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Cloud is a descendant of Thor.
  • Like Thor, Cloud possessed high strength even before his mako enhancement, being able to lift the buster sword and even wound sephiroth with it;
  • He has high durability as well, having survived Sephiroth impaling him;
  • And he has cross-dressed in order to save Tifa(like how Thor cross-dressed to save Freyja) with the help of a Silver-tongued partner who suggested the act in the first place.
Even his starting materia is lightning!It would also explain why we never see his father, and Cloud wouldn't have red hair like Thor either since Blond hair is dominant over red hair.

Sephiroth was holding back during his battle with Cloud in Advent Children.
  • This troper never considered the idea until I came upon a crossover fanfic that discussed the topic and now looking back at the film it's starting to make a lot of sense. Think about it: Cloud had no Materia and even though is Geostigma had been cured, he'd realistically still be weakened after suffering from the effects of the illness of months. Sephiroth came back at full strength and yet never used anything other than his sword. No Heartless Angel, No Supernova, just trying to slice Cloud to ribbons with Masamune. Even with Zack's help, it's starting to look a lot like Sephiroth deliberately threw the fight. Why he'd do that though is anyone's guess.

Jenova is a Leviathan Guardian.

  • All that jazz about it being the Planet's life force can be [[Handwave dismissed]] with one of two explanations. One, the Cetra were wrong. Or two, it is. The Planet is just that close to becoming another Phaaze. This handily explains why Cloud has those episodes right before he sets the bombs, and why Sephiroth [[Understatement loses it]] when he finds Jenova; A few Pirate Logs say that, when unprotected, Phazon can cause hallucinations, and Mako Reactors have a ton of Mako in them. Materia is a safer, more streamlined, but weaker version of P.E.D. technology, and Limit Breaks are Hypermode.

Cloud is some sort of dimensional nexus between Square's videogames.
  • Think about it. He stars his own game, yes, but is pulled into Ivalice in FFT, appears in Kingdom Hearts, and somehow knows about the existence of the Xenogears... he mumbles about it in Mideel, while being bound to a chairwheel...
    • Not to mention he appeared in Ehrgeiz and Chocobo Racing, has a shop in FF 8 (Theres a text only shop called Cloud's Shop in Eshtar) and Zidane mentions him in FF 9 if you look at the Buster Sword in a weapons shop.
    • Not to mention he appears to have a had a sexchange and shows up as the main protagonist of FFXIII.
    • Note that Cloud and Lightning are nothing alike. Lightning is closer to Squall in terms of personality and weapon choice
    • Nah, it's Gilgamesh. Then again, Gilgamesh didn't appear in VII... Could Cloud and Gilgamesh be one-in-the-same?! Or in cahoots?!
    • Couldn't be, as Gilgamesh wields Cloud's sword in XII, but it is clearly only a replica (if you read the kanji).
    • But, it could, as he marked Zack's grave with the sword, so he needs a replica.

In the inevitable sequel...
Genesis (who somehow released himself from his self-imposed prison thingy) will team up with Nero/Weiss (who fused, and conveniently fell from the sky in front of Genesis in Dirge of Cerberus' ending and presumably free from Hojo's mind control) and Cloud and fight Sephiroth (who came back from the dead for the third time) to make up for what they did in their games. Not that sophisticated a plot, but fangirls will be sure to go Squee. Also, Denzel will be playable. Why? No reason.
  • Genesis was introduced for Crisis Core. But since the Compilation ends at the 20th anniversary by Word of God, and there's a Sequel Hook, this is possible. Good news for the ones who like all the Compilation, bad news for the ones who didn't like it, or only liked Crisis Core. I don't know about Denzel, but it's possible.
  • Genesis, back at the end of DoC, has to fight Sephiroth imo- but if we take LOVELESS as a possible vague prediction of things to come, he will allow himself to be killed to preserve the planet, which is supposedly his mission: to be the planet's protector now. If the three friends in LOVELESS are Angeal as the hero, Genesis as the prisoner, and Sephiroth as the wanderer, that would be the way it would end according to the story. Returning to fight Sephiroth is foreshadowed in Crisis Core, notably in the Training Room scene, especially at the end, with Genesis saying "Nothing shall forestall my return" while the camera is on Sephiroth, who narrows his eyes slightly as the red light in the room lights him. Case of the Lifestream: Black indicates that Sephiroth has difficulty resurrecting himself due to the fact that his memories of himself are fragmented/gone, which was why he needed Cloud and his memories to fully manifest after Kadaj absorbed Jenova cells in Advent Children. If enough time passes between DoC and the end of the Compilation, Cloud may not remember Sephiroth well enough to help bring him back (something that perhaps not only Sephiroth but everyone else may want at this point if he keeps causing trouble from within the Lifestream, as he would be harder to defeat in the Lifestream, necessitating his physical return) but Genesis likely would, as he would be the last person left alive who really knew Sephiroth well. This passage of time may be long enough to give us at least Denzel, Marlene, and the girl with the moogle doll whose brother dies, as playable characters. Hell, maybe Priscilla too, who knows. To tie it back together to LOVELESS: Genesis will allow Sephiroth to kill him (which, since Genesis is the conduit through which Sephiroth has returned, will also destroy Sephiroth, unbeknownst to him) to save the planet, thereby achieving redemption for his past sins ("to find the end of the road in my own salvation... and your eternal slumber")("I offer thee this silent sacrifice"). The "gift of the goddess" is not an individual's immortality but the immortality of the planet itself, which is gained when both the avatar of Destruction (Sephiroth) and the avatar of Salvation (Genesis) return to the Lifestream at the same time, keeping things in a balanced state- and balance is a favorite theme in the Final Fantasy series. Note: some of the more uncommonly heard concepts here like the gift of the goddess being the planet's immortality and containing destruction and salvation are from English translations of Crisis Core guides and the like found on various web pages; I didn't make that part up. Most of it is full on WMG though, baby.

Cloud is copying Squall?
The evidence is quite obvious that the creators of Advent Children and beyond have tried to restore the franchises greatness by doing this, in hopes to make Cloud as cool as he once was. Think about it, he goes from wearing a sleevless turtle neck to wearing a full leather outfit. Who was the first FF hero to (notably) wear a full leather outfit? Squall Leonhart. Then they decided to give him something to symbolize his feelings from the inside, so they give him an Animal Motif in the form of a wolf motif. Who is the most famous Animal Motif FF Hero? Squall Leonhart with his lion motiff. Now, not only did they give Cloud a wolf motif, but they also gave him an accessory/weapon and reoccurring form of the motif that he wears at all time, Fenrir. Just like how Squall constantly wears BOTH Lion Heart and Griever accessories/weapon. AND then he kept his same emo personality, and turned it to make him even colder to his friends/allies, despite he would be pass all that by now, to mirror the way Squall acted around his friends and allies. So some how, Square Enix took a character that they made before, and made him a copy of a character they made later.
  • Except that Cloud wears black in AC. He doesn't wear black leather. Other then his gloves. Maybe you are thinking of Tifa instead.

Genesis is dyslexic.
There are so many serious WMGs on this page, but this idea came to this troper the other night and it won't let go. As a sufferer of dyscalculia, with several dyslexic relatives and friends, it makes way too much sense. He shares the following in common with most otherwise highly-intelligent and talented people that she knows with this condition:
  • Fixates on a single work or series and memorizes it to the exclusion of all else, making out to scorn other pieces as inferior. (In truth being too lazy/intimidated to slog through them manually, or else listening to them on audio in private.)
  • Tries to appear to be reading constantly, in order to deflect any suspicion. (In his case, it's likely a matter of vanity and not wanting to appear even more inferior to Sephiroth in the eyes of the public.)
  • Obsesses over said work and talks about it constantly to keep up the appearance of reading it out of favoritism, not fear.

Just wanted to get that out there.

  • Being an Autistic person myself, I always thought Genesis had Asperger's Syndrome. And thought that Sephiroth was High-Functioning Autistic before his psychotic episode at Nibelheim.
    • This Aspergic troper would like to debate the Genesis point. We might not be capable of empathizing with other people as much as norms, but we still have morality and, although we have a hard time showing it, we do care about our fellow man. Genesis quite clearly doesn't. I think it's more likely that he's some kind of sociopath.
      • Can't he be both? Or all three?

Sephiroth is Jesus.
Didn't he cause huge impact on Gaia even after he died? Didn't he come back? He's angelic, is infused as a human embryo or has a 'rebirth' of sorts from Jenova (Jehovah/Yahweh, who obviously is God), and Shinra Corp were destroying the planet — if he could make a flood as a deluge, why not a meteor? He even has one wing, symbolizing he's only half human.
  • Don't forget the Compilation here. Advent Children, Before Crisis, Crisis Core, and Dirge of Cerberus are the major releases... arrange them chronologically, and you get Before Crisis, Crisis Core, FFVII, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus. Now look at the first initials: BC, FFVII, AD. The original game, then, corresponds with the birth of Jesus. Somehow, I don't think it's Barret.
    • Don't forget, either, that arranged with full initials, after FFVII we have 'ACDC.' All we need is a lightning strike set between those two. Clearly, after FFVII, the world is on the Highway To Hell.
  • Just look at the movie. Geostigma is akin to original sin, as it is man's pride to try to eschew God in terms of power by experimenting with Jenova cells. What happens at the end? Mass baptism to wash away the sin.
  • Which means Cloud is some sort of Longinus.
  • Just one problem with all this... Sephiroth is batfuck evil.
    • This can be explained understanding Gnostic teachings. Summed up, Gnostics believe that knowledge is the ultimate good, and the physical world is the ultimate evil. Therfore, Jesus, as the creator, is seen as evil, where Satan is the good guy, since he brought the knowledge of sin by tempting Adam and Eve to fall. Final Fantasy games have all had large Gnostic elements in them. Whether it's Garland, who dies and is resurrected with godlike powers to destroy the world, or like in FFX, where you have to destroy God to get rid of Sin. The themes have always been present.
  • Maybe Sephiroth is Lucifer? Sephiroth is a one-winged angel—a fallen angel, perhaps? Cloud came back to life, so maybe he's Jesus. Plus, Cloud does the "baptizing", taking away the Geostigma, and Jesus is known for healing people.
  • But wait, there's more!
    • This is simply cosmetic, but Sephiroth has white hair and glowing eyes... just like Jesus (Rev. 1:14)
    • If you consider the attack Supernova, the premise would be to blow up the sun and melt the earth with extreme heat. II Peter 3:10 says Jesus will do this at His second coming.
    • Sephiroth wants to destroy this earth. Jesus wants this earth of sin to end so He can remake it (Rev 21:1).
    • Sephiroth mostly kills members of Shinra. Throughout the game, they point out that Shinra is destroying the earth. When Jesus returns, He is said to strike at those who destroy the earth (Rev 11:18).
    • Sephiroth has numbered followers that follow him wherever he tells them to go, and he can manifest his power through them. So does Jesus (Rev 7:4-8, 14:1,4).
    • Sephiroth controls these followers because he is one with his mother. Just like Jesus is one with His father (John 10:30).
    • Safer Sephiroth starts the fight coming down in the clouds. You cannot physically attack him without long-range attacks, so it can be said he doesn't touch the ground. He's in clouds, and it almost looks like a chariot of clouds. These are all attributes of Jesus' second coming (Rev 1:7, I Thess. 4:16, Pslm. 104:3, Rev 14:16).

Aerith allowed herself to die.
It's heavily suggested in the game and Advent Children that Aerith was responsible for the Lifestream's final assault on the Meteor. It makes sense that she would have to enter the Lifestream itself in order to conduct such an attack. And what's the easiest way to get the Lifestream? Die.
  • Bugenhagen actually says at one point, though it's obscured by the awkward translation, that Holy (like Meteor) is so powerful that its use requires the user's sacrifice. Running off by herself when it was obvious Sephiroth would follow her wasn't foolishness; it was the plan.
    • I just played the PC version, and it seems that this is a little clearer in the cleaned up translation. I always figured that Aeris simply pulled a Good-aligned version of "My Death Is Just the Beginning"
  • I had always gotten that from it personally.
  • Kinda Jossed in game, as the characters actually discuss that possibility and come to the conclusion that Aerith may have intended to come back alive after summoning Holy.
  • This means then that...
  • Jossed by Word of God. Aerith's death was never intended to be a Heroic Sacrifice nor did Aerith allow herself to die. Nomura and Sakaguchi both said that Aerith's death was meant to portray the brutality and senselessness of violence, not to be some sort of heartwarming noble sacrifice. It doesn't help that Aerith, after getting a sword through the back, proceeded to get a look of absolute shock on her face. She obviously wasn't intending that to happen.

Aerith is Jesus.
She, the last of those chosen ones of the Lifestream (The Cetra), sacrifices her life so that mankind may live (she was even pierced while summoning the Holy spell aka Praying for the absolution of mankind and the Planet from Meteor/The Apocalypse, not unlike the Biblical scenario with Longinus). In Advent Children Cloud cures everyone by Baptizing them in the spring where she died. Also, everything about her abilities have religious overtones (Holy? Great Gospel? Come on!) What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?!
  • Aerith's use of Holy and the Lifestream actually seem more Jewish than Christian. Aerith saves the world by using various means to summon the power of the entire Planet to stop Meteor. It should be noted that the Planet and the Lifestream are represented as a collective consciousness/soul of all life, a concept associated more strongly with some forms of Judaism, which do not take a stance on the idea of an afterlife and believe that life comes from and returns to one homogeneous source without any kind of isolated, eternal souls.
  • This means that Jenova is Satan, and Sephiroth is the Antichrist. By extension, Christians are following the false religion, and the Fangirls have the mark of the beast. (Oh, Crap!. Fundamentalists. Raging Fangirls. *cue battle mode*)
    • No. Jenova/Sephiroth symbolizes the OT God and Judaism respectively (Sephiroth is the Kabbalah, and also the Sandherin who killed Jesus). Aerith on the other hand symbolized true, messianic Christianity who died for our sins (not the HERESY-screaming Christians nowadays).
      • Actually, the game's reference to Kabbalah is a bit more nuanced. Sephiroth represents a being in Kabbalah who believes himself to be a god only because he is manipulated by his mother (Jenova, in this instance) and "shielded" him from the knowledge of the true deity. This is why Sephiroth initially (at the beginning of his fall) believes that he is a Cetra and that he has a divine right to rule the world. Sephiroth's name refers to the manifestations of god because his form is ironically used by the "false god" Jenova to obtain the Black Materia. Jenova is manipulating his desire to be a god (from the time when he believed it was his right as a Cetra) to gain control of the Lifestream as it originally intended. It should be noted that the Cetra represent both god and the Jews at different levels. Sephiroth's relationship to the Cetra refers to the god interpretation, which creates his god complex. Jenova's relationship to the Cetra refers both to the god interpretation through her "shielding" of Sephiroth, as explained above, and the Jewish interpretation through her impersonation and genocide of them (as seen in early Christian claims to be Jews who had simply found the Messiah, and later attempts to destroy the Jews for various reasons). Aerith, on the other hand, is a true Cetra/Jew who is killed without warning by one who once claimed to be a Cetra/Jew.
  • Cloud didn't baptize them in the place she dies, BUT he did baptize them in the rain she created to protect him from that sephi-clone.(The rain is theorized to be her final limit-break "Great Gospel", in the first part of the attack it rains).

