->'''Terra''': "You want answers, I can't agree with you more. All I'm saying is that, maybe we can help each other."

Shards Of Memory is a ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' fanfiction written by Drake Clawfang. Set in the world of ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', the core of the story is that it follows [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud]] on their quests for their [[MacGuffin Crystals]]. While they travel together and come to trust each other, the various Warriors of Chaos are still plotting against their respective heroic counterparts, Sephiroth and Kefka being those chosen to oppose Cloud and Terra. Thus Cloud deals with nightly MindRape courtesy of Sephiroth inflicting LaserGuidedAmnesia on him in his sleep to erase his memories of Aerith, with the ultimate intent of seizing control of Cloud's mind. Meanwhile Kefka uses his Crystal to play havoc with Terra's control over her powers. As a result the two are forced to confront their {{Dark And Troubled Past}}s, which they keep hidden from the other. This only causes problems down the road as Sephiroth and Kefka try to turn them against each other.

Besides the titular protagonists and their rivals, the story also focuses heavily on [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV Golbez]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Jecht]], and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII Emperor Mateus]], the latter [[spoiler:briefly usurping Garland as TheDragon at the height of his role.]] It's also a PragmaticAdaptation--the timeline and events are redone, the backstories for the Crystals, Chaos, and the Warrior of Light are completely different, and several new concepts that have no basis for the actual canon are introduced. While it is intended as a shipping fic, there's not as much romance as good friendship between Cloud and Terra, though deeper feelings are hinted at and remarked on by other characters.

At over 250,000 words and 40 chapters with an epilogue, the story is completed and is currently one of the longest ''Dissidia'' fanfictions on Fanfiction.net. Can be read [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4803900/1/Shards_of_Memory here]].

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!!This fic contains examples of the following:

* AdaptationalHeroism: [[spoiler:Shinryu]] was a definite antagonist in ''Dissidia'', but in the fic is relatively benevolent, though in a self-interested way. [[spoiler:Since Omega would destroy all existence including him if he wasn't keeping it sealed, he does so because naturally, he wants to live. He also shows genuine gratitude to the heroes for ending the cycle of war, since that means any risk of Omega powering up and breaking the seal is now gone.]]
* AdaptationalVillainy: Kuja's AntiVillain traits from ''Dissidia 012'' are left out since it was released after the fic was well underway. Sephiroth is much more obviously a villain and wants to conquer Cloud's world, as opposed to ''Dissidia's'' PunchClockVillain WarriorPoet interpretation.
* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: [[spoiler:It is revealed by Shinryu that the world of ''Dissidia'' makes the chosen warriors a collective FisherKing -- the landscape is shifted in patches to fit each character's memories of home, with parts of other worlds thrown in to create the sense of several worlds being merged as one when actually its an entirely separate world.]]
* AIIsACrapshoot: [[spoiler:Omega was programmed with no objective but to destroy. Since it got cast into the Void, the hub of the ''Final Fantasy'' multiverse, its objective redefined as the destruction of all those worlds, turning it into an absolute OmnicidalManiac.]]
* AntiVillain: Golbez and Jecht. [[spoiler:They upgrade to {{Anti Hero}}es after their {{Heel Face Turn}}s.]]
* ArcWords: Every chapter begins with a historical quote relevant to the events about to unfold.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:Golbez's motivation is the restoration of the Lunarians. After his plan collapses Cecil convinces him to help them defeat Chaos to make amends.]]
* BatmanGambit: [[spoiler:Golbez's betrayal of the villains? Mateus was counting on it.]]
* BackFromTheDead: All the villains were dead in their respective worlds before Chaos revived them prior to the story's events.
** Later invoked by [[spoiler:Sephiroth, Ultimecia and Kuja]]
** And then by [[spoiler:Cloud.]]
* BattleCouple: Cloud and Terra, eventually.
* BerserkButton: Kefka ''[[UnstoppableRage loses]]'' it when [[MinorInjuryOverreaction someone actually manages to hurt him]].
