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Fan Fic / Haunted House

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Haunted House is a fanfic story by Riha Hyesthae that serves as a For Want of a Nail story for the entire Final Fantasy VII Compilation. The story begins when Zack, Cloud, and Sephiroth arrive in Nibelheim for their fateful mission in the middle of the night. Due to the time zone change from Midgar and the fatigue of travel, they spend the night at a local inn with the intention of investigating the reactor in the morning. When they find themselves unable to sleep, Zack talked Cloud into sharing some local Nibelheim ghost stories. Suspicious of the possibility that the ghosts stories about Shinra Manor have something to do with the monsters they've been sent to eliminate, Sephiroth leads the two young men in a thorough search of the mansion, where they find one former Turk by the name of Vincent Valentine trapped inside a coffin in the basement.
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With Vincent's knowledge of Lucrecia and the Jenova project, Sephiroth is able to come to terms with his origins, and returns to Shinra intent on discovering the truth about his past that Hojo kept hidden for so long...

Sequels to Haunted House:


Tropes in this fanfic include:

  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • In this story, Jenova didn't begin her genocide of the Cetra immediately upon arrival, but was initially offered a place among the early inhabitants of the Planet at the request of Chaos, who had fallen in love with her. She did not reveal her true nature until later.
    • Geostigma is given a more in-depth explanation as to how it is contracted, and why it's fatal.
    • The story also provides an in-universe reason why there are no women in SOLDIER. Though not barred from enlisting in the infantry, female physiology is incompatible with the Jenova cells included in the mako injections, causing any women exposed to it to die of Geostigma.
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    • The Remnants from Advent Children are recast as Sephiroth's younger brothers.
    • The Restrictors were once human men, but are now little more than heavily augmented Meat Puppets who carry out Jenova's will.
    • Weiss and Nero share maternal DNA, but were each carried by a different surrogate.
    • Nero still wears a mask, but it isn't a muzzle. Because of his dependence on stagnant mako, he wears a Darth Vader style respirator that allows him to breathe.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Scarlet, Palmer, and Heidegger are nicer than they are in canon, although there is the implication that the canonical events at Nibelheim were a collective Cynicism Catalyst for all three of them, and that their own Start of Darkness moments were averted as a result of the Butterfly Effect.
    • While still villainous, Hojo is more of a tragic character in this story than in canon.
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    • The Remnants from Advent Children are recast as Sephiroth's younger brothers, and since the oldest is only ten years old, they aren't evil in this story.
    • Likewise, the Tsviets aren't evil either, they simply don't have any experience of the world outside of Deepground.
    • Indeed, this Heroism thing is catching. Genesis and his remaining copies aren't Evil, just suffering from a bad case of Jenova- and possibly a variation of Geostigma.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Aerith is referred to by Aeris (pronounced "Iris") in this story.
    • In addition, Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz are now Katagi, Yasuragi, and Yorozuya respectively.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Surprisingly, Hojo gets some sympathy as he dies.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In chapter 32, Weiss is having sex with Rosso and proposes to Nero (who is watching them) to take care of him. Nero's reaction is blushing. He even shares Rosso and Weiss's bed sometimes.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The reason Vincent, Veld, Shalua Rui, Lazard, and Hojo all have prosthetic replacements.
    • Hojo had to have his left leg amputated after protecting a young Sephiroth from a Midgar Zolom.
    • Lazard lost his right leg on the battlefield in Wutai.
    • Vincent lost his left arm after being shot point-blank by Hojo.
    • Veld lost his left arm in the Kalm fire
  • Artificial Limbs:
    • Vincent, Veld, and Shalua Rui all have mechanical arms.
    • Lazard and Hojo both have artificial legs.
