YMMV: The Fifth Act


  • Base Breaker: Angeal. Half of the reviewers pity him while the other half despise him for his actions.
  • Better Than Canon: A lot of reviewers prefer this fic than what happened in canon.
  • Breakout Character: Kunsel
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: From the sheer amount of Omakes about her, Yuffie. She only appears in a small subplot and as the punchline to a Brick Joke but the readers lapped it up. Probably because her scenes are the few purely funny scenes and because her Noodle Incidents are ripe for extra stories.
    • Initially set to be a foil to Zack, Kunsel's reinterpretation as a Genre Savvy Almighty Janitor won him the adoration of the fans. He gets as many Omakes as Cloud does.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: Cloud traveling to the past and joining SOLDIER are a dime a dozen story amongst the fandom. The difference in this story, is that Cloud doesn't intend to save Sephiroth. He intends to kill him throughout the story and saving him and the other Soldiers was an accident. He also doesn't replace his past self or is reborn as his past self. His past self is a separate character that he interacts with.
    • Another popular concept is that Cloud's unknown father is President Shinra due to his resemblance to Rufus Shinra and Lazard.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Why did Kunsel become Cloud's friend? Kunsel is the only person that Cloud didn't know in the original timeline and thus the only person Cloud wouldn't have any bias against.
    • Not so much Fridge Brilliance, it's mentioned in-story that Cloud feels comfortable around Kunsel because other than flashes from Zack, he has no baggage related to him.
    • Why did Cloud backslide into his stoic and wounded personality when it's post Advent Children? He now has lost all his friends and family permanently and has to face his traumas. No wonder he finally snapped after Hojo told him that he created a separate timeline.
  • Fridge Horror: Think of all the friends Cloud left behind in his time...Since Hojo confirms that time-traveling makes a new timeline and doesn't actually cause one to change the past, it means that Cloud just disappears and is never seen again to his friends.
    • The Extended Universe has a story about this. It's as sad as you expect.
    • In-Universe, Cloud is grateful no one has found out of his blood relation to the Shinra family as Rufus or Lazard would have use it to try to get him on their side.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Cloud's assured that Mayor Lockhart is only anxious about Cloud's good looks and that he's afraid Cloud will "leave a trail of bastards behind [him]". Guess what Cloud's father did?
  • Ho Yay: Between Future!Cloud and Genesis. Genesis is very reverent of Cloud and willing to give Cloud the benefit of the doubt despite Cloud's shifty behavior and open threats against his friend, Sephiroth. When Genesis is narrating, he constantly gives Cloud compliments in his internal monologue.
    • Also plenty between Future!Cloud and Sephiroth. Helps that their usual dynamic is inverted for once.
    • Really there's at least some between almost everyone in SOLIDER. It's kind of inevitable given it's an all-male military organization full of True Companions with only one SOLIDER (Zack) shown to have a steady girlfriend.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Loads of readers found Genesis a ton more likeable in this fanfic than in canon, after Cloud prevents him from Jumping Off the Slippery Slope via curing him. Even his constant quoting of "Loveless" is used rather tastefully, particularly with how the various quotes prove relevant to the various scenarios the characters end up in.
    • Depending on the reader, Angeal. The fact that he suffers from degradation alone and how it pushes him to horrible actions make him more compelling to readers. His I Am a Monster angst seems more bearable since he's questioning his humanity because he did a monstrous act.
  • Tear Jerker: How alone Cloud is. Tseng even notes that "there's something sad about ... a phone filled with numbers to nowhere".
    • While it was deserved, Angeal's horrified realization that he betrayed Cloud and his ideals for nothing.
    • Zack believing that both of his friends and his mentor died.
    • The Omakes have their share too:
      • Genesis and Angeal using the last days of their lives to avenge Sephiroth after Cloud killed him.
      • How the rest of AVALANCHE deals with Cloud's disappearance.