Final Fantasy 7 Remake Full Review - I have thoughts. (spoilers at the end)

Casual Shinji

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Silvanus said:
Casual Shinji said:
No matter my feelings on the ending, it's still the best game Square has made in.. probably a decade and a half.
Better than FFXII, Bravely Default, or Octopath Traveler?
Can't speak for Bravely Default, but yes in regards to the other two. FF12 has the most dull, and sleep inducing dialoge, and Octopath Traveler decided to have a story but not really.
 

Drathnoxis

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Casual Shinji said:
But worse of all, the ending was all about the ghosts and Sephiroth; the two least interesting parts of this game. I could sort of appreciate the mystery of the ghosts and their little prods into the storyline, but them as the main focus was boring and stank of Nomura mumbo jumbo. Then there's Sephiroth who's only a big deal in this game because he's a big deal in gaming pop culture. Nothing about his presence in this remake justified him being the final Boss, or the game lingering on him like that.
It makes sense that it feels off because the game is way off script by that point. The original didn't have any ghosts and you don't even see Sephiroth until well after you've left Midgar.

This is exactly what I was worried about, and the reason I lost my enthusiasm for a FF7 remake about 5 years before it was even announced. Square Enix just has no ability to tell a coherent story whatsoever and never has. I think the only game I ever even enjoyed that had an Enix on it was The World Ends With You.
 

Drathnoxis

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Silvanus said:
Bravely Default
It doesn't take much to be better than Bravely, okay you've played through the game, now do it four more times for the true ending, Default.
 

Casual Shinji

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Drathnoxis said:
Casual Shinji said:
But worse of all, the ending was all about the ghosts and Sephiroth; the two least interesting parts of this game. I could sort of appreciate the mystery of the ghosts and their little prods into the storyline, but them as the main focus was boring and stank of Nomura mumbo jumbo. Then there's Sephiroth who's only a big deal in this game because he's a big deal in gaming pop culture. Nothing about his presence in this remake justified him being the final Boss, or the game lingering on him like that.
It makes sense that it feels off because the game is way off script by that point. The original didn't have any ghosts and you don't even see Sephiroth until well after you've left Midgar.

This is exactly what I was worried about, and the reason I lost my enthusiasm for a FF7 remake about 5 years before it was even announced. Square Enix just has no ability to tell a coherent story whatsoever and never has. I think the only game I ever even enjoyed that had an Enix on it was The World Ends With You.
That's the thing though. I don't mind the slight self awareness/4th wall breaking this game has in regards to it being a remake. One of the best moments is what appears to be a 4th wall break, with Aerith seemingly shushing a character to stop them from revealing something that might spoil the audience. But it's a subtle and cute gesture along with it being mysterious and kinda cool. It infers Aerith is sort of aware of what is to come, and of the audience watching. It almost feels like a David Lynch scene.

These moments don't sacrifice story cohesion for the sake of hyping up fans, while still giving a good tease. But the last hour or so of the game totally does by making it all about the stupid ghosts and Sephiroth. It's hyping it up to be so bloody important, when neither were depicted as that important yet. It's kind of stupid how quickly Sephiroth is made to be a big deal by the end. It's like the developers thought 'Oh shit, we've only shown Sephiroth as a ghost from Cloud's past for the first 95% of the game, but he obviously needs a Boss fight. Ah fuck it, he's just physically there now.'

It's stupid Kingdom Hearts bullshit, and maybe fans of the Original FF7 have a shield for that, but having played it I don't have that same protection, and it's like I'm getting vommited in the face.
 

CritialGaming

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Casual Shinji said:
So you wanna go off the deep end with me and understand the ending? Check this out!

First off Sephiroth never physically shows up. Only failed experiments of Hojo that are attempts to clone Sephiroth. These are the cloaked dudes with tatoos on their shoulders. Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.

Essentially Sephiroth and Jenova are so tapped into the lifestream now, they can see events before they happen and are trying to manipulate things during the entire game to stop Cloud and company from doing all the stuff they do in the original game so that they can win in the end. Which brings me to the whispers.

