Pokemon Go February 2020 Events Including A New Legendary, Shiny Pokemon, And More

February is officially upon us, and Pokemon Go developer Niantic has outlined all of the events it has lined up for its hit mobile game this month. In addition to the latest Community Day, which takes place February 22 and will feature a Pokemon voted on by players, this month will see the debut of new Gen 5 Pokemon, a new Legendary, and more.

First, Niantic will roll out another new Special Research questline revolving around Team Rocket. As with the previous Special Research quests, this will culminate in a battle with Giovanni, and if you can defeat him, you’ll earn a chance to capture a new Shadow Legendary Pokemon: Shadow Raikou.

Niantic is also offering a new set of Field Research tasks in February, along with a new Research Breakthrough reward. Each time you achieve a Research Breakthrough this month, you’ll earn a chance to catch the new Gen 5 Pokemon Woobat. Additionally, the Gen 5 Legendary Tornadus will make its debut in Raid Battles starting February 4.

From February 7-10, Niantic is holding a Sinnoh celebration event. During that time, Pokemon originally from the Sinnoh region will appear in the wild much more frequently, and any 7 km eggs you obtain during the event will exclusively hatch into certain Sinnoh Pokemon such as Budew, Gible, Riolu, Hippopotas, and Mantyke. You’ll also have your first chance to encounter Shiny versions of Riolu and Hippopotas during the event, and there will be special Field Research tasks that may reward you with Sinnoh Stones.

The following week, Pokemon Go’s annual Valentine’s Day event will return. The event will run from February 14-17, during which pink-colored Pokemon will appear much more often in the wild and Raids. The Gen 5 Pokemon Audino and Alomomola will also make their debut during the Valentine’s event, and you’ll have a chance to hatch a Shiny Happiny or encounter a Shiny Chansey in the wild.

During the Valentine’s event, Niantic will host a special Raid Day on Saturday, February 15, featuring Lickitung. The developer will also hold a friendship weekend event from February 21-24. During that time, friendship levels will increase more quickly, and you’ll earn twice the normal amount of Candy for trading. Trades will also cost half as much Stardust to perform, and the number of gifts you’ll be able to open each day will be increased to 40.

Last but not least, Niantic will hold two new kinds of events in February. First will be a Pokemon Spotlight Hour, which will take place on February 4. From 6-7 PM local time, a “surprise Pokemon” will appear more frequently in the wild than usual. Then, on February 6, Niantic will host a Mystery Bonus Hour event, which will offer a surprise bonus from 6-7 PM local time. You can read more about Pokemon Go’s February events on the game’s website.

Now Playing: Pokemon Home Cost & Features Announced – GS News Update

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F9: Fast and Furious Trailer Finally Delivers Justice for Han

The first trailer for F9 delivers a big shock for Fast and Furious fans: Han is back. Even though his supposed death in a fiery car crash has been shown three times on-screen — in Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious 6, and Furious 7 — the final moments of the trailer show Han walking into the Toretto family’s base of operations, casually quipping and eating a snack like it’s no big deal that he’s back and looking better than ever.

Check out the trailer below:

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Han Lue, played by Sung Kang, was a fan-favorite character who became one of the franchise’s most tragic and controversial figures due to a series of topsy turvy plot twists. The sixth installment revealed that Jason Statham’s villainous Deckard Shaw was the one responsible for Han’s death, but then fans recoiled in horror when Fate of the Furious pivoted Shaw to a redeemable hero. To pour salt in the wound, even though Shaw murdered Han, he was forgiven by Dominic Toretto and invited to enjoy a Corona with the family, which saw fans revolt with the #JusticeForHan hashtag on social media. Fan anger only swelled when Han’s murderer was featured in the franchise spin-off movie Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.

Now, it seems, franchise vet and director Justin Lin is looking to address all of that by showing what really happened to Han.

A set of character posters for the F9 cast was revealed a few days ago when the trailer was first teased, and now a new poster featuring Han has been added:

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Kang made a surprise appearance at the pre-Super Bowl trailer premiere and concert event in Miami, and there he told the Los Angeles Times a bit about what this version of Han is like.

“[Director Justin Lin and I] know who and what Han is,” Kang said. “And we’re older now. This Han is older. The things that we learned as men in our personal lives, I hope it can transcend on-screen.”

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Kang wouldn’t reveal precisely how Han comes back, but he did say that everything ties back into the franchise’s theme of “family,” adding, “I hope we do it justice.” Kang acknowledged that he’s aware of the surge of fan support for his character, and the trailer seems equally aware of the #JusticeForHan movement with its closing promise, “Justice is coming.”

