Faith v. 3.0 (Cloti Club)

Kifye

Lv. 1 Adventurer
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.
Hello. Sorry to butt in the conversation but I must say I completely disagree with your take on Case of Tifa and Advent Children. I don’t know if you read Case of Tifa, if not I highly recommend it. I’d like to share my understanding of its story as a person who started shipping Cloud and Tifa only after reading it. To that end I am going to dump a huge wall of badly written text (English isn’t my first language). It is mostly my personal interpretation, but I have seen so many negative takes about it, might as well try to balance them with my positive one. This story really touched me and so I guess I feel rather defensive about it. Feel free to disagree of course.
Tifa wasn’t insecure for no reason. At the start of CoT she was in deep depression to the point of being suicidal. She blamed herself for the destruction of sector 7 and just like Cloud later struggled with this guilt. She was so disgusted with herself she didn’t want to live with herself any more and so she naturally assumed no one else would want to live with her either. So she expected Cloud to leave.
But time went by and he didn’t leave. Instead he tried to help her through it. And when Marlene asked them to become a family Cloud agreed instantly. While Tifa was hesitant, she agreed and step by step pulled herself up for her new family. But her insecurities didn’t vanish completely.
Another reason for her depression was Aerith’s death. She cried her eyes out near her grave, she wondered if she could do something to prevent it, in The kids are all right she said about Aerith “friend doesn’t do her justice”. To me it seemed that it was hard for her to even talk about Aerith to Evan. And this is why I think Cloud didn’t want to talk about his own depression with Tifa. He saw her being so down and didn’t want to make it worse and insisted it was “his problem”. So the miscommunication happened and Tifa’s insecurities came back.
Their relationship was struggling to the point at which Tifa questioned if Cloud even loved her. It is just my speculation, but to me the way the events are presented in the novella suggests that Cloud went to the church because of that conversation. It’s my headcanon, but I think he wanted to communicate with Aerith like he did at the end of the OG to ask for forgiveness. He could not, but met Denzel instead and in his guilty state took it as a sign.
Again, I disagree that geostigma or Aerth’s magic powers solved their problem. On the contrary. To me their last conversation about Denzel before he left shows that they were on the way to fix it themselves. Cloud admitted his depression aloud to Tifa and Tifa said that next time she wanted to go to the church with him showing she was ready to face her own guilt head on. And that is why I think he smiled at the end. They weren’t quite there yet, but they decided to face their problems together.
Then Cloud got geostigma and felt like a total failure. He couldn’t help Denzel and absolve his “sin”, he couldn’t continue fighting together with Tifa, so he fled to die alone in an abandoned church.
Because of her insecurities Tifa just let him go, decided that time has finally come. She only went to the church because Marlene asked her to. But then she saw the bandages and instantly understood everything. At this point I think she blamed herself because just like in the original game she let her insecurities influence her so much that Cloud was damaged by it. She was thinking he left her but he was actually deeply depressed and dying from an incurable disease. I think that is why she pushed herself to have that famous talk with him in AC even though direct confrontation is so hard for her. And that talk ultimately along with their friends’ help saved both Cloud and their relationship.
So I don’t think the developers’ intention was to portray “falling out of love”, “divorce” or “magical problem solving” at all. Instead I see it as a testament to the bond Cloud and Tifa share. The story shows not that their relationship doesn’t work, but precisely that it works so well that even their double guilt complex and terminal illness of Cloud and Denzel could not break them apart. It shows why their bond is precious and worth fighting for.
Lastly, I am sure I read it recently (maybe in an ultimania scan?) that the developers for some reason couldn’t include the gang in the Sephiroth fight in AC so Nojima made the airship scene to make up for it. Honestly, the editing in Advent Children is, to put it politely, weird. To put it less politely - atrocious. Long and meaningless fighting scenes took over most of the time and the dialogue was cut so weirdly it was hard to even understand what was going on. So let’s not use these questionable editing choices to diminish characters.
 

JT77fp

Lv. 25 Adventurer
@Kifye Thank you for your thoughtful discussion, especially since English isn't your first language. I'm not sure where you disagree with me though. From what you wrote, you seem to agree, not disagree. For example, you said:
Because of her insecurities Tifa just let him go, decided that time has finally come. She only went to the church because Marlene asked her to.
Isn't that exactly what I said? At the start of AC, their poor communication and immature conflict resolution skills looked like it was leading to a break-up? Remember this is the premise (start) of AC, not the end.