Barret is Jesus.
Or at least, he's Mr. T; which amounts to the same thing. He pities the fool who doesn't let him get in on this action.
  • Impossible. Barret is a timelord......

Yuffie Kisaragi and Rikku from Final Fantasy X are the ''same person.
... and they're Jesus. In purgatory.

In short, everyone is Jesus in some way.
Betcha you didn't know this was such a religious game when you played it.

Jenova is the REAL Big Bad, and Sephiroth is her Dragon.
Word of God be damned. Just try to tell me this doesn't make more sense. I'm not saying this because he's a Draco in Leather Pants, but because really, who makes a better villain - an ancient super-powerful being from god-knows-where, or some Bishōnen Norman Bates Expy?
  • This actually makes more sense than what the expanded universe wants us to believe if you consider several facts the original game provides: 1) Jenova came to the Planet in a meteor; 2) the Black Materia has been used at least once (indicated by the wall art in the Temple of the Ancients and the fact that the Ancients felt a need to prevent the materia's use); and 3) there is only one crater on the surface the planet large enough to be caused by Meteor (discounting the one that Ultimate Weapon created and the one by Lucrecia's cave, which was caused by a much weaker impact than that of the North Crater, having simply displaced a small part of a preexisting mountain range instead of gouging into the earth and raising the land around it, which makes it unlikely to be caused by something the size of Midgar). Jenova was inside the first Meteor. The ultimate destructive magic isn't just a kinetic force; it is a virus that infects all life and absorbs the life force of the planet, ie, Jenova. Jenova was almost certainly manipulating Sephiroth to bring in "reinforcements" so it could finish its destruction of this world and move on to greener pastures. Every one of Sephiroth's bodies after Nibleheim was built from Jenova cells, and all of Sephiroth's power is derived from his fetal connection with Jenova (the Mako inserted into him is insufficient to distinguish him from any other SOLDIER). Thus, it make no sense that Sephiroth could have the power to control Jenova, and the inverse scenario is not only more likely, but built into the plot of the game.
  • Both of them suck. Hojo was the real Big Bad.
    • Hojo was the 'human' enemy but Jenova is more akin to a cosmic source of all this insanity.
    • So in short, Jenova is the Batman, and is using Sephiroth so she can get her plans of infecting the world back on track. It makes perfect sense, actually.
    • This WMG makes perfect sense to me for one reason only: Sephiroth, the arrogant jerk who spent half the game gloating and spouting madness doesn't have a final boss speech. Kefka had a legendary speech, and even Ultimecia got one while the player tried to keep a straight face at her speech impediment - but Sephiroth just floats there and shoots energy at you? No. He doesn't talk because that's not Sephiroth. That's Jenova, and Jenova doesn't need to have her puppet babble on anymore when she's moments from parasitically taking over the world.
      • In that case... why didn't Jenova get a Final Boss Speech then?
      • Same reason she gets exactly 1 sentence in the entire game. No ego. No need to say anything unless it's a means to an end. By the final boss she's pretty much won. In-character for her to shut up and start blasting, but definitely not for Sephiroth the boasty boaster who never stops boasting.
    • Not to mention that Sephiroth's descent into villainy was very sudden. He was pretty much a normal soldier before he went to Nibelheim and got in close proximity to Jenovah. It's just too damn convenient for him to go nutty right then.
    • We know that Jenovah can mess with people's minds and make them see/believe false things. We know that people with Jenovah in their bodies can be controlled. And Sephiroth has had Jenovah cells inside him since before he was born. This WMG is my preferred theory simply because everything in the game itself pointed to it.
    • This troper was always under the impression that the above was true until Sephiroth fell into the lifestream. Jenova probably did trigger his snap while throwing all the other misinformation on top of it, but once Sephiroth fell into the Lifestream, he was in control. After all, the player is chasing Jenova around the entire world (who just happens to be taking his form) and Jenova appears to be trying to get to Sephiroth, which just sort of makes it a Sephiroth Reunion instead of a Jenova Reunion.
      • Well, technically Jenova's Head was also at the Northern Crater. For all we know, the Sephiroth clones and Jenova's Body was actually trying to reach Jenova's Head, not Sephiroth.
      • Not for all we know. We do know better. Hojo TELLS us that it is because Sephiroth is the one controlling events. And we never get an opposing opinion or contradicting facts.
      • On the flip side, the fact your using Hojo as a plausible explanation already makes suspect. Dude was crazy, man, and obsessed over Sephiroth. Not exactly the most objective person to ask. Not to mention the exist of Jenova-SYNTHESIS, who is not part of Bizzaro-Sephiroth at all.
      • Regardless, Jenova actually being in control is also unlikely. She doesn't seem to have any ego at all from in-game evidence, and she might actually just be a corpse afterall. Therefore, the most likely explanation seems to be a third option, altogether.
      • I always thought it was odd that Jenova broke out that specific night when cloud etc. were in the building. Maybe it was a coincidence, but I think either cloud being there or her breaking out was a factor dependent on the other (because of them being so genetically connected due to the experiments with Jenova cells that Cloud was subjected to) and perhaps this event was what launched the whole Sephiroth/Jenova subplot/mainplot on top of Shinra/Avalanche/the planet's efforts.

The Buster Sword does NOTHING!
There's a sequence in Crisis Core where Zack uses a beach umbrella with no difference. Not to mention he states he usually uses the blunt side...
  • Except you see him use the bladed side during gameplay.
  • Either way, it's a 7-foot-long piece of metal. OF COURSE it does something. It's just that that something happens to involve smashing monsters' skulls open.
  • Related WMG: The Buster Sword is a reverse-edged blade. Zack (and Cloud) always use the blunt side.
  • Or, at that point in the game, Zack himself is so effin' powerful that using a beach umbrella wields the same damage effect as the Buster Sword.
    • Exactly! Zack and Cloud's Limit Breaks don't come from the Buster Sword, they come from Zack and Cloud. Who are superhuman. Which is why Cloud can still use his Limit Breaks with the First Tsurugi and Zack can do them with a dammed umbrella.
  • This WMG actually works really well with a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration. The Buster Sword is Cloud's weakest (non-joke) weapon, and is usually replaced by the player at the first opportunity. There's really nothing special about it besides its symbolism.

The Lifestream is sentient. And it's a Jerkass.
Its solution to the threat to itself in the form of Shinra? Create gigantic bioweapons that threaten to kill every living being. Its solution to being called upon to use its lifeblood to stop a Colony Drop? Use said lifeblood to kill everyone. Its solution to dealing with a vaguely-defined corruption of its lifeblood by The Virus? Cause a ridiculous amount of hyperimmunity-based pain to the victims that for some reason doesn't actually kill them outright. Need I go on?
  • Don't forget— It's solution to a lesser amount of people dying is to summon two other bioweapons: One to kill every living thing in sight, and the other to round up the collected lifeblood so it can hitch a ride on the Cosmic Train and find another planet to inhabit, while the previous one wastes away as a cold forgotten rock. Which... wait... wasn't that Jenova's plan!?
    • 'Cept Jenova targets inhabited Planets and consumes them. Omega would just search for another rock to seed with the Lifestream and start from scratch.
  • This is the Planet we're talking about, it doesn't matter if everything dies as long as the Lifestream and Planet survives. Do you care about the lives of the bacteria in your body? It's very likely the Planet suffers from Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • Minerva in Crisis Core is possibly the manifestation of this.

Davros is responsible for Sephiroth.
Davros of Doctor Who infamy once said "Yes... yes. To hold in my hand a capsule that contained such power... to know that life and death on such a scale was my choice. To know that the tiny pressure on my thumb, enough to break the glass, would end everything. Yes - I would do it. That power would set me up above the gods! And through the Daleks, I shall have that power!" Well what did the Cetra call Jenova? They called it The Calamity From the Sky. So where did it come from? My theory is that Davros developed a collection of cells from harvested from his own flesh that would grow into the ultimate Dalek. Human-like and capable walking and surviving outside a Mark Three vehicle. Davros realized that it would take centuries perhaps even millenia to fully refine his creation and that all he could do is wait. So Davros launched his creation, a synthesis of all that is Dalek into the past onto a planet whose inhabitants now call it Gaia or simply the Planet. Then Doctor Hojo injected this collection of Dalek cells into a fetus produced through invitro fertilzation, leading to the monster most of us love to hate, Sephiroth.
  • As an addendum to my own theory a second Evil Genius, with a god-like persona and self image along the power to back it up, used his scientific genius to provide his own genetic contribution to proto-Jenova. And thus, along with Davros, the Tiger-Force at the core of all things has brought devastation to that once lush and peaceful planet. He has turned the planet into a cosmic sewer and has fouled paradise beyond repair.

The world only industrialised recently, perhaps within President Shinra's lifetime
It would do something to explain why swords are still a viable and popular weapon, for one thing.
  • The presence of cellphones sort of borks that. Perhaps they merely never discovered gunpowder until quite late.
  • Also, note that prior to Mako energy human civilisation's primary fuel source was coal, and afterwards they discover this crazy thing called gasoline.
  • It's not Earth. They took a somewhat different technological path due to the availability of Mako. Also, maybe swords work better against some of the monsters roaming the place (although Barret's arm cannon disputes this...)
  • Or the presence of magic for long-range attacks decreases the effectiveness of using long-range weapons in the first place.

All party members are in fact different personalities in Cloud's mind
This would explain why member disappear when they don't have dialogue. It also explains why we can see things that happen in Shinra, since Cait Sith's controller is actually Cloud, and why when Cloud is incapacitated we can still control the other characters.

Since Sephiroth is part of the party during the flashback, Final Fantasy VII is the story of Cloud's struggle within himself.

  • Well that would tie in well with Kingdom Hearts I and II, where Cloud refers to Sephiroth as his "inner darkness."

The series takes place inside Aerith's imagination.
Ever notice how you see the same shot of Aerith's face in green light at the beginning and end of the game? Obviously, the story of the game takes place within her mind. The segment after the credits featuring Red XIII seems to have "actually" taken place though. However, let's see what we can find out about Aerith from this new perspective:
  • Aerith is an obvious Purity Sue. She can do little wrong, she has the only Holy materia, her final limit break is Great Gospel, she's Too Good for this Sinful Earth, and her death saves the world. So yeah...
    • Actually, Aerith is a Purity Sue in Advent Children only, (and Kingdom Hearts series, but then again all Final Fantasy characters are toned down by this series, to the fans annoyance), and that's Clouds imagination, how Cloud sees her, possibly. She has this Fatal Flaw, which I consider it enough for her not to be in the Mary Sue territory, overconfidence ("I can save Tifa on my own"(from Don Corneo), "I was raised in the slums, I'm used to danger"... "I can save the world on my own, what can possibly happen"). But according to your theory she's a pretty decent fanfic writer(the plot is amazing), despite some inaccuracies.
  • Sephiroth is a Villain Stu, which is why he is the one to slay Aerith. While Aerith does not quite strike up a romance with our favorite white-haired pretty boy, one can now see why so many fangirls are in lust with Sephiroth. However, an Aerith/Sephiroth shipper would notice that they are Defecting for Love. Zack, and by extension Cloud, are on the other hand merely Aerith's toyboys.
    • Zack and Cloud, her boytoys? Sure, why not. She always seem to find herself in a Love Triangle, whatever the adaption. But Sephiroth a Villain Stu... he has Character Development (doesn't have to be always positive) through the Compilation, to separate him from a Marty Stu.
  • Quite a few inadequacies with the world of FFVII and its cultures can be directly attributed to Aerith's laziness in designing the world as well as her fascination with Japan (Wutai), native American cultures (Cosmo Canyon), and large cities (Midgard).
    • She's creating her own world map, (Midgar is spelled without the "d").
  • Related to the large cities item, Aerith the Writer clearly knows nothing of farms or animal breeding, as shown by the nightmarish chocobo breeding segment.
  • More about Aerith personally, she seems to have grown up in a large city, but enjoys natural settings. She seems also to be Christian, or to have been at least raised Christian, since Aerith the Sue hangs out in churches a lot and uses the Great Gospel (see above). If Aerith Gainsborough is her real name, then one can also assume English ancestry (with possible American citizenship).
    • Or she's Japanese, or simply not Christian at all, when mix-and-matched Catholic and Jewish (The Promised Land) traditions. Oh, and "Aerith The Sue"? You hate her to death, don't you?
  • Could also explain why, despite the world being completely different than Earth, during Sephiroth's Supernova attack it is revealed to orbit the same sun as Mercury, Pluto, Mars, etc. She's simply imagining the Earth in a different future than hers.

Related to some theories that Cloud is the nexus of Square games (among other things), Aerith, since she presumably created Cloud, is the creator of all of these fictional works. Naturally, they feature the same characteristics of an amateur writer.

  • The early Final Fantasy games were probably written by Aerith as a child, since they have relatively simple settings and plots.
    • This must mean that the remakes were really Aerith's rewrites of her old stories.
  • Kingdom Hearts was obviously a Disney fanfic in which Aerith yielded to the temptation of including her own original works and characters (or Sues). From this, one can glean the enthusiasm that Aerith harbors for Disney properties.
  • Xenogears was clearly the result of discovering coffee and/or "certain substances" while attending one's first philosophy/comparative religion classes at one's liberal arts school. By extension, Final Fantasy Tactics was the result of a government/politics or history class. Aerith is/was an Arts & Humanities major. She should take more economics classes.
  • While at her college, she persuaded a few of her friends to create a student film. Though the film was unfinished, Aerith later wrote a characteristic work based on the short film. From the differences in the student film and the analogous scene in the work, one can guess that the other students had some input on the film. One can only guess how good the film would have been had work on it not ceased due to finals. (See the ending of the FFVIII demo disc.)
  • Final Fantasy IX was an homage to her earlier works and a means of assuaging her nostalgia during a dull summer vacation.
  • Final Fantasy X was an assignment for her first writing class, assisted by more "certain substances." Naturally, she received a failing grade.
  • Final Fantasy X-2, on the other hand, was not written by Aerith at all, but by her Brother (capital intended).
  • What about 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Crystal chronicles, the three movies and all the other spinoffs?
  • As for Chrono Trigger... Yeah, I've got nothing. Probably more "certain substances," but definitely Aerith, since Lucca appears in an early area in Xenogears. Maybe Aerith didn't take that history class after all.

tl;dr: Aerith is the real owner of Square Enix.

