The Kavorka Man usually has some personality to back up his lack of external beauty. Does Hojo seem to even try to be nice, or approachable?
He probably did an experiment on himself that brainwashes most women without them realizing it or something.
We don't know how deeply involved Vincent and Lucrecia were before she snapped and married Hojo. Or what the exact timing of her pregnancy was. For all we know Vincent may very well have assumed he was the father.
For the youngsters out there, Vincent being the biological father of Sephiroth has been a mater of speculation for years until the compilation came out and discredited it. The scene where he gets all surprised after finding out that Hojo is indeed the father it's an obvious Plot Hole that nobody had bother to answer
I always suspected it was a case of Rape as Drama and that the marriage was to cover it up. I wouldn't put it past him. He did try to "breed" Aeris, remember?
That would only make better the fact that I stop thinking Lucretia was completely out of her mind.
Where did the Ancients who aren't Ifalna and Aerith go?
Is it ever explained how Ifalna and Aerith came to be last of the Ancients? Was there a population of them until recently or was Ifalna some kind of genetic throwback born to human parents?
It's implied that the Ancient bloodline has been diluted to the extreme, thanks to mingling with humans. Ifalna might not be the last actual Ancient, but the last person to display Ancient powers. This gets passed on to her daughter. So the Ancient race might not have technically died out, just co-mingled with humanity to the point of being phased out as a distinct species.
IIRC, an ordinary human (Prof. Gast) was Aeris' father, so her connection to the Ancients must be cultural/spiritual more than it's genetic.
No, it's definitely implied to be genetic. In the Shin Ra tower, when you listen in on the board meeting, Hojo talks about his research. He says that Aerith isn't nearly as much of an Ancient as her mother was, and so his research into the Promised Land is now going to take 120 years. This would make sense, because Aerith is, at most Half-Ancient.
Actually, JENOVA's virus killed off most of the Ancients when she collided into the planet from her last target planet. Us humans retreated into caves and stuff. 1000 years later, all that was left was Ifalna and Aeries.
I always figured it was because Cetra/Ancients had Tolkien Elf-esque long life spans, which explains why Ifalna seems to have first-hand knowledge of the Jenova crisis.
The Ancients/Cetra were essentially humans attuned to the 'Planet'. They gradually turned their backs on nature and became regular humans. Even Cloud & co are able to hear the cries of the Planet from Cosmo Canyon, implying they still carry part of that lineage.
There's also the fact that Aerith lived in pretty much the only garden in Midgar. It's likely that her upbringing in an enviroment like that added to her already higher quantity of Cetra genes, basically a perfect blend of nature and nurture to attune her to the planet.
I always thought that Aerith's connection to the Planet was what helped the garden to grow, not vice versa. Of course iirc, we don't know how long that garden's been there.
Most were killed by JENOVA the survivors intermingled with humans until their bloodline was too thin to manifest. Aeris and Ifalna were just the last ones whose Cetra genes were dominant, their decendants would have lost their powers and become normal humans a few generations down the line as well if Aeris hadn't been killed.
Straight out of Corel, into the Gold Saucer?
The geographic layout of the Corel/Gold Saucer area. Corel Prison has the same layout as Corel Town does in the flashbacks, so ostensibly it's supposed to be the ruins of Corel Town. Does that mean that the small, homely coal-mining town of Corel was built in the middle of an inhospitable, inaccessible desert? And that in the 4 years that passed between its destruction and the events of the game, the Gold Saucer, apparently a major worldwide tourist resort, was built directly above its ruins? And its survivors relocated for some reason to be right next door to the reactor that started the whole mess, and the only access point to the Gold Saucer is located right in the middle of that impoverished shanty-town? (Just imagine if the only way to get to Las Vegas was to board a plane from an airport in Compton.)
I've wondered about that too. You'd think there's a few murders inflicted upon the presumably rich people who go there. Besides, the fact that there's a prison drop anyway should tell you a bit about the sort of people who run the place...
Remember that Shinra burned down Corel because they THOUGHT that the town had something to do with the Reactor's explosion. Everyone was probably scared shitless to mess with their business.
Never trust a swarthy middle-aged bear who conducts business affairs while wearing nothing but a leopard-print bikini brief.
I second this emotion.
Really, this is just a cast of limited storage space. The only reason Corel Prison looks like Corel Town is to save disk space. The survivors never relocated, they always lived near the reactor to begin with. Look at the flashback scene where Dyne is first shot and falls into the ravine-it's clearly set on the railroad tracks near the reactor, where Barret and Dyne saw Corel Town being burned. They were on their way home when Scarlet and her goons attacked them. And while the people of Corel Town may be poor, there's nothing to indicate that they're criminals. The actual murderers and thieves are taken to Corel Prison, where they can't escape.
Ridiculous. For one, disk space would only be saved if the locations were precisely the same data. Considerable time was taken to alter the look of Corel Town to make it look wrecked and dilapidated. Furthermore, the ruined house in which the party reassembles after going to the prison is seen in the flashback, intact, as the house in which Dyne raises objections to the reactor. It is very obvious that Corel Prison used to be Corel Town. The reason it is such a terrible desert environment may have something to do with the reactor draining life force... surely the Gold Saucer is powered by Mako and probably needs an awful lot of it. Likely, Corel was once arid and dry to start with and now it's just a lot worse.
Presumably, there is also aerial access via helicopters to the Gold Saucer, so wealthy individuals don't have to take the tram. A better question is, why haven't the Corel people setup competing hotels, restaurants, and gambling? (Well, technically there already is a hotel/inn, but preferably one that isn't in shambles.) There are third party-hotels and theme parks near Disneyland; some quite cheaper. I can only assume Shinra gave the Gold Saucer a monopoly.
I just assumed that it was because they were all dirt poor ex-miners who don't know how to run a hotel or a restaraunt, and are too poor to even make an attempt. The only hotel in town is a struggling, run-down, little hostel with more rats than customers. I think that would be the fate of any North Corel business. It's an awful little dungheap of a town, and no one's going to stop for the night when they can be on the tram to the Golden Saucer for free in two minutes.
I read into it that half the town's income was from tourists with more money than stat points. I could be reading what wasn't there, though.
During Barrett's flashback of how Dyne got his gun arm, Corel seemed to be in a more forested area. Besides that, Barrett goes to look at Corel as it's burning down from a cliffside at Mt. Corel - facing in a different direction than the way you go to reach North Corel.
I'll try to Handwave this by saying that the fire that burnt down Corel spread to the whole forest, burning it down as well. And the fire was so damn powerful that it basically burned away any and all life in the soil and caused it to turn into a desert...
That, and the whole "Mako reactors drain the life from the land" with Corel being an early reactor and all. I imagine the power needed for Gold Saucer is quite immense.
This still doesn't make sense seeing as how fires don't decimate whole forests. They burn the foliage down, but the ashes provide the soil rich nutrients that allow the forest to regrow. Seeds usually survive fires and therefore make life possible. Life could be wiped out if the reactor sucked out the life, but Midgar had several reactors sucking the planet dry and yet Aerith could grow flowers in the church dirt. We can guess that maybe the nutrients in the soil had been overworked and that farming loosen it further. That could cause a dust bowl scenario, but there's no proof of farming. If there was negligent farming practices plus the fire plus a huge extraction of mako plus a large deforestation problem PLUS natural environmental cycles such as the planet's tilt changing or the atmosphere or sea currents shifting there might be a chance that the forest would become a desert in a few short years. I don't see how this could occur unless multiple problems just built up on each other until the forest just couldn't survive. Another possibility is that the forest had a large coal or oil reserve underneath it since millennium of growth would easily led to this. The fire could then ignite the coal or oil and that could continue to burn for decades, but we never see fire shoot from the ground so this is unlikely.
Many fires don't decimate whole forests, but there are some that do, and they wind up doing far more damage than intended.
Honestly, I never actually asked about the layout of Corel and the Gold Saucer. I thought it was pretty cliche for Barret's history to be associated with a prison in the first place. Not to mention that although he presumably grew up in Corel he talks different because he's "black". Anyways, as for the desert I'm sure it was the combined consequences of the forest fire and the Gold Saucer itself. I imagine the Gold Saucer takes up a bunch of mako, even more than Midgar, and there's sure to be some reactor somewhere in it, if it isn't a reactor itself. We could say that Shinra built the Gold Saucer to cover up the real tragedy that happened there — excluding everything but FFVII itself. Shinra just deciding to destroy a town wouldn't go over well. But it could have been someone else who worked together with Shinra to build it. I'm not sure.
It seems pretty clear to me. The tram isn't an elevator. The GS isn't above Corel, it's got a pair of cables going there with a car hanging from them. For the specific reason that obviously no one would like to go through to desert to get to it.
Phoenix Downs - too awesome to use on Aerith?
WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST USE A GODDAMN PHOENIX DOWN ON AERITH AFTER SEPHIROTH—!! All right, sorry, never mind. Just needed to get that out there. Yes, it was tragic; yes, it was pointless. But it was pointless because The Powers That Be expected us to believe she's Deader than Dead without ever explaining why—!! Sorry.
Ever see the Princess Bride? "There's all dead and there's mostly dead..."
For all the people who wonder why they can't use a Phoenix Down on Aerith, how come no one wonders why anyone can't spare a single frickin' Soft for Red XIII's father? If we leave the usual gameplay/story segregation alone for a moment, Phoenix Down might not exactly cure "permanent death" - but Red's dad was just turned to stone. He even cries in his scene!
Because Red XIII's father wasn't turned to stone by a spell, but by poison. Assuming soft would work on this, it would presumably also restore the poison petrified in his system, turning him back to stone again.
You don't actually 'die' in battle. You're knocked out. Phoenix Downs don't bring you back from the dead so much as they take care of those pesky concussions.
I always thought that you had to use a phoenix down before the characters died (while in knock out status). The characters then dies and are restored to new life. This fits the myth of the phoenix quite well since this bird is reborn at the end of its life/lifespan (what consists of a lifespan is quite ambigous after all).
He could have been Petrified to the point that one dude from Final Fantasy IX was and instead of a soft needed a Megasoft. i doubt the residents of Cosmo Canyon would just leave him like that on purpose.
Because no one's gone into the cave in years. They were the first people in there since Seto was petrified. Maybe softs only work to a certain point after which the person becomes actual stone and can't be revived. Otherwise, that would make a pretty good method of storing people in suspended animation.
The scene - hell, the whole sidestory of Red and his father would have been cheapened if he could just bring him back. Rule of drama, I guess.
The ultimate point is that Seto continued to fight when all others failed, even as he was being turned to stone, and had been left that way with the door sealed behind him so the Gi could never enter Cosmo Canyon. Left petrified like that, his body was irreversibly destroyed, but his soul lived on within the statue to continue this mission. The tears were most likely liquefied spirit/Mako energy rather than any actual material substance. The rage about Aeris' death is because it happens onscreen and the heroes don't do a thing to try to fix it. Seto was believably dead.
I think Dragon Quest VII had a situation like this. So did Final Fantasy IV, for that matter. DQ 7 stated that a body turned to stone that was exposed to the elements for too long became eroded and thus impossible to change back. FF 4 was a case of magical backlash due to casting Break on oneself.
Final Fantasy V also had a situation where someone fights well beyond their limits and nothing can save his life.
There is at least one theory that Soft can only be used on party members, otherwise it just brings back a mindless, possibly soulless corpse. Also, I wondered about the Seto thing but not the Aeris thing.
If "KO" isn't another word for Death in these games, then why isn't the spell "Life" called "Consciousness"?
Holdover from the translation conventions in previous games. The spell is actually named "Rise," and its enhanced versions are "Arise" and "Reraise."
Quote from FFX Rikku: (After having a Phoenix Down used on her) "I thought I was gonna die". Phoenix Downs don't work on the actually dead, just the unconscious and mortally wounded. And seeing as how you were caught in a boss fight before you could do anything...
For the two complaints above, I present this VGCats comic which feels your agony.
The same damn reason they never used one on Tellah, Galuf, General Leo, etc.
Actually, they did use a Phoenix Down on Galuf. It just didn't work.
What about Ramza frantically asking for a Phoenix Down for Mustadio?
Because a Phoenix Down cures the KO status effect, not being, you know, dead.
The response from another talk page was too good not to quote here:
Which explains why spells that summon the grim reaper (usually named "Doom" or % ") can be reversed by Phoenix Downs as well. And we all know that the phoenix is a mythical being fabled for its ability to fall asleep and then wake back up, hence the name.
Because if she hadn't died, she wouldn't have been in the Lifestream to use it to divert Meteor. So there was a pretty good reason to keep her dead, and a very bad one to bring her back to life.
While this is the stance I take on it, by Word of God, Aerith did not mean to sacrifice herself, because it was "too cliche" & "sent the wrong message." The way I reconcile this is that Aerith's death was necessary, but she didn't know that. As to the Phoenix Down thing? In the spinoffs, you have to use a Phoenix Down on someone before they die, and it kicks in just after they do. I tend to go with that explanation. Even though it isn't the way it is in FFVII, we should remember that gameplay doesn't apply in cutscenes, anyway, but we don't, because we go out of our way to rationalize things.
IIRC the "wrong message" sent by Aerith's death would have been if she had died to save Cloud the way your average JRPG self-sacrificing lady-type tends to do; having her die just to hurt the player's feelings and motivate Cloud was their way of avoiding that particular trope. Seriously, we can argue about how dumb it is that you can't save her with a Phoenix down for another twenty years, but the end result? Aerith died because the writers wanted her dead. Word of God is incurable outside of fanfiction.
While it's slightly unrelated, Word of God implying that the solution to using the Lifestream to power things is by using fossil fuels instead is a way worse message than someone making a Heroic Sacrifice.
... What happens when you have no Phoenix Down, then you buy one and use it? Do characters just use a phoenix down, and have their teammates delay the resurrection until they have a replacement Phoenix Down? (Although that could give an excuse for Aerith, if she simply didn't have the phoenix effect active).
There was no KO status effect in FFVII. It was called death till FFVIII and then changed to KO (most likely because of this very problem).
I checked it. Non lethal KO exists in FFIV and FFVI, in both the English and Japanese versions.
Even worse, Sephiroth inflicts a nearly identical wound (with the very same weapon!) on Cloud when Cloud is only Level 1, and it doesn't even KO him.
The entry points with the wounds are radically different, actually—one's from the back, the other is from the front, which affects the force of the blow. I think different graphics make it hard to compare the positions. But also, Sephiroth was not aiming for an immediate kill with Cloud. He lifts Cloud up and continues talking to him—he wanted Cloud to suffer. With Aerith, on the other hand, he was aiming for a simple, straight kill.
Perhaps dying from wounds inflicted by Masamune makes you unable to come back? I know Tifa's Kung-fu teacher mentioned Cure spells not repairing the wounds she suffered from it.
This. Masa's blade is mentioned to cause grievous wounds that are usually impossibly to heal. Which is odd, because that trait is usually associated the Murasame or Muramasa swords, when used in pop culture
Cloud also survived a fall down a cliff with only skinned knees when he was eight. The same fall left Tifa in a coma for a week. Even before getting dunked in Mako there was something odd about that kid.
Not to mention attacks like Meteor. Seriously. A meteor hits you and you're just KO'ed, wheras being stabbed kills you stone dead. That whole scene reeks of Narm.
Not to mention Supernova.
Actually, FFT is a good example. Phoenix Downs don't work on dead characters, once they are dead, they are gone for good. On the other hand losing all HP doesn't kill someone, but it puts them close enough to death that without serious intervention they will die. The amount of time can vary, some people do instantly die from their wounds, others have a pretty good sized window where they can still be revived.
Because the White Magician Girl only has two endings: with her boyfriend, or dead. Since FFVII doesn't do happy endings, Aerith either had to die, or they'd actually have to come up with something new.
Because god knows several people reconciling their pasts and growing stronger as people and using that inner strength to save the world and create a chance for a brighter future is the most depressing ending in existence.
It is if you don't buy into the sequels and spinoffs and figure that Holy wiped out humanity for being its biggest threat. In either case, the above troper has a point— the game doesn't really deviate from JRPG standard, it just applies them to an extremely deep, complex world and storyline and develops its cast more strongly than most. Aerith's death isn't very different from most Gameplay and Story Segregation deaths, and she's the pretty much the primary example of the White Magician Girl — having her be anything but a martyr would have required the writers to have her be the one character who didn't follow their archetype to its archetypal end.
If you want an answer that is slightly plausible and one that doesn't interfere with the rest of the game mechanic, figure that when someone dies their spirit travels to the planet (well, The Lifestream), and a phoenix down stops that from happening by bringing the spirit back. When Aeris died in the Ancient City, a big ol' residual Cetra spirit area, her spirit didn't have a long way to go to join the planet.
This might actually be plausible if you look at it from the right angle. However, I don't think the problem here is that they didn't revive her; the problem is that they didn't try. If they even attempted to use a Phoenix Down or Raise/Arise and THAT didn't work - Aeris rejecting it or otherwise - it might have gone over a bit more smoothly.
What do you think Tifa was doing, kneeling next to Aerith's body? I figured she was checking for vitals, attempting first aid, or something. It's hard to tell with the blocky way the characters are rendered, but I'm pretty sure they tried something.
They didn't try anything because they were too late. Aerith was dead by the time she hit the floor, and before they could do anything else, they had Jenova stopping by to say high. Once they'd dealt with that, it was already several minutes at the least, possibly longer, and she'd have been beyond the point of resuscitation. What Tifa is doing is stroking her face and saying goodbye, basically.
She may have been at a point where a phoenix down would have just revived her and she would have re-died right away from her injuries again. And nobody said that the other party members never tried a phoenix down, it may have just happened off-screen, between cutscenes. Of course, you don't lose a phoenix down, but maybe it came from Hammerspace like the smoke bomb Shadow used in the burning building in FFVI.
Hmmmm, I think Phoenix Downs do have the power to restore life, or they are supposed to. Why do I think so? You can kill an undead boss with one in the middle of the game. It's "Holy" power basically has the reverse effect on the undead monster. Note it doesn't KO him, but kills him.
Lets just say that those in the 'Phoenix Down only restores somebody from being knocked out' camp already have an answer. For those who don't, well, Aerith was an ancient. Since something happened to them as a result of JENOVA actually existing on the planet in their time, lets just say either phoenix downs don't work of Ancients. Or due to having ancient blood, phoenix downs [or reraise, Life, and everything else.] just don't work. JENOVA cells and whatever is left of her [it?] are much different than having had made contact with the planet-raping original.
Good try, but we had been reviving Aerith with Phoenix Downs without problems for a whole third of the game.
They do it specifically to infuriate people that can't manage to separate game mechanics from storytelling. Bless them.
The biggest cannon in the world aimed at nothing?