  • Attempted Rape: A "JOE" tried this with Rosso when she was young. Weiss and Nero put a stop to it before he could hurt her.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: A variation. There is no actual coronation involved, but when Sephiroth tells the other members of SOLDIER about what he discovered regarding the Jenova cells being put in their bodies and how it could allow loyalty to be programmed into them. They all swear their loyalty to him anyway.
  • Badass Normal:
    • The Turks, just as they are in canon.
    • Cloud, who in this fanfic has not yet gotten all the SOLDIER enhancements he has in canon. This doesn't stop him from decapitating Jenova in Chapter 3 or going toe to toe with Genesis in Chapter 48.
    • Tifa, especially when she gives a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to a Brainwashed and Crazy Zack in Chapter 48.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me:
    • Not for himself, but Hojo attempts to give Aeris this treatment on Sephiroth's behalf in Chapter 19 as an attempt to set him up with a wife. Both Aeris and Sephiroth are disgusted by this and arrange for Zack and Cloud to smuggle her out of Shinra Tower as quickly as possible.
    • How Deepground produces new generations of soldiers: young women are kidnapped off the streets to serve in the Restrictors' "Breeding Program", in which these women are forced to have sex with various soldiers including Weiss (Nero's powers are too dangerous for him to participate, and Azul simply refuses on principle), and any children they produce are taken away to be raised as soldiers.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: With Sephiroth on the side of good, Jenova and President Shinra share the top spot as the main antagonists of the piece. '
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The last three chapters consist entirely of the invasion of Midgar.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Cloud decapitates Jenova to end the battle in the Nibelheim Mako reactor.
    • Genesis and his remaining copies provide reinforcements in the battle against Deepground at Corel.
    • Vincent arrives to save Sephiroth when Hojo attempts to inject him with more Jenova cells in Chapter 53.
    • Scarlet shows up with the Highwind in Chapter 58.
  • Big Damn Kiss: The Official Couple Sephiroth and Elfe in Chapter 54
  • Big "NO!": How Sephiroth reacts to Vincent informing him that Hojo is his father.
  • Butterfly Effect: The simple act of averting Sephiroth's Start of Darkness causes major alterations to the story:
    • Vincent secretly rejoins the Turks, and he and the now-retired Veld begin investigating the Jenova Project.
    • Zack never dies and Cloud therefore doesn't have his memory issues, and never joins AVALANCHE.
    • Aeris lives, obviously.
    • Sephiroth defects from Shinra like he planned to do in canon before his breakdown at Nibelheim after discovering the secrets of his origins. And when he does THE ENTIRE ARMY leaves with him!
  • Cool Uncle: Professor Gast was one to Sephiroth before Hojo killed him.
  • Death Seeker: Because Vincent's transformations are triggered by low health, Sephiroth begins to suspect Vincent is suicidal given how often he attempts to trigger his transformations on purpose. He's not wrong. Thanks to the modifications done to him, Vincent can't get drunk anymore, and therefore has few socially acceptable outlets for his stress. Although he doesn't consciously want to die, he doesn't seem very concerned for his own safety.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After defeating an attack on Corel by Deepground troops, the heroes take Azul prisoner, and he agrees to join their cause when they promise to liberate his fellow Tsviets from the Restrictors.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • Jenova attempts to control Sephiroth twice.
    • She then proceeds to do it with all of SOLDIER in Chapter 48.
    • Jenova has been slowly but surely taking control of Hojo since Sephiroth was an infant.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Zirconiade Summon Materia. Besides the shard in Elfe's hand, the remaining pieces were used by Hojo to power mechanical limbs for Shalua Rui, Lazard, and himself.
  • Disney Death: Jenova swallows Vincent (in the form of Chaos at the time) whole in Chapter 48 and escapes by diving off a cliff. Nobody is convinced that Jenova would die that easily, but they do believe that Vincent has perished. Chapter 52 reveals him to be Not Quite Dead.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • Discussed. Genesis (who is still suffering from his degradation) tells Sephiroth that he would rather go out fighting than waste away in a hospital bed.