It may seem unbelievable for Han to have survived that explosion, but remember this is a franchise that has no qualms about playing fast and loose with its continuity. In Fast and Furious, Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty seemingly died in similar fashion to Han — a fiery car crash — but that didn’t stop her from making a return (with amnesia!) in Fast & Furious 6. Han doesn’t seem to have amnesia given how he embraces Dom in a brotherly hug, so we’ll have to wait and see what his deal is when Fast 9 hits on May 22.

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Joshua is Senior Features Editor at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.

Acer’s XFA240 offers high refresh rates at an affordable price

Acer’s gaming monitors run the gamut: whether you’re on a budget or simply need the best the market has to offer, there’s a good chance the company has an option for you to consider. The XFA240 is one of the former, retailing for $199 but offering a full HD 24-inch TN panel clocked to run at 144 Hz and with a 1 ms response time. On paper, it sounds like a great bang for the buck, but we’ve gone hands-on to see it performs under pressure.

Should the Acer XFA240 be the next display on your shopping list? Let’s dig in and find out.

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Design and Features

The Acer XFA240 is simply designed. You won’t find the usual gamer flair found on displays twice its cost – the name of the game appears to be minimizing the extras that add little to your gaming experience and instead bringing gaming-grade, high refresh rate performance to the masses. As such, there’s no RGB or stylized etching; what you’ll see in the pictures is from separate backlights, not the monitor itself.


What you get instead is a straightforward display that’s easy to set up and get gaming with. The stand has a red ring around the base as the lone splash of color, and attaches to the arm with a single thumb screw. From there, the monitor clicks into place on the mounting plate and you’re ready to connect cables. I like how simple and quick it is. The stand is also quite good, offering nearly six inches of height adjustment, plentiful tilt to use the display while standing, and even the ability to pivot it 90-degrees for portrait orientation. The only downside is that it doesn’t rotate, though the base isn’t too heavy to manually turn when the need arises. The display is also VESA compatible for aftermarket mounts.


The bezels are fairly thick compared to many gaming monitors at about a half-inch per side. This is roughly double what you’ll find on more expensive “frameless” monitors, but for the price, it’s hard to be too critical. It does tend to make the 24-inches feel a bit more cramped than I would like, however. This design also allowed Acer to keep the controls right on the face of the monitor, which is eminently better than having to grope blindly along the back.

Coming from a larger display, I found the size of the XFA240 to be “just enough” for a good gameplay experience. The size allowed me to make out details clearly when the brightness or calibration wasn’t getting in the way – and it sometimes did, even after a good 20 minutes calibrating it.


Out of the box, the colors were very washed out – the blacks for example were closer to dark gray. TN panels are known for having worse colors and blacks than either VA or IPS displays but even compared against other TNs I’ve reviewed, this out-of-box picture was one of the worst I’ve encountered. The OSD features six-color hue and saturation adjustments (CMYRGB), so I was able to improve the image but never completely got it to where I was happy. Even though it’s capable of 350-nits of brightness, tuning the colors and blacks forces you to turn that down. It’s a Catch-22 – do you want a bright screen with bad colors and blacks or a dimmer screen with an improved picture?


The brightness also feels slightly uneven. In the picture above, taken in the lobby of The Blackout Club, you can clearly see how dark areas can appear to swallow details. This seems to be related to viewing angle because when I looked at this same scene from a downward angle, I could make out some of what was previously missing. This was also true on the Black Level test in Lagom’s LCD Test Pages, where the blacks in the darkest three boxes appeared crushed until I looked downward at the screen. As a result, I found myself fidgeting with the height of the display more than any other monitor I’ve used.

That isn’t to say gaming on the monitor was bad. At 1080p, my RTX 2080 was able to stay locked at 144 FPS in most games. If you’ve never used a high refresh rate monitor before, you’re in for a treat. Not only is everything smoother but your inputs feel almost instantaneous, which is also supported by the display’s 1 ms response time. This is the biggest benefit of a TN panel and why they’re so popular in esports.

True to what I experienced, the Response Time and Ghosting tests in Lagom’s test suite provided some of the best results I’ve seen. In the Response Time test, the flickering boxes had nearly imperceptible color shifting and the Ghosting Test revealed no ghosts whatsoever. In shifts from light to dark and vice versa, the XFA240 is outstanding.


The display also supports AMD FreeSync and is compatible with Nvidia G-Sync between 48 and 144 FPS. It worked well with G-Sync and my RTX card, the sole exception being Apex Legends, which became very hitchy with G-Sync enabled. The monitor also supports Low Framerate Compensation, so if your framerate drops outside of the FreeSync range, the monitor will automatically increase its refresh rate to provide a smoother gaming experience.

Other gaming features include a Black Level adjustment, an AimPoint on-screen reticle, and FlickerFree technology to ward off eye strain. The first feature is practically useful if you also find it difficult to see into dark areas. The only thing I wish is that it had a keyboard shortcut or controller to quickly make adjustments on the fly. The reticle is also a boon for shooters that don’t offer one, giving you a one-up on accuracy when hip-firing.