Whispers are the defense of the planet, trying to keep the events on course to how they are supposed to happen for the heroes to ultimately stop Jenova and Sephiroth in the end. Everywhere the game deviates from the original game, these Whispers show up to get shit back on track. This happens as early as Chapter 2 where Cloud has the Sephiroth "flashback" except it's not a flashback. Sephiroth knows the future, and he knows that Cloud will stop him. But he can't kill Cloud because he knows that he NEEDS Cloud to do things in the future (like get the black materia from the Temple of Ancients). Instead Sephiroth is trying to manipulate events to change things just enough that Cloud does what he needs but isn't prepared to continue to stop him. Basically he is trying to break Cloud's mind.

So during Chapter 2 Cloud is led on a chase, because Sephiroth wants Cloud to NEVER meet Aerith. He leads Cloud deliberately away from Aerith to try and prevent this. Sephiroth knows that Aerith has the knowledge and connection to the planet to possibly stop him. So he wants to keep Cloud away right?

Which is why when you first bump into Aerith, she is freaking out because the invisible Whispers are harrassing her. But they aren't being evil or trying to hurt her, they are merely trying to keep Aerith in place long enough that Cloud and her will meet. Sephiroth delays Cloud so that Aerith would leave and thus never meeting Cloud, instead the Whispers keep Aerith distracted and in place long enough that Cloud still catches up to her.

The Whispers do this course correction throughout the game. Injuring Jesse so that Cloud gets taken to the second bombing mission like he is supposed to. Saving Aerith from the fall in the church, bringing Barrett back to life. Every action they take directly goes against Jenova and Sephiroth's attempts to mess with events.

As far as the fight at the ending. Jenova's newly released form empowers Clone number 2 to fully tap into the planet to the point where she can also control the whispers. If you notice the three whispers you fight in that boss fight, they might look like whisper verisons of Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa, but actually their description hints that they are actually incarnations of future Sephiroth remants from Advent Children. That Sephiroth actually pulled his remnants from the future in a final attempt to stop the party, but also an attempt to get the party to destroy the Whispers that have been trying to keep destiny on course the whole time.

In the end you destroy destiny, leaving the future unknown and without the Whispers protection. The singularity of that event distorts the destiny of everyone, including Zack. And also is why this game is not called Remake Part 1, because the story has been broken and the future can play out much differently than we remember. The next part of the Final Fantasy saga will not be a remake, it'll be a complete RETELLING.
 

Silvanus

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Casual Shinji said:
Can't speak for Bravely Default, but yes in regards to the other two. FF12 has the most dull, and sleep inducing dialoge, and Octopath Traveler decided to have a story but not really.
Hrmm, well, agree to disagree, I suppose. I really enjoyed both. FF12's dialogue isn't the best, but it's got some charming characters and involved lore. Octopath's story is muted by Square Enix standards, but some would say that's a blessing-- and would certainly outclass "fighting the manifestation of fate to save your friends" in the credibility stakes.

Drathnoxis said:
It doesn't take much to be better than Bravely, okay you've played through the game, now do it four more times for the true ending, Default.
Well, alright. That's the only one of the three I mentioned that I haven't properly played. But I know it was pretty widely liked/ acclaimed, and the issue you outline above doesn't seem to have done Nier Automata any harm.

CritialGaming said:
Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.

It looked to me as if the Remake was retconning that. In the original, when Cloud catches up with "Sephiroth", "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise him. In the Remake, this "Sephiroth" is waxing lyrical instead and inviting Cloud to join him and defy fate together, as if it's Naruto or something. It seems to have jettisoned that aspect of the plot completely in favour of magnifying the super-meaningful relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth, which was borderline nonexistent in the original, but which fans have been obsessed with for years.
 

Drathnoxis

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Silvanus said:
Drathnoxis said:
It doesn't take much to be better than Bravely, okay you've played through the game, now do it four more times for the true ending, Default.
Well, alright. That's the only one of the three I mentioned that I haven't properly played. But I know it was pretty widely liked/ acclaimed, and the issue you outline above doesn't seem to have done Nier Automata any harm.
It's probably the dumbest implementation of that trope they could have done. I was baffled by the acclaim that game had gotten after playing it. I haven't played Nier Automata yet, so I don't know how they do it but I'm willing to bet that Bravely Default does it worse.

