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Fanfic / Cissnei's Path

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Cissnei's Path by CRed1988 is a Final Fantasy VII fanfic (extending to Dirge of Cerberus later on).

It chronicles the changes in the story line if Cissnei was discharged from the Turks after helping Zack and Cloud escape from the Shinra Mansion. Left with a comatose Cloud in her care, she changes her name to Crimson and relocates to Gongaga before the events of the videogame takes place and pulls them both into a quest to save the Planet from destruction.


This work contains examples of:

  • Action Pet: Dark Nation, Rufus' Guard Hound. Right to the moment it dies.
  • Adaptive Ability: Jenova possesses this ability, which makes it so hard to deal with.
  • Adult Fear: Godo watched as Yuffie nearly fell to her death after beating him, leaving him helpless to stop her.
  • An Ice Person: Tifa utilizes the Ice line of spells, in addition to having Shiva as her personal summons.
  • And Show It to You: Rosso rips the Protomateria out of Vincent's chest and shows it to him.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Cissnei (Crimson in-story) serves as the main strategic planner of the group and de facto leader.
    • Kunsel occasionally joins up with the group, but even separated from them he spends that time gathering information on the activities of Shinra.
    • The Summonings themselves, who choose which of the party they will serve in their mission and give advice or guidance. Mog in particular trains the group in riding Chocobos to cross the Marshes.
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    • Argento of the Tsviets.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • President Shinra. Like Canon, no one really cared he snuffed. His son even calls him dropping the plate to kill AVALANCHE Stupid Evil, citing that people who lived there were still a means of revenue and it didn't even work, meaning that they cost themselves millions in repairs for nothing.
    • Heidegger. No one was shedding tears when Hojo betrayed him and turned him into a monstrosity.
  • Assimilation Plot: Sephiroth's ultimate goal. Since he can't kill everyone instantly and absorb them through the Lifestream, he'll infect them all with Jenova cells and then absorb them, becoming a Hive Mind with him in control.
  • The Atoner: A theme is that several characters want to atone for their pasts. Crimson's past as a Turk and how easily she slips back into it is one of the issues she faces along the way.
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  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Sense works like this. It allows the user to analyze minute details their minds would normally gloss over, drawing conclusions from that. Crimson's materia is mastered, allowing her to use it to read movements in addition to calculate the angle of her throws and such.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Turks as a whole, who usually accomplish what they set out to do some extent.
  • Bad Boss: Heidegger.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: The Swimsuits that Crimson and Tifa wear during their trip to Costa del Sol. Neither one is amused, Tifa much less when she gets eyed and called a "floozy".
  • Benevolent Boss: Tseng. It's noted that he covered for the other surviving Turks that left after the events of Before Crisis, as well as prepared arrangements for Crimson to leave with Cloud after they found Zack's corpse, when the only way out of the Turks is usually in a body bag. He's even patient with Elena despite her constant failings.
  • Breath Weapon: Bahamut's Mega Flare.
  • Brutal Honesty: Kunsel pretty much unravels the fact that Cloud had Zack's memories and was never a First-Class SOLDIER in Chapter 12 without a second thought.
    Kunsel: "If I let you go on thinking that those memories were yours, it would have been harder on everyone when the illusion finally broke down. Crimson and Aerith would have had to constantly dance around the topic, slowly growing uncomfortable with the notion that someone they cared about was being impersonated. Your friend would have likely been wondering what happened to the person she grew up with. Not to mention it would have been an insult to Zack as well—he died for your freedom, and that meant being free from the lies as well."
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Yuffie does this to her father, only for him to shoot right back at her.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Crimson had one after being shot by Tseng a second time in her nightmare.
  • Cold Sniper: Tseng during the events of Costa del Sol. He put a sniper round through Crimson without a second thought and was aiming for her head. The only reason it hit her in her abdomen and wasn't instantly fatal was because she was warned, and he was still prepared to follow through with a second shot to ensure the kill, if not due to outside intervention.