Jenova is The Thing
Both are shapeshifting alien creatures that fell to Earth. They both infect people and turn them into hideous abominations. If Jenova isn't the thing, she has to at least have been inspired by it.

Hojo is actually an idiot who knows diddly-squat about even the most basic of genetics
Too many reasons:
  • He proposed breeding Aerith and Red XIII so they could have specimen that wouldn't die before their research was completed. Aside from the sheer stupidity of trying to breed a humanoid and whatever Red XIII is, the obvious solution to this problem is to preserve a DNA sample.
    • Red XIII's Grandpa was human and presumably his blood relative, so there is a good possibility his species can cross-breed with others. I think Hojo knew what he was doing.
    • Correction: The person Red XIII happened to refer to as "Grandpa" was human. There's nothing indicating that he is actually related to him. How many kids call an un-related friend of the family something like "Uncle Bob"?
    • John Connor did. And now he knows why you cry. But he can't.
  • His genetic engineering program consisted of injecting people (and one embryo) with cells to see what would happen. Not parts of Jenova's DNA, but the entire cell. If Hojo knew that Jenova's cells were viral and that injecting the whole cell would actually be an effective way of delivering her DNA into the host, he should have realized that this was probably not a Cetra and that injecting people willy-nilly with an unknown virus might not be such a good idea. If he didn't know, then Hojo fails biology forever, because injecting normal cells won't do anything.
    • I think that he knew quite well that she/he/it was no cetra and how bad an idea it was. Going from that conclusion, he did it anyway because he's an f'n psychopath.
    • Of course he did, there's a 100% chance that he watched Dr. Gast's tapes where Ifalna says Jenova wasn't a Cetra. You'll not he also knows about the WEAPONs (another topic on one of Gast's tapes) whereas none of the other people seem to be aware such a thing existed, even in folklore and legend.
    • In fact, in Crisis Core, he actually calls Hollander an idiot for believing that she is one.
  • In the original game, as well as a DMW flashback in Crisis Core, Sephiroth said this regarding Hojo in Nibelheim "A man once told me never to use an unscientific term such as 'mysterious power'! It shouldn't even be called 'magic'! I still remember how angry he was." "Hojo of Shinra, Inc. ... An inexperienced man assigned to take over the work of a great scientist. He was a walking mass of complexes." Sephiroth clearly thinks that Hojo is a hack. I would say that this isn't WMG, it's canon.

Sephiroth was Dead All Along, and Cloud is responsible for everything.
Sephiroth was actually killed at Nibelheim and all the appearances of Sephiroth, who embodies all of Cloud's fears, throughout the game were simply delusions conjured up by Cloud's fractured mind, which is demonstrated to be an a state of extreme psychosis for most of the story . So who is responsible for all the actions attributed to Sephiroth throughout the game? Cloud himself! Everything starts when Cloud first sees Jenova in Shinra Headquarters. After this, Cloud's group is captured. Cloud falls asleep, he wakes up to find his cell door open (a blood trail starts there) and that Jenova has been freed and that someone is responsible for murdering everyone in the building. This is attributed to Sephiroth, although no one in the party ever sees him. In fact, no one ever seems to see Sephiroth except Cloud! The rest of the party almost exclusively states looking for a "black-caped man," a description that fits the various Jenova-infectees, but notably doesn't seem to describe Sephiroth himself!

When Aerith dies we see Cloud draw his sword and the rest of his party yells at him to stop, but Cloud in fact kills Aerith! He simply imagines seeing Sephiroth kill her. Later, when Cloud acquires the Black Materia in the Northern Crater, he disappears from the party for a while, during which Meteor appears; clearly Cloud was responsible for this too. Upon his return from this situation he is found in a highly catatonic state, which he recovers from only during the sequence within his own mind, where he finally comes to terms with the fact that he killed Sephiroth, and he is dead. The party returns to the Northern Crater and finally defeats the reunited Jenova, but this causes him to relapse and he has illusions of fighting Sephiroth while freeing Holy, but after the final battle Cloud has a vision. This is the final duel with the shirtless Sephiroth at the end, which takes place entirely within Cloud’s own mind, in which he is empowered to finally destroy the Sephiroth within himself once and for all (represented by him performing the ludicrously overpowered Omnislash on him) Only then, at the very end, is Cloud finally free from his delusions.

  • This would all fit in perfectly with the Kingdom Hearts explanation of Sephiroth being Cloud's inner darkness.
  • But... why would they continue to follow him around in his party if he just killed Aeris right in front of them?
    • The original leader of this AVALANCHE was Barret, a guy who didn't hesitate to give the thing that "Sephiroth" wanted directly to the only person on the party who can be mind controlled by the alleged "Sephiroth." Clearly, Wisdom was their dump stat.

Sephiroth was Dead All Along, and Jenova is responsible for everything.
Okay, so Sephiroth finds out about the Ancients and gets pissed off at humanity. Okay. Fine motivation. Then he dies within the hour, and the next time a "Sephiroth" is encountered, he's instead working with the exact specific entity responsible for killing the very Ancients that he got mad at humanity for "out-evolving". It's a motivational 180, and only makes sense if Jenova hijacks Sephiroth. All of the Sephiroth clones encountered turn out to be humanoid Jenova fragments that mutate into the real deal with every battle, so why not the original as well? Bizarro Sephiroth looks pretty much exactly like a malevolent alien monstrosity possessing a dead human. Don't ask me about the next form, though the wing torso is even more bizarro-like to this troper.
  • Gast had used Jenova cells in developing Sephiroth, making his body easier to control. After dying, the cells took over. The clones heard the call from the main body, but since they were made by Hojo, not Gast, they were weak (with perhaps one or two exceptions). The weaker clones were used as tools to free the original, then cast aside. They were never going to "join" with anything.
  • Sephiroth was only mad about the whole "out-evolving" thing because he thought that Jenova (who he thought was his mother) was an Ancient and it sort of became a you killed my father, prepare to die. After he fell into the Lifestream and figured everything out, he probably didn't care because he learned Jenova was neither his mother or a Cetra. Also, even if that wasn't so, working with Jenova to destroy the world isn't that outlandish since there's only 1 Cetra left, and he probably thinks he's giving humans their just desserts by unleashing the cataclysm that should have destroyed them instead of the Cetra.

Sephiroth was guided to start Instrumentality by Jenova.
... Well, he was One-Winged Angel, so, to be the Instrumentality Angel, wouldn't need too much. Also, the Instrumentality basically involved hijacking Eldritch entities (Jenova and the Lifestream, and Evangelion's Adam and Lilith) to create a divine collective unconscious (The Lifestream). Almost worked, it it wasn't for Shinji— Err, I mean, Cloud.
  • But Sephiroth seems to be like somebody from the NGE-verse sent to the FFVII verse. Dysfunctional mommy issues, Kabbalistic symbolism, Instrumentality plot involving Eldritch Abominations, and so on...
    • It seems that both Sephiroth and Cloud symbolize Shinji's conflicting personalities, Cloud being the player whose responsibility is to save everyone, Sephiroth being the internalization of Gendo Ikari (kabbalist, instrumentality, urge to hijack and become God, and so on).

You can only use Soft and Revive on party members who fall in a battle in which you participate.
Aerith was too far away for the others to rejoin her team (or rejoin her to their team), and the battle where Nanaki's father was Petrified happened 20 years ago. Possibly, the Soft and Revive need an imprint of the character's mind, to bring them back in a non-vegetative state, while Potions and Antidites can be used on members outside of the party as they only heal minor wounds and cure Poison. (Several more detailed explanations of the different potion types to make this theory work may be found here.)
  • I always assumed Phoenix Down or Revive was used to resuscitate someone who was just Mostly Dead. Soft turns you back into a person but if your statue was damaged too heavily in the mean time you're screwed. Trying to Soft the father and then Revive him wouldn't work because he's already too far gone by that point. Weathering alone would mean he doesn't have any skin anymore. The worst we see the main characters get is knocked around a little or lightly fried. Plus, there isn't an item to restore lost limbs, or recover someone's flesh that has decomposed.
  • Whereas I always assumed that Soft and Revive only work on people who want to come back, a la D&D's Raise Dead. Aeris felt that she'd finished her role and didn't have any desire to respond to Phoenix Down, and Nanaki's father had moved on.
  • One crossover fanfic offers the explanation that Sephiroth had actually laced his sword with a poison that negates the effects of Soft and Revive.

Cloud was possessed by Sephiroth (or his Heartless, or his Memory, or whatever) at the end of the game.
After the defeat of Sephiroth, you see a number of green Lifestreams surround Cloud and one red one. The red one enters Cloud but doesn't come back out. So the manifestation of Sephiroth in Advent Children isn't just a side effect of the Jenova cells still within Cloud or prologned contact with Jenova's Head In a Box; Sephiroth had hitched a ride on Cloud's soul/subconscious/whatever and if Aerith Ex Machina hadn't happened Sephiroth would have had his Revenge by Proxy, brutally murdering the cast through Cloud. (This would explain why Cloud's been more socially withdrawn despite his Character Development in the games: he's aware on some level of this possession and he doesn't want to accidentally go into a berserker rage around anybody.)

Sephiroth was a shizophrenic driven by Jenova's alien instincts.
Hojo is mentally unstable, no two ways about it. Sephiroth inherited a predilection toward insanity from Hojo, though up until the events of the game it had either not yet manifested, was being treated, or he kept it hidden from others. (Schizophrenics can be very good at hiding their illness.)

When Sephiroth approached Jenova at the reactor, he was in close enough proximity to pick up on her alien emotions and instincts. This coupled with what he learned at the mansion triggered a psychotic episode.

When Sephiroth and Jenova merged in the lifestream, Jenova's alien instincts were combined with Sephiroth's human experience. His instinct now told him to get into the lifestream. His human mind worked out that if he did this, he would essentially become a god. That was rationalization enough for him. His schizophrenia, now in full swing thanks to the trauma, gave him the superiority complex needed not to care about destroying the 'inferior' humans in the process. In his mind they had wronged him; they deserved to die anyway.

So, full blame can't really be pinned on either one. Jenova had the drive and the instinct; Sephiroth had the means and the mind to carry it out.

  • I thought this was more or less the canon of what happened.
    • Well, not sure about the Schizophrenia part, even though Sephiroth does act... kinda like a paranoid schizophrenic. But regardless, he DOES have Jenova Cells that somehow mutated inside him. Those probably are the parts of him that gave him the Jenova Instinct to start to a family barbecue on the Planet.

Sephiroth was Dead All Along and is still responsible for everything.
Cloud actually killed Sephiroth in the Nibelheim Incident. But right before dying, Sephiroth's personality, memories, and, most importantly, his hatred, were imprinted on Jenova. Thus the "Sephiroth" everyone was fighting for the entire game was never anything but a copy of Sephiroth's mind embedded within the Jenova cells. This of course means that Sephiroth managed to become an Omnicidal Maniac Big Bad who nearly destroyed the world while stone cold dead. And I don't mean that his spirit is somehow possessing Jenova from beyond the grave; I mean dead.

99% of the game is really Aerith seeing of the future
That's why we see the shot of her at the end, the exact same shot that introduced her. She's looking in the window and sees something funny in her reflection, it's the events of the game up until the point when we see the shot again. Aerith then turns and think to her self that It's [[all just a dream]] and walks off, perhaps having many moments like this before...
  • Which brings up an interesting bit of her character, if it's true. It's one thing to believe she went to the Ancient city thinking she might die. It's quite another if she's seen the future and knows that she's going to die, but does it anyway.
  • This may have only been half-serious at the time, but the Final Fantasy VII Remake implies this may have been what actually happened, and shows the consequences of Aerith trying to Screw Destiny.

Aerith is still alive
Because Sephiroth killed Aeris!
  • Ha! Semantic nonsense!
  • There's a HUGE difference!!

Sephiroth was being controlled by Jenova who was in turn being controlled by Sephiroth
No, not a typo. Sephiroth was taking his cues from his alien half-mummy, who was actually just a figment of his insane imagination. As an above WMG mentioned, he's a super-powered Norman Bates or Alfred Ashford. From his point of view he was carrying on the will of his dear mother, when in reality, his own very powerful will was actually what enabled the braindead meat puppet that Jenova became after 2,000 years to act again at all. He wanted it to act through him and so it did, because it was him in the first place.

Neither Sephiroth or Jenova's will are fully in control, both have become some sort of amalgamation creature.
Sephiroth is not actually in control of his actions, but neither is he completely blameless in them. What happened was he went to the Nibelheim reactor, encountered the reactor creature, and realized that he might be just like it, which causes his mind to start to break. This combined with his close proximity to Jenova allowed Jenova to start trying to manipulate Sephiroth's mind, and Jenova's will trying to overtake him combined his research into Shinra's experiments drove him completely insane. However, Sephiroth's own strong will caused the link to work both ways and exert his own influence on Jenova's mind as well, eventually resulting in merging of both their individual minds into something that's neither completely Sephiroth nor completely Jenova, even if their bodies remained separate for some time afterwards.
Aerith is the real hero of the story, and Jenovah is the real villain
The story of Final Fantasy VII is basically the final chapter in the war between the Ancients and Jenovah carried on to present day, with Sephiroth and the main characters only 'conscripted' to each side. It's the arrival of Jenovah that sets everything in motion and threatens the planet, so she's the true villain. Aerith is the one who knows how to stop her and performs a Heroic Sacrifice to carry it out, making her the true hero. Since that neither side can act on their own, they need help to carry out their plans. Sephiroth acts as The Dragon on Jenovah's behalf by freeing her head, getting the Meteor Materia, and blocking Holy's attempts to save the Planet. Aerith's friends act on her behalf to stop Sephiroth and Jenovah. The good guys eventually win, and, through them, so do the Ancients.