    • A desperate decision is made in Chapter 59; Sephiroth impales himself in order to completely kill off Jenova
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Vincent was a Turk before the Chaos materia was implanted in his chest.
  • Enemy Mine: Chapter 33 sees the beginning of one between SOLDIER, the Turks, and AVALANCHE.
  • Epic Fail: Hojo's construction of Vincent's mechanical arm. It's so poorly designed that when the arm is damaged after a fight with Rosso, Palmer keeps finding one engineering flaw after another until he just gives up and builds Vincent a new one from scratch.
    Palmer: "Given the limited technology of the time, the theories and practices of the day, as well as the fledgling development of electro-neural interface... he still dicked it up beyond mortal comprehension."
  • A Father to His Men: Sephiroth's relationship with the members of SOLDIER is this, from personally delivering bad news to each affected SOLDIER individually to advising an ill foot soldier (Cloud) to have some tea to ease his lingering motion sickness. He fills this role so well that when he deserts Shinra, every single one of them is willing to leave with him.
  • For Want of a Nail: The whole point of the story. To sum up the major changes without spoiling too much, because the team arrives in Nibelheim later at night, they all have trouble sleeping.
    • Since they can't sleep, Zack talks Cloud into sharing local ghost stories.
    • When Cloud shares one about the mansion, Sephiroth decides to investigate the old building for a connection to their mission.
    • When they investigate the mansion, they find Vincent trapped in the basement.
    • After freeing Vincent, the former Turk shares what he knows about Hojo, Lucrecia, and Jenova.
    • Because Vincent was able to explain the truth to him, Sephiroth is able to come to terms with his origins and doesn't have his canonical breakdown.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Heavily implied: Zack and Aeris in chapter 60.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Villainous example. When all of SOLDIER goes rogue, President Shinra replaces them with Deepground troops.
  • Good Parents: Lucrecia could have been this toward Sephiroth, as Hojo was also a caring father once.
  • Gunship Rescue: The Shinra board members loyal to Sephiroth bring Cid and the Highwing to the battle at Midgar.
  • Heroic Suicide:
    • Discussed. Sephiroth and Genesis aren't certain they'll survive the final Boss Battle with Jenova.
    • During the Boss Battle with Jenova Sephiroth turns his sword on himself in order to put an end to Jenova
    • Vincent (as Chaos) sacrifices himself in order to win a Boss Battle with Jenova in Ch. 48 he's actually Not Quite Dead.
  • Honorary Aunt:
    • Ifalna was one to Sephiroth before Hojo captured her.
    • Scarlet serves as one to the Remnants, if the way they refer to her as "Auntie Scarlet" is anything to go by. The same chapter implies she's one to Sephiroth as well.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Tifa does this to a Brainwashed and Crazy Zack when Jenova takes control of the entire SOLDIER army in Chapter 48.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Sephiroth and Lazard have been close friends since Sephiroth was fifteen, after he saved Lazard's (his commanding officer at the time) life during the Wutaian war.
  • Killed Off for Real: Nero is executed by the Restrictors in Chapter 56. Subverted when Argento finds him still breathing in Chapter 57.
    • President Shinra and his loyalists are killed when Jenova destroys Shinra tower in Chapter 59.
  • Lemon:
    • Between Rosso and Weiss in Chapter 32.
    • Weiss and "Jane" in Chapter 39.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: How Sephiroth sees allying with Rufus Shinra. He may not be a paragon of virtue, but he's a hell of a lot more ethical than his father.
  • Like a Son to Me: Vincent views Sephiroth as one.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Played with. Characters debate in universe whether Hojo or Vincent is Sephiroth's father, and there are details that can be counted as evidence for both, but Vincent insists it's Hojo and not himself. Sephiroth later admits that he doesn't care, because Vincent was more of a father to him in three months than Hojo was in twenty-eight years.
