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YMMV / Crisis Core

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  • Adorkable: Zack can be very endearingly awkward at times.
  • 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 it doubles as a Tear Jerkernote .
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    • Most of the game's soundtrack accounts to this (which shouldn’t be too surprising considering that it was composed by Takeharu Ishimoto, who is highly regarded for his work on The World Ends with You and it’s excellent soundtrack), such as some of the remixes of music from VII 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.
    • 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 VII 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, especially "Those Who Accept the Protection of the Stars"/"The Planet Has Become My Guardian" and "The SOLDIER Way" are quite appropriate for the battles, despite all the heavy metal, or rather, because of it for some.
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  • 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 Sephiroth 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.
  • Broken Base: As a prequel, the retcon of major events like the Nibelheim incident in VII is very divisive among the players, especially between those who played the original first and those who didn't. Notably, Zack's death in here actually has a notable number of detractors, stating that it is a glorified anime-style Last Stand against a legion of soldiers which is inferior to the "realistic" death he was given in the original. On the other hand, the defenders of the scene state that the idea of having Zack, a SOLDIER 1st Class getting gunned down by only three normal Shinra infantry men is even more "unrealistic" and would have made the scene reek of Plotline Death and Doomed by Canon.
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  • 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 why some fans are soured on the idea of 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 the fanbase has little interest in that kind of story. Outside of an attempt in the future to make him more likable, this will be pretty much how he will be received till the end of days.
  • 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:
    • Lazard gets points for being another of the very few among Shinra leadership with a sense of morals and duty, and he's a respected director of SOLDIER.
    • Cissnei is warmly accepted as an honorary fifth Turk. Accordingly, since she's the only Before Crisis one to get a canonical name (even if she claims it's an alias), some consider her the face of that title.
    • Kunsel is a Mauve Shirt who doesn't even get a unique model or ever show his face, but he is remembered for being a good, loyal friend to Zack who would jeopardize his standing in the company to help him out. His fans were upset that his fate was Left Hanging after he sends an email saying he's going to come find and help Zack after he escapes from Nibelheim. When the remake of the original game name-dropped Kunsel in a late-game chapter, Crisis Core fans rejoiced to hear him acknowledged.
  • 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 - or what Cloud does with it between the original game & Advent Children.
  • Ho Yay: See here.
  • 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. It became one of the highest-selling PSP titles and a major reason for Final Fantasy VII fans to want a PSP.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Most any of the computerized voice clips that play in battle. "Activating Combat Mode!", "Conflict Resolved", "Modulating Phase!", "Power Surge!"
    • 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.
    • Me? Gongaga. Explanation 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: "Modulating Phase!" and the (hopefully) subsequent "Power Surge!".
  • Narm:
    • There's a scene in which a Genesis copy eats some of Zack's hair, and the way Rick Gomez delivers the line "No way! He just ate my hair!" sounds unintentionally hilarious because although there is a note of disgust in his voice, it also sounds like he's somewhat fascinated by it anyway.
    • 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.
    • Zack saying "Me? Gongaga!" (when telling Cloud about his hometown) can sound like odd baby gibberish when taken out of context without subtitles.
    • 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. However, when you translate the lyrics of the song in question, this can be safely in the Narm Charm area.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The fans will never forget Angeal's nickname of "Zack the puppy" for him.
    • Also, how the hell did the last Wutai Spy disguise himself as a kid? Clearly this is an inconsistency, not bound by the laws of physics and only takes a Willing Suspension of Disbelief to appreciate. It brings some jokes asking if the Wutai Spy can shapeshift. As such, expect some guides or walkthroughs commonly pointing out this incident.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The "Find the Wutai spies" sidequest that happens midway through the game. It's because the spies perfectly disguised themselves to look like any other ordinary NPC you can meet, and that only weird lines of dialogue and placement on the stages serve as clues pointing out to the suspicious individuals. 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.
      • In fact, not helping with the massive amount of RNG in place, the Limit Breaks can also trigger certain memories. You need to trigger each individual memory at least once per character for 100% Completion in the DMW itself, with the reward being the Genji Armor.note  However, getting them to show up and trigger a new memory instead of one you have seen several times before requires you to be nothing short of being Born Lucky as you need to effectively pass multiple rolls of the dice in a single instant. On top of all this, to access either the Genesis, Summon and Chocobo Modes, you have to succeed in lining up the DMW reels and hope that RNG favours you. It's noted that you lose the Genesis portrait upon death until you regain it again by chance, making 100% Completion completely up to luck.
    • 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 and bridges. After hours playing the game you will likely cringe every single time you hear "Activating Combat Mode!".
    • The Permanently Missable Content. While some are inconsequential like mail and materia that you can just get later on, there is the Research Shop QMC+ which in a chest at Gongaga, the Phoenix Summon in Nibelheim and various missions that require talking to NPCs in which missing them will make you regret saving your game. Missing the last two will make 100% Completion impossible.
  • Signature Scene
    • The three-way duel between Sephiroth, Genesis, and Angeal, is regarded as one of the coolest scenes in the game.
    • The boss battles with Angeal Penance and Sephiroth are highlights of major plot developments with high emotional states and difficulty.
    • The ending. Good god, the ending...
  • 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: While Dirge of Cerberus was poorly received, Advent Children was contentious, and Before Crisis was never released outside Japan, Crisis Core gained the honor of being regarded as the best Final Fantasy VII spin-off, for its worldbuilding of Shinra and Midgar, its likeable and well-developed protagonist, and fun Action-RPG gameplay. It isn't universally loved, but the fanbase is much warmer to it than the other entries in the Compilation.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Wutai War was well-established in the backstory of the VII world, and it was known from Before Crisis that Shinra also waged war with a much larger, more violent precursor to AVALANCHE (and Crisis Core and Before Crisis were directed by the same person, Hajime Tabata). Here, the game starts with the Wutai War in its final stages and it's over after the first chapter, and Wutai remnants and AVALANCHE play no role in the story beyond a few Missions and a Mythology Gag or two. Zack's role in either conflict could have served as the basis for the main story of this game just fine, instead of focusing entirely on the Genesis War.
  • 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 degradation 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 schemes. Except he's a selfish, arrogant, long-winded jerk, the injury that triggered the disease is his own fault for showing off and refusing to back 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.
    • The main reason why practically no one took Genesis as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. His drive to cure his degradation made him both indirectly and directly responsible for everything bad happening in VII, especially his actions in Nibelheim.


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