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BioTeach’s Entire FFVII Compilation Novelization

BioTeach

Pro Adventurer
Welcome! I have been debating for a long time whether to share this project of mine, but finally decided why not? Maybe someone would find it interesting. Plus, I thought putting it out here might help keep me motivated.

So here it is, my novelization of the entire FFVII Compilation. You are probably wondering why I would do such a thing, so here's a brief background on how this whole mess got started: My first hands-on introduction to ff7 was the original Crisis Core (although I had watched my brother play parts of the OG many years prior so I had some knowledge of the characters, etc) I played with a borrowed game and PSP. I really enjoyed it and quickly realized that once I gave it back, it would be gone. It wasn't like my favorite novels I could just pull off my bookshelf anytime I wanted to experience them again. Thus began my crazy idea to replay it one more time before returning it and wrote a quick novelization of it (basically writing down the script and what I like to call “stage notes”). It didn’t take long for me to try novelizing AC next, and then it just snowballed after that. The project has taken me more than a few years (plus I’ve taken several months-long breaks) and with all the upcoming new content, I don’t anticipate being finished anytime soon. I've often thought lately that this whole thing is a little silly, but every time I think about quitting I think about all the time I've already put into it and how stopping now would be a waste of all that work. So as long as I am getting joy out of doing it, I plan to continue.

At his point, I have mostly finished the final drafts for AC, BC, CC, DC, OTWTAS, TKAA, and Remake (+ Yuffie DLC). Although, every time I read it, I find parts I want to improve, so not sure how “final” it really is.

I have arranged my novelization in chronological order starting with the early days of the Jenova Project (so far it’s primarily flashbacks from DC, because sadly that's all we have on it for now) followed by a mix of BC/CC content, OG/Remake, OTWTAS, TKAA, AC, and then DC. I am doing my best to keep it all a 100% faithful retelling of the source material (no made up scenarios or headcanon-filled fanfiction here!).

If you've been kind enough to read this far and are interested, below are some notes on how I went about novelizing each part. (I will place it in a spoiler tag to help compact this lengthy post)

Before Crisis: This was probably my favorite entry to write since I could find very little info on it and thus had very little knowledge of it going in. Here are a couple points I'd like to share:
  • Since the game was only officially released in Japan (and I don't know Japanese), the scripts I had to use were unofficial English fan translations. My first draft was composed from the translated play-through videos posted by Grimoire Valentine on Youtube. Afterwards, I found another set of scripts posted by Turkleader, which was similar, but somewhat different in wording. After reading through them and comparing lines from each source, I adjusted my writing to incorporate parts from each, depending on which wording I felt was a better fit. So my novelization of BC uses a combination of these two scripts, at least until EC throws something new into the mix.​
  • The “Player” Turk: As far as I am aware, there is no official canon Turk for this story (aside from the chapter where Cissnei encounters Zack near Nibelheim [based on the same scene in CC] and by extension her encounter with Veld in the Shinra Mansion soon after). Therefore, I chose from the optional Turks based on preference and used different ones for different missions as I saw fit (I tried to give as many of them as I could at least a little screen time). Also, I used the names given in their concept materials (don’t know if those are “official”, but I thought it sounded better than just calling them after their weapons and I didn’t want to make up my own names for them.)​
  • I suspect I will end up making at least a few changes after we see what Ever Crisis does with this entry.​
Crisis Core: As stated above, this was the first entry I did. A few notes to share:
  • Nibleheim Incident: Obviously this was a pretty important scene in CC and is, unfortunately, a scene with many variations among the compilation components. CC, OG, BC, and LO (and I assume Remake) all have slightly differing versions of it. I have tried to integrate as many of those components together as I can without contradicting any material. Therefore, my version of Nibelheim here will be a mix of CC, BC, OG, and whatever Remake throws in. Honestly, this part is still a work in progress and I expect to keep changing it.​
  • DMW scenes: I have tried to include as many DMW scenes as possible as many contain enjoyable scenes that just didn't appear in the main game. Some were really hard to place though, since they aren’t dated and many looked like just random memories that didn’t really fit in with the flow of the main story. I tried to incorporate as many of them as I can, but if anyone has more info regarding these scenes (like where they all fit in) I’d love to hear it.​
  • Reunion: The only difference between Reunion and the original were some slight variations to the script, which some of the dialog desperately needed. I haven't been able to play it yet myself but I have combed through a couple of play throughs on YT and documented all the changes to the script. I am currently in the process of going back through my novel and updating the lines that I feel are now improved. I don’t plan on changing all of them though, as I still prefer some of the original script.​
Last Order: Is it canon? Yes? No? Whatever it is, I thought it threw in some nice touches and provided some missing scenes regarding Zack’s time on the run leading up to his final stand. I didn’t notice anything glaringly contradictory (outside of some details in the Nibelheim Incident) and I liked it, so I’m including it (or parts of it at least). Therefore, there are some scenes from LO sprinkled throughout my telling of CC – namely scenes not depicted elsewhere in the compilation, like the Turks/Hojo collecting Zack and Cloud from the reactor, and some scenes of Zack running from Shinra troops and the Turks on his way back to Midgar. If Rebirth gives us new versions of these scenes, I will probably come back and nix the LO versions (since it's canonicity is debatable)

OG: When I started this project, I was under the impression that Remake would be a retelling of OG – that it would be the same point in time only with better script and graphics. Therefore, I had not originally planned to novelize the OG when I knew Remake would be more fleshed out and better translated. Now I’m not so sure. If Remake turns out to be another part of the story (like a sequel as some suggest) and is not just replacing OG’s space in the story’s timeline, then I suppose I will need to include the OG as well. Since I have gotten caught up on all the other parts of the compilation, I have gone back and started working on it. And I have to admit I don’t really like it (as far as writing goes. I still think it was a great game for its time). It feels so bare and clunky compared to the Remake and some of the script just doesn't flow. I’m still in the very early stages of a rough draft for this one and will keep working on it until newer content comes out.

Remake: I’ve done all of Remake part one (including Yuffie DLC) except for Chapter 18. I have no idea what is going on in this part and I can’t write what I don’t understand. But once it is made clear, I will gladly put this chapter into words. Until then, I will spare my sanity and leave it alone.

OTWTAS: I know what you’re thinking: How do you novelize an already written novel? Let me explain:
  • As most of you know this book is broken into parts focusing on each character’s individual story after the OG. A lot of them overlapped in places (particularly Yuffie and Nanaki, it seemed) All I did for this entry was interconnect the various parts into a more cohesive flow. I also felt the need to add more descriptive writing to some places that seemed rather glossed over (ie – described the scenery of the forgotten city or the appearance of the new Seventh Heaven), but that was just a personal preference and I did not add anything to it story or dialog wise.​
  • This is the compilation entry in which I have the most work left to do, especially Tifa’s part. For some reason it just seemed really disjointed to me - it’s hard to tell how much time has passed from one part to another. Maybe it’s just me. I’m really hoping for some more clarity and/or details if this book is covered in EC. [If there is a detailed timeline for the events post-Meteor in one of the ultimanias, especially with events from this novel, would someone please point me towards it. I would be super grateful!]​
TKAA: The major overhaul I did on this one was changing it from Evan’s first person narrative to a third person telling that fit with the writing style of the rest of the story. It's not that I didn’t like the first person version. I thought it was really well done, but I wanted it to match the rest of the story. Basically all I did was go through and change all of the “I, me, we” parts to “Evan, he, they” and modified the grammar and sentence structure as needed.

AC/ACC: I don’t think I have much to add here as far as notes go. It’s a pretty straightforward retelling of the movie.

