After the abysmal catastrophe that was Final Fantasy XV, I found myself in need of Final Fantasy stories that didn’t suck. As VII’s remake won’t be released for quite some time, though, I decided to turn to fanfiction. Boom is a humorous Final Fantasy VII oneshot written by Soyna, featuring the characters Cid and Rude. Despite being former enemies, these two opt to test fly a new plane together for Rude’s employer, Rufus. Unfortunately, a dragon attacks mid flight, causing them to crash into a chocobo farm. Now in a fight for their lives, things look hopeless, at least until the dragon pisses off a chocobo and the bird takes that motherfucker down, successfully saving the day. Like a boss.
I wrote a review for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children a while back. In it, I went over some of its problems—it panders, has too many characters for its running time, and breaks its suspension of disbelief more than once. I also briefly touched on Cloud’s depression, which I plan to talk about in more detail today. Advent Children has a lot of things wrong with it, and as a whole, the movie simply does not work. Cloud’s character arc is one of those things. The movie doesn’t know how to handle mental health issues, and that makes Advent Children more than a little painful to watch at times. Cloud suffers from depression, but his depression never contributes to his character arc in a way that matters. Advent Children uses it to set up his internal conflict, but it never resolves his issues. Instead, Cloud’s depression is little more than a gimmick, and the way the movie handles it really drags on the story.
It’s been almost twenty years since SquareSoft abandoned its Nintendo loyalists for the sexy, polygonal temptations of the PlayStation: in 1997, Final Fantasy VII was released for the PS1 in all its blocky glory.
Platform and graphics aside, the game’s futuristic, cyberpunk setting also marked a new era for the series. While previous Light Warriors marveled at the steam engine between treks on their flightless Chocobo mounts, Cloud, Tifa, Barrett & Co. got helicopters and a spaceship.
But as I was replaying this game recently in anticipation of a PS4 remake in the near future, there wasn’t much reason to ponder over ’90s-era console wars, or fanboy rage at the shift in setting. Instead, I was repeatedly struck by how eerily prescient the whole thing felt. The game still has an outsized reputation in the history of JRPGs and console gaming, but more than anything, it should stand as a grave warning of the realities of 21st century life, as we live through it.
Shipping has never really been my thing, but as most of the ships I do read are M/M, it wasn’t too hard to figure out that there was some internalized sexism influencing my reading choices. As such, I decided to think long and hard about what F/F pairings I might like to jump into. Considering that Final Fantasy VII was one of my very first fandoms, it came as no surprise to me that that was where I ended up starting.
Tifa and Aerith are two beloved characters of mine. Both are love interests to Cloud in canon, but despite being romantic rivals, they remain good and close friends up until Aerith’s untimely death. What I have discovered is even better than their close friendship, though, is the idea that they could have hidden romantic feelings for each other.
Whether you love it or hate it, Final Fantasy X is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII. Thankfully, for everyone who dislikes this connection, the two games don’t actually impact each other in terms of plot or characterization. However, for the rest of us, it’s always fun speculating about all the different ways the two games are alike and figuring out the history of both their worlds. This connection is something the game creators have been adding to for some time, and considering that Auron shows up in the new FFVII remake trailer, I imagine that we’re going to have a few more hints and Easter eggs in our future. And yet, somehow, I found myself surprised when Kingdom Hearts turned Sephiroth into an Aeon.
I haven’t heard too much about the Final Fantasy VII remake—and to be fair, there isn’t that much information about the game out right now. What I do know is that the game is meant to be released in increments, with the first one originally scheduled for later this year before it was moved back to March of 2017. This is probably for the best, as rushed games tend to be glitchy and not a whole lot of fun. Part of me is even shocked that March isn’t too soon, considering that the game makers have to completely re-render the entire world of Final Fantasy VII, and since the game opens up in Midgar, it means they need to create a whole city from the ground up, let alone all the other places the characters are going to visit.
So far, it looks pretty good, and I am more than excited to get right back into this world. Story spoilers up ahead.
I recently just replayed both of X’s games and VII, because hey, they are my favorite Final Fantasy games. With the exception of direct sequels, most Final Fantasy games are completely independent from each other. That’s not always true—we have the Ivalice Alliance games such as XII and Tactics that both take place in the world of Ivalice, albeit a thousand years apart from each other. But unless we’re specifically told otherwise, it’s always been safe to assume that the Final Fantasy games have no impact on each other. At least, that was the case until X-2 happened. During an interview for Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania, Nojima confirmed that X and X-2 are prequels to VII. While the stories in the games are still more or less independent from each other, this connection allows for some interesting social and religious implications, specifically for the Al Bhed.
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.
Advent Children takes place two years after the events in Final Fantasy VII, and it introduces three new villains to our cast, as well as a few other characters. The world is being overrun with a disease called Geostigma, and many people are dying. Geostigma turns out to be connected to Jenova and her son Sephiroth—the main villains of the game—and the three new characters also consider Jenova their mother and plan to use some of her remains to revive Sephiroth.
Cloud returns as our main character and works as a delivery boy. He doesn’t really want to be caught up in anything else that’s going on, because he’s still coming to terms with Aerith’s death and being unable to save her. But when the three new villains kidnap a bunch of children suffering from Geostigma and with the threat of Sephiroth on the rise, Cloud eventually decides to stop moping around long enough to do the right thing and stop our new villains in epic, physic-defying battles.
Most reviews for this movie have been mixed. On the one hand, it had amazing CGI for its time. On the other, most people who hadn’t played the original game would have had trouble following its plot. I feel mixed about this movie for a different reason. I like it simply for existing and delving deeper into the world of Final Fantasy VII. However, this movie is completely pandering and clearly only exists as a cash cow for Square Enix.
Read Part 1 here.
Last time, I talked about Aerith, Tifa, and a little bit about Shera. Now I’m going to talk about Yuffie and Elena. Yuffie is much the same as Tifa and Aerith. She has a lot of good qualities about her. She also has a very interesting past. But in a lot of other ways, she falls flat. Elena is a little bit different. She is more like Shera, in that I have relatively nothing positive to say about her.