Faith v. 3.0 (Cloti Club)

iamhorde

Pro Adventurer
Awww, that was a nice discussion but keeping things back to CloTi, I'm sure most of you would have seen translations from the latest developer interview that once again suggests that some things may change in part 2. This time they claim that the changes will "subvert player expectations in a good way".

What CloTi scenes in part 2 do you think they could subvert expectations in a good way? They've certainly subverted a lot of expectations in part 1 in a good way by showering us with so much CloTi goodness.

I personally think that no matter how much they change the game, the lifestream scene would still be a core, integral part of the story. They've even made allusions to that in part 1 with all the mentions about Reunion and in the Cloud & Tifa hugging scene - where the camera pans to the water that looks suspiciously like the lifestream. Here's me hoping that they would include an intimate, unmistakably romantic scene in the lifestream.

They've already done so much to establish the special connection Cloud and Tifa have in part 1, I'm really hoping for a huge payoff.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
In all honesty, I really don't know where the second part will stop. There isn't much romance in the OG between Midgar and the GS, so the GS it is. And there's no cloti before the Northern Crater after that, so yeah, if they want to add romance, they will have to add a lot of things. If they keep what we've seen in Part 1 though, I'll sure be happy.

I expect Tifa to voice out her doubts, probably to Aerith, but reinforce that she believes in Cloud. This has been a throwaway line in the OG that was missed by many - but Tifa didn't say anything at Kalm or after because she wanted to believe that Cloud was the real Cloud. I think we ought to have a scene that recontextualises that.
 

Stiggie

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Stiggie
Ok, I am losing my mind and I figured I might as well ask here.
I was looking for a fan-fiction, I usually don't read fan-fics, but one was posted, I think on this site, a while back that I happened to read and found to be very accurate to how I'd assume it would happen and I can't for the life of me remember the name.

If it rings a bell for anyone, let me know, this stuff bothers me. I'll just write down whatever comes to mind.

It was a cloti fanfic, obviously.
It plays out post Advent children.
interestingly enough the author decided to go with the bad highwind resolution and the Aerith date for increased suspense in their coming together or something.
Multiple chapters, like 8 or something.

Starts basically with mostly a point of view from Tifa where she's basically given up, but sometimes she thinks she notices something in the way Cloud looks at her, that makes her almost dare to hope again, but she doesn't want to get her hopes up only to be hurt again.
This all takes place in 7th heaven of course.
At some point in chapter 1 he makes his move on Tifa, Tifa wants to reciprocate but she stops herself, voicing her worries, crying she talks about how she'd never try to take Aeriths place but that she refuses to be second choice. Cloud explains that she isn't, that he did feel something for Aerith but didn't know if it was him or zack or whatever, but that for him it was basically always Tifa.
Anyway, they sleep together.

"the hot barmaid of 7th heaven is off the market".

They go on a vacation to icicle inn at some point in a later chapter.

There is also a chapter about a date, where Tifa reminisces over the knight in the gold saucer where she went to Clouds room and found him gone, and about realizing how she'd "lost".

There is also a subplot about Rufus and Shinra trying to make up for the shit they've done and trying to convince Cloud to advertise for them. Which I think Tifa eventually tells him they should do because the actual product is good (I think solar energy or something) and they need the money. There is also a chapter where there is a battle against deepground I think, so it spans the events of dirge of cerberus.

Any help would be much obliged.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
It's typically the kind of fics that I consider vastly OOC, if only because... they ARE a couple at this stage, have been for two years. AC/C presents Cloud and Tifa in a couple situation. They have been separated *at most* two weeks (CoT ends a week before AC/C, AC/C lasts a few days). They reach an understanding in AC/C, and Cloud manages to cope with his guilt. Sure it won't be sunshines and flowers all the time, but they are happy together.

I know it's done for the drama, but I really hate them and there were so many after AC. :wacky: They're pretty much the reason why I don't read cloti fanfics lol.
 