I found the quote from Nojima (hopefully this is the accurate translation): "Case of Tifa – first off, there’s the premise that things won’t go well between Tifa and Cloud, and that even without geostigma or Sephiroth this might be the same." Kazushige Nojima

The other point I was making was that both C&T were equally bad at conflict resolution. It's not just mopey Cloud that's to "blame".

Sometimes I write too tongue in cheek, meaning I'm trying to be funny, so you may have misinterpreted some of my intent! :)
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
I think I said it, but ACC has one major theme for cloti which is "reunion". But to have a cloti reunion, you have to have them separate at the beginning of the story :D I tend to think that ACC, no matter how atrocious, displays that no matter what, Cloud and Tifa will manage to reunite - they beat their depression, guilt, and a deadly disease! If that can't keep them apart, what could?
 

Kifye

Lv. 1 Adventurer
@Kifye Thank you for your thoughtful discussion, especially since English isn't your first language. I'm not sure where you disagree with me though. From what you wrote, you seem to agree, not disagree. For example, you said:

Isn't that exactly what I said? At the start of AC, their poor communication and immature conflict resolution skills looked like it was leading to a break-up? Remember this is the premise (start) of AC, not the end.

I found the quote from Nojima (hopefully this is the accurate translation): "Case of Tifa – first off, there’s the premise that things won’t go well between Tifa and Cloud, and that even without geostigma or Sephiroth this might be the same." Kazushige Nojima

The other point I was making was that both C&T were equally bad at conflict resolution. It's not just mopey Cloud that's to "blame".

Sometimes I write too tongue in cheek, meaning I'm trying to be funny, so you may have misinterpreted some of my intent! :)
Thank you for your reply. Sorry, I’ll try to be more precise this time. Correct me if I am wrong about your assertions.
1. It seemed to me you didn’t really take into account Tifa’s state. As if she was just worried for no reason and needed to unwind a bit. I disagree. She had her own problem very similar to Cloud and she didn’t solve it by “letting it go”, she pushed through for her family through the force of will. Because Tifa is so selfless, she wouldn’t do anything for herself. She only went to the church for Marlene, she only confronted Cloud for Cloud.
2. It seemed to me from your point of view their problems were solved through the miracle thanks to Aerith. I disagree. They worked hard to solve their problem. Aerith helped Cloud to forgive himself, yes, but he only started moving after Tifa pushed him to at least try for their family. And I think to say that their relationship was fixed through “magic” is rather reductive.
3. When fans discuss Cloud and Tifa’s situation they usually put a lot of emphasis on their poor communication skills. While it is definitely true, in my opinion such view gives too much importance to their personality traits and too little to their situation. Which was completely abnormal. It’s not that they didn’t know how to say “i feel like shit because i think people died because of me”, it is they couldn’t. Their guilt created emotional distance between them similar to that which they fought with in the base game. And both of them had to go through the same arcs again to shrink that distance back. Yes, CoT+AC is just OG.2 electric boogaloo in terms of Cloti development. I never said it was good, only that I like it :P
4. I honestly don’t think they were heading for the break-up without geostigma. To me their last conversation in CoT suggests they were going to get through. I personally wouldn’t call it “falling out of love” if the guy only runs away because he doesn’t want his partner to see him suffer and die.
5. Now about that quote. Firstly, it is a narrative about the novella, not the narrative of the novella. And if Nojima really wanted to show how Cloti could not work without magic, I would just say that he failed to convince me. However, I recently found this post by Kagesakura https://otp-oasis-heavenxearth.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F639443702086074369 where she analyzes it herself from japanese. She is a Clerith shipper and a big fan of the story so I personally think she wasn’t biased. From this translation it almost seems like it wasn’t a premise, but some other people‘s assumption which he was going to argue with using his story.
 

Kifye

Lv. 1 Adventurer
However, it must definitely be taken into account that in that story geostigma is a symbol for collective depression everyone got after the societal collapse. From that point of view we can’t imagine the conflict without geostigma because geostigma IS the conflict. But then again, the message in that case is, that love and friendship can help overcome everything, even the end of the world.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
So, these past days, I was thinking about this quote:


I asked @odekopeko a translation and context; here is what she said:

Tifa is Cloud's chilhood friend. She is regarded as being his reliable partner in Midgar, and appears in many [other] works beside him.

