Did Hojo manipulate Lucrecia? [split from Repository of Debunked Rumors]

kathy202

Pro Adventurer
I guess they do have a bit of a "popular character" syndrome. Personally, I think the two heroines suffer from that too, as much as I love them. They're so perfect and never really do anything wrong, or if they do, it's a completely understandable thing and anyone who disagrees lacks empathy.

As for the Turks, yeah, I guess there's a bit of that in the remake. While Reno was expressing his disgust with the "that's who we are" line, half of my brain is focused on what every Reno fangirl is distracted by, the other half is saying "you mean you didn't know?" Of course, one could argue that this crosses the line even for them and so on...

But at the end of the day, I don't think this series is the sort to go to if one is looking for morally complex but consistent characters. Largely because it's just not what the majority of the fanbase goes for. Lucrecia is probably the exception, and I think we've sort of established that she's not exactly popular. The Turks are the more typical sort one would find in the gray zone and I can see how it might not work for everyone, but I guess it's good enough for me.
 

Leafonthebreeze

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Leaf
I think after a certain point it literally comes down to personal preferences. Lucrecia and the Turks both have the same moral complexities, but in the Turks' case it was wrapped up with comedy and loveable shenanigans in the narrative and with Lucrecia it's wrapped up in tragedy, along with less screen time. Some people find the wacky cognitive dissonance of the Turks more compelling, which may or may not lead to looking to excuse their behaviour, while some find the tragedy more compelling. Some like both!

I like Lucrecia fine, and definitely don't hate her. I personally enjoy digging into how the Turks work more, but that might even just be down to more screentime. I still like reading about different people's takes on her, hence I'm in this thread!
 

Mobius Stripper

Wisecracking Robot
AKA
PunkassDiogenes
The simple answer would be that the Turks are just cool. Whether people like a character or not rarely has to do with the character's moral upstanding-ness. It's a matter of how compelling they are. I am fond of Lucrecia because of her role in the plot more than because of her portrayal. Her characterization is pretty lacking (although I do love that they made her rather neurotic) and there's not much about it that acts as a hook. While being a crazy smart scientist who messes with demons and gives birth to an alien baby is by definition super-cool, that's never portrayed as the essence of her character. It is something we are told more than we are shown. The essence of her character is framed as "The Lost Lenore," which is boring and redirects any sympathy the audience might have for her toward Vincent. They also never gave her much in the way of an actual personality, which is why fan interpretations of her vary wildly. Meanwhile, the Turks all have clearly-defined personalities.
 
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Odysseus

Ninja Potato
AKA
Ody
Lucrecia probably could be a compelling character if framed the right way, there's probably a really grimy story to be told about her life just falling apart around her as she futilely flails around and tries to fix things, but I get the feeling that would be too depressing for them to focus on for a prolonged period of time. As it stands, my favorite scene with her is when she's pleading with Hojo to see her son, that's the one scene where I really feel her pain in a genuine way. I would have liked more scenes like that.

I Also don't think it's really fair to compare her to the Turks as they are just much more prominent characters, both in and out of the original game.
 
AKA
The Engineer
The Turks are based on stock Japaense Anime character archetypes. Even as a group they are. They're basically a romanticized Yakuza (JP organized crime) gang. Reno is cut from the exact same cloth as Renji in Bleach down to the red hair, facial tattoos and general course way of talking (and general lack of caring if he has to kill people). Rude is the strong, silent type you find *everywhere* in anime. Tseng is the boss that sounds cold but really does care about his subordinates. Elena is the plucky new hire who takes the offical rules too seriously while everyone else knows what the *actual* unwritten rules they follow are.

The thing is... Japanese media is... *way* more comfortable with making characters fun and enjoyable to watch vs what their morality is than Western Media is. There's plenty of characters with no morals to speak of that are designed for the audience to like them because of their personality *in spite* of what they do.

Just because a character is likable in Japanese media doesn't mean the narrative agrees with what they're doing. And yet... well... Code Geass, Death Note, My Hero Academia, Naruto... many of the most popular characters from those series are the villains (or are villain protagonists even!) and *no one* really cares that the people doing aweful things are some of the most loved characters of those stories. Instead it's "this character is cool and fun to watch do stuff and come out on top" and the audience kinda just goes with it.
 

kathy202

Pro Adventurer
I do wonder though, will the Turks be less popular if they were written as remorseless assholes in the remake? That's certainly how some people interpreted the OG and in the context of the OG itself, it's a valid interpretation.

I'm sure Aerith would be less popular if they kept her flirting and whatever other perceived negative traits she had, but the "negative" traits of the Turks was also a part of why some people loved them.

Judging from existing fanbase reaction, I suspect they would be less liked, but who knows, it might just attract a different kind of fanbase.
 
