- Episode 7 takes an exact scene from the game, Sector 7's upper plate collapsing on the lower sector, and makes it even more terrifying than the source material, by playing it straight but just by adding in the horrified screams of the citizen's just before their deaths. Then cut to President Shinra cackling from his balcony as he observes his plans.Shinra: Breakfast is served. Mwahahaha...AH-AHAHAHAAA!
Shinra: Heidegger, Reeve DOES have a point.
- Before that, when discussing the plan in question, Reeve is warning Shinra of how bad of an idea that sounds. His response?
Reeve: *sighs in relief* Thank you, sir.
Shinra: Our PR will take a noticeable hit, and if our consumers take issue with our actions, they are more than welcome to sign up with one of the OTHER energy companies. Oh, wait. We crushed them under our chocobo-skin shoes. And much like them, this AVALANCHE group will feel the full force of Shinra. I am willing to utterly and completely destroy our enemies. No matter how many "omelets" need to be made. Do I make myself clear, Reeve?
Reeve: Yes... Sir.
Shinra: And besides... *the camera cuts to an outside view of the Shinra Building* Who could possibly stop US?
- Dr. Hojo isn't nearly as demented as his original self... no, he's far worse. His usual tendencies are there, and every scene with him in it does not play his demented nature (entirely) for laughs. Here however, he's revealed in his second episode to have a fetish for interspecies breeding (which just so happens to be in his experiments), which Cloud, Barret, and even Tifa are disgusted with. Then there's his voice... sweet Ifrit, Edwyn Tiong can sound creepy when he wants to.
- The scene where Cloud sees a headless Jenova starts off just as creepy as the original game, but then we're briefly shown a short montage of disturbing flashbacks, overlaid with Zack's voice repeating "You did nothing wrong" and ending with Cloud collapsing and screaming out. Tifa actually runs over to see if he's alright and tries to calm him down.Cloud: J-J-Jenova-!
Tifa: Shh, Cloud, it's just a word. Just a word. Repress. Repress.
- Episode 10 is chock full of this. Where do we begin?
- Cloud's nightmare. Rapid cuts, discoloration, distorted imagery, and shots of Sephiroth and his past actions, ending with a greeting in Sephiroth's voice.Sephiroth: Good to see you, Cloud.
- The results of Sephiroth's killing spree are just as horrific as they are in the original, if not more, given the Troll remark that Sephiroth gave Aerith: "Follow the blood" indeed.
- Which is made worse if someone imagines Sephiroth saying it exactly how Aerith describes, gasp and all. His greeting to Cloud was intimidating enough, but his voice with his direction to Aerith...Aerith: (gasp) ''Follow the blood."
- Which is made worse if someone imagines Sephiroth saying it exactly how Aerith describes, gasp and all. His greeting to Cloud was intimidating enough, but his voice with his direction to Aerith...
- When the party discovers President Shinra's body, they mention Sephiroth. There's a flash of lightning that paints the room white and creates Sephiroth's silhouette next to his sword and treats us to his name chanted by the music.
- Cloud's Tranquil Fury when he's finally had enough of Tifa's crap at the end of the episode. The bursts of increasingly eerie music that play in the background as his rant builds momentum only add to the unsettling atmosphere of the scene.
- And if you are aware of the canon material (or were paying attention to Episode 3), which wouldn't be an insignificant portion of the viewer-ship, then it becomes a case of Dramatic Irony as you'd know Cloud's recollection of the event is at least flavored by Zack's memory of the scene.
- The look of disturbing glee Aerith gives in The Stinger after Cloud vents at Tifa is either funny or frightening. Or both.
- Cloud's nightmare. Rapid cuts, discoloration, distorted imagery, and shots of Sephiroth and his past actions, ending with a greeting in Sephiroth's voice.
- The confrontation between Cloud and Sephiroth at the end of Episode 11 is played nearly as straight as it was in game except Sephiroth's VA was somehow able to make him sound even creepier than in the original dialogue.
Sephiroth: You admired me so much, and now you've experienced the pain I've felt for so long. We finally have something in common... Isn't that what you've always wanted? To be JUST. LIKE. ME?
- Abridged!Sephiroth stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the cast. No matter the context, he maintains his creepy monotone and menacing presence. There's comedy to be had by everyone's reactions certainly, but it also serves as a sharp reminder that Sephiroth is dangerous.