What was the intended purpose of the Super Cannon at Junon? You can't really aim it, so as a defensive weapon it's pretty useless. (Granted, it stopped the WEAPON, but WEAPON was considerate enough to walk right up to the muzzle from exactly the correct angle.) After it's converted to the Sister Ray it's shown to have transcontinental range, which gives it potential as a weapon of mass destruction (as long as your target is in a direct arc line), but to do that took the total energy output of six Mako reactors, well in excess of what Junon has, and even then it only worked once.
It seemed originally to be pointed in Wutai's direction. Assuming Wutai invaded the Corel area/continent, they had reason to bombard it as well as Wutai's island. (Or perhaps Shinra was worried about an uprising from the Corel area.)
I always went with the Wutai assumption, but the cannon CAN be aimed. In Before Crisis, AVALANCHE tries to shoot Midgar with it. All that aside, a 100-foot cannon has a pretty big psychological impact, especially when you know it can destroy entire towns.
It seriously never occurred to me that the cannon was ever meant to be of practical use. Before even stepping into Junon, just looking at it on the world map, you already see that it's a pure crystallization of absurd, pompous militarism. Why does this city have a huge cannon sticking out of it? Why does Kim Jong-il put on human pixel shows?
Another thought about the Sister Ray... what are the odds of it actually hitting the crater shield? Sure, it's a straight line, but the Planet CURVES. Assuming it had power not to have hit the ground by then, it's much, much more likely to shoot off into space, surely?
The Sister Ray (despite the name) doesn't fire rays. It fires explosive Mako shells. Shells follow a curving trajectory.
The cannon can aim. If you look at the prep sequence for Junon's defenses just before Sapphire Weapon arrives, you can see the cannon swing to the side a bit (as well as move down slightly). Since it's meant for super-long range, the angle that doesn't look like much at the cannon itself probably makes a huge difference the further out the shell goes. They can hit Midgar by literally shooting around the world at a particular angle.
Not only can the cannon aim, it's probably the closest thing the Peace Preservation have to an intercontinental weapon of mass destruction, since the space program and rocketry development stalled simultaneously. It's just as ironic as the organization's name, or that old slogan, "Peace is our Profession." The fact that it ends up being instrumental to saving the world is a coincidence. The real question is: how the heck did they move the thing half way across the eastern continent?
Why's everyone after Sephiroth anyway?
So they form AVALANCHE and fight the Midgar people, and then the guy's son shows up and is even worse and they completely ignore him and go running off after Sephiroth? I mean, it makes sense for Cloud, but and the others?
Not really. Barret, "And doin' this'll help us save the planet?" Cloud, "Seems like it." Aerith, "I'll go too. There are things I want to find out." Cloud, "About the Ancients?" Aerith, "... Many things," Red XIII needed a lift to Cosmo Canyon, and of course, Tifa is worried about Cloud. Yuffie, Vincent, Cid, and Cait Sith don't get involved until after this fact, so it doesn't apply to them, anyway.
It's as much about getting revenge on Shinra as it is about Sephiroth. Shinra has a habit of turning up wherever Sephiroth goes.
Besides, the whole AVALANCHE network had just been demolished, remember? Carrying on with the same urban terrorist tactics wasn't really an option, even if it was appealing — which it probably wasn't, as (a) it seemed like something kind of ineffectual that they were doing out of desperation, for lack of any better ideas, and (b) it had gotten an entire sector of the slums destroyed in retaliation. Rufus probably wouldn't have flinched at openly rounding up and exterminating everyone under the plates.
Also, importantly, Cloud's motivation is not really revenge (even though he thinks it is.) His motivation is that, as a failed Jenova-implant/Sephiroth 'clone' created by Hojo, his instincts force him to pursue Sephiroth in order to be part of the reunion, just like the number-tattooed weirdos you see everywhere. The only reason he's more coherent than them is because he had Tifa to help him reassemble his memories (if imperfectly.) He comes up with whatever justifications for this he can in order to fit it into his memories and outlook, then manages to persuade everyone else to go along with it.
The ending of Crisis Core - Zack had the flu?
This is the guy who takes on 1000 Shinra infantrymen in a mission. I wasn't even breaking a sweat fighting all those mooks. And I'm supposed to buy they killed him? I realize they had to make the ending that way, but they could have at least made it believable!
The sequence doesn't end until your HP reaches zero. But you can start up a healing spell, have your HP hit zero, and then heal yourself, and the sequence will still end, but it will look like you didn't die because Zack doesn't fall down. When the sequence ends, it's because you WERE killed by the soldiers.
Not in my case. I have a thing for Level Grinding and Materia, so my HP didn't even get close to zero during the final fight. After some time anyway I got the normal ending sequence, with the broken DMW etc. They made it look like Zack was killed by the mooks, but he could've defeated all of them (and I would have done exactly that, if the game hadn't stopped me).
The plot has Zack die under a mountain of dead mooks. The exact amount is unimportant, so rather than making it an endless survival mode, they just had you die at a pre-determined point. It would have been cool if there was some kind of high score list for that point, though.
I, on my second playthrough, with full Genji paraphernalia and maxed-out stat boosting materia and everything, found that it's possible to play the final battle pretty much indefinitely so long as you keep dodging missiles and healing immediately if you get hit by one—I wound up playing that same battle on and off for well over six hours total, as I recall. Finally I decided to just let Zack get hit by two missiles in a row just to see if that would change anything—sure enough, the moment the second missile struck, the first broken DMW came up. I don't remember exactly what the state of his HP was at that point—certainly under half but I'm not sure if it was quite critical yet or not—but it seems it's conditionalized on Zack's HP being below a certain percentage, rather than a time limit or number of kills or something.
I may just be old fashion and sticks with just the original game's story, and its problems, but didn't Zack get killed by like, you know, Sephiroth? I never had the chance to play CC to the end and stuff, so reading this whole thing about Zack getting killed by soldiers, when I thought it was pretty clear Sephiroth killed him, it's kinda confusing. Not that this is abnormal in FFVII
No, even in the original game, Zack was not killed by Sephiroth. On Disc 2, if you go back to Nibelheim, you can trigger a special cutscene that shows what happened to Zack and Cloud between Sephiroth's rampage and the beginning of the game. Long story short: Both survived Sephiroth's rampage, Hojo stuck'em in tubes under the Shinra Mansion and experimented on them before Zack broke them both out. They almost made it to Midgar before Zack was gunned down.
You guys are getting mixed up. It's Gameplay and Story Segregation that's going on here. Sure you could level grind for hours, but, according to the story, Zack didn't have all that time to be working out. Plus they were shooting rockets at him. Even in the OVAs and movies, SOLDIERS are vulnerable to explosions and bullets. Cloud and Zack are so fast and their response times so quick that they can dodge bullets, but they still have to dodge or block them. By the end of the fight, Zack isn't mortally wounded. Flesh wounds maybe, but he's tired. You can't dodge everything when a 1000 guys are shooting everything they have at you. Some things became unavoidable. He may be super strong and fast, but he is still human. At that point, his mind and body are worn out and his reflexes greatly dulled. All it took was being hit by some bullets to bleed him out and drain the last of his strength, then he was a goner.
Forget the Phoenix Down, Why Did Aerith Even die?
Am I really the only one who wonders why Aerith died in the first place? She was stabbed in the stomach. There should have been plenty of time to heal her. Normally people don't die within one second from a stomach wound. And we've seen a couple of characters who survived such a wound (and even worse) in the compilation.
Sephiroth hit her dead-center through the back. I.e., the spine.
A severed spine is a serious injury but not lethal. And Sephiroth himself could walk and talk after suffering exact the same injury, brought to him by the freaking Buster Sword (which should have severed not only his spine but his entire lower body half).
You forgot that Sephiroth was injected with Jenova cells from birth.
That doesn't change the fact that a severed spine is not lethal.
Isn't necessarily lethal, depending on the location and extent of the damage.
Sephiroth was a man whom had been literally enhanced by Hojo since before he was born. He was the absolute best of SOLDIER which says something about his abilities as far as surviving wounds that would and should have been lethal for anyone else goes; not saying that it didn't hurt him badly, but simply that it wasn't enough to kill him. And while he was severely damaged, there's nothing that says he didn't patch his body up with a Curaga spell after Cloud stabbed him, which makes more sense than not, considering that he would not have been up and walking around otherwise. There's also the lack of blood to indicate that he did take the time to heal himself before securing Jenova's head when Cloud and Zack see him staggering out of the core of the Reactor.
The Jenova cells thing was to explain why Sephiroth was (comparatively) okay while Aerith wasn't.
And she was stabbed through the spine... and through her chest. Hell Sephiroth was gentle enough to let her slide down his Katana. She was deader than dead.
Her defensive stats aren't the best in the world...
It could have been that Aerith had to be a required [Heroic Sacrifice] in order to call in Holy's power.
Sephiroth attacked her from above. The angle at which the sword actually entered her is important. Explaining this in words is complicated but basically, because the sword entered her vertically it damaged more than just one general spot ◊. There's also the fact that Aerith is very thin, and doesn't appear to have much muscle; the sword went through her like butter and kept going, with about a foot sticking out by the time it stops◊. Then her body slid down the sword, with the friction likely causing more damage. Although it's not shown, I'm assuming there's also some blood loss. That injury was definitely enough to kill.
One of said likely places? Her abdominal aorta, part of the largest artery in the body. The quick blood loss alone would've been enough to kill her.
The Sephiroth that stabbed her and everything he's got on him, including Masamune, is a Lifestream construct animated by his own twisted consciousness and Jenova's power. It's probably safe to say that he can put some seriously bad "You die now" mojo into the sword if he really wants to, and he really wanted Aerith dead.
The real reason that she died is one of the main people behind the game had very recently lost a family member, and the team as a result wanted to write about characters coping with the loss of a loved one realistically. To quote Nomura in an interview about this
"I mean, Cloud's the main character, so you can't really kill him. And Barret... well, that's maybe too obvious. But we had to pick between Aerith and Barret. We debated this for a long time, but in the end decided to sacrifice Aerith... In the previous FF games, it became almost a signature theme for one character to sacrifice him or herself, and often it was a similar character type from game to game, kind of a brave, last-man-standing, Barret-type character. So everyone expected that. And I think that death should be something sudden and unexpected, and Aerith's death seemed more natural and realistic. Now, when I reflect on Final Fantasy VII, the fact that fans were so offended by her sudden death probably means that we were successful with her character."
We can't let those Shinra jerks save the world!
They're facing The End of the World as We Know It. Shinra develops a plan to destroy Meteor that involves the use of the Huge Materia. What do our valiant heroes do? They sabotage Shinra's plan to save the entire world! And for what reason, except vague reasons amounting to "precious knowledge within the Huge Materia" or whatever? I mean, seriously, what the hell are these guys thinking, by actively opposing the only working plan to save the world!?What. The. Hell. Heroes.
If you fail to save the Huge Materia, it still doesn't actually work. So, technically, you just go and rescue the Huge Materia from being pointlessly destroyed, rather than sabotaging the only "working" plan to save the world...
Yes, but the heroes did not know that at the time. No one had any idea if Shinra's plan was going to work or not, but the heroes just decide to sabotage it anyway.
While this is all true, the Huge Materia has energy equal to 330 times regular materia. With four Huge Materia, that's like losing 1320 materia. Plus, the Huge Materia are capable of energizing shells to destroy Weapons and towns. Therefore, that's a LOT of energy for the planet to lose, and if you think about it, if it failed, any chance of the planet defending itself (Holy, for instance) would be significantly lessened, because of that.
"If" it failed. Our intrepid heroes didn't know if it was going to fail, and at that point, they didn't even know about Holy until after they fixed Cloud's head. But they go off and start sabotaging Shinra's plan anyway.
Because Shinra's track record for fixing things was just so compelling that of course this could work and not possibly have any other unintended side effects like everything else they did.
Hard to imagine an unintended side effect worse than letting the entire world be destroyed.
The worst part is when Cid makes the Give Huge Materia Bombs a Chance speech about how maybe science can save the world; it's super-heartfelt, with "inspirational" music and shit, none of the characters have any reply to it — as if the writers want you to go "Yes Cid that is right you are right so why are you bumming around with these lunatics?"
The first theme off the game is that the sucking of Mako was destroying the planet. The Huge Materia held so much power that losing them would completely doom the planet anyway. And we know what the planet does when it's threatened: More WEAPONS.
It's kind of funny because after the rocket fails one of the characters (I think it was Barret) says "I kinda hoped it would work". Then why did you try to stop it?
Because while he might have hoped he could work, that doesn't mean he actually thought it would.
This topic intrigued me alot so I decided to go back and watch when and how it happened. First off, when they found out the Huge Materia was being used(by means of Cait Sith allowing them to ease drop), they heard doubt from Rufus,which they know is the most competent member of Shinra, about if Shinra had the technology to pull it off only to be reassured by Scarlet of all people. This is probably where they may have gotten the idea that it might not work. Plus it was Scarlet's, Palmer's and Heidegger's plan to begin with so that may have gave them a reason to oppose them even more. At this point of the game, Cloud and Tifa were inactive so Barret made the judgement call to go oppose Shinra's plan right before he appointed Cid as the leader. It didn't help that Barret had another incentive to oppose the plan since they thought of messing with Mt.Corel, again, to retrieve the Huge Materia. So this explains the reason why they were so against Shinra's plan initially. Secondly, the original poster kind of downplayed Cloud's reason for wanting to stop Shinra's plan. He wanted to use the power of the Huge Materia to stop Sephiroth which might be a justifiable excuse since Sephiroth is still mind raping the planet and as shown in Advent Children, could still be a viable threat with or without Meteor. Finally, I doubt that anyone on the team save for Cid and Reeve would willingly put their trust in science. Cloud was stuffed in a tube where he was subjected to only God knows what by Hojo in the name of science. Tifa lost her home and nearly her childhood crush in the name of science. Barret put his faith in science once and was reviled as a traitor in his hometown. Vincent... do I really need to explain his situation and problems caused by science? Fact of the matter is that both parties had interest in the Huge Materia for differing reasons. Both were noble(well if you want to call anything thought of by Scarlett noble) and both had the right intentions. Since the plan would have failed regardless, I believe our intrepid heroes had the right mindstate and weren't being the selfish assholes that you are making them out to be.
All of what the troper right above me said is completely valid and explains many of their reasons for going against the plan. There's also the point that, besides being a power source it's also a repository of knowledge. It's kinda like lobbing the Library of Congress at the thing. Only instead of books, it's made up of souls. Yeah. I'd be pretty opposed to that plan, too.
Does nobody bother to consider that simply DESTROYING Meteor isn't going to help in the long run? Remember, Sephiroth still has the Black Materia, who's to say he won't simply summon ANOTHER Meteor if the first is eliminated? The best plan of action is to not waste resources on Meteor until the one who summoned it is out of the picture.
This guy are smart.
Put more verbosely, "I'd like you to meet my gigantic military boondoggle, the Sister Ray cannon. It's going to save the world." And it turns out to be absolutely crucial to it, since it's the only thing that lowers the otherwise invincible barrier.
This may be canon vis a vis Holy. Remember how you have to kill Sephiroth before it will even move; it may be a one-time summon (since the summoner is dead), and while it may stop one Meteor, it'll be powerless to stop a second casting by Sephiroth, which he has all the power, and the time, to do.
That was the group's idea since they did try to go after Sephiroth first.
Why assume the ecoterrorist organization AVALANCHE (introduced to us at the start of the game by destroying a reactor in the flashiest possible way — killing loads of innocent people, causing billions in damage in a city with high taxes and half its people in slums to start with, and causing a long blackout in areas with literally no sunlight or access to fresh water — because it's more emotionally rewarding than an awareness campaign and inventing Energy Star would be) are "heroes"? They're the protagonists. The only character that threatens to be a hero in this game is killed off halfway through.
I don't know. Trying to save the world from an evil corporation and essentially a genocidal maniac makes them heroes.
Here's another way of looking at it: You can indeed fail each mission. Let Corel get destroyed by the Shinra Trains, Let the Condor get offed, Let the Red Submarine get away, and Screw up the Bahamut ZERO materia passcode. All four materia get loaded into the rocket that way. What happens afterwards? THE SAME DAMN THING!
Yes, but the party didn't know for sure it would fail. Even given everything listed above, why is the party wasting their time interfering with Shinra's attempt to save the world? Why not focus on pursuing some other plan instead, like studying the barrier at the Northern Crater or somesuch?
An additional piece of information worth considering: When the party discusses the Huge Materia for the first time, one of the main things that gets mentioned as a reason for stealing them is that the Huge Materia can upgrade their own powers. That's what ultimately makes them decide to do it — they see the Huge Materia Shinra is trying to use to save the world as totally sweet loot. Ladies and gentlemen, our protagonists.
Well given they have to kill not one, but two physical gods AND destroy a meteor, then, yeah, I would want something a little bit more powerful as well. Sure they didn't realize the plan would fail, but why did anyone think blowing up Meteor was a good idea in the first place? They show Meteor's destruction and it broke into several pieces. If you break an asteroid apart, you are more likely to make the matter worse. It will more likely be broken up into smaller, but still sizable chunks, so instead of one impact site, you would have many. It's like instead of taking a single bullet, you are hit full in the chest by buck shot. Hell, many of the chunks of Meteor were still huge. It probably would've been much worse if it hadn't reconstituted itself at that point. All this is ignoring the fact that Meteor is miles in diameter (really, can you think of anything that can blow up Everest so thoroughly that it's dusted?) and is completely impossible to divert (which would be the best plan and, of course, no one at Shinra is smart to figure this out) because one of the aforementioned physical gods is controlling it.
Dude, where's Cloud's respect?
How come nobody in Shinra - assuming they don't actually recognize him as the enemy - trusts Cloud? In the beginning he's attacked for looking suspicious. Even worse is in Junon where he isn't allowed up as it's Shinra only, and when he does sneak up he's forced to change into the blue uniform. And then when they get on the boat, he comments on traveling to the other continent in Shinra uniforms. Cloud is always wearing a Shinra uniform, the entire game! You'd think random grunt soldiers would be saluting him if they didn't know who he was.
Just because he's wearing a uniform it doesn't make him exactly acceptable, especially if the uniform is as tattered, damaged, and patched up as it should be after all he's been through. Not to mention he lacks any form of identification, and all the members of SOLDIER encountered in the rest of the game have different-looking uniforms and helmets.
He did help bomb a Shinra reactor, you would think that they would have a photo or at least a description of him. There aren't that many SOLDIER members, so he would rather stand out.
None of those theories explain the whole Junon thing, though. I was always amused by the whole 'you're not in uniform' scenario as well. And "We'll travel to the other continent, even if we're wearing Shinra uniforms..." Okay then, Cloud.
Cloud's wearing Zack's uniform, remember, and SOLDIERs First Class more or less wore whatever they wanted, so there's no reason anyone would trust him, or even recognize his outfit as Shinra military. The only reason that anyone knew that he had SOLDIER modifications was because of his eyes, after all.