AKA
The Engineer
The Turks in the OG are... yet another victim of the OG's weak localization. How they are portrayed in the Compilation and Remake is how they have always sounded in Japanese. As far as JP players are concerned... this is always how the Turks have been.

And that goes for many characters, not just the Turks. A lot of the OG's English characterization is off in some way due to the localization and then was later fixed in the Compilation's localization. Which is usually the reason the OG characters feel off going from the OG to the Compilation and Remake...
 

ph14basicbitch

shinra merch buyer
AKA
koda
You can get away with saying that about say the other Turks, but I don't think that applies to Reno. Personally, I find him to be different between 無印 and R, and I know there are Japanese people who think so as well as I caught some remarks last year about it on Twitter after Remake came out. :hohum: And I think this goes back to what Licorice was saying on the other page about S-E observing popularity and that being reflected in Remake, as Reno is definitely the most popular of the 4 of them.
 
No it isn't. His defining line in the OG was, "A pro isn't someone who sacrifices himself for his job. That's just a fool."
His defining line in the Remake is, "This is bullshit. What the hell are they thinking? ... Well, I guess it's a bit late to grow a conscience."
I expect the Remake to draw a direct connection between the second line and the first.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
Dirge leans pretty heavily towards a sympathetic depiction of Lucrecia, TTM, but you're happy to hold her in enormous disdain with no issues. Why is it such a problem when I take note of other characters much greater sins? But the fandom works so much harder when the Turks reputations are at risk.
I don't care what The Fandom does, though, when the topic is what *I* do. I feel like pointing this out has become a recurring theme (see also: not necessarily simping for Qui-Gon while calling out the Jedi Order's abysmal failures). =P

I point out that Lucrecia is a crap character not because she's not depicted as deserving any sympathy nor even because -- regardless of depiction -- she isn't deserving of any for her tragic story. She is in both cases. But so is Sephiroth, at least on the count of deserving sympathy. Yet all of that is beside the point.

Sephiroth is compelling, and thus not a crap character. Hojo is compelling, and thus not a crap character. The Turks are compelling, and thus not crap characters.

One's mileage may vary on whether any or all of them are as deserving of sympathy as Lucrecia or even deserving of none -- but they excel at what they're supppsed to be, and are compelling for it. Lucrecia isn't because the story asks me to feel sympathy for her while she demonstrates precisely zero emotional intelligence.

The story doesn't ask me to feel sympathy for Hojo or Sephiroth. If I choose to, that's despite the depiction rather than because of it.

The Turks meanwhile demonstrate extensive emotional intelligence -- much like real-life special forces, who studies show tend to possess the highest emotional intelligence of all professional occupations. If they make shit choices or commit sins, even when the presentation of the story doesn't go out of its way to ask me to feel sympathy for them, I have nonetheless been compelled to fathom them because of the extent of what I know about them and how contemplative they have been shown to be.

Thus, they are compelling while Loony Lu is not.

Doing this, though, requires synthesizing everything we know about the characters, even when we've not been explicitly called upon to attach one detail about them to another -- and this implies an unwillingness to do it:

We have two depictions of the pillarfall, both of which have ample opportunity to show pressure being applied to the Turks in cutaway scenes (the way they do with Reeve.) But they don't. Why not? Neither version has any indication that 'feeling under threat' is any part of the Turks motivations, and both have many things that work against it.

If they truly are under such great threat, it doesn't even make sense to use the Turks for this mission. But between 'maybe the Turks are not on as thin ice as we think' and 'Shinra Exec decisions make no sense' we pick option A.
And that then leads to self-contradictory trains of thought such as making those comments before almost immediately following with this observation:

There's so many things that don't work, like Scarlet trusting someone she hates and wants to kill with her personal security in Gongaga, despite a significant risk that he will just kill her... IF she doubted his loyalty.
You can't elect to just take the possibility of the Shinra executives making questionable decisions off the table, then promptly acknowledge Scarlet trusting her safety to someone she's known to hold in contempt and whom she has tried to kill would be a questionable decision ... unless you're going to at least include the possibility that maybe this isn't such a questionable decision after all because she's on the board she believes is holding an axe above his and his loved ones' necks after they were only recently escorted to the gallows and given an ultimatum to save one another.

That's why I say your selective acknowledgement approach borders on becoming deliberate misreading. Just incorporating everything we know is the most simple and logical thing to do. Does it leave questions? Yeah, but nothing more complicated than what we've always had with characters who, like real people, can make better and worse choices from one day to the next.
 
AKA
The Engineer
You can't elect to just take the possibility of the Shinra executives making questionable decisions off the table, then promptly acknowledge Scarlet trusting her safety to someone she's known to hold in contempt and whom she has tried to kill would be a questionable decision ... unless you're going to at least include the possibility that maybe this isn't such a questionable decision after all because she's on the board holding an axe above his and his loved ones' necks after they were only recently escorted to the gallows and given an ultimatum to save one another.
The Shinra executives in the OG (barring Reeve or the most part and Tseng) really don't think anything of... emotional ties other people have within a group. They really don't get things like oh... loyalty. Or that most people have a really hard time killing people they don't have a "good reason" to kill. So they wind up thinking everyone else is as heartless as they are and that gets them in a lot of trouble in general. With the Turks, this is a double whammy. The exectuvies know the Turks *aren't* loyal to Shinra, but they don't think the Turks actually do care about what they are being ordered to do. So the Shinra Executives are pretty clumsy with how they go about ensuring the Turks don't betray them. They use all stick and no carrrot and once the stick is gone, the Turks are fine not being in Cloud's way if they think Cloud and Co. will let them go.

Rufus actually *can* understand loyalty and and that you *do not* ask certain people to do certain things. Not because they aren't *capable* of doing them, but because they don't *want* to do them. Which he ironically learned *from* the Turks while he was with him. Rufus in early BC is clumsy with Avalanche the way the Shinra Executives are clumsy with the Turks in early FFVII. In late BC, Rufus' proof of character growth is when he makes *sure* the other Turks get to leave Shinra alive (by signing off on their death noticies) and that Tseng don't have to kill Veld and Elfe who Rufus knows the Turks have been trying to save for years. Instead of making the Turks stay loyal to him by threatening them, he signals he's willing to help them *not* do things they don't want to do. Which is why Tseng, Rude and Reno stick to Rufus like glue afterwards. It's... honestly a lot less like the Turks joined Rufus and more like Rufus joined the Turks in a way...
 
Liking other characters is fine, having your own headcanons is fine...where it gets weird is when I'm being told my perspective approaches deliberate misreading or that I'm not holding up the end of some bargain with the writers for having different headcanons.

'Compelling' is completely subjective, different people can resonate with different characters, much of which depends on how much benefit of the doubt you're willing to give. Take Snow from FF13, if you don't take enough interest in him or engage, you may very well think that the brash arrogant guy is all there is to him.

You can't elect to just take the possibility of the Shinra executives making questionable decisions off the table, then promptly acknowledge Scarlet trusting her safety to someone she's known to hold in contempt and whom she has tried to kill would be a questionable decision ... unless you're going to at least include the possibility that maybe this isn't such a questionable decision after all because she's on the board holding an axe above his and his loved ones' necks after they were only recently escorted to the gallows and given an ultimatum to save one another.
That's what makes it a questionable decision, because in this context what we have is Scarlet being alone with a man she knows hates her and believes is a traitor who she has no leverage over whatsoever, because the loved ones she previously threatened him with are now vanished and beyond her reach (and the other Turks are on the ground in Gongaga, so she's not holding an axe over them either). So if he decides to shoot her in the back of the head and they all vanish into the sunset...there's basically nothing she can do about it (Hope Heidegger takes revenge?)

The most consistent reading of the Turks I've got (that doesn't leave out anything) is that they have strong personal loyalties and take pride in being a Turk, but don't have much by way of moral sensibilities (they'll grumble a bit, but not take action unless it directly impacts their interests.) They will allow Don Corneo to roam free, despite the kind of man he is, until he kidnaps one of them. They will complain about the Science Depts lack of morality, but kidnap everyone they're asked to for them unless they have a personal interest in the specimen, and sometimes even then if the cost of refusal is too high. They do have strong personal loyalties, some obviously greater than others, but take stances on things that directly affect their interests.

They've also got pride. Reno wants to get revenge after being beaten. They're willing to get into a fight in the winding tunnel after it all, when Shinra has almost already fallen and they have nothing to gain, because of Turk pride (unless the Wutai subquest outweighs it.)

. Post Meteorfall, they are sincerely loyal to Rufus, but they also still want to be Turks. They still, on the whole, act like Turks.

The thing about the failures of the Jedi is that they largely amount to assumptions about things that happen offscreen. Like we have to assume the Turks are at risk of some kind of threat offscreen. The newcanon is having problems with that now, because they've absorbed the 'the Jedi need to be fixed' meme, but have no idea what the fix is, so we get new Jedi like Ahsoka and Orla, who complain about mainstream Jedi but don't do anything differently, in part because the role has conflicting requirements as they're locked into original stories which were not written to support a 'the Jedi need fixing' narrative.
 
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Apart from anything else, it woudn't make any sense for Scarlet and Tseng to venture alone into a place which Shinra must know is infested by Heavy Tanks and other monsters. Plus, it would be contrary to Scarlet's sense of her own importance to travel without a retinue. Thus I always assumed they brought a detachment of troopers with them but didn't let the troopers come inside the ruined reactor. It would have been difficult for Tseng to murder her in that situation. Also, Rufus may have ordered him to let her live, for now.

I'm not sure what you mean about allowing Don Corneo to roam free. They are in Wutai to capture him. Reno just refuses to drop everything and go the moment their target is sighted. Presumably Reno is pretty confident they'll be able to capture Corneo later.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
'Compelling' is completely subjective ...
You're not wrong that there is a degree of subjectivity, but I do feel that there's also an objective element in whether the character readily lends themselves to what the plot wants to do with them -- and also that this is a reasonable enough qualification to include in the rubric.

Take Genesis for instance: It's difficult to buy into any notion that he was redeemed or "rediscovered his honor as a SOLDIER" just because Zack defeated him and Minerva cured him.

We have yet to see any penitence out of him for his numerous sins nor any noble action towards his fellow humans. Even the fact that he is supposed to now be devoted to the planet's protection may not mean diddly when his past behavior stemmed in part from zealous devotion to something non-human, and this new obsession could just be pretense for further megalomania.

Clement said:
... different people can resonate with different characters, much of which depends on how much benefit of the doubt you're willing to give.
I mean, that's fine. It's just a big ask from the audience -- or me at least -- to offer the benefit of the doubt to a character who basically hasn't been shown to do that herself. See also: Machina from Type-0.

Machina is way worse, though. I'll give Lucrecia that much. Machina's unwillingness to communicate like a rational person was knowingly performed with matters of life and death in mind, which we can't say about Lucrecia.

Clement said:
That's what makes it a questionable decision, because in this context what we have is Scarlet being alone with a man she knows hates her and believes is a traitor who she has no leverage over whatsoever, because the loved ones she previously threatened him with are now vanished and beyond her reach (and the other Turks are on the ground in Gongaga, so she's not holding an axe over them either).
The three remaining Turks were still loved ones to one another, and if they were still on the chopping block two months after "following through" (shhhh) on their end of the ultimatum to save themselves from execution, logically that potentially remains the case a few short days later.

Obviously things were different by the time of the Gongaga visit (unsure whether Scarlet even knows this), seeing as Rufus was in charge by this point -- but then why would the Turks be killing executives willy nilly anyway? Rufus probably isn't going to appreciate that.

Clement said:
Like we have to assume the Turks are at risk of some kind of threat offscreen.
We've seen it explicitly on screen, and in their very recent past. The implications of that are self-evident in the same way that we know people on VII's world follow some very close approximation of Earth years in their reckoning of time.

We don't need Sephiroth to explicitly announce that he wants to make Cloud suffer every time he returns to know the implications of Sephiroth taking a continued interest in Cloud.
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
The Turks are the people that investigated Angeal and Genesis after they defected, the ones that tracked the defectors to Nibelheim, the ones that brought Hojo back in when he tried to quit, the ones that do all the dirty work and behind the scenes murder and kidnapping. I too think that it's not all that convincing that Shinra would very suddenly become so super efficient at tracking down highly skilled people that leave the company the moment the people that do this job for them all leave, If Reno, Rude, Elena and Tseng wanted to get away, they almost certainly could. And Reno, Rude, Elena and Tseng are perfectly capable of helping Rufus when he needs them without being Turks, especially after the company all but collapsed and ceased to exist in the eyes of the public. They operate the way they do because they prefer it that way, it's pretty clear that they have invested a pretty large part of their identity in being Turks, intrinsically connected to Shinra Inc and have trouble walking away from that beyond just Rufus.
 

kathy202

Pro Adventurer
All this talk about the Turks is making me want a Yakuza-style FF7 where we play as Tseng, Reno, Rude, Elena and explore Midgar and Junon, beat up troublemakers, eat yummy food, feed cats, run a club, collect debt, drive a taxi, escape from prison, be a pop star, enjoy anything these two cities have to offer... While dealing with the internal strife in the Shinra family. And remember the epic shirtless rooftop battles too. With tattoos, maybe.

Ok, I'm signing out now.
 

ph14basicbitch

shinra merch buyer
AKA
koda
All this talk about the Turks is making me want a Yakuza-style FF7 where we play as Tseng, Reno, Rude, Elena and explore Midgar and Junon, beat up troublemakers, eat yummy food, feed cats, run a club, collect debt, drive a taxi, escape from prison, be a pop star, enjoy anything these two cities have to offer... While dealing with the internal strife in the Shinra family. And remember the epic shirtless rooftop battles too. With tattoos, maybe.

Ok, I'm signing out now.
Very important question:
Who were imagining as majima
 
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