- One moment that stands out: in the game, Sephiroth kills everyone in Nibelheim because of his new belief that Humans Are Bastards. When confronted in the reactor in Abridged? He tells Cloud he personally singled out and murdered his mother to make him "just like his hero Sephiroth", an act of both malice and pettiness that's above even his canon portrayal.
- There's something equally disquieting about the fact that Cloud and Sephiroth's shared Say My Name moment starts looping and looping until it glitches out and the memory ends. Cloud's false memories are probably riddled with gaps like that.
- Episode 12 continues the trend of Sephiroth being a monster with the change to the Midgar Zolom: it's upset and rampaging because Sephiroth killed its mate in an extremely gruesome manner. Given how cordial it is once Aerith pulls her Androcles' Lion, it's possible Zoloms aren't as vicious as they're treated as in canon, making it seem less like self-defense taken to the point of overkill and more like flat out murder.
- Really, when you get down to it, Sephiroth in general. Among Team Four Star villains, he's in a league of his own. Freeza, Cell and The Major were plenty terrifying in their own right, but it was usually offset by their wicked sense of humor. Sephiroth doesn't even have that going for him. He's introduced as The Comically Serious, sure, but after his FaceHeel Turn, he is played dead seriously and darkens the mood of whatever scene he shows up in, as if he missed the memo that this series is supposed to be a parody.
- The noises the Nibelheim Reactor Mutant makes. It's no wonder Cloud refuses to elaborate on it further, despite Red XIII's insistence.
- Despite being played for laughs, the sight of the dead Midgar Zolom is still an unnerving display of Sephiroth's power, showing just how powerful he is compared to the party, and how woefully outmatched they are.
- Aerith refusing to heal Tifa after she's poisoned. Yes, the poison isn't actually lethal, but it's still Murder the Hypotenuse mindset just short of actual murder.Aerith: ...Out of mana.
- After the battle with Jenova BIRTH in Episode 14, Aerith proves just how possessive she is of Cloud when she smashes a materia simply because the summon, Shiva, was considered beautiful by him. And of course, makes it seem like an innocent accident.
- Dr. Hojo implying to have had "experimented" with Aerith's birth mom. It's enough for Cloud to cut the group's vacation short.
- In Episode 16, there's a mass shooting at the Gold Saucer. Coming after two very deadly mass shootings in the U.S in the months before the episode's airing, one of them being Las Vegas, a similar place to Gold Saucer, the scene is a little bit...real.
- In Episode 17, it's revealed that the head of the complaint department is paid by Dyne by being given his victims coats after he kills them. Worse yet, he's said that he's been present when Dyne's killed them a few times. Even if it is played for laughs, it's still rather unnerving.
- Why does Dyne murder countless people at random? Shinra didn't have a real reason to kill people, so he's decided that he doesn't need one for himself either.
- At the end of Episode 18, Red mentions how fathers always break their promises and should never be trusted. When Barret asks if he has father issues, Red, in a complete 180 from his usual demeanor, starts snarling like a feral animal. Barret's reaction is most likely the viewer's reaction. And, arguably, the fact that he instantly switches back to his usual nice personality afterwards, then snarls again at each mention of his father, makes it more unnerving.
- Episode 19 took a common interpretation of the petrified Seto crying meaning that he was still conscious and made it explicit: He's very much alive, very much conscious, and very much in AGONIZING pain.
- Episode 20 features the debut of Vincent, who's amiable right up until he mentions Hojo, his voice dropping down to a demonic level before just as suddenly snapping back to his calm even tone. If he gets that angry just talking about Hojo what's it going to be like when he and Hojo meet in person?
- The Season 3 trailer is just overlapping, distorted voices that are vaguely recognizable as the party's, but one voice in particular stands out: Sephiroth's. It's three simple words, and the delivery is chilling.Sephiroth: You're too late...
- Followed by a shot of Aerith's White Materia hitting the ground, and the series logo on a black background with the first few notes of Aerith's theme playing. The moment is coming...
- Episode 21 starts with Vincent transforming into a werewolf and eating the Materia Keeper. Cloud and Tifa are scared silent and the screen is coated in bug guts. That can't be pretty...
- The implication that the real reason Cait Sith often talks just to fill empty air is so he doesn't have a moment to close his eyes and hear the sounds of the Sector 7 plate being brought down on dozens of innocent civilians, and their accompanying screams of terror.
- Episode 24 has Sephiroth gaining the Black Materia. Both Sephiroth and Aerith screaming Cloud's name as he cries out in distress is terrifying.