Sephiroth and Genesis, two of the most arrogant pieces of work don't wear the uniform, Angeal, Zack, Weiss and Nero all wore the same thing. It is recognisable but Cloud modifies his outfit when he reaches Midgar. Take a close look the final scene of Crisis Core, from what we see in our brief glimpse alone he ditches one shoulder plate and replaces the other and has different gloves.
It's mentioned in Crisis Core that SOLDIERs 1st Class can use custom equipment, including uniforms, presumably on the basis that anyone that powerful can do what he wants. It's also evident that SOLDIERs 1st Class are recognizable, public figures (they have fan clubs for goodness sake), so if nothing else, Shinra soldiers who see a 1st Class uniform, but don't recognize the face wearing it, are going to be suspicious.
Also, Cloud isn't wearing Zack's uniform. He's wearing an outfit clearly based on it, but with several differences, but the point is, he's not wearing a "Shinra Uniform."
Actually, Cloud more-or-less is. In the flashback, Zack puts Cloud in one of his spare uniforms after busting them out of the Shinra Mansion. Later on, Cloud modified the uniform by removing his sword-arm pauldron and further armoring his off-hand glove and pauldron with what appears to be leather and steel, making the glove look more like a gauntlet in the process while leaving his sword-arm unarmored and flexible(common practice amongst many swordsman during the Middle Ages). Despite the modifications, Cloud still wears the dark fatigues and the sleeveless turtleneck that all of the SOLDIER grunts, including the 1st Class ones that you fight on the Sister Ray(who were outfits that are nearly identical to Cloud's), wear when encountered in the game. The only SOLDIER who doesn't wear the uniform at all is Sephiroth, as Genesis definitely wears a SOLDIER uniform though he also wears his Badass Longcoat over it.
Man, Cloud's missed work all year! Hope he feels better soon!
Does Shinra not keep records on their own employees? You would think someone would check the personal records on "Cloud Strife" at least once. Not to mention no one in Shinra seems all that concerned that Vincent Valentine, then a Turk, disappears while working in and around Hojo (both of whom were at least at one point in love with Lucretia, aka motive).
People being TTD'ed (Tested to Destruction) by Hojo seems to be accepted behavior, no matter who the subject is. Both Zack and Cloud were valuable, loyal employees and no one seemed to care too much when Hojo appropriated them for his own ends. In fact, they seem more stirred up by their escape then by their captivity and (probably torturous) experimentation. What exactly Hojo provides that's worth the damage to moral and company image this is courting is unclear.
He provided Sephiroth, who has been a perfect weapon for years.
The times Cloud gave his name to someone in Shinra he didn't mention his last name, so it'd be kinda hard to look up his records if they're organized by last name. There was a search done for him when he and Zack escaped, but it was as escaped research specimens. I doubt their names were even included in the information most of the involved parties got. (Tseng had their records, but he's the boss Turk.) As for why this is was all acceptable, my impression of the late President Fatso, I mean Shinra, is that of a complete and total monster. He probably had not problem with loyal employees being experimented on, especially ones who'd found what sort of experiments were being done under the Nibelhiem reactor. Assuming, of course, that he knew about it. Hojo has a tendency to keep secrets.
How many people named "Cloud" could there possibly be working for Shinra? Assuming computerized records (which isn't that much of an assumption given the level of tech in the game), a search by first name should be perfectly doable.
And if you decided to rename him "Bob Strife"?
Honestly, Rufus or somebody probably did do a background check on Cloud and found out that he was a fraud. But since the Shinra people don't ever meet Cloud again on friendly terms, why would they even mention it? If Cloud is a fraud it doesn't really change their perceptions of him: he's still a terrorist who needs to be silenced forever. The Turks and Reeve definitely could not have done a background check, or didn't care what Cloud's background was (or else they might have brought it up). Rufus and the Shinra people are never all that surprised that Cloud wasn't one of them, they're more surprised to find that he's actually in league with Sephiroth. Why would they mention it beforehand? As far as they would know Cloud knows he's a fraud, and being a fake SOLDIER is really the least of their issues with him. (This issue is probably something the writers didn't think of, but its really a mild plot hole that can sorta fit into the universe.)
And in that very same vein, Rufus and the Turks might've thought that letting everyone think Cloud was a 1st class SOLDIER would make for a faster resolution — from a managerial perspective, more people on the task means quicker dealing with the issue.
Hojo is also a Shinra Department head, tantamount to being a member of the world government cabinet. He could probably doctor records quite easily anyway.
Shiny happy pollution in Junon?
If Lower Junon is a really polluted and dirty place with no fish, then why is the water so clean-looking? In the underwater tunnel leading to the Junon Reactor, you can clearly see schools of fish swimming around in there without a problem, and "Mr. Dolphin" swims happily near the beach. Even the music is bright and cheery.
Perhaps Junon has a different mode of poisoning than other places? It could be something not visible. Or just not visible from the beach.
The water may be TOO clean on the surface. No algae, no seaweed, no plankton... If something was killing the smallest creatures and plants, then there would be no food for the fish. They either die or leave. Mr. Dolphin is, well, a dolphin and can simply swim to greener pastures. In fact, he does do this every once in a while according to Priscilla and, indeed, is gone for the rest of the game. A different problem is something we have in the real world as well. There are entire oceanic dead zones because the water in these places have low oxygen concentration. Fresh water actually flows on top of the salt water (and is usually muddy and full of algae) while the saltwater underneath has no oxygen to keep the animals alive. Since most widely caught fish swim below the surface... Finally, there's a third option. Sometimes, extremely clear water can indicate that something in there killed everything. Pathogens. Chlorine. Stuff like that. Of course, salt is made of chlorine which sea animals need so...
Let's send Sephiroth to the one town that'll make him go crazy!
The whole incident at Nibelheim seems to have been caused by very poor judgement on the part of SOLDIER officers. I mean, they decided to send Sephiroth investigate a mako reactor... the reactor in which they kept his "mommy", Jenova. Also, the Shinra Manor, which holds all the useful documentation about Sephiroth's origins, is located in the same village. Am I the only one who feels that Sephiroth was the last person they should have decided to send there ? Granted, Crisis Core tells us that SOLDIER had lost about all of its best staff, leaving only Zack and Sephiroth to do the job... well, they'd have been better off sending Zack alone - or even accompanied by a 2nd or 3rd class. Which also makes me wonder why they absolutely had to send their most powerful fighters to do an investigation job... Poor decision indeed. Maybe they just didn't have any capable leader after Lazard left.
Hojo pulled a BatmanGambit sending Sephiroth to Nibelheim. Hojo WANTED Sephiroth to find out.
In the original game, the battles in Nibelheim were obscenely hard for Cloud in the flashbacks... taken to storyline equivalents, with Cloud as Zack's Expy, Zack would not have been able to survive the battles on the mountain by himself. They needed muscle, and Sephiroth is that if nothing else. Of course, not having played Crisis Core, I don't know if Zack was stronger than Flashback!Cloud.
Zack at that point in the game (nearly the end) would have been more than capable of doing the mission solo. He was insanely powerful.
Indeed. If Crisis Core is any indication, Genesis orchestrated the incident to let Sephiroth help Genesis cure his body's decay. So he does this by... shattering any illusions Sephiroth has about his mother, accusing him of being an alien born monster and calling him poor little Sephiroth. You know, if you want help there are nicer ways to ask, ya know. No wonder Sephiroth told him to just go and rot.
Does Reeve have issues when it comes to Cait Sith?
Why is Cait Sith in Advent Children? Is Reeve STILL piloting that thing?
I always assumed Cait was an AI when Reeve wasn't directly controlling it. The guy has a full-time job, after all, I figured he couldn't be moving it 24-7. So maybe the AC Cait Sith was the AI?
His full-time job is running Cait Sith. He's kinda lame when he's not running it, so he sent it along.
Reeve's full time job is being a Shinra or WRO executive. One would assume those jobes involve duties than running a stuffed toy. Not to mention being Cait would be more than a full time position - it would literally be a 24-hour a day job.
I seem to remember a scene in Dirge of Cerberus where Cait was acting independently of Reeve(standing right next to him too) and at some parts he speaks about Reeve in the 3rd person. So it's possible Cait is an AI but is given orders by Reeve.
One of the Ultimania states that Reeve controls Cait Sith with his special ability, "Inspire", that allows him to bring inorganic things to life and control them at a great distance. Does this mean that he uses a part of his brain to control Cait?
If that's the case, maybe Cait Sith's independence depends on how much Reeve is paying attention to it. When he's closed his eyes and immersed himself in the experience, Cait Sith is basically his real-life Digital Avatar. When he's busy doing other things, Cait's taking its cues from his unconscious thoughts instead, which is why it gets a lot more crazy and whimsical.
Giant monsters and mutant alien menaces? I'll send in a remote-control duplicate for that any time. Reeve is keeping himself from getting killed in battle. He's just a bureucrat, after all.
How did Reeve ever manage to escape becoming one of Hojo's "specimens" anyway? Either the guy can put pieces of his mind or soul or whatever into stuffed toys and control them from anywhere in the world telepathically (maybe even subconsciously) or he can imbue stuffed toys with fully functional, autonomous AI using only his mind. Maybe a combination of both. It's hard to say which of these would be a freakier power. Now I have to wonder whether he made Cait Sith as annoying and useless as possible to distract from how insanely weird and useful that kind of ability would be.
Two possibilities: Either Reeve realized that Rule #1 of surviving with a unique, special ability is to not tell Hojo, or Hojo decided "bringing toys to life" wasn't a power worth pursuing in light of the possibilities that Mako and Jenovah offered.
That, or Reeve is so goddamn good at his executive job that Shinra puts guards on him and tells Hojo to shove it every time he brings it up. That and our very own TV Tropes has this to say on him, "The head of Shinra's Urban Development bureau, Reeve is the one who discovered how to refine Mako from the Lifestream and designed the Mako Reactors." Yeah, that's important to that greedy fat ass president. On top of that, his special ability makes him the perfect spy for AVALANCHE or any organization really. Plus, if it wasn't for Reeve keeping the Mako Plants operational and running at top efficiency, then Hojo couldn't perform his experiments in the first place. Unlike Zack, Cloud, Sephiroth, Genesis, and all the others, he was truly indispensable which makes him a badass in his own genius way.
Take my town, please!
Going to Nibelheim in the present always bothered me, after all of the residents have been replaced by Shinra actors (I assume). Everyone seems to take it in stride-the party, Shinra, everyone. Considering how much restraint Cloud usually shows, I could never understand why we didn't have a full-on "No, I mean, seriously. This is my house. Get out." moment in his mother's house.
I think Cloud being mentally unstable as he is, may actually doubt himself at this point.
They came there at a fairly early point. He didn't have any real reason to doubt himself by any extent unless you go to Gongaga with both Tifa and Aerith first. On that subject what about Tifa. Her house rebuilt and infested by being with Black Cloaks didn't bother her at all, I mean yeah they're giving sweet items for free but still...
Although personally I also find it strange that the team doesn't just beat the snot out of all the Shinra employees when they accuse Cloud and co. of lying, but maybe it's because Tifa and Cloud felt that it is not worth it. They definintely know Nibelheim was indeed burnt down. So what is sitting there is just a fake copy, not that worth fighting (and alarming Shinra of their location).
Tifa's character throughout most of the game is basically just her sitting there knowing things with her/Cloud's backstory are wrong, and not saying anything because, um, she's scared of upsetting him or something. It probably bothered her loads, just like Cloud having the wrong memories bothered her. It's just that she reacts by not saying anything. Plus, they rebuilt the town but if it burned down, that's not really her house (or Cloud's, for that matter). Game mechanics reasons for using the same backdrops aside, those are probably just similar houses in about the same place, and there's no possible way Shinra got them to look identical to the originals on the inside.
Tifa didn't tell Cloud the truth because A- she nearly died in the incident and wasn't sure what exactly happened (she even recovered in Midgar without any idea how she got there). And B- she didn't know Cloud was there as a security grunt, so the fact that he knew what happened there in almost perfect detail freaked her out. She spent a good portion of the game bewildered and doubting her own memories of the event.
Uh, Tifa didn't stay silent because she was 'scared of upsetting him or something'. Remember what happened when someone confronted Cloud about the holes in his story? That's right, he had a complete and utter psychological breakdown. Also, don't forget that Tifa initally found Cloud half-conscious at the train-station, barely even coherent, before he suddenly recovered with a false persona. I honestly do not blame Tifa for not wanting to question Cloud considering what would obviously happen, especially while they were running across the planet after Sephiroth. This probably also explains why she didn't put up a fuss over who was living in her house; she probably was upset, but didn't want to rattle Cloud.
You two are both right. She was afraid of what would happen if she did question Cloud, and she was hesitant to question him because she was not certain of the accuracy of her own memories. Would kind of be depressing if she caused him to have a psychological breakdown and then have it be that she was wrong herself.
Besides all that, there have been no less than three 1st Class SOLDIERS that have gone batshit. Throughout the story, until his memories are fixed, Cloud occasionally suffers from crippling and incredibly painful bouts of insanity brought on by Mind Rape and powerful memories resurfacing (not that anyone knew about the former). If you were attacked by Sephiroth, a 1st Class SOLDIER, then you found an old friend, claiming to be a 1st Class SOLDIER who was catatonic when you first meet them, would be willing to question them? What happens to your friend if he finds out the truth of his past just like Sephiroth did? Tifa was just happy to be with him as a friend, so why should she risk Cloud going the way of Sephiroth? How would YOU deal with that? Most people would just ignore it, because they are afraid of what could happen especially after what happened the last time. You know, when 97% of the people she cared about were brutally murdered. She's probably just happy that she has someone left and isn't willing to risk losing it.
I thought it was because well they left years ago (Cloud was 16 that means that at least 5 years passed) and people rebuild the houses, meaning they're not their houses anymore.
True, people rebuild houses, but not exact replicas of YOUR house and then claim that you never lived there, and that they have been in your hometown all their lives. The only known survivors of the Nibelheim incident are Johnny (I find it strange that he never says anything about it, by the way) and Cloud and Tifa themselves, so people suddenly springing out of the ether and claiming that they've always lived in Nibelheim should be more than a little disturbing.
Shinra actors. The rest of his family is clearly really, really good Shinra actors.
So is Marlene just psychic?
Do they ever really explain how Marlene could sense Aerith's presence (in both the end of the game and the movie), or why she even got kidnapped in Advent Children? Seemed like a perfectly good opportunity to reintroduce another Ancient to me. Also, how did she end up escaping from Loz?
On the first point: No, and they don't necessarily have to, either. Some things work best as a mystery, and don't need to be explicitly explained. On the second point, she probably ran for it while Larry, Curly, and Moe were fighting Cloud. Or Vincent grabbed her too.
Regarding the first point, young children being able to see ghosts or other supernatural things is a fairly common trope.
My personal theory (WMG, of course), is that she and her biological father, Dyne, were ALSO Cetras, they just didn't know it. The only evidence for this is that Dyne speaks to his dead wife, but of course he could just be crazy!
In Advent Children Complete, it's implicit that Aerith called all the children of Edge to go to the church. As for Marlene in particular, I believe that Aerith being a Cetra, by forming a friendship with Marlene kinda gave them a bond. I guess that childs have sort of special bond with The Planet like the Cetra, and their friendship kinda gave Aerith the possibility of contact Marlene.
And on the point of Loz kidnapping her? Simply a hostage to use against Cloud and a hell of a lot safer than trying to keep Bare-Fisted Monk Tifa under lockdown. One of the main purposes of those kids was to cause Cloud to hesitate and having Marlene as well is just insult to injury. Of course the plan works, they knock Cloud off his grove and almost kill him until Vincent pops up out of no where and, at that point, it didn't matter. They had the kids and their Jenovah cells. Mission succeeded, secondary objective failed. Time to move onto the next part of the plan. They didn't need Marlene after that.
Cosmo Canyon - No Girls Allowed (unless you're Aerith)
Why do people in Cosmo Canyon appear to be Always Male? And what the fuck was Hojo thinking trying to breed Red XIII and Aerith?
Possible explanations for the Cosmo Canyon thing: (1) You don't necessarily run across every person in-game. (2) It's implied that most of the people inhabiting Cosmo Canyon aren't living there on a permanent basis, so maybe they just didn't move their families in with them and/or the work tends to attract single men. (3) It's an artifact of the quality of the character models (I always thought the weapon's shopkeeper was female, for one.)
Hojo says in-game that he's trying to preserve two endangered species at the same time. Either he has data that suggests that it's possible, or he's simply running with it to see whether it'll work. It also makes a certain amount of sense that he'd try to crossbreed an Ancient with a species that has a long lifespan, given his earlier comments that the research will take a really long time. He's still a creepy bastard though.
Uhh, you can breed the two. Red XIII's parent's are another animal like him and a human, so clearly they can crossbreed.
Where on Earth did you hear that? We never see Red's mother, and his father is clearly one of him, and Bugenhagen being called "grandfather" doesn't mean it's biological.
Some common fannon says that Hojo is completely inept, and cites breeding Aerith and Red XIII as an example. It's more consistent with other things in the game than assuming he's a great scientist would be.
Hojo is certifiably insane. Then again, he also managed to cross human and alien DNA, so who knows? It's certainly possible through the power of SCIENCE!!
Sephiroth comments that Hojo is a mediocre scientist unable to fill Prof. Gast's shoes.
This is possibly true, but remember also that Gast was apparently one of the few people who was kind to Sephiroth when he was young and Sephiroth clearly has a slight case of hero worship for him. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle... Hojo's probably not as good as Gast, but not the complete incompetent Sephiroth makes him out to be.
What does Vincent see in her?
Vincent. Buddy. I know you were in love with Lucrecia, but seriously, what the hell did you ever see in her? Choosing to experiment on her own child pushed her across the Moral Event Horizon right there. But even before that, she strung you along in some sort of close relationship until you found out she knew your dad, ditched you and broke your heart, and went for the rebound with Hojo, which should count as a secondMoral Event Horizon. Oh, and then when you got shot defending her, she used you to prove her thesis (and save you, but pretty much by turning you into an undead monster/Planet avatar). And when you finally saw her again decades later, she did nothing but feel sorry for herself. Seriously dude, you're being an emotionally-stunted emo goth over her? C'mon, man.
Actually the experiment was on herself, they had planned to see what a child born to parents who already had J-cells would be like. And the experiment on Vincent saved his life. Going for Hojo is still unforgivable though.
That, and the entire situation was her fault. Seriously, being a bitch to Vincent when he was only concerned about her well-being? What the hell, doctor? Then, he decides to man up for her and gets killed for it.
No, they definately injected cells straight into Sephiroth himself and Lucrecia. And I'm kinda dubious on how kind it is to save someone's life by turning them into a Body Horror monster that needs a chunk of materia in their chest to remain sane, but that's just me.