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Jecht intervenes to save Tidus during the battle with Mateus.]]
* TheBigDamnKiss: [[spoiler:Chapter 19; Terra kisses Cloud to break Sephiroth's control over him.]]
* BiggerBad: Shinryu is foreshadowed as such. [[spoiler:Turns out he's just so powerful, he's AboveGoodAndEvil and is unconcerned about mortals -- the ''actual'' Bigger Bad is Omega, who would destroy the multiverse if Shinryu wasn't keeping it sealed in the Void]].
* BloodlessCarnage: Gradually subverted. Earlier battles use minimal blood, but the characters began getting more and more battered as time went on. The battles Sephiroth is involved in are particularly brutal for Cloud.
* BroughtDownToNormal: [[spoiler:Golbez]] loses [[spoiler:his]] powers in Chapter 25.
* TheCameo: Numerous other characters appear in flashbacks or are mentioned in passing.
** [[spoiler:Lightning]] is mentioned as Hikari's predecessor as the leader of the heroes in Chapter 33.
** [[spoiler:Aerith]] appears to Terra in a vision in Chapter 30, though Terra doesn't know who it is.
** [[spoiler:Lightning and Ramza]] appear as former Champions of Light in Chapter 39, though unnamed.
* CharacterDevelopment
** Cloud: HeartbrokenBadass-->TheDeterminator[[spoiler:-->TheChosenOne[=/=]TheLeader]]
** Terra: ShrinkingViolet-->PluckyGirl[[spoiler:-->TheLancer.]]
* CharacterRerailment: Invoked. In earlier chapters Mateus was loud and pompous, and was regarded as a joke by the other villains for trying to order them around. After English footage of him was released, he was tweaked to be more in-line with the SmugSnake personality seen in the game, and his earlier characterization was given a HandWave as an act to [[spoiler:fool Golbez into thinking he was safe to keep scheming undetected.]] Golbez's role and characterization also began to shift around the same point.
* ChekhovsArmory:
** It's mentioned early on that Cloud has Fire, Cure and Thunder Materia. The latter two don't come into use until Chapter 21.
** [[spoiler:Mateus uses the Dark Crystal to revive the slain Warriors of Chaos. Hikari uses the Light Crystals to revive Cloud in the same manner.]]
** The CombinationAttack mentioned below.
** [[spoiler:Jecht receives a power boost from Tidus's Crystal and enters his EX Mode to fight Mateus. In the battle with Chaos the heroes do the same with their respective Crystals.]]
** [[spoiler:Cloud's Fire Materia is dropped in the Forgotten City and found by Terra. In the Epilogue it's used by Aerith to transport Terra to Cloud's world.]]
* TheChessmaster: Golbez and [[spoiler:Mateus. Eventually he [[OutGambitted Out Gambits]] Golbez, see above under Batman Gambit.]]
* CombinationAttack: Terra and Cloud combine their Holy Combo-Ultima and Omnislash Version 5 to defeat [[spoiler:Gabranth]]. The same attack is later upgraded with Cloud's fusion swords to take down [[spoiler:Safer Sephiroth]].
* CounterpartComparison: In-universe. A major part in Cloud's character arc in the first part of the story is his confusion over recognizing Terra due to her similarities to Aerith.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: In Chapter 28 [[spoiler:when he has Cloud at his mercy, the first thing Sephiroth does is get rid of the Buster Sword. The second thing is anticipate Terra's sneak attack and stop her.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Sephiroth slips into this on occasion when Kefka is the topic of discussion. Cloud and Terra get their turns too.
* DeusExMachina:
** The group manages to find [[spoiler:an airship and an enchanted map]] that makes travelling between the final destinations a lot quicker compared to the earlier parts of the story.
** Several times in the final chapters thanks to RuleOfCool. [[spoiler:How does Cloud manifest the Buster Sword out of nothing? How did Golbez and Jecht make it home? How does Aerith use a Materia shard to transport Terra to the Sector 7 Church?]] Quiet, you're ruining the epic and happy ending!