Stiggie

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Stiggie
It's typically the kind of fics that I consider vastly OOC, if only because... they ARE a couple at this stage, have been for two years. AC/C presents Cloud and Tifa in a couple situation. They have been separated *at most* two weeks (CoT ends a week before AC/C, AC/C lasts a few days). They reach an understanding in AC/C, and Cloud manages to cope with his guilt. Sure it won't be sunshines and flowers all the time, but they are happy together.

I know it's done for the drama, but I really hate them and there were so many after AC. :wacky: They're pretty much the reason why I don't read cloti fanfics lol.
I get that I suppose, but here's the thing, I understand why Cloud was having problems in AC, because a story where everything is dandy is boring, it leaves you nowhere to go. A static story tends to be pointless, if there is no change, then what's the story?

While I dislike the severity of Clouds depression in AC, I do think the idea of them longing for each other but being kept apart by guilt is, at its' core, a good dynamic to explore as long as the focus is on the actual connection between Cloud and Tifa, as well as their inevitable reunion. When it gets crappy is when it gets conflated with Cloud actually having feelings for Aerith, or when the whole dynamic is being portrayed as being egregiously unhealthy and dysfunctional.

The underlying idea that these two broken individuals are a bit lost and have to go through some struggles to find each other is, I think, valid.
When I hear "Out of character" I don't think about the specific situation, whether or not they were actually a couple, in this particular fanfic one of the issues is that Tifa is not sure if they are, she feels a bit in limbo, she's basically insecure. What I care about is do the characters act in a way that I'd expect them to act? And in that regards I think it did quite well.
The whole "Aerith date" and "bad highwind scene" things are just premises I voluntarily accept when I buy into the story.

While I personally don't think there was ever a romantic element in Clouds whole ACC story arc, I do think its' reasonable for Tifa to be unsure about it, and not ask because she's afraid of the answer. Likewise, while we all are pretty clear on Tifa and Cloud being a couple, I think it's perfectly fits Tifas "are we a real family" motif to be insecure about this. I think most of us have had relationships where we were physical, and clearly liked the other person, but weren't sure if the other was on the same page, were we were afraid to ask if its' mutual, if its' "official".

Basically, I don't much see the point of fanfics that basically go "after FFVII Tifa and Cloud got together and had lots of dates and sex and worked through everything instantly!", the struggles serve to show how much the characters want each other, and makes the inevitable happy ending all the more hard-fought and satisfying.
 
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Eerie

Fire and Blood
I understand what you mean, but to me this shouldn'tbe placed after AC/C, nor be written this way. In AC/C, Tifa's feelings *are* resolved too; her answer is that she loves and believes in Aerith; that she loves and believes in Cloud. She pushes Cloud to better himself, and it works. She's proud of him. That foxy look at the end was largely commented as "oh Cloud's getting some tonight!" by fans. There may be more discussions between t he two, more opening and communication, but that's where AC/C leaves us: Cloud resolves his guilt, Tifa resolves her doubts, the two are by each other's side as it should be at the end, they have reunited once again.

It's dragging the whole thing around again and again as if the characters can't evolve that gets on my nerves. This is why I only write blurbs of piece of life if I have to write post-AC/C. Because I don't feel the need of writing or "correcting" something that is already really solid.
 

Stiggie

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Stiggie
I understand what you mean, but to me this shouldn'tbe placed after AC/C, nor be written this way. In AC/C, Tifa's feelings *are* resolved too; her answer is that she loves and believes in Aerith; that she loves and believes in Cloud. She pushes Cloud to better himself, and it works. She's proud of him. That foxy look at the end was largely commented as "oh Cloud's getting some tonight!" by fans. There may be more discussions between t he two, more opening and communication, but that's where AC/C leaves us: Cloud resolves his guilt, Tifa resolves her doubts, the two are by each other's side as it should be at the end, they have reunited once again.

It's dragging the whole thing around again and again as if the characters can't evolve that gets on my nerves. This is why I only write blurbs of piece of life if I have to write post-AC/C. Because I don't feel the need of writing or "correcting" something that is already really solid.
Well, I can forgive the difference between "getting some tonight", and "getting some 3 days later". If someone literally leaves you with the children, even if they've worked their internal problems out, I can imagine a few days of clumsy re-acquainting. Again, you know, a story about what happened immediately post ACC that's just "they were perfectly in sync, didn't have anything to talk out, and just went straight to the bedroom" isn't really worth reading I think.

