Libra is another fanfiction that is sadly not completed, but thankfully not abandoned. The fic follows Reno, Tifa, and Marlene from Final Fantasy VII on their journey after AVALANCHE fails to stop Sephiroth.
As the last of the world’s order crumbled away beneath a black wing that promised to extinguish all light, a judged Reno still dared to hope. And as broken and unbalanced as he was, he would fight to see the sun again.
Once again, this fic deals with a lot of heavy subject matter, like PTSD and insanity.
Final Fantasy VII features a character named Barret Wallace, seen above, who I’ve mentioned in previous posts as being the leader of a terrorist organization called AVALANCHE on a mission to save the Planet. I can’t say that I agree will everything AVALANCHE does and all of Barret’s viewpoints. I’ve mentioned before that I think some of the things Barret has done make him a complete asshole, and the same goes for all the other AVALANCHE members.
I do, however, find Barret a very complex character with a lot of agency. He used to work as a miner in a town called Corel. However, the Shinra Electric Company burned Corel to the ground, supposedly killed Barret’s best friend Dyne, and in the process of all this, Barret’s right hand was shot off. Following these events, Barret grew a great distrust for the Shinra Company and correctly proclaimed it evil. He adopted Dyne’s young daughter Marlene as his own, had a gun attached to the stump where his arm used to be, and eventually found himself the leader of AVALANCHE and at odds with Shinra due to their different ideals.
“Barret” is a Japanese transliteration of the word “bullet”. Before the release of the game in English, Barret was actually called Bullet in some of the magazines. His name has also been spelled “Barrett” on occasion as well.
Barret is very notable. He is actually the first playable black character in the Final Fantasy franchise. Reception to him, however, has been rather mixed.
I’ve already discussed religion before in Final Fantasy VII. To be sure, there are a lot of religious themes in VII, especially when it comes to Aerith’s character, who I think is a female Christ figure. Even the background of her people—who are referred to as the Planet’s chosen people—plays off a lot of Judeo-Christian themes, such as the search for the Promised Land. Not everything involving her people, the Cetra, are Judeo-Christian in nature, though. The Temple of the Ancients, for instance, is shaped much like a ziggurat, and the one room inside it has what looks like hieroglyphics.
I’m not about to launch into another post about Aerith, however, even if I left out a lot of things in my other post. What I plan to talk about is how religion in VII affects the culture of the world, by which I mean, not very much, if at all.
Many stories struggle with showing over telling. While I can think of a few notable exceptions, I’ve noticed that it’s not very easy to make the supposed heroes of a story actually heroic when they’re terrorists. There’s nothing that grinds my gears more when characters are presented to me as self-righteous heroes before doing some pretty unheroic things. Final Fantasy VII struggles with this a bit.
Our playable party consists of people belonging to the terrorist organization AVALANCHE—which is apparently not an acronym, so I don’t know why it’s written like that—and their goal is to save the Planet from the evil corporation Shinra. As mentioned in a previous post, Shinra is an electric company, and it gathers power from something called Mako, which comes from the Lifestream. The Lifestream is essentially the Planet’s blood, so by sucking it out of the ground, Shinra is subjecting the Planet to a slow and painful death.
Once again, I feel the need to repeat that, yes, the world is actually called the Planet.
I probably shouldn’tbe starting another series for this game, but I gave X a series, and VII is a much more well-known story. Not only that, it’s much more loved, and between the two, I think it’s the better game. It certainly has less ginormous gaping plot holes, and it didn’t dedicate one-third of its story to something that has entirely nothing to do with the plot. I do, however, still think there are some problems with the way the story is told.
When I first played, I always wondered things like: how does Cloud not lose this battle instantly? He brought a sword to a gun fight! Plot hole?
Other than X, I’ve already reviewed IX, XII, X-2, and XIII-2, but VII is my favorite Final Fantasy game. I’m going to warn all the hardcore fans right now that the downside of this being my favorite in the franchise means that I’m going to be a lot more critical of it. And like X, there’s a lot to talk about. But first, let’s begin with the plot.