The Nibelheim Incident is a fan-written Final Fantasy VII novella by Scottish author M.J. Gallagher. Accompanied with captivating illustrations by Crimson Sun and a stunning cover by AJ Hateley, the story of arguably the most important scene in the Final Fantasy franchise is creatively retold. The Nibelheim Incident is a behemoth undertaking (comprised of over 200 pages). Presented in conjunction with KupoCon, attendees at ‘Pomathon’ (Birmingham, 8th September 2018) received digital and limited print copies of the book.
Today the general digital release of the novel is launched.
You can download it for free here:
About the creators.
Like all parties in FFVII, the creative team behind The Nibelheim Incident consists of three important people:
- Mo Gallagher is mostly known online as the highly praised author of an unofficial novelisation of Final Fantasy VII, and Axtelera Ray™: The Chronicles of Astrone. He has also attended various KupoCons, even delivering a live reading at ‘Pomingham Palace’ (London, 3rd February 2018).
- The book’s illustrator, Crimson Sun, is an Australian artist who creates art and merchandise and is particularly celebrated for collections of Final Fantasy themed tarot cards.
- The cover artist, AJ Hateley (Co-Director and Art Director of the UK-based Gametee) designs original, game-related merchandise.
In expanding an iconic moment in the Final Fantasy franchise, Mo effectively delivers a gripping and fresh narrative, building emotional depth and suspense. Being faithfully reverent to the canon and cohesively combining all FFVII Compilation material, you can easily forget that it is fan-written.
With various entries in the FFVII Compilation also dealing with the ‘Nibelheim incident’, the official story surrounding this moment can be puzzling. The original game’s introduction to this event hinged on an inaccurate retelling by a confused, traumatised Cloud. Each subsequent official retelling of this tragedy has related it from different perspectives whilst adding new details, creating a Rashomon effect. Mo’s version, however, smoothly weaves all of these threads together. As an author who has studiously examined the Compilation as a whole, Mo has constructed an account which reads complete, in a compelling way which never feels derivative.
The novel is decorated with beautiful drawings by Crimson Sun which capture the soul of the story. The reader is rewarded with an image at the end of every chapter and these pieces are a brilliant complement to the novel. The captivating front cover, illustrated by AJ Hateley, is appropriately gothic in style, suiting the novella’s horror themes.
The Nibelheim Incident is well-written, equipped with effective imagery and emotional depth. Telling the story by following the perspectives of various characters, you feel like you get to know them better as people and not just their roles. Mo Gallagher breathes life into characters, exploring their feelings, inner conflicts and dilemmas. The complex ethical issues surrounding the Shinra organisation’s activities are outlined honestly, dealing with nuances whilst not shying away from illuminating the dark, sinister secrets which exposes the still-beating heart of the horror of the incident itself.
If you desire to relive the nostalgia, this novella is also for you. Imaginative and descriptive world-building, recreating areas from the games familiar with fans, will be sure to trigger affectionate memories; you could easily imagine yourselves stepping into the story we all fell in love with.
I earnestly encourage any fans of Final Fantasy VII to revisit Nibelheim through this novella!
Like it? Please support the creators here:
- M.J. Gallagher: https://www.patreon.com/MJGallagher
- Crimson Sun: https://www.patreon.com/crimbly
- A.J. Hateley: https://gametee.co.uk/