If you don't mind spoilers:
So the game is pretty standard fare to start, you go to four temples, kill the bosses guarding the elemental crystal, then purify said crystal. Once this is accomplished you go into a pillar of light and the protagonists wake up at the starting inn with all the crystals mysteriously unpurified and all the sub-bosses and other characters still unmurdered. The protagonists are understandably confused, but this time you start with your airship so you can just go back and do it again without all the delays and fetch quests of the first run. Or if you are a completionist you can go around the world and kill all the sub bosses again and get slightly different dialogue. I didn't because I was already getting kind of sick of the game and found the characters ranged from boring to annoying.

So you kill the temple bosses again, purify the crystals, and go into the pillar of light. Once again you wake up at the inn with everything undone, so the characters decide to keep doing what they've been doing because, why not? Again you can go on a globetrotting murder spree for slightly different subplots if you really want to, but it's entirely optional. So this time after you purify the temples one of the protagonists who had amnesia suddenly remembers something that conclusively leads him to believe that one of the characters guiding the party is EVIL and that purifying the crystals is a very bad idea, he communicates this to the rest of the party sans the evil one. Once they go through the pillar of light and wake up at the inn again they decide... to go and purify the crystals again... because. Just because. They have a notion that this is exactly what the villain wants them to do, but screw it, they don't have any other ideas so why not go along with it?

So you just continue with your routine purifying the crystals and going into the pillar of light. I haven't really made it clear how repetitive this is. The temple bosses get a little tougher each time, but it's the exact same fight and I never needed to really grind at all until the last cycle. Worse than the repeated bosses is the repeated dialogue. It really gives the impression that your protagonists are brain dead. They *remember* the previous cycles, but every single time you purify the crystal it's the same dialogue, word for word. Every time they are surprised that a monster is coming out of the crystal. Every time Airy explains the crystal purifying technique. Every time Ringabell wonders if this is really the right thing to do. In the Exact. Same. Words. We've done this 15 times already, would it have killed them to make the characters the slightest bit self aware, since it's actually a major plot point that they don't lose their memories between cycles. I am told that the sub boss murder spree does get mixed up a bit, and you fight different combinations of them and get additional little snippets of story that don't really gel with what was going on in the first cycle, but whatever, optional tedium, so don't care.

All in all you fight each crystal boss FIVE times, you purify a total of 20 crystals, all the while the characters are getting extremely strong hints that this is dumb and the wrong thing to do, but you have to do it in order to get the true ending. There is actually a really well done fake ending that requires some out of the box thinking to get and would have been a far better suited to be switched with the true end, but alas the world is doomed unless you stupidly follow directions you know don't work, given by someone you know is evil, to accomplish something you don't understand. This alone is enough to make you hate the protagonists, even if their one note personalities hadn't already done the job.

This is only one of the problems with the game, the biggest, sure, but not by all means all. There's the inherent problem with job systems, wherein you are only told what skills each job learns after you've leveled it up, meaning there's no strategy to character building unless you have a wiki open or level up every job, by which point you will be so over leveled there will be no purpose to strategy. There's the problem with Tiz's quest to rebuild his destroyed town that makes no sense at all and is a thin excuse to squeeze a mobile game in. Tiz is upset that his town is a crater and that everybody is dead, so he resolves to rebuild Norende... in a completely different location, and populate it with entirely new people. It's Norende in name only, who exactly does this help? And when does he even have time to do this? And more importantly, where the heck is this place? We've gone to 3 different worlds now and all changes to the world have been reset, but New Norende still stands safe in its little pocket dimension. There's also microtransactions built into the game, which alone is enough to tarnish the entire experience. I could probably go on, but I'll stop here.
 

Asita

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
So you wanna go off the deep end with me and understand the ending? Check this out!

First off Sephiroth never physically shows up. Only failed experiments of Hojo that are attempts to clone Sephiroth. These are the cloaked dudes with tatoos on their shoulders. Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.
Eh...I'd argue that part.

While there's admittedly some variance in statements regarding who is controlling who, and the Jenova Cells are obviously the control vector, the general implication (and more than a few official lines) is that Sephiroth's will overpowered Jenova's. Hence why Sephiroth is the core that you're working your way towards the whole game and why everything that you thought was Sephiroth ends up being a piece of Jenova impersonating Sephiroth. While Hojo casts everything in terms of Jenova and its influence, the implication is very much that Sephiroth is the one really pulling the strings.