    • Later subverted when Lucrecia confirms that Hojo is Sephiroth's father.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Sephiroth sheds several in Chapter 21 upon watching recorded footage of his mother giving birth to him.
    • Some grieving is finally done in Chapter 54.
    • Vincent in Chapter 60
  • The Matchmaker: Hojo attempts to set up a marriage between Sephiroth and Aeris. Neither one of them is enthused by the idea, and Sephiroth has her smuggled out of Shinra Tower almost immediately.
  • Meat Puppet: The Restrictors. Once they were survivors of a Prisoner of War camp. Now, however, they are literally a shell of their former selves who are completely controlled by Jenova.
  • Mood Whiplash: Any time there's a chapter from the point of view of the Tsviets, the story dives from the humor and action of Sephiroth and Vincent's adventures straight into Nightmare Fuel.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Big Bad attempts to use Jenova's cells to force someone to attempt to kill Aeris, only instead of Cloud, this time it's Zack.
    • Jenova is decapitated, only as part of Cloud's Big Damn Heroes moment, not as Sephiroth's Bloodbath Villain Origin.
    • Sweet Polly Oliver: It's not Cloud, but Aeris who goes incognito dressed as male soldier.
    • Instead of Avalanche, Sephiroth breaks into the Shinra building. He takes the stairs in, and the window out.
    • Helpful Hallucination: Not Cloud, but Vincent takes a trip through his own memories and subconscious.
    • Aeris isn't impaled by Masamune but Sephiroth is
    • Aeris's Healing Rain causes those conceived with Jenova's cells to dissolve.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Pretty much anything that happens in the chapters concerning the Tsviets. The online promotional game mentions in text only how Deepground has no morals or sense of Right and Wrong. The author gives a few more detailed examples of exactly how bad things are around Reactor Zero. Trigger Warnings are given at the beginning of each chapter.
  • No Social Skills: Sephiroth, as a consequence of his upbringing. It alternates between being Played for Laughs and Played for Drama depending on the situation.
  • Not Quite Dead
    • Vincent has several near-misses (See previous remarks: Death Seeker):
      • Chapters 3 Sephiroth impales him, triggering a limit break which forces him to defeat all four of Vincent's forms
      • Chapter 6 flashback - Hojo shoots Vincent point-blank
      • Chapter 7 Vincent shoots himself in the head to trigger a limit break
      • Chapter 9 Death Gigas saves Cloud from a fatal fall, soaking the damage himself
      • Chapter 11 flashback - Hojo assumes Vincent has died of his wounds, except he hasn't
      • Chapter 14 flashback - Vincent has an adverse reaction when exposed to Jenova's cells
      • Chapter 16 flashback - Vincent barely survives Geostigma
      • Chapter 49 Vincent- as Chaos- is swallowed whole by Jenova
      • Chapter 50 Vincent himself thinks he has died when he encounters Lucrecia.
    • Chapter 37 Genesis isn't as dead as everyone thinks.
    • Chapter 52 Neither is Lucrecia.
    • The restrictors leave Nero to choke to death And then Argento finds his weak but still breathing body in the next chapter. Then she brings him down to the caverns beneath Deepground and convinces Omega to fuse with him.
  • Official Couple: Sephiroth and Elfe appear to be building up towards this.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Jane" is the name given to all women in Deepground, both soldiers and concubines.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Sephiroth and Zack are regular sources of Precision F Strikes when the shit hits the fan.
  • Papa Wolf: Hojo would have been one to Sephiroth before becoming a Tragic Villain.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Although he hasn't known the former Turk for long, Sephiroth comes to see Vincent as the father figure he never had.
    • Azul and Argento fill this role for the rest of the Tsviets.
  • Parents as People: The reason Hojo was so strict and distant during Sephiroth's childhood was because if his son didn't perform to President Shinra's expectations, he'd be sent to Deepground. He was originally a Jerk with a Heart of Gold before Jenova fed on his doubts and turned him into the full blown abusive Jerkass he is in canon.
