Read this first! > FAQs and Tutorials

Blagnarok's Ultimate 7H Load Order 2.0 - Best Graphics, Bug Free, Complete

(1/9) > >>

Hi, first off, I take no credit for any of these mods.  All credit goes to all the great modders and artists in the FF7 modding community.  Follow this tutorial and you will have amazing results applying their mods to your legitimate copy of Final Fantasy VII.  Screenshots and gameplay footage are located in section VII.  *Edit 4/13/2020: ReShade installation and settings tutorial have been added to section VI.  Direct links have been added to the IRO versions for the SYW field, battle, and world textures so you don't have to generate them using Satsuki's new program (which caused issues for me.)

I. Introduction

Moddng your PC copy of Final Fantasy VII can be a bit tricky, especially with all the mods and choices to choose from.  Many of the new mods have flashy character designs, but they don't match the rest of the game or the FMV sequences.  How do you know what mods to install, and what settings to select, without spending hours playing the game just to potentially run into some game breaking bug, or worse, a bunch of ugly chibi characters?

Everyone wants the best game experience, something that looks high def with graphical consistency that brings us back to the nostalgia of playing the game long ago, but with improved gameplay and dialog elements.  Something with music and sound that brings us back to the experience we remember, yet has clearer dynamic vibrance without causing listening fatigue.

I have spent years messing with FF7 mods, playing with settings and load orders to create the most seamless FF7 experience I can, so you don't have to spend any of your own time troubleshooting and testing different mods, settings, and load orders.  Whether you prefer the awesome new gameplay experience provided by my favorite mod, "New Threat," or you prefer the vanilla gameplay experience combined with the excellent English re-translation from the Reunion mod, this guide should get you the results you want on the first try, and also aims to be as efficient as possible to conserve precious hard drive space.

The only major inconsistency I have come across so far is that the snowboarding sequence still uses a chibi Cloud model, because nobody has yet figured out how to replace this model.  Basically the camera controls like a first person view, so maybe someone will be able to make a mod that simply removes Cloud's model.  Not sure if anyone has tried this, or if it's even possible, but I have brought up this idea in the General Discussions forum in another post so maybe someone will attempt this fix to the minigame.  I would create the mod, but I have no idea how these mods are made.  What skills I have to offer lie mostly in patience and troubleshooting.  As of now, we are stuck with his chibi model, but maybe someday we could be snowboarding from Cloud's own perspective.

II. 7th Heaven 2.0 Installation and Settings

To begin, you need to install Final Fantasy VII from Steam or CD, then install Tifa's 7th Heaven 2.0 by downloading and running the executable file.  You can install it into any folder, and the program should recognize and point to where you have the game installed under the paths in the Settings>General Settings dropdown menu.

Tifa's 7th Heaven 2.0 -
If for some reason you need to fully delete FF7 and do a clean install, follow the steps in the 7H FAQ:

General Settings:  In 7thHeaven 2.0 under the Settings>General Settings dropdown you want to verify that the paths are pointing to FF7.exe, data\movies, mods\Textures, and mods\7th Heaven within your game folder.  Under "Options," tick On the first two for Activating and Importing mods, and tick On the last option for checking 7th Heaven updates.  Do not select automatic updates for the mods as we will purposefully use previous versions of certain mods to ensure compatibility.  Many of the newer versions of these mods have simply too many new options packed into them that will break the game's graphical consistency or worse.  If you see an update available in the mod info tab that you want to install, a good rule of thumb is to backup the current version of the mod you are going to update, which can be found in your game directory under Final Fantasy VII\mods\7th Heaven.

Game Driver Settings:  For graphics, most of the options should be kept to default.  On the Graphics tab select your desired resolution and turn on V-Sync if desired (recommended.)  On the Rendering tab keep the defaults, but also turn on Post Processing, and select "AMD - SmartBloomHDR" for your shader option.  It looks great on both Nvidia and AMD cards despite the description.  The AMD-SmartBloomAdvanced shader was the preferred option in the past, but SmartBloomHDR beats it hands down with improved lighting and sharper looking textures throughout the game, even during the FMV sequences. On the Advanced tab keep all defaults.  Do not use pixel buffer or linear filter as they degrade graphics quality and shader functionality.  If you think you mixed up your selections, you can hit "Reset defaults" at the bottom and start over.  I run this AMD - SmartBloomHDR alongside my ReShade settings in section VI, and the result is very nice.