The display has built-in speakers, as well as input/output jacks for routing PC audio to your headset. The speakers are only 2-watts each and lack both bass and volume. They’re good for watching the occasional YouTube video but with a normal box fan running in my room, I had trouble hearing in-game details, so you’ll want to find a better option long-term.

Finally, for connectivity we have a single HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI-D connection. The DVI-D port is going the way of the Dodo on many displays but it’s fitting to find it on a more budget oriented option like this. Both HDMI and DisplayPort are capable of carrying audio to route to the headphone jack, but if you’re using DVI-D, you’ll also need to connect the included auxiliary cord to your motherboard.


I played a handful of games on the XFA240 over my week of testing and it performed very well. Full HD is an easier resolution than ever to run, so keeping games in triple-digit frame rates is an option even for gamers on hardware that’s a couple years old. With my RTX 2080, it remained virtually pegged in most games I tried.


Gaming at this refresh rate in a shooter is ideal. In PUBG, that smoothness better allowed me to smoothly track enemies and pull off shots without any perceptible lag. I turned up the Black Level a touch, which let me keep the monitor at a comfortable eye level but also washed out the colors a bit more, which isn’t good when you’re trying to pick out far away enemies. Again, that Catch-22.


In Apex and Overwatch, the XFA240 performed remarkably well. The smoothness was easily on par with my more-than-twice-as-expensive 144 Hz monitor from Pixio. Using the on-screen reticle gave a definite advantage in Overwatch but I quickly turned this off because it felt unfair. I was also able to play both games for a couple hours each without ever feeling eye strain.

The Blackout Club gave me a harder time. There are simply too many deep darks and the brightness issues made the game feel more claustrophobic than it should; like I couldn’t see everything I was meant to. I tried adjusting the monitor to a lower position which helped, but it was frankly frustrating to have to play with my monitor lower than where I wanted it to be. I settled for turning up the Black Level adjustment but precisely because so much of the game is dark, everything again looked washed out. It was unsatisfying.

Purchasing Guide

The Acer XFA240 gaming monitor is available on Amazon with an MSRP of $199.

Star Trek: Picard – Who Is Raffi Musiker?

Vague spoilers follow for Star Trek: Picard Episode 2.

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Star Trek: Picard is taking its time rolling out its main cast members, but by the end of Episode 2 we got to meet Michelle Hurd’s character Raffi Musiker. Not much has been said about her in the show yet, though it’s clear from the way she reacts to seeing Picard that she isn’t too happy with him these days. But the prequel comic Picard: Countdown fills in some of that backstory.

Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker
Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker

Raffi used to be Admiral Picard’s First Officer aboard the USS Verity, which was Picard’s command during the Romulan emergency which saw the planet being threatened by a supernova. We know from the events of Star Trek: Picard that the rescue mission Picard had planned never fully moved forward after a group of synths (androids) attacked Mars, where Starfleet was constructing a fleet of ferries to evacuate the Romulans. According to the comic, Lt. Commander Raffi Musiker was an expert in Romulan affairs, and thus a natural to serve as Picard’s Number One during that mission.

Hurd explained to IGN recently that her character’s feelings towards Picard are… complicated.

“It’s funny because the comic books, I’m literally like [reading them], ‘Oh, OK. Good to know. I didn’t know. Oh, OK!,'” she laughed. “I think like any relationship that you have with someone who you work with, and you honor, and you almost think is your mentor, it becomes all of the above, right? It becomes your best friend, your enemy, your lover, your… It becomes all of those things. So I think she has a very complicated, layered relationship with Picard from her past.”

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Hurd also said that the Picard show continues to do what Star Trek has always done, which is to reflect back on the viewer a dialogue about the issues that are currently facing us.

“Because our writers are so amazing and we can’t help but be influenced by life, we are diving into the reality of the disillusion of what you thought was law,” she said. “That questioning things that don’t seem correct anymore — immigration, inclusion, exclusion, diversity, humanity, life, the preciousness of it. Hope.”

Hurd’s co-star Evan Evagora, who plays the Romulan Elnor, chimed in as well, saying that, in considering the year 2020 while creating this show, the hope is to maintain the vision of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

“It’s able to show the worst of humanity, but also what we could be, the possibilities, the greatness that we could achieve if we all come together,” he said. “That’s always been like Gene Roddenberry’s vision. It’s always to hold a mirror to our world today and the possibilities of what our future could be.”

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For more on Star Trek: Picard, check out what’s going on with Jean-Luc’s parietal lobe (!), find out why Seven of Nine has turned against Starfleet, and catch up on all the different versions of Data out there.

Let’s Talk About Picard’s Parietal Lobe!

Spoilers follow for Star Trek: Picard Episode 2.