They're still Cloud and Tifa, Cloud wouldn't suddenly be some casanova overnight, immediately being perfectly clear and forward in his intentions. He's still the kind of guy who'd feel guilty for having abandoned her, and who would try to somehow make amends through some sort of action or grans gesture rather than just sharing what he's feeling. Maybe after a few weeks.
 
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Eerie

Fire and Blood
I agree with you! :D However, 99% of those fics acted as if Cloud and Tifa weren't a couple by the end of the OG... even if you get the low affection Highwind version, Cloud still says to Tifa that everything's changed, is still super sweet to her right after in CoT... Plus, it's the high affection Highwind scene that's canon! And I absolutely despise that idea that Cloud would live with Tifa and... nothing? They're not a couple? They're raising TWO kids on their own, but only good friends? Nope. To me, that's a vast mockery of their characters, who they are and what you allow them to be.

There's a difference in reconnecting awkwardly and connecting... awkwardly with tons of tears. I can't, I absolutely hate that idea. Sorry :D
 

Stiggie

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Stiggie
I agree with you! :D However, 99% of those fics acted as if Cloud and Tifa weren't a couple by the end of the OG... even if you get the low affection Highwind version, Cloud still says to Tifa that everything's changed, is still super sweet to her right after in CoT... Plus, it's the high affection Highwind scene that's canon! And I absolutely despise that idea that Cloud would live with Tifa and... nothing? They're not a couple? They're raising TWO kids on their own, but only good friends? Nope. To me, that's a vast mockery of their characters, who they are and what you allow them to be.

There's a difference in reconnecting awkwardly and connecting... awkwardly with tons of tears. I can't, I absolutely hate that idea. Sorry :D
That's fine, I understand that, since I also hate that idea from a "what actually happened perspective", but I do enjoy that moment in fiction where two characters who've wanted to be together for ages, finally get together. Canonically that happens during the highwind scene of course, but I think there is a lot of room for wistful imagination for what happened post ACC, even if it's more of a "what if".
 

KindOfBlue

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Blue
Yeah, I don’t deal with fanfiction at all but if I was to write one that dealt with that particular conflict in Cloud and Tifa’s relationship, I’d specifically place it during the brief period between Case of Tifa and AC.

Not that they couldn’t have other conflicts later on or even the same conflict for that matter but I would think however it’s portrayed, it would be shown in a way that feels more like a natural extension of their development instead of retreading old territory, whether the relationship is depicted as getting stronger or falling apart.

I mean that development could very well be Cloud and Tifa separating for good if you wanted to go in that direction, or it could be them going deeper (in more ways than one ;)). I’m mostly thinking in terms of what makes for a less redundant story. If you wanna make a better version of AC, might as well have it take place during AC, right?

That said, because we never officially hear either of them refer to one another as boyfriend or girlfriend, I think that could make for an interesting premise. Sure, they live together, sure they have mutual romantic feelings, but what did that conversation look like in which they clearly define their relationship, and when exactly did it happen? What did Cloud really mean when he talked about having Tifa now but in a different way?

Two years does seem like a long time to put off really clarifying that statement but I suppose part of the conflict of CoT/AC could be them figuring out what exactly they “are” to each other, hence why Tifa asks Cloud if he loves her or mentions them not being a real family. I wouldn’t call that OOC unless if they were written to be platonic or especially if Cloud considered Tifa as more of a sister. When was the first time either of them actually said “I love you” anyways? That’s what I’d really like to see... (come on, Remake, don’t let me down)
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Two years does seem like a long time to put off really clarifying that statement but I suppose part of the conflict of CoT/AC could be them figuring out what exactly they “are” to each other, hence why Tifa asks Cloud if he loves her or mentions them not being a real family. I wouldn’t call that OOC unless if they were written to be platonic or especially if Cloud considered Tifa as more of a sister. When was the first time either of them actually said “I love you” anyways? That’s what I’d really like to see... (come on, Remake, don’t let me down)
The thing is, Tifa asks Cloud if he loves her *because* they are together and she feels that he's closing off her, so her doubts and insecurities kick in. That's not a question you ask to someone you're not with. What Cloud told her is basically the best you can have as a "I love you" moment. Trust me. I'm not an "I love you" person, I've never told nor been told it by my husband, but I have zero doubts about it. Cloud and Tifa are more about actions than words, but even then, when Cloud closes off because he's scared of losing everything - Tifa, the kids, his family, his life - that's when there are troubles. Because when you can't reach the other, you definitely feel lonely, and you cannot not doubt yourself and what you have - would have Cloud's words be enough then? I doubt it. It was not words Tifa needed. It was him tackling his own guilt and fighting for his family. Words are meaningless if they are empty. This is why she's proud of him at the end of ACC! Because she can recognise again the "Cloud" she's always known.
 

Stiggie

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Stiggie
Yeah, I don’t deal with fanfiction at all but if I was to write one that dealt with that particular conflict in Cloud and Tifa’s relationship, I’d specifically place it during the brief period between Case of Tifa and AC.

Not that they couldn’t have other conflicts later on or even the same conflict for that matter but I would think however it’s portrayed, it would be shown in a way that feels more like a natural extension of their development instead of retreading old territory, whether the relationship is depicted as getting stronger or falling apart.

I mean that development could very well be Cloud and Tifa separating for good if you wanted to go in that direction, or it could be them going deeper (in more ways than one ;)). I’m mostly thinking in terms of what makes for a less redundant story. If you wanna make a better version of AC, might as well have it take place during AC, right?

That said, because we never officially hear either of them refer to one another as boyfriend or girlfriend, I think that could make for an interesting premise. Sure, they live together, sure they have mutual romantic feelings, but what did that conversation look like in which they clearly define their relationship, and when exactly did it happen? What did Cloud really mean when he talked about having Tifa now but in a different way?

Two years does seem like a long time to put off really clarifying that statement but I suppose part of the conflict of CoT/AC could be them figuring out what exactly they “are” to each other, hence why Tifa asks Cloud if he loves her or mentions them not being a real family. I wouldn’t call that OOC unless if they were written to be platonic or especially if Cloud considered Tifa as more of a sister. When was the first time either of them actually said “I love you” anyways? That’s what I’d really like to see... (come on, Remake, don’t let me down)
The thing is, Tifa asks Cloud if he loves her *because* they are together and she feels that he's closing off her, so her doubts and insecurities kick in. That's not a question you ask to someone you're not with. What Cloud told her is basically the best you can have as a "I love you" moment. Trust me. I'm not an "I love you" person, I've never told nor been told it by my husband, but I have zero doubts about it. Cloud and Tifa are more about actions than words, but even then, when Cloud closes off because he's scared of losing everything - Tifa, the kids, his family, his life - that's when there are troubles. Because when you can't reach the other, you definitely feel lonely, and you cannot not doubt yourself and what you have - would have Cloud's words be enough then? I doubt it. It was not words Tifa needed. It was him tackling his own guilt and fighting for his family. Words are meaningless if they are empty. This is why she's proud of him at the end of ACC! Because she can recognise again the "Cloud" she's always known.

I have to wonder if I've had different experiences in life than others, because in my experience it's rarely that clear cut, or maybe that's just with troubled relationships, but in that case, I think Tifa and Cloud count. I've had times where I was sleeping with a girl, spending all our time together, laughing, basically having a perfect relationship, where I wasn't sure if it actually was a relationship.
Times where I was afraid to ask whether it was, or afraid to tell her that I loved her because I was afraid that voicing it would signal the end.
I've had times where I'd rather continue not knowing. I've even had times where I was in a relationship where one person thought it was over while the other didn't.

I think it's pretty obvious that Cloud and Tifa have communication issues. Them holding stuff in has been a constant ever since FFVII. I think it's extreme wishful thinking to think that they'd just perfectly be on the same page that same day after ACC.

It feels natural to me that Cloud would still be unsure whether or not he was still in a relationship with Tifa, this man is painfully dense and wouldn't be sure even if he didn't just run away from home. Similarly Tifa being afraid of bringing up the subject in the fear of putting to much pressure on him and pushing him away also seem extremely in character. Maybe it's just personal experience but I feel like that would be exactly how it goes.