Seconded. She only saved him because she felt bad about accidentally getting Vicent's dad killed. It also bothers me that Vincent blames himself. Dude, she chose to be an idiot, marry your archenemy, who then chose to shoot you. These are all choices others made, and Vincent was the only one trying to do the right thing. He has the moral high ground here. They would've gone ahead with or without him.
That's all true, but remember, he was in love with her (god knows why, but he was). That tends to make people irrational and biased about emotional situations when we, gifted with hindsight and emotional distance, can see it's a bad idea. And if I remember right, he somewhat has this realization near the end of the game; he had blamed himself this whole time but it was all Hojo's fault. Honestly, I really hope he moves on and finds a girl who's actually worthy of his affection this time, the poor bastard.
He blamed himself for just standing by while it was all happening, Lucrecia is not a bad person, she's just a massive pushover with a lot of emotional problems. She went after Hojo just as a way to distant herself from Vincent (you most be blind AND have no standards to pick him) because she felt bad about his father's death, she went along with the experiment because Hojo made her, and Vincent feels bad that he just didn't help her out of the situation, since she was gonna do whatever she was told due to lack of self steam and all that. At least that was what I thought when I saw the whole situation, maybe I just think Vincent is too cool to be moping over a terrible abusive chick.
Well, that's exactly why this bugs me - in the original game, I assumed the same thing; that Lucrecia was a decent person who didn't realize what a monster Hojo was and unwittingly let him manipulate her. I even wondered if she even consented to having Jenovah cells put into her unborn son. That's what made Vincent's story so tragic to me - that he was so determined to let his love be happy he didn't see that she needed to get away from Hojo until it was too late. But then we find out she consented to the experiment ahead of time, Hojo made no attempt to hide his bastardry, and Vincent got fucked over by both of them. It really ruined the tragedy of the story.
But didn't both Hojo and Lucrecia believe that Jehovah was a Cetra at that point? Wouldn't she have gone along with with it because she thought it would do humanity some good? No one could have guessed the child would grow up to be a mass murdering psychopath. Lucrecia probably believed that Hojo, deep down, was a good guy trying to help humanity in his own strange little way. She overcompensated for her guilt from Vincent's dad and the more she deluded herself to Hojo's flaws, the more she could push Vincent away and continue her work. Then her little fantasy world collapsed around her and she wanted to do whatever it took to make up for it, but she overcompensated again and hurt Vincent terribly WHILE saving his life (AHA, 1 for 1! or 1 for 5ish). Then she is stuffed into And I Must Scream scenario where she gets to reflect on all her horrible life choices... forever.
Why don't ya just freeze Aerith, Hojo?
Hojo thought Aerith would grow old and die before they could complete their research on her. Why didn't he try to have someone preserve her with Stop or freeze a DNA sample instead of trying to breed her with Red XIII, which would dilute her precious genetic material even if it did work?
Hojo was a scientist, and while insane, he wasn't stupid. Red XIII was likely the first (and 'most viable') breeding partner that Hojo had available that would suit his initial needs. Knowing the human reproductive system, if impregnation didn't work, he would try a different subject, and if it did, he had ~12 months to find the next breeding partner, as well as determine the actual benefits of the first offspring. As for the use of stop or freeze, there is likely no guarauntee as to how long they would last, let alone how well they would preserve (assuming a spell like Freeze didn't kill the subject) someone for that long. But even if such a spell were a viable option, with Aerith barely in her twenties, actually using the spell seems like overkill when there are other methods available.
This troper always took Hojo trying to breed Aerith with Nanaki/Red XIII as a joke on his part. A very sick and twisted joke but it is Hojo. No man of science would try to breed valuable (and unique) specimens from separate species without data suggesting it was possible. Even if he did, he'd probably use artificial insemination as it'd be far more likely to take.
Also, any decent research on an Ancient would require actually interacting with them. For example, Aerith just knew that her adoptive-father died; you can't scientifically measure that sort of ability while they're unconscious. Not to mention the fact that the Ancients were known for their great wisdom and mental abilities, as well as communicating with the planet. Hojo needed a subject that would be alive and conscious for the duration of the research, which is why freezing was not an option and why he wanted to breed with Red XIII. And breeding her with any creature would dilute her DNA, but Red XIII's people apparently have similar abilities and ties to the Ancients. You gotta work with what you've got.
Hey Yuffie, your fly's open
How do Yuffie's shorts stay on? She doesn't wear a belt, the top button's un-done, and the fly's only half way zipped. Wouldn't it tend to fall off in the course of all her ninjaing around? I mean COME ON!
I always assumed that it was only cosmetically unzipped, and the shorts were made so that there was one of those locking bits partway up the zipper to keep it from opening or closing too much, and the shorts were fitted to stay on like that. Think of it as an upturned collar (like on a shirt) instead of Absolute Cleavage (again, like on a shirt).
She's just too chubby to zip her shorts up all the way.
Too chubby? She's a bloody stick. If that's too chubby, I'm Jabba the freaking Hutt.
Or she's just too poor, and hasn't bought a new pair of shorts in 5 years.
She's a moderately successful materia thief whose father owns an island nation. (Even in broke countries the leaders have some money.)
Maybe it's a really small pants...?
Well she has big hips (proportionate to her legs and stomach) to keep them in place
It's mentioned that her outfit is quite odd. I'd chalk it up to her own personal (Quirky even in-universe) style.
Although it's understandable from a gameplay standpoint, what's the reasoning behind the party being the only one running around? Other games from the series have the main party as The Chosen One, or Loads And Loads of Characters would lead to other adventerers joining in. In this installment, we have materia and weapons (some of it quite useful) sold at shops. Ordinary characters like Barret, Tifa, and Cid are perfectly capable of using them. Yet, the party has a total of 9 characters, and, aside from the Turks, you never run into anyone else taking advantage of these items, even when it's The End of the World as We Know It.
Because the party members are the only ones who really know what's going on. Until Meteor shows up, nobody else in the world besides Shinra even know that Sephiroth is back, or that there's any trouble at all. They can't pick up weapons and fight against something they don't know about, after all. Plus, Cloud has the direct connection to Sephiroth that pretty much nobody else on the planet does.
Though it doesn't explain why the people in Coral don't just buy up some and go after Money Spiders or something.
You really want to add to Corel's problems with Sephiroth? "Well Christ, our town is destroyed and it's three times as hard to make a living, let's pick a fight with the super soldier who can probably demolish us with a friendly smile!" Yeah, people COULD arm up, but for what point? Children can stab with knives, it doesn't correlate equal fighters.
The Lifestream just hates Lucrecia?
So I haven't got every iota of canon memorized so I may be missing something, but Lucrecia is frozen in time, unable to truly die and be diluted into the Lifestream because of the Jenova cells. But Zack and Angeal have J cells in their body, but they were able to enter. Sephiroth was able to travel through it, and presumably only sheer force of will kept him from being diluted and allowed him to re-form his body.
Zack can manifest during Advent Children/ACComplete, and during Crisis Core Angeal's is still around all the way through to the end (and probably after). Flowing with the Lifestream isn't the same as being diluted into it and 'recycled'. The Planet might be stopping them. Which, if so, makes the ending of Crisis Core even sadder.
According to later canon (Maiden who travelled the Planet and Lifestream Black & White), people who enter the Lifestream's cycle surrender their memories to it in order to join the other souls. Ancients like Aerith can mantain their selves and help the others to regain their memories. Or, if you are a badass like Sephiroth, you can cling to your most important memories and keep detached from the Lifestream (he still had to give up the memories of his physical form, though).
Maiden isn't canon, just so you know:
It is a matter of debate if the novella is or is not canon. In other Ultimania guides which list other Final Fantasy VII media including the On The Way to a Smile series, Hoshi wo Meguru Otome has been consistently omitted, its existence seemingly ignored by Square Enix. Thus, officially the novella is not considered canon. Furthermore, much of the material in the novella seems to contradict established canon, but an analysis of the novella's content and a comparison of it to other Compilation material conducted by the fansite The Lifestream.net concluded this was not so. The article stated that many perceived contradictions between novella and canon can be explained as misunderstandings of the material, and ultimately while Hoshi wo Meguru Otome has not been acknowledged as canon to the Final Fantasy VII universe, it does not directly contradict the canon and can fit into the established continuity.
Palmer's ultimate job security
How did a fat moron like Palmer ever manage to become a Shinra executive, anyway? He obviously has no idea what the hell he's doing, so why do President Shinra and Rufus both keep him around, presumably paying what's likely a high salary?
Could be he's an old friend of the family who the President wanted to give a cushy job. There's plenty of people in real life getting a high salary when they don't know what the hell they're doing, after all.
Or that after the failure of the rocket launch at Rocket Town, he either couldn't take it and broke (since Shinra seems pretty strict about failure) or realized quickly that he could basically do anything since nobody cared about his division anymore.
Someone has to be blamed if something goes wrong. And it sure as hell isn't the boss.
Heidigger and Scarlet are the same. They're old friends of President Shinra Sr. and were kept on by proxy. Rufus would probably have found replacements for them once the crisis was over.
Fat, stupid and morally unethical people are in the highest rankings of corporations in our world.
Plus, does Shinra look like they check who they hire? They have Elena on board for fuck's sake. Certain Elena moments are enough to clinically qualify her as a moron.
Plus it's always nice to keep a high-ranking moron around. If something bad happens, that idiot gets blamed (even if they were only tangentially related to the situation) and consequently thrown under the bus to save someone else's skin. Plus his division didn't have any power any more, why bother finding a replacement for a job that's meaningless?
President (Insert Name Here) Shinra
Has President Shinra's first name ever been mentioned anywhere in canon? My Fanon name for him is John Pierpont Shinra, but if his name has been confirmed in some source, I'd like to hear it.
I don't recall a first name ever being given in the game, and the Final Fantasy Wiki doesn't mention one either.
I took the easy way out in a fanfic I once wrote and just called him Rufus Shinra, Sr.
That really bothers me, for some reason. Also, not only does Rufus have his genes and manages to come out a Bishounen orange-haired pretty boy with blue eyes, but other son, Lazard, also is a Bisienen blonde-haired pretty boy. All we really know about him is that he really does care about Rufus, at least. He uses Rufus' birthday as the passcode for everything that needs a passcode. Also, he is apparently enough of a stubborn dick to de-rail the lifestream in one of the novels. [Though considering how many times important characters seem to come back from the dead or are already dead, but still show up, that isn't a big deal for anything.
It's possible Rufus and Lazard's mothers closely resembled each other or we're seeing the consequences of reaching full maturity well before the Wutai War. The company itself basically catapults much of the world into the industrialized age (at a high cost, as is pointed out by Marlene), it's not too much to think that life was very hard for different reasons when Shinra, Sr., was growing up.
Tifa's immune to mako?
Why didn't Tifa become a mako zombie when she fell in the lifestream like Cloud did? Better yet, why did neither of them dissolve into the lifestream like Sephy apparently did?
My guess is because she hadn't been exposed to it like they had. Cloud was experimented on for about five years, and Sephiroth from even before he was born.
Also consider where and how they fell in. Cloud had just been mind controlled and Mind Rape'd by Sephiroth, and fell into someplace that was saturated with the Lifestream (remember, that's why Shinra was looking for the place). Sephiroth was just run through by Cloud. He was dead when he fell in. By contrast, Tifa was perfectly healthy, and might've fallen into a place that was considerably less concentrated than the Northern Crater.
I always had the impression that Aerith somehow protected both Tifa and Cloud when they plunged into the Lifestream, and she allowed Tifa to try and help Cloud recover. It's the only explanation I can think of to explain why Tifa didn't get Mako poisioning and Cloud didn't get... even more Mako poisioning.
The answer is a plot point in the game. The stronger you are mentally, the less likely your mind is to be overwhelmed by all the competing thoughts/memories/feelings of the lifestream, which is what mako poisoning is. That was the difference between Cloud and Zack when Hojo experimented on them. (And all that stuff about failed and successful experiments.) We know Cloud has a pretty weak sense of self because he got mako poisoning back then too, but Tifa must not have that problem. My understanding of the part about Sephiroth is that he should actually have died five years ago from the fight and possibly the fall, but didn't give up his sense of self like dead people are meant to. Cloud and Tifa were just living people exposed to mako.
The game hints that Aerith was the reason Cloud survived at all, and and one of the novellas confirms that she helped Tifa sort through Cloud's fragmented memories.
A hot time under the old rocket tonight
In the Rocket Town flashback, Cid aborts the launch to avoid killing Shera. However, the cutscene shows the rocket firing with an enormous amount of flame that lifts it several off the ground, which would have incinerated Shera anyway.
Multiple stage rocket. The part that fires isn't directly connected to the bit that Shera's in, so Cid aborts it to prevent the next section from eventually firing. What bugs me more about this one is that the second launch is successful, despite that (a) some of the fuel has been spent and (b) the rocket's tilted at a crazy angle. There's no evidence that Shinra does anything to correct either of these before launching it.
Well, the intial launch was supposed to result in a successful outer-space (possibly orbital) flight with a recoverable command module. The Meteor launch was just an armed missile shooting upwards. There's a million and one variables that changed from one mission objective to the other, so perhaps Shinra's Space Division techs and scientists determined that the Meteor launch would work with what they had. Also, Cloud & Co arrived late to Rocket Town (that is, Shinra was already there.) Maybe we just didn't see the refueling?
Hold on, that doesn't make any sense. She was in the section that was filled with at least 10 major fuel containment tanks, and was re-calibrating them at the time of takeoff. In a rocket,if she was in the second stage, which she had to have been in at least the second stage for there to be so much fuel, considering all of that fuel is to push the rocket out of the atmosphere and the ensuing third stage is the rocket discarding the necessary pieces that helped it push out of the atmosphere, she'd be boiled alive. Think about this, the first and second stage are not designed to accommodate human life, nor are they meant to even stay on the rocket after it leaves. Considering the astronauts breathe air from their suits and have a crushing amount of G-force subjected to them, that means Shera would have died from either the sheer tempature, G-force, lack of air or, since the rocket was straight up, would have at least been thrown down to the section of wall burning with the intense heat hot enough to launch a goddamn rocket out of the atmosphere, she should have died at least four different ways during the launch. Also, her standing on the 'Floor' of the rocket, when the rocket was straight up and she was shown to be in a hallway, she apparently can fly.
Supernova, the apocalypse that keeps on giving
Supernova can be used more than once. Discuss.
Well, are they even fighting in reality anymore at that point? It looks like they are in some place full of clouds. One interpretation I read is that that fight is purely "spiritual," taking place in the lifestream. So Sephiroth doesn't really destroy the sun, that's more like a representation of the force he is hitting you with.
I suppose that's as good an explanation as any, particularly considering that it also explains how the attack isn't an instant game over (I mean really, being hit by the sun exploding deals only a couple thousand damage?) But what still bugs me is that there's no reason why the attack can be done more than once other than developer oversight. They've already got an attack that's hardcoded so that you will only ever see it done once by an enemy, ever (it's one of the enemy skills, Pandora's Box IIRC.) They could have done that with this one.
I heard the super-long Supernova animation isn't even in the original Japanese version. Which doesn't explain why it was added, but it's an excuse to ignore the whole mess. I mean, with the other planets getting named, treating that animation like canon is a bit Planet of the Apes. Let's treat it like "this guy are sick" and move on.
How can he blow up our solar system multiple times? i mean, since Sephiroth blows up our solar system and then creates a supernova that [Somehow?] reaches the planet of Final Fantasy VII, doesn't that mean they'd have to be, you know, near us? Not at all near us in distance relative in terms of our measurements, but relatively close to our solar system. I mean, Alpha Centauri is only 0.2 lightyears away, and it isn't even involved in the supernova.
Like it says above, "Sephiroth doesn't really destroy the sun, that's more like a representation of the force he is hitting you with." There are no solar systems being destroyed at all.
A mental attack can miss, it just means it failed to have an effect.
Every big bad (ok NEARLY Every one of them) In the Final Fantasy series has some God-Magic in their final arsenal that seems a little extreme and seem to always happen in a place outside reality. The more notable ones include The Emperor who had Meteorite/Starfall, The Cloud of Darkness had Particle Beam, Zeromus had Big Bang, Neo-Ex Death had Almagest, Kefka had Forsaken, Ultimecia had Apocalypse, Necron had Neutron Ring, and that's just to name a few. Even pre-final bosses have stuff like Griver's Shockwave Pulsar and The Creator's Black Hole. Point is... they can do this freaky world destroying stuff because there outside of that dimension at the time.
Given how Lifestream is composed of memories of the Planet and her inhabitants and magic is performed by through a solidified form of those memories, perhaps the attack is not so much literal as Sephiroth turning the memory of a supernova into an attack. It already happened once, he's just forcing the Planet to remember it repeatedly.
Maybe he actually does bring the attack from another universe and each new attack is another Sol System in another universe being blown up. He would end up killing a dozen alternate realities to our own.
Reno's a cool guy, except for that mass murder thing
Why are Cloud and Co. so chummy with Reno after FF7, considering how he was the one who detonated the bomb that made the sector plate collapse.
Aside from the fact that he's just doing his job, they can't exactly sling mud, considering they've blown up two entire Mako Reactors.
Reno was only doing what he was paid to do. It's been shown in more than one instanct that the turks actually LIKE the main crew, in Gongoga, when reno and rude talk about what girls they like, in Wutai were they directly choose to not attack them, despite being told to seconds ago over the phone, and back in midgar, when the party meets with them and they can, optionally, not fight. Away from his job... reno is actually a pretty likeable guy
No, this bugs me too. Yeah, AVALANCHE doesn't have much of a higher moral ground, but at least they realized that it was a shitty thing to do when called on it. The Turks have never shown any remorse for what they've done, and they've done a lot worse things than Sector 7.
It may be worth noting that the "remorse" felt by AVALANCHE over blowing up two reactor night-shifts of other working class folks and Midgar police (whom, when they're not being killed, seem genuinely interested in their neighborhoods given their unwillingness to abandon them) is a short remark from Barret, which he later dismisses as pointless sentiment.
They do show remorse in Advent Children Complete. Reno says "Man, what a nightmare. The planet was nearly obliterated, and we were the obliterators." Reno and Rude have a conversation about the Shinra Co. and Reno says something like "I'm suprised so many employees returned" and Rude replies with "those left have a lot to atone for".
This has always bugged me. Just because it's some guys job to kidnap Aerith and turn her over to Hojo of all people, and also their job to massacre all of the innocent people in sector 7, does not make you a good person. Hell, Cloud had a job in Advent Children. He's a courier, a job that requires little to no participation in the slaughter of poor people. Then, just to show you that they really like their job, in Advent Children, they all return to help Rufus [And by extension, the heroes). I think Reeve was really the only person in the Turks as of the time of Final Fantasy VII that deserves redemption, and he had to work for it, putting his life on the line to continue to help the heroes and fight to save the planet, even though his secret identity is eventually exposed. Giving Reno, Rude, Elena and Tseng a free pass feels like a slap in the face to the one guy that was willing to save the world instead of working. Besides, Barret had to go through some Character Development to realize that it was wrong to bomb the Mako reactor, as well as admit that he was using the environmental cause to further his need for revenge. None of the Turks ever go through this 'Sorry for squishing your friends and family' phase. Saying that because they didn't attack you, that means their motivations must be good, is like saying because Hojo was tanning and didn't turn you into Shin Ra HQ while in Costa de Sol, he must be a good guy too.
First off, Reeve was not a member of the Turks, and had nothing to do with Sector 7's plate being dropped. They get a pass because the worst thing they do is flatten the sector 7 slums, which if they refused Shinra would have just got someone else to do it. And the important distinction to make is that from their perspective the slum houses a dangerous eco-terrorist organisation that has blown up two reactors, killing a lot of people, and whose population (if I remember right) supports AVALANCHE as well. So a combination of Just Following Orders and being shown post game to regret their actions.
It'd be hard to claim that the people in the Slums automatically backed AVALANCHE—anymore than they were criminals or mobsters or bandits (all of which are dangerously common in the Slums). However, Fuhito's AVALANCHE demonstrated a willingness to resort to comparable tactics (they're the reason why Sector 6 is being rebuilt—let that set in), including through the use of reactor destruction. Barret adopts the manifesto and battle plan of someone who wanted to kill everybody everywhere and, to his credit, kills a lot less than everybody everywhere. Is he a cool guy except for the whole terrorist bombing thing because he's a foster parent?
We don't really know the extent to which the Turks wrestle with their guilt anyway. They might cry themselves to sleep over it every night, for all we know. Really, though, the whole Compilation (Case of Shinra especially) makes it clear that the Turks remaining at the time of FFVII are very much My Master, Right or Wrong types; loyalty is everything to them, and they can't comprehend life outside of the Turks. Case of Shinra even mentions that they have mental "switches" that turn on when they're in the field and off when they're off-duty. This implies to me that they've dissociated from their actions while on missions as a coping mechanism; they're not doing it, Shinra is doing it. None of that excuses what they did, obviously, but it does explain why they'd seem comfortable with doing something so horrible when other events of the story show them to be relatively decent people.
This bugs me greatly too, simply saying "it was just their job" or that Shinra would do the atrocities some other way does not make it ok, they had full knowledge of what they were getting themselves into when they joined the Turks and accepted their first missions, they are aware that they are getting paid to do horrible things to people they do not even know and yet they seem to not have any problem with it. Just how would they or Shinra executives justify to the people whose lives they have screwed over that it was simply business? (Of course, I do not approve of AVALACHE's methods either.)
The argument that "they're just doing their jobs" doesn't really cut it. Reno's dialogue when he dooms the plate shows that he quite clearly doesn't care about the people he's killing. Heck, his little Warner Bros. shout out in the English version makes it even worse as it implies he sees the whole thing as a huge performance.
Reno: You're too late. Once I push this button... (presses it) That's all, folks! Mission accomplished. Tifa: We have to disarm it! Cloud! Barret! Please! Reno: I can't have you do that. No one gets in the way of Reno and the Turks.
Really, Reno? Mass-murder is fun to you? You're as bad as Sephioth. However, Tseng's no angel either. His reaction to Reno's antics is Evil Laughter and Gloating. Again, from the script...
Tseng:Ha ha ha..... Only a Shinra Executive can set up or disarm the Emergency Plate Release System. Barret: Shut yer hole! (fires on the helicopter) Tseng: I wouldn't try that.... You just might make me injure our special guest. (reveals Aeris as his prisoner) Tifa: Aerith!! Tseng:''' Oh, you know each other? How nice you could see each other one last time. You should thank me.
Wow, Tseng... So, not only do you think it's funny that AVALANCHE has completely failed to save hundreds, potentially thousands of people, but you also figured you'd rub their face in their failure to protect Aeris as well?
There's just no two ways around it. Reno and Tseng are horrible, horrible human beings and no amount of crying "They're just doing their jobs" will get around the fact that, deep down, they enjoy ending and ruining peoples' lives as much as their bosses do, or at least they're just so removed from the feelings of others to even notice they exist. If there was any shred of decency in them, they might express hesitation at what they're doing. They might reveal themselves to be Punch Clock Villains by expressing shame that they're crossing the Moral Event Horizon to put food on their tables or something similar but they don't.
In the real game (let's ignore Advent Children for now, because that's a whole can of Retcon-flavoured worms for every character we could be here all day mulling over), both of these characters clearly have an evil streak. Getting your jollies from the suffering of other people is wrong. Just because they're seen later discussing their crushes on the party's girls doesn't magically absolve them of guilt. In the game, these guys are bad guys. Minor bad guys compared to Sephiroth and Hojo, yes, but bad guys nonetheless and we shouldn't be pretending that they're anything else.
We're all entitled to think that Evil Is Cool or Sexy, but let's not break out the leather pants for these sorts of people, okay?
I think I'll take the AC retcon over a poor translation any day. What they done is inexcusable but to say someone is not capable of changing their perspective is pretty narrow minded.
This is probably a case of Characterization Marches On. In the original game the Turks basically come across as horrible sociopaths, but in the long view of things, it does sort of stretch credulity that there are so many characters who are willing to cheerfully commit mass murder without batting and eyelash. AC's retcon is less mustache-twirlingly evil and more Punch Clock Villain, which can either seem like a sensible change or a blatant inconsistency, depending on your preferences for that kind of thing. Of course, whether or not you find Punch Clock Villain tendencies make their actions any more excusable is still up for debate.
Sephiroth got distracted by the Gold Saucer?
Why didn't Sephiroth go on a killing spree when he was in Gold Saucer?
He was too busy betting on the Chocobos.
Sephiroth never went there. The one that asked Dio for the Black Materia was Sephiroth clone number 1.
Rubble, Cloud's one weakness!
Why did Cloud and Co. have such a hard time moving that rubble off of Cid in the Rocket Town Huge Materia sequence considering how overpowered the characters are shown to be in spinoffs?
The Dragon Ball Z clause. Any transformation, no matter how rediculous, even if it's just a change of cloths, will make a character stronger. does anyone but Cait Sith/Red XIII/Vincent wear the same cloths in AC as they do in the main game?
It's hard to tell with the video quality, but considering that the rubble in question consists of twisted pieces of metal and wire, I imagine the trouble was figuring out how to move it without causing more damage. With Shera's help they were able to find a way to dig out Cid without killing him.
No fighting in the Shinra elevators
Why didn't the team just kick Rude and Tseng's asses when they caught them in the lift of Shinra HQ?
Two guesses: Either the space was too small to fight without hitting an ally, or Rude and Tseng were simply too strong for them at that point in the game.
Third guess: It might just be two guys, but the very fact that two Turks have shown up means that all of Shinra is onto them and they've probably got an entire army backing them up. That's why Cloud complies when they ask him to - they've basically shown up to personally demonstrate that they're fucked.
Tifa's slap-fu battle with Scarlet
It still bugs me to this day that Tifa got in a slapping match with Scarlet. She's a freaking martial artist who can pick up and body slam things three times her size, fer the love of all. Just uppercut the bitch and go home.
Slapping has a bigger humiliation impact to it.
Which doesn't explain why Tifa let Scarlet slap her in the first place. Someone as good as her should have seen it coming a mile away and blocked it. Heck, I could have blocked that as much wind-up as that slap had. Besides, I'm not really buying the "more humiliating" thing when utterly crushing your opponent is pretty damn humiliating for them.
The game cut scene showed Tifa looking away for a while, maybe Scarlet manage to catch her by surprise for the fist slap. As for the subsequent slaps, I'd say Tifa was just so angry she did the first thing that came to mind — slap back. Plus, it makes for an awesome mini game.
If by "awesome", you mean "mash X for a few seconds", I suppose. The only way Tifa could have missed that wind-up is if her peripheral vision is completely shot, and it still doesn't excuse getting hit with subsequent slaps. Tifa, a martial artist who has been training for at least 5 years, can lose a slapping match. Seriously not buying the handwaves, here. It was either a) an excuse to cram in yet another minigame (and not a particularly fun or inspired one - there's no luck or skill involved, winning only involves pressing X as quickly as you can over and over) or b) an excuse to make Tifa's rescue seem more exciting, even though a couple of guards and Scarlet were no real threat or c) both.
Didn't Tifa spend at least a minute in a room filled with poison gas and then have to make a run for it just before the slap match happened? Not to mention that she had been in a coma for about a week before even that. Maybe she was too weak at the moment and so she couldn't send Scarlet flying.
She'd still know the most effective ways to use the energy she had.
Tifa's own humiliation at being an accomplished martial artist caught in a slap fight with someone who tried to kill her should outweigh any damage she could to Scarlet by slapping her.
I think you're underestimating the effects of poisonous gas... And slapping, for that matter. Also, Tifa isn't the kind of person to be "humiliated" by something so stupid. However, Scarlet is. Tifa would've known the limits of her body and would understand that she shouldn't feel bad or guilty for not being able to utterly pwn Scarlet's ass at that point. So what do you do when your body is in bad shape and you're fighting against a woman that's vain and full of herself? Easy. You slap her. Not only is it humiliating to Scarlet, it's a small action that doesn't take a lot of energy to carry out and definitely hurts on impact to the face. I also want to point out the possibility of it being a "who's going to last longer getting slapped?" kind of thing—an endurance test between them, in which if you attempt to run or block, you lose. And regardless, it's amusing as heck to people who don't take it so seriously and are willing to suspend disbelief.
It's not the size of the materia...
It really bugs me that they never really confirmed exactly what size is a materia. In the original game, materia is apparently attached to bracelets and weapons, so we can reasonably assume they are, say, like a size of pearl. In the movie, we see that they are almost christmas ball big. Try holding eight christmas balls and a sword at the same time, while fighting a enemy potentially twice your size.
The christmas-ornament sized Materia were mastered Materia, we still don't know exactly how big the average Level 1 Materia is, but in the game it generally shows spheres somewhere between baseball and softball size (it's difficult to tell for sure because of the SD style, though). And you're attaching them to "slots" in the armor and weapons, which (if the Sephiroth genes' use of the materia in the movie is any indication) is actually the number of materia that can remaim stable while (or just be) partially or almost completely absorbed by the weapon, the article of clothing, and probably the person's body underneath the clothing.
Except that if you look at the official artwork for the bangles, you see a matching number of Materia slots to how they are described. The Sephiroth Genes putting the materia into their own bodies is supposed to be freaky.
No... Tifa's materia worked the same way. Her Materia was inside her body, you could see them glowing at times.
Tifa never uses materia at all during the movie. Neither do any of the other heroes. Perhaps you're thinking of her appearance in Dead Fantasy instead?
The bangles and the Buster Sword, yes have holes in them. What about everything else. Did they prance around with six Materia hanging off of each accesorie they wore and weapon they carried? What exactly was Yuffie going to do with the Materia she brought to the final fight in ACC had she not been shot down? For that matter, what does Zack do with his Materia?
Presumably, all of the equipment has the cooresponding number of slots in them. If the Buster Sword and bangles do, then it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to assume all the other weapons do too. I don't see how that's a sillier idea than them sticking them inside themselves, which does come across as freaky and unnatural. Also, I'm sure Yuffie was going to pass out all the materia to Cloud and the other party members. Everyone was there, you know.
Yuffie's Plan: Steal Materia, ???, Revive Wutai!
Yuffie's plan for reviving Wutai really bugs me. I mean, how exactly does it work? Step 1: Mug people of their materia. Step 2: Sell it. Step 3: ???. Step 4: Restore Wutai to it's former glory. PROFIT!! The only thing I can see it resulting is Wutai becoming a famous black market for materia, and how is that supposed to help glorify your home town?
By selling it in other cities, and using the resulting capital to revive the city- start-up capital to make new city infrastructure or businesses to bring legitimate income into the town. Alternatively, she's a kid who has no idea what to do, and so is just trying to get as much money and/or power into the place the only way she knows how.
Simple, she's Yuffie, the immature childish clumsy 16 year old girl, you expect her to come up with a monopoly plan or something?
Wutai is stated in game to have next to no Materia (The only significant one is Leviathan, and there's only 1 of those), which was a weapon Shinra harvested to power up its armies along with SOLDIER. Yuffie figures that if she had more of these powerful fighting tools, she could effectively fight back, like the Afghans stocking up on AK-47s to fight the Soviets.
It does make sense. She can sell off the generic materia for extra gil so her home won;t be so dependent on tourists and keep the stronger and rare materia to make her home physically stronger. Yuffie may be hoping to drop kick Shinra out and while that may seem extreme given they seem to be progressively clamping down on the world, one city at a time it might actually be necessary. Or would have been if things had continued on as they had been.
Tseng slapping Aerith
I was always confused about why Tseng slaps Aerith during the Sector 7 plate bombing to silence her. Aerith wasnít yelling something that would endanger the bombing, like an abort code or something. She was just telling the team that Marlene was safe. Whereís the harm in that? Youíd think the man didnít actually have a crush on the poor girl or something.
Yeah, that one moment flies in the face of literally all the other characterization Tseng has in both that game and Crisis Core. Maybe it was from a point in development where someone else was supposed to be on the chopper, or something, and nobody got around to changing it?
The only other explanation for the slapping incident which is remotely consistent with majority of Tseng's characterization (especially in Crisis Core), is that he was somehow trying to protect Aerith by keeping her quiet — i.e., he slapped Aerith to keep her from saying something that might further endanger her (Aerith) or Marlene.
I think this was adressed in the novel On The Way To A Smile: Case of Shinra . Here's the specific paragraph "Before long after many years and certain events passed, Aerith came into contact with the anti-Shinra group Avalanche and the situation took a sudden change. Tseng became agitated as he couldnít get a grasp of the situation at hand and because of that he treated Aerith with an attitude of such pretense evil that even his subordinates turned cold towards him. He would always think of what to say to them. This isnít pretense evil. To Aerith, Shinra itself is evil. Thatís why evil should act like evil." I don't fully understand Tseng's reasoning here, but I think he's basically refusing to lie to her and act like everything's going to be okay, when he knows that being captured by Shinra means hell for her.
Aerith - flower girl by day, working girl by night?
Aerith as participating in prostitutionEnjo Kosai. Explain please.
Eh? Do you mean the thing with Don Corneo? The part that was explicitly explained as her doing so in order to find Tifa?
No. A lot of fans seem to theorize that she was dating for money instead of simply being a flower girl.
So? There isn't anything in the game that hints at it from what I can recall. Fans of this game "theorize" all kinds of crazy shit. Doesn't mean it has any basis in reality.
Apparently they have backup though. Just google it.
Google what? Most terms from this game will just bring up guides and maybe fic. Doesn't this rumor just come from her deal with Cloud to go out with him if he'll be her bodyguard?
If Cloud goes into the Honeybee Lounge in Sector 6, when he comes out he'll find Aerith has been flirting with all of the men gawking at her in order to sell her flowers. She clearly knows how to get attention, anyway. Aerith's innocent persona is a fairly recent invention. I mean, how many nice girls would force a guy to parade around in drag in front of his childhood love interest? (Speaking of that, did you see the racy dress she was in during that stint? Yowza!)
The "innocent persona" has a lot to do with the fact that in her appearances outside of the original, she is only fifteen or sixteen. Other than that, there's Advent Children (in which she's dead), and Kingdom Hearts. And the dress◊ isn't that racy. It looks like a classy coctail dress, and Ti◊fa◊ and Yuffie show more skin on a daily basis. As for talking Cloud into dressing in drag (she didn't force him), I just attribute that to game humor. Regardless, that doesn't make her a mean person; she clearly never did anything to them out of spite. She sells flowers to make a living, so why not try to sell them at the Honeybee Inn if she's already there?
These rumours might have been also fueled by Final Fantasy Tactics. The Flower Girl Aerith in that game (who is not the same Aerith) is rescued by Cloud (who is the same Cloud) from someone who is evidently not a common thug, but a bona-fide criminal leader, to whom she owes money, and who suggests to her to "sell her body" instead of flowers.
It's not that far-fetched. When you met her she tried to sell you flowers, then act surprised when you actually bought it. Now think about it. Her flowers are just one friggin gil a piece and she barely sell them at all, how could she make a living selling them then? The obvious answer is that the flowers are just a cover, she sells something else. With that conclusion she's either a prostitute or a drug dealer.
Remember, Aeris can charge whatever she wants for the flowers. Sure, one gil may be the base price but she seems to increase it for people who annoyed her or she knows has money to burn. While flowers may not seem like much to us remember that they're very rare in Midgar, only growing around Aeris' home and the church near her home, so she has a monopoly on something that cheers people up, makes them happy, and has a sully that costs her nothing and keeps replenishing itself. Factor in that her mother likely owns the house instead of just renting it and that she doesn't seem to have any real frivilous possesions, not even a piece of common materia to use on monsters/attackers, and I can buy her making a living on the flowers alone.
We should also remember that Cloud is 5'7" man in a military/mercenary uniform carrying a sword that is 70.5 inches tall from the end of the hilt to the point of the blade and, depending on the material, can weigh anything from 20 to 75 pounds. And this tough looking dude just bought a flower after a terrorist attack while people are panicking. Yeah, no shit she's surprised.
Aerith likes schmucks?
Most of the Relationship Values for Tifa/Aerith date sequence in the original game makes sense. But in Crisis Core, it really bugs me that the way to increase Aerith's affection with Zack is to be a schmuck continuously. You have to believe in all the market NPCs while they help you, when they are obviously treating you like an idiot and letting the thief run away. So... what exactly does this say about Aerith — she likes her men naive to the point of being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander?
I interpreted it as "points for being in-character", since Crisis Core's date points differ from FF7's in that the only possible outcome is Aeris, and, to be fair, Zack is pretty much a grade-A sucker. I mean—look at how suggestible he is when interacting with, say, the other 1st Class SOLDIERs, or with Yuffie, or even with freaking Hojo, who, if you inspect the giant sample tube while you're protecting him, manages to trap Zack inside just by telling him to look closer for what's in it (nothing, until Zack himself).
So many Jenova cells, so little time
A minor nitpick but what exactly are the differences between certain Jenova cells(J Cells, S cells, whatever the hell Genesis and Angeal has cells) if not being able to tell power levels or something like that? Throughout the series, Cloud has shown to be succeeding where most, if not all, SOLDIERs failed and doing things that not even Zack, Genesis, or Angeal could even fathom(such as defeating Sephiroth without any help or surprise attacks). Sure, it has been said that Sephiroth was holding back, but even then, the white haired wonder has always toyed with his oponents and still kicked their asses.