As I said though, different devs/writers vary on that somewhat, but structurally it pans out. You don't work your way past Sephiroth to fight Jenova, you work your way through the pieces of Jenova until they're all gone and you finally reach Sephiroth. This doesn't make sense unless Sephiroth is the less expendable puppetmaster and Jenova the more expendable puppet. Heck, the final battle is a battle of wills between Cloud and Sephiroth, not a fight against Jenova, which again only really makes sense if Sephiroth is the dominant will. See also Advent Children, wherein Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are remnants of Sephiroth's will and any of them merging with a mass of Jenova cells resurrects Sephiroth, not Jenova.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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So I finally beat the game after trying to do everything that was doable in a single playthrough, ended up taking just over 52 hours. Now I can actually talk about it cause I was avoiding all threads to avoid spoilers.


Long story short I'm very impressed. I went into the game blind beyond the very first bits of the announcement trailer. I just heard things about it such as it being action based an not turn based. I'm someone who always prefers turn based combat in rpgs so I was disappointed but still kept an open mind going in.

Combat felt just pure fun with enough complexity to make you switch up your approaches. It felt like it was always too little and I just wanted to get to experience more of it from the start and that feeling actually never really went away. The rhythm of trying to swap around efficiently while people are executing unique actions with long animations to maximize ATB generation and maximizing how you use unique actions (always start with Barret cause he has a cooldown on his unique action that gives him enough ATB to cast aoe haste/scan, always go to Tifa for stagger %+ buffs, parry all the things with Cloud, fire your 2ATB lazors with Aeris while praying the pain away etc.) keeps you busy and there's enough variety in enemy behaviors that you have to adapt a lot. One of my favorite fights was that flying mech house in the arena story where it gained unique defenses and you had to keep scanning it to hit it with the right stuff. That's where I got a real taste of what they really want out of you and it only got better from there.


Storywise, I can see things being divisive but to me I think most of the "new" stuff is just them elaborating on parts of the game you just didn't necessarily see but which still were plausable in the original. I can tell whoever made the new stuff had a deep understanding of the story because they never felt like barnacles stuck on an original but just like you dusted off parts of it which were always there but couldn't be seen. The ending turned up the dial to 11 because I guess they wanted to give something that feels like an ending to a part of the game that's barely getting in the middle, but the way in which they did it with all those references to future parts of the game was very elegant and the battles were just spectacular too so I can't see anyone complaining about it being pretty different. Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint. Crisis Core was the last FFVII thing I played back in the day, I had not played the original for something like 15 years but a lot of my memories of the series were refreshed with Crisis Core so it is an inextricable part of the FFVII world for me and I didn't see it be recognized enough so seeing it get its dues now in this game is very satisfying. Almost teared up when Zack was carrying Cloud bad after fighting all those soldiers, though they didn't have him be as bloodied as he was in CC haha. In general I guess they avoided blood in this game to keep it to a lower rating. Either way, that whole part was amazing.


Soundwise, the voice actors were all top notch anime talent that has been voicing these characters since Advent Children and then Dissidia and Crisis Core and so on. Takahiro Sakurai fits the cool emo protags like Sasuke and Haseo so he is a natural fit for Cloud while Aeris is gentle and strong so who better than Aigis and Janne d'Arc seiyuu Maaya Sakamoto for her. And you can't say Shigeru Chiba doesn't do an incredible mad scientist haha. Also the recently departed Keiji Inafune was voicing Reno in this so that's quite a bang he went off with, RIP turk bro.

The actual music is FF music and a ton of remasters, so it's obviously amazing. I especially love the remix of one winged angel you hear slowly and ominously winding up during the intro and some late parts but yeah not much to say about music, it's incredible. It also works as funny references, such for example when you get the "descendant of the shinobi" jukebox disc right as you're doing the sidequest of the totally-not-Yuffie girl with the striped socks lol. You're not hiding your secrets very well, game.

So yeah, now I'll do hard mode stuff, still a lot of arena battles to challenge. Also gotta get all those dresses unlocked somehow, that will be fun too. But mainly can't wait for the next part in 3 years or however much they'll take to make it.