Tifa:
"He said he'd be ok because he has me now, but what does that mean? We slept together, but he never confirmed that we were dating and now he's not coming home at nights"

"he's back home again, he seems happier, I think he got over his issues but I thought we were doing better when Denzel arrived as well. Even if he is moving on, am I just second choice? I don't think that was the problem but I am afraid to ask... Am I ok with being second choice? Are we even back together? We're we ever really officially together? Should I bring it up? What if he says no? What if I push him away? Perhaps I should just play along and slowly ease him into it, maybe I should say nothing and just enjoy this moment while it lasts....."

"He's touching me, it feels like it did before, but what if he leaves again? Should I pull back? I want to let myself go but can I really trust him not to hurt me again? He's relapsed before, I can't go through this again"

Cloud:
"I broke my promise, I lied to her again, I hurt her, I hurt my family, I will try to do better, but can I just go on as if nothing happened? How can I expect them to treat me like normal after everything I've done? Look at her, she's radiant, beautiful, kind, and I hurt her again, she deserves so much better. I want to give it to her, I have no right to just ask her, I will prove it."

"I tried touching her, she hesitated, of course she did. I don't know what to say, I am afraid of saying the wrong thing, I'm afraid of what she'll say if I say the wrong thing, maybe I should say nothing, NO, that's what started this mess".


etc, etc, etc.
That's honestly how I'd expect it to go, even the best of intentions can't magically cure broken trust and communication issues overnight. Now I totally think that all that tension is just fuel on the fire for the eventual passion when they do both fully just surrender themselves, stop thinking, and show each other how they feel in "other ways than with words". But an instant happy end? No, I don't think that's realistically what we can expect from ACC, but I do think the end of ACC puts them on a path towards an "inevitable happy end". They're on the right track, and taking a bullet train.
 

iamhorde

Pro Adventurer
When was the first time either of them actually said “I love you” anyways? That’s what I’d really like to see... (come on, Remake, don’t let me down)
Hopefully this is what the devs mean by going beyond our expectations! We know that the devs are looking to include characters and scenarios from the FF7 compilation into the Remake and going by our real world timeline, Crisis Core and AC Complete would be the latest story-driven works. From the stories being told through these properties, it does seem like they may be trying to tie up some loose ends in the character relationship department. They've emphasized on Cloud and Tifa's childhood promise, elaborated on their bonds towards each other even pre-FF7. By further developing Zack and his relationship with Aerith, they seem to have made it very clear that Zack and Aerith are a thing and have been setting him up as the Hero for Aerith. In light of this new context, this should leave more room to depict how Cloud and Tifa develop their relationship in FF7 Remake. We are already seeing SoldierCloud being so much more considerate and caring towards Tifa in Part 1, I think this will make Tifa "losing him" even more heartbreaking because we've seen so much more shared moments in Part 1. That time he comforted her at the garden, the many times he rescued her and her rescuing him, how they stood by each other's side the whole time with Tifa waking up to see Cloud and vice versa. The lifestream scene could be so much more rewarding this time around.

I have to wonder if I've had different experiences in life than others, because in my experience it's rarely that clear cut
I do get what you mean here and I was also wondering if the developers / writers were influenced by their own views of romance in general. I'm also wondering if that view may have changed over the years and how that may impact relationships are written in the Remake.

Personally things aren't that clear cut for me either but in the world of FF7 everything seems to be at an accelerated pace. So I kinda share both perspectives where I agree that it may take some time to reconcile, but that time in the FF7 universe may have literally been overnight.

I'm quite intrigued by the fanfic you mention but I can't seem to find it. I'll share it if I ever come across it.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
It feels natural to me that Cloud would still be unsure whether or not he was still in a relationship with Tifa
Yet in the Turks novel, right after ACC, he tells Evan that they're "family". I feel he's pretty sure of his place, personally.