* DramaticEllipsis: Cloud and Terra both dip into it, but especially Cloud.
* DramaticIrony: It's revealed the reason Sephiroth's spirit can survive dissolution in death is because through the Sephiroth cells in Cloud, a part of his original body is still alive. [[spoiler:After he kills Cloud, the same connection means a part of Cloud's body is still technically alive, so he's OnlyMostlyDead]].
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: The fic opens with news of Exdeath's death, and Ultimecia is already dead. The deaths of [[spoiler:the Cloud of Darkness and Kuja]] occur unseen and are announced to the other villains after the fact.
* DrunkOnTheDarkSide: Sephiroth gets a lot hammier when he [[spoiler:transforms into Safer Sephiroth]].
* EarnYourHappyEnding. By the time the final sentence ends, [[spoiler:Golbez and Jecht have a second chance at life with their families back home, everyone else is home again where they belong, and Cloud and Terra are together in the ''Final Fantasy VII'' world.]] The road to that final sentence was not an easy one for any of them.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Subverted with The Emperor and the Warrior of Light, who are called Mateus and [[BilingualBonus Hik]][[MeaningfulName ari]], though their official titles are still used frequently. Played straight with Onion Knight--Terra mentions he has a proper name, but he hasn't told anyone. [[spoiler:Though this last case is eventually subverted as of chapter 36-OK reveals his real name is Luneth.]]
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Sephiroth fades away with a resolution that whatever awaits him on the other side, he will face it with his head held high.]]
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Sephiroth taunts Cloud with what he plans to do with him once he takes over their world -- erase his memories of all his friends and take over his mind to force him to kill them, after which Sephiroth will revive them so he can do it again, occasionally letting him regain his senses to watch Sephiroth kill them himself]].
* FightingYourFriend: [[spoiler:Cloud and Terra each get a turn, Cloud when Terra loses control of her powers, and Terra when Sephiroth takes control of Cloud's mind.]]
* FireIceLightning: [[spoiler:Cloud's magical abilities after receiving Hikari's power.]]
* FoeYay[=/=]HoYay: [[invoked]] Lampshaded by Kefka.
-->"Cloud and Sephy need some alone time to work out their issues."
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Chapter 27 is titled "Descend Heartless Angel", and the ArcWords are a translation of the OminousLatinChanting in Sephiroth's theme. You know, OneWingedAngel...
** And earlier in Chapter 23, as Sephiroth vanishes in a flurry of black feathers, [[spoiler:the last one to appear is white instead]].
* GroundhogDayLoop: Just as in the game, the cycles of war between Cosmos and Chaos are constantly reset to be fought over and over. [[spoiler:The difference is in this fic, it's gone on for untold eons.]]
* TheHeavy: The actual BigBad is Chaos with the Emperor and Garland acting as his main servants as in the source game, but Sephiroth is the villain of the main storyline, and grows into an antagonist role opposing Terra in addition to being Cloud's nemesis.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Golbez and Jecht in Chapter 25, though Golbez was TheMole prior.]]
* HesBack: [[spoiler:Cloud is revived from death in Chapter 35.]]
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: Terra to [[spoiler:Cloud when Sephiroth takes control of him.]]
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:All the villains save for Sephiroth, Ultimecia and Kuja stay dead after being killed.]] Later, [[spoiler:Sephiroth is stated to die for the final time, Cloud's Sephiroth cells being purified and his last link to the living gone]].
* KnightOfCerebus:
** [[spoiler:Gabranth]] not only provides Cloud and Terra with their strongest foe yet even with both of them fighting, but he also informs them of Shinryu's existence and the nature of the cycles of war.
** Chaos, as befitting the BigBad. His arrival on the scene triggers [[spoiler:the death of Cosmos, the splitting of the party, and the road to the final battle which includes Cloud's death and resurrection and Hikari's HeroicSacrifice.]]