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In “Maps and Legends,” the second episode of Star Trek: Picard, our stalwart title character has a conversation with one Dr. Moritz Benayoun (played by reliable character actor David Paymer), an old friend from Picard’s days aboard the USS Stargazer (his first command). Picard, thanks to the machinations of the series so far, wants to lead an off-world mission aboard a starship, and requires a doctor’s medical clearance in order for Starfleet to give him any sort of command. Dr. Benayoun, however, sadly breaks the news to Picard that there might be something medically suspicious happening with the parietal lobe of his brain.

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This mention likely set off alarm bells in the heads of Trekkies everywhere. Picard’s parietal lobe, you see, was actually a major plot point in “All Good Things…,” the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In that episode, Picard – very much in the vein of Slaughterhouse-Five – found himself “unstuck” in time, experiencing the present, the past (when he first took command of the Enterprise) and the future (as a retired admiral on his vineyard. Hm…) seemingly at random. In the “present” of “All Good Things…,” Dr. Crusher met with Picard in his ready room to announce that she, thanks to a specialized scan, located potential evidence of a rare and incurable brain disease called Irumodic syndrome inside Picard’s parietal lobe.

By the “future” of that episode – which falls in with the actual chronology of Star Trek: Picard – Jean-Luc had indeed been diagnosed, and his peers, Data and Geordi, were suspicious of his potentially disease-inspired raving about an “anti-time well” near the border of the Neutral Zone.

Irumodic syndrome, we learn, causes the degradation of synaptic pathways, causing confusion, hallucinations, and eventually death. The first mention of Irumodic syndrome on Star Trek was in “All Good Things…,” and Picard says to Dr. Benayoun – when Benayoun brings up Picard’s unnamed brain issues – that “I was told a long time ago that it might cause a problem eventually,” making a direct allusion to the scene where Dr. Crusher gave Picard his diagnosis. Benayoun says the issue could lead to one of a variety of syndromes.

Dr. Benayoun has bad news for Jean-Luc.
Dr. Benayoun has bad news for Jean-Luc.

Picard’s future in “All Good Things…” was, of course, merely speculative (it could have even been a fantasy concocted by Q), and the events of Star Trek: Picard have now directly contradicted it regardless. But that “I was told” line obviously refers to when Dr. Crusher gave Picard a diagnosis of an ailment in his parietal lobe that could lead to full-blown Irumodic syndrome somewhere down the line. And Dr. Benayoun has now confirmed it, mentioning that whatever crazy journey he plans on making should perhaps kill him before the brain ailment does.

One of the symptoms of Irumodic syndrome, as mentioned above, was hallucinations. In “All Good Things…” Picard had occasional visions of jeering jurors that leaked into his brain from Q’s kangaroo courtroom fantasy (Trekkies know the fantasy well). Back in 1994, I personally operated on the assumption that the “All Good Things…” hallucinations were inserted into Picard’s brain by Q. But they could have easily been actual hallucinations Picard was having right there in his vineyard.

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The fact that Picard may actually have Irumodic syndrome (or something similar) in the continuity of Star Trek: Picard means that some of what we may be seeing is – dare we contemplate? – hallucination. Picard, usually a steely and clear-thinking leader may now be an unreliable narrator, and we, as viewers, now need to be vigilant in eyeballing cues as to what may or may not be real in Picard’s eye. This would, of course, lead to an all-too-familiar narrative can of worms that we may or may not want to open. Are certain characters real? Is ANY of Star Trek: Picard real? Are we witnessing a fantasy/hallucination that Picard is having in his château? While these sorts of gotcha-just-kidding narrative tricks are usually cheaply employed (call it Tyler Durden syndrome), it could – could – be an ultimate nuclear-option-style “out” for the show’s writers in case they end up clashing too much with established Trek canon (à la Discovery). That doesn’t match with what came before? Uh… It was all a hallucination from Picard’s Irumodic syndrome!

At the very least, we now know that we need to be keeping an eye on Jean-Luc’s brain health.

For more on Star Trek: Picard, check out our history of the Borg, find out why Seven of Nine blames Picard, and get confirmation on which timeline Picard takes place in.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Anniversary Trailer: The Most Intriguing Details And Takeaways

The Final Fantasy VII Remake is just a couple of months away, but in the meantime, the game that started it all is celebrating a birthday. The original FFVII launched on the PlayStation 23 years ago, and a new trailer for the Remake pays homage with more characters and scenes we remember so fondly–along with a few surprises. We’ve noted some of the most important, silliest, and coolest takeaways about the upcoming game. So far, the game is certainly shaping up to be quite the revisit to classic adventure, taking familiar elements from the original while also not hesitating to offer some refreshing new changes. If the full game’s rendering of classic characters and moments proves as well-executed as what we’ve seen in trailers so far, then it just might be one of this year’s finest.