Starting from the top, Gillian had Jenova's pure cells implanted in her, Genesis consequently had Gillian's cells mapped onto him at the fetal stage while Angeal was bred inside Gillians body. All this was deemed a ailure beause initially, Genesis and Angeal didn't show any abnormality while Sephiroth, who was given pure Jenova cells as fetus was deemed a success, after that he was put to extensive Mako experiments. Zack, Angeal, Genesis and all the other SOLDIER applicants also have to go through Mako showers and have Jenova cells put inside them but being full grown men (or 14 years old as seems to be norm) it had a reduced effect. As is established at the nibelheim reactor, Sephiroth's Mako levels are much higher then Zack or any other SOLDIER. Afterwards Cloud and Zack were put into Mako shower for 4 years by Hojo. zack was the failure of the experiment and showed no change while Cloud was overdosed and was dying, now we all know what Clou had to do to survive the treatment, but in the end he probably had much higher Mako levels then a person would after the normal SOLDIER treatment. Same goes for Shelke and to a lesser extent Deepground. And thus the pecking order goes Sephiroth>Cloud>Deepground SOLDIER>Type G SOLDIER>SOLDIER, Genesis and Zack are a little higher then expected because they are just that good. But on the whole it's all about Mako.
Addendum to the above: The G cells eventually cause cellular degeneration and prevent injuries from healing properly, which is why Genesis and his clones appear to age and degrade later in Crisis Core. This is the other main reason Project G was considered a failure. G Cells can be stabilized with S cells, which is why Genesis is after Zack in the endgame.
Barret's final limit is a "catastrophe"
Barret's final limit, Catastrophe, uses an attack that's implied to be fueled by the very life essence of The Planet. But he captained an entire ecoterrorist organization to make people STOP fueling things with the very life essence of The Planet. Nice and hypocritical, Barret.
Well, it's possible that the shot only takes the same amount of essence that a dead soul brings back into the Lifestream with it. Better not miss though...
It's probably the same difference between Magicite and Magitek in Final Fantasy VI: one is freely given, the other is forcibly extracted. Being fueled by the Planet doesn't necessarily mean it hurts the Planet; for all we know, all that spent energy goes right back into the Lifestream.
50% Demi + Weak = ... 50%?
This one is fairly minor compared to most of the above examples... but, there are enemies that are listed as being weak against Gravity. Except Gravity spells consist of the three Demi spells, which deal a set percentage of damage depending on the level of the spell. So... how exactly does that work?
I'd take a guess at hit rate. Seeing as how Demi has a horrible hit rate generally, when you find something weak to it I imagine they're far more succeptible.
It does seem to affect the damage. I once cast Demi3 (does damage equal to 75% of target's current HP) against a group of Ancient Dragons (weak to gravity) in the Temple of the Ancients and it killed them.
To my memory, it does still effect damage. Basically, while Demi and it's sister spells do damage based on a percentage, it still deals it as numerical damage, with the enemy's HP being just a figure in how much. That number is, in turn, ramped up by vulnerability. So where a 50 damage fire spell against a vulnerable might calculate as "50x1.5" damage, a 50% demi spell against a vulnerable might look like "(Monster Current HP/2)x1.5". Don't quote me on 1.5 being the vulnerable multiplier, just trying to make an example.
Laser is an enemy skill that you can learn with the appropriate materia, that causes 50% damage to enemies. If you use it on an enemy weak to Gravity (like the monsters that swing on ropes in the Shinra Mansion) it'll instantly kill them.
Supernova and Phoenix Downs
Two questions here...
a) How the heck can Supernova miss? If it's a mental attack, then it should hit. If it's a physical attack... well, I don't think you can dodge the sun destroying the solar system.
b) Why doesn't Shinra (or any government/corperation like them, in any FF game) buy cheap-as-heck phoenix downs for their soldiers. Evil governments and corperations could just requisition them from shops, while 'good' governments and corperations could spend the money that goes to giving their soldiers weak status spells on phoenix downs instead. Reviving soldiers mid-battle would revolutionise warfare. And only one game has done this that I know of (Lost Odyssey. The opening cutscene shows how white mages can properly use all-raise spells). For one status materia you can get a couple of phoenix downs. Can you imagine Avalanche invading Shinra headquaters (TWICE! Needs new security) if all the people they fought had 5 or so lives?
Answer to both: Gameplay and Story Segregation. You're expecting gameplay mechanics to apply outside of battle in a game that demonstrates that this is clearly not the case. Especially with Supernova. The attack blows up the sun, and you're worried about it being "dodged"? If the attack was really happening, that would be it, no planet, no saving the world. And Phoenix Downs do not revive you from the dead.
Ok, I'll go along with the Supernova answer, but the phoenix down thing is still there. If a Shinra guard attacks you and you reach 0 hp you can use a phoenix down. If a Shinra guard is confused and attacks a fellow and they reach 0 hp, why do they die permanently as opposed to you. Both took damage from the same weapon, from the same sort of soldier, etc etc. The only differnce is that you are the player, and the computer is the computer. So why do they die from the exact same wound and you get put into whatever state Phoenix Downs help with?
That's what Gameplay and Story Segregationis. But if you want to fanwank it, think of 0 HP as not dead, but fatally wounded. When the character is fatally wounded, a Phoenix Down is enough to keep them from actual dying. The player, it's assumed, will be doing so post-hast, while the enemy guards are cut down by you before they can administer treatment.
Well in Crisis Core they are apparently testing a potion that gives you preemptive ReRaise. But only to SOLDIER 1st Class, maybe anyone else is expendable?
Shinra is using Phoenix Downs on their troops. Why else do you think that you never run out of random encounters, no matter how many soldiers you cut down?
Pheonix downs are not necessarily all that cheap relative to the actual salaries of the soldiers; buying them is a pain at the beginning of the game when you're still in Midgar. On top of this, Shinra may not expect that many of them to actually fall in battle, seeing how little competition they have for dominance around the world, except when they're fighting major badasses like your party.
Why do they keep trusting the brainwashed guy?
Why does anyone - and I mean, ANYONE - trust Cloud with any part of this mission? As soon as he starts going crazy in the Temple of the Ancients, that should be a big giant red flag that he should not be given any sort of item that Sephiroth is searching for. Instead, the party cheerfully hands him the Black Materia as soon as they get it - which Cloud gives to Sephiroth in a bout of hypnosis, no more than sixty seconds later. Even worse, later in the game the party manages to get the Black Materia back, and Cloud, under Sephiroth's influence, again asks for whoever was keeping it to give it back to him. Instead of this person saying "Hell no, you told us not to give this to anyone, and I'm not - especially not to someone who already has a history of freaking out in Sephiroth's presence", they willingly oblige. Sure enough, Cloud has another one of his Wangst episodes and ends up giving the Black Materia to Sephiroth again, thus summoning the meteor, awakening the WEAPONs and essentially throwing everything into chaos. It's as if the whole planet is Too Dumb to Live or something.
It's unclear how Cloud's catastrophic mental breakdown from Sephiroth's repeated, sadistic psychic and psychological attacks can be casually dismissed as wangst, especially when wangst generally implies an excessive or unjustified whining about one's suffering.
It's also unclear why they would trust a person prone to these "catastrophic mental breakdowns" with such important items. Wangst or not, the question stands - the rest of the team ought to have been like, "Give you this thing again? Hell no!" In fact, if you don't consider it wangst, then it's even worse; it's like giving a remote controlling the world's nuclear arsenal to a guy desperately in need of mental therapy, who has proven to be easily manipulated by bad guys to boot.
The answer is simple: Sephiroth/Jenova tricked the holder of the Black Materia into giving it to Cloud. IIRC, just after beating Jenova DEATH and retrieving the Black Materia, Cloud states he can't hold onto it because he might get mind controlled again and you are given the choice of giving it to either Barret or to Red XIII. A few scenes later, whoever was chosen to hold the Materia is approached by Sephiroth, disguised as Tifa, and told that Cloud is in danger. When that character reaches Cloud, they give him the Materia at his request while the real Tifa warns them to stop. On the surface, it seems as though the writers decided to throw the party a huge Idiot Ball for the sake of extending the game by another 10 or so hours, but when you think about it: Even though Cloud is the only one with Jenova Cells in him, the rest of the party still fall for Sephiroth's illusions, therefore it's entirely possible that he can at least partially influence anybody regardless of weather or not they have Jenova Cells. The two characters that can hold onto the BM are also both very trusting of Tifa, and furthermore, one of them, Red XIII, is starting to believe that he too is a Sephiroth Clone, that mentality probably making him more susceptible to mind control. As for Barret, well, at this point he is probably the most clueless about the whole situation, and this probably makes him a good candidate for mind control as well. Either that, or the Black Materia is a literal Idiot Ball.
What's with Vincent's shoes?
Does he just like wearing weird stuff or are his feet really, really big?
Its Nomura, that alone should answer your question.
A possible in-universe reason: They're weapons/armor sort of like the gauntlet on his arm. It seems like a reasonable explaination after viewing his CGI rendition◊. A kick from those can cause some serious damage. As to why he doesn't use them, it's most likely because he's not that kind of person. Kicking someone with metal shoes when you could just shoot them implies some kind of extreme hatred towards your opponent, or a love of violence. He probably wears them as a backup weapon incase something happens to his gun.
They're sabatons, a kind of armor that goes over the boot or shoe.
The medieval ones were long and pointy, which both mimicked a fashion of the time for long pointed shoes (called poulaines) and also probably was no fun to get hit in the face with, if you were a foot soldier and a mounted soldier rode at you. They're not designed for the fancy footwork of kenjutsu, though, are they?
I doubt a normal person could do kenjutsu wearing them. But I don't think Vincent ever does anything that would be hindered by his shoes, anyway. His fighting seems to consist of shooting his target. Other than that, he has his transformation forms. The most athletic thing I recall him doing in his normal form is jumping.
Mommy, where do Limit Breaks come from?
This one has bugged me since 1997 and still does. We've seen what can be done with materia and powerful weaponry. We know non-Soldiers and people who haven't been enhanced by Hojofuckery are just regular folks, even Tifa. How then we explain Final Heaven or Barrett's Catastrophe, both enormously powerful moves releasing vast energies at their foes?
Gameplay and Story Segregation, of course. In order for the game to be balanced, all playable characters have to be close to equally viable in combat.
According to the Ultimania, Limit Breaks are just concentrated fighting spirit or some DBZ shit like that. Just like Videl learned to fly and shoot thunderbolts although she's not a Saiyan, Tifa can suplex monstrosities a few hundreds or thousands of times her size. Same, same, but different.
Not so segregated: Cloud can coach a young girl on using her limit break in the Sector 7 training hall. The conversation isn't a long one, but demonstrates that 1) limit breaks are something anyone can use and 2) their strength is greatly increased by it.
All life on the planet ends and begins in the lifestream. Everything is connected to the lifestream. Everyone has a small current similar to the lifestream within them. A limit break is using the energy from the current to perform superhuman feats (using Materia, which is crystalized lifestream, they can perform even greater superhuman feats). Everyone can perform a limit break, although many wouldn't ever need to, and don't have the experience or fitness to do it. This article on The Lifestream.net expalains it best.
Where the hell does the dragon in one of Cid's limit breaks come from?
It's his desire for flight made manifest. He's a dragoon, after all.
Dragons - Zack's one weakness?
Okay, so if Crisis Core taught us anything, is that by the time we get to Nibelheim (pre-FFVVII game), is that Zack is pretty awesome in terms of fighting skills, enough to become a 1st class soldier and train a bunch of noobies too. And when Cloud flashes back to Nibelheim years later, he is imagining himself as Zack, fighting alongside Sephiroth. My question is simply this — Why does Cloud suck so much in that fight against the dragon? Seriously, if the dragon so much as sneezes at Cloud in that battle, he is dead, and entirely at the mercy of Sephiroth to revive him. It doesn't make sense, if we imagine Zack in Cloud's place there, for a first class soldier to be so friggin weak.
You're right, a SOLDIER 1st Class wouldn't be so weak. That's the whole point. You're not supposed to be imagining Zack in Cloud's place, it's Cloud standing in for Zack. Of course Cloud is going to be ridiculously weak, because he's not a SOLDIER 1st Class. It works on two levels: On first blush, it looks like the game is just telling you how awesome Sephiroth is compared to Cloud; later on, you realize it's subtle foreshadowing that Cloud wasn't a badass Super Soldier.
Considering when in actual OG flashback Zack when fighting either mooks or Sephiroth he does significantly worse then Cloud, I'd have to disagree.
Cloud's memories are, as they do so many other times, conflating two persons in one. The SOLDIER with the big sword was Zack. The mook getting pounced on and having to be revived by Sephiroth was Cloud, who joined the fray.
Midgar - Worst Urban Design ever?
The design of Midgar City has always bugged me for a very long time. Ignoring (and it's a big thing to ignore) the fact that somehow the president loves Mako so much he feels necessary to live straight next to the reactor... But why suspend the city at all? From the games, it is pretty consistent that the upper to middle class citizens lives on the plate, suspended above the slums below. The cost of the structure and piping for an operation like that is huge, with no obvious benefit. They are suspended high, but no high enough such that they could rise above pollution and get some natural sunlight.
When imagining about rewriting the script one of the dialogues that came to mind about the city on the plate is "Looks like some rich douchebag got bored on burning his money on hookers, blow and rehab".
With Shinra literally on top, they dominate the city and make a show of their power. The Shinra Co. building is quite intimidating and sends the message "We're in charge, don't screw with us" to the surrounding towns. It's what makes them more than just an electric company.
Only thing I can think of is somewhat similar to the under-city in Final Fantasy XII's Rabanastre - the "under-plate" regions might have started out as underground storage areas, then been hollowed out to the point where support beams had to be put in. In other words, rather than the upper city being built on a pointless, expensive gigantic metal platform, the bedrock beneath the city was gradually removed until the plates were all that kept the upper city from collapsing. Well, until Shinra decided to install explosives under 'em.
There's a strong possibility that this monster of architecture, engineering, and city planning has been entirely intentional since Shinra came to control Midgar and most of the planet. The Shinra elite literally sit on top on throngs of people who are poor, down-trodden and probably receptive to regime change, especially in the slums. That's why the pillars supporting the plates above are designed to be blown to bits easily; The threat of this happening, as well as the total control of narrow bottlenecks of escape (the train ID-card scanning system, for example) keeps the poors in their proper place. And it's not like the people living on the plate that gets sent down can't be evacuated beforehand. And, as somebody else pointed out, nothing creates more Mako energy quite like a couple-thousand newly dead people.
What the hell, Zangan?
This has bugged me since I first played the game. Zangan is supposedly highly selective about his students (even if he does claim to have 128), so naturally, one might expect him to have some sort of attachment to them—even filial. So what does he do when his ("dearest") fifteen-year-old student gets slice-'n'-diced? Dumps hers in Midgar and is never heard from again. Now am I the only one whom this struck as a bit cocked up? I understand he's a nomad and all, but leaving her before she even woke up, with no clear memories and no prospects, was a bit much. It's the Midgar slums, after all. Putting aside the game's general light-hearted cartoon-y-ness, even as a martial artist, how safe is a homeless teenage girl in a big city she knows nothing about? The game didn't really explore what Tifa did in the time between her arrival in Midgar and her opening Seventh Heaven (IIRC), so it's not impossible that she was a streetkid for sometime, scavenging for food or doing sordid jobs for money.
Zangan seems to have been a fairly well-known figure in the FFVII world. It may be that, assuming that Shinra would be hunting down any survivors of Nibelheim, he left her so as to divert attention away from her. Shinra's capital or not, Midgar is far and away the easiest place in the game's world for someone to go off the radar. Besides, she was his best student. He probably assumed (rightly, apparently) that she'd do fine on her own once she recovered.
So am I the only one who noticed this?
All right, admittedly this isn't some enormous plothole or mindbogglingly irritating detail, but why the hell does Tifa only have one earring? Seriously. It's been bugging me for years now, since I first saw AC/C.
She's not the only one to have one earring — Zack only has one, and Genesis has one normal one and that... thing that dangles from one of his ears. It seems to be a trend in the heroes of these games. I'm guessing it has to do with maybe the Japanese term for the earrings equipment: maybe it's just earring?
Cloud also has one in AC.
I never noticed Zack's earring. Huh. But it's not uncommon for men to wear a single earring... on the other hand, I've never seen or met a woman who has intentionally done the same.
27 year old woman here. Been wearing a single earring since I was 15. It may not be common where you live, but where I live it's not that rare.
Cloud beat Sephiroth, spread a deadly disease around the world and got himself infected while searching the cure, he'll take tequila with that.
At first I thought that this should go to WMG, until it really started to bug me. In On the Way to a Smile: Case of Tifa, we can read about Cloud and Tifa's relationship, also we can see how Cloud gradually becomes cold with them and starts to show his depression. At one point he starts drinking, Tifa is serving him and asks if she can drink with him, and he replies "I want to drink alone", Tifa pisses off and tells him that he then go to drink in his room. Now, call me paranoic, but one of the habits that can end in alcoholism (and also a sign of a secretly alcoholic person) is drinking alone, and doing it while you're depressed only makes it worse, raising the chances of it becomes a problem.
Call me crazy, but if Cloud is bad in the movie, who knows what would happened if he had this problem. Add to that that all his problems, in the Real Life, leads people to drinking their problems, like he seems started to do. Someone in another folder talked about Cloud's emotional and mental fragility (a pretty darn good argument), and, if we asume Cloud would have another relapse and gets depressed again, he could resort to booze and maybe things would get nastier than before Advent Children, in the subject of Cloud's problems. For me, this almost crosses the Fridge Horror territory, if we take in count that the children and Tifa would have to see Cloud in such state, slowly deteriorating, specially Denzel, looking at his hero state. Tifa would be like this too, but as far as I read, she was angry with him when he refuses her company while drinking, and most likely wouldn't call him of that until it was too late, maybe resulting in Tifa kicking him out, and/or Cloud leaving them for real if he represented a menace to the children (we don't know if he's an aggresive drunk or something). Add to that Tifa being seriously hurted emotionally, something like this could break her too.
So, Yeah. Cloud's acoholic tendencies steps in Fridge Horror territory for me.
So... you're upset because Cloud has emotional problems, and deals with them in a bad way. This was not apparent to you at first glance?
Not when I saw the original movie, and I didn't read the novellas at that time; I realized when I read them and it were more apparent to me once I watched Complete (I admit that I tend to ignore things or not realize until much latter... Ooh, shiny!). And it doesn't upset me, it just... That I didn't realize about it earlier, and damn it's depressing seeing him like that (it looks like his status is contagious). The fridge horror part kicks me from the possible scenarios that could came from Cloud's problem (I tend to let my mind fly with possible scenarios, and the ones I have with this in particular are notpretty). On the other side, my sadistic and masochistic side, I sorta like this as it shows us how bad he's at the moment, letting up grasp how much his survivor's guilt and PTSD is hitting him, also showing more of his deep, complex character and personality, and many other reasons that I'm not going to list because I'm too tired, forget about it.
Looks like it's just you and me, Barret.