Oh and before I forget, I don't get what about this game is supposed to be too hard. The hardest fight I did was the Leviathan summon which I thought I would have to solo with Cloud like I did Shiva and big boi chocobo so I gave him all the best materia so when I was in the fight I had Tifa and Barret with barely any materia equipped, and I still beat it just fine, it just took a lot longer and tidal wave would 1shot Tifa from max hp lol. Beyond that, for the entire game I had people equipping those accessories that give you no stats but can hold lots of materia to level them up as much as possible. Still, nothing was difficult, didn't use anything above a mega-potion either, and had legit very few chars die ever. The only time I actually saw a gameover screen was in the second bike segment boss fight lol. So yeah, the game is complex but not hard at all, it even has a pause button which lets you see what people are doing and parry in time, there's no need for timing like in Sekiro. The only way in which I can see people having difficulties is if they weren't using the command menu but were relying on the shortcuts, which are best ignored completely.
 

Casual Shinji

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
So you wanna go off the deep end with me and understand the ending? Check this out!

First off Sephiroth never physically shows up. Only failed experiments of Hojo that are attempts to clone Sephiroth. These are the cloaked dudes with tatoos on their shoulders. Jenova is the mastermind behind this all. Because Soldiers and Sephiroth are creations using her cells, (including Cloud) she can actually control and even empower all who house her DNA within. Which is why you see Sephiroth where ever these cloaked clones appear.

Essentially Sephiroth and Jenova are so tapped into the lifestream now, they can see events before they happen and are trying to manipulate things during the entire game to stop Cloud and company from doing all the stuff they do in the original game so that they can win in the end. Which brings me to the whispers.

Whispers are the defense of the planet, trying to keep the events on course to how they are supposed to happen for the heroes to ultimately stop Jenova and Sephiroth in the end. Everywhere the game deviates from the original game, these Whispers show up to get shit back on track. This happens as early as Chapter 2 where Cloud has the Sephiroth "flashback" except it's not a flashback. Sephiroth knows the future, and he knows that Cloud will stop him. But he can't kill Cloud because he knows that he NEEDS Cloud to do things in the future (like get the black materia from the Temple of Ancients). Instead Sephiroth is trying to manipulate events to change things just enough that Cloud does what he needs but isn't prepared to continue to stop him. Basically he is trying to break Cloud's mind.

So during Chapter 2 Cloud is led on a chase, because Sephiroth wants Cloud to NEVER meet Aerith. He leads Cloud deliberately away from Aerith to try and prevent this. Sephiroth knows that Aerith has the knowledge and connection to the planet to possibly stop him. So he wants to keep Cloud away right?

Which is why when you first bump into Aerith, she is freaking out because the invisible Whispers are harrassing her. But they aren't being evil or trying to hurt her, they are merely trying to keep Aerith in place long enough that Cloud and her will meet. Sephiroth delays Cloud so that Aerith would leave and thus never meeting Cloud, instead the Whispers keep Aerith distracted and in place long enough that Cloud still catches up to her.

The Whispers do this course correction throughout the game. Injuring Jesse so that Cloud gets taken to the second bombing mission like he is supposed to. Saving Aerith from the fall in the church, bringing Barrett back to life. Every action they take directly goes against Jenova and Sephiroth's attempts to mess with events.

As far as the fight at the ending. Jenova's newly released form empowers Clone number 2 to fully tap into the planet to the point where she can also control the whispers. If you notice the three whispers you fight in that boss fight, they might look like whisper verisons of Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa, but actually their description hints that they are actually incarnations of future Sephiroth remants from Advent Children. That Sephiroth actually pulled his remnants from the future in a final attempt to stop the party, but also an attempt to get the party to destroy the Whispers that have been trying to keep destiny on course the whole time.

In the end you destroy destiny, leaving the future unknown and without the Whispers protection. The singularity of that event distorts the destiny of everyone, including Zack. And also is why this game is not called Remake Part 1, because the story has been broken and the future can play out much differently than we remember. The next part of the Final Fantasy saga will not be a remake, it'll be a complete RETELLING.
Yeah, I got most of that. I mean, the game literally shoves ghosts in your face to make you get it. It's not exactly subtle about it.

It's Kingdom Hearts BS. It's only there to rile up hardcore fans about the posibilities, rather than have it reflect on the characters in any meaningful way. If this was all for the sake of making a clean break from the original storyline I could sort of accept it, sorta. But you know whatever follows will be all about subversions and plottwists that may or may not happen, instead of good storytelling and human interactions.