  • Consummate Professional: Tseng.
  • Cool Shades: Rude of the Turks. Kunsel also keeps a pair to hide his eyes, since they give away his SOLDIER enhancements.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first "fight" against Cloud and Sephiroth on-board the Cargo Ship ends without Cloud so much making a scratch on him.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Minerva was once an ancient Cetra.
  • Disappears into Light:
    • The Gi Tribe after Aerith lays them to rest.
    • Kunsel's body after Aerith performs a ritual to return it to the Planet.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Cloud uses the Quake line of spells, also Titan.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Using Nero, Hojo sends Aerith's party into the Negative Lifestream where Chaos was born with no way back. Unfortunately for him, he sent Vincent with them and it awakens the power of Chaos, allowing him to rip his way out.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Hojo finally does in Heidegger during the Deepground raid.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Beta spell and Bahamut's Mega Flare.
  • Forced Sleep: The Sleepel spell sees liberal use.
  • Fragile Speedster: Yuffie can't take a hit against most threats the party faces, so she trained to be fast and agile. This is put to use to good use during the fight against Lost Number.
  • Fuuma Shuriken: Crimson's Rekka is her favored weapon, which had been a gift from Tseng while she served the Company.
  • Ghost Memory: Aerith taking in the contents of the Well of Knowledge ends up giving her the memories of the spirits of the Cetra within it, allowing her to recall their knowledge and spells.
  • Good Parents: Elmyra raised Aerith as best she could without a complaint after Ifalna begged her on her death bed.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Crimson has at times engaged in Cold-Blooded Torture to get information the party needs and has no problem killing those she deems to be causing more harm than good like Heidegger and Hojo. Likewise, Kunsel specifically instructed Cloud to sever limbs and cripple the soldiers attacking them in Costa del Sol to harm their morale.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Yuffie cuts Hojo in half during the battle in Deepground. It doesn't kill him.
  • Happily Adopted: Aerith's adoption by Elmyra was a happy one as they both gave each other the companionship they needed after losing their loved ones.
    • Marlene to Barret.
    • Denzel to Mrs. Ruvie, after losing his own parents during the Plate Fall.
  • Healing Hands: Aerith primarily utilizes Materia geared towards this, in addition to her Healing Wind Limit Break. She later becomes capable of doing so without the materia at all.
  • Hearing Voices: Aerith can hear the voice of the Planet, with Minerva's being the loudest. Later on, she hears the voices of the Ancient Cetra within the Temple of Ancients.
    • Bugenhagen can also hear the voice of the Planet, though this is explained somewhat by the location of the canyon and the Lifestream.
  • Hero Killer: Azul. The injuries he gave Kunsel were so severe that his body simply couldn't survive long enough to get help.
  • Heroic RRoD: Aerith eventually gains full access to her Cetra Heritage and can use high-level magic spells without materia, but she's unaccustomed so the first day she does so she ends up nearly having a stroke.
  • Hide Your Otherness: Barret often has to wear a cloak to hide his gun-arm when the group travels. A tall man with a lethal weapon for a limb sticks out.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Yuffie's crush on Vincent. She pretty much knows its hopeless, which is why she doesn't bother trying to confess.
    • Yuri feels the same way about Yuffie as well, though she's at least more open to it.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Chocobos.
  • I Have Your Wife: Heidegger kidnaps Elmyra to get Aerith to bring him the Keystone.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Rosso is killed by Cloud stabbing her In the Back until the Buster Sword went through her.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Yuri to Yuffie. He likens her to being akin to the sun, so brilliant that he'd burn away if he tries to get close.
  • The Juggernaut: Azul the Cerulean. He tanks everything Kunsel, Nanaki, and Vincent can throw at him, and when Titan comes he goes into his beast mode.
  • Just Following Orders: The Turks listen to whoever is in charge of Shinra, regardless of their personal thoughts and opinions. Reno even cites this to Crimson before dropping the plate on Sector 7.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Tseng and Argento are killed due to being inside of the Temple of Ancients while it became the Black Materia.
