We Need To Talk About Final Fantasy VII

Yesterday, I flooded the page with my ramblings on how we kinda need to just get over Sephiroth. Today, I’m going to splurge about some of the things that bug me about other characters from Final Fantasy VII, or their popular perception, to be precise.

Again, spoiler warning.

Cloud Strife

Cloud’s not emo, he’s just misunderstood. No, really, he is.

In the original game Cloud is a stoic mercenary, serving as your basic aloof badass for hire. But as he interacts with Tifa and Aerith, he shows a subtle emotional side, and a more traditionally heroic devotion.

As the game progresses, Sephiroth’s torture reveals more of Cloud’s true self, and his journeying loosens his tight-lipped persona. He becomes a forthright, angry, driven hero.

He’s not emo. Oh sure, he mopes. But considering he never achieved his dream, saw his hometown burned to cinders by his childhood hero, lost his mum in that blaze, almost lost his childhood crush, was captured by an evil scientist, brutally experimented on for five years, then broke out and was powerless to stop his best friend from being gunned down in front of him and all this trauma pushed him so far into despair his mind broke and had to create a false persona just to get by, I think he’s allowed the odd sad time.

I don’t mind that they undid a lot of his development for Advent Children. The idea that without Sephiroth to motivate him and his contraction of Geostigma he would regress into a more misanthropic thing makes sense for his character, even if it was a deliberate choice to make him more marketable.

But it did probably start the “Cloud is an emo” thing as a majority ruling on him. It doesn’t help that he’s fairly mopey in Kingdom Hearts and Dissidia too.

The point stands! Cloud: not emo. Cloud: severely emotionally damaged guy. Difference. There is one.

Tifa Lockhart

Stupid Tifa. She can’t cope without Cloud. Her entire character is based around her relationship to him.

Except it’s he who can’t cope without her, and Tifa had a definite, distinct character. The task she chose to devote herself too was helping Cloud when his mind started to fall apart at the seems.

See, the Nibelheim incident in which CLoud lost his mother and hometown, Tifa lost her hometown, parents and friends too.  Plus she nearly died at the hands of Sephiroth. She lost more in Nibelheim than Cloud did, and where did she end up? Running a bar in the slums, part of an eco-terrorist organisation. Helping to facilitate the deaths of hundreds of people due to her undying hatred of ShinRa.

When Cloud comes along, she suspects something’s up. Seeing as he’s one of the few surviving  pieces of her past, she naturally tries to keep him around. Tifa gradually realises that Cloud is conflating his history with Zack’s, and when that’s revealed to Cloud one of her last remaining links to her childhood and one of her friends she’s made while travelling completely breaks down.

If you wouldn’t stop to help Cloud in the same situation, you are a heartless bastard.

It’s pretty trendy, particularly on the internet, to bash any female character who admits to any emotion or commits a “girly” action as being a weak, whiny princess in need of rescue.

And that’s really gotta stop. The Final Fantasy heroines since number IV have had strength. But it’s an inner strength. The ability to take all the shit that’s slung at them, which is often just as bad or worst as the protagonist, and still be on the front lines, acting as emotional support for the others while still being a crucial component of the battle team.

That’s what Tifa’s got. Maybe we expect more from her because she’s an Amazonian style barefist fighter. But that’s unreasonable. Tifa’s strength isn’t just physical, it’s emotional. Without her to help him, Cloud would never have got his shit together.

Aerith Gainsborough

Like Sephiroth, every time Aerith appears outside of the original, she’s got a completely different personality from the original game. She was a flighty, flirty pixie always willing to put herself in danger and trying to get Cloud to open up by being really forward.

She’s not a saintly, quiet girl always praying for happiness and peace and puppy dogs and rainbows.

I get why she’s portrayed like that. They’re trying to make her be more of an Ideal. She’s the mystical force that opposes the evil of Sephiroth and Jenova. True, once she’s in the Lifestream she is hinted to have called the Lifestream forward to protect the planet, but that’s doesn’t mean her personality has to change.