So, if the What Could Have Been page is to be believed, the game was originally only supposed to have three player characters: Cloud, Barrett, and Aerith. Aerith was always planned to die, because Cloud's the main character and Barrett dying would be too cliche. What would have happened after she died? Would it just be Cloud and Barrett? One could say that this is the reason they added more characters... but if the What Could Have Been page is to be believed again, the fourth character to be added was Tifa, and she was added to add character conflict, not to solve this problem. What was the plan before Tifa was added?
They weren't going to be the only characters, they were just the first three they came up with.
If that's true, my guess is that Tifa would have replaced Aerith once she died. But that seems unlikely, given how Final Fantasies 4, 5, 6 and 8 all have multiple parties' worth of characters. I wonder if that idea came from some early demo screenshots using the three of them as the default party.
They were actually going to be the only characters - Cloud, Aerith, and Barret. It was only after they decided they wanted Aerith to sacrifice herself that they realized they should add more than 3 or else the player would be stuck with just Cloud and Barret for the last third of the game.
AC's Bahamaut's name
Exactly WHAT is this thing's real name? I've heard it called Bahamaut SIN, Bahamaut TREMOR, and some people say it's one from the game. So... What?
More accurately, it's Bahamaut SHIN. Some people translate the "shi" character as "si," but Japanese doesn't naturally have the terse "si" sound. "SHIN" generally means new/true (though apparently in this case they used "tremor"), which would go with the Neo/Zero suffixes given to it in the game.
The "shin" in question is the kanji 震, which does mean "quake" or "tremor."
Too limited wardrobe
In Crisis Core Zack had to change Cloudís clothes because his old uniform was soaked with mako which was preventing his recovery, but when they find him in Mideel heís wearing the same clothes he fell in the lifestream with.
Yeah, and? They find him days or weeks after he must have washed up on shore. Plenty of time for the doctors who found him to clean him up and give his clothes a wash.
The exact nature of Cloud's and Tifa's relationship.
The fade-to-black cutscene where Cloud and Tifa chat and snuggle under the Highwind is interpreted by fans as them having had sex. Square-Enix partially confirmed this in one of their Ultimatium guides, stating said scene was going to be far more suggestive and that Cloud and Tifa are the official couple of FF7. However, Tifa's rant towards Cloud after finding out about his Geostigma in Advent Children, about them "needing to be a real family" to make things work, hints they are not in an intimate relationship.
That whole arc in Advent Children is about Cloud having grown distant since the events of the original game—it might hint that they're not being intimate now, but it doesn't mean they never were. By "needing to be a real family," Tifa doesn't necessarily mean that Cloud hasn't up to then been with her, it means she wants him to get his shit together and come back to her emotionally.
I thought she meant that she and Cloud are unmarried, and Denzel and Marlene are not their biological children.
There's also Tifa's case in On a Way to a Smile, which pretty much confirms they weren't intimately active. At one point, she tells a sleeping Cloud she loves him, but when he wakes up she can't bring herself to repeat it. She can't even tell him how she feels about him and they supposedly had sex? I dunno about you guys, but Tifa doesn't seem like the kind of girl who'd one-night-stand her childhood friend and then deny having feelings for him, espeially when in the Ultimania it was said they "confirmed their feelings without speaking". IMO, the scene was intentionally left vague for others to form their own opinions about what happened that night under the Highwind.
Actually, what she asked in that scene (in Co T) was "Do you love me." When Cloud wakes up disoriented, she changes it to "Do you love Marlene." This could be arguably ambiguous, but the scene makes most sense being interpreted as a woman who's become unsure of her relationship because of her significant other's increasing emotional distance. The alternative is that Tifa regularly sneaks into Cloud's room in the dead of the night to ask awkward questions. Which is hilarious but... a bit creepy.
Though that scene at the same time also confirms they were sleeping in the same bed before Cloud left.
The official Word of God is that Cloud and Tifa were engaged previous to Advent Children and his contraction of Geostigma, which caused him to grow distant and ultimately leave her, Denzel, and Marlene. This can be seen in that they wear the same ring on their hands, oftentimes a sign of an engaged couple.
Sephiroth's hair versus the Buster Sword.
Okay, here's a real headscratcher; why oh why did Sephiroth's hair survive the Buster Sword? Honestly. Were the animators just lazy about it? In all three incarnations of the scene where he gets implaed on the Buster Sword, his hair remains just fine. Shouldn't he be missing a quarter or more of that luxurious mane? That's something that's amused and baffled me for a few years now ever since I noticed it.
Apparently the man goes through entire bottles of shampoo in single showers to maintain his hair. It's probably more durable than titanium now.
In Crisis Core at least, his hair ends up bunched on the blunt side of the Buster Sword. Look closely at 2:56.
The North Crater is a Big Mystery?.
This has been bugging me for a while. Shinra's goal at the beginning of the game is to use Aerith to find the "Promised Land" a land rich with Mako energy. Shinra eventually follows the party to the North Crater where they find a vast resevoir of mako energy, along with Sephiroth's body and the sleeping Weapons. Hojo and the president declare this location the "Promised Land" they've been searching for, due to how much Mako they find there. But it brings up the question... how the heck did Shinra NOT know about this place before? Its not like its some hidden secret incredibly difficult location to find, like the Temple of the Ancients or something, its a freakin huge GIGANTIC crater on the Northern part of the globe, spewing geyesers of Mako energy into the air. And no one in Shinra happened to see this place while flying around in a plane or something and think to investigate? Heck, in't the northern crater where Jenova's body was found? Why didn;t Shinra think to check out the massive Mako resevoir nearby while they collected that thing?
From how they were talking about it, they expected the Promised Land to be a big fertile land. They probably knew the crater was there, but didn't realize it was a huge Mako reserve until they actually went there and looked around, because they were looking for a fertile Garden of Eden, not an apparently-lifeless scar.
Plus, really, the Promised Land and Neo-Midgar were the goals of Rufus' father, while he had a more concentrated goal in mind of finding and stopping Sephiroth. No mention of the Neo-Midgar project is made after Sephiroth kills President Shinra, nor their goal of acquiring the Mako necessary for the project. It's not Hojo or Rufus who declare the heart of the Crater to be the Promised Land, either, but Scarlet and Heidegger, both of whom were leftovers from President Shinra's nepotism and were both heavily involved with the project. When they speak of the crater as such, for instance, Rufus ignores them while Hojo outright scoffs at their proclamations.
Cloud's Jesus impersonation
After a series of rather touching scenes involving Aerith's death, it ends with Cloud walking into a waist-deep pool of water while carrying Aerith, and gently setting her down on the surface to let her drift down to the bottom of the 50-foot deep pool... wait, what? Did he suddenly develop water-walking abilities for that scene? And yet we still can't cross shallow water on the World Map.
Rule of Drama. Odds are, if a remake is ever made, there will be some sort of cliff or something that Cloud will be standing on when they redo that scene.
Cloud gains Zach's fighting skills
How the hell does Cloud gain his acrobatic moves and sword skills? He was physically tough enough to make soldier if not mentally, yet those moves take practice
You just answered your own question. Cloud was a pretty strong guy even before the experiments, which is why he decided to go off and join Soldier. He also idolized Zack, so it would only make sense that he would incorporate some of Zack's moves into his own style.
There's also the question of how much of Zack's skills Cloud actually received. While Cloud got SOLDIER-like mako modifications and was able to swing the Buster Sword competently, he wasn't at Zack's level of performance at the beginning of the game. Cloud apparently developed his own style and moves over the course of the game, even if he was heavily influenced by his memories of Zack.
Few things to note here. One: While he failed to become a 1st Class Soldier, he received higher than average marks for his melee combat as an infantryman. Two: SOLDIERS and SOLDIER applicants are treated with Mako Showers. It is probable that Cloud had such a shower, but failed to keep up with SOLDIER's standards at mental control. Three: When Cloud fights Sephiroth in Last Order Final Fantasy VII, he surprises Sephiroth when his eyes start glowing green suggesting that Cloud's anger and deserve for revenge made him strong to unlock the powers of the Mako in his body (and since Sephiroth was already impaled by the Buster, Cloud was just strong enough to finish off the cocky, insane, and weakened Sephiroth.) Four: While Cloud did eventually go insane from Hojo's Mako Treatments, it is implied that he held on for awhile as the tube he was in had writing on the inside (marked into it by smearing the smug. Cloud and Zack communicated in this way.) Five: Even has an infantryman, Cloud had Zack as a role-model and a friend who supported him and his dreams. He admired Zack kind of like he admired Sephiroth except they were more personal pals. Six: In a weird combination of Mako poisoning, Jehovah cells, personal experiences, and anecdotes from Zack himself, Cloud may well have received some of Zack's memories when he died. He took Zack's request to be his living legacy too literally and may well have been given some of Zack's memories somehow.
How many Midgar Zoloms are there?
Just how many Midgar Zoloms are there? I mean, Choco Billy's grandpa told Cloud that he'd need a chocobo in order to cross the swamp and access the Mythril Mines. However, once Cloud and co. cross said swamp, they come across the Midgar Zolom impaled on a tree (obviously Sephiroth's doing). Cloud was only warned about "THE" Midgar Zolom, not "A" Midgar Zolom. Why does Cloud need a chocobo if Sephiroth did the work of getting rid of the Midgar Zolom already? (I've played the game before, and I know that even if your party beats it, you can fight it indefinitely.) Of course, Gameplay and Story Segregation is the obvious answer, but still...
A simple explanation comes to mind: The plural form could be "Zolom" rather than "Zoloms," in which case Cloud and co. were warned about the entire species, not just a singular creature.
When people say, "Watch out for the rhinoceros!" they don't mean that there is and always has been only one rhinoceros. It would be more correct for them to say, "Watch out for the rhinoceri!" but somehow they never do.
Given that Sephiroth spent time in the Lifestream and gained ancient knowledge knowledge, wouldn't he have gained knowledge that Jenova was no ancient? If that's the case, why did he go through with the plan? He had no reason to avenge her.
I don't seem to recall any dialogue outside of the Nibelheim flashback where he states he wants to avenge Jenova, but I'm not entirely familiar with the compilation either. But there's a good chance that he does learn about Jenova's true nature, which is why his plan changes from 'take the Planet back from the humans' to 'become a god... because I can'.
Each Turk has Only One Name — Tseng, Reno, Rude, Elena, Cissnei — for security purposes. Cissnei doesn't even go by her real first name; it's a mythology gag, but seems to make sense for the same reason. But Vincent Valentine used to be a Turk — so why doesn't he just continue being mononymous? It would make the most sense (to me, at least) if he continued only to be "Vincent": not only more safe, but also less soap opera.
As far as I remembered it, he didn't even introduce himself when he join up (or even if he did, I'm sure he didn't mention his surname). We only know his first name from the screen interface and his surname only shows in the official materials. Cloud & Co. could have only know him as "Creepy Dude from the mansion".
Generally, the naming screen can be seen as a stand-in for the character telling you his name. Vincent only really has a last name because every other PC (except Cait Sith, sort of) does.
Rufus and the Tiny Bronco
Even after playing this game dozens of times and reading this entire page of headscratching moments, the only thing in the game that really breaks my suspension of disbelief is why on earth Rufus Shinra was in Rocket Town asking for the Tiny Bronco. He claims he wants it to chase Sephiroth, and is clearly desperate enough that he's tasked Palmer with stealing it; but why? At this point in the game, the Highwind is docked at Junon, under Shinra's control, just sitting there. Later in the game we see Rufus and his cronies arrive at the Crater in the Highwind, so clearly the President has access to the airship. Why is his first choice for keeping up with the man in the black cape a dinky, pink passenger plane? For that matter, why does he need an extra vehicle at all? Twice in the game we see him board his personal helicopter, likely the same one his father used before him. In fact, the last time we see him before Rocket Town, he's leaving Costa del Sol in said helicopter! How do you think he even got to Rocket Town in the first place? I doubt he walked through Mt. Nibel on foot. Even barring the helicopter and the Highwind for whatever reason, what about the Gelnika? What about anything other than the Tiny Bronco? This one really bugs me.
In all likelihood, a prop plane like the Tiny Bronco travels faster than the Shinra first and second type helicopters (though maybe not their post-game Sikorsky clones). Of course, that's probably undone by the enormous detour he has to take to Rocket Town in the first place. Assuming something was wrong with the Highwind, the ever-efficient Rufus might have thought the Tiny Bronco (which is probably corporate property, just like the No. 26 and the Highwind) might save him time in the long run. Or he might have intended to do something else in Rocket Town that is simply off-camera (you never known when a giant obsolete rocket might turn out to be handy down the line). OR it is just a stupid coincidence that led up to Palmer being hit by a truck.
He's using the "chasing Sephiroth" bit as an excuse to get the Tiny Bronco for his own private aircraft collection on the company dime.
This is actually explained way earlier in the game when they took the boat to Costa del Sol: the Highwind was currently under maintenance at the time and was unavailable for use, and Rufus was in a hurry. By the time Cloud's team got to the northern continent, the ship was refueled and ready to go.
The Makonoid Misconception
Why is the Compilation insistent on the idea that monsters can be produced from mako energy alone, and that makonoids are the proof of this? It's like even the creators don't understand that Sephiroth was WRONG in that scene! He believed SOLDIER to be created by mako energy alone, and extrapolated that the makonoids were the result of overexposure. But as we later learn, Jenova cells are the other half of what makes a SOLDIER. Even the original game makes this apparent: the room is full of giant red umbilicals leading from Jenova's chamber - they're labelled JENOVA in big letters, and they lead straight to the womb-like pods of the 'makonoids'. These tubes are even present in the Compilations' remake of the room, and yet the creators missed this? Nowhere in VII, outside of Sephiroth's misguided monologue, is it implied that mako alone creators monsters. On the contrary, many characters are exposed to huge doses of mako without any effect except mako poisoning.
Honestly, I wouldn't think too hard about anything in the Compilation. A lot of what was written for the subsequent games, Advent Children and the novellas conflicts with what was established in FFVII proper... and sometimes it even conflicts with itself.
Why, when Final Fantasy VII established Gongaga was destroyed during the time Cloud and Zack were locked up in the Nibel basement, does Zack not even react to the fact his hometown has been all but demolished? It's like he didn't even notice the change. What should've been a fairly important character moment, not least because it comes so soon after Shinra has destroyed every other aspect of his life, is instead completely forgotten by the writers.
He never found out because he never made it home; if he had, his parents wouldn't be asking him about him, and they would have recognized Cloud. Because he was escaping from a Shinra scientist and hunted by Shinra goons, staying away from a town whose livelihood probably centered on the nearby reactor was the smartest thing he could have done.
The question is in reference to Crisis Core, which shows quite clearly that Zack did indeed visit his hometown, where he has a complete lack of reaction to its destruction.
Flunkies? What flunkies?
When the party is in the bowels of the Temple of the Ancients, Aeris points out that the Black Materia is in some respects the Temple itself. The more puzzles you solve, the smaller the Temple gets, until whoever's solving the puzzles is crushed. This is actually a pretty clever safeguard to keep the Black Materia from being easily taken, and whichever party member is with Cloud and Aeris suggests leaving the Black Materia there. Cloud, however, is adamant that they take it. He says that Sephiroth has "lots of different flunkies", whose lives he would readily throw away to get the Materia. My question, though, is what flunkies? Every time we see Sephiroth, he's pretty much operating on his own, with no Mooks to speak of. I suppose Cloud could be referring to the Sephiroth clones in the black capes, but I'd have thought Sephiroth would need them for the Reunion. About the only other minions I can think of are those creatures you fight in Shinra HQ after Jenova/Sephiroth massacres everyone on the top few floors, but those could easily be experimental monsters that were set free during Jenova's rampage.
He's almost certainly referring to the black-caped men. At least one of them is known to operate as his agent alongside the shape-shifted Jenova body, and many of them die along the way to the Reunion - the Reunion isn't a 100% process anyway, so sacrificing one of the black-caped men wouldn't be much of an issue. He only 'needed' the Reunion to get his hands on the Black Materia in the first place, though it obviously had other benefits. Sephiroth, in fact, is almost never operating alone - he chills in the Northern Crater and uses his puppets to do the heavy lifting. Also, to stray into wild-massing guessing, there's no telling whether Sephiroth could actually have extracted Jenova's cells back out of the materia once he got his hands on it. It's certainly the case that Jenova's raw material isn't easily destroyed.
May cross into Fridge Brilliance seeing as we later learn that Cloud is being controlled by Sephiroth/Jenova; Cloud was so insistent on taking the Black Materia because he was one of Sephiroth's "flunkies."
Cloud? Honey, who you talkin' to?
Cloud hears voices at various points in the game, usually Jenova/Sephiroth or Aerith or whoever... but who the Hell was it in the No. 1 reactor at the start of the game? All the people who are usually communicating with him telepathically haven't been introduced yet! I think it's the only time he ever has it happen to him and the screen flashes red instead of black, and it can't really have been himself, either, because he crumples a little and the voice says "It's not just a mako reactor!", but Barret doesn't react, indicating he didn't hear it (and he would have reacted, if Cloud had objected like that.) So who the Hell was it?!
It was probably his original persona, the one what wasn't a copy of Zack. That's my interpretation of most of the voices in Cloud's head before Sephiroth is revealed to be alive. They could be Seph or Jenova, but I don't think so because they're genuinely kind.
Where the Hell did Vincent get his outfit?
Okay when you see him get shot and experimented on, he's in his Turk suit. He gets put to rest for thirty years after that. The next time you see him, he's in his goth outfit and has been down there the whole time. So where did that get up even come from? What happened to the suit?
Hojo dressed him up. He's a sick fuck anyway and he described finding Vincent as a game; if you go by Vincent's hair, he definitely hasn't had enough hair growth to account for thirty years' worth, so Hojo was probably experimenting on him and torturing him for at least a few years before sealing him up, and his Turk uniform was long since destroyed. Being a ladies' man as well as a complete nutcase, Hojo preferred to dress Vincent up like his own vampire doll than torture him with his junk all hanging out. Maybe it was his way of working out a pent-up passion for fashion buried under decades of stanky lab coats.
So if you go into Shinra Mansion's library, Sephiroth shows up, taunts Cloud about the reunion, chucks the Destruct Materia, and flies away. Is it possible to trigger this scene after the Reunion? What happens if you show up here without Cloud in your party during his BSOD?
I've never personally checked but the game is usually consistant with missable scenes as far how far in the plot you've gotten. (ie Wutai quest can't be done after disc 2 because the Turks show up and are still working for Shinra but Shinra's finished at the end of disc 2.) My guess is Sephiroth is no longer there once Disc 1 ends (or possibly you reach the crater for the first time in Disc 2)
The scene in the mansion is mandatory, there's a man in a black cloak who refuses to move until after you've talked to Sephiroth.
The game's intro shows that Sector 6 is still under construction, while the rest of Midgar is fully completed. Yet at Zack's death, set not long before the game, the plate for Sector 4 is entirely missing. To thicken the plot, Crisis Core mentions that Sector 4, not Sector 6, is the last on schedule to be completed. For this to reconcile, the Sector 4 plate would have to go from absent to fully completed in the time (weeks at the outside?) between Zack's death and Cloud arriving in Midgar, while Sector 6 remains half-completed.