As I said, I do think they had a few talks - but to me, what would Tifa ask him? IMHO, she would tell him to stop being an idiot and believe in himself AND themselves as a family. She would not ask again if he loved her, because she knows the answer. She understood why Cloud closed off when she saw the bandages in the church - that he had Geostigma and thought he was going to die. That he ran away to not hurt them. That he was being stupid. Did she feel hurt by this? Absolutely. This is why she opens up to him and has that dilly dally convo with him. This is why Cloud goes to the Forgotten City and confronts his fears and guilt.

And honestly if you dated during TWO YEARS while sleeping but not aknowledging what you had, WTF were you doing? :D I don't know, I don't have this kind of complications because when I was younger, it was simpler maybe. The one night stands were very few, and the French people were (still are? :D) very forward with this - you kiss? Unless being told otherwise, hello, you are bf/gf lol.

But really, I always come back to Cloud who was very supportive of Tifa in CoT at the beginning, where he told her that everything was different now that he had her; this is commitment and I think Tifa understood it perfectly. I'm a woman and I can see a love confession when I see one lol. Especially since my husband pulled one not too far from that actually lol. Again, Tifa doubted because Cloud closed off and that ought to make anyone feel lonely and full of doubts.

To me, ACC is a display of how strong they are together, as how much Tifa is able to push and motivate Cloud - and able to understand him the best. Once she had all the puzzle's pieces, she immediately pushed him into action. She has an unwavering faith in Cloud - and Cloud proved her right here and there that she was right to put her faith in him.

Nothing is all roses and sunshines and tinted glasses. But I do think that Cloud and Tifa are stronger than what a lot of people do think - ACC was a bump they managed to go through, there certainly were more discussions afterwards, but I don't think that it's in the scope of what most fanfics set them up to. Quite frankly, I find that kind of romance annoying too, so it doesn't help :desuawesomonster:

I was also wondering if the developers / writers were influenced by their own views of romance in general.
Just saw this and yeah, Nojima admitted to such. :D I do think he has a soft spot for cloti though, he's always excited to share things about them - probably because they are very grounded in reality, unlike the other FF couples. Like, the question was asked about Aerith's line in her own resolution, and while he answered, he also added something even longer for cloti, wanting to be sure people would know that Cloud wanted to console Tifa since Jessie had died, how he had seen Barret do it and wanted to reproduce it - but at the same time, since he's 16, it's very awkward. In all honestly, I love his writing of Cloud in Remake. I watch the French streams, and I see it, when Cloud tries too hard, when he covers up, when he's being 16, etc. I think he really should be praised because it's not an easy task, to write a character in such way.
 

iamhorde

Pro Adventurer
Nothing is all roses and sunshines and tinted glasses. But I do think that Cloud and Tifa are stronger than what a lot of people do think - ACC was a bump they managed to go through
I absolutely agree with this. Was re-playing FF9 recently and while it's clear that Zidane fancied Garnet, or at least actively flirted with her from the start, it still took a long while for this to turn into a romantic relationship. If a charming con-artist like Zidane needed this long get the girl, awkward Cloud is doing mighty fine. He's already pulled out all the stops on Tifa in Part 1 where other FF couples take an even longer in the story time to arrive at that. Flirting at the bar, the train roll, getting jealous, the hug.

I could be wrong but Cloud and Tifa also seem to be the only FF couple whose relationship have been depicted over so many games / properties and in such detail? Most couples get a game or two and some cameos. Cloud and Tifa has FF7 OG, FF7 Last Order, ACC, Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, the novels etc. (Technically they are cameos in DoC but it sheds some light into their happy post-AC relationship).

I do think he has a soft spot for cloti though, he's always excited to share things about them
Yeah, I could feel his genuine excitement when sharing about Alone At Last in one of the FF7 Remake video interviews. I was real happy to hear how he calls it a cute scene if I remember correctly and was hoping we would look forward to it.