  • Pet the Dog: Although they've been given a dose of Adaptational Heroism in this story, Palmer, Scarlet, and Heidegger get a few moments to prove it:
    • Palmer repairs and upgrades Vincent's mechanical arm.
    • Scarlet breaks the Remnants out of Hojo's lab before they can be handed over to Deepground.
    • Although the Restrictors force women to sleep with the male Tsviets to produce the next generation of Deepground Soldiers, Weiss tries to be kind and lessen the unpleasantness of the women's situation.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Gensisis gets 2 in Chapter 37.
    "TASTE MY STEEL, SHINRA LAP DOGS!"
    "WHEN THE WAR OF THE BEASTS BRINGS ABOUT THE WORLD'S END, THE GODDESS SHALL DESCEND FROM THE SKY!"
  • Rape by Proxy:
    • What Hojo attempting to set Sephiroth up with Aeris basically amounts to. Thankfully, Sephiroth, Zack, and Cloud manage to smuggle her out of the Shinra building before Hojo can actually force them to do the deed.
    • Once the male Tsviets hit puberty, they are made to sleep with an assortment of women so that the Restrictors can breed a new generation of Deepground Soldiers.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Vincent makes a lamentable decision in Killing Fuhito. While he may have saved everyone in the long run, Vincent still has to face punishment for executing an ally.
    • Despite a Big Damn Kiss, the Official Couple Sephiroth and Elfe decide to hold off on pursuing a relationship together for the time being.
  • Retired Badass:
    • Scarlet is a former Turk.
    • Reeve is a former Turk.
    • Lazard was once a captain in Shinra's army. He fought on the front lines in the war with Wutai.
    • Veld is still a badass even though he's retired.
  • Reverse Mole: Scarlet, Heidegger, Palmer, Reeve, and Lazard serve as Sephiroth's moles within Shinra once he defects.
  • Sanity Slippage: Hojo was surprisingly a loving father to Sephiroth during the latter's early years. Once Jenova began talking to him through the cells he'd injected himself with, though...
  • Secret Project Refugee Family: The Tsviets. Azul even refers to Rosso, Nero, and Weiss as his children, and Argento as his "wife."
  • She's Not My Girlfriend: Played with. Aeris is Zack's girlfriend, but Gallian (one of the entities in Vincent's head) insistently refers to her as Zack's "mate", much to Zack's embarrassment and Sephiroth's amusement.
  • Shipper on Deck: Genesis encourages Sephiroth to admit his feelings for Elfe.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Between Cloud and Tifa, since they haven't gotten together yet.
    • If the way the Restrictors punish her is any indication, Rosso cares very deeply about Nero. However, Weiss and Rosso also have strong romantic feelings for each other.
    • When Deepground is introduced, Azul is given a hefty helping of Ship tease with Argento. When captured and interrogated by Sephiroth, he even refers to her as his 'wife'.
    • After she arrives in Corel, the story begins to imply romantic feelings between Sephiroth and Elfe.
    • Chapter 51 implies romantic history between Scarlet and Reeve.
  • Shoot the Dog:
    • Vincent kills Hojo to spare Sephiroth (who is in emotional turmoil after discovering that Hojo wasn't always the sadistic asshole he is in the game and was once a caring father) the pain of having to do it himself.
    • He also kills Fuhito when he learns of the man's idolization of Hojo and his apocalyptic plans for Zirconiade, since Chaos informs Vincent that Fuhito's plans will destroy all life on the planet and sterilize what remains, Vincent opts for the simple solution to kill Fuhito now before he can be given the opportunity to enact those plans.
  • Sleep Cute: Zack and Cloud share a bed at one point in the story. This is never meant to be anything other than platonic. Also happens to Sephiroth in Chapter 23.
  • Something Only They Would Say: How do Zack and Sephiroth tell Genesis apart from his copies? Only the original would charge into battle quoting Loveless.