    • Dark Nation is killed by an attempt on Rufus' life and Kunsel dies from injuries he sustained from Azul.
    • Rosso is killed during the battle for the Airship, Azul is killed during the Invasion of Deepground, and what's left of Hojo and Heidegger are wiped out.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Leviathan, the Sea Monster God of Wutai.
  • Last of His Kind: Aerith is the last of the Cetra, thus all the responsibilities of her race falls onto her. This eventually culminates with her inheriting all of the knowledge within the Temple of the Ancients.
  • Leave Him to Me: Cloud takes on Azul during the Deepground Raid so the others can deal with Heidegger and Hojo.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Crimson justifies this as the reason they shouldn't kill Rufus in Rocket Town unless absolutely necessary. Rufus is smart and rational enough to keep his priorities straight, whereas if he dies then either Scarlet or Heideggar would get the Company. Both are war-mongers and having complete control of the company would be giving them a blank check to create weapons of destruction and attack places that gave the group shelter.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Rosso the Crimson.
  • The Load: Palmer to everyone in Shinra. It's mentioned that he was the old President's friend, which is why he kept his job. Crimson believes if they killed everyone but him among the higher-ups, leaving him to inherit the Company, Shinra would fall to pieces.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Yuffie uses her arm-guard like this when she ends up taking a hit.
  • Mad Scientist: Hojo.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: Cloud makes sure the Midgar Zolom is dead after it put up a hell of a fight against them before.
  • Make Them Rot: The Bio line of spells has this effect on organic targets, such as the Bottomswell.
  • Master Swordsman: Odin, while alive. His skills had become so legendary that his One-Hit Kill ability as a summoning resulted from it.
  • The Medic: Aerith serves as the team's medic. However, she explicitly mentions that she can't cure illnesses and if someone is drastically injured to the point of losing too much blood, the best she can do is keep them alive until they go see an actual doctor.
  • Mind Rape: Coming into contact with Terra Corrupt does this to Aerith as the spirits of the condemned shout in her mind.
  • Mission from God: Aerith's duty to protect the Planet as the last Cetra is framed as such. Shiva mentions that Minerva (the Goddess of the Lifestream) has explicitly given the Summonings that they use a connection to it so that they can think and act in whatever way would best serve to aid her in the task.
    • This includes waking up Genesis.
  • Mook Horror Show: Shown in the Costa del Sol arc with a group of infantrymen. They all die horribly.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Aerith can sense the location of Materia if nearby and understand them at a glance. She can also sense the presence of Jenova.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Yuffie described having a connection to the mastered Sense Materia that Crimson uses was like this and refuses to so much as touch it again. Because Crimson had trained with it for years to the extent that she could handle it, only she uses it to prevent this from happening to the others.
  • Neck Snap: How Tifa kills one infantryman.
  • The Needs of the Many: Holy can pretty much rid the Planet of Jenova. However, it would likely target everyone who had Jenova's cells within them. That means Cloud, Genesis, Shelke, and Lucrecia will die as well, meaning the group has to decide on whether or not to use it. Put to a vote, they all decide to go through with it since everything they'd done would have been for nothing.
  • Nice Girl: Aerith. She's kind to most of the people she meets and tries to mediate things when the infighting in the group runs the risk of coming to a boiling point.
  • Ninja: Yuffie, of course.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Odin's backstory. The son of the king he served would have ruined the realm if left unchecked, so he slew him. He ended up being hunted down for it until the day he died.
    • Crimson just wanted to help Cloud get back on his feet and find out his past. She ends up fighting her old friends, being shot, and having to watch one of the few people she'd come to care about get killed.
  • Nothing Personal: The Turks, minus Elena, regard what they do as this when it comes to the main party.
    • It's Personal: However, Elena regards Crimson betraying them to be unforgivable and goes out of her way to target her.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Hojo says this to Crimson, citing how they're willing to go to such lengths and what they did during their work at Shinra in Chapter 25.