Just my speculation but I do think he's our biggest advocate within the development team. I love how we got the hug because of him. I wonder what's Nomura's view on the character relationships though. We know that he created Tifa to complement Cloud and we see that depicted so well in the Remake. I could only think that he would be a Cloti shipper too. I mean, he literally created Tifa to be with Cloud.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
It wasn't Alone at Last, it was the scene where Tifa shows Cloud his room in Stargazer ;) the hilarious thing to me is the French Youtuber I watched was at the very least as excited as Nojima was when he discovered Stargazer lol "look, it's a Japanese condo! Like in anime, where young students live! It's so awesome!" I swear he turned around for 5 minutes, I couldn't stop laughing thinking about Nojima all along :)
 

iamhorde

Pro Adventurer
It wasn't Alone at Last, it was the scene where Tifa shows Cloud his room in Stargazer ;)
Oh right! That's even better! Tifa showing Cloud his room is non-optional even if some refused to do Chapter 3 side quests. My mind seems to assign scenes of Cloud and Tifa at Stargazer heights to Alone at Last but now that I think carefully, many of the quality conversation between them were non optional scenes. :D
 

Shadowfox

You look like you need a monkey
I agree with you! :D However, 99% of those fics acted as if Cloud and Tifa weren't a couple by the end of the OG... even if you get the low affection Highwind version, Cloud still says to Tifa that everything's changed, is still super sweet to her right after in CoT... Plus, it's the high affection Highwind scene that's canon! And I absolutely despise that idea that Cloud would live with Tifa and... nothing? They're not a couple? They're raising TWO kids on their own, but only good friends? Nope. To me, that's a vast mockery of their characters, who they are and what you allow them to be.
Even if we don't get a scene where one character outright says to the other, "I love you", I feel that Cloud and Tifa as depicted in COT and ACC are unmistakably in a committed, romantic relationship. Living under the same roof, sharing a room/bed, working in and supporting each other's businesses, raising kids, even Tifa paying for Cloud's bike. No one I know would commit to those kinds of long-term things for someone who's less than an established life partner.
 

Phantasia

Lv. 25 Adventurer
Even if we don't get a scene where one character outright says to the other, "I love you", I feel that Cloud and Tifa as depicted in COT and ACC are unmistakably in a committed, romantic relationship. Living under the same roof, sharing a room/bed, working in and supporting each other's businesses, raising kids, even Tifa paying for Cloud's bike. No one I know would commit to those kinds of long-term things for someone who's less than an established life partner.
Seems like they took the "words aren't the only way to tell people what you're thinking" very serious lol
 

JT77fp

Lv. 25 Adventurer
And honestly if you dated during TWO YEARS while sleeping but not aknowledging what you had, WTF were you doing?
Completely agree. What you described above would be a contrived melodrama, completely removed from reality. I mean, I've seen and heard plenty of strange and complicated relationships in real life, but never ever as contrived as a man and a woman who care so much about each other, move in together, share everything, call themselves family....and not acknowledge their relationship. Literally never heard of such a nonsense situation.

Falling out of love, separation, divorce are much more common and believable. This may be what AC was trying to portray (but who knows really with SE's approach to story telling! :P). Tifa was shown to be very insecure, constantly worrying about Cloud's mental state and his commitment to their family. Didn't mean it was valid, but she worried nonetheless. Both were bad communicators. All these things are real life relationship killers, and that's where they were headed. But thanks to Geostigma and Spirit!Aerith, the resulting sequence of unfortunate events acted like couples therapy and kicked them into gear! So in the end, Tifa eventually learnt to just...Let it go 🎶. Leaving Cloud to fight the world's greatest villain on his own. Trusting him to figure things out himself. In return, Cloud communicates better. Calls home, takes a holiday to spend time with the fam. Honestly, it's a typical working class family learning to be less dysfunctional (except that Cloud gets skewered and shot because his missus tells everyone not to help him so he can go "find himself")!

I think maybe too much emphasis is placed on reading into Cloud's mopeyness, his erratic behaviour, and his decision to keep his illness secret. Underlying all that is the difficulty in maintaining a relationship with your family, particularly an instant one. Sharing a home with someone, even with someone you love, is incredibly challenging. And both partners were shown to be about equally inept at dealing with these issues initially! (Just as most of us who are married have had to learn the hard way too). In fact, I think one of the Ultimania quotes mentioned something to this effect. Along the lines of CxT were having issues adjusting to their relationship regardless of Geostigma.
 
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