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  • Awesome Music:
    • "Why?" is a J-pop theme, which plays during the game's ending and segues into the end credits. It's easily the standout among the soundtrack, as the vocals (by Ayaka) are awesome and doubles as a Tear Jerkernote .
    • Most of the game's soundtrack accounts to this, such as some of the remixes of music from FFVII such as "On The Verge of the Assault" which is a remix of Those Who Fight. An epic version is part of the ending credits music.
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    • Also, "The Price of Freedom". Whilst this pops up in one or two cutscenes, this music finds its place in the background of Zack's final battle.
    • 'Fulfilled Desire' (also called 'Living Legacy'). Think long orchestral theme incorporating several other themes - Aerith's, the FF 7 battle theme - and you have this track.
    • "The World's Enemy." It's a remix of One-Winged Angel. 'nuff said.
    • Genesis's boss tunes are quite appropriate for the battles, despite all the heavy metal, or rather, because of it for some.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Angeal in a nutshell. While he does have a fair share of haters, mostly for screaming "honor" every five seconds (something which even Sephiroph makes fun of him for), he also beloved by many, for his general Rated M for Manly character, courage, his poignant and close relationship with Zack, and for having one of the saddest death scenes in the compilation. Regardless, he's one of the most popular and well received original characters added for the game.
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  • Character Rerailment: Cloud and Aerith after being Flanderized into Emo and Incorruptible Pure Pureness in later installments. Cloud is a lot more cheerful and Nice Guy and Aerith gains her streetwise, flirty, mischievous demeanor back.
  • Creator's Pet: Genesis Rhapsodos. Designed by Tetsuya Nomura as a tribute to Gackt, and talked up by other characters as one of the greatest SOLDIERs ever, fans hate him for his selfish and petty behavior, his constant LOVELESS rantings, and being retconned into the backstory of the VII world. His inclusion in the iconic Nibelheim Incident to help motivate Sephiroth's Start of Darkness is particularly loathed. This is also a major reason that some fans fear a sequel to VII — because it's heavily implied that Genesis would have a major role in play in such a Grand Finale to the series, and fans have no desire to see him return.
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  • Demonic Spiders: Take your pick: Wasps that are highly defensive against weapon damage and have insta-death abilities, those blobs that are highly resistant to all damage and are capable of casting spells in the max damage range, or... just see the damn article already. This game has a lot.
  • 8.8: X-Play's 2/5 stood out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the positive reviews. They then did a mock review where they gave it a 6/5 as a insult people who bashed them for the bad review.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Director Lazard, Cissnei, and even Kunzel all have their fan followings.
  • Foe Yay: The rivalry between Genesis and Sephiroth can be considered this if the Shipping Goggles are on tight enough.
  • Game-Breaker: Here.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "I won't forget." Considering what happens next...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The significance the three characters who wield it put in the Buster Sword can be this if one remembers how in the original game the first thing you did when you came to a weapons shop was to ditch it and buy a better one.
    • Tried to be exact as most versions of the game wouldn't allow you to sell it (same with Barret's original gun-arm)
  • Ho Yay: Various combinations with Zack, Sephiroth, and/or Angeal.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Genesis might be a cocky jerk, but consider the events of the game from his perspective: He's one of the stars of SOLDIER when suddenly, he receives a small wound and his body begins to degrade (and considering that it happens over the course of five years it likely wasn't comfortable). Hollander informs him of the truth about Shinra, thus giving Genesis extra incentive to rebelnote  and he also begins considering himself a monster, implying that he's taking a Then Let Me Be Evil stance.
  • Killer App: For the PSP.
  • Memetic Mutation: Describing a sequence of events that always end with- "And suddenly, there's Angeal saying, 'Prove your honor to me!'" no matter the source material.
  • Narm:
    • During the flashback to Sephiroth, Genesis, and Angeal, in training, Genesis prepares to blast Sephiroth with magic only for Angeal to grab his wrist to stop him. He then says, in a rather unconcerned voice, "stop. You'll destroy us all." The quite obviously better and simplier wording could have been something like "stop, you could hurt him," but the line they did go with, combined with Angeal's Dull Surprise as he says it in both expression and voice, make it come off as him being overdramatic when he's supposed to be the voice of reason in the trio.
      • This is then not helped by what happens next, when Genesis attacks Angeal and knocks him aside, snapping "that's no way to talk to a hero!" Seeing Genesis lash out at his friend in his fervor should be a surprising moment, except that Genesis' "attack" takes the form of a Face Palm Of Doom where he blasts Angeal's face with an explosion, which just looks silly.
    • The Climax Boss fight with Hollander quickly becomes silly (not that it already) when you behold his cinematic attack — he reaches into his satchel, pulls out a giant missile bigger than him that he has trouble holding, and throws it at Zack.
    • The death scene at the end can also qualify. Here, we go from a silent, sudden death to a heroic passing-of-the-torch speech that seems to drag on forever, then a j-pop song plays as Angeal appears to take him off to the Lifestream.
  • Never Live It Down: The fans will never forget "Zack the puppy".
