Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Seventh Endmost Vision

Go To

The Seventh Endmost Vision is a Compilation of Final Fantasy VII fanfic, including Remake elements.

The main premise of the fic is a Role Swap AU. What makes the Seventh Endmost Vision unique is the scale and breadth of the roleswap, and the changes to the timeline that result therein, in addition to using multiple ideas from FFVII's unused concepts and even the urban legends that surrounded the original game, taking a For Want of a Nail approach to FFVII's timeline.


The story follows Tifa Lockhart, 1st Class SOLDIER, as she is hired by Rufus of AVALANCHE to assist them with blowing up a reactor; the story soon grows as, while still loosely obeying the Stations of the Canon, the differences and divergences start piling up, resulting in a plot that slowly starts to revolve around the designs of one Lucrecia Valentine...

Tropes in this Fanfic include:

  • Abusive Parents: Aerith did not have a happy childhood with Lucrecia, to say the least.
  • The Ace: Aerith, Zack, and Tifa were regarded as this for Shinra during the War, to the point that all three of them did propaganda and Tifa and Aerith, at least, had fanclubs. Tifa loved it, and fondly recalls some of her appearances. Zack lost this status once he betrayed Shinra, of course.
  • Ace Pilot: One of them is constantly attacking Rocket Town, particularly the spaceship launches, in a plane named Goddamned Tea. The name means it's probably Shera.
  • Adaptational Badass: One of the major selling points of the fic is putting characters in unfamiliar roles, and seeing how their personalities develop from there.
    • Tifa was plenty badass in canon... but she wasn't a 1st Class SOLDIER. Also, unlike Cloud, she legitimately was a 1st Class SOLDIER, and isn't simply confused- multiple viewpoints establish her as a major war hero.
    • Aerith as well; she was a good mage/healer and the last Ancient in canon, but in this fic, she's effectively taken Sephiroth's role as the strongest SOLDIER.
    • Lucrecia. She goes from being a non-combatant scientist to the fic's version of Weiss the Immaculate. She dual wields katanas, and can go toe to toe with a full-blood Ancient throwing everything she's got at her.
      • This also applies to the people that Lucrecia turns into her fellow Tsiviets. Yuffie and Scarlet both punch at a much higher weight class than in canon due to this- Yuffie the Transparent has Intangible Man powers and invisibility on top of being a Ninja, while Scarlet is taking Rosso the Crimson's role, though what powers she gained from this have only been hinted at once- the temperature rises around her when she gets excited, possibly meaning Playing with Fire abilities.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Part of the fic's very premise as an alternate FFVII.
    • Sephiroth. Rather than the sword-swinging, Hero Killer Big Bad of canon, this Sephiroth is a healer and a doctor, and The Champion of Sector 5. Further, he's got a connection to the Planet, though it's very, very begrudging. He also joins AVALANCHE.
    • The canon Turks, and Rufus, as well; rather than the cruel President and spies of canon, they make up Sector Seven's AVALANCHE cell. This particular deviation is given more focus: Rufus apparently had a freakout when he saw the Wutai Wasteland, and ended up getting taught the truth of Planetology at Cosmo Canyon by Bugenhagen personally; Reno, Rude, and Elena followed him into his Heel–Face Turn out of their canon loyalty, and it seems to have made all of them better people in general.
    • Kyrie Canaan — who most people would know from the Remake — has also underwent a very different development from canon. Rather than the smug, irresponsible thief of canon, Kyrie is a childhood friend of Sephiroth's, who is a heroic Just Like Robin Hood styled thief who focuses her attentions on Shinra. She even supplies Sephiroth with stolen medical supplies so he can continue his work in Sector 5. As a legitimate job, she runs a chocobo wagon store, with an old chocobo named after her dead grandmother, Mirielle. It's implied that Shinra killed her grandmother, and that- alongside Sephiroth's friendship- kickstarted her character development. She's also secretly a member of AVALANCHE, and is the one who paints the graffiti the party follows in the tunnels, risking her life to the grashtrikes to show the way. She apparently refuses all payment for AVALANCHE work, a far cry from her greedy canon self.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Cloud, who is implicitly straight in canon despite almost drowning in HoYay, is explicitly bisexual here; he maintains his canon crush on Tifa as a child but also fell in (unrequited) love with Zack. Aerith as well; she loved Zack, but also now loves Tifa, though it's vague on whether or not this began before Zack's death or if Aerith only ever loved Tifa after he died.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In tandem with the above trope, quite a few people have much looser morals than before.
    • The outstanding example in the fic is Lucrecia. Dear God, Lucrecia got run over by a truck that had this trope in the driver's seat. Lucrecia in canon did a lot of bad things, but eventually evolved into The Atoner, and even shoved herself into a mako crystal to stop doing harm; in this fic, Lucrecia is basically the Big Bad, and an abusive mother to boot! It's been stated that Lucrecia made one of the major Decisions listed below, and that's the reason why she's so different, but what that decision was hasn't been revealed yet.
    • Of party members, Aerith, Vincent, Red XIII and Barret all got hit with this. Aerith apparently did something that resulted in Nibelheim burning down and Tifa both hating and fearing her, on top of taking Sephiroth's role as the most powerful SOLDIER, implying she's responsible for a great many War-related deaths. Vincent is Lucrecia's husband and leader of the Turks, meaning he does a great deal of wetwork for Shinra and his wife both. Meanwhile, Barret and Red XIII are both Heads of Shinra now, sitting with such fine folks as Heidegger and Scarlet. Red XIII is also Lucrecia's best friend and very supportive of her, which is itself a warning sign in this setting. Barret, on the other hand, is not this. He's actually Good All Along; he's still running AVALANCHE, and is a secret traitor to Shinra. Yuffie is a secret version of this, since she's a Tsiviet who is terribly loyal to Lucrecia.
    • Of other allies to the party in canon, the rest of Barret's AVALANCHE cell got smacked with it; Jessie and Biggs are Vincent's top Turk team, under the codenames Blast and Vicks, and Wedge is going to be joining them soon. They even ambush Tifa and Sephiroth at the church where Reno confronted Cloud in canon.