Sephiroth is also suffering from his own identity crisis
Y'think Cloud had reasons to have his psyche fracture? Try Sephiroth. All throughout his life, Sephiroth always knew that he was different from other people, never knowing where he really came from but surrounded by a near-mythical reputation by others. He then goes to the Nibelheim reactor, where he's horrified by the idea that he's related to the monsters in the pods, and his mind begins to splinter. A combination of the nature of his creation, his proximity to Jenovah, and seeing a glimpse of the truth of his birth, his psyche completely shatters. Everything he knew was a lie, and everything he feared was true. Like Cloud, he went into a delirous state as he desperately tried to find his true identity. Thanks to Jenovah's influence and his desperate desire not to think of himself as a mad-scientist project, he created the persona of being the 'Last of the Ancients', with Jenovah as his mother and the human race as a convenient scapegoat for all of his rage. His new false persona now created, he unleashes a bloody massacre on the human race, subconsciously fulfilling Jenovah's plans while believing himself to be a god, not a freak of nature. He madly pushes himself toward this goal, because like Cloud, he wants to believe the lie he's told himself instead of the harsh reality.

Sephiroth is in purgatory.
But he's not Jesus, sorry. He killed Cloud and Tifa in (sort of) cold blood, and has been spending the time since having his sins tortured off of him by being mentally abused by the universe and killed over and over in the form of the JENOVA pieces. When he becomes the One-Winged Angel, his sins finally atoned for, he's finally allowed to die. Aerith is his guardian angel, or supervisor, or whatever you might call it. The Clarence to his George Bailey.

Jenova is the same species as Lavos
Look at Jenova's apparent life cycle: crash lands into the world as a "meteor", influence the evolution of the life forms of the native species, turns said world into a lifeless husk, rinse and repeat.
  • This actually makes sense, as each generation of Lavos goes to a planet, incorporates the DNA of all creatures into it, then breeds more with the beneficial DNA bred into them. The vastly different looks and a few properties like regeneration of Jenova and Lavos can easily be explained by their ancestors each going to a different set of planets and thus acquired vastly different DNA.

Characters can naturally use magic (Limit Breaks), Materia just enhances their natural abilities.
I thought that was obvious. In game you can unequip all Materia and still use Limit Breaks, and Word of God states that Cloud outright refused to use Materia in Advent Children for ethical reasons. Didn't stop him from spamming Limit Breaks like he had a cheat code on.

Jenova is a Sorceress.
Inspired by the "Fling Adel into deep space" WMG on the FFVIII page. Some time after the events of FFVIII's epilogue, Esthar manages to capture a really really monstrously warped sorceress (who is not part of the Ultimecia line). They put her into cold sleep, and not wanting to risk Adel ver.2, they fling her into deep space and keep their fingers crossed that this one doesn't come back. She ends up crashing into the FFVII world and the rest is history.

The distant ending that takes place 500 years later is NOT a Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies ending.
There are alternate ways to interpret Midgar being covered in greenery and wildlife 500 years after the events of FFVII that don't amount to "everyone died", and one good reason for that is because everything else that was capable of killing the residents of Midgar didn't. A Meteor to the Planet's face didn't kill everyone, Geostigma and a bunch of meddling kids didn't do it, and Omega couldn't kill them either. Maybe the residents got a little savvy and decided something:

Crap, the Planet is sentient, and it's pissed off at us. Related to the WMG up above, they realize that the Planet has been trying to kill them but don't know exactly why. In an effort to appease it, they slowly wean themselves of technology, including the alternative methods like fossil fuels, and turn their attentions to learning the abilities they had originally evolved out of using. That is to say, Midgar becomes a Neo-Cetra civilization. It's a lot harder to piss off a Planet when you know what its problem is. Alternately, they could have realized

Crap, all of these bad things are happening in Midgar. We're out of here. Is there a trope for that? Simply put, the residents move out of Midgar and scatter to the corners of the Earth, to other less populated towns. So, maybe Choco Billy has new hands helping him in his farm, or Kalm gets a burst of people to fill in its latest expansion (courtesy of Dirge of Cerberus), or Mideel gets rebuilt, leaving the Planet alone to handle turning Midgar back into... whatever that is.

Supernova is an illusion and the characters are suffering from a Heroic BSoD. This is reflected by the hit point loss, which reflects not injuries but also willingness to fight and defensive skill. Cure spells are as much morale-bolsterers as healing mechanisms.

Notice how characters are perfectly fine up until they reach quarter HP. Then they kind of hunker down, as if wounded. A theory runs that this is due to the characters simply not being injured until this point: a skilled warrior may have deflected all those nasty looking physical attacks while a strong spirit could have resisted the spells. As for a MISS, that could be put down to the character brushing the attack aside so easily they aren't affected. This also explains how even the weakest enemies always cause 1 damage: even the strongest warrior will get ground down eventually, and the characters aren't gaining supernatural strength, they're just tougher and better at defending, and used to battle-trauma due to having fought so many times.

This willingness to fight leads me onto the supernova theory. The characters have apparently just seen the end of the world. So cue Heroic BSoD. They believe they've failed. This hits so hard that they lose the will to fight on and the next blow will kill them as they have no will to defend themselves. This is why the attack registers a percentage loss, rather than a fixed amount of damage for defence to factor in. Healing spells have two elements: they heal the physical wounds, this is true. However, they also cure mental anguishes, bolstering spirits, restoring concentration and just generally acting as rallying cries. However, the world isn't destroyed really, Sephiroth was using an illusion. This is why he can use the attack again, the characters fall for it again not because they've suddenly got the Idiot Ball but because they can't know for sure if Sephiroth was for real this time.

Sephiroth possesses Cloud at the end of the game.
But differently from above. The red lifestream current was Cloud's soul. This WMG is assuming the fight with Safer Sephiroth was supposed to be a representation of a Battle Of Wills In The Center Of The Mind for Cloud's body. Until Advent Children, Cloud and Sephiroth had turned into a sort of fusion, Cloud happy that he had friends and saved the world and a little mopey because of all the stuff that went down in FFVII, and Sephiroth suffering a Villainous BSOD because his mummy's dead and he can't destroy the world without getting a heck of a lot stronger (since Cloud's best attack for world-destroying would be Meteorain, and the best it could do at ~level 60-98 is wipe out the life and maybe put a few dents in the surface five or six enemies at a time). In Advent children, As soon as Kadaj pulls Jenova's still-living head from the (psychically shielded?) box (still-living because it's a virus, not a single meat-creature), Sephiroth gets a surge of confidence. Cloud and Kadaj hit the ground at the same time (the instant that, in the film, Sephiroth appears in a burst of black feathers), and the rest up to the Mako rain is a Battle in the Center of the Mind. Running through and chopping up the chunks of building in midair? Getting through the mental shields the other had set up. Cloud was on the losing side of the battle, until he unleashed the secret weapon that could strike Sephiroth's weak point: Symbolically the Omnislash, literally Sephiroth's mommy issues. Cloud says "get the Precision F-Strike out of my head", and wakes up to the rain (not necessarily even of lifestream matter) that Kadaj, Loz, and what's-his-name can no longer handle thanks to the advanced progression of the Jenova virus thanks to touching its source. The baptism scene may or may not have been Cloud using a combination of the local water and his antigen-filled blood as a retroactive vaccine (since Kadaj had turned the water black by shedding his own virus-strewn sweat and possibly blood into it), but it could be just as symbolic and mystical as it ever was.

FFVII is the triumph of polytheism over monotheism.
Jenova is Jehovah, the grouchy "HERESY" god of the Abrahamic Religions. Sephiroth is Jesus (but can't be In Purgatory because the Cetra won). Aerith is Gaia (or, depending on which romanization you think was intended, Aeris), the last of the Ancients. Jenova arrived two thousand years ago, and immediately started trying to wipe out any Ancients (any confusion is in this being the Theme Park Version of Abrahamic religion). Since Aerith lives on even after her destruction in the minds of those who survive her, but Jenova is remembered only as that freak that tried to Kill Us All once her last followers (the Remnants of Sephiroth) are dead from their own insistence on fighting.
  • Well, modern takes on religion are less of the totalitarian "HERESY"-declaring bureaucrats of olden days and more in line with individualist spirituality, like the New Age and neopagan religions.

Jenova is an incarnation of Omega WEAPON from the future.
Omega was supposed to absorb the Lifestream after everyone was killed and take it to another planet. The upper half, with the wings and the comparatively humanlike body, is the human part of the species, and the lower half is the embodiment of the part of the species that Nanaki is (yes, they are the same species as humans, and therefore [due to the possibility of breeding humans and cetra] Aerith X RedXIII is possible). This unfortunately implies that, as of the time of JENOVA, there are no more of that part of the species, or the two branched off enough that Omega WEAPON split or something. At some point, Gaia is in danger again, and releases renewed forms of the WEAPONs, resulting in a humanoid winged creature that carried what could be considered a Virus that tries to regenerate its energy and rebuild its species. The unfortunate part of this is, instead of landing on a planet devoid of sentient life, it falls through time and becomes the Boss Villain of the story told by the game. Thanks to the impossibility of it destroying its world in the past to rebuild our world in the future, the humans survived but at the cost of destroying the future of the race (500+ years in the future, but the future nonetheless). The geostigma was FutureOmega/JENOVA and the lifestreams not being equipped to deal with having itself over there, as well as right here, and trying to overpower the "impostor".
  • If you try to see it, Jenova and Omega have the same motive: suck out the lifestream, get onto space.
  • Alternatively, Jenova is the Omega WEAPON of another planet. It was shown that the WEAPON's are a little simplistic, possibly to the point of being 'programing' rather then sentient. So, Jen Omega had the directive of 'collect the souls, find a new planet to put those souls on, then collect again'. The Cetra came from another world, right? So who knows how many worlds they terraformed before settling on this one. Each one could have it's own stable of WEAPONS. It would also make sense that they would be within traveling distance of eachother, if the Cetra....traveled that distance. As to the 'put the souls on the new planet' directive...a lot of what we see her doing if corrupting and mutating the existing life. It could just be incompatibility, rather then malice on her part. It'd be like if you tried to put plant DNA into a person. Plants arn't evil, we just can't gentically (or soul-y) coexist. The malice came when Seph went off the deep end and took over. After all that, Reunion. Collect all the souls.

Shinra is a lot more evil than any of us realize.
Shinra is a corporation that milks the Planet of its lifeforce and apparently doesn't give any in return, making the land around Midgar a barren desert. The Lifestream is the current of energy in all living things, which returns to the planet once the organism dies, continuing the cycle. It´s very likely that the Shinra corporation realized that their relationship with the Planet was 'all take and no give', and tried to fix it. How?

Spin a globe, pick a spot on it, wipe it off the face of the Planet. A forced attempt at speeding up the cycle of life, putting the Lifestream back into the Planet for them to be able to turn it into Mako. Nibelheim? Exactly as planned. Corel? It´s a ghost town for a reason. Mideel? ... They didn't get far enough to kill off the people there, but they were about to!

Cloud's buster sword has an anti-gravity field around it.
It explains both how he is able to lift it, spin it as his finishing pose, and the reason he has such spiky hair.

Final Fantasy 7 is a deconstruction of Final Fantasy 6.
  • Besides all the Magitek, Sephiroth is Terra, who both find out that the Empire/Shinra is experimenting on and drawing power from their parents. Terra decides to fight against them and bring unity back between humans and espers; Sephiroth decides humans doesn't deserve to live and plots to become part of the Planet to destroy them.
  • Cloud is Celes, who are both betrayed by the empire they work for and tortured. While Celes decides to fight them with her new friends, Cloud suffers from the traumatizing experience, losing his sense of identity, going into a coma when he learns the truth, and nearly dies.
  • Yuffie is Shadow, deconstructing the Highly-Visible Ninja trope—- Shadow is still pretty awesome and ninja-like, while Yuffie is a pretty terrible ninja unless you stop paying attention to her.
  • And AVALANCHE is The resistance- A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits with a small percentage of trained fighters. In FFVI- La Résistance makes it possible for the day to be saved! In FFVII- La Résistance is mercilessly slaughtered thanks to a novice error! The interesting thing, though, is the Reconstruction zig-zagging towards the end and in Advent Children- In FFVI, The world is shattered twice over, and the world is poisoned, but life goes on. In FFVII, the world-shattering plot is beaten back, the soul of the land and the people are poisoned, and it all goes away thanks to application of more brute force and Miracle-Cure (149gil at your nearest baptismal spring)!

FF7 is a decontruction of JRPGs pre-1997 in general.
  • The only character who thinks he's The Chosen One is Sephiroth.
  • The use of what is essentially magic used as technology was somewhat deconstructed in FFVI (basically just to the effect of "MAGITEK BAD!"), but even more so here, where magic as technology is what allowed the world to industrialize. Unlike creating the futuristic utopia that harnessing magic creates in so many other JRPGs, this society reflects the period of industrialization, especially in the pollution and class stratification elements.

FF7 is an Alternate Universe of Neon Genesis Evangelion
Jenova is Lilith while the WEAPONs are EVA. Sephiroth's ultimate plot is Instrumentality. I have no idea what I'm talking about.
  • The EV As are cloned from Lilith, while the Weapons come from the Planet. While according to Evangelion, all life a.k.a. The Lifestream came from Lilith, making Aerith a Rei. Jenova is more of an Adam, both are analogues for God and tried to take away the Lifestream from the planet.

Weiss and/or Nero is/are alive
  • When Weiss says, "Let us go to him," he knew that Genesis was going to come get him. Hence why he wasn't too torn up about losing the fight with Vincent.

Nero may or may not be spliced with Weiss
At the end, Weiss wasn't completely assimilated with Omega because Nero's darkness made him "impure."

The Lifestream rejected Nero, who is currently wandering the face of The Planet
If Omega rejected Nero, why wouldn't it's fuel source?

Even in the original game Rufus had his own moral code which he followed.
Note that his father was a corrupt monster of a man who among other things: allowed inhumane testing to be done by Hojo on Projects G and S (Genesis and Sephiroth), ordered a facade of Nibelheim to be erected to cover up the massacre, allowed Hojo's 'Reunion' theory to be tested by experimenting with the survivors of said massacre, sends highly advanced and costly robots to deal with a small group of terrorists, and finally ordered the destruction and death of potentially thousands of people in Sector 7 to kill 6 terrorists (and not take responsibility for it...)

Rufus' only 'evil' things were that immediately after Meteor's revealed, he makes Barret and Tifa scapegoats for it and execute them to placate the public. Underhanded and a real dick move, yes, but they presumably would have been sentenced to execution anyway, for blowing up the reactors and killing a bunch of people at the beginning of the game. He let everyone else go free, even though they'd all been thorns in his side. So, he probably wouldn't have cared if they'd died in a fight with the Turks or anything, but he has at least enough of a sense of fair play not to have people who haven't seriously broken the law to death. All that talk about fear over money, but he actually cares about the people and the money equally. After facing down Cloud, he rarely intervenes in attacking AVALANCHE, and actually allows them to go wherever they want, as long as they continue chasing Sephiroth. It is actually a very clever strategic move on his part, as why would you waste soldiers on chasing a madman when you have 9 terrorists doing the exact same thing...

