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YMMV / Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Are Biggs' Famous Last Words an attempt to tell Jessie his genuine opinion of her voice, or are they something he chose to say on the off chance Jessie would Go Out with a Smile and Die Laughing?
    • At the end of Episode 9, Cloud's laughter at the sentence of having sex with Tifa. Is he genuinely amused and views it as Unishment, or is he Laughing Mad because he genuinely fears the notion?
    • Cloud himself posits a very likely one in the season 1 finale. The reason Tifa is such a horrible Adaptational Jerkass is because the trauma of witnessing her father's gruesomely murdered corpse caused her emotions to become stunted and her refusal to move on has caused her to stagnate into the horrid bitch we now know. The fact that her advice to Cloud having a panic attack was to "repress" lends credence to this theory.
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    • Cloud letting Yuffie in the party. Was it just because she was a possible lead on Sephiroth, or did he let her tag along because he knew how much she was annoying Tifa and relished in it? Evidence supports the latter, as the convincing line was Yuffie saying "I'll do you a solid if you do me a solid!"
    • Fans are divided on Tifa's statement that Cloud and her didn't have sex during the Nibelheim incident in episode 14. Some think Tifa was just awkwardly trying to end the conversation while others think something happened and Tifa just used Suspiciously Specific Denial. Given Tifa's penchant for lying from time to time, she may be pulling it out of her ass instead of straight-up telling him that he wasn't the person he thought he was back then.
    • Speaking of which: Is Tifa going along with Cloud's supposed memories and is rolling with it despite knowing the truth, or is she trying to protect Cloud and Aerith out of consideration for Zack, whom she knew and knows exactly what happened to him? Plus, when Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith were in Gongaga, Tifa understandably realizes that they were speaking to Zack's parents. But her reaction to Cloud's comments to his parents speaks volumes, since she knows who Zack is, what happened, and realizes that Zack and Aerith were a couple before his passing.
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    • Cloud's insensitive comments throughout season 2. Did he take a level in jerkass after spending so much of season 1 getting shit on by his peers, did he always have a Lack of Empathy that didn't show until recently, or was he just being Innocently Insensitive? The third point seems more likely since his tone doesn't hint at any malice, and Barret claims that he is too socially unaware to see how hurtful his comments get. He outright admits to Aerith during their date when he apologizes to her about his insensitivity back at Gongaga that he really was trying to play the cool, unattached badass that he admired, which is both canon and an Author's Saving Throw.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Red XIII seems very peppy despite all his years of experimentation by Hojo, though he does note that he'll actually miss Shinra due to having so much sex there. Though it's implied by his Anything That Moves personality in Season 2 onward that it may have turned him into a sex-addict and he's just too ditzy to realize it's an issue.
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    • Apart from his overtly stated desire to make Hojo's death as painful and horrible as humanly possible, Vincent seems to take the fact that he's an immortal abomination of science with spiders living inside him quite well.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • For anybody who found the Prison Rape gag from episode 2 uncomfortable, Cloud gives Tifa a "Reason You Suck" Speech in episode 10, with her colorful rape threat being one of the things he calls her out on.
    • Cloud's characterization here is actually something of a Character Rerailment. While detractors have accused TFS of saddling Cloud with Wimpification, Cloud is, while an exaggeration, closer to his Pre-KH/Advent Children personality. In the original game, Cloud was only projecting the image of a badass and was never the brooding guy he would eventually morph into.
    • Related to the above, Season 2 moves away from Cloud being a generic, wimpy Loser Protagonist that he was in Season 1, and fully into his game characterization (or rather, a parody of it): a brash, self-absorbed egotist who's projecting the image of a badass in order to make up for his insecurity.
    • Tifa is relatively nicer in the second season. While still abrasive to Cloud, her put downs have be reined back to only being dished out when he actually does something deserving of it, and her treatment of Barret and Yuffie highlight her nicer aspects.
      • Similarly, some have criticized Aerith for acting like a borderline saint, almost as if Tifa was derailed to make her look better. In season 2, her more negative traits, like her clinginess towards Cloud, are given more focus to flesh her out more.
      • Also similarly, some people feel Cloud's mistreatment in season 1 was unjustified at best and horribly mean-spirited at worst. By season 2, Cloud is given more Idiot and Jerkass Balls to justify this treatment.