* LampshadeHanging: Cloud and Terra both demonstrate some degree of [[GenreSavvy Genre Savviness]] with regards to their quests and their archenemies. Cloud for example is completely unsurprised when [[spoiler:Sephiroth comes back to life after their first battle.]]
* LightEmUp: [[spoiler:Cloud after receiving Hikari's power.]]
* MagicKnight: Terra prefers her magic but uses her sword on occasion. [[spoiler:Cloud plays this straight as can be after he receives Hikari's power]].
* MythologyGag: In the spirit of the source game, numerous ''Final Fantasy'' references are dropped, some more subtle than others. Many are to ''Dissidia'' itself, such as various attacks used in fight scenes being based on attacks in the game, snippets of dialogue are taken from the rest of the series, and many locations, though not directly named, are based on some location from a ''Final Fantasy'' game. Various other franchises get nods too.
** In Chapter 9, Terra remarks [[KingdomHearts "There's so many worlds...and they all share the same sky..."]]. Chapter 25 is called "A World Without Light" after [[CallingYourAttacks Marluxia's attack call]].
** In Chapter 6, Kefka asks Kuja [[Film/TheDarkKnight "Do I really look like a guy with a plan?"]]
** An unintentional one that came full circle, the Manikins are called "Crystelle", since they hadn't been given an English name yet when the story started. Crystelle is the name of a Crystal-like enemy encountered in the depths of the Interdimensional Rift in ''Final Fantasy V''. Then came ''Dissidia 012'', and look at the origin story they created for the Manikins.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: [[spoiler:Sephiroth]] issues one to Cloud and Terra after [[spoiler:going OneWingedAngel and becoming Safer Sephiroth.]]
* NotSoDifferent: [[spoiler:Golbez]] says such about him and Terra. A major part of the earlier chapters is Terra and Cloud thinking the other has experienced similar hardships to theirs.
* OneWingedAngel: It's ''[[TropeNamer Final Fantasy]]'', after all.
** Sephiroth sprouts his black wing before all his battles, [[spoiler:then transforms into Safer Sephiroth in Chapter 27.]]
** Kefka shifts into his God Form for the final moments of his battle with Terra.
** [[spoiler:Jecht]] for the battle with [[spoiler:Mateus]] at the end of Chapter 31. [[spoiler:Mateus]] invokes this for himself in the next chapter.
** [[spoiler:Kuja goes Trance for his battle with Zidane, Squall and Bartz at the Chaos Shrine.]]
** Chaos [[spoiler:invokes ''both'' of his OneWingedAngel forms in the final battle, growing to huge sizes as in Utter Chaos, but described as looking like Feral Chaos]].
* OnlyICanKillHim: [[spoiler:Hikari and Garland are the Champions of Cosmos and Chaos, respectively, thus only they can defeat the other. Chaos later shifts the title to Mateus, but revokes it to invoke YouHaveFailedMe.]]
** LoopholeAbuse: As Jecht notes (and proves), just because you can't be ''killed'' except by that one person, doesn't mean you can't have the unholy snot beaten out of you.
* OutOfTheInferno: [[spoiler:Cloud invokes this trope in response to Safer Sephiroth's [[LimitBreak Super Nova]].]]
* PlotTumor: Golbez wasn't intended to have such a large role in earlier chapters, which were written shortly after the Japanese release of the original game. Then English translations of the story began to come forward, and [[spoiler:he became TheMole and Terra's mentor, and effectively became a third protagonist alongside her and Cloud]].
* PowerFloats: Terra begins to fly on a regular basis as she becomes more confident in her control of her powers.
* PrecisionFStrike: Kefka specializes in them.
* PurpleProse: Kuja, though Mateus, Sephiroth and Golbez slip into it occasionally.
-->'''Sephiroth''': "So that's it. You want me to be your attack dog to leash in a stray. I've other matters to concern myself with. Find another to be your hound."
** Almost every line of dialogue [[spoiler:Gabranth]] has, though considering his home universe...
-->"Cryst of the gods, or at least it once was...and so taken, so that mankind may take control of time and remake his history."