- Before that, Cloud's breakdowns due to Sephiroth's influence. He keeps repeating "Reunion... Black Materia..." over and over in a Madness Mantra. Then, when he appears to snap out of it, Cloud is eerily calm, which is even more unnerving. Worse still, if you listen carefully during the madness mantra, you can hear Cloud's voice shouting, "I'm Cloud!" over and over again.
- Considering it often gets overshadowed by "One-Winged Angel" as Sephiroth's theme, AinTunez manages to make "Those Chosen By The Planet" stand out and even more unsettling, by making the chanting less bombastic and more creepy, to accentuate the evil of Sephiroth whenever he's onscreen.
- Before Aerith's death, she talks about how she wants to say goodbye, and wants to tell Cloud something, but it comes out jumbled, with one clear sentence from Sephiroth:Aerith: (distorted, lowered sound) You're Cloud, never forget that. x3
Sephiroth: You're Cloud, and you're too late.
- Sephiroth's murder of Aerith has Sephiroth in full Kick the Dog mode and giggling like a creepy child. Cloud's determined response is also scary, for just how serious he is about it.Sephiroth: What hurts MORE, Cloud? Holding another dead loved one in your arms... Or breaking your promise to her?
Cloud: The only thing I'm going to break... is your neck.
Sephiroth: *laughs evilly* Very well. You will find me at the Reunion. The Northern Crater. Go there... You puppet.
- Sephiroth's departing words and his delivery of said words can send a chill up a spine.
- Throughout Sephiroth's taunting, the beautiful piano version of "Aerith's Theme" gets drowned by an eerie version of "Those Chosen By The Planet" that doesn't stop until Sephiroth leaves the scene.
- Fridge Horror example: The Jenova-LIFE fight is removed here, accentuating the fact that it wasn't just a piece of Jenova in Sephiroth's form that killed Aerith. More than in the actual game, it might as well be Sephiroth's actual body that was there that impaled Aerith. It doesn't help that the Sephiroth that's there isn't dismissing Cloud's emotions like in the original scene, but is openly gleeful about the murder and rubs it in Cloud's face like he with the latter's mother to rile him. While the original may be ambiguous about who's really running the operation, in this canon, it's all Sephiroth and his pettier evil that's at play.
- Following the "burial", unlike in the original, there's no dramatic declaration of his identity and mission. Cloud only says one thing, and it's terse, no-nonsense, and dripping with Tranquil Fury. It makes what he says almost like a direct order, and nobody's in the mood to even say anything about it. It definitely sells how hard a cold-hearted murder like Aerith's hits and the amount of anger it would induce.
- Episode 26: Like in the game, Sephiroth reveals to Cloud that the Nibelheim Incident he remembers was not what happened. Cloud didn't follow Sephiroth into Nibelheim. Zack did. Cloud of course tries to deny it and so does Tifa, but she doesn't for long. Then Sephiroth shows the party the picture of himself, Tifa and Cloud, but Tifa's badass smirk is replaced with a look of sadness and the blurred image of Cloud sneezing is replaced by Zack's clearer, confident-looking image. Cloud has a huge breakdown and desperately asks himself just who and what he even is. And then, his will collapses and he accepts that he's just a puppet created by Professor Hojo, another Sephiroth Clone.
- What sells it is Justin Briner's performance as Cloud. Coming off from last season, he's still in deep monotone with vengeful no-nonsense anger, none of the usual energy we expect from him, apart from ONE minor moment of levity. Once he's fully broken, his monotone becomes full on robotic. The whole thing is disturbing, especially when you remember that in his normal voice, it's not hard to hear Izuku Midoriya, which should just tell you how much O.O.C. Is Serious Business here.
- The Sephiroth Clone that disguises itself as Tifa and tricks Barret (who has the Black Materia in his possession) to go help Cloud. Just listen to the way its voice slowly switches from Tifa's to Sephiroth's as it says, "Thank you, Barret. You're a real life saver." Worse, Tifa's voice never really disappears, resulting in a Evil Laugh with both voices.
- Professor Hojo's explanation of his experimentation with the Nibelheim survivors to test his "Jenova Reunion Theory" is accentuated with both a spinning screen with Cloud in focus, and Edwin Tiong's sickening delivery, twice intercut with Cloud muttering to himself "I'm a failure" and realizing that "It wasn't a pursuit, it was a summon", both lines in complete dejected monotone, before he approaches Sephiroth's crystalized body, casually greeting it.