This is the direct translation. Then:

*The word for regarded is "位置付け" which means someone's "fixed position" or " given status". She's viewed as being in this role by him and others.
I just want to add something about the word they used "共に/tomo ni": they didn't just say she shows up "with" him. It's like, she's "beside" him. If Cloud is there, Tifa will be next to him.

It is also to note that "partner" can be both romantic and not romantic, just like in English. However, with context we know it's a romantic context, since she's been described in a romantic way to Cloud in subsequents works. So what was interesting to me, is how that quote works in Remake.

In Remake, just like in OG, we know that they aren't romantic partners yet. However, Remake recontextualises OG and other works heavily, so what interested me was to look at Remake under that lens. I do feel that cloti was the only pairing presented in such way even:

FINAL_FANTASY_VII_REMAKE-E3_2019-screenshot_1.png

And that was a picture used solely for advertisement purpose, this exact scene does not exist in Remake. Advertising already presents us Cloud and Tifa being on equal foot, together. And it was not the only time either, this scene in slo-mo in game was also used by the advertising team:

1568268195978.gif

Very visibly, SE wants us to pay attention on those two, on their relationship - with the added bits from Jessie and Aerith, for example, but also with how they present them to us. As Peko put it in Twitter, it is true that Cloud and Tifa are rarely together as in just the two of them; however that doesn't really matter because no matter who's around them, they will find a way to form a moment "together", like after the fight against Rude and Reno at the pillar - yes, even when Barret is here, he's just doing something else while Cloud and Tifa are having a moment together. Ditto for Cloud waking up in Aerith's room, or in the lift, etc. No matter who's around them, if they need a "moment", they will get it.

But what we see onscreen is not "romantic". It's action, fight - Tifa has Cloud's full trust, just as much as she trusts him. I noted though that this partnership is based "on the desire to be by the other's side" - the reason itself is romantic, just very rarely the actions are. What we are seeing here is the heavy lay down of the foundations of their relationship. They banter while fighting, they even look great while fighting together because they are both "contact" characters. They are shown "as a pair", just like when they save Aerith from Eligor for example - the way they do that save is very different from the chapter 10 saves in that they really act as one.

What we, as players, can view is that desire to be by each other's side; when they are separated in chapter 5, we see Tifa fighting and wanting to stay by his side; we see Cloud who can't wait to go back to sector 7. And once they are reunited, they are not separated again.

But fighting is not the only "partnership" that we see.

ch12-plate07.jpg ch13-05.jpg

Since Jessie's death until their moment in chapter 14, we see Cloud being extra-worried about Tifa - not only her physical injuries, but also her emotional well-being. Right after the plate is the sealing of cloti to me in Remake; when he watches her silently as she wakes up and get up, looking at the disaster around them, ready to be there for her if she needs him but giving her space, I mean, this kind of concern is incredibly deep. He may be a 16 years old boy inside, but he's reacting way better than many adults, both men and women, there.

So we know this partnership is not only a fighting one, but a deeper one; they care about each other's safety and well-being too, and that is shown. They may spend most of their time with Barret but still this happens:

ch12-plate20.jpg

Sorry, Barret-who? He got CUT OFF the camera just so we could focus on Cloud and Tifa! And that happens... a lot (sorry Barret! I love you too! You're an awesome dad!).

So looking at Remake part 1, I'm deeply satisfied; yes, it's true that the romance is low - though they are thirstyyyyyyy for each other lol - but the romantic subtext is definitely here, we can tell that they want to be by each other's side, and their partnership is being lay down heavily. I know that a lot of people think that maybe they're going to have a phase where Tifa will distrust him after the Kalm flashback (though we call it like that, it may not happen at Kalm this time around... I feel the devs have done a lot of shifting around), but I disagree. Tifa chose to trust him in Kalm in the OG, there's no reason why Tifa wouldn't chose to trust him this time around. She only loses that trust when Sephiroth manipulates her at Northern Crater - which breaks Cloud BTW. So I think that it's likely that the further we will go, the more "romance subtexts and actions" will be added - the Lifestream scene won't come off as a surprise anymore, but with all the Compilation, it doesn't *need* to, which is great for us!
 

odekopeko

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Peko
Thanks for this, Eerie! I do think it's special that the word "partner" is used, as it kind of aligns with what SE is trying to say, and the word itself can be also be used for a romantic partner. Whatever way the players choose to see them as, a couple or not, the bottom line is they're seen as a pair and always together.