    • Wutai in general got this trope, since rather than being the last noble holdout against Shinra's tyranny, the changes in the backstory meant the people of Wutai are Shinra's closest allies instead. They apparently conquered Costa del Sol during the War, renamed it New Wutai, and kicked the locals out.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Not that many compared to the above, but Cloud and Yuffie do both get hit with it. Cloud was never a SOLDIER and wasn't experimented on, so he's just a very skilled swordsman... albeit he does have the advantage of wielding the broken, but still effective Masamune, which helps him even the odds considerably. Yuffie, meanwhile, is older- being nineteen- but just a random Wutai teenager dwelling in the Sector Seven slums. In truth, it's Inverted with Yuffie; she's a tremendously powerful Tsiviet, so she's actually an Adaptational Badass masquerading as this trope to keep an eye on Cloud for Aerith.
  • Adventures in Comaland: Tifa undergoes one of these, dreaming of the days she and Aerith spent after Zack's death in Midgar while Sephiroth heals her from her fall off the Plate.
  • The Alcoholic: Rufus is this, theorized by Cloud to be how he deals with the sheer pressure he's under. Elena is also this, for much the same reasons, though she handles her drink worse than Rufus does.
  • The Alliance: The Western Alliance- formally, the Alliance against Shinra's Imperialism- was this, comprised of all the nations on the Western Continent except Corel and the nation of Mideel on the Eastern Continent. They formed originally as a protest group in opposition to Shinra; eventually, Shinra attacked them after blaming them for Cid Highwind's rocket exploding as it reached space. They lost, but the War continues to haunt the survivors, years later. They apparently used Ravens like canon AVALANCHE did in Before Crisis, and also had control of monsters, including an Alpha Leviathan they used to destroy Junon; they also had access to a lot of high-powered materia, which Shinra stole afterwards.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Cloud was in love with Zack before he died — and even before he betrayed Shinra, Zack was engaged to Aerith. It also turns out later on that Aerith was — and still is — in love with Tifa.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: Rufus now has Barret's canon gun arm. Barret's first chapter takes pains to emphasize that he uses both of his hands.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Holy, as in canon.
  • Ancient Astronauts: A variation of the History Channel take on television shows talking about this is seen in Lux's chapter; he briefly watches the intro to a History Channel style "documentary" on local conspiracies and myths, including a discussion of ancient civilizations and one-eyed ghosts in the Train Graveyard. Lux dismisses both as hoaxes, but anyone who played FFVII knows that the Ancients were real. So's the ghost.
  • Animal Motifs: Prevalent throughout the fic. Tifa has lionesses in particular and cats in general, Aerith has dogs, and Sephiroth has snakes, to name the three most prominent ones; on the bad guy's side, Lucrecia seems to have wolves, specifically a Big Bad Wolf motif to go with the story's fairytale elements.
  • Arc Number: Seven, of course, just like the game it's based on.
  • Arc Words: "the fire and the ice and the mistake", and variations thereof, usually swapping the ice and the fire around. It comes up whenever anyone talks about Nibelheim, and is recurrent in Tifa's thoughts. Yuffie even gets in on the action at one point!
  • The Atoner: Tifa becomes this, making a decision that she is responsible for helping build Shinra into what it became... and thus, must take responsibility for destroying it. This is what propels her to finally join AVALANCHE after chapters of dithering and trying to maintain her mercenary aloofness.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: As ever, the Turks, which in this setting remain an organizaiton within Shinra. Tifa notes that Turk suits, and their neckties, are specifically designed to be usable in combat.
  • Beneath the Mask: Two primary examples, one examined quite a lot in narration, and one mostly implied.
    • Tifa comes off as cold, short with people, and reserved, but she's hiding both her own unresolved issues from the War and a much warmer, more loving personality much more like her canon one; she's just very, very afraid of reaching out, afraid of being betrayed and hurt again.
    • Lucrecia is a wonderful boss at Shinra, paying her people well, providing them lots of breaks, and generally running a tight ship on her part of the company. She also runs clinics to help the wounded and has documentaries about her life played on television, hyping her up. Looking at her actions reveals a monster in the labcoat underneath the facade.
  • Benevolent Boss: Lucrecia is actually a very good employer. She pays well and her scientists are given enough breaks to keep them from burning out. Of course, it's all a case of Pragmatic Villainy to keep her employees loyal and to ensure that her department remains the most effective part of Shira. Barrett also turns out to be a pretty swell boss, seen most triumphantly when he gives all the employees of his department the biggest payday of their lives and informs them of how to avoid of fallout of Shinra's actions after the President decides to go through with the Platefall plan.
  • Betrayal by Offspring: Lucrecia appears to fear Aerith is planning this.
  • BFS: Masamune, wielded by Cloud in this setting. It's been broken, but Tifa still correctly identifies it as a no-dachi when she first sees it, mostly because she's spent time with the Wutai Foreign Regiment and picked up a fair knowledge of Wutai culture. As for the Buster Sword, while Cloud named his bar after it, the actual weapon is in a museum Shinra keeps. It's stated that Cloud's bar's name is a political statement all by itself, as the Buster became a symbol of rebellion due to Zack being its last user.
  • Big Bad: Lucrecia Valentine so far, since she's replaced Hojo as the resident Mad Scientist... which means Aerith is probably next in line as the Sephiroth replacement.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Lucrecia is joined by both Shinra in general- which doesn't seem to entirely be on board with her- and Aerith, who is doing... something out West.
  • Big Bad Friend: Lucrecia for Tifa, as she was Aerith's best friend for years and even ate dinner with the Valentines on multiple occasions. Realizing the true depth of Lucrecia's monstrosity leaves Tifa very shocked and hurt. Aerith is also this, to a downplayed extent so far; her presence isn't nearly felt as much as Lucrecia's, due to being dead, but Tifa definitely regards her as such in most of her recollections. Aerith might end up being this again, since she's not actually dead.
    " I ate at her house," Tifa said quietly, sounding very small. " I ate at her table, and talked with her, and never knew she..."
  • Big Good: Barret is secretly this as the true leader of AVALANCHE.