Game Launcher Settings: Keep all default options, but also check "High-DPI Scaling Fix," which allows you to play using the 3840x2160 resolution setting if you do not have a 4K monitor using DPI, doubling the game's internal resolution.  The game looks great at native internal resolution regardless of whether your monitor is 2K or 4K, so this setting is completely optional.  However, now that 7thHeaven 2.0 has more texture memory available than previous versions, I do think the the game looks a bit better using this high DPI scaling on a 2K monitor.  The nicest thing about this option is you can leave your resolution set to 3840x2180 and easily switch between 4K and 2K monitors, like I often do with my laptop.  If you experience slowdown, just keep the resolution to 1080p.

III. Downloading and Installing the Mods

Go to the Settings>General Settings tab and look at the Catalog Subscriptions field.  There are two subscription links entered by default in 7th Heaven 2.0, but we will also require some older mods/versions from the previous subscription for compatibility purposes.  Copy and paste this url into the Catalog Subscriptions field, below the other two 7H 2.0 urls in order to access these:

iros://Url/http$    (IRO subscription link from previous 7H versions that necessary mods.)

Then go to the "Browse Catalog" tab at the top of the screen and put your cursor in the "search" box and press Enter.  All the mods from these subscriptions will populate the field in the order that their urls were entered into Catalog Subscriptions, with the older mods you just added populating at the bottom of the list.  Some of these older mods and the newer mods share the same exact names, but have completely different settings.  You can tell them apart by their release dates on the list.  Keep in mind if you sort the list in any way, they can easily get jumbled and it can be difficult to tell which are the newer and older versions.  I have also provided direct links to the mods in this tutorial, so you can download them individually instead of through this catalog.

Download and install all the following mods in this section marked with * first, following all instructions, and then we will take care of their settings and load order in section IV.  Mods that you download from the "Browse Catalog" list will be installed automatically. However, some mods need to be downloaded directly from direct links I have provided because newer versions either have compatibility issues or are bloated with useless texture options.  Any mods that you will download from links or in a zip file can easily be imported into 7th Heaven by double clicking the IRO file, or by selecting the Import button to the top right of your list on the My Mods tab and navigating to the IRO file or mod folder. 

From the 7H 2.0 catalog subscriptions, you want to download and install these first six mods.  Alternatively you can download the IRO's individually then import them directly into 7th Heaven through this link:

* Mods of the Round - Enhanced Stock UI v2.24 by Chrysalis
* Qhimm 3.0 - Gameplay
* Qhimm 3.0 - Minigames
* Qhimm 3.1 - Spell Textures)
* Qhimm 3.0 - User Interface (the new version of "Avatars and backdrops," just renamed.)
* Qhimm 3.0 - World Models (3/3/2020)

Next, from the catalog subscription link you just pasted , from the older mods located towards the bottom of the Browse Catalog list, you want to download and install the following five mods:
* Animations (released 1/11/16 - More stable with Vsync than the newer version and better faster animations.)
* Battle Models - Enemies
* Battle Models - Weapons 
* Field Models - Objects
* Media - Music and Sound

Alternatively, you are having trouble downloading any of the five mods from the older iro link through the 7H program, you can download and import all five from a zip file I created called "Previous Catalog 7H IROs":   You can simply install four of the five mods by simply double clicking the IRO filenames from the zipped file and the 7th Heaven program will import them - you don't even have to extract them. 
The Music and Sound mod, however, needs to be fully extracted from the zip and imported into 7H as a "Folder" due to it's file structure.  If you try to Import as IRO, you will just see blank folders since the mod has no IRO files.  To install this mod you need you need to go to the import button to the top right of your mod list and choose "Import From Folder" then navigate to the folder you just extracted named "2bdd4a94-4b06-46ca-af0a-37b9dfef25aa_Media___Music_and_Sound_2.1" and hit OK.