Jenova is even more dangerous then believed.
Specifically, didn't Sephiroth say that controlling the planet is done by infecting it's lifestream? So that would mean that somewhere out there are multiple entire worlds consisting of basically nothing but Jenova cells. Not only is there the threat of Jenova on The Planet, but also a possible army of equally aggressive Genius Loci out there as well.
  • Uncountable Jenova planets to be exact, all with lifeforms mutated beyond all unimaginable grotesqueness. Cue Cosmic Horror Story.
    • Screw Advent Children, that should have been FF7's sequel material; some other JENOVAH-like creature sensing that she'd been killed and came over to investigate.
    • Final Fantasy VII takes place in the Dead Space universe!

The Planet is Spira some time before the formation (And fall) of Zanarkand.
In addition to the obvious parallels (The similarity between the appearance of Mako and the appearance of the pyreflies, the idea of a technologically advanced world existing at some point in the past), there's also the concept of the sphere grid. What if people found a way to use materia (Which later became spheres: Both are crystalized energy holding memories and knowledge.) that permanently linked it to themselves? Then, of course, there's the GIANT FREAKIN' MAKO REACTOR that Yuna and Co have to climb all over underneath Bevelle.
  • Actually, VII is the future of X. Shin-ra, the Al Bhed kid of X-2, discovers and refines Mako energy from the Farplane with Rin's funding thanks to Yuna's short trip there. Flash forward 1000 years, and Spiran colony ships arrive at Gaia, founding civilization, and, of course, the Shin-Ra Electric Power Co. It could also serve to explain why materia benefits are so minor compared to spheres, given that over time people had forgotten how to properly use them. All the other consistency errors can be handwaved as well by assuming retcons for anything that doesn't otherwise make sense, since the prequel came out many years after, and a lot of details were considered only after the fact.
    • So does that mean that the blue monster in the reactor is descended from Kimari?

Sephiroth is a Kwisatz Haderach bred in the Scattering
We know that among the people who left after the fall of Leto II were some Bene Gesserit, some of whom went off the deep end and became Honored Matres. Gaia was colonized by a group of people including some Bene Gesserit and some of the Tleilaxu, and lived there for a few hundred years, by which point most historical knowledge was lost to the others. Shinra, and organization controlled and manipulated by the changing Bene Gesserit, discovered the Lifestream to not only have potential as a power source but also to have physical and psychic effects not unlike melange, and used it to boost physical strength, mental abilities, and cause extended lifespans. Shinra scientists - the exiled Tleilaxu Masters, somewhat subjugated by the Bene Gesserit - used it in various experiments. Then they uncovered an artifact of their own: a crater formed by a crashed no-ship, containing no survivors but holding a nullentropy tube full of genetically manipulated cells, which remained from experiments on genetic memory. The cells, as well as mako, were injected into a fetus inside Lucrecia, a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother from a Kwisatx Hederach breeding program who had been bred with Hojo, a Tleilaxu, causing the fetus to awaken in the womb to full consciousness of the genetic memories, which had mostly melted into a single and insane identity through the original experiments with them - Jenova. The fetus became, in effect, an Abomination not unlike Paul Atreides and Leto II, with extreme physical and mental powers. Lucrecia, due to the effects of mako started to have prescient visions of what her son would do. Sephiroth himself had prescient powers and possibly raw Mentat-like abilities in addition to physical enhancements as well as the constant push of memories. The crisis at Nibelheim combined with the prescience pushed him over the edge of Abomination, where the Jenova memory-entity almost completely took over his psyche. He believed he was the Chosen One for a good reason - he was bred and manipulated to be exactly that. Even his Omnicidal Maniac take on the role of Kwisatz Haderach was not far off that of his predecessors, Paul Atreides and Leto II.


Midgar and Junon are incomplete traction cities.
Junon and Midgar especially severely drained their surroundings of Mako. The eventual plan was to make them mobile so they could move to a fresh location. Explains why Midgar was floating on a plate. Shinra just got lazy or presumed there was no need to mobilize the cities.

Hojo is becoming Jenova.
Or was, assuming he's really dead this time. He was an Evilutionary Biologist from the beginning and was quite fond of messing around with others genes, in the case of Vincent literally turning him into a monster (or rather multiple) which is also Jenova's MO. And when he came back from the dead. The first thing he did was try to hijack the Lifestream. The exact same thing Jenova planned. He even goes One-Winged Angel more often then the Trope Namer. Of course he didn't inject himself with the cells until very late in, most the traits were already there. But while Sephiroth is certainly in the running for it, Hojo very much seems to be a more accurate "human embodiment" for Jenova. Either he was exposed without knowing it very early on, which led to the rest, or what was already there was magnified in the end, leading to his plan in Dirge of Cerberus, as he unknowingly became the embodiment of Jenova's will.

FFVII is a parable/allegory between Good and Evil and Science vs Faith.
FFVII's story shows of how a group of people (Shinra and their scientists), in their greed and lust for power, uncover the body of a lifeform which they believe to believe to be a Cetra, the spiritual people of ancient times who were known to communicate with the Planet, and begin to experiment its powers. One of the scientists (Prof. Gast) names this lifeform 'Jenova' which means, 'New God,' effectively believing this creature to be some higher power than themselves, and through Shinra's greed, begin to lust for the power of this new false god/dess. Using the cells of Jenova, they create SOLDIERS, the first and greatest of them being Sephiroth. Though the use of Jenova is not without consequence - Lucrecia Crescent falls under spells during the pregnancy after she is injected with Jenova cells, and afterwards finds that she is unable to age or die, and thus abandons Shinra. Professor Gast soon meets Ifalna, a true Cetra, and begins to discover the truth from her, and about the Promised Land, among other things. Aerith is born to them, but Shinra in their pursuit of greed finds them and kills Gast, taking back Ilfana and Aerith.

During Crisis Core and Final Fantasy VII itself, the truth behind Shinra's actions come into light. Sephiroth becomes insane once he misinterprets his origins and becomes the equviliant of an Anti-Christ in the FFVII world, believing that he and Jenova should rule all. Sinners and weak ones along come together to stop the tyranny of Sephiroth and Shinra. Aerith is killed as she tries to reach out to the Planet for help, the most hopeful and Christ-like woman in the party. With grief in their hearts, the party takes up the burden of finishing things once and for all.

Redemption becomes a key core in Advent Children/Complete, with Cloud blaming himself for his weaknesses and his inability to help anyone; with help from friends and loved ones alike, he casts his burdens aside, and at the end of the film, baptizes the children of Jenova's stain with Aerith's holy water in the church. (Your take on these might be different, but I liked seeing this games and film through this perspective... almost similar to the Narnia series, in certain ways)

Cloud is a Unicorn.
Why else would his hair be like that? Also, it was actually Cloud who used holy against the Meteor. This used up all his unicorn magic, so he lost the horn between VII and Advent Children.

Jenova is an Avatar of Nyarlhathotep.
Eldritch Abomination from beyond the stars, implied to be beyond life and death, and can lie dormant for several thousand years, even buried beneath freezing snow (that is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange eons, death may die). At this point, one may assume she could be a Cthulh-esque figure, but unlike Cthulhu, who is not truly evil, but is so alien that he transcends the idea of good or evil, but rather, she is highly manipulative, actively evil, comes first in A Form You Are Comfortable With only to use it to use her very presence to cause people to go insane, at one point taunts the main character, something Cthulhu wouldn't be capable of. Like Nyarly, she also is implied to have tried to destroy planets in manners like this several times, and in Advent Children, it is stated that to do so was in fact her goal.
  • Also, Word of God be damned, under this interpretation, Sephiroth being her puppet only makes sense. She possessed him during the events of Nibelheim after Cloud's battle. After defeating her One-Winged Angel copies of this Avatar, she abandons the broken body of Sephiroth, allowing Cloud to dismember him.

Materia is how the life stream/planet reproduces.
And by extension, the planet isn't doomed from all of the damage to the life stream.

Whenever a materia is mastered, it spawns a new materia, which can in turn be raised to mastered, producing another new materia. Since materia are formed from the life stream, naturally, there may be a method for either materia to either produce more energy for the life stream or a reverse of the process that formed them: Mastered materia fading back into the life stream, bolstering it.

It's just a very slow process, which is why the mastered materia don't vanish during gameplay. (This may also contributed to the bag of spilling in Dirge of Cerberus, where Vincent doesn't have any of that awesome materia: They've started dissolving back into the life stream by then.)

So the world isn't doomed, it's just going to take a long time to recover.

  • This makes sense when you think about Cloud's advice on what to do with mastered materia "ahem, I mean, return it to the planet." Since Sephiroth loves to go on and on about becoming one with the planet, one can only assume this means merge with the Lifestream.

Aeris/Aerith was created specifically by the Planet to deal with Sephiroth
We know that the Planet is both alive and capable of creating lifeforms to defend itself. When the life of the Planet is threatened it released WEAPONS to kill things and increase the amount of spirit energy available to heal itself. We also know that Jenova is a threat to the Planet, being a cosmic parasite that feeds on the Lifestream. The true form of Jenova has been dormant/dead for thousands of years so the Planet has been ignoring it and focussing on healing it's injury, but that changes a few decades before te game begins. Jenova is discovered and it's cells are placed within living beings, at first this isn't much of a problem untl Hojo creates Sephiroth. Sephiroth has an incredibly high concentration of Jenova cells, so much so that he actually registers as a threat to the Planet. His physical and magical abilities far outstrip any other being, save perhaps for the Weapons. Now, we don't know how exactly he was a threat, maybe the Jevona cells fed off the dieing beings round him, it would certainly explain where his power comes from, maybe because he seems to be able to influence the dormant/dead Jenova which wasan actual threat to the Planet or something like that. Sephiroth was classified as a problem but not one that required the use of the Weapons so the Planet created a lesser form of defense, Aeris. Aeris is, by natureof her limit breaks which are theinherent power of each user, a protecter, healer and cleanser. She is in tune with the voice of the Planet and seems to be guided down a path full of too many coincidences to be pure chance. Notice how the two places she's most connected to, her home and the church, are the only two places in all of Midgar where flowers will grow, despite having several mako reactors sucking the lifestream away from the area constantly? Was Aeris drawn to these areas because of their lingering ties to the Planet or did she cause those ties herself? Aeris is also in possesion of the White Materia, right from the start, the one thing needed to counter the Black Materia, that she somehow managed to keep despite both her and her mother have been in ShinRa captivity for years and then captured again as an adult? She is the one who finds out how to fight Sephiroth, she is the one who stops meteor, she is the one to cure geostigma. Aeris is responsable for every true thwarting of Sephiroth, because that is what she was created to do.

How Sephiroth's sword works
Weapons such as whips are so painful because they break the speed of sound when used. As physics tells us, this is because the whip's tip is far away from the handle. The farther from the end an object is the faster it goes. Sephiroth's sword is incredibly long, so it can go at incredible speeds when swung, maybe even fast enough to break the speed of light. That, combined with his SOLDIER training, may let him temporarily stop time. This is why he can make so many attacks at once with just one swing.
  • Lengthy physics lecture aside, his sword would have to be made of some very serious Unobtanium to even handle the stress associated with swinging it at the speed of sound. While easily handwaved after his death in Nibelheim (where we see his sword materializing at will), this does not explain its capabilities before that.

Materia are what's left of the Crystals
This ties in with the many "Planet is sentient" WMGs, and to the overall theme of deconstruction throughout FFVII. Consider, the Crystals were the ultimate power of light, good, and life in many previous entries, and the theme of science being used to subjigate the forces of magic is prevalent in both FFV and FFVI. In the world of FFVII humanity(via the ShinRa Corp.) has turned the Crystals into a commodity in the form of Materia, and is tapping directly into their power source, the Lifestream, by way of Mako energy. Wheras magic previously required training, spiritual awareness, or a hereditary ability to commune with the life force, ShinRa has gone straight to the source and canibalized it into little crystal balls that anyone can slot into their weaponry or equipment. Planet is sentient, and it's pissed at us because we've murdered it's messengers and guardians, used their corpses as a shortcut to power we have no comprehension of, and are tapping directly into it's nervous system/bloodstream to fuel the very machines we've used to subjigate it. Humanity has canibalized the Planet's immune system to allow itself faster access to power, and now that Planet faces a threat that said immune system was specifically designed to protect we have to use the White Materia(perhaps the last true Crystal left in the world) to jump start it back up again. It's no wonder that Bunhaggen thinks Planet might hold a grudge, we've been treating it horribly for generations.
  • Going on that, perhaps the Huge Materia are artificial (though possibly accidental) replacements for the original Crystals. They definitely look the part when they're all floating in the observatory like that.

Barret is gay
Dyne was his lover, and Barret raised his daughter Marlene. Otherwise, Barret has never been married and never dated a woman. He's also in the bear subculture, and likes to wear clothes that flash his skin and body hair. His date with Cloud actually was an attempt at a date, but Barret might not admit it. And then there was that yummy fishnet shirt in Advent Children...
  • Barret was married. his wife's name was Myrna.

The game from Whirlwind's Maze onwards is the result of a botched attempt at entering a war with the World of Ruin
Sephiroth hated Kefka's babbling about destroying the world, considering Exdeath did much more - but didn't have enough power. In Crisis Core, he prepared to attack by burning down Nibelheim, and organized a Xanatos Roulette that would end in using the Black Materia to fire Meteor at the World of Ruin, with assistance from the Weapons... but it was aimed in the wrong direction.

Sephiroth is using Hojo's Draco in Leather Pants genes to Break the Fourth Wall
Even though Hojo is utterly evil and practically gloats about it, we've seen that women in the FF7 universe just can't seem to resist his charms, from the girls at the beach all the way to Lucrecia. Apparently he's carrying the irresistable Draco in Leather Pants genes (or DILP genes for short), and he's passed it on to his son Sephiroth, who takes Hojo's tall, long-haired appearance to another level. But Sephiroth, being superhumanly powerful thanks to his Jenova heritage, has twisted Hojo's DILP abilities into a new form. While Hojo has the power to attract adoring fangirls in his own 'verse, Sephiroth can use his Jenova-enhanced DILP genes to Break the Fourth Wall and mesmerize legions of real-life fans into doing his bidding. It remains to be seen whether he's planning to unleash a fangirl version of the Reunion upon the world, or if he has some other evil scheme in mind.