  • Blinded by Rage: Tifa undergoes an extremely disturbing version of this during her time in Sector 5, literally splattering a group of monsters with no memory of it afterwards.
  • Body Motifs: Eyes are a recurring theme in the fic. SOLDIER eyes are the canon glowing mako eyes, albeit vaguely slitted now, making them rather disturbingly feline; Descendant eyes, meanwhile, are pure white with no pupil. Lucrecia has heterochromia. The Ghost Lady is missing an eye, because it's in Lucrecia's head. Ifalna thinks she can now see Holy with it, which spurs most of her actions as a ghost..
  • Boobs of Steel: Tifa describes herself as the "largest-breasted woman in SOLDIER". She was also a legendary war heroine and is one of the physically strongest characters in the setting.
  • Born Lucky: Elena's powerset. Just why hasn't been revealed yet.
  • Bright Is Not Good: White and pink are repeatedly used as colors of horror, likened to blood dampening a bandage and other metaphors for wounds; this seems to be primarily Lucrecia and Aerith's fault, since those are their associated colors.
  • Broken Pedestal: Tifa to Shinra. She had loved working for Shinra, and the forced realization of just what Shinra was really doing- to humanity and the Planet both- hits her pretty hard. Aerith falls into the same category- from best friend to betrayer.
  • Breather Episode: In-between traveling in the Wastes and Sephiroth going to the Train Graveyard, there is a chapter devoted solely to AVALANCHE talking and Tifa buying a new pair of gloves and arranging for her armor to be repaired. It's rather low-key, compared to what comes before and after.
  • Broken Ace: Tifa has rather clearly become after the War, if the repeated mantras and constant deluge of memories in her POV are any indication. There's also the fact that Aerith has been influencing her, to unknown ends.
  • The Cameo: The Phantom Thieves of Persona 5 are discussed... when Vincent is talking in an office memo about how he tricked and killed them to close a possible information leak. The author clarified in a response that it wasn't intended as a Take That! despite their own problems with Persona 5, but meant to showcase how monstrous Vincent's deeds were by using good characters most of the audience already loved. The only survivors are Anne and Haru- Anne because she was dragged off to Deepground, Haru because she hadn't joined yet.
    • Sinder Roze from Alpha Centauri also appears in the same chapter, but survives her cameo.
  • The Champion: Sephiroth is called this by the grateful citizens of Sector 5. The title bothers him as a reminder of how different he is from others.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Everything about Aerith and the writhing sensation inside of Tifa.
  • Child Soldiers: The fic has much more focus on how young many of the characters were during the War; in particular, Tifa notes she was seven months shy of actually being fifteen when she first joined SOLDIER, beneath the age at which Shinra actually recruited. No one cared, because she qualified for SOLDIER and it was Shinra, but there's focus on how Tifa spent most of her teenage years fighting in kill-or-be-killed engagements, and how that has shaped her life.
  • Cloning Blues: Averted. The cloned Red Lions aren't treated as less because of their origins; Red XIII genuinely loves the two he adopted as his own children, and regrets that the needs of the moment mean he had to give them shortened lifespans. Lucrecia's Sable project, which was the mass cloning of new Red Lions, is heralded as a scientific miracle by Shinra, and its products aren't discriminated against.
  • Clone by Conversion: This seems to be how the Descendants are made by Aerith.
  • Color Motif: The most dominant color motifs are the opposed pairs of pink and white against purple and black, forming a Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Not Evil pair. Pink and white are both strongly associated with horror, trauma, and evil; it's pointed out that red blood on a white bandage bleeds to pink, and the idea of "pure" white hiding pink wounds is referenced multiple times. They're also Lucrecia and Aerith's colors. Purple and black, meanwhile, is repeatedly associated with peace, the Planet, and healing; Sephiroth's flowers are purple-black, and they have healing spells woven into them. Tifa recovers from her fall amidst the blooms. The colors are most strongly associated with Sephiroth, who wears black almost exclusively, but are also associated with Ifalna.
    • These are also used with the Tsiviet characters, appropriate considering their canon Red Baron titles. In particular, the two living spaces we've seen from Tsiviet characters includes the colors of all of them, albeit leaning towards the dominant color of the occupant. Lucrecia has white, Scarlet has red, and Yuffie has transparent, colorless pieces.
  • Cool Old Guy: Elmyra is the female version of this, cheerfully asking Rufus if he wants her chucking bombs as an anarchist.
  • Cosmic Motifs: These tend to creep in around the edges whenever Sephiroth is the POV character, for obvious reasons.
  • Covered in Gunge: Tifa suffers this fate three times, twice comedic, the last dramatic. First when killing the angelic dog monster in Sector Seven, wherein she gets blasted by so much of its blood that she is described as a human-shaped blood clot; second when she kills the Grashtrike Queen on the second bombing mission, whose dead body manages to spit one last blast of webbing that pins her to the floor. Both are treated as more funny than anything else. The third time is not, when Tifa gets soaked in the gore of the Hedgehog Pies she kills in a blind rage while trying to rescue some Sector 5 kids; it terrifies the children and freaks out everyone else, including her, since she literally could not remember doing it afterwards.
  • Creepy Cemetery: Inverted. The Train Graveyard spreads a sensation of peace and content to those who visit, and is regarded as a sacred place by Sector Seven's inhabitants.
  • Cute Bruiser: Averted with Tifa this time; there's more focus on her muscles and size, making her more of a soldier than before. Yuffie still counts, though.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Sephiroth still dresses all in black, he's still strongly associated with serpents, wields a scythe in combat alongside poison spells, and he's still a Jenova mutant... and with all that said, he's actually a kindly Farm Boy doctor and The Champion of Sector 5.
    • The Train Graveyard is a junkyard of rusting machines inhabited by ghosts whose drawings can only be seen at night... but it's the holiest place in the slums. Literally; Ifalna used Grand Gospel on it, drawing from the Holy materia, and her ghost- and Holy itself- still resides there.
  • Defector from Decadence: Zack rebelled against Shinra at the start of the last year of the War, and a great chunk of SOLDIER joined him. Tifa ended it by killing him and burning his body to keep Lucrecia from getting a hold of it, at Aerith's request.