You also need to download the IRO versions of five more mods and import them into 7th Heaven 2.0 by either double clicking the IRO file and having it automatically import, or clicking the import button at the top of the right side of your My Mods list and selecting the files:

* Dynamic Weapons -     (both Chaos and Dynamic Weapons are found on the same Nexus download page, since both are Kaldarasha's character mods.)
* Chaos - same link as Dynamic Weapons
* FF7.SYW.Battle -
* FF7.SYW.Fields.Chars -
* FF7.SYW.World -

Note: These last three files are the IRO versions of Satsuki's awesome SYW mod.  He now has switched to a program which generates these mods; unfortunately, I found generating the files this way can cause issues in game with the textures, and in addition Windows Defender thinks his program is a virus.  Therefore, I have provided the following links to the IRO versions of his mods from my own Google Drive.

Finally, In order to install the best hi def movies and maintain character model consistency, you want to download the following two zip files and unpack them into the Data/Movies folder in your game directory.

* SYW's Movies 4.01 (zip archive) -
(Alternatively, you can unpack the SWY movie files manually from his IRO version using 7th Heaven's IRO tools, and then paste them into your Final Fantasy VII/data/movies directory.)
The next movie file is just a zip of several movies created to replace the original movies that used the ugly characters in them.  this is essential for immersion, because it's really weird to play the game with full-size characters then have miniature cartoon versions of them in the movies.  It is the most recent and best version available, and I had to scour the web to locate it as only links to the older version seemed to remain.  Download this zip and drop the movies files into your data/movies folder, overwriting any previous movie files you just installed.

* No Chibi FMV's Corrected -

IV. Load order and mod settings. 

This load order and setup is meant to run with the best gameplay mod ever in my opinion, New Threat.  However, many people just want to play the same game they remember with better dialog.  The best mod for achieving good vanilla style gameplay with a better translation is Reunion - Beacause + Menu Overhaul; although, there is a trick to getting it to work with 7th Heaven 2.0.  If you want the Reunion mod, just follow the guide normally and you will find steps for installing the Reunion mod in section V.

If you followed the steps so far, you should have all your movies installed and 16 installed mods listed in 7thHeaven 2.0 under the "My Mods" tab.  First set these 16 mods as "active" using the toggle button.  To set the load order, there is an automatic load order button to the right of the list you can use ONLY if you set the categories of all the "unknown" mods.  The categories you need to select are in brackets in the following load order.  If you set them correctly and sort automatically you should end up with the load order below.  You can also manually move the mods around using the arrow buttons to the right.  The program actually reads the mods in reverse load order, so the ones at the top are overwriting the ones at the bottom so the order is very important. 

1.  Animations   (released 1/11/16)       (Turn on the following: Bloodshot + Kalderasha for both Field and World, 60FPS, Faster Battle Animations, Faster Enemy Deaths, and Faster Summons.  Leave off Faster Numbers, they are too fast.)
2.  Battle Models - Enemies                   (use all defaults)
3.  Battle Models - Weapons                  (Set Cloud's weapons to Millenia+Mike or he will lose his shoulder pauldron in battle.)
4.  Dynamic_Weapons [Battle models]   (Use settings: Original, Yes, Yes,)
5.  FF7.SYW.Battle  [Battle textures]   
6.  ChaOS  [Field models]                     (Use settings: OFF, normal, Prepare for fights..., New HD model, Sitting on Ball, No Shadows, Uncheck reunion model patch, Give me that badass sound.  The Beta-Resized Models option is not only unnecessary, it will also crash your game.)
7.  Field Models - Objects [Field models] (Use default settings)
8.  FF7.SYW.Fields.Chars [Field textures]
9.  Gameplay - Qhimm Catalog              (Set Difficulty to "New Threat" for the best ever gameplay mod in my opinion, hands down, or to any other gameplay mod you prefer. Select "No Change" in order to use the Reunion - Beacause re-translation as explained below in section V.  Under tweaks, turn on the following: Always Run, Clock Fix, Disable Mouse, Increase Sense Limit, Skip Cutscenes {using CTRL+S}, and Sync Barret Opening.  Everything else off.  The Save Anywhere option is off because it can cause broken saves.  For the Always Run option, the game still thinks you are walking normally and running when X is pressed, so keep that in mind when you need to sneak around quietly.  When you want to skip a cutscene, wait a few seconds for the next screen to load in the background or it will be blank.)
10. Media Music and Sound  [Media]       (Anxious Heart - Original Soundrack is my new favorite music option, and is used in the video footage linked below.  Set sound to Armorvil.)
11. Minigames - Qhimm Catalog             (use all defaults, except for Motorbike Chase>Textures select "No Change," or you are likely to end up with pink artifacts in the background during the chase.  I always get them, and they are annoying, even though the other minigames are fine with Grimmy's textures.  The chase looks great with the original textures anyway.)
12. Spell Textures                                  (use all defaults)
13. Enhanced Stock UI-rel2                    (use all defaults {first option should be On by default} except set Font Style to "Gradient" to avoid eye fatigue, and be sure to set the Field Dialog Style option to "Stock" or New Threat will have some broken dialog in the Shinra basement and the Temple of the Ancients.)
14.  User Interface - Qhimm Catalog       (use all defaults as the mod author already defaulted to all the best options in this version, including Buster Glare.)
15.  World Models - Qhimm Catalog        (use all defaults)
16.  FF7.SYW.World  [World textures]

