How To: Make Final Fantasy VII PC Work in Win7!

Well one of my hobbies is to make really old games work on modern computers. I don’t have any decent programming knowledge, so these hacks are usually made by someone else so don’t start saying that I fixed ff7, I didn’t. I just know a guy who did. I figured I should write these down so I don’t forget. I’m also thinking of setting up a wiki for other games, but that’s far down the road.

ANYWAYS… How to install the PC version FF7, on modern computers.

First off, I’ve seen a number of sites telling people to turn off UAC, DO NOT DO THIS!! UAC is VERY important security wise and turning it off will open a HUGE amount of security flaws!! I will NEVER advise people to do this and the internet would be a better place if everyone else did the same. All of my tutorials assume UAC is active and you should never have to turn it off to get your games running.

This tutorial is largely focused on Windows 7 as that is what I use, but these instructions should also work on Vista and XP. This method is designed to work with the original game, many pirated copies of this game will NOT work with this tutorial. I have also not managed to get this to work with any no-cd cracks so don’t try that either. If you know how to install FF7 and it’s updates already just skip on ahead to step 3.

Step ONE: Install FF7

  • Using the INSTALL DISK right click on the program called “ff7inst.exe” and choose “run as administrator”. If you’re using xp just double click on it.
  • Ok click next on the “Welcome” screen with Areith on it. That should bring you to the “select components” screen with Cloud on it, here you should deselect all three options. We don’t want any of these outdated files on our systems.
  • On the “Setup Type” screen with Tifa on it, be sure to choose “Maximum install” (very important).
  • The “Choose Destination Location” screen with Barret on it isn’t too important I like to choose “c:\Program Files (x86)\Final Fantasy VII” but I’m weird that way. Just click next here.
  • Click next on the “Select Program Folder” Screen with Yuffie on it. (anyone else think her smile is creepy in that pic?)
  • After this Vincent should start up right away and install the files over. Once that’s done the FF7 cd will brag about how awesome it’s 3d technology is and bug you about the also equally awesome 3d drivers on the cd. Ignore this message as they obviously don’t know what there talking about. This game was glitchy as hell from day one and even in it’s day the graphics were average at best. DO NOT USE THE DRIVERS ON THE DISK!!
  • When the read-me pops up make sure you read the part about the controls, as they are f’d up and it’ll probably mess you up later if you don’t remember what these are (You can change them later in the game don’t worry).

STEP TWO: The official 1.02 patch

  • In a attempt to fix there f-up Edios released a patch for ff7 to try and fix some of it’s graphics problems, this worked for windows 98, but there’s still allot left to be desired from this update. Still though, it does still fix a few things so make sure you install this. Download the patch from one of these links.

Link 1 <– Includes alternate languages

  • Inside that zip file are the “fixed” .exe files for FF7. Overwrite the files in your ff7 folder (Probably c:\program files\square soft, inc\final fantasy vii), with the files from the zip.

STEP THREE: the FF7_OpenGL mod.

This mod is a brilliant piece of programming by Aali from the Qhimm Forums. It translates the graphics instructions from FF7 into OpenGL instructions that modern systems can understand. He’s also added a number of other changes including some patches that fix glitches that destroyed a few parts of the game (mostly the mini-games). Here is where you can download this.

Link 1 <– Check the first post.

  • Ok applying this mod is fairly simple, same as the 1.02 patch, just copy the entire contents of the zip file into your FF7 folder.

Now this is the part where some people were saying to turn off UAC, you don’t need to. There are two options, the easy way is to change the compatibility mode for ff7 and ff7config to always run as administrator, it works fine but I don’t like it because it gives the game admin rights, there is another way to make it so the game will run without compromising security.

STEP FOUR: Changing FF7 Security Settings.