    • Cid being into BDSM with Shera as his Dominatrix manages to be one for their horribly one-sided and uncomfortable relationship in the original game, as it allows Cid to vent his otherwise legit frustrations with Shera without being the domestic abuser the original was. And when you factor in how BDSM is actually supposed to work, consent and communication-wise, it actually makes their relationship far healthier and more equal as a result, and arguably will make their reconciliation and later marriage more palpable for those who didn't like the idea of a domestic abused woman marrying her abuser, even if he stopped with the abuse.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Tifa. She is an awful and toxic friend to Cloud, so some people find her abuse of him to be uncomfortable, while others find it hilarious. There's also the fact that her Adaptational Jerkassery seems like the treatment that less experienced abridgers would give her. This ends up being to Episode 10's benefit as the rant Cloud gives Tifa at the end comes off as a huge Catharsis Factor and set up the possibility for future Character Development. Subsequently, opinions on Tifa have improved in season 2, where, while she's still abrasive and a Jerkass, she's shown to genuinely care about Cloud while giving him crap when justified and has Taken A Level In Kindness towards other characters. Not only does she have a sister-like relationship with Yuffie but she also gets a Pet the Dog moment with Aerith in being the one to help comfort her over Zack's death. She even is able to genuinely encourage Cloud without any underhanded comments or negative tones in episode 20. Season 3 continues this train of development, from calmly inquiring about the seemingly one-sided nature of Cid and Shera's relationship. She also finally realizes how she's been acting when trying to talk Yuffie down and, in doing so, makes amends with her.
    • In contrast to Tifa, Aerith has been given this treatment for the opposite reason. Some people like her for how nice she is, especially to Cloud. However, others believe that she's too nice. Some also accuse her of being a Creator's Pet, since she's shown multiple times to be perfect for Cloud in stark contrast to the more toxic Tifa, which gives a serious Die for Our Ship vibe. Whenever she does something legitimately malicious, like breaking the Shiva Materia or letting Tifa suffer with poison, she never gets called out on it. Barret, who looks for any excuse to dump on Cloud for every mistake he makes, is uncharacteristically reasonable with her when she heals an enemy robot. The only character who outright hates her is Tifa, but it's more out of jealousy rather than a grudge or maliciousness, and Aerith will always get the last word whenever they argue. Even then, Tifa eventually warms up to her and leaves flowers for her on her grave.
    • Vincent got this in his debut. The season 2 trailer made it seem like Takahata101 would be playing him using his Alucard voice, only for it to be revealed to be a 10-second Bait-and-Switch; instead, he's played by Faulerro doing a take on Richmond. Some fans were disappointed they wouldn't be getting Taka, while others liked Faulerro's performance fine and were happy they went in a more original direction with Vincent's character and felt using the Alucard voice would have been too obvious of a punchline. That said, TFS even acknowledges in-universe that Alucard comparisons are kind of unavoidable.
  • Better Than Canon: This series does wonders for Reeve as a character. He's greatly fleshed out compared to his game counterpart, giving him several sympathetic moments and playing up his earnest attempts at trying to do good, even if most of them end in failure. This also applies to Cait Sith as he acts much more like an extension of Reeve's personality, as apposed to the disjointed robot reveal.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Cid smokes cigars, curses a lot, and is single-mindedly obsessed with going to space, but he's the best damn pilot the group has encountered so far. And that's not even getting into the true nature of his and Shera's relationship...
    • Don't forget about the Tankceratops! A tank-dinosaur hybrid with its own brand of cereals that longs to become an action figure.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Hojo's confession to his fetish. On the one hand, forcing people to mate with each other or with animals is a grim and horrifying form of torture. In such excess, and with such a hammy performance, it suddenly becomes hysterical.
    • A woman grieving her dead son? Not funny. Revealing it was because she unknowingly fed him food with a high amount of lead? Also not funny. Revealing it was Tankceratops cereal and then having said Tankceratops roll by advertising the cereal? Fucking hilarious.
    • Red XIII rejoining the party by following a trail of corpses? Grim. Red happily revealing he's full from eating the corpses? Hilarious.
    • Cid being verbally abusive to Shera as in canon? Not terribly funny at all. Cid and Shera's relationship being Sadomasochistic with him abusing her verbally during the day and her dominating him sexually during the night? Hilarious!
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The first 3 episodes can get this response from early viewers as the cast is a lot more abrasive compared to their canon counterparts, who regularly dump on Cloud for little to no reason, and the humor can get pretty dark. This all culminates in the infamous Prison Rape threat at the end of Episode 2. While this style of humor is not indicative of the show afterwards at all, it happens so early on that it was enough to turn some early viewers off before Aerith joins the cast and drastically lightens the tone of the series moving forward.