For controls, the new version of 7th Heaven is now completely compatible with standard Xinput controllers, including the XboxOne controller.  However, there is a good chance your controller will not work without first changing the "preferred controller" setting in Windows.  First, plug in your usb conroller and type "game controller" in windows search to get to the USB Game Controllers menu, then select the Advanced option, and choose your controller as your preferred device.  (Why this is considered an "Advanced" option at all is beyond me.)  The movement keys are mapped to the analog stick, so the D-pad does not function, unfortunately, but you can still use your keyboard.  I use a Logitech F310 controller which has a button to toggle between the D-pad and analog.

If you have followed everything correctly, you should have an amazing and bug free HD Final Fantasy experience with the best and most consistent gameplay and graphics mods available. Just hit the "Play" button at the top left of 7H and enjoy.  Thanks to the new version of 7th Heaven, you no longer have to change any settings to the FF7.exe, mount the FFVIIDISC1.iso file, nor run the Game Converter file.

In game, the New Threat gameplay mod gives you some choices.  Normal Mode is the way I play, and is very well balanced in the newer versions.  Select Arranged mode for a more challenging experience, especially with boss battles.  When Barrett gives you the option to choose your battle music, select Field Music for a more immersive game experience.  The battle music option can also be changed at save points.

V. (Optional) Reunion Mod Tutorial, for those who prefer vanilla gameplay over the New Threat mod, and would like to have the excellent language re-translation from Beacause.

Many people prefer to play Final Fantasy 7 without any new gameplay mods, but still want a much better translation than the official release.  To achieve this, you will need to download the mod titled "Reunion - Beacause + Menu Overhaul" from the old subscription catalog link above in section III.  Same as with the other "previous version" mods that you installed, it will show up towards the bottom of the catalog list when you enter the IRO subscription URL into 7H.)  Alternatively, you can download it here and double click the iro file to install it:

In the 7th Heaven 2.0 program, after downloading and installing the IRO, Reunion should show up on your "My Mods" list at the bottom with an "unknown" category label.  Change the category to "User Interface" and hit the auto-sort button to the right.  This should put it just below the Enhanced Stock UI-rel2 mod in your load order, in the 14th slot just above the "User Interface" mod, and your load list will now have 17 active mods total.  Double click on the Gameplay mod, and change the Difficulty setting to "No change," but keep all other settings the same. Next, you absolutely must change the settings of both the Enhanced Stock UI-rel2 and Reunion to make them compatible, since the Menu Overhaul user interface option in Reunion no longer works at all in 7th Heaven 2.0, as a result of how the new version loads the FF7.exe file.  Go into the settings for Enhanced Stock UI-rel2 and change the Field Dialog Style from "Stock," which is required for New Threat, to "Menu Overhaul," which is required for Reunion.  Leave everything else exactly the same.  Finally, change the settings in the Reunion mod itself to "Beacause - On" to achieve the re-translation we want, and leave everything else set to Off or Default, otherwise Reunion will be incompatible.

VI.  (Optional, but recommended) ReShade Tutorial:

I have created a really nice Final Fantasy VII ReShade preset to run alongside 7H 2.0 and your favorite graphics mods.  This preset is sourced from McIndus' FF8 ReShade preset found here using his Mega settings option with a couple changes.  Namely, I lowered the intensity of the ColorMatrix shader and removed the Vignette shader.  This makes the games colors look a lot less saturated and very nice, and makes everything look a little better and sharper in my opinion, including the movies.  The best part is it removes the oversaturation inherent in the game's graphics, while still maintaining the integrity of the colors and scenes.  These changes also are an improvement in FF8, and you can use this preset for either game.

Comparison screens:
Field -
Battle -
Snow -
World -

To install:
1. Download the newest version of ReShade from their website and run the program from anywhere (I just run it from my Downloads folder.)  Click the big button to select a game, click Browse, and navigate to the FF7_en.exe program in your game folder.  (7H 2.0 causes multiple copies of FF7_en to show up in my list, so I have to navigate to the file manually to be sure I select the right one.)  Make sure you have OpenGL selected when you apply ReShade.  It will give you an option of what shader compilations you want to download, just leave the default top two selected.

2. Download my preset file and place it in your game folder:

3. Run FF7 as you normally would.  Press the "Home" button to bring up the ReShade menu.  (You might need to hit numlock first in order to hit "Home.")  At the very top, click on the field to select your preset and navigate to the ReShadeFF7_Blagnarok.ini you placed in your game folder.  This will automatically select the shaders and the settings you need.  Hit the "Reload" bar at the bottom to load the shaders.  From now on, they will load automatically whenever you start the game.

4. At the top of the ReShade menu, go to the Settings tab and set your Spacebar as your "Effect Toggle Key" (or any other key combination you prefer.)  This will allow you to easily toggle all the ReShade shaders simply by pressing your spacebar so you can easily compare how much better the game looks anytime you want.

ReShade Troubleshooting: 
If the shaders look bad, you might have to turn off the post-processing for 7H 2.0 under the game driver settings.  Personally, I keep it turned on and run ReShade alongside AMD -SmartBloomHDR, but either way looks good to me.
If the shaders slow your game down, you can download and use the following preset for lower shader settings which still look great:
If you decide you want to uninstall ReShade, just run ReShade install program again from anywhere (again, I just leave it in my Downloads folder) and navigate to FF7_en.exe, and this time it will give you the uninstall option.
To get your game looking exactly like my screenshots, follow my mod installation tutorial here

VII. Media (ReShade shaders not applied.)

Gameplay Footage, shot in 4K windowed mode using 7H 2.0, the AMD-SmartBloomHDR shader, and Anxious Heart - Original Soundtrack:

Screenshots, 4K, SmartBloomHDR shader:
Basement -
Sephiroth -
Costa Del Sol -
World -
Junon Area -
Moogle -
Gold Saucer -
Junon -
Wutai -
Wutai Rock Sculptures-
Bone Village -
Icicle Inn -
Bridge -
Crater rim -
Crater -
North Cave -
North Cave -

If you are having any problems downloading or installing any of the mods, please comment below.  It helps me keep this guide up to date.  I hope you've found it helpful in building your perfect FF7 experience. 

Cheers and regards,

(Windows 10 pro gaming tip: To get the best video quality and performance in any game running on Windows 10 with a modern Nvidia GeForce graphics card, right click on your desktop, select NVIDIA control panel, go to Adjust Image Settings Using Preview, choose the third option and move the slider to Quality.  Setting individual graphics settings on Nvidia cards used to be the best method, but with the new cards it's far more efficient and better looking in every game to let the card control those settings.)

Hi there !

Just stoping by to say thanks for the detailed post.

Got it right on the first try and the result is so damn good thanks to all those great modders!

Actually got an issue downloading the "music and sound" but that's fine I just couldn't wait for the updates coming soon;

Cheers  ;)


--- Quote from: SleepR on 2020-03-02 21:34:37 ---
Actually got an issue downloading the "music and sound" but that's fine I just couldn't wait for the updates coming soon;

Cheers  ;)

--- End quote ---

Yeah, that was probably an issue with trying to download too many of the iro's at once using the subscription.  Those big files can get stuck, so it's best to download them one at a time.  I'll add that to the post.  Glad you like it!

Thanks for this! Given that 7th Heaven 2.0 is out, can we now use that (v2.0.3.406) instead of 1.54?


--- Quote from: carlcamper on 2020-03-05 07:30:48 ---Thanks for this! Given that 7th Heaven 2.0 is out, can we now use that (v2.0.3.406) instead of 1.54?

--- End quote ---

Well, I was unaware this was released already.  This is a bit of a game changer, pun intended.

Edit:  I have now reworked the entire guide to be compatible and seamless with 7th Heaven 2.0.  Thanks for bringing the update to my attention!


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version