If you are using XP you can ignore this step because XP doesn’t have UAC. Also if your lazy you could just run FF7 as admin and skip all this. (not recommended)

  • browse to where your FF7 folder is stored, since mine is saved in “c:\program files (x86)\final fantasy vii” I would browse to “c:\program files (x86)\”  If your ff7 is in “c:\program files\square soft, inc\final fantasy vii” then browse to “c:\program files\square soft, inc\”
  • Next right click on the “Final Fantasy VII” folder and click on “Properties”, then choose the “Security” tab near the top of the window. After that click on the “Advanced” button.
  • This windows shows you the security settings for the FF7 folder, what we need to do is give the user group “Users” full access to this folder. This will allow ff7 to write to it’s own folder without giving it admin access. This will also make modifying the files in this folder easier because UAC won’t bug you every time you want to change something.
  • We do this by clicking on the “Change Permissions…” button, next double-click on the entry that say’s something like “Users(Name of your computer/Users)   Read & Execute”.
  • Next check the “Full Control” check box, then click ok. Near the bottom of the “Advanced Security Settings for Final Fantasy VII” window, there is a checkbox that says “Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object”, make sure that box is checked. Then click ok, then next. You can close out of all the other windows now.

This should make it so you can now change the display settings without any problems.

STEP FIVE: Changing the display settings.

  • Run FF7Config.exe, Click on the “Graphics” tab and set the “Renderer” drop down option to “Custom” it should give you a message about passing a test, just click ok on that, then click ok to exit the program.

Technically your done. You can play the game to your hearts content, the game works 100% the way it was intended. But what if you don’t want to play it a it was intended. In addition to the graphics fixes that the ff7_OpenGL provides it also provides a small set of other tweaks that you can turn on if you wish.

The only thing I’m gonna cover here is setting a custom resolution, there are a number of cool hacks in the same file but I’m not gonna spoil the surprise by telling you what they are….

  • Open the ff7_opengl.cfg file in notepad or some other basic text editing tool.
  • Scroll down to the area that says “window_size_x = 0”, the settings in this section lets you change the resolution to whatever you want, I’m going to change them like this….

# set the window size (and fullscreen resolution) of FF7
# 0 means use original resolution (whatever ff7.exe provides)
# preserve_aspect adds black borders as needed to preserve a 4:3 aspect ratio
window_size_x = 1024
window_size_y = 768
preserve_aspect = yes
fullscreen = yes

OPTIONAL STEP SIX: Changing the music.

The built in music sucks as it’s midi, but don’t worry there’s a way to fix that!

The folks over at the Qhimm forums have been working on this one for a while, but basically what it does is it mutes the midi music and plays the original PSX version of the music in the background. It checks what part of the game you’re in and what song is supposed to be playing, then it plays the appropriate song. The best part of this is that you can change it to play whatever you want.

There is an easy installer file available here…

Link 1 <– Check the first post

  • Ok install the program with the default settings, then browse to the root of the c drive (C:/)
  • Ok if you’re running Windows XP you’re done, you don’t have to do the next few steps. And again you could just run everything as admin and ignore all this, but I recommend against it.
  • Here I want you to do the same thing as we did with the Final Fantasy VII folder. Give the users group full access, this way ff7music can write to it’s own folder without having to be run as admin.
  • right click on the ff7music folder and choose “Properties”, then switch over to the “Security” tab, next click the “Advanced” button.
  • Click on the “Change Permissions…” button, next double-click on the entry that say’s something like “Users(Name of your computer/Users)   Read & Execute”.
  • Next check the “Full Control” check box, then click ok. Near the bottom of the “Advanced Security Settings for FF7Music” window, there is a checkbox that says “Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object”, make sure that box is checked. Then click ok, then next. You can close out of all the other windows now.

And you’re done. In order to use the ff7music mod you have to first open ff7music, then run the game. The installer also includes a icon that does this for you, it should be on the desktop named “Final Fantasy VII”.

Other mods:

As you’ve probably noticed everything here is from the Qhimm forums, there are a ton of other mods on that site and I highly recommend going there and checking it out for yourself.

  1. #1 by Covarr on October 4, 2010 - 12:38 am

    Just a warning, my FF7Music installer doesn’t use the PSX music by default, it uses a “remastered” version of the soundtrack by finalfantim. Most people think it sounds better, but the post you linked to has directions for switching to the original PSX music for those who are interested.

  2. #2 by Clint Theriault on October 4, 2010 - 1:12 am

    Right I forgot to add that… I’ll edit that in before I post this on the blog that people actually go to.

  3. #3 by Colski on October 14, 2010 - 11:28 pm

    Legend! You don’t want to know how long I’ve spent attempting to get this working on Windows 7. Turns out my problems seemed to be down to the security settings of the folder. Keep up the good work!

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