  • Paranoia Fuel: The "find the Wutai spies" sidequest that happens midway through the game. The last spy is even (improbably) disguised as a kid!
  • Player Punch: Zack's death. It says a lot about the game's directing that, even though it's a Foregone Conclusion most fans knew about going into the game, it is still a genuine Tear Jerker — knowing it's coming does nothing to blunt the blow of how painful it is to actually play through it and watch it happen.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Being the game that was supposed to explain Zack Fair's origins, it was meant to also finally reveal the love story between Zack and Aerith. And yet, Zack arguably gets more potential development with Cissnei.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Genesis, largely for the fact he spends a lot of the time he's on-screen reciting bad poetry. There is also the small problem of him being a self-centered asshole, who directly and indirectly causes every tragedy that happened in the game (And several in Final Fantasy VII to boot), in an attempt to remove an ailment which was his own fault to begin with, while the plot attempts to treat him as The Woobie.
    • No one, even in-universe, likes Dr. Hollander. Think Hojo, but without the competence and snark that make Hojo a Love to Hate villain, so Hollander just comes off as an inept and cruel coward.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The impossible to dodge cutscene attacks that bosses are fond of using, especially in Hard mode. The most flagrant Hard Mode example being in mission 5-1-2 (a fight with Bahamut) where Megaflare (the cutscene attack) will kill you in one hit if you take the mission shortly after gaining access to it, in spite of the game calling its difficulty "Normal". Yes, a mission that's impossible without specifically preparing for the inevitable one hit kill by an undodgable attack is just normal....
      • Even worse in the fight with the Superboss, Minerva. Yes, it's meant to be tough. But do you think an undodgable cinematic attack that has a good chance of dealing 99999 damage AND removes your Raise status is a little broken?
    • The DMW system randomizes when Zack levels up, when his Materia levels up (as well as which ones level up, and how much), when he can perform Limit Breaks, and randomly heals him or gives him temporary stat buffs. While leveling up isn't entirely randomnote , the ability to level up Materia and execute Limit Breaks relying on random chance is ridiculous.
    • All encounters are on fixed places, even if you cannot SEE them. This means you can accidentally re-enter a "conflict" as soon as you have "resolved" another, simply because you took one step in the wrong direction. It is possible to avoid MOST fixed encounters by hugging the correct ledge/wall, but some are unavoidable, specially during "open world" maps. After hours playing the game you will likely cringe every single time you hear "Activating Combat Mode!"
  • Squick: Sephiroth's fanclub, the "Silver Elite" is headed by a mysterious "Chairwoman H." The game implies this is Hojo. Okay, he's the head of Sephiroth's fanclub, not so bad... until you read the email where he informs the club members of what Sephiroth uses to wash his hair, including rose and vanilla-scented perfumes, and says he goes through a bottle of conditioner every wash. Get your Brain Bleach ready—first, think about the possible ways Hojo could know Sephiroth's bathing habits. Second, think about why he would want to know. Hair care isn't exactly pivotal to scientific research... Then remember that Hojo is, in fact, Sephiroth's dad.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Between Dirge of Cerberus and Advent Children being poorly received, and Before Crisis never being released outside Japan, Crisis Core has the dubious honor of being the Final Fantasy VII spin-off with the best reception. It still has its detractors, but most agree it's much better than the other mentioned installments.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: There was absolutely no need to introduce Genesis Rhapsodos or have his rebellion against Shinra be the focus of the plot.note  Backstory had already established the Wutai War, and Before Crisis (which was directed by the same person, Hajime Tabata, that directed Crisis Core) had the war with the original incarnation of AVALANCHE. Crisis Core could have easily focused on Zack's adventures in either of these two conflicts, rather than focusing on a third war against a Scrappy Creator's Pet. It's particularly bad when the game does acknowledge the war against AVALANCHE as seen in Before Crisis is going on at the same time as the Genesis War, but nothing comes of it aside from a couple of missions involving AVALANCHE and a Mythology Gag or two.
  • Too Cool to Live: Zack is suave, charming, confident, friendly, morally upstanding, and an extremely skilled SOLDIER. Even if you don't know his fate going into the game, a Crapsack World like VII's won't let someone like this survive forever.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The game tries to sell Genesis as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, desperate for a cure to his genetic degredation to the point he's willing to wage war for it, and he's really just an Unwitting Pawn to Hollander and Lazard for their revenge scehemes. Except he's a selfish, arrogant, long-winded jerk, the injury that triggered the disease is his own fault for showing off and not backing down in his duel with Sephiroth, and a strong case could be made that if Genesis hadn't started his rebellion against Shinra, the events that set Sephiroth's Start of Darkness in motion probably wouldn't have happened. Hell, Genesis spends much of the game mocking both Angeal and Sephiroth for their inner conflicts, even though the three of them are supposed to be friends and those two really don't want to see Genesis as their enemy. Exactly at what point is his behavior supposed to inspire sympathy?
  • Wangst: A lot of Angeal's What Measure Is a Non-Human?. Considering that Zack calls him out on it, it seems to be somewhat intentional.

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