- When Cloud is fully broken and completely under Sephiroth's thrall, Tifa's, and only Tifa's, voice is almost completely muted in he distance, really selling that she's been completely blocked off. Note that Cloud still perfectly hears Barret's and Hojo's voices. We still hear her desperate pleas, and it's heartbreaking to hear, with none of the usual husk in her voice.
- In both Hojo's explanation and immediately before the fight with Jenova-DEATH, the screen spins in a very disorienting way, highlighting how completely messed up this all is.
- Unlike in the game, once Cloud's completely realized his memories, along with his very existence, is fake, he doesn't even bother begging Hojo for a number. The moment Hojo calls him a failure, the way he's just so accepting of it as he's levitated up to deliver the Black Materia to Sephiroth is so much more disturbing.
- During Cloud's final breakdown, Zack's voice tries to intervene, but even he's completely blocked off by Cloud's mental collapse, and is reduced to a monotone Broken Record saying "You did nothing wrong." It just ends up adding to the disturbing nature of the scene.
- Episode 27: There is a dead calm and yet scared tone in Barret's voice as he says to Tifa, "Cloud...he f***ed up." And then he opens the window to show Meteor in the sky, slowly making it's way to the planet. Worse still, giant monsters dubbed Weapons are marching around the world. They're supposed to destroy any threat to the planet, but since Sephiroth put up a barrier around the Northern Crater, they can't detect him. So, they're going around destroying the other threat to the planet: the Mako reactors along with any settlements that are built near them. And just when it can't get any worse, Tifa learns that Shinra is planning on publicly executing AVALANCHE as a scapegoat.
- Episode 30: Shinra's plan to blow up Meteor fails. Cid's rocket hits the surface, and everything goes white. For one brief moment, it seems like it worked... Then someone in Midgar points up at the sky. Meteor's surface is cracked and damaged, but it's still there and still descending towards the Planet. Bugenhagen, watching from his observatory, just shakes his head slowly, as people in Midgar either give into hysteric sobbing or just collapse to their knees in despair. For all they know, the end has come.
- The final shot of the episode, showcasing Shinra's Mako Cannon towering over Midgar, is surprisingly sinister due to the atmosphere and music, accentuated by the fact the Victory Fanfare isn't played for the ending card, and the final shot is Cid's shocked expression. Even moreso for those who played the game and know that, if it fires at full power, it will drain all the Lifestream from the Planet and doom it even if it does kill Sephiroth.
- Episode 31: The final Showdown with Hojo.
Vincent: The nightmare...is over.
- How bad is it? Vincent of all people is horrified by Hojo's Helletic form. More understandably, he's horrified by the revelation that Lucrecia had sex and procreated with the mad man.
- Even worse, remember all the talk Vincent gave about making Hojo horribly suffer? And yet all he does as Chaos is end him with a single stroke? What's not to say that Hojo's willing and gleeful mutation disgusted even him probably killed any desire to follow through on that, likely because nothing he could do would make the mad scientist suffer, if the latter was just getting even more turned on from becoming a sin against nature.
- If it wasn't already creepy enough back in episode 9, hilarious as it also was, the return of Hojo's FFFFFFETISH line is even worse now.
- Hojo's final moments deserve special mention. Even in his Helletic form, his voice, while deeper and twisted, was still recognizable. As he dies, he lets out a soft, almost proud "Sephiroth..." that sounds like it came from Satan himself. His departing laugh is equally disturbing, sounding far more demonic than his usual cackling. It's an effective reminder to the audience that, despite Hojo's moments of Black Comedy, he was evil incarnate, and his death is equivalent to a demon returning to the depths of Hell from which it spawned.
- What Hojo was doing before the encounter deserves mention. Reeve notices that the Sister Ray is preparing to fire again, calls up and finds that Hojo is planning to use it to send more Mako energy to Sephiroth. Reeve states Hojo firing the Sister Ray again will cause it overload and destroy Midgar. Hojo states he doesn't care if Midgar is destroyed, the fact that he will die as well not phasing him. As long as Hojo knows his research succeeded, he doesn't care how many lives are lost, even his own..
- How bad is it? Vincent of all people is horrified by Hojo's Helletic form. More understandably, he's horrified by the revelation that Lucrecia had sex and procreated with the mad man.
Nightmare Fuel / Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged