Ahh, the Love Triangle of Final Fantasy VII. It is arguably, the most passionately discussed topic of all of FFVII fandom. Going by the comments on this site, at least.
Today, we post the next article from his FAQ, written by Squall_of_SeeD. In this one, he’ll analyze the hot button topic of Cloud’s feelings and affections for the two heroines of FFVII: Aerith and Tifa. What do the creators and story have to say regarding Cloud’s feelings for the two? Anything? Squall_of_SeeD gives us the answer.
With great pleasure, we host this controversial, yet well written and insightful analysis. Enjoy!
EDIT: As expected, Squall_of_SeeD and I have received lot’s of feedback, both positive and negative, regarding this article. Squall_of_SeeD decided that it was necessary to address several of the additional points and critiques of his analysis that were mentioned, and with that, he has amended several portions of his FAQ regarding his analysis. You can read the newly edited article below.
EDIT2: Squall_of_SeeD is such a slave driver making me update this FAQ again, today, the eve of Halloween. But he’s just a stickler for completion. So again. Take a look at what else has been added XD
Initially, I’d intended for this FAQ to ignore the Love Triangle
Debate like a plague. It succeeded in that for a good number of years, but updating it after an absence of more than three years from this fandom, I feel a need to address this topic.
Why? You know, I’m really not sure. Probably because it’s hard to call the FAQ’s analysis complete when I don’t even talk about what remains the most passionately and frequently debated aspect of the game more than 12 years after its release.
The Love Triangle Debate, of course, centers around whether Cloud had more romantic feelings toward Aerith or Tifa. Basically, who did he want to be with?
Twelve years after the release of Final Fantasy VII, the most passionately and frequently debated aspect of the game remains the Love Triangle Debate.
For those nine of you who don’t know, the Love Triangle Debate centers around whether Cloud had more romantic feelings toward Aerith or Tifa. Basically, who did he want to be with?
Those fans who prefer — or “‘ship”, as the verb goes — CloudxAerith are known in the fandom as Cleriths, while those who ‘ship’ CloudxTifa are called Clotis. That being said, obviously a Clerith may still argue that Cloti is canon, and a Cloti might argue the opposite if it’s what they believe.
Generally speaking though, those in both camps argue in favor of their preferred relationship as canon.
While I’ve had my preference since the beginning, it was initially based on my own preferences in women. More to the point, I couldn’t stand Aerith and adored Tifa. That’s still the case 12 years later, though it obviously doesn’t have to be the same for Cloud.
None of that is to say that I don’t like Aerith; just not in “that way,” if you get me. I simply prefer more somber and restrained females. Still, if you fear my declared preference for Tifa may bias my views in this analysis, that’s not an unreasonable concern.
However, in any public address, it’s necessary to state one’s personal views upfront. Otherwise, it becomes a question of honesty.
Whether I am credible I leave to each of you to decide.
I do believe this, though: You won’t find someone with no opinion on the LTD actually discussing the matter at length. Not only because it takes a vested interest in the first place, but because it’s impossible.
Anyone analyzing data and drawing conclusions from it, even if they began as neutral, no longer is by the end of the process. This is as true of researchers making employ of the scientific method as it is of scholars conducting media analysis.
They must, of course, attempt to distance themselves as much as possible while drawing their conclusions, though. You are free to determine otherwise if not convinced, but I believe my three-and-a-half-year absence from this fandom has given me a degree of distance. I will tell you outright that I could not have objectively discussed this matter in 2005.
I believe I can do so now.
In any case, as said, I am a Cloti. Accommodating me and so many others, the original game’s developers designed it such that the player’s own choices influence who Cloud’s affection is greatest for in the original game.
The way several scenes play out are influenced by this, and, consequently, it left Cloud’s feelings ambiguous at the end of the game. As an additional consequence, it meant players would debate, disagree with and flame one another for more than the next decade since there was no definitive answer.
There were no official declarations in interviews, no scenes in the newer FFVII titles featuring Cloud and one of the ladies in an overtly romantic context, and no apparent end in sight to the blood feud that lay between fans of the two pairings.
The only statement about Cloud’s feelings that could be given with complete confidence is that he cared about both women very much. Now, however, I believe more than that can be done.
I believe there’s now a definitive answer.
The only statement about Cloud’s feelings that could be given with complete confidence is that he cared about both women very much. Now, however, more than that can be done.
There’s now a definitive answer.