Is Jenova a corrupted Goddess?
It's never been fully revealed just what Jenova is or where she came from, but is it possible that she was once a Goddess on another Planet, similar to how Minerva is the Goddess on Gaia? Think about it-we know Jenova can infect and manipulate the Lifestream; we know that she can mess with peoples' heads, since the Lifestream is in part formed by peoples' thoughts, ideas and memories, which explains how Sephiroth is able to Mind Rape Cloud via Cloud having Jenova cells within him; and even her name suggests it. It's entirely possible that Jenova originally poisoned her own Planet's Lifestream and reduced it to a lifeless rock, after which she began her cycle of "crash land on a Planet, poison its Lifestream, mutate its inhabitants into monsters with her cells, have those monsters spread the infection all over the Planet until every living thing is corrupted, gather all of those creatures and the Lifestream back as per the Reunion, and use the now dead Planet as a vehicle to to travel through space and crash land on the next Planet." As to what originally corrupted her in the first place... well, that I can't really explain.
That is actually kind of a cool theory and would go some way to explaining how Seph developed his god complex.
I've always thought so. In my own opinion, the only explanation for Jenova that keeps her from being a random enemy and that ties in with the theme of the game is that she's the Lifestream of an alien planet who either decided to or had to essentially become a planetary vampire.
This probably belongs more in WMG, but that was my conclusion as well. As a theory for what corrupted her, could be that the inhabitants of her original world also learned how to turn mako into electrical power ala Shin Ra; they depleted their planet badly and somehow managed to stop Jenova from just launching their Lifestream into space, Omega-style, and once they'd gotten past the point of no return, Jenova was forced to choose between dying on a lifeless rock or wandering the stars and snacking on other worlds' Lifestreams in order to perpetuate her own existence.
Does no one care about safety?
In all the times Cloud is seen riding a motorcycle, the most protective gear he has on is his sunglasses/goggles things. That's acceptable until he loses them. How come neither him or the silver hared men wear helmets? Aren't they concerned about getting a bug in their eyes? I would.
They'd rather go blind from bugs in their eyes than risk getting helmet-hair.
Also, you would have to find a helmet that fits over Cloud's hair, which is impossible. (And, more seriously, he stole it from a store display, so there may not have been a helmet on-hand.)
Aerith is the 1 percent?
Aerith's abilities always seemed a little over-hyped to me. "She can make flowers grow where nothing else grows," right? Well, so what? That's really easy when you're living in an immaculate two-story cottage next to the only source of clean water for miles, while everyone else is scraping by in shacks held together with duct tape and dick jokes. What part of her gardening is supposed to be magical again?
Her garden by her house wasn't magical. Her garden in the church is what was special.
You're also sort of choosing to ignore the whole "can speak to dead people, can talk to the Planet, can possibly discover a whole and untouched paradise" aspects of her abilities.
You also forget that Aerith is growing flowers on land next to power generators that siphon life energy from the very ground. Even the garden by her house is pretty auspicious as the land around Midgar was barren from a combination of Mako drain and pollution. That anything could be grown in the native soil of the city limits, clean water or no, is a sign of her abilities.
Tortured for five years?
Did Zack and Cloud spend five years prior to the start of the game being tortured and experimented upon? They were in Nibelheim five years ago with Sephiroth. They were there for a couple of weeks, which Sephiroth spent reading and going insane. Then Sephiroth burns the place down. Zack and Cloud are (immediately?) captured by Hojo, taken in to the Shinra Mansion basement and experimented upon. How long does this last? There can't have been that long in between their escape and their apprehension outside Midgar (their pursuers, after all, are still on their trail). The idea that Cloud, immediately prior to the start of the game, has recently come out of a five-year-long imprisonment is mind-boggling.
Yes, that's what happened. All of this is clearly explained in the game itself and in Crisis Core. How is this a question?
Cloud has a flashback in his imagination.
Really simple one but what exactly is happening in the scene right after you get back to the hideout after you blow the first reactor? Cloud looks up than we get a crane-shot screen transition. Cloud and Tifa are in their present day forms and looking at a fountain. Then Cloud has his flashback where we get a little backstory. So let me see if I got this right, Cloud was imagining visiting the water fountain again and then imaging having a flashback?
They're having a flashback, their present day forms just represent that they're talking about it in the present.
How can Aerith and her mother afford such a nice house? Why is there even such a nice house next to the slums. I know this sometimes happens in real life but the president of Midgar seems like the kind of man who would want to expand the city even if it meant demolishing that place. How can they even keep it.
Slums don't start out as slums. They start out as regular or even nice places to live, then fall into disrepair. Elmira and Aerith presumably just maintained the place.
Yeah but I wonder how their safe given how desperate the rest of the population must be. I know their usually Apathetic Citizens but given how much they probably all want a place to stay and how Barrett had to shew out the people in Tifa's bar in Sector 7 it doesn't make sense to me how they were safe there for so long.
Because people love their land, no matter how polluted it gets. Money could also be a factor in it as well. Most people didn't have the money to live on the plate and so they made out a living in the slums. Nobody lives in bad neighborhoods for shits and kicks, but sometimes it's the only place where one can go and live.
We don't know what their living costs are, it seems nicer from the outside than the inside, and Aerith has a monopoly on flower selling and can charge whatever she wants for fresh flowers (sure, that seems like nothing to use, but we don't live in a polluted slum where nothing green ever grows).
Also, Aeris is under protection of the Turks. I doubt Shinra is going to be that petty and raise the Cetra's freaking taxes...
Cait Sith, the World's Weirdest Mole
Does the whole Cait Sith thing strike anyone else as insanely bizarre? The giant Moogle is clearly robotic, but the flying cat-thing riding it... is that meant to pass as the Moogle's controller, or is it supposed to be an obvious robot too? If the former, what the hell is it supposed to be? And if the latter, are Cloud and Co. meant to believe that the whole thing is a self-aware robot, when we haven't seen such a thing anywhere else in the world? And regardless of which is the case, why would Shinra expect them to take this bizarre creature along and trust it with all their secrets? And finally, why are they right?
It was supposed to be a robot that Reeve controlled, and it's unknown whether the robot had an A.I., but fans heavily suggested it has because Reeve can't control it all the time.
Oh, and no one in universe considers Cait Sith a bizarre animal. We considered it as one because its nature makes Sith prone to Fridge Logic.
Cait Sith's model clearly has a giant zipper on the back (you can see it in cutscenes), so presumably he's supposed to be taken for a guy in a suit. Now, as for why on earth the party would accept someone traveling alongside them inside that suit 24-7, fighting in that suit, and never removing it ever...
Why does the party trust Cait Sith anyway? He's blatantly suspicious. More than that, almost immediately after you get him, if you go to Gongaga the Turks are waiting for you and someone in your party suggests there may be a spy among you, to which Cloud responds that he trusts everyone. Why? He just met Cait Sith five minutes ago!
1) We kind of have to assume these kinds of things are more common than they seem (he does mention there's lots of similar toys like his body in the world) 2) they don't really trust him, he forces his way into the party and follows them around. He never develops any friendships, nobody ever expresses an interest in him, basically until he stole the keystone and kidnapped Marlene they were all treating him just as the weird thing that won't go away. After that they were stuck with him.
"They don't really trust him", except for right after he joins, when the party suspects a mole and Cloud says he trusts everyone in the group implicitly as opposed to, "A mole, huh? What about this weird cat robot thing that's been following us since the Gold Saucer? What's his deal?"
What on earth is up with the whole Coral Train Huge Materia quest?
Nothing about the Coral Train Huge Materia quest makes any sense at all.
First, if the tracks are in disrepair, how on earth is it still possible to send a Huge Materia over them (and why wouldn't Shinra inspect them first?) There are visible gaps in the tracks where you broke them while walking through before.
Second, why are there people living on the tracks? If they're still active, it's insane, and even if they aren't... well, why do that? It's about five feet wide, why not leave that area clear just in case? (Given that the rail connects a valuable electric institution with the Golden Saucer, it's fairly hard to picture them being unused, but whatever.)
Third, if Shinra does intend to use the rails, shouldn't it warn people first to clear the tracks? Even if Shinra is too evil to care about hitting people, a train collision involving highly volatile huge materia (which they need to save the world) helps nobody.
Fourth, why is Shinra sending the Huge Materia via rail anyway? They're big, but not that big. You can just carry one around, which is demonstrably safer (your party does it for quite a while.)
Fifth, why are they sending the Huge Materia in that direction anyway? Unless they want to give it to Dio, that's exactly the wrong direction — they should want to move it towards their port in Costa del Sol, which is just a short walk down the hill from the reactor.
Sixth, with all this in mind, why is everyone hailing your party as heroes at the end (if you succeed?) Obviously Shinra can't have intended to cause a train collision with the Huge Materia resulting in a massive explosion that kills everyone while wasting the materia they desperately needed, so the only reasonable interpretation is that they intended to stop the train before it collided with the town and your party's train robbery was what endangered everyone.
One: Not ALL of the train tracks were in disrepair. There was enough to get your party over the bridges, so there was enough to get them to work. The only reason why nobody in North Corel used the trains was because there was no reason to Coal Mine to them and as far as they cared, no need for the trains.
Two: Nobody in North Corel CAN work because as far as they cared (without Shinra nearby), the trains were out of service and there was no point in Coal Mining anymore, so they lay derelict. Since no trains were running, there was no harm in resting nearby them. Remember what Barrett said: "Some people just love their land, no matter how polluted it gets". While not polluted, the people of North Corel had just enough to carve out a weak living while not straying too far from their land.
Three: Shinra does not care about anybody or anything regarding Corel. In the way? Get hit by train tracks. Odds are good that they planned to get around MASSIVE destruction anyway to keep the huge materia safe.
Four: They ARE that big and the party decides to store them into Cosmo Canyon because they don't feel safe with lugging them around. It does paint a huge bullseye on the person in general.
Five: Conglomerate is run by a president who wanted to hi-jack a tiny plane to chase Sephiroth despite the company having the resources to get another plane ready. They're not being run with the best decisions as is; and frankly it's in line with them. If you want an in-game reason, it would be to be incognito.
Six: And who is to say they wouldn't? With North Corel being destitute thanks to no work, there would be suspicions about a train working all of a sudden, and then they'd get shot by the Shinra Army. Shinra didn't give two fucks and a shit about Corel when they decided to burn it down to the ground and slaughter many innocent people; do you think they'll care NOW after meteor is falling to the ground while they're desperate? They wouldn't think twice about murdering the populace of nobodies and doing some cleanup afterwards (see Nibleheim for cleanup). Would they intend to do that? With a man who declares that he'll rule the world with fear, he'd do it.
Why is Yuffie so completely disinterested in the Black Materia?
The Black Materia is introduced as vaguely-defined 'ultimate destruction magic'. Yuffie's motivation is to steal materia that will allow her hometown to fight back against Shinra. Isn't the Black Materia a once-in-a-lifetime chance for her? It's vastly more powerful and valuable than all the other materia you possess combined. In Wutai's hands, the simple threat of using it would completely change the global balance of power — unlike the lesser materia she actually steal from you, this one actually has the potential to make a difference. Yet she shows zero interest in it once you actually get it, making no attempt to grab it — and, much much more weirdly, if you try to hand it to her in the Northern Crater when you get it back, she refuses to take it! Why? It is something of incomprehensible value to her, personally — she could go her entire life without another chance like this. Why doesn't she at least attempt to steal it?
Because she only knows about it in the context of, "This shit will end the world," and that is not something she is willing to even approach. She's not an all-or-nothing terrorist; she's someone who wants to see her homeland uplifted again. The only use of the Black Materia is full-on world-wide genocide, and even holding it makes her a target for everyone with half a brain.
Why does Shinra leave an entire mansion full of its secrets completely empty and unguarded, with its library intact?
The Shinra mansion makes no sense. It has a huge library filled with important and extremely dangerous Shinra secrets, yet it's left completely unguarded and at no point in the game does anyone but the party and Sephiroth show any sort of interest in it whatsoever. Shouldn't they keep a tighter grip on things like that?
Well, it's hardly completely empty and unguarded; it's stuffed to the gills with freaky ghost-monsters and genetic abominations to ward away the curious. Still, you've got a point, it would make sense to either strip the library or leave a contingent of troops guarding the front door just in case.
It was burned down to the ground along with the original Nibelheim. The building was rebuilt with no problem, but I'd think they removed any and all information relating to the projects and Shinra's involvement in the restructure of the Shinra Mansion.
Hojo seems to work from the mansion from time to time and the town is populated by Shin Ra employees putting on an act, there's nobody around to really go snooping.
Why was Sephiroth told that Jenova was the name of his mother?
Telling Sephiroth everything about his origin would have been a reasonable thing to do (so he wouldn't have his trust in his handlers shattered if he found out later, possibly under undesirable circumstances.) Telling Sephiroth nothing about his origin would also have been a reasonable thing to do, if cold. But why on earth would anyone tell him his mother was named Jenova, and nothing else, while leaving a bunch of bio-tanks labelled Jenova and books talking about Jenova, all tailor-made to freak him out?
Sephiroth finding out about his origin flipped him the fuck out. The only difference between finding out the way he did at Nibelheim as opposed to in a personal conference is a bigger mess for the janitor to clean up in the board room and a massive rehiring of the Shinra upper heads. If he was told nothing, he would've gone to find it out anyways and then flipped the fuck out against Shinra who would then have to answer why they didn't say anything (and end up with the aforementioned mess in the board room). I don't think they told Sephiroth the whole truth regarding Jenova because if they did and he interpreted it wrong (which is what happened in the game), he'd have flipped his shit anyways. He was going to revolt and go nuts as soon as he found out; how he goes nuts is kind of irrelevant.
Why is Shinra so utterly disinterested in the mental state of their super-soldiers?
Yes, yes, There Are No Therapists. But seriously, they're testing bizarre treatments on human beings; isn't it logical to want to know how the treatments affect their mental stability? Investing a small amount of money in psychologists to constantly analyze their star super-soldiers would have saved the world a huge amount of trouble down the line.
I would consider it bad writing myself, but Shinra's science department was run by Hojo. If you think he cares about something as superstitious as Ethics, then you've missed the point of the Mad Scientist.
If they figure out how to create functioning super soldiers then their stability becomes irrelevant as they can be disposed of and replaced when necessary.
Barrett, eco-terrorist, too honorable to fight outside of a pitched turn-based battle?
Barrett has a gun-arm. He stands in front of President Shinra at the reactor, Rufus on top of the Shinra building, various other enemies and Shinra executives who are alone and vulnerable, and never once thinks "Hey I am going to shoot these suckas and win my personal war." Seriously, Rufus is alone on the rooftop, surrounded by the player party, no backup on the upper floors is left alive, and the president is dead inside. A few rounds from the gun-arm and Shinra would be nearly entirely wiped out on the top. Dyne showed us that the gun-arms are plenty enough lethal on their own, and Barrett's never had any problems with the idea in general of getting his hands (well, hand and gun) dirty.
Further, when the party is escaping on the highway, Barrett sits in the back of the truck and lets the cyclists hit him and the party members while an out-numbered Cloud tries to protect them with the buster sword. Barrett could have iced all of them without Cloud having to swing his sword the entire time.
In the Shinra reactor, Barret and company were surrounded by Shinra troops. If he tried to shoot at the President, the troops would have turned him, Tifa and Cloud into Swiss cheese. As for Rufus on the roof of the Shinra Building, Rufus is not alone. He's got at least two armored vehicles on standby, both of which attack Aeris, Barret and Nanaki when they go onto the elevators. The Shinra Building is also surrounded by a small army of motorcycle-riding soldiers, who would tear the heroes to shreds if they tried to fight and kill Rufus. It's unlikely Cloud was hoping to kill Rufus-he only fought to buy time for Barret and Nanaki to get Aeris out of there. And finally, even if Barret shoots Rufus, who's to say that he'd even kill him? Rufus fights Cloud to a standstill, taking a few whacks from Cloud's BFS in the process, and guns are not more effective than swords in the FF 7 world. Bottom line: Even if Barret and the team had killed Rufus, they would then have been slaughtered themselves. Shinra would endure, and so would Sephiroth, and the Planet would be screwed. Instead, they firmly grasped the Smart Ball by escaping while they still had a chance.
Oh, and as for the highway sequence? Barret is stuck on the back of a moving vehicle, trying to line up a shot against a bunch of constantly dodging motorcyclists, one of whom is Cloud. It's entirely likely that, in aiming at one of the Shinra bikers, he could just as easily hit Cloud in the process.
Were the Ancients really as nice as they seem?
If you talk to Bugenhagen at Cosmo Canyon in Disk 2 (at one point during the Huge Materia hunt) he will tell you that you shouldn't use materia, since it's part of the Planet's life force. He then says that the Planet will continue to get weaker unless people stop using materia, which is what eventually happens. If you talk to Yuffie at one point on the Highwind, she'll ponder the Fridge Logic of why materia always has to do with battles or magic. She thinks that the Ancients must have always been fighting. This raises two questions:
One: Why would it be alright for the Ancients to use materia, but not humans? Would the Ancients have only harvested naturally occurring materia (like the kind at the materia fountain that Sephiroth and company encounter on Mt. Nibel), as opposed to humans directly sucking mako out of the earth and processing it into manufactured materia?
Two: Who exactly would the Ancients have been fighting, besides Jenova and her offspring? Each other? Dangerous monsters? Or is Yuffie wrong in suggesting that the Cetra used materia on a regular basis?
Why does Shinra rebuild Nibelheim?
Why does Shinra rebuild Nibelheim, stock it with actors pretending they'd lived there their entire lives, and pretend nothing happened? And when exactly did they do it? Immediately after it burned down, or later? Because if they did it only after Cloud emerged as a threat to their plans and solely to mess with his head, they sure did a bang-up job on very short notice.
To cover up that anything happened. Despite how sparse the world map is, there would be other towns surrounding the area that would interact with Nibelheim and other such settlements. Someone would be bound to notice if a town suddenly was burned off the map and not there anymore, so Shinra rebuilt it to keep up appearances.
If that's the motive, it seems like the standard "blame the town's destruction on terrorists; send in Shinra peacekeeping troops and cleanup crews to build goodwill" tactic they used in Corel and Sector 7 would have been cheaper and easier.
They might have had different policy in the past, or the fact of Sephiroth's involvement might have made things more complicated.
They rebuild it for several reasons: 1) They've got to stay somewhere while they investigate what exactly happened and Sephiroth's ultimate fate 2) Hojo set up shop there for a while and was experimenting on Zack and Cloud 3) there's a fully functional mako reactor in a mako rich area that needs a nearby population to maintain it. 4) as a cover up for what really went down since as far as they know everyone involved was killed off by Sephiroth or the Turks.