Cloud is an Ancient
Or rather he BECAME an ancient while fighting Sephiroth. In Advent Children, his ability to hear and see Aerith after her death is actually him listening to the lifestream, not just Aerith sending messages from beyond the grave. This is why he can see Zack beside Aerith by the end. This is why he's also the only one to hear it.
  • But what about the kids who were obviously talking to her? And the mysterious phone messages to everyone in Edge?

The Black Materia (in Sephiroth's plan) doesn't just summon an ordinary meteor, but a meteor containing larger masses of Jenova cells.
The Jenova who was Sephiroth's mommy? That was just an extremely tiny part of it. The meteor? That's no meteor, that's a Jenova planet (and really, do meteors cause tornadoes and fall slowly?). This can also be linked to a previous theory that there are other planets out there consisting primarily of Jenova cells, with Jenova itself being The Virus who migrated from planet to planet. Also, since planets including those with lifestreams are always bombarded by meteors and still manage to survive (has anyone heard of bacteria?). Also, after all, what would really blow a hole in the collective unconscious that is The Lifestream and allow an opportunity for the creation of a God and an Instrumentality plot? An ordinary piece of rock, or a horrible thing from Aerith-knows-where?

Of course, the next theory is optional, but.....

The Cetra used the Black Materia to bring their downfall upon themselves.
Because This Troper wants an And The Precursors Grew Proud backstory. Back then the Ancients used the immense power of the Black Materia to conjure immense quantities of divine power from Aerith-knows-where, but of course, they ended up bringing themselves the "Calamity From The Skies", whose immense eldritch power turned back against them. And the rest is FFVII history.

Marlene Wallace is the actual last Cetra
Her general precociousness combined with the fact that she could sense Aerith's presence when the Lifestream stopped Meteor indicates a heightened level of awareness. With the destruction of Corel and the death of most of its residents (Not to mention she vanished from the scene of the fire) makes her legally dead in the eyes of Shinra, hence why she was not researched. Elmyra, who also took care of Marlene for a while, took care of Aerith as well; meaning she might have a knack for adopting Cetra children. On top of that, in Dyne's after-death story, he beholds his wife when he joins the life-stream. Keeping ones consciousness that long in the Life Stream seems to be something only Cetra can do. Now we can compound that with her Advent Children appearance: One of the only Edge children not affected by Geostigma and look at her hairdo! Thus, everyone, Marlene is the real last Cetra and has survived due to slipping under the radar, and judging by how things are looking up in the future, she just might not be the last for long.

Masamune is a Cursed Sword that deals Vile damage
The sword Masamune has the effect of inflicting injuries than cannot be healed by magic, technology or Phoenix downs and can only be recovered from naturally. There are many hints to this idea which is only disputed by the ability to heal in Crisis Core. Not only do we have the obvious death of Aerith, but Cloud and Tifa both take a great deal of time to recover from their injuries(Five years). Zangan describes the numerous "Cure" spells he casts on Tifa as not helpful to close the wounds she received from the weapon. As a result, Aerith's mortal injuries could not be healed despite the possible frantic actions of everyone. This would also be a reason that Sephiroth was feared: he held a weapon that you cannot heal from with magic or technology, and swords tend to inflict mortal wounds.
  • Doubtful; that sounds more like the Murasame.
    • Well, in the same vein, Sephiroth was considered a hero. His sword might be just as much of a wolf in sheep's clothing.
    • Cloud gets a sword called Murasame at some point in the game, doesn't he? Maybe the names should have been switched: Sephiroth's sword should actually have been the Murasame instead of the Masamune, and the more generic looking katana that Cloud gets would actually be the Masamune (in this case, the Masamune would not have as much significance in this game as it does in most Square games).

Vincent is Sephiroth's real father
This idea came from a fanfic, but it makes a lot of sense. Firstly, let’s consider Hojo. Hojo is a small, weedy, stooped scientist who has no physical aptitude whatsoever; the perfect symbol of a sleazy immoral scientist. Even with JENOVAH cells in his body to dramatically improve his physical abilities, Sephiroth is the utter polar opposite in every way except for his intelligence (and mental instability). Lucrecia herself isn’t quite as frail as Hojo, but is still a small human scientist. Neither of these people seem like candidates to create a physical god.

But consider Vincent. Unlike Hojo, Vincent qualified to be a highly competent member of the Turks. This would require him to be at peak levels of human fitness, like physical prowess, combat skills, sharp reflexes, and aptitude for battle. Considering that both Vincent and Sephiroth performed the same function, acting as highly trained operatives for Shinra, it makes sense that Vincent is a more likely candidate. But even besides that, they share more similarities than physical skill; they both have the same cold, reserved (but not wholly uncaring) personality, physical grace, and flair for the dramatic. They even look similar, both of them being nearly the same height with the same refined facial features.

Now, how could this come about? It’s pretty obvious; both Vincent and Lucrecia were attracted to one another and spent quite some time together. It’s possible that Lucrecia had an affair before or even during her relationship with Hojo. As for why Hojo would claim Sephiroth is his son, either Lucrecia kept the truth from him (if she even knew who the real father was) or Hojo claimed that he sired Sephiroth so he could lord it over others.

  • This troper thought she was the only one who came up with that conclusion, think about it: the father's conflict, having to kill his son for the world's sake (like FFVII wasn't symbolic enough already). But yeah, they both have more similarities than Sephiroth with Hojo. And if you want to consider this too, Vincent might not be a scientist, but the guy is pretty intelligent too (and we can asume that Sephiroth's mental inestability is due to the experiments with Jenova's cells, and all the stress he suffered before his breakdown in Nibelheim, leading to said massacre). And compare, Sephiroth's white long hair <—-> Vincent's black long hair; Sephiroth's clear eyes <—-> Vincent's dark eyes; it's almost like an oposite (if you want to add Lucrecia's characteristics, be my guest), but at the same time they share similar traits.
    • Sephiroth: Light Is Not Good , Vincent: Dark Is Not Evil
    • Their weapons of choice are mirrors, too. Sephiroth: Evil sword-wielder , Vincent: Good gun-wielder
    • Also consider: Vincent went through horrible tortures and experimentation, and lives with four demons he can barely control locked up in his mind, probably can't die no matter how much he wants to, and all this is after being betrayed by Lucrecia and shot. But he never renounced his basic humanity and all he thinks about is redemption. Sephiroth might have been experimented upon in the womb, but it's not like he has any memory of it, and his life prior to Nibelheim was pretty good. Everyone adores him and he even has friends despite his aloofness. But just finding out about the experiments that created him makes him freak out, though he never actually had to endure the kinds of tortures Vincent and Hojo's other "specimens" endured. He renounces his humanity and all he thinks about is destruction. This and the above contrasts all work whether they are father and son or not though.
    • Could cue in a huge Heroic BSoD for Vincent if it were canon, as Mind Screw for the rest of the party (and the world). (from the same troper above)
    • Vincent already had his BSOD. For thirty years. Joining the party is the ending of an epic BSOD. And the thing that bothered him most about the experiments was that it was Lucrecia's son they were being done to. It must have occured to him that he might be the father if it was at all possible, but either way, it was the child of the woman he loved. And either way, Hojo turned Sephiroth into the abomination he became and Sephiroth had to die. If it ever occured to any of his friends that he might be Sephiroth's father, I think they would have quietly filed it away under "Things I never want to think about again, much less mention in front of Vincent."
    • Hell, he might even have known about it already. It would certainly make his nap in Shinra Manor make more sense, if he thought he had sired the greatest monster their world had ever known. The reason he still says Hojo is Sephy's father? It's true in the same sense that Jenova is his mother. Vincent had a son with Lucretcia, but Hojo was the one to turn him into the Sephiroth we all know. I'm starting to like this theory.
      • Or rather, he slept because his 'sins' were two-fold; he failed to protect Lucrecia and his son from Hojo.
    • Now that I think about it, this theory explains a lot about your first conversation with him. His immediate concern is Sephiroth, and after you tell him the story, he says that he has more sins to atone for.
    • It also makes the confrontation with Weiss in Dirge of Cerberus take on new meaning: Sure, the Hojo connection is explicit, but Weiss also looks a hell of a lot like Sephiroth, and shares the same goal as him minus the Jenova aspect; in that sense, he represents both of Vincent's greatest failures, mishmashed into a single being for Vincent to beat the crap out of.
    • As Weiss was spliced with Genesis's genes he does have the physical and biological part of the Jenova aspect(even if he dosen't have the other parts of that aspect) as do the rest of the colored Tsviets.
  • It never occured to me playing the original game, but the way later entries in the compilation make Sephiroth look like Vincent with white hair and Lucrecia's bangs sure made me wonder.

Mako energy = nuclear energy.
Nuclear energy was first used as a weapon of mass destruction before a power source; ShinRa started out as a weapons company before becoming a power company. If rare materia like Meteor were to to appear in the modern world, it would be classified as a WMD. Just as nuclear fallout destroys life and sterilizes, sucking the mako from an area effectively destroys life and sterilizes. Like radiation, too much mako exposure causes horrible mutations (eg, the makonoids). Just as children in Japan were the main victims of radiation poisoning after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, children are the main victims of geostigma.

Really makes the game Harsher in Hindsight, doesn't it?

  • A lot of Japanese games have a very subtle "Nukes 'r' bad, m'kay?" message, so this makes a lot of sense.

Kadaj is humanity and it's redempion.
If the theories about Aerith being a Messianic Archetype and Sephiroth the Anti-christ above are true, then Kadaj represents humanity and the possibility of redemption as well. Ok, Geostigma represents the original sin, originated by man's greed and wanting divinity; Sephiroth, who also can play as Satan here, controls people with Geostigma through Kadaj (to get the souls of people infected with it, as stated by him in the final fight), that also is being controlled, being aware of Sephiroth's return, but actually not knowing that he's behind all this, and it's not his "mother's" will, thinking that with all this he can win her love, or see her.

What it means? That Kadaj (i.e humanity), can be really cruel and sometimes can look as pure evil, capable of anything, but like a child, he's doing it because he's being manipulated by Sephiroth (i.e Satan, but I like to call it evil forces), in hopes for getting love and retribution. Aerith (i.e Jesus, or God, or whatever), knowing this, that Kadaj actually doesn't have a mother and might never get the love he desperately wants, forgives him pretending to be his beloved "mother" (also Cloud, that can be viewed as a Aerith's envoy, like the rest of the party. Or Peter and the apostles, for church fans) and ensures him that he will be loved, calming him, and allowing him to rest in peace: In resume, Death Equals Redemption, and humanity is forgiven for it's actions in it , because humanity is God's children and she/he loves them, no matter what.

Also, the rain is his demise can ve interpreted as said redemption, peace, forgiveness and/or happiness in form of baptism (this troper doesn't like church, this is merely an anthropologist and objective analysis).

Don't forget Rufus Shinra, he has a part in here too. He might represent money and executive power's corrupting and manipulative force in mankind.

That's how I see Kadaj's life and demise. As for Cloud's role in the last one, be my guest and share your WMG because this troper had a hard time interpretating his role in this escene, the way he looks and recieve Kadaj you can see that actually killing him wasn't in his plans, or at least he understands (or forgives? The main theme in the movie is forgiveness/redemption, after all) him in the end. Also the reasons why Kadaj keep calling him "brother", specially the way he did in the end.

The first Cait Sith was controlled by Tseng instead of Reeve.
He had a crush on Aerith that Tseng shared but #2 didn't seem as affected by her death as you'd expect considering that. Kidnapping Marlene makes a lot more sense for one of the Turks than it does for Reeve, and since she was left with Aerith's mother it would be easy for Tseng to find her. #2 tends to speak with a country accent (in the US release, at least). #1 seemed to be getting weak before he ever even reached the controls for shrinking the Temple, which would be understandable if his real body was off dying (until the sequels brought him back) at the same time. And his last words were not to forget him, because even if another Cait Sith shows up he won't be the same. Then #2 introduces himself by saying that he's pleased to meet them, instead of acting like he was just the same guy come back.

So Tseng could have been using the first Cait Sith to spy on them, which is a Turkly job to be doing, but then after being skewered and knowing that he'd be sacrificing the robot he contacted Reeve to take over with helping them out, which makes sense as a choice when he's the one decent guy in Shinra.

  • That Tseng was "killed" isn't actually true, but rather, results from an error in translation. He was just badly injured. But it would make sense if Reeve took over responsibilities for Cait Sith while Tseng recovered.

LOVELESS is a prophecy foretelling the events of the Compilation.
In Crisis Core, after the other games were written and released, we find Genesis quoting LOVELESS a lot. Oddly enough, the quotes all mentioned can be related to the rest of the Compilation in some way. Take the quote about the tree friends, one dies, one flies away, and the one that is left becomes a hero. This can be seen as either Genesis, Angeal, and Sephiroth, or as Zack, Sephiroth and Cloud. The one that dies is, for the first group, Sephiroth, and Zack for the second. For the one that flies away, it is first Genesis, then Sephiroth. For the one who becomes a hero, it is first Angeal's Heroic Sacrifice, and Cloud's stubborn refusal to allow Sephiroth to win for the second. All of Genesis' quotes can be interpreted in some way to be related to the overall plot of the Compilation of FF7.

  • While I agree that LOVELESS is about the overarching storyline of the Compilation of FF7, I have a few different thoughts. I think the trio can only be 2 trios- Angeal, Genesis, Sephiroth, or Cloud, Zack, Aerith. The reason Zack, Sephiroth, and Cloud don't work as a trio is that neither Zack nor Cloud were ever really friends with Sephiroth (he and Zack are friendly but not really friends, and Cloud is just some grunt to Sephiroth before he stabs him in Nibelheim) and LOVELESS states that all 3 are friends. The problem with Zack/Cloud/Aerith is at some point the "wanderer" or "wandering soul" (Aerith in this case) fights the "prisoner" (Cloud) (Zack, the "hero", is the one who dies) and I don't see that happening. In fact, I can't imagine anyone from that trio fighting one another- so they're scrapped. On the other hand, Angeal as the hero, Genesis as the prisoner, and Sephiroth as the wanderer seem to work out pretty well. Angeal is dead, but if we need a "hero" presence his legacy was passed down to Zack and then from him to Cloud; this doesn't change that fact that Angeal is still the true representation of the "hero" as far as the trio goes. Sephiroth as "the wandering soul" who "knows no rest" would be the antagonist who picks a fight with his former friend, the prisoner, Genesis. As far as what this means for future installments, that is in a post further up the page under "In the Inevitable Sequel".