  • Derelict Graveyard: The Train Graveyard as in canon, though in this fic, it's oddly sacred; a place of great peace. Because Holy was used here to purify the area, effectively blessing it.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu??: Very downplayed example, but Tifa killing Aerith at Nibelheim has overtones of this trope. Subverted; this Cthulhu is quite alive.
  • Doomed Hometown: Nibelheim, as in canon, for both Cloud and Tifa. Aerith appears to be at fault. Yuffie's memories of the event put all of this in question.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Lucrecia at Shinra. Rufus mocks his dad for losing his company out from under his nose.
  • Dream Sequence: Several chapters start with characters experiencing nightmares, usually about the War, but Yuffie dreams about Nibelheim at one point. Most of one chapter is Tifa reminiscing on a meeting with Reeve while in a half-comatose state following her fall from the Plate.
  • Due to the Dead: Tifa manages to interrupt AVALANCHE while they're doing this for her and Cloud in the "Midgard fashion", which apparently involves drinking yourself stupid.
  • Dumb Muscle: Tifa regards her past self as this, particularly once she realizes (while in a healing coma after falling off the Plate) that Reeve had tried to recruit her for Rufus' coup, and she'd missed the hints. She further regards herself as this when she realizes how much evil Shinra was doing, all with her perfectly willing assistance, too blinded by the power and perks to see.
  • Dying Race: Ancients have it worse than in canon; they had been reduced down to just Aerith, and she's dead when the fic starts. Or so Tifa thinks. Red XIII's race averts this, however; named as Red Lions in the fic, Lucrecia's Sable Project has pretty much singlehandedly revived them as a species, to the point that a great many of them work at Shinra.
    • The Red Lions' former status as this seems to have been Red XIII's main motivation in joining Lucrecia. It's also why he seems to be angry at the Planet, for letting his people die, and even in the fic's present, he's obsessed with recovering as much of his people's past culture as possible. When Deneh is brought to him by Lucrecia, he's almost more excited by what she might remember of their people's art and stories than by the presence of another natural-born Red Lion.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Deepground still exists in this timeline, and is apparently located under Sector Seven in the fic. Tifa knows about it due to her close personal connection with Aerith and Lucrecia, and mildly freaks Cloud out when she admits to it being real- the slums apparently considered it an urban legend. She tries to reassure him it didn't make the current monster they're dealing with, though, since it focused on human experimentation. Ifalna apparently spent some time here.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Jenova, as canon. And the unknowable nature extends both ways in this fic; Jenova apparently had no idea that prey didn't want to be eaten, or that being eaten was not a fun experience, up until Aerith attacked her.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Rufus has an entire chapter devoted to him trying to figure out who Tifa is, since everyone knows that Tifa Lockheart, 1st Class SOLDIER and war hero, has been dead for five years when the fic starts. He comes to the conclusion that she's one of the many 3rd Class SOLDIER recruits that Tifa Lockheart trained, and that she's working a resemblance to the dead woman and stories she overheard to lie to Cloud, who Rufus views as too trusting. He's completely wrong, but it's a logical conclusion given what he knows; Yuffie is revealed to have come to the exact same conclusion later.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The very first chapter involves Tifa, a SOLDIER, trying to catch a nap while on the train ride to the first Reactor bombing; ads playing outside list some of the most major changes from canon, and Tifa regards it all as "nothing important", showing the baseline of the altered timeline.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Tifa's main feelings towards Aerith for most of the fic, alongside sheer terror; eventually she softens on her, reasoning that they were friends for many long years, and she chooses to let go of her grudge with a dead woman. Albeit Aerith's actually alive.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is Yuffie's opinion on Scarlet; her sadism and bloodlust are irritating and alienating, and Yuffie can't figure out why Lucrecia made her a Tsiviet.
    • Also used when Jessie expresses her distaste for Don Corneo; sure, she's a Turk, but Corneo's disgusting.
    • Lucrecia tries to talk President Shinra out of his Platefall plan (although it's implied that it's also because Sephiroth has joined Avalanche and moved to Sector Seven, Barrett also notices that mass slaughter has never been her style).
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: SOLDIER is a gender-neutral organization in this fic; in point of fact, the single strongest person in the program was Aerith, and Tifa was right behind her. But beyond that, Shinra didn't care who you were, so long as you would work; it was seen as one of Shinra's most attractive qualities to Tifa. She was a middle-class Westerner heading East, and yet Shinra still promoted her as one of their great warriors. It's one reason Tifa loved the company so much, and fought so fiercely for it.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Inverted by Barrett. He realizes in Chapter 42 that the Descendents are working for Lucrecia — or rather, they were working for Lucrecia, because they're rebelling against her, and that this is why she isn't willing to start a civil war within Shinra against the President, since she's already fighting one. Barrett decides to try jumpstarting it himself to give AVALANCHE more of a chance to stop Shinra for good.
  • Fairytale Motifs: Focused on with the chapter headings, but present throughout.
  • A Father to His Men: Angeal, as in canon. Tifa eventually evolved into this, too, as Luxiere fondly remembers. In particular, a lot of time is spent in various character's thoughts on how much Tifa loved teaching younger SOLDIER trainees Zangan-style martial arts, with a free side of morals and ethics included... which leads to talk of how much it hurt her when her precious students died. Zack was this as well, in a more distant way due to his higher command; he even led a huge number of 1st and 2nd Class SOLDIER to join the Western Alliance when he defected. Notably, Aerith was distinctly not this, being regarded even by Luxiere, her most favored underling, as a weird, creepy person. Aerith does seem to care for her Descendents in her Interlude, however, or at least claims she does — years of abuse from Lucrecia and her mental issues have likely left her an Unreliable Narrator.
  • Foil:
  • For Want of a Nail: Used explicitly. Author's notes indicate that there are seven major decisions that have changed the timeline to this fanfic. Four have been made explicit so far:
    • Godo and President Shinra work out a deal to place the first Mako Reactor in Wutai- which breaks down, causing the Wutai Wasteland and putting Shinra off of Reactors for years;
    • Red XIII's father, Seto, is able to explain what he's doing to his mate and son before he leaves, which results in Red XIII abandoning Cosmo Canyon to wander the Planet... which leads to him meeting Lucrecia.
    • Ifalna, while escaping from Shinra HQ, grabbed Sephiroth as she escaped. No word yet on why she didn't get Aerith, though the author's comments indicate Vincent had something to do with it. The end result was that Sephiroth got raised by Elmyra and Aerith got raised by Lucrecia and Vincent.
    • Tifa joins Cloud when he takes off to join SOLDIER. While Cloud gets booted from SOLDIER as in canon, Tifa qualifies and joins SOLDIER.
    • In addition, of the three Decisions that haven't been made explicit yet, at least one involved Lucrecia, and explains why she turned out the way she did.
  • Fury-Fueled Foolishness: Tifa undergoes a bad bout of this in Sector 5, terrifying some children she was trying to rescue and actually blacking out as she beat some monsters to death. It frankly spooks her, badly. Ifalna also explicitly identifies Tifa's "sin" as being Wrath, and compares it unfavorably to Sephiroth's sin of Pride, since Sephiroth doesn't want to be famous so much as he wants to do great and important good in the world.
  • For Science!!: Hojo, who has so far only appeared in an Interlude via e-mail, still has this attitude towards everything. Lucrecia does not share this trope with him; her research seems to be more focused towards results than pure knowledge.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Beck's Badasses are this. They got beaten up by Johnny. Tifa and Sephiroth don't even bother to beat them up themselves when they try to rob them — Sephiroth heals them, and then they just talk them into leaving.
    Sephiroth: Think I should pay?
    Tifa: Why in the world would you? Johnny took'em! I'm not sure we need to fight them! A stiff breeze might come by and do it for us!
    Sephiroth: Pity, primarily. But also because you can't put a price on good comedy, and this is the funniest thing that's happened to me in weeks.
  • Good Parents: Elmyra, as in canon, alongside her husband before his death. Tifa's father, Brian, was also apparently a good parent, once he recovered from his downward spiral after his wife's death. Ifalna tries to be a post-mortem one for Sephiroth and Aerith both.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: According to the author in their notes, Jenova and other PlanetEaters similar to her (such as Lavos) are ultimately decedents of Deus from Xenogears, who was victorious in the story's timeline due to Fei succumbing to his multiple issues. Deus, with its dying breath, created other beings similar to itself to spread throught the universe, and they've been creating their own, spreading and spreading.
    • As a counterpoint to the above, there is also a Greater-Scope Paragon- KOS-MOS, who in this setting was built to seed worlds with life that will eventually become humans, making life to counteract the fact that Deus' descendants keep killing it. This both neatly explains the existence of humans on so many FF worlds and why Goddess religions tend to crop up- it's a kind of Genetic Memory of the creator robot.
  • Green Thumb: Aerith, who appears to have vines growing in her veins. And she apparently put some in Tifa, too. Sephiroth is a more heroic version of this; he grows flowers that have healing magic woven into them. It's not a proper healing spell, but it can assist with healing, and at the very least improves the target's morale. He's pretty talented; the flowers have spread throughout much of Midgar's slums at this point. Ifalna's ghost is planting them in the Train Graveyard.
    • Ifalna also had this in her flashback, a set of violets that are purple-pink. She's keeping Holy in a group of them.
  • Grim Reaper: One cultural split in the setting is the perception of death's avatar. Easterners from Midgar have a concept similar to this, which Cloud specifically mocks as finding silly. Westerners like the Wutai or Nibelheim have Lady Jenny, a beautiful woman who carries you to your kingdom... and apparently likes to possess humanoid puppets to kill people. This leads to some humor where Tifa is deeply unnerved by Cait Sith when Reeve presents it to her. It's implied to be cultural memories of Jenova.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Explained. Apparently a significant portion of the harm a weapon does is derived from amplifying a person's inner mako; bullets, since they have no physical connection to a person upon impact, lack this, and so wounds from them are less harmful and heal easier than weapons delivered by more conventional means. Rufus' materia-shard rounds are one way around this, and Vincent is implied to have figured out his own methods, but this does explain why melee weaponry still exists. It's implied in dialogue that guns are the go-to weapon for most people, since they're easy to learn and use, while melee weapons are for more serious combatants.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Aerith and Sephiroth as in canon. Unlike canon, however, Aerith is also a SOLDIER, meaning she's a Human/Cetra/SOLDIER three-way mix, while Sephiroth is still just a Human/Jenova creation.
  • Happily Adopted: Sephiroth by Elmyra and her husband, Abelard, which he's always known. What he hasn't known is the circumstances in which he was found.
    • Aerith's adoption, meanwhile, wasn't so happy.
    • Yuffie seems to want this with Lucrecia, of all people.
  • Happily Married: Lucrecia and Vincent, the latter in particular; multiple characters remark that no one has ever been as in-love as Vincent is with Lucrecia. Aerith was engaged to Zack, but never got a chance to repeat her parents' successful marriage due to Zack's rebellion.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Zack certainly did; he got him and Aerith a big dog that he named Good Boy.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Averted. Yuffie's just a waitress/odd job teenager Cloud knows. Still averted with the reveal that she's the Transparent Tsiviet; she's the opposite of highly visible, both literally and figuratively.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Ifalna uses Holy to purify the Train Graveyard, killing Eligor and washing the Shinra filth off of Sephiroth... though it also burned him until she stopped it, probably due to his Jenova inheritance.
  • Holy Ground: The Train Graveyard. Literally; it's the resting place of Holy in this fic. Locals leave gifts of chalk and other items for the children's ghosts that reside there, watched over by the Ghost Lady. Who is Ifalna.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Holy, as in canon. Interestingly, in this fic, not only is the White Materia explicitly tiny, it was apparently artificially engineered by the Cetra to be that way on purpose; their culture held that perfect things needed no additions, so smaller versions of things were held to be better. When making Holy, they decided to make it reflect that aesthetic.
  • An Ice Person: Aerith's major element—nearly everytime anyone talks about Aerith fighting, they'll reference her use of big spikes of ice as her main weapon.
  • Industrial Ghetto: Lower Midgar, as in canon. Sector 7, due to its proximity to the largest scrapyard—which attracts monsters—is held to be the most dangerous, with Sector 5's junkyard for Plate construction vehicles beind the second worst. Given that Deepground is located directly underneath Sector 7 in this fic, it seems likely that this is part of what's making the area so dangerous.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Used as well. Despite the massive changes in the backstory, some things haven't changed, though the reasons why they happened are sometimes different. The biggest example is Nanaki still being called Red XIII; in canon, it was Hojo's name for him as an experiment. In this fic, he adopted it because Lucrecia, his best friend, calls him Red, and the Sable project experiment that created the first viable Red Lions was the thirteenth one. This apparently started a trend with Red Lions; they have a "proper" name, mostly for friends and family, then a color and number name in honor of him that is more public.
    • Yuffie still hates her father, though this time, it seems to be because he left her in a hospital, dying of mako poisoning and cancer, and never visited again; Lucrecia saving her from this fate is the source of her Undying Loyalty to the woman.
  • Intangibility: This is Yuffie's unique powerset. Its main use is granting effective invisibility... but this varient specifically also seems to remove some mass and weight, making it more this trope.
  • Internal Reformist: As in canon, Reeve tried to be this five years before the fic's start, alongside Rufus. Reeve tried to loop Tifa into helping them, but she, a career SOLDIER, misunderstood his attempts and did not understand what he was really asking for. Tifa later wonders if she could have averted the damage the world has suffered if she'd figured it out at the time.
  • Interservice Rivalry: While Tifa fondly remembers the normal grunts of the Shinra military, she despises the Turks, and even motivates herself at one point when wounded with the desire not to be killed by a "fucking Turk" out of sheer pride.
  • It's A Small Net After All: Actually true, in this case. Shinra's WWN is for Shinra's use only, being a sort of super Darpanet that no one else can use. We get to see a bunch of emails (called netmails in-universe) during one Interlude.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Tifa had a cat when she was younger named Mr. Punch. He burned to death in Nibelheim's fires.
  • Last of His Kind: As in canon, Ifalna was the last pure-blooded Cetra; Aerith is only half.
  • Layered Metropolis: Midgar, as always. It's noted that the great terror that unites everyone in the slums is the fear the Plate will fall- it's happened once already, which is why Midgar's missing a slice of the Plate. Ruvie- Reeve's mother- was the one who built the Plate in this fic, and she had the executives who caused the first Platefall disaster thrown from the Plate themselves.
  • Light Is Not Good: Aerith has angel wing motifs, and unlike Sephiroth, her one wing is a beautiful white one with pretty feathers; it also causes Tifa to outright panic when she sees it. Aerith's major motif, though, are vines; the real evil light of the setting is Lucrecia, who is repeatedly associated with white. Vincent even suggests it as her Tsiviet title- and since Lucrecia is this fic's version of Weiss the Immaculate, it's definitely not a good association.
  • Like a Son to Me: Two cases. Marle seemingly views Cloud this way, the way her canon counterpart views Tifa; more plot-relevant, Ifalna reveals that she watched Sephiroth grow up, and wishes she could call herself his mother; she cares for him like a mother, at least.
  • Love Hurts: Cloud was explicitly in love with Zack, and his death hurts him even five years later. He's aware that the news claims Tifa killed Zack, and specifically avoids asking her about this when she re-enters his life, knowing that the truth would be too much for him if it turned out she did kill Zack. For the record, Tifa did kill him with a Neck Snap, a deed that haunts her throughout the fic. Later, Cloud, thinking Tifa dead after she fell from the Plate during the second bombing mission, launches into a Suicide Mission to go meet the Rosso of Wall Market out of misguided grief over losing the love of his life twice- Zack, and then Tifa.
  • Mad Scientist: Lucrecia is a very, very sedate take on this- her science lab is well-funded, her employees given high pay and lots of breaks, and her focus is on small improvements over time rather than big, rapid changes. This has made her much more in control of the company than her canon counterpart, Hojo, and since she's the fic's version of Weiss the Immaculate, also much more powerful.
  • Mega-Corp: As always, the Shinra Electric Power Company, one of the most successsful and powerful versions in all of video gamedom.
  • Memorial Statue: Cid Highwind has one in Midgar that AVALANCHE uses as a rally point after the first bombing mission. He was the first man in space, but died at the very moment of his triumph when his Rocket exploded. Shinra used this as a pretext to launch the War on the Western Alliance. Given what we know from canon, this has a high chance of being an outright lie.
  • Metaphorically True: Ifalna doesn't think of it herself, but this is one way to see her claiming Aerith is Sephiroth's sister. Not by blood, but given that Ifalna openly claims Sephiroth, there's still a connection there.
  • Motivational Lie: Ifalna comes up with a pretty good one to make sure AVALANCHE is considering the possibility of redeeming Aerith, rather than killing her. The lie? She tells Sephiroth that Aerith is his sister. Given Ifalna's motherly feelings towards Sephiroth, this isn't even as much of a lie as it sounds.
  • Mugging the Monster: Beck's Badasses from the Remake try to rob Sephiroth and Tifa. Yes, you read that right. Fortunately for them, the two had just had a rather bleak conversation and found it funny, and talked them into leaving.
    Sephiroth: "I believe we are fixing to get accosted."
    Tifa: "I believe you're right. Poor bastards."
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Averted, unlike canon. Tifa is stated to be noticeably ripped, the way you'd expect someone who can punch a dragon to death would be.
  • Mutants: SOLDIER modifications are much more openly discussed as mutating the recipients, and all SOLDIER members are self-acknowledged artificial mutants. The Wutai Reactor melting down apparently mutated some of its people before they were rescued.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Unintentional example. Ifalna points out that she had a hell of a time figuring out how to act as a ghost, yet she manages to screw Lucrecia over from beyond the grave- and maybe even save Aerith, into the bargain.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Tifa has a very slow and sad version of this, realizing as she observes Midgar throughout multiple chapters that, in her capacity as both a 1st Class SOLDIER and a major element of wartime propaganda, she is, in a very direct way, responsible for the state of the world. This is what propels her to finally join AVALANCHE.
    • Of all imaginable characters, JENOVA experiences this, in a nightmarish, haunting way, as Aerith absorbs her, finally realizing what she has done to everyone she has ever consumed.
    No, no, the voice, it is so beautiful, it promises so much- but she- she wants to be, she wants to be herself, she cannot fight this willpower or this intelligence, it is eating her alive, is this what it is like to be eaten? She had not known, she had not known, she had not known. She thought this was natural. She had thought they knew, that they knew they were supposed to be eaten, she-is-wrong. She is prey and she knows at last and at the last the terror that gripped all her prey, as this predator sinks its teeth into her, and she is sorry.
  • My Greatest Failure: Tifa never outright says it, but killing Zack is the specific deed she can't quite seem to get over. She seems to think Aerith deserved to die, even as she lightens up on her opinions towards the woman, but the feeling of Zack's neck snapping in her hands continues to plague her.
  • Mythology Gag: Several, especially to the unused concepts and urban legends surrounding the original game.
    • The backstory monster, the Alpha Leviathan, was inspired by an urban legend spread when FF 7 first released of a superboss underwater other than Emerald Weapon.
    • Most of New Wutai and its citizens is a reference to Wutai's original conception, which was very different.
    • Yuffie's Tsiviet outfit and eye color are both inspired by concept art that wasn't used.
    • On a non-production note, Biggs' Turk codename, Vicks, is a reference to Final Fantasy 6, where Vicks and Wedge were used instead of Biggs and Wedge in the English translation by the venerable Ted Woolsey.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Nanaki's species, unnamed in canon, are now called Red Lions in this fic. Elmyra's husband receives a name as well, Abelard; she calls him Abe. Scarlet and Heidegger also receive first names, with the fic assuming Scarlet and Heidegger are last names; Vivienne and Frederick are the names chosen, though it's mostly trivia, since everyone just uses their last name anyway.
    • Borderline case; while Jenova is still called Jenova, that name apparently dates back to when it first arrived. In canon, where the Cetra only ever called it "the Calamity from the Skies" or something along those lines, and Gast was the one who named it Jenova upon finding it.
  • Ninja: Unlike in canon, Yuffie is a very good example of this, using the real-life skills most Ninja actually had- that being, primarily, disguises and lying. She's so good at it that no one in AVALANCHE has any idea she's anything but a random Wutai teenager they know. She also has one of the classic powers associated with more anime-style fictional ninjas, too- invisibility.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Hojo had his canon plan to breed Red XIII to an Ancient, though it had been Ifalna rather than Aerith this time. Lucrecia apparently laughed herself sick when she heard.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Tifa falls from the Plate during the second bombing mission; notably, no one who hears this can believe that she survived, and Sephiroth's only possible explanation is that the multiple roofs and floors of his church must have slowed her down just enough... that, and being a SOLDIER. It's pretty heavily implied that Aerith spent a lot of her energy keeping Tifa alive.
  • Obliviously Evil: JENOVA is portrayed this way, as something that just... eats, and had no idea it was doing wrong until Aerith began consuming it.. at which point it was horrified.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Averted, unlike canon. SOLDIER had hundreds of members, even if the 1st Class only ever equaled about a dozen all told. The Turks and AVALANCHE both avert this as well; the Turks, instead of being basically four people who know Rufus, is an entire Department at Shinra, while AVALANCHE is much more than just the cell in Sector Seven, being a worldwide resistance network. The cell in Midgar is simply the vanguard, due to having the most immediate way to harm Shinra.
  • Older than They Look: Weirdly, everyone seems aware that Lucrecia and Vincent are much older than they look; both are in their sixties, minimum, but look late-twenties at most. This doesn't seem to be questioned by anyone, and seems to be a commonly known fact; no explanation for why Shinra doesn't ask for the immortality serum are forthcoming.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Translated into English! It's the classic One-Winged Angel... and it's being sung by Aerith's cultists, with her name replacing Sephiroth's. It's part of the ritual where she forcibly merges a piece of Jenova and some other things with herself.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: Any land Shinra controls is treated this way, to the extent that they made up one of the two sides in the War.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Descendants.
  • Playing with Fire: Ifrit shows up. Tifa, who doesn't like fire, gives his summoning materia to Cloud. Who finds it odd, since during the War, Tifa was famous for using Fire materia.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Lucrecia treats her employees well and avoids experiments that could immediately lead to a high body count to maintain her high position in Shinra and the loyalty of her workers, thus ensuring that the more monstrous side of her experiments meet little resistance. Her only real blind spot is the fact that she was an Abusive Parent to Aerith, who winds up being both powerful and unpredictably dangerous, though Lucrecia is taking steps to prepare for Aerith's inevitable betrayal.
  • Primal Fear: Understated, but Tifa has a noticeable fear of fire. Doubles as an Ironic Fear, since fire was the element most associated with her as a SOLDIER.
  • Propaganda Piece: Tifa participated in a lot of these during the War, and actually remembers it fondly; one result is that she had a fanclub. Aerith had one too, though it was smaller, since- at least according to Sephiroth, who was part of Aerith's fanclub- Tifa seemed more like a normal person than the odd, distant Aerith.
  • Red Is Violent: Scarlet, of course. The Crimson Wings, the OC group that has taken over Wall Market, share the motif- their never-seen leader is even called the Rosso. Pushed even further with the reveal that Scarlet is running the Crimson Wings as the Rosso, and that she's a Tsiviet, meaning she's the fic's version of Rosso the Crimson.
    • Pushed even harder with the description of Scarlet's Wall Market living space; it's done up almost entirely in various shades of red. The only exception are a few scattered colors for her fellow Tsiviets- white, black, cerulean, and transparent pieces.
  • Saintly Church: The Descendants apparently do a lot of good work for the common people, enough so that Cloud, despite finding them creepy, genuinely likes them.