  • Designated Monkey: Cloud was this in season 1, as he rarely, if ever, deserved his harsh treatment. By season 2, Cloud Took a Level in Jerkass, justifying his treatment more.
  • Die for Our Ship: Some people theorize this to be the reason for Tifa's cruel behavior in contrast to the much kinder Aerith in season 1. Team Four Star themselves had said this is not the case.
  • Ear Worm: The series has a really nice opening title sequence. Also, any time Yuffie breaks out into singing.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The minor characters Cloud and Aerith meet while gathering materials for his disguise to sneak into Don Corneo's mansion (Giuseppe, the "Drugs" Guy, Squatacles and the Church of Brodin) are loved by fans for their hilarious lines and being kind and supportive of Cloud crossdressing (even if he was just to save Tifa).
    • The Tankceratops, in-universe, and out. Its limited on-screen time does not hinder its popularity. Its Large Ham tendencies and its Merchandise-Driven dialogue essentially made it a Fountain of Memes.
  • Growing the Beard: The initial reactions to the series were lukewarm at best, with many being uncomfortable with the incredibly profane dialogue and run-of-the-mill abridgement characterization (i.e Cloud is a wimp (though that one's actually not too far off from how he used to be), Barret is an Angry Black Man, Tifa is a psycho), etc. After a few episodes for the cast to settle into their roles and the introduction of Aerith, both the writing and the characterization gradually became better, with many viewing the last 4 episodes of the first season being of the same quality of Team Four Stars' other projects, and the majority of viewers now being just as excited for it as DBZ Abridged.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Barret telling Cloud not to f*ck up in the first episode? Yeah, not so funny anymore when Episode 15 rolls around and reveals that Barret's backstory involves him f*cking up in the worst way.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Barret's reaction to Red XIII being a "talking dog" in Episode 9 becomes this when it is revealed in the next episode that Barret always wanted a talking dog as a best friend ever since he was little.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Cloud being subjected to Tifa's abuse despite being his friend becomes this when Justin Briner, Cloud's voice actor, would later go on to voice Izuku Midoriya, who had similar issues with Bakugou. Taken even further that much like Midoriya, Cloud wanted to be a hero, but ended up being a washout in SOLDIER, mirroring Midoriya's Quirklessness.
    • Speaking of Tifa's early treatment of Cloud, during the Prison Rape threat, her comment about there being "so much to grab onto" with his hair becomes this when one remembers Crono, who arguably has more to grab onto. And unlike Cloud, he does end up in prison at one point.
    • Rufus's comment about how his father would likely kidnap someone Sephiroth cares about to lure him into a trap becomes this if you remember that the only person he cares about is Jenova, and Shinra did technically kidnap her by moving her from Nibelheim to Midgar. Also, Cloud questioning Rufus about how Sephiroth broke in to Shinra HQ is this if you realize he didn't break in; he broke out.
    • Cloud's fight with Rufus is this after the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Rufus is voiced by Xander Mobus, who is the current voice of the announcer, but it goes further when it was announced that Joker will be a DLC character, allowing a spiritual rematch between Cloud and Rufus.
    • Remember that gag at the start of the first episode showing the three options of "New Game", "Continue", and "HD Remake"? Square Enix's E3 2019 presentation began with a new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake that began with almost exactly the same joke!
  • Jerkass Woobie: Practically everyone to some extent, but here are the standout examples:
    • Tifa is a Jerkass of galactic proportions, but she's also been emotionally crippled for years due to her mother's death and, later, her father's murder.
    • Barret, to a lesser extent. Sure he can be abrasive and at times verbally abusive towards Cloud. But he inadvertently caused his town to be destroyed, is a pariah among the survivors and former friends while having also lost his wife (Who, in this universe, he was caring for while she was ill until the destruction of his town). It's easy to see how he became the way he is, and why he's so hard on Cloud.
    • Yuffie becomes one when she briefly holds the Jerkass Ball during most of Episode 22. On the one hand, she steals everyone's materias and acts a lot more hostile to everybody, especially Tifa. But this is also the episode that shows that her family life is a wreck (his father is a deadbeat who asks her for money and her mother is in rehab); as well as the episode that reveals that Shinra crushing her home country during the war then turning it into a tourist attraction affected her a lot more than she initially let on. Shinra ruined her town and she wants revenge. When Tifa explains to her that her behaviour is destructive on the long run and tries to stop her before it's too late, while opening up to her about the deaths of her parents, Yuffie ends up in tears.