    • Crimson realizes this about Yuffie when preparing her to face the Five Mighty Gods in Wutai. They had similar upbringings, use the same weapons, and have the same skill-sets. The differences come from their personalities and life-choices.
    • Aerith tries to use this to stop Shelke from effectively being a suicide bomber. Shelke cites that Aerith managed to get away from Shinra and live with a loving adoptive family while she was stuck in Deepground.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Hojo and Sephiroth alike.
  • One-Man Army: Zack, as in the final chapter of Crisis Core. Heidegger literally threw half of their army against him and he killed all but three.
    • Sephiroth, whose rampage through Shinra's HQ ended with the majority of the people and soldiers defending it being slaughtered.
  • One-Winged Angel: Hojo turns into his "Ultimate Lifeform" form.
  • Parental Substitute: Aerith mentions she saw Tseng as a father-figure since she never knew hers after he helped her as a child, which is why she felt betrayed when he shot Crimson.
  • Playing with Fire: Nanaki uses the Fire Materia the most, along with his summoning, Ifrit. Tifa also has one, but prefers Ice.
  • Poisonous Person: Yuffie utilizes the Poison Materia.
  • Power Copying: Nanaki holds the Enemy Skill Materia, allowing him to learn certain moves from bosses.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Rufus Shinra. He doesn't send what military force Shinra has left after the party unless there's something tangible in it like retrieving Aerith or Hojo because he doesn't know what Cloud is capable of, having undergone the same treatments as Sephiroth. Even then, he's perfectly comfortable with letting the party and Sephiroth kill one another off.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The group manages to retrieve Elmyra and Aerith from Deepground's clutches, as well as fend off Jenova to get the Black Materia. However, Vincent loses his Protomateria and it's ended up in Hojo's hands, giving him the ability to kick-start waking up Omega.
  • Put on a Bus: Barret disappeared with the rest of AVALANCHE after the Plate Fall in Midgar, before turning up at the Gold Saucer. They relocated to Cosmo Canyon after being turned against by the survivors of Sector 7.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mog, being a Moogle.
  • Reforged into a Minion: Hojo does this to Heidegger by injecting him with Jenova cells, turning him into a puppet.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Cloud and Crimson as far as the main characters go. Jessie and Biggs for minor characters.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: During the trip to the Cave of the Gi, this was in full effect. Aerith's White Wind in particular eroded any ghosts they met along the way. The last spell she used, Life, made Gi Nattak reach for the light.
  • Roboteching: The Laser spell.
  • "Save the World" Climax: The story started with Crimson helping Cloud to get back on his feet. By the end they're fighting to stop Sephiroth from committing an apocalypse.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: The key to stopping Sephiroth is to have Aerith call forth Minerva and use Holy. If she dies then there's nothing they can do.
  • Shock and Awe: Crimson primarily uses the Bolt line of spells, and has Ramuh as her personal summonings.
  • Slashed Throat: How Yuffie kills an infantryman.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Yuffie serves as this for the group. Crimson has a similar-skill set.
  • Spellblade: Kunsel does this often.
  • Sticky Fingers: Yuffie's Materia-obsession is still intact. In fact, it's how she met the group in the first place outside of Junon.
  • Summon Magic: The Summonings, of course. However, unlike canon those in Aerith's party can actively choose who it is that they allow to use their power, due to a connection with Minerva and the Lifestream after being summoned by Aerith.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The Midgar Zoloms. The reasoning given was that they caught the scent of mako coming from Cloud due to his enhancements, which they likened to Sephiroth (who had passed through and murdered the mate of the biggest one already).
  • Super Soldier: All of the SOLDIER, including Kunsel. Cloud went through a technically different procedure, but is just as strong, only he lacks the training they all go through. They all possess:
    • Super Senses: Their sense of hearing and smell are stronger, though not as good as Nanaki's.
    • Super Speed: A milder case, but their mako-enhanced muscles allow them to run faster.