Seriously, what about that ending had anything to do with the characters or the situations they've been in throughout the game? Nothing. It was all about the subversion of the original plotline. That's it. Well that sure is emotionally satisfying considering the 40+ hours I've been invested in this game where for 95% of the time none of these stupid plot ghosts showed up at all.

And it makes me not want to bother with another playthrough ever again, because I know everything was just for the sake of subversion, not actual good storytelling with likeable characters. Congratulations Square Enix, you made your very own Metal Gear Solid 2. Thanks for making me realize you're actually still shit.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Based on the future scenes they show during the fights in the singularity, if they're hinting at a ffvii where Aeris doesn't die and the what-if of that world, I'm all for that haha (according to the novels, it is her through the lifestream that stops the meteor during the final cutscene so without her there someone else will have to do something about it).

In any case, I don't see why they can't use interesting character development as a tool of subversion. It's not any less interesting because it's also performing that function while also being very interesting and engaging. Cloud and Sephiroth fighting the entropy of the universe together would also be pretty awesome haha.


My fav FF is VIII so I'm all for those trippy confusing plotlines that you only feel like you kinda get it. :D
 

dscross

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Dreiko said:
Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint.
That particular element wasn't specific to crisis core. She was in a cowboy outfit in all the Nibelheim flashback scenes in the original.
 

Silvanus

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Asita said:
Eh...I'd argue that part.

While there's admittedly some variance in statements regarding who is controlling who, and the Jenova Cells are obviously the control vector, the general implication (and more than a few official lines) is that Sephiroth's will overpowered Jenova's. Hence why Sephiroth is the core that you're working your way towards the whole game and why everything that you thought was Sephiroth ends up being a piece of Jenova impersonating Sephiroth. While Hojo casts everything in terms of Jenova and its influence, the implication is very much that Sephiroth is the one really pulling the strings.

As I said though, different devs/writers vary on that somewhat, but structurally it pans out. You don't work your way past Sephiroth to fight Jenova, you work your way through the pieces of Jenova until they're all gone and you finally reach Sephiroth. This doesn't make sense unless Sephiroth is the less expendable puppetmaster and Jenova the more expendable puppet. Heck, the final battle is a battle of wills between Cloud and Sephiroth, not a fight against Jenova, which again only really makes sense if Sephiroth is the dominant will. See also Advent Children, wherein Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are remnants of Sephiroth's will and any of them merging with a mass of Jenova cells resurrects Sephiroth, not Jenova.
This has been a consistent argument for absolute yonks, and there's a fair amount of evidence either way.

* Hojo states that he initially expected the "Reunion" impulse to draw all those with Jenova cells to the Shinra building, where the largest piece of Jenova's body is stored. He then says it's "all Sephiroth's doing" that the Reunion impulse ended up bringing them to the Northern Crater instead (and thus to Sephiroth, and to Jenova's head).

* In the FF7 Ultimania:

The Sephiroth clones seen in various locations continue gathering for the Reunion. Seemingly, the will of Jenova as a human is the result of it consuming Sephiroth's spirit; in actuality, Sephiroth is controlling Jenova.
These would certainly seem to confirm that it's Sephiroth drawing the clones (and Cloud) to the Northern Crater, to deliver him the Black Materia.

However, that doesn't quite settle who exactly you're following for most of the game. As I mentioned before, when Cloud catches up to "Sephiroth", "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise him, much to Cloud's confusion.

It's also stated that Jenova's MO is to mimic people. Not just transformation, but full mimicry, said to pretend to be people's "loved ones". It can't be a coincidence that Sephiroth's goal, to draw the comet to the planet and absorb the lifestream, is almost exactly the same as Jenova's intention during her previous invasion.

So, all in all, I'd say it's explicitly Sephiroth's impulse bringing the Reunion to the Northern Crater, and bringing him the Black Materia. That's his plan. But the person you're chasing is Jenova, and it is Jenova you speak to on the boat. The aims the two of them have are almost identical, and their relationship seems symbiotic (or I'm sure Sephiroth & Hojo would consider it a mother-son relationship).

===

On a side-note, I'd say that it's not a good idea to look to structural arguments to find lore in a FF game. After all, in FFIX, the same line of reasoning would place Necron as the main antagonist.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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dscross said:
Dreiko said:
Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint.
That particular element wasn't specific to crisis core. She was in a cowboy outfit in all the Nibelheim flashback scenes in the original.
No see, the first time you see her in that outfit in the remake was during a reference to a CC scene that Cloud somehow ends up visualizing, the part where she picks up the muramasa. That's basically straight out of CC.
 

dscross

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Dreiko said:
dscross said:
Dreiko said:
Finally on the story element, I just freaking love that they are incorporating Crisis Core stuff in this. First time I saw Tifa's cowgirl getup I was so hype and like "wew, are we gonna get Zack in this game this soon!?!?" and the game surely didn't disappoint.
That particular element wasn't specific to crisis core. She was in a cowboy outfit in all the Nibelheim flashback scenes in the original.
No see, the first time you see her in that outfit in the remake was during a reference to a CC scene that Cloud somehow ends up visualizing, the part where she picks up the muramasa. That's basically straight out of CC.
She picks up the 'Masamune?' (whatever the sword is meant to be called) in the original flashback scene as well. If you mean Sephiroth's sword anyway.
 

CritialGaming

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Casual Shinji said:
I dunno if I'd call this story or this ending shit. Especially if you really look at what was happening the whole time.

Here is a collection of Aerith quotes that highly suggest she knows the original game's events, much like Sephiroth does. https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/g75lfj/quit_acting_like_you_know_me_the_evidence_against/ Give it a read.

Frankly the more I piece together these elements, the more I think the whole set up of this game is fucking brilliant.
 

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
I dunno if I'd call this story or this ending shit. Especially if you really look at what was happening the whole time.

Here is a collection of Aerith quotes that highly suggest she knows the original game's events, much like Sephiroth does. https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/g75lfj/quit_acting_like_you_know_me_the_evidence_against/ Give it a read.

Frankly the more I piece together these elements, the more I think the whole set up of this game is fucking brilliant.
The story is great, the ending is still shit.

And see, I'm fine with certain characters maybe knowing more than they lead on. I mentioned previously that I love the scene between Aerith and Marlene. It's probably my favourite moment in the game. I also really appreciate Cloud's quick flashes to Aerith's fate. It's the game's way of not pretending like we don't know what'll happen to this iconic game character, while also implying that Cloud himself is subconciously aware that he's in a remake. But it's a quick little tease that builds intrigue.

And that's how they should've handled this divergent timeline; subtly. Not with literal destiny ghosts, which turn into a giant destiny heartless that you then have to fight, cuz get it, you're fighting destiny.

I saw someone mention a perfect explaination as to why this ending sucks; The ending makes the story not about the characters and the world they live in, but about it being a story about a story, about being a remake. The ultimate point the game made wasn't to do with any of the characters that we spent the last 40+ hours with, but with subverting fan expectations. It's a 'see what we did there' ending, and those kindly need to die in a fire, because I'm so sick of developers wanting to show off how clever they are at the expense of a proper story/ending.

And this isn't a one-time thing just to tell a different story. This'll be a springboard to hook in hardcore fans to ponder about plot twists and what character will or won't die, about what'll be different from the original plotline. Case in point, fucking Biggs. Seriously, what was the point of that death scene in retrospect? Absolutely nothing. Which applies nicely to the game overall.

It had no point other than subversion.
 

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CritialGaming said:
Casual Shinji said:
I dunno if I'd call this story or this ending shit. Especially if you really look at what was happening the whole time.

Here is a collection of Aerith quotes that highly suggest she knows the original game's events, much like Sephiroth does. https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/g75lfj/quit_acting_like_you_know_me_the_evidence_against/ Give it a read.

Frankly the more I piece together these elements, the more I think the whole set up of this game is fucking brilliant.
Do you think that the idea of 'changing fate' is appropriate thematically in the FF7 world? I always felt the FF7 original and Crisis Core were more about struggling with your identity, living with the consequences of your choices, the effect humans have on the planet to make their lives better, and the extreme lengths people will go to for the sake of power or greed. Seems a bit like it clashes to me and doesn't really fit in? It's almost the complete opposite idea to some of the themes. Not judging particularly, just asking the question to someone who clearly values the original game's story.
 