Dirge of Cerberus:
  • Since my novelization is a chronological telling of the compilation, several of DC’s flashbacks to young Hojo, Vincent, and Lucrecia (and Grimoire) are actually in my earliest chapters before BC. Unfortunately, there isn’t that much content for these short scenes so I’m really hoping Remake and/or EC gives us more material here regarding these characters and the Jenova/SOLDIER projects. These scenes are also still included in their proper appearances in DC as well, as Vincent experiences them as memories/flashbacks.​
  • I’ve also included the Lost Episode in my DC novelization. I’ve heard that it’s not considered canon, but I really liked it and its not contradictory, so I’ve included it. (It's been a long time since I did this part, but I believe the video I used came from Grimoire Valentine's Youtube channel as well.)​
  • Lastly, I have a rough draft done of the multiplayer mode story that so far is only the translated scenes posted by Grimoire on Youtube. I’m not really sure what happens between these scenes though so it feels rather sparse (I assume the player just goes on various missions?). I’ve seen some speculation that Sonon’s fate could be to become the “Player” in this part of the story, which I think could be possible. So I’m probably going to wait for more info regarding that before I invest too heavily in the multiplayer story. Maybe even EC will give us more info on the Tsviets’ escape from Deepground. One can hope.​

Even with all that done, there is still lot's left to do. Here is my anticipated workload for the foreseeable future:
  1. Finish updating the dialog/scripts from CC Reunion. DONE!
  2. Add content from the Trace of Two Pasts novel when the official English translation finally releases. I plan to handle it similar to the way I did the other novels: type it up as is, then insert each part into appropriate places in the overall story. Thanks to the fan translations, I already have a rough outline in place for adding the new content. Mostly done. Will be making changes as we see how/if Rebirth incorporates these scenes.
  3. I used to have First Soldier on this list, but it seems there was no new story/lore in it. I assume any First Soldier related content will now come from Ever Crisis at this point. First Soldier content in Ever Crisis is looking promising and is being added to my work as each chapter is released.
  4. Add any updated or completely new content from Ever Crisis. This is probably the entry I'm most excited for as I'm really looking forward to new content, like the Sephiroth origin story. I'm hoping for some Jenova Project lore as well regarding Gast and Hojo.​
  5. Write the remaining parts of Remake/Rebirth/Re??? as they release.​
  6. Finish the OG (if it is confirmed to be a different part of the story from Remake)​
As a parting note: I had never actually planned on sharing this project. It was always just a fun little hobby for myself to enjoy, but I thought if anyone else would be interested in it (or just parts of it) I would be happy to share. Maybe I could post a sample chapter or two on AO3 if there was a particular scene anyone was interested in? Not sure if I will ever upload all of it; there would have to be enough interest for me to do so.

Anyway, I will primarily use this thread to share updates and occasionally glean knowledge and input from all you brilliant minds as I put together finishing touches, so if you’d like to offer advice or opinions, stay tuned!

Just for fun, here are some stats as of this posting (January 3, 2023) (This will be updated as progress is made)
UPDATED January 2024
TOTAL Chapters: 347
TOTAL Word Count: 1,217,883
Chapter breakdown by compilation entry:
  • BC – 57 chapters​
  • CC – 41 chapters​
  • Remake – 82 chapters (69 remake + 13 Yuffie DLC)​
  • OTWTAS – 31 chapters​
  • TKAA – 27 chapters​
  • AC – 14 chapters​
  • DC – 35 chapters (not including multiplayer story)​
  • TOTP - 48 chapters​
  • EC:FS - ??​
Okay, that's all. Thanks for reading! :aah:
 
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BioTeach

Pro Adventurer
I finished going through CC Reunion and adjusted some of the dialog to match the new script as well as some minor improvements to a few scenes because I am never satisfied! It made a slight change to the word count but overall not much changed. Now I eagerly await the English release of TOTP :lol:
 

BioTeach

Pro Adventurer
I finally got my English copy of TOTP and am slowly making my way through it and figuring out how to incorporate it with the rest of my story.
In the meantime, I've uploaded a couple of sample chapters to AO3 if any of you are interested (my username there is Chocobo Cowgirl). One chapter is from Remake and one is from BC. I will try to add one from AC and Dirge this week too. If there is anything in particular anyone is interested in reading let me know and I can try to get it up for you. As always, opinions, suggestions, and constructive criticisms are welcome :mon:
 
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mikehekwin

Lv. 1 Adventurer
Pretty good, especially since this is the only Before Crisis novelization available ANYWHERE... looking extremely forward to it.

In my head canon the turk path for cissnei is also similar, she's mostly a higher rank than the other turks so instead of having a partner like the other turks, she gets sent on missions to maybe team up with other elite turks like Tseng, Rude, Reno,LEGEND, KATANA, etc.

Meanwhile for the other turks I feel like a partner system works for them if they ever decide to remake BC:

Knife & Nunchuck (Hardened Woman who had to work hard for everything just to SURVIVE, rich spoiled boy who had everything given to them)

Martial Arts Male and Female (He was a detective cop who quit because he couldn't solve a string of murders, She was a mercenary who killed a ton of people, uhh... I'm pretty sure she did it)

Rod & Gun (Rod: Rebel, wants to become the strongest turk , but can't stop his old rebellious attitude, Gun: believes upholding the law to be above all, assigned to discipline and teach Rod the meaning of true strength)

Shotgun & Two Gun (Two gun used to be a powerful bodyguard who worked for Don Corneo , stepped down , forced to become turk to escape corneo's wrath , meanwhile Shotgun got the job cause.. she was too badass and OP, that she easily impressed everyone... LMAO)

Everything I know comes from what i remember from the wiki , so I don't know the canonocity.

Anyway sorry for the weird tangent, just got excited again for before crisis novelization I always wanted to read... can't wait and you did an excellent job with this chapter.
 

BioTeach

Pro Adventurer
I've spent the past month working my way through TOTP. Since it's already in novel form, most of the work involved in adding it to my novelization is figuring out placement since my story is chronological. Technically, the entire book takes place in the present during Remake's/Rebirth's timeframe (Tifa's part while they are walking between Kalm and the Chocobo Farm, and Aerith's is later on the ship leaving Junon.) The easiest thing would be to place it as is in those two places and let the ladies tell there respective stories. But that would be a huge digression from the main story to suddenly spend 10-15 chapters on the past.

The following explains how I broke the story down. I've put it in a spoiler tag to keep this post from stretching on too long on the page (plus it does contain TOTP spoilers if you haven't read it yet)

After analyzing Tifa's story, I've broken it down into 3 “Acts”:
1) The segments of her talking with her friends in the present.
2) Her recollections of life before the Nibelheim Incident (includes her brief interactions with Cloud and training with Master Zangan).
3) Her time in Midgar after the Nibelheim Incident.

Tifa Act 1: I managed to compress into 4 chapters and plan to place it properly in the timeline between Kalm and the Chocobo Farm with the flashback segments greatly summarized. I still feel like 4 chapters is a bit too long to diverge from the main story, but I feel like shirnking it anymore would require removing some interesting lore, so this part is still a work in progress. I'm curious to see if any of their dialogs are referenced in Rebirth. If so, that may affect how I incorporate this section.

Tifa Act 2: Covers a span of about 3 years from her 12th birthday in May 1999 to the Nibelheim Incident in fall 0002. This was the most benign section in my opinion. We have the introduction of her cat Fluffy, who ends up playing a rather important role in leading her to meet the Turk on Mt. Nibel and subesequently getting her the tour guide job for the Shinra investigation team. We also have a brief rundown of Lester, Tyler, and Emilio, and her brief but important interactions with young Cloud. Then the majority of this part is about her meeting Zangan and her martial arts training, which I felt was a bit dragged out, but that just my opinion of course. The hard part about adding these scenes into my story chronologically is that there is already a ton of other stuff happening during this time – like the beginning events of Crisis Core and about the first half of Before Crisis. To have a random chapter about teenage Tifa inserted here and there would seem really off, so I think a majority of these events will be relegated to a summarized version as told by Tifa in the present day in “Act 1”.

Tifa Act 3 was by far my favorite section of Tifa's story. And, fortunately, it occurs during a lull in other events of FF7. As far as Zack and Cloud are concerned, they are out of it for several years after Nibelheim. And as for BC, the Corel reactor incident that puts the player Turk in a three year coma occurs soon after too. So we have a good empty window of time for Tifa's story in Midgar which ends with her buying Seventh Heaven in Spring 0005 (while the player Turk in BC doesn't wake up until Fall 0006 and Zack/Cloud in December 0006)

Aerith's story can be divded into 2 parts – present day dialog aboard the ship and stories from the past.

Aerith's “Past” story is a pretty steady progression, covering about 7 years from her escape in 1992 to her run-in with Faz in 1999. It all occurs fairly early in the timeline, so it's easy to insert as there is very little else going on. Her story begins in 1992, well after the early Jenova/SOLDIER projects in the 70s and 80s; and the end of her story falls in 1999, conveniently before Crisis Core starts in 0000.

Aerith's “Present” day dialog with Tifa will be on the ship leaving Junon. This covers about 2 chapters and I condensed it the same way I did Tifa's “Act 1” explained above. Again, if their dialog is referenced in Rebirth, it may affect how I incorporate this section.

TOTP also had an additional story regarding Aerith called “Picturing the Past” which was originally published in the World Preview book. It was rewritten for TOTP, and a lot of it was improved in my opinion, especially some of the dialog, which before had seemed a bit stiff and unnatural. Another change was the main character's name from Ronnie (in the World Preview) to Lonny (in TOTP). I don't know why it changed, and I personally prefer Ronnie. Another important note is that most of Ronnie/Lonny's story is written in first person, much like Evan's story in TKAA. I rewrote it in third person to fit the style of the rest of my writing. Anyway, it too can be divided into “Present day” and “flashbacks”. The flashbacks are minimal, and revolve around Ronnie's time spent with young Aerith just prior to her escape in 1992. These scenes will be included at the beginning of Aerith's TOTP chapters in my book. As for the present day, it takes place in 0007 sometime before the Mako 1 Reactor bombing (December 0007). To avoid derailing the main events (ending of CC and BC), I think Ronnie's story will best be inserted between the end of BC and the beginning of OG/Remake.

In summary, I've broken TOTP down into 48 chapters (20 Tifa, 14 Aerith, 14 PtP), adding 132,200 words and 306 pages to my story. It's still in the rough draft stage and I will go over it another couple of times to fine tune everything, but for now I will be taking a small break while I optimistically wait for news on Ever Crisis this summer.

In the meantime, I am still uploading chapters of my BC novelization to AO3. I'm trying to add 2-5 chapters weekly, which equate to 1 in-game chapter a week. I currently have posted through Chapter 6 (of the game), if anyone is interested.
 

BioTeach

Pro Adventurer
To celebrate the news of the recovery of a Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode mobile demo (as recently reported over in the FFVII Mobile Game Initiative thread), I am posting my Lost Episode chapters on AO3. There are two, one I just posted today and the other will go up next week. If you are unfamiliar with this lost piece of FFVII lore, now is your chance to get caught up! My work is based on the English subtitle version posted to Youtube by user Grimoire Valentine.

Also, I did finish posting the rest of BC a while ago as well.
 

BioTeach

Pro Adventurer
With the renewed Advent Children hype surrounding its theatrical release, I’ve spent the last couple weeks revising my AC novelization. It will be uploaded to AO3 over the next couple of weeks.
 
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