Especially seeing as none of the spinoffs have her in a position to really be a messiah. It’s worst in Kingdom Hearts, and it shows up in Crisis Core (which I can kinda forgive because she was just 14/15 at the time, and presumably exposure to Zack opened her up a bit).

Although actually Advent Children might have made the best choice by having her as a “presence” rather than having her showing up to psychically converse with Cloud in a way closer to her original form.

Vincent Valentine

Shut up about this guy. Seriously. I get it. He’s pretty, he’s tragic and he looks badass. But he was the weakest character in VII and dramatically, he’s Cloud with the names in his backstory changed.

His game sucked, and while he’s still cool, he’s overplayed. Not because he’s ever really been written badly or overused, the fans have just built him up too much. He’s Final Fantasy‘s Boba Fett.

Cid Highwind

Seriously, this guy’s thrice as awesome as you remember him.


Ace Attorney Twitter Battle

OK, there was a hashtag battle between me, a Miles Edgeworth RPer (@High_Prosecutor) and a Phoenix Wright RPer (@ObjectionLawyer) on Twitter the other day I thought I’d share with you all.

By the way, not only does it spoil pretty much all of the games, there’s a good chance you won’t get what’s going on unless you already know the Ace Attorney continuity. So, Ace Attorney fans, here you are. Enjoy.


Ace Attorney News Roundup

Yay for Ace Attorney! There’s been a few tantalising bits of news recently (no, not loacalisation plans for AAI2 or Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney) and I’ve rounded them up here, hence the name, for y’all to look at.

First of all, the film, Gyakuten Saiban is it’s currently known. Probably more due to the film studio than Capcom, who’ve recently crossed the line into complete trolls, the film will be getting international release (probably DVD only, don’t get too excited), with subs and dubs available for the language of your choice.

As another nice bonus, the characters will be known by their translated names in the language in question. So you won’t have to hear about the trials of Ryuichi Naruhodo, you’ll be hearing about Phoenix Wright blasting through the cases and noting down names to pursue further litigation.

Next, we have the announcement of Ace Attorney 5. Technically, this means the two Investigations games are officially Gaiden games and not mainstream entries. I mention this because that’s all the information we have about this. Seriously, that, and the logo below are all we know. To go really out there, I did note that the logo number is red, the colour of Apollo Justice, whereas the colours of the logo for the “Phoenix Arc” were all blue. I wouldn’t read too much into this, but it looks like Mr Justice might be the new protagonist.

This makes sense, Justice was meant to be the new hero and various plot details from games 3 & 4 would make a new Phoenix game feel contrived. I won’t mention what for those that’ve yet to finish the games involved.

Finally, the original trilogy, those being Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright, Justice For All & Trials and Tribulations are going to be released on iOS devices. Whether or not they’ll be iPhone compatible is unknown, the recent iOS port of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was iPod Touch and iPad only and it may be the same for this rerelease.

Oh yeah, dudes, they totally released Ghost Trick on iOS devices! I know right?! That game was amazing! It’s by Shu Takumi, creator of the Ace Attorney franchise and is easily the best detective-cum-poltergeist game ever. OK, that’s kinda damning with faint praise, but seriously, it’s a great game that never got great sales anywhere in the world and really deserves more attention. The first two chapters are free, the rest of the game is £7/$10.

Now, to talk a bit more about Capcom. One thing is that they clearly aren’t ready to abandon their international market for Ace Attorney. The film news above, Phoenix Wright getting in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and the original trilogy ports to both Wii and iOS devices all show that they’re “testing the water”, not just teasing their fanbase. On the other hand, they really *are* trolling Megaman fans.

They cancelled Mega Man Galaxy 3, he didn’t get into Marvel vs Capcom 3 or Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3‘s expanded roster despite being their classic flagship version, and thought to be pretty much a shoe in. After then using a freakin’ background stage in  UMvC3 to suggest he might be DLC, and then gave Zero and Frank West Megaman outfits.

And now, the *new* fighting game crossover they’re doing, Street Fighter X Tekken, recently released a trailer that included footage for new, PS Vita exclusive characters including Pac-Man and the Megaman from the original Megaman‘s North American box art, the one that everyone thinks is just hideous.

Capcom is confusing.

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