    • Super Strength: Each one is noted to be far stronger than baseline humans.
  • Sword Beam: Cloud's Blade Beam Limit Break. Kunsel also has a variant.
  • Taking You with Me: After Tseng damages the mako-suit that Argento has, she concludes that she is going to die and tracks him down to make sure she's taking her killer with her.
  • Talking Animal: Nanaki and Deneh.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Crimson and Tifa don't get along all that well, due to their pasts serving Shinra and AVALANCHE. Crimson notes that the previous incarnation of the terrorist group caused no shortage of problems and she dragged Cloud into the reactor bombing, while Tifa points out that Shinra (and especially the Turks) silence anyone that opposes them through normal means and are causing lasting damage to the Planet. That being said, they both take measures to make sure that it doesn't interfere with their collective mission because the sheer opposition they face means that they can't afford to let it get in the way.
  • Token Good Teammate: Reeve, even more than canon. After the Plate Fall left so many orphans, he convinced Rufus to remodel Don Corneo's manor as an orphanage.
    • Crimson during her time in the Turks. Reno even mentioned she was too soft for her own good.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kunsel from the time of Crisis Core. He spent all that time looking for Zack establishing contacts and training, to the extent he's one of the few people who can help Cloud make up for the lack of training he should have received.
    • Aerith gains the wisdom of the Cetra after traversing the Temple of the Ancients, allowing her to use high-level magic on without materia.
    • Vincent awakens the Power of Chaos and reclaims the Proto Materia, allowing him to use it freely.
  • Torture Always Works: Played straight in the first time Crimson tortured Don Corneo (pinning his hands against his headboard with a sharpened hairpin). It worked and they learned about the Plate Fall with time to spare to begin evacuating some of the residents.
    • Averted the second time with Hojo. Not only did he perform a Hannibal Lecture on Crimson, Aerith, and Tifa, but he also set up a trap that nearly gets them killed in Nibelheim.
  • Unbroken Vigil: While Crimson is unconscious from her bullet wound in Chapter 28, Aerith spends that time keeping watch over her. She mentions that just about everyone had taken turns looking after her, with the exception of Cloud, who was keeping himself busy to avoid dealing with the guilt.
  • Undying Loyalty: Zack's friendships with Kunsel and Crimson serve as the primary reason both help Cloud in the beginning and look out for Aerith.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Cloud, compared to the other members of SOLDIER and even the other members of the party. He's easily one of the strongest and fastest characters due to being the procedure he was put through. However, because of the coma he was in, he doesn't have the years of training normal SOLDIER or the others have taken to hone their skills. Once he recognizes this himself, he starts taking lessons in swordsmanship from Odin.
  • Unstoppable Rage: A character hit with Fury usually ends up this way until someone treats it.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Tifa and Yuffie get assigned to do this during the Costa del Sol arc, to ensure that they can escape.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Averted. Every time members of Shinra show up, they take into account what went wrong last time and prepare for their next encounter.
  • Voice of the Legion: How Aerith registers the sound of the spirits in the Well of Knowledge and Temple of the Anicents, having become a collective.
  • You Killed My Father: Hojo was responsible for the death of both Aerith's Mother and Father, the latter of which she was unaware of until he told her personally.
  • Was Once a Man: Odin and Ramuh were once humans and eventually were elevated post-death to their state as summonings.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Crimson to Rude and Reno. Her moral compass and their professionalism led to them splitting apart when she was discharged and the attack on the reactor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Crimson chews Cloud out for helping AVALANCHE just after they entered Midgar, stating that by blowing up the reactor he caused untold collateral damage and tarnished Zack's memories.
    Crimson: "Hospitals needed that power to keep patients alive, food processing plants needed it to keep people fed, and the water treatment plants needed it to keep the water clean—you've made the lives of everyone even more difficult when SOLDIERs are meant to protect them! How was that any different from what happened in Gongaga!?"
  • White Magician Girl: Aerith.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Yuffie ultimately stops Shelke by shooting her with Vincent's gun.

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