Zack's final battle makes beginning of the game easier
During Zack's final Battle, Shinra must have sent somewhere around a Battalion to Regiments worth of security men, along with a large number of helicopters. Only 1 helicopter and 3 men survived. One has to think that the loss of manpower in killing Zack must have impacted security in Midgar, as there would be fewer guards for just about anything.

Hojo abused Cloud
This came as a joke from a discussion this troper had with a friend where she said something about the ungodly thinks Hojo did to Cloud and Zack's bodies while they were unconscious in Nibelhiem. But then this troper got to thinking - it actually does make sense! Think about it - are we ever specifically told what Hojo actually does to people who he experiments on? Sure he says he's imbuing their bodies with Jenova Cells, Mako etc, but maybe this is just his coverup to disguise the nasty truth behind Hojo's acts. Maybe Cloud is not a 'failed experiment', maybe Hojo never performed the experiments he did on the Sephiroth Clones on him. Cloud's behaviour as he and Zack escaped Nibelhiem could be a result of the mental scarring of five years of abuse by Hojo. Perhaps Zack was not abused to the same extent (maybe Hojo prefered blonds), allowing him to stay as upbeat as ever. Cloud taking on Zack's persona at the end of Crisis Core could be his way of repressing these damaging memories.

We then join Cloud in the events of Final Fantasy VII. Here Cloud bumps into Hojo a couple of times in Shin-ra HQ as well as Costa Del Sol. At this stage, Cloud still believes he is Zack, so he is able to restrain himself. However, when he meets Hojo at the Northern Crater, Cloud's memories of the truth begin to return to him as Hojo calls him a 'failed experiment'. Cloud then begins to act very strangely - a result perhaps of those years of repressed memories coming back to him in a rush due to being presented with a trigger of those times. Cloud's catatonic state in Mideel could then be explained as him trying to come to terms with what Hojo had done to him. This troper has always wondered why Tifa was not effected by the lifestream in the same way as Cloud was. However, if you approach it with this view, Cloud's mental state was not a result of Mako poisoning from the lifestream, but from the reality of years of abuse. Tifa's 'counselling' not only allowed him to come to terms with theimes truth of his identity, but allowed him to overcome the scars Hojo left him with.

Cloud was originally meant to be a silent protagonist
There would have been a lot more Dialogue Trees and the Relationship Values would have been much more important to the plot. Once they gave Cloud a more fleshed out backstory and a personality, they decided to keep some of them in the game for things like the date scene on Disc 1.

Bugenhagen is, at least from a thematic standpoint, the single most important character in the game.
Bugenhagen is strangely depicted in game simulataneously as a kind-hearted naturalist and a man obsessed with technology (this is even explicitly pointed out by both Bugenhagen and Barret), and, on a related point, can fly. The true moment of Fridge Brilliance here comes when one realizes that that's the point of the whole goddamn game.

The entire game is about the relationship between science and naturalism and their pursuit in explaining and achieving the supernatural. Think about it: what element of gameplay do people criticize for being impractical more than any other? The fact that guns, swords, fists, and magic are being used in the same battle. Each one of the principal protagonists seems to represent a different point in the balance between nature/magic and technological science. Barret definitely personally leans toward nature, yet is a cyborg; Cid explicitly states that while he prefers science, he puts trust in magic; Vincent fights with both modern and corrupted supernatural science, yet has the strangely Aesthetic persona of an ex-romantic in nihilistic despair.

The principal antagonists, Professor Hojo and Sephiroth, each represent extreme imbalance in their interaction with nature/magic and technology. Hojo, of course, is obsessed with science, and even approaches studies of the planet with a heartlessly empirical attitude. Sephiroth, on the other hand, starts out fairly balanced- he is a result of scientific experimentation with the natural- but as he descends into insanity, he becomes more obsessed with the past and the planet itself, and seems to view technology with an attitude approaching even naïvete. They both are motivated by the mostly unexplained Jenova, the supernatural element in this aspect of the game.

The message of the entirety of this fairly violent, apocalyptic game is to approach life with a balanced, peaceful attitude, as in yinyang. And... wait... what was the name of that two-headed zombie in the Shinra Mansion basement again?

The game is Star Wars, and AVALANCHE is the Red Squadron.
Both Red Squadron and AVALANCHE are recognizable by their red headgear, and are part of a Rebellion against a corrupt empire. Red Leader is obviously Barret. Biggs and Wedge are named after Red Three and Two, respectively. Jesse is most likely Red Four, and Cloud is Red Five. 6-12 are (in no particular order) Tifa, Aeris, Yuffie, Vincent, Cait Sith and Cid. This leaves us with RED THIRTEEN.

Sephiroth didn't kill Aerith...
Cloud did! See here.

Gilgamesh DOES have a cameo in Final Fantasy VII.
He's the final knight in Knights of the Round. The giant knight wielding Excalibur.

Sony are the reason Square are holding off on a remake
Obviously, the remake would make Square a lot of money... But remember that Sony footed part of the development costs, and distributed the game. Aside from having to split the profits, this likely means that any remake would have to be exclusive to Sony consoles, much in the way the Goldeneye1997 rights are tied up with Nintendo, Activision & Rare, preventing a direct remake of that game.
  • Jossed so hard. It not only exists, but it will also be multiplatform! [1]

Teioh is a different chocobo each time
it's the only reasonable explanation I can think of, when it comes to Teioh racing A (and sometimes even B) class races. Maybe not a different chocobo each time, but different for each chocobo you use.

The difference between humans and Cetra is cultural, not genetic.
Sephiroth implies this when he explains stuff to Cloud, telling him "the ancients that hid from the calamity became your ancestors". So humans are just Cetra that lost their connection to the planet. This explains how Aeris/th can be full-blooded Cetra despite having a human father; she was raised by her mother up until a certain point (she's also not that good at being a Cetra, because her mom died before she could teach her everything.) When the planet is in enough pain, the party (mostly normal humans) can hear it screaming, and when the Lifestream surges up in Mideel, Cid can tell it's the Lifestream and not just an earthquake. If normal humans re-taught themselves to listen properly, they could hear the planet when it's speaking at its normal volume.
  • I'd propose a genetic element, but not an overpowering one: much like a human talent, there could be certain bloodlines that are strong in the 'talent' of understanding the Planet, but it's still something anyone could feasibly learn. Different people would simply have different amounts of trouble with it.
  • I always figured it was a spiritual/genetic mix.Cetra became less spiritual/were infected by Jenova, and lost their connection to the planet, and became human. Reeve Tuesti and his mother had Cetran ancestry, and some powers, but neither had Aerith's strength of spirit.Cloud had no Cetran heritage (beyond that which every human shares) but was deeply connected to the planet after the events of the game, so it could be argued that he became Cetra. Consider how the genetics of Ifalna being the 'Last Cetra' would have to work. She couldn't have any siblings, nor either of her parents, nor their parents. Or, Ifalna's line had greater spiritual traditions that the ease of Mako living didn't erode, and thus those cousins and second cousins all became like Reeve.

The Shinra family is from Nibelheim.
Points in favour:
  • The Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim looks like a very old manor house, and we only ever hear it described as belonging to Shinra
  • Nibelheim draws its name from Norse mythology, as does Midgar, which Shinra essentially founded
  • According to the official timelines, the first mako reactor was built in Nibelheim. At the very least, Shinra chose to sequester Jenova there
Optional bonus theory:
  • In appearance alone, the Shinra family could feasibly share a bloodline with Cloud, taking into account their hair, eyes, and in Rufus' case, surprising resilience.

Red XIII, the galian beast, and the behemoth species are related.
Points in favour:
  • Strong physical resemblance between the Galian Beast and the average behemoth.
  • Weaker resemblance between these and Red XIII.
  • Behemoths are fought on the scaffolds beneath Midgar, and the Northern Cave. It's easy to theorize the Midgar behemoths were produced by Hojo (Crisis Core somewhat confirms this) and the King Behemoths produced by Jenova's virus, given that they're fought at her landing site.
  • Red was an experiment of Hojo's.
  • Behemoths show an affinity for Flare attacks, as does the Galian Beast. Red XIII has a flame burning on his tail.
  • King Behemoths have an affinity for Comet2 attacks. Red XIII's limit breaks have a cosmic theme, one even being a variation on Comet2.

Therefore: Jenova landed 2000 years ago, and encountered Red's species alongside the Cetra. They were infected, and became King Behemoths. Many years later, Hojo experimented on Red's species to produce the standard Behemoths. Meanwhile, he used what he knew to create the Galian Beast while experimenting on Vincent. If you want to include the Compliation, Azul also fits pretty much all of the above.

Knights of the Round
The Knights of the Round are the spirits of the Cetra warriors who defeated and sealed Jenova the first time around. This has a neat parallel with some of the earlier entries in the series.
  • Jossed, in an interview with Kotaku, director Yoshinori Kitase stated "They don’t have any background story attached to them".

One-Winged Flight
It was brought up on the Crisis Core page as Artistic License – Physics, so it got me thinking. And the answer is simple how to fly with one wing. It isn't flight.

It's simple levitation. In the AC movie people are shown actively defying gravity with simple jumps, so it's not much of a stretch. The one wing for Jenova Cell recipients doesn't grant flight. Think of it more like a deer's antlers. The wing represents the cells reaching their maturity, to the point where such powers become available.

Jenova was a Terran probe.
Major spoilers for Final Fantasy IX: The Terrans in FFIX move from star system to star system absorbing the life-stream of younger planets into theirs. Jenova is a probe to find suitable planets, and Gaia in FFVII may even be the Gaia from FFIX thousands of years before the events of FFIX, or some other world the Terransspoilered.

Tifa died in the Nibleheim incident.
She's a ghost, Unsent or other such revenant.

Vincent has the Terror Mask.
Let us count the ways. The woman he loves was taken from him by a mad scientist. He ends up in the basement of the mansion where that scientist performed human experiments. One of his Limit Breaks has him shapeshift into an incredibly burly man with a hockey mask like face and a chainsaw. And to top it off, the name of that Limit Break is the same as the Japanese name of the Terror Mask: Hell Mask.

Remina is what you get when Jenova eats a planet
Think about it: clearly sentient planetoid, and home to all sorts of nasty WTF. Possibly it's even an evolved form of Jenova, to where it simply eats the planets rather than parasitizing them.

Cloud is still in the tube.
He never escaped Hojo's lab. The whole game is basically his incoherent power fantasy ofdestroying Shinra and getting with Tifa. Aerith isn't a Cetra, she's a prostitute that eitherhe or Zack frequented in Midgar. Aerith's death is his way of processing his grief at Tifa's death.The other characters are basically imagined versions of either people from Shinra wanted lists or characters taken from popular entertainment.

In his appearance in Advent Children, Sephiroth is now 100% Jenova
Or rather, 100% whatever species she was. Human in appearance obviously, but he outright states his goal was what she'd intended to do to the Planet when she arrived (as opposed to his original goal of 'kill all the humans because all the humans are dicks'), and he was formed from Kadaj, a remnant forged from Jenova cells that were in the lifestream.

Shinra is the real Calamity of the Skys. Jenova was just a Mako Experiment that served as a remnant of Shinra's downfall.
The Ultimania states that the Shinra family came from Spira from Final Fantasy X. It's likely Shinra's Ship crashed on the Planet then they tried to harvest Mako right from the start and implemented Shapeshifting in the Mako Monsters they created. The Planet wasn't trying to kill off humanity it was trying to kill off the parasitic Shinra family! The Cetra managed to defeat them and set them back a few centuries yet by Final Fantasy 7 they started the parisite buisness up again and were only stopped when Sephiroth used Meteor and the Lifestream fought it off saving both the planet and Rufus Shinra in the process.

Yuna is Jenova.
As of the novel and audio drama, Yuna has become very emotionally unstable and apparently accidentally revived Sin and caused the dead to come back to life. Naturally, this creates chaos on Spira, which Yuna sets out to fix. Her inability to move on after defeating Sin and losing Tidas has caused her to try to fix her problems only to wind up creating worse problems as a side-effect. This cycle repeats until she winds up turning herself into a planet-devouring monster.

The WEAPONs are on the party's side.
The WEAPONs, despite all the hype they’re given, are ultimately Plot Irrelevant Villains. Their purpose is to destroy anything and everything that’s harming the planet, but they pretty much disappear from the plot almost immediately after awakening. Ruby just hangs out in the desert, Emerald swims on the ocean floor, and Ultima flies around after it makes a quick pitstop at Mideel. Only Sapphire and Diamond actually attack civilization, and the latter is implied to be under Sephiroth's control.

But let's look closer at things. When Sapphire stops over at Junon, the only active attack it launches at the fortress city is a little beam that does some superficial damage. Not to a major population center, not to a structural weakness that could compromise the defense of the city, not to a place where the leadership would presumably be, not to the big-ass gun that could be dangerous to the WEAPON, but to the roof of the gas chamber where Tifa is stuck in of all things. This gives her the chance to escape. And Ultima’s only plot-relevant action in the game is to (implicitly) stir up the Lifestream in Mideel, which is what ultimately allows Cloud to recover from his coma and find himself. These actions, while causing all sorts of death and destruction, ultimately prove to be useful for the party's quests. The WEAPONs never once impede the heroes' progress.

So what can we conclude from this? That the WEAPONs are, in their destructive way, actively assisting AVALANCHE. Yeah, they’ll defend themselves if they’re attacked, and they’re still highly animalistic monsters that are instinctively violent. But they and/or the Planet know that the party is the best bet to systematically destroy all of the major threats posed by Shinra, Sephiroth, and Meteor, and are willing to step aside and let them handle everything until the WEAPONs need to intervene with their unique sets of skills.

  • A point in favor of this theory: Aeris/Aerith is dead and part of the lifestream by the time they're awakened and she could be nudging them in the right directions if not controlling them directly. She's later on shown to be able to control the lifestream itself and since the lifestream creates the WEAPONs it's not much fo astretch to think she had some influence over them as well.

Meteor was intended to save the Planet.
Think about it, what possible reason would the Ancients have had to create a materia designed to summon a massive object which only apparent purpose is to destroy the Planet? The answer? They wouldn't.

Meteor was a magical impact object designed to be summoned to crash into and thus obliterate natural impact objects like natural meteors or rogue planetoids and thus protect the Planet from them. However, Sephiroth perverted Meteor's original purpose by taking the Black Materia and used Meteor to become a threat to the Planet itself instead of protecting it.

Genesis is actually a Deconstruction of the Marty Stu, Villain Sue AND Self-Insert tropes

DISCLAIMER: Whether this theory was intentionally implied by WordOfGod or not is up to the readers/players. This theory was made for the fridge-ing lulz.

Let’s first analyze his from the outside: he’s almost as strong as Sephiroth, has the [[Bishonen pretty looks]], has the angsty past similar to Sephy’s, the story and even the whole motive behind Sephiroth’s Start of Darkness revolve around him, his design was made by some of Nomura’s Fanboy Dreams. Oh, and of course, he has a long meaningful name. Your average Self-Insert Marty Stu OC.

Then, let’s analyze his actions and personality around the story: he’s a self-centered Jerkass (remember: everything revolves around the Sue/Stu, so of course he will be all It's All About Me); his skills make him arrogant yet cause him to feel inferior thanks to Sephy being even more skilled than him. His ‘sad past’ as a SOLDIER made by Jenova Project G (which is also the origin of most of his powers) is what pretty much drove him nuts thanks to the Power Degeneration. His pretty looks make him get fangirls and fanclubs, increasing even more his ego.

Genesis is basically a Stu whose traits are played realistically! Everything that qualifies him as a shining, perfect Marty Stu backfires horribly because this is reality and there are no Deus ex machinas to rescue him.

Shinra is North Korea.
President Shinra is Kim Jong-Il, who ruled the people with money, and Rufus is Kim Jong-Un, who, after his father was mysteriously dead all of the sudden, decides he's going to rule people with power. Rufus/Kim-Jong Un slaps around his officers, has propaganda posters of his name and face everywhere, and the people at the bottom (Midgar slums, Junon Harbor) are now doing even worse than before since he came to power. "I heard no one's ever seen him bleed or cry..." Kim Jong-Un is similarly revered as a better-than-human who never urinates or defecates and is basically a god.

Materia reproduces by capturing some of the life energy released when something dies...
Materia grows stronger, and eventually doubles, as time goes on. If materia is crystlized lifestream energy then how can you create more materia without using more of the lifestream? The answer is that you can't, the materia is slowly consuming more lifestream energy. Every time you defeat a creature it's energy is suppose to return to the lifestream, but instead the materia your wearing pulls a small amount of that energy into itself, growing stronger. The stronger the creature you defeat presumably the more of the lifestreams energy it contained and therefore the more that can be drained by the materia.

As the Materia captures more of the lifestream it captures more of the passive memories retained within. The new spells you gain access to are due to your gaining more of the combined memories of the lifestream, since a fewer number of people were able to cast fire 3 then fire 1 it takes a collection of more of their passive memories before you have enough combined memory to learn how to cast fire 3.

Eventually when Materia can't store any more combined lifestream it spawns a new materia, which can do the same.

This means that even if all the reactors are destroyed the materia can still slowly drain the lifestream. The effect of the materia is small, but as more materia is spawned from mastered materia it will become more common for people to own materia (it's more common and thus cheaper) and as such more people will be slowly draining energy from the lifestream. Until all the materia is destroyed the lifestream is still in danger!

  • A less world ending answer is thus; Materia are the 'knowledge of the Ancients', according to Sephiroth, from Gast, who probably got it from Iflana. You gain AP even from battling unliving creatures such as robots. Lastly, the Lifestream is always growing from people being born, living, and returning. All of this leads to the conclusion that it is experiences that give materia, and its large analogue, the Lifestream, power. Therefor, materia growth is in fact is a natural part of the planets cycles. MP comes from the spiritual power within the individual being channeled through a focus with the materia. There is a little bit of energy loss, as some of that power gets lost as heat from Firaga's or whathave you, but it is recouped when that very spiritually powerful person died (someone with a weak spirit would have a small MP pool, and therefor no rely on materia as much, and someone with a stronger spirit would bring back better dividends upon death to make up the difference).
    • If we consider the fact that robots probably run on Mako, destroying one may well release some physical presence the game interprets as AP.

The Remake will have references to areas and characters from Before Crisis, Crisis Core, and Final Fantasy X

Places like Banora and Characters such as Genesis may possibly appear in the form of sidequests due to being added to the compilation as prequels and Genesis was never really touched upon afterwards.

As for FFX its been hinted by the developers that The World of FFVII is the Future of Spira after Shin-Ra began to research the energy and his ancestors worked further down to the point of the power company.

The Voice in the remake trailer is Sephiroth
Gravelly voice? Check. Talking about reunion and returning? Check. Sounding arrogant? Check. If it is indeed one of the characters speaking, it's probably him.

The remake will be released on January 31, 2017.
20th anniversary, yo. (And before anyone asks, 1/31/1997 was the release date in Japan, I didn't just pull this date out of my ass.)
  • Jossed. As of mid-January 2017, there is no news of a definite release date.

FFVII's remake will completely ignore, or barely acknowledge, the Compilation titles.

Considering all the controversy surrounding the Compilation's quality, and whether or not it makes the game's lore overly complicated, there's a good chance the remake's development team will avoid referencing its material. It won't explicitly punt them into the Canon Discontinuity bin, but they'll be non-entities as far as the plot's concerned.

There might be some little nods, like maybe Turks like Veld and Cissnei getting name-dropped, or Rufus ambiguously surviving Diamond Weapon's attack, but nothing significant.

  • I could see that for most of the games, but Crisis Core seemed to have been received fairly well, and given its direct prequel status some parts of it would probably be referenced.
  • Confirmed, as Word of God stated in his recent interview that the Remake does not share the direct continuity of the Compilation for the moment.

Changes in the remake
  • Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV will be Red XIII's Biran and Yenke.
  • Zangan will appear and teach Tifa her final limit break himself.
  • Cissnei will be the girl who used to visit Zack's parents.
  • Fenrir will be a summon and be obtained when Tifa saves Cloud from himself.
  • Knights of the Round Table will altered to be like a summoned version of Omnislash.
  • During the quest to save Tifa from Don Corneo (in which Cloud is Disguised in Drag), there will be references to Lightning.
  • There will be a lot of new post-game content, including maybe a way to resurrect Aerith, as a nod to the Urban Legend of Zelda.
    • Aerith's revival could be implemented in a New Game Plus, with a major effect on the story — notably, Aerith would be Cloud's love interest instead of Tifa, similar to how Tomoyo After is a huge alternate route for CLANNAD.
  • More bosses will be included, some possibly hailing from other entries in the Compilation.
  • The story will be lengthened, and include characters from and references to the other entries in the Compilation.
    • Jossed for the Compilation reference, as Word of God confirmed that the Remakes does not share direct continuity of the Compilation for the moment.
  • Vincent will be retconned to be Sephiroth's father.
  • There will be references to Final Fantasy X and X-2.

Sephiroth has used the Rift to travel to the real world
  • It's been officially stated that Supernova is an attack which teleports the party to a realm within Sephiroth's mind, hence why he can destroy more than one Solar System. However, the planets seen are labeled as those from the real Solar System - clearly, he's been to the real world and has a thing for astronomy.

The FFVII Remake will be released on the Nintendo NX
  • It goes without saying that the announcement of Cloud as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. pretty much caught everyone by surprise. If there was ever a textbook definition of Unexpected Character this is it. With that being said it makes one wonder what Nintendo and Square Enix may have done/discussed to get this particular deal to happen. When the Remake was first announced at E3 2015 the reveal trailer clearly said "Play it first on Playstation 4." Therefore it's already expected to be a timed exclusive that will eventually make it's way to the Xbox One. However the sudden Smash announcement might mean it could possibly also see a release on Nintendo's new console. After all Cloud is the very first character to join the Smash roster without a single appearance on a Nintendo console up to that point. It's entirely possible that Nintendo wants FFVII on the NX but that this was part of the agreement.

The Remake will use Lightning's model during the crossdressing section
Because Lightning was designed as Cloud's Distaff Counterpart and it would be too good of an opportunity to not make the comparison.
  • Except Lightning isn't close enough to Cloud in terms of personality. Where does this comparison keep coming from?

Sapphire Weapon will be upgraded to a boss
Possibly allowing Barret a bit more time as leader, Of course the monster will flee to get its head blown off afterwards by the Junon cannon.

And now time for some Grimdark: The entire game is a Lighter and Softer version of Dead Space.
Jenova was a Black Marker. Its presence drove the once-peaceful Cetra insane and caused the collapse of their civilisation. Then according to the history, every creature in the Marker's proximity, upon death mutated into filthy abominations out of Lovecraft: these are the Necromorphs. The Cetra didn't know how to deal with them because they were a pacifist species and so didn't know how to deal with a Zombie Apocalypse like Humans would: via guns and weapons. Finally, what does Markers do when enough Necromorphs are on the planet? "Drag a Meteor (Brethren Moon) composed entirely of an Eldritch Abomination made of Necromorphised moons." This caused the Northern Crater. However, some radical Cetra decided to fight back against the abomination and drove the Necromorphs out, resulting in the forbidden weapon of Cetra civilisation: The Black Materia, which is in fact, another Marker. This is why Sephiroth, Hojo, Cloud and generally anyone who had something to do with the Markers went insane, and the Black Materia wasn't summoning Meteor; the Meteor shown was a Brethren Moon wanting to consume the world. And Sephiroth cultists are Unitologists.

Of course, if it wasn't for Aerith's Deus Ex Machina, then this won't be a kids' game but a Cosmic Horror Story.

The Fort Condor invasion force totals a couple of goons with a powerful variation on manipulate materia.
This is why you don't see Shinra troops during the Fort Condor minigame, but instead enemies that suspiciously resemble monsters in the Junon area - the wyvern is the formula, barbarian and beast are the two components of Hell Rider V2, and the Commander is (canonically) a Grand Horn. The Shinra soldiers leading the attack are hiding in a nearby forest encampment, and consider it a dead-end posting.

The Secret Of Limit Breaks And Why Everyone Can Seemingly Defy Gravity.
In the case of Cloud, Sephiroth, and the rest of the First Class SOLDIE Rs, it can chalked up to being super soldiers but what about everyone else? How is someone as thin as Tifa or someone as heavy set as Barret able to pull off stunts like that? Here's my hypothesis: The Lifestream is the source of all life on The Planet and every being on The Planet has a miniature version of the Lifestream within them which is effectively their soul. Mako is Lifestream that has been condensed into a physical liquid form which is infused into those who would become SOLDIE Rs, effectively adding more Lifestream into their own and enhancing their abilities. We also know that everyone can use Limit Breaks, not just the player characters, as shown in the Limit Break tutorial where a little girl uses one to pummel her opponent in a sparring match. How does it all tie together? Whenever someone uses a Limit Break, it is literal, they glow as if the Lifestream in their bodies is growing and they grow more powerful, leveling up as it were. SOLDIE Rs are infused with Mako to artificially boost this process so that they can outrun and outgun any enemy they go up against. By the time of the movie, everyone is more or less level 100 so their Lifestream is at maximum capacity and thus are able to keep up with the likes of Cloud and Sephiroth. Even Reno and Rude have gone through this which explains why they're able to run up walls or survive having a metal highway sign fall on their heads. Or this is all plainly obvious and I'm so dense that I'm only just now realizing it.

The Cetra and "Aktion Ahnenerbe"
The Nazi Organization "Ahnenerbe" under Herman Wirth (which were the inspirations behind the villains of Indiana Jones)searched for an ancient, advanced precursor civilisation which according to them, lived in close proximity to the north pole. In the game, Shinra searches and finds the Cetra, an advanced precursor civilisation, which lived in close proximity to the north pole. So, could it be, that the whole Cetra arc is an allusion to the Ahnenerbe?

And according to Wirth, this precursor civilisation worshipped an ancient "mother deity", while in the game, Sephiroth, who is a cloned Cetra, worships the Yenovah deity as his literal "mother".

Sephiroth's upbringing was like X-23's
Although we know next to nothing about Sephiroth's childhood, we know that he grew up under Shinra with Hojo as a constant figure in his life and it seemed that Aerith's father, Gast, was the only positive influence in his young life. Knowing what a wonderful human being Hojo is like and how Shinra operates, it can a guarantee he was treated more like an experiment and tool by everyone with no real emotional connection. While his childhood wouldn't have been as brutal as the Tsviets and X-23's, it still would have have a lot of abusive qualities that would have mentally, socially, and emotionally stunted him as a person. The fact he was trained as a Tyke Bomb from an early age could also imply a lot of Harmful to Minors elements like being forced to kill at an early age, going through excruciating experimentation, being denied anything that could perceived as making him too soft or coddle, and/or being expected to live up to high standards by his father and the company that was raising him.

Aerith was not the last Cetra
When Ifalna is sharing Cetra lore with Gast, she states that, "there aren't many of us left." That's a rather strange statement for her to make if she were truly the last at that point. If Ifalna were aware of other survivors, she certainly wouldn't out them to Shinra, which also means she wouldn't have had any opportunity to tell Aerith that there were others. Everyone who makes the claim that Aerith was the last originally heard it either from Shinra, or from Aerith herself, and neither source was in a position to know otherwise.

Shinra Sr. is Cloud's father
It's a pretty well-known and enduring theory that I'm surprised wasn't already on here. Blonde hair and blue eyes are recessive traits. Therefore, Cloud's father would either also be blonde haired and blue eyed or come from a family with those reoccurring traits. Of the characters we see, few men in the right age range and position have those traits. The Shinras are all blonde and some variation of blue-eyed. Shinra installed a mansion in Cloud's home town of Nibelheim years ago, right next to where we see the Strife household in-game. We also already know that Shinra Sr. is prone to having affairs and producing illegitimate children because there's already two illigitimate childen of his in the extended cast, both from different mothers—and one of those mothers lied to their son about his parentage and claimed the son's father had died when he was young. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, this is the same explanation that Cloud's mother apparently told him for Cloud's own father's absence, according to the FFVII guide. Not only is Shinra Sr. one of the few characters who fit the bill for Cloud's potential father, but it wouldn't be out of character at all for Shinra to get a girl pregnant and then leave her to raise the kid alone, because he's already known to have done that before. Also, look at the pattern: Angeal and Genesis had a twist backstory that revealed a secret parent in Shinra, Sephiroth had a twist backstory that revealed a secret parent in Shinra, Aerith had a twist backstory that revealed a secret parent in Shinra. All of Zack's friends seem to somehow turn out to be the children of major Shinra executives. Cloud's the main character; secretly being Shinra's son would be the apotheosis of a clear writing trend. There is a bunch more posts about this elsewhere but a probably more cogent explanation can be found here.

The chocobo breeding sidequest happened, and Cloud has a Gold Chocobo.
In the data table of chocobo racers, only one name is unused: "Julia", seeming to refer to a Dummied Out opponent. All the others are encountered at some point, so it seems odd that there's exactly one no-show.However, there is also one chocobo with no in-game name: the player's. "Julia" is the name Cloud gave his own chocobo.