For more about FFVII Remake, be sure to read our feature covering everything you need to know about the game. You can also read our impressions detailing our time spent playing the game at E3 2019–one of the few moments where Square Enix offered a hands-on with the remake. If you’re keen to grab yourself a copy, you can also check out our pre-order guide. In the meantime, be sure to watch the new trailer in the player below and let us know your thoughts about how the game is shaping up so far in the comments.

Reeve Clashing With Heidegger And President Shinra

The new trailer makes a point of introducing a host of executives from the corrupt Shinra corporation, but none have the vast implications that the appearance of Midgar’s city planner, Reeve, does. The trailer shows him arguing with President Shinra and begging him to reconsider. The scene is reminiscent of one in the original game when Reeve learned of Shinra’s plan to bring down Midgar’s Sector 7 to crush a section of the slums below, complete with the militaristic Heidegger mocking his cowardice. Given what happens with Reeve’s story arc much later, this scene is laying significant groundwork. We won’t see the full payoff for Reeve until a sequel is released, which could be years away.

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Palmer, Scarlet, And The Shinra LeadershipAlong with the debut of a reimagined Reeve, the new trailer also revealed scenes with Palmer and Scarlet–two other key figures on Shinra’s board of executives. In the original game, these two were the heads of Shinra’s abandoned space program and its weapons development, respectively. Though they didn’t have many scenes in the original game, the moments these two characters did have still made it clear they were among the most despicable members of the company, which made it satisfying to see them get their comeuppance. Though, anyone who’s familiar with the plot will know that a confrontation with these two will come sometime later in the game. Still, it’s interesting to see that they’ll have increased presence in the earliest parts of the main story, and perhaps that could lead to new encounters with them.

The Honey Bee Inn and Cloud’s Makeover

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Surprisingly, the new trailer offered a glimpse at one of FFVII’s most memorable portions, which remains essentially intact. When Cloud and Aerith go to rescue Tifa from the lecherous Shinra informant Don Corneo, they learn that only ladies make the cut in his brothel, the Honey Bee Inn. So Cloud takes his clean-shaven good looks and poses as a woman to gain access to Corneo’s hideout. This trailer shows Cloud’s full and fabulous makeover. In the original, some parts of Don Corneo’s vice den have a tinge of gay panic and might be tone-deaf for modern audiences. Hopefully, Square Enix understood what was unreasonable about the original scene and changed it for the better.

Motorcycle Soldier: Here Comes A New Challenger!

It appears Cloud is getting a new rival in addition to big baddie Sephiroth: this fancy-haired motorcycle-driving scoundrel overtakes Cloud, Wedge, and Biggs as they’re infiltrating what appears to be a Shinra base. Based on his attire, he’s a part of SOLDIER, and if we’re going off the color-coding seen in previous FFVII games, his blue uniform potentially indicates he’s third-class. However, the character’s outfit makes it hard to say for sure, as he seems to be wearing the SOLDIER harness over standard Shinra trooper fatigues.

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This mysterious Shinra SOLDIER’s presence could introduce an interesting layer to the proceedings, as he may challenge Cloud’s understanding of his true identity. That line about having a “second dance” also seems to allude to an established relationship between the two, but given what we know about Cloud’s mysterious past, it’s possible that dynamic isn’t what it seems.

Hey Kids, It’s Red-XIII!

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The cast of Final Fantasy 7 is memorable for a lot of reasons, but even in that storied company, Red-XIII stands out as one of the all-time best character designs. The Final Fantasy series had always centered on human (or at least humanoid) protagonists, but Red-XIII, a crimson hybrid of wolf, fox, lion, and shaman, was something completely different. It stood to reason that we’d see him in this first episode of the Remake, since he first appears as a specimen in Hojo’s lab in Midgar, and our first glimpse from the trailer didn’t disappoint. He looks just as intriguing as ever.

Meh, It’s Professor Hojo AKA The Worst

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We finally get a glimpse at Professor Hojo, who continues to be the awful human being we know him to be. He seems to be observing Cloud via security cameras, which leads us to think he’ll likely be a more persistent threat throughout this first part of the Remake.

Jenova’s Debut And New Boss Fight (Also, Hello Sephiroth?)

The infamous Jenova appears, and as you’d expect, the sight of her instantly triggers traumatic visions of the past in Cloud. While seeing Jenova is to be expected, the most intriguing detail seen later in the trailer is the confirmation that you’ll also get to fight her. Since the first part of the FFVII Remake covers the story up until the end of Midgar, this fight comes as a shock. You don’t technically fight Jenova in the original game until you get to the ship in Costa del Sol, which is a few hours after leaving Midgar, so this encounter is totally new.

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Another important detail is that it appears the party seems to actually see Sephiroth when they find the tank holding Jenova–at least, if their body language is to be believed. In the original, Sephiroth only appeared as hallucinations in Midgar and didn’t actually show up in person until that first fight with Jenova in Costa Del Sol.