  • Start of Darkness: Hojo was actually a caring and loving father in Sephiroth's early years, until the Jenova cells he'd injected into himself slowly drove him insane.
  • Straight Gay: Lazard is married to a man named George.
  • Symbiotic Possession:
    • Due to the summon materia in his body, as well as Hojo's experiments, Vincent has such a relationship with his "headmates" the Gallian Beast, Death Gigas, Hell Mask (Masuka), and Chaos.
    • Elfe has a similar relationship with Zirconiade
    • Argento also has a symbiotic relationship with Alpha.
    • And Argento's efforts to save his life end up with Nero having something similar with Omega.
    • When Aeris's healing rain causes Sephiroth, Genesis, and the Tsviets to start dissolving, she and Vincent immediately start planting every summon materia they can find into someone's chest.
      • Genesis gets Alexander, Rosso ends up with Phoenix, Weiss with Typhoon, and Sephiroth gets Holy.
      • Implied: Loz/Yorozuya gets Bahamut, Yazoo/Yasuragi gets Bahamut Neo, and Kadaj/Katagi gets Bahamut Zero
  • Tragic Villain: Hojo, of all people manages to become this in the story.
  • Trauma Button: Meta; The author warns readers at the beginning of each chapter when the events depicted will veer into sensitive topics.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • The Turks have this towards each other. And towards Rufus Shinra, as in canon.
    • Palmer, Scarlet, and Heidegger display this towards Vincent.
    • All of SOLDIER to Sephiroth. When he deserts Shinra, the entire army follows him because they trust him that much!!!
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between the Official Couple Sephiroth and Elfe. It takes until Chapter 54 for them to admit it, and even then they decide to stay friends for the moment until the conflict is completely over.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 44. The main characters return from liberating the prison camp near the Gold Saucer to find Corel in the middle of a Geostigma outbreak.
    • Chapter 47: Vincent executes Fuhito before he can become a problem later, but Reality Ensues and Sephiroth is forced to wrestle with the weight of possibly having to execute the man who has become a surrogate father to him. While he's deliberating, Jenova begins to take control of him once more, forcing him to hand command of the combined SOLDIER/Avalanche forces to Elfe before he's completely taken over.
    • Chapter 56: The Tsviets are severely punished for breaking the rules behind the Restrictors backs
    • Chapter 58: The final battle begins.
  • Woman Scorned: Male example. Before Jenova began her genocide against the Cetra, Chaos fell in love with her, and even convinced the Cetra to offer her a place in their society. Understatement He did not take the reveal of her true colors well.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Sephiroth gives a speech to this effect to Gensis in Chapter 40.
  • You Are in Command Now:
    • Sephiroth gives Elfe command of the joint Turk/SOLDIER/AVALANCHE armies when Jenova begins to take control of his body in Chapter 47.
    • A flashback in Chapter 36 also reveals that this was how Sephiroth earned his first promotion in combat at the age of fifteen. The captain of his unit (Lazard) was too injured to keep fighting, and passed command to him.
    • Elfe and Zack share joint command during the invasion of Midgar in Chapter 58.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: A variation. Nobody outright says this, since Sephiroth is traveling incognito and not wearing his recognizable uniform, but he insists on taking his sword with him while taking the train to Veld's apartment. Sephiroth has to try very hard not to laugh at the following comment:
    Random Passenger: "Damn kids. Shouldn't be allowed to have those long swords on a train. They get themselves a Masamune replica and think they're Sephiroth."
  • Zombie Apocalypse:
    • When Sephiroth and co. attempt to Mercy Kill the Jenova-infected monsters in the Nibelheim reactor, Jenova reanimates the corpses to attack them. Lampshaded by Zack.
    • Happens again in Chapter 47 when Jenova reanimated the corpses of the Deepground troops during her mass mind control of SOLDIER.
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