* SayMyName: Used profusely by Cloud and Terra.
* SceneryGorn: The sight of Kefka's Tower and the area surrounding it are given a more detailed description of just how bad the World of Ruin really was compared to the World of Balance.
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:Omega, an OmnicidalManiac sealed in the Void.]]
* ShooOutTheClowns: Aside from the occasional one-liner, a lot of the comic relief in the story ended once [[spoiler:Kefka got killed]].
* SinkOrSwimMentor: [[spoiler:Golbez tries to be a conventional mentor to Terra, but she's so wrapped up in various mental blocks that he loses his patience and begins using more forceful and direct methods. Starting by zapping her with a [[ShockAndAwe Cosmic Ray]].]]
* SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate: Discussed, some characters believe in destiny, others don't.
* SpellBlade: Cloud's preferred usage for his Thunder Materia. [[spoiler:He destroys Chaos's Dark Crystal using the White Materia for the same]].
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:Kefka tries to invoke this with Terra, but he doesn't have the strength.]]
* TakeUpMySword: [[spoiler:Hikari to Cloud, though not in the literal sense.]]
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: When Kefka sees [[spoiler:Terra's [[LimitBreak Riot]] [[SwordBeam Blade]] rushing at him]], his only response is to make a face and mutter "Oh ''[[PrecisionFStrike fuck]]''."
* TitleDrop: "Shards of memory" is used several times. Pulled double-time by Sephiroth in Chapter 21.
-->"Your delusions of victory will be shattered, and the shards of memory crumbling around you shall be the only fragments left of your final fantasy."
* TookALevelInBadass: Terra after [[spoiler:retrieving her Crystal and regaining full control over her powers]], and Cloud after [[spoiler:receiving Hikari's power.]]
* {{Troll}}: Kefka, increasingly so when he realizes Sephiroth hates him
-->'''Sephiroth:''' You told me a magic field stopped us from teleporting here directly. Why did you lie to me and make us scale the tower the hard way?" \\
'''Kefka:''' I thought your expression would be funny.
* UnreliableNarrator: [[spoiler:Shinryu reveals that Cosmos and Chaos purposefully lied to the heroes about the cycles of the war, including the origins of the Crystelle, the nature of the Crystals, and the fates of their worlds, in order to encourage them to fight. Thus, any exposition delivered from a character's viewpoint about such things may or may not be truthful.]]
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:Mateus let Golbez scheme and help the heroes so he would eventually meet with Cosmos in person and let Chaos into Order's Sanctuary. Jecht meanwhile was used to attain a Dark Crystal that he could use to resurrect his allies.]]
* VillainousBreakdown: Mateus doesn't take it well when [[spoiler:Jecht goes OneWingedAngel and issues a CurbStompBattle against him. He responds in kind, going from SmugSnake to LargeHam in the process.]]
** Kefka at the climax of his battle with Terra goes outright berserk.
** Sephiroth gets his turn when [[spoiler:Cloud and Terra survive Super Nova]].
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: In-universe, Terra tells Cloud that [[spoiler:if Hikari hadn't been able to revive him, she would have been appointed TheChosenOne in Cloud's place.]]
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: Cloud lampshades Sephiroth's tendency to not finish him off whenever he has the chance during their many battles. [[spoiler:Come Chapter 28, Sephiroth has learned his lesson.]]
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Terra delivers one in Chapter 21 to Kefka. However, he's [[GenreSavvy expecting]] [[LampshadeHanging one]], so she combines it with ShutUpHannibal to explain her revelations about ''him'' too.
* WorthyOpponent: Sephiroth admits Cloud is one in Chapter 38.
* WreckedWeapon: Cloud caps off the battle with [[spoiler:Safer]] Sephiroth by slicing through and shattering the Masamune.
* YouHaveFailedMe[=/=]YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:Invoked word for word by Chaos when he kills Mateus after he loses to Jecht.]]
* YouShallNotPass: [[spoiler:Jecht and Golbez]] in Chapter 38.