Bust Through The Front Door Or Take The Stairs?

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One thing all FFVII veterans will remember is the classic scene where you have to choose whether to break into Shinra HQ by sneaking in and taking the stairs or busting through the front door. Both options are equally viable and entertaining in their own right, but whether you can do both in a single playthrough still remains to be seen. But we all know taking the stairs is the best way, though. Poor Barret.

Climactic Battle Against The Heli Gunner

A little after the halfway point of the trailer, we see Cloud, Barret, and Tifa fighting the “Heli Gunner” boss. This iconic boss originally was part of the climax of the escape from the Shinra HQ as Aerith, Barret, and Red XIII took the elevator to the entrance while Cloud fought Rufus. Here, it looks as though this could be one of the final fights in the game, with the sunrise and highway in the background reminiscent of leaving Midgar in the original. Perhaps once you defeat the first phase of this fight, the Heli Gunner follows you from the Shinra Building?

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It’s also worth noting that none of the weapons that Cloud, Barret, and Tifa are using during this fight were available at this point in the original game. However, it does make sense that new weapons will be available in the remake, considering the only weapon upgrades you previously could get before leaving Midgar were Barret’s Assault Gun and Cloud’s Hardedge. This first part is a full 40-hour game, after all, so they probably had to add more!

More Summon Monsters: Leviathan and Chocobo/Mog

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In previous trailers, we’ve seen some of the summon materia you can find in the first part of Final Fantasy VII: Remake. In the latest footage, it was revealed that the fan-favorite Leviathan and Chocobo summons are back in full force. What’s interesting about summon monsters in this game is that you’ll actually be getting them much sooner than in the original, which could have more to do with how the remake has a more fleshed-out Midgar arc. Like the original game, you can conjure up a massive tidal wave with Leviathan or a stampede of chocobos led by the recurring Final Fantasy character Mog. Both summons have been recreated in the Remake, and they look stunning in action. It’ll be interesting to see if there will anymore summon characters making an appearance in the first part of this reimagining of the game.

You Might Recognize Who Made That Theme Song…

If the sweet theme song playing during the first part of the trailer really got you in the mood for FFVII Remake, there’s a good reason for that. The track was written by none other than classic Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, who stopped writing music for the series after FF10. While his involvement is not a full-on return to the franchise, this contribution to the project is still a nice touch.

Now Playing: Final Fantasy 7 Remake – Official Theme Song Trailer

FF7 Trailer: 45 Secrets, Reveals, and Details

SPOILER WARNING! We’re talking full-on spoilers for the original Final Fantasy 7, which means you’ll also see plot points likely in the remake. You’ve been warned!

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake got an awesome new trailer jam-packed with new and old scenes alike, so we went through frame-by-frame to pick out all the hidden details. There’s a ton here, so be sure to sit back, relax and watch our video showing them off at the top of the page, or watch the original trailer below and follow along with the timecodes of the text version. Let’s dive in!

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0:00 – Things start out straightforward enough with an extended look at the flashback scene of Tifa and Cloud talking as kids in Nibelheim, but it only gets crazier from here.

0:17 – We quickly get a shot of Jenova in a tank, before Cloud gets a headache and we see a single frame of Sephiroth’s Mako-affected eye.

0:22 – Septhiroth himself appears, and it’s immediately clear that this scene is a major change from the original, as he never actually appeared outside of memories or flashbacks during the Midgar portion of the game. We think we have a pretty good idea as to where this scene takes place, but more on that once the trailer itself comes back to it later.

0:31 – For now, we get shot outside of Shinra HQ, before we see a recreation of a scene from the original where Shinra head of Urban Development Director Tuesti is making an appeal to President Shinra not to destroy Sector 7, with Head of Public Safety Heidegger calling him a coward.

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0:45 – A new scene quickly shows what appears to be Shinra creating Materia. Materia is explained in the original to be crystallized Mako, and a scientist can be heard saying “Mako super-saturation confirmed,” before another one replies “Engaging Materia cooling to reduce temperature.”

0:48 – It would make sense, then, that Head of Weapons Development Scarlet is watching this play out. While we do briefly see Scarlet in the original game’s board room scene, she previously didn’t have a role beyond that until much later in the game.

0:58 – Same with this guy, Palmer, the head of Shinra’s Space program. It could be that we’ll only see these characters briefly, or that their roles have been expanded in the Remake. In the original, he’s known for requesting lots of lard in his tea. This time it’s butter, which I guess is better?

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1:04 – Now we get our first glimpse of the revamped Honey Bee Inn, as well as Cloud’s crossdressing scene. This section has been significantly redone, with the Honey Bee Inn now looking more like a night club instead of a brothel, and Cloud changing clothes here instead of at the dress store – at least he’s still got those adorable braids.