  • Send in the Clones: Basically how the Red Lions were revived; most of them work for Shinra now. Red XIII himself is a Shinra Head, and technically a Turk, albeit that seems to have been a bureaucratic convenience more than a practical reality.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Pretty much... everybody who was in the War with the Western Alliance. Cloud is the most notable character to avert this trope; it's even remarked that, bizarrely, Cloud's time in the War improved him as a person, since it knocked him out of his canon resentment and personal issues by forcing him to grow up. Tifa in particular is constantly haunted by memories of the War, especially the moment of Zack's death, and an incident she only ever thinks about as the fire and the ice and the mistake. It's implied to be her memories of whatever happened at Nibelheim between her and Aerith. She shows recurring signs of PTSD, including fits of rage.
  • State Sec: Turks.
  • Summon Magic: Very draining on its caster, apparently, and arguments exist in-universe about what makes summon materia. The summoner also changes the summon's form; When Cloud summons Ifrit, it wears Zack's face, and has an obsidian version of the Buster Sword.
    • Aerith's version of Shiva is now chained, which doesn't indicate good things about Aerith's current state of mind.
  • Super Soldier: SOLDIER, as in canon. Aerith was held to be the strongest of them, with Tifa and Zack right behind her. SOLDIER recruited extremely heavily for the War, used Aerith and Tifa heavily in the propaganda, and managed to be large enough that Shinra lost track of some of the 3rd Class afterwards; multiple characters mistakenly assume that Tifa is one of those renegade 3rd Class SOLDIER recruits, since most people think that Tifa is dead. The organization has fallen considerably since the War, partly due to the fact that so much of SOLDIER turned on the company when Zack left; Luxiere mentions that they don't promote anyone to 1st Class anymore, and there's notably less propaganda in support of them.
    • On a much more limited scale, Lucrecia and her Tsiviets are basically this, though each is a custom job rather than mass-produced.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The main POV is Tifa, but it bounces. Every Tifa chapter is followed by a chapter from someone else, and then a Tifa chapter. The only exceptions are when Interludes are used to break up multiple non-Tifa chapters, but it never strays too far from the main character. So far, besides Tifa, Rufus, Cloud, Sephiroth, Elena, Barret, Red XII, Yuffie, Rude, Luxiere, and Jenova have all had at least one POV chapter. Vincent wrote one of the memos that serves as an Interlude, but has not actually had a POV yet. The author, as a joke, has threatened to give Meteor a POV just to surprise readers.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Barret's reaction to the President's plan of Platefall is this, after he recovers and makes preparations. Specifically? He gives everyone in his department the biggest payday of their lives, tells them what's going on and to run for it so that they don't get caught up in the coming retribution, and then spectacularly resigns by announcing over the speakers to the entire Shinra Building that the President is planning to launch Platefall and pin the blame on AVALANCHE. It has to be read to be believed.
  • Theme Naming: Chapter names follow a pattern; the first POV chapter for a character can have almost any name, but any other chapter has a reference to a fairy tale, Biblical phrase, or related proverb as the chapter title. This means the chapter titles alone are nearly Reference Overdosed.
    • There's also a pattern with the chapters; each Tifa chapter is followed by a non-Tifa POV, and every non-Tifa POV returns to Tifa. The only exceptions are those chapters divided by Interludes; an Interlude divides non-Tifa POV chapters from each other.
  • They Would Cut You Up: A post-mortem Discussed example; Tifa burned Zack's body when she killed him as a favor to Aerith, who didn't want her mother, Lucrecia, experimenting on his corpse. Aerith claimed to do the same thing to Tifa after Nibelheim, which raises lots of questions about what precisely is going on, since Tifa and Aerith are both still alive.
  • Token Enemy Minority: Tifa was basically this during the War, being a Western-born SOLDIER for Shinra... who was fighting the Western Alliance.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Inverted. Sector Seven's slums consider the Train Graveyard to be a town secret, to the point of driving the people who talked to a documentary crew out of town afterwards. This is mostly due to fairly realistic fears that Shinra will plunder the place if they find out about it... and more personal reasons for some, since the ghosts of their children reside in the area.
  • Tranquil Fury: President Shinra is in this when he gives to order to have the Sector Seven plate fall. It's also deconstructed — as Barrett notices, he's not running on logical thinking, and can't be talked down.
    He ain't gonna listen to a damn thing she says. He can pretend to be logical about it all he wants, but his brain ain't running on nothing but angry. He's pissed, and this is how he's gonna take it out on everybody. Lucrecia's making sense, but it ain't sense that's driving his decisions...
  • Undressing the Unconscious: Downplayed. Sephiroth removed Tifa's broken armor after her fall, but she still had her underclothes on.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Tifa appears to have considerable underlying issues; one is a berserker fury that grips her in combat sometimes, blinding her and causing her magic to go off without conscious control. It scares the hell out of some kids she was trying to save at one point, and frightens her, too.
  • War Is Hell: The War with the Western Alliance did not leave anyone unscathed. Tifa displays multiple symptoms of PTSD during the fic, though it's hard to tell what's natural to her and what might be Aerith's doing.
  • We Have Become Complacent: Despite the very clear warnings that Lucrecia is pissed, and the fact that she practically owns most of Shinra, President Shinra flat-out ignores both her attempts to talk him down and the mounting pressure/Battle Aura that she's releasing. Barrett theorizes this is why — he's been on top of the world for so long, he's forgotten that he can actually fall off of the peak.
    How does he not see the danger? He has to feel it, literally, but... he has to be smarter than this... or maybe, just maybe, he was smarter than this, but he isn't now. He's been winning too long, been on top too long, doesn't know he can lose. I know that kind of stupid... that's how I got to be mayor, the old guy I replaced didn't think he could lose, and he didn't campaign like he should have against me. Same thing here, maybe? Or was he always dumb, and just got lucky, and it's only now that the luck's running out...
  • Yakuza: The Crimson Wings, being a mafia based out of the Wutai-immigrant heavy Wall Market. Unusually for this trope, they're lead by Scarlet, a white woman, though due to the particulars of this fic's racial and ethnic relationships, the fact she's a Midgardian probably makes her acceptable.