  • Les Yay: Tifa and Yuffie become very close friends over the course of the series. They regularly get pretty touchy around each other, which is notable given how hostile Tifa is when it comes to affection, physical or otherwise. It's also no coincidence that Tifa ultimately opens up to Yuffie about the death of her parents. And on Yuffie's end, her admiration for Tifa is the entire reason she joined in the first place, with the Materia seeming to be an added bonus.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • President President Shinra crosses it not only by insisting on dropping a section of the city on top of another section of the city, but by taking way too much satisfaction in watching it happen. As creepy as it is to see him skewered to his desk with Sephiroth's sword, he had it coming.
    • Although Hojo probably crossed it a long time ago, attempting to force mating between Aerith and Red confirms it for the audience.
    • The fate of Nibelheim. It's almost entirely Played for Drama. In-Universe, in Cloud's memories, Sephiroth crossed it when he revealed to have killed his mother.
      • And if not that part, the part where he famously kills Aerith, then rubs her death in Cloud's face as Cloud cries over her body.
    • Scarlet led a massacre on Barret's village after their mako reactor was destroyed. This broke Barret into becoming the man he is now.
  • Narm: A lot of Sephiroth's exceptionally disturbing aura is undermined by the fact that his mouth always seems to be hanging open even when he's not talking, making it look like he's constantly trying to blow out a candle. This is especially jarring since everyone else with visible mouths can shut them just fine. There's also a notable moment when, while giving a completely serious monologue, the gesticulating character model stabs himself through the head with his own sword.
  • Never Live It Down: That whole Prison Rape joke from Episode 2 hung like an albatross around the neck of the show in general and Tifa in particular for a very long time. However, that seemed to be intentional.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Tifa got a lot of crap for generally treating Cloud like shit in episode 2. Subsequent episodes have revealed that she does genuinely care about him and wants what, in her own mind, is best for him, and that she's also a damaged wreck of a person because of her repressed memories of her disastrous childhood and has tremendous trouble emotionally relating to people. Season 2 in general seems to be dedicated to developing her in positive ways, making her more supportive of the other group members, and making her derision of Cloud apply mostly to moments where it's deserved. She even gets a Pet the Dog moment towards Aerith in episode 18.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Cloud giving Tifa an epic "Reason You Suck" Speech at the end of Episode 10.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Tifa becomes a much bigger Butt-Monkey in season 2. The biggest example was when she's poisoned by the Midgar Zolom and Aerith deliberately lets her suffer. This seems to be presented as Laser-Guided Karma for her Jerkass behavior in season 1, but even the infamous Prison Rape ultimatum didn't warrant something as horrific as nearly getting poisoned to death.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Zack's parents' anger at Cloud's insensitive way of announcing their son's death is perfectly justified, but it also comes a minute after they laughed at the expense of a woman who lost her son because of lead poisoning, and the Moral Myopia can make it hard to sympathize with them.
    • Barret during the first visit to the Golden Saucer. While Cloud telling him to just get over what happened to Corel was a bit uncalled for, that doesn't really justify him snapping at everybody when Red XIII tried calming him down.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: The main cast barely tolerates Yuffie's presence at first since she's an annoying and bratty teenager, but she's pretty popular with the show's fans specifically for that reason.
  • What an Idiot!: When Cloud is disguised in drag, what does he tell Don Corneo in attempt to get out of sleeping with him? "I'm a virgin!"
  • The Woobie:
    • In Season 2, Red XIII is very worried about his best friend Barret's sudden moodiness as they get close to his hometown. Then right after being confronted with his past mistakes, the especially touchy Barret explodes at Red and calls him a bad dog before storming off, while Red isn't mentally equipped at all to understand the emotional nuances going on and cries as he thinks it must be true.
    • Reeve is a man who longs for justice and genuinely wants to improve the lives of his citizens, but is stuck working for a company run by moronic Card Carrying Villains. He's regularly belittled by his coworkers, especially Scarlet, who went as far as to sleep with him just to mock his performance. He even cried about Sector 7's destruction and Cait Sith's dialogues give more insight into his lonely lifenote  and his feelings of Heroic Self-Deprecation. When Cid asks everyone to close their eyes and visualize their biggest dream and the type of world they want to see to calm them up, all he can see is the destruction of Sector 7.


Example of: