Sakaguchi was responsible for writing the initial plot, which was substantially different from the final version. In this draft for the planned Super NES version, the game's setting was envisioned as New York City in 1999. Similar to the final story, the main characters were part of an organization trying to destroy Mako reactors, but they were pursued by a hot-blooded detective named Joe. The main characters would eventually blow up the city. An early version of the Lifestream concept was present at this stage. According to Sakaguchi, his mother had died while Final Fantasy III was being developed, and choosing life as a theme helped him cope with her passing in a rational and analytical manner. Square eventually used the New York setting in Parasite Eve (1998). While the planned concept was dropped, Final Fantasy VII still marked a drastic shift in setting from previous entries, dropping the Medieval fantasy elements in favor of a world that was "ambiguously futuristic".
Sephiroth is the focus of three pieces of music written by the series composer Nobuo Uematsu. His official theme in Final Fantasy VII is "Those Chosen by the Planet", using chimes, low drums, a resounding chorus, and rising guitar strings. An abridged version only including the chimes and low drums from the first part is used for both the scripted battle against the dragon in the Nibelheim flashback, and the final battle against Sephiroth, and to a lesser extent when Cloud arrives at the Nibelheim mansion up to Sephiroth leaving to "see [his] mother". The theme returns in the remake of the game. 1e1e36bf2d