to find a noticeable difference in a video game character’s nonexistent muscle mass.

Unfortunately, a few side-by-side images from Square Enix itself made it harder to settle the argument. See for yourself in these screenshots captured from this official Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade video.

 Image: Square Enix
 Image: Square Enix
 Image: Square Enix

We needed proof, darn it. Thankfully, my colleague Mitchell Clark had the powerful idea to colorize images from the PS5 and PS4 versions of the game and overlay them on top of each other. Check out the result in the video below (the PS5 version is red, while the PS4 version is blue). To me, this is the strongest evaluation yet.

Disappointingly, it also makes it appear as if Cloud’s arms haven’t changed in size at all from PS4 to PS5. Womp womp.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if Cloud actually beefed up or not for his PS5 debut. But I think we can all agree on one thing: Cloud’s a lot more swole in both versions of Remake than he was in the original game.

 Image: ResetEra user momerath

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