Red XIII isn't playable in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Square Enix has confirmed.
Speaking to VG247, Final Fantasy 7 Remake co-director Naoki Hamaguchi said the iconic red wolf / lion turns up in the game at one point as a guest character, but he's controlled by the AI. You can't control him yourself.
Explaining the move, Hamaguchi said because Red XIII joins the party later in the story, there's not enough time to flesh him out.
"We felt the point at which Red XIII joins the party in the story is very late on so we thought okay, if we're gonna have him as a full character and try and get the player to enjoy his character development arc and growth as a character through that, it's not really enough time to do that," Hamaguchi said.
"We thought that the best way to have him involved was as a guest character. Normally throughout the game you'll be playing as a three-man party, but you will have him as a guest character that fights alongside you during the last part of the story.
"He'll be using all of his old really nostalgic moves, and you'll see that. We felt that was the best way of showing him off as a character and who he is. That's why we felt that was the best way to include him."
The news Red XIII isn't playable in Final Fantasy 7 Remake will come as a shock to some given the character's appearance in pre-release marketing material for the game - and the fact he is playable as a party member in the original before the story moves on from the city of Midgar.
In the original Final Fantasy 7, Red XIII joins Cloud's gang after he's rescued from the Shinra Headquarters, where he's undergoing experimentation under mad scientist Professor Hojo.
But the remake, we now know, only has four playable characters: Cloud, Tifa, Barret and Aerith. So, we'll have to wait until the next Final Fantasy 7 Remake game (Final Fantasy 7 Remake 2?) before we can control Red XIII.