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Silvanus said:
Asita said:
Eh...I'd argue that part.

While there's admittedly some variance in statements regarding who is controlling who, and the Jenova Cells are obviously the control vector, the general implication (and more than a few official lines) is that Sephiroth's will overpowered Jenova's. Hence why Sephiroth is the core that you're working your way towards the whole game and why everything that you thought was Sephiroth ends up being a piece of Jenova impersonating Sephiroth. While Hojo casts everything in terms of Jenova and its influence, the implication is very much that Sephiroth is the one really pulling the strings.

As I said though, different devs/writers vary on that somewhat, but structurally it pans out. You don't work your way past Sephiroth to fight Jenova, you work your way through the pieces of Jenova until they're all gone and you finally reach Sephiroth. This doesn't make sense unless Sephiroth is the less expendable puppetmaster and Jenova the more expendable puppet. Heck, the final battle is a battle of wills between Cloud and Sephiroth, not a fight against Jenova, which again only really makes sense if Sephiroth is the dominant will. See also Advent Children, wherein Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are remnants of Sephiroth's will and any of them merging with a mass of Jenova cells resurrects Sephiroth, not Jenova.
This has been a consistent argument for absolute yonks, and there's a fair amount of evidence either way.

* Hojo states that he initially expected the "Reunion" impulse to draw all those with Jenova cells to the Shinra building, where the largest piece of Jenova's body is stored. He then says it's "all Sephiroth's doing" that the Reunion impulse ended up bringing them to the Northern Crater instead (and thus to Sephiroth, and to Jenova's head).

* In the FF7 Ultimania:

The Sephiroth clones seen in various locations continue gathering for the Reunion. Seemingly, the will of Jenova as a human is the result of it consuming Sephiroth's spirit; in actuality, Sephiroth is controlling Jenova.
These would certainly seem to confirm that it's Sephiroth drawing the clones (and Cloud) to the Northern Crater, to deliver him the Black Materia.

However, that doesn't quite settle who exactly you're following for most of the game. As I mentioned before, when Cloud catches up to "Sephiroth", "Sephiroth" doesn't even recognise him, much to Cloud's confusion.

It's also stated that Jenova's MO is to mimic people. Not just transformation, but full mimicry, said to pretend to be people's "loved ones". It can't be a coincidence that Sephiroth's goal, to draw the comet to the planet and absorb the lifestream, is almost exactly the same as Jenova's intention during her previous invasion.

So, all in all, I'd say it's explicitly Sephiroth's impulse bringing the Reunion to the Northern Crater, and bringing him the Black Materia. That's his plan. But the person you're chasing is Jenova, and it is Jenova you speak to on the boat. The aims the two of them have are almost identical, and their relationship seems symbiotic (or I'm sure Sephiroth & Hojo would consider it a mother-son relationship).

===

On a side-note, I'd say that it's not a good idea to look to structural arguments to find lore in a FF game. After all, in FFIX, the same line of reasoning would place Necron as the main antagonist.
Granted for the most part (never played FFIX, so I can't independently compare the two). My objection centered on the idea that Jenova was the mastermind, which has never struck me as particularly well supported. To borrow from other franchises, it feels like Jenova was to Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII what the Authority was to Metatron in His Dark Materials, or Nerzul was to Arthas after the events of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, with the latter feeling particularly on the nose.
 

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Asita said:
Granted for the most part (never played FFIX, so I can't independently compare the two). My objection centered on the idea that Jenova was the mastermind, which has never struck me as particularly well supported. To borrow from other franchises, it feels like Jenova was to Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII what the Authority was to Metatron in His Dark Materials, or Nerzul was to Arthas after the events of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, with the latter feeling particularly on the nose.
Ah yeah, I can agree there, and I don't think Jenova is the mastermind behind the Reunion/ Black Materia/ Comet plot. I think the two of them are on the same page, because it fits what we know and what we see from both of them.

What I'm a bit worried about is that the Remake will focus exclusively on Sephiroth to the exclusion of Jenova (because Sephiroth is more popular with fans). That's the impression I get from the nonsensical monologues about Cloud and challenging fate and such in the Remake cutscenes. "Sephiroth" was never remotely like that in the original.