1:21 – As he leaves the Honey Bee Inn we can see how much the exterior has changed too, with couples even happily walking by, and get a glimpse of Aerith’s iconic red dress.

1:23 – The Wall Market has clearly changed a lot too, but it still leads up to Don Corneo’s imposing mansion at the top of the street.

1:27 – We see Don Corneo’s extremely gross bride-picking scene play out, as well as Tifa in her purple dress, who Cloud and Aerith have come to save from the Don in the first place.

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1:35 – Next, we get a better look at a brand new character to Remake, Roche. Originally shown off in the TGS trailer, Roche (also known as Speed Demon) is a former 3-C Soldier who rebelled, but it’s still unclear what his relationship to Cloud is and why he’s looking for a fight.

1:40 – Given Roche mentions Cloud kicking the hornet’s nest and Avalanche members Biggs and Wedge are here, we can assume this scene takes place in either the first or second Mako Reactor near the start of the game.

1:46 – Now we finally have a look at Remake’s Red XIII, as well as some dialogue that mirrors the first conversation they have with him just after freeing him from Shinra HQ in the original.

1:55 – But shortly after, we finally jump back to Cloud’s unexpected confrontation with Sephiroth. Cloud attacks, but is easily outmatched as Sephiroth says “A touching reunion,” indicating this is the first time they’ll cross paths in the Remake. And we have a theory as to why they are meeting at all!

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2:08 – After Cloud falls, we see that Shinra’s maniacal Professor Hojo has been watching them. This is entirely speculation, but we’re willing to bet this encounter happens within Shinra HQ. In the original, Shinra HQ holds a much smaller tank containing Jenova, only to have Cloud later see that Sephiroth has opened it and taken Jenova before killing Shinra’s president. Again, this is just a theory, but from your party being present and Hojo having security cameras in the room, it seems possible that the remake will instead have Cloud and friends cross paths with Sephiroth inside of Shinra HQ right before he frees Jenova.

[A quick correction! A few folks have pointed out the distinction that Jenova escaped instead of being “freed” by Sephiroth. That’s a fair and important distinction, but one we don’t think fundamentally alters how we guessed Sephiroth’s appearances in this trailer might play out since it’s not truly revealed until far after leaving Midgar.]

2:22 – Cut to Tifa, Cloud, and Barret running away from a boss enemy called the Heli Gunner. This fight originally takes place on the elevator as you are leaving Shinra HQ, but now it looks like it’ll happen on the way there instead. You can even see the massive expanse of debris behind them that is likely the destruction of Sector 7, with the rest of the plate still above. The party is then running up the rubble instead of climbing and swinging on those annoying ropes near Wall Market.

2:23 – Also, blink and you’ll miss it, but Cloud isn’t using the Buster Sword here, instead wielding what looks like the Mythril Saber. That’s a weapon you could previously only get once you left Midgar!

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2:26 – He also has what seems to be some kind of gun, but we are guessing it may actually be a sort of grappling hook to help melee fighters reach flying enemies, as the same device can be seen on Tifa’s back too. Barret and Tifa also seem to have new weapons equipped here, but not ones that directly resemble anything from the original game as far as we could tell.

2:33 – Speaking of things Cloud shouldn’t have in Midgar, we immediately see the Leviathan summon being used, which you don’t get in the original all the way until Wutai Village.

2:38 – A curved staircase indicates we’re back in the Shinra HQ lobby, while the stairs after are definitely the long, arduous climb up its dozens upon dozens of floors. You can even see in the bottom right that Tifa, Cloud, and Barret are on different floors as they climb. Only 33 more floors to go, Cloud!

2:41 – Wait, Shinra HQ has escalators now? That’s cheating!

2:43 – Another recognizable scene, here we see the party in a Shinra HQ bathroom as Cloud climbs up into a vent to spy on the board meeting we mentioned earlier. This is straight out of the original.

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2:45 – Cut to a different scene entirely, here Cloud is fighting enemies called Sweepers on his own. Sweepers are fought in the very first Mako reactor, so this shot seems to be much earlier – except he’s also got the Choco/Mog summon, which has a Moogle riding a Chocobo fighting alongside him with a timer on the right showing how much longer they’ll be around. We also get a look at its signature Chocobo stampede animation, but Choco/Mog isn’t a Materia you get until leaving Midgar either. So, once again, either it’s been moved much earlier, the Remake will leave Midgar in some way, or Square Enix is messing with what abilities characters have here to make the trailer look cool.

2:55 – After Cloud’s combat, we see Tifa beating down some Shinra soldiers, and judging by the light and rubble, it’s probably on the way to Shinra HQ again.

2:59 – Next, Barrett brings some pain to a couple of enemies called Vargid Police. These strange-looking baddies are fought in Shinra HQ after Jenova is released.

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3:01 – And finally, we come to what’s likely the biggest surprise so far, but we think we might have figured out what’s going on here. Sephiroth seems to disappear into a cloud smoke and light, which then fills up the room as Jenova appears for a boss fight. This is massive because you normally wouldn’t fight Jenova until much later, but we’re pretty sure this confrontation actually takes place in the Shinra President’s office sometime after the previous Sephiroth scene. As we zoom out from Sephiroth to Aerith and Red XIII at the very start, you can see the same red, gold, and black carpet on the floor here that’s behind Tuesti in the scene earlier, indicating it’s the same office. You can also see what appears to be the President’s wide desk where Sephiroth was standing, so we’re willing to bet this is a brand new boss fight that occurs just after he kills Shinra. That said, the Jenova fight then takes place in a very different looking room, so either Jenova has transformed it significantly or the trailer is cleverly cutting two scenes together to throw us off.

3:12 – Following that bombshell is, well, a literal bomb as we see a Mako reactor explode.

3:15 – …followed by Barrett firing his Big Shot Limit Break at a boss called Hundred Gunner, which is also usually fought on the Shinra HQ elevator. We can’t quite tell where it’s placed now, but likely still in Shinra HQ.

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3:16 – This scene of Tifa calling out to Cloud as he falls is likely just after you destroy the Sector 5 Mako Reactor, just before he lands in Aerith’s church.

3:19 – Moving on quickly, we get our first look at Midgar’s final car chase, with the party’s little blue car and Cloud’s motorcycle looking very familiar.

3:20 – As Barrett and Cloud run through an unfamiliar pipe, they are chased by a snake-like enemy called a Sword Dance, also fought in Shinra HQ, before Aerith hits it with a fire spell.

3:24 – Jumping back in time to another recognizable moment, Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa escape the destruction of Sector 7 by swinging (or, possibly changed in this case, sliding) out of danger on a cable as President Shinra looks down on the chaos.

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3:31 – The trailer then closes by raising even more questions. The party stops on the highway after their Shinra escape only to see black smoke-like figures flying upward toward the HQ. These smoke creatures appearing here is obviously entirely new to the remake, but a similar moment was shown in the TGS trailer. Right now it’s hard to guess what they are, but from their hooded appearance, it may be that they’re failed clones of Sephiroth that have taken on a very different nature compared to the original game?

We’ll have to wait to find out for sure, but that’s everything we dug up right now. What do you think of our theories, and have any of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tom Marks is IGN’s Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.

Why Doom Eternal Incorporates Platforming Scenarios

Doom Eternal‘s third level, the frozen-over Cultist Base, kicks off with a little platforming sequence, and if you’ve been keeping up with the game then that might not be too surprising. You’re probably aware that alongside chaotic combat with tough demons, you’ll be doing a lot more than rushing to the next fight. In our three-hour hands-on preview of Doom Eternal, we experienced first-hand just how platforming and traversal has changed things. As to why it’s been emphasized so much in Eternal, we asked game director Hugo Martin about that.

Martin prefaced, “A criticism of DOOM 2016 is that it was kind of like skate parks and arena fights; hallways to the next arena, fight, hallways to the next arena, fight. And the arena fights were great.” He then continued, “But in between the combat arenas, we really needed to make sure that we can engage the player just as much with the spaces outside of the arenas as we could inside…and expand the scope of the levels quite a bit.”

You’re given tools that coincide with this design philosophy, such as the double dash ability, swinging on monkey bars, and wall climbing on specific surfaces. Levels look and feel bigger, and present more intricate ways for getting from point A to B. It also makes the search for secrets and hidden content a bit more involved.

In our experience, platforming elements certainly take some getting used to, especially with this being an FPS. But Martin said it’s meant to be part of Eternal’s ramp-up in getting you to master the several aspects of Doom Eternal: “They’re all of them skill-based traversal puzzles. What would be challenging in the beginning of the game becomes second nature at the end of the game.”

Doom Eternal's third level, Cultist Base, kicks off with a bit of platforming.
Doom Eternal’s third level, Cultist Base, kicks off with a bit of platforming.

Platforming and traversal isn’t just isolated in between combat scenarios, though. Doom Eternal also emphasizes these elements with more spacious combat arenas, giving you more room to navigate these fights and search for much-needed pickups. You can both create space or close the gap between demons depending on the situation, and even pull off aerial glory kills–the Super Shotgun’s hookshot adds to the numerous ways you’ll be moving around in combat, too.

We have id Software’s next game covered from all sorts of angles, so be sure to check out our in-depth preview of Doom Eternal, watch our detailed discussion of the Doom Eternal experience, or read about the changes made for difficulty settings. You can also check out additional stories below.

Now Playing: Doom Eternal’s Combat Is Absolute Chaos, And It’s Awesome

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