This is the direct translation. Then:
I just want to add something about the word they used "共に/tomo ni": they didn't just say she shows up "with" him. It's like, she's "beside" him. If Cloud is there, Tifa will be next to him.
Regarding 共に/tomo ni, I want to clear up that it does translate into English as "with", but more like "together with", and as already mentioned, if Cloud appears, then there is Tifa together with him.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
I'm replaying the OG right now, I wanted to play with the new Re-translation mod but it makes my game crash without even starting lol. Anyway, as I'm playing (I'm in front of the Shinra tower right now), I've noticed something during the Promise scene:


When Cloud says he probably won't be able to come back before a while, Tifa rubs her face. And it came to me when I watched it "oh wait she's probably not rubbing her face but her eyes???"

Cloud also noticed that she's very late but she shows up all dolled up and probably had to avoid her father to sneak out. No wonder she was late!

I do think that this scene was truly meant to show that Tifa wanted to make sure she'd see Cloud again (hence the stupid promise) and that she already was interested in him to some level, at least - enough to be dolled up and cry ad the thought she wouldn't see him for years.

Bonus: next day after the first mission, when you talk to NPC near the bar, they're like "we spied on you and Tifa yesterday, childhood friends, riiiiiiiiiiiight" lol which made me wonder if there was some more flirting we didn't get to see,o r if we should've get the hint that their interactions are flirty overall lol.

Replaying with Remake fresh in mind, I do find that there are plenty of cloti hints, although when I say plenty... Overall, there is very very little romance, even in the Midgar part. Though I did not yet do the Shinra tower. There is also a firm basis for an AerTi friendship, which we don't really see developped afterwards - but I do see the friendship forming naturally. What is interesting, cloti-wise, is to see the differences; Aerith already noticing in Wall Market that Tifa was important to Cloud. Like, I can totally see how they've expanded on core concepts, and not only for cloti.

Take for example, the plate fall; the only one who we see react (angrily) is Barret - and Tifa mentions that she's unsure about her own feelings and asks Barret if it's their fault that so many people died. They took her feelings there and expanded on them, which ended up with her scene in the bar with Cloud where she says that she feels trapped, the plate fall and post-plate fall scenes, as well as her chapter 14 scene with Cloud. Interistingly, they all ended up showing through brand new cloti scenes, but I think it's also because it's tied to her role which is to help with the inner struggle of Cloud - so since it's an intimate plot point between the two, that's how she develops too, through intimate scenes with him.

There are also more scenes with true!Cloud talking to Cloud than what I remembered - but it might also be because I missed some in my first run, like the one in the Honey Bee Inn where I'm certain I've never set foot before lol. So I don't think that Remake is that different in the way it presents us Cloud's mental troubles, not really heavier, just different in how they present them.
 

iamhorde

Pro Adventurer
So, there's been a ton of FF7 related news over the last couple of days and I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get a Tifa DLC but I'm glad to see that the Yuffie chapter takes place during that same part of the story and we even got to see how worried Tifa was from the trailer. Any little extra scenes that shows how much Tifa & Cloud care for each other is a bonus to me.

Then we also got FF7 Ever Crisis which covers the entire FF7 compilation including Advent Children! I'm really hoping with Ever Crisis, more people will be able to see the full story and to see the close bonds between Cloud x Tifa and Zack x Aerith. I doubt it would end the LTD but at least more people would be able to experience the full story.

Lastly there's the news about Nomura no longer directing FF7 Remake part 2, handing the reigns over to co-director Hamaguchi but will continue to serve as creative director. I've heard some rumors of how the co-director favors Aerith and Cloud x Aerith but I will refrain from going down that rabbit hole and to entertain baseless rumors. Hamaguchi did a great work with the battle system in my opinion and besides, Nojima is the one writing the scenario and Nomura will still be overall creative director. From a story perspective, I do expect to see some surprises but no crazy major changes, especially when it comes to relationships.

But these are just my thoughts on all the news, what do you guys think? Are you happy about all the announcements?
 

KindOfBlue

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Blue
I was a little disappointed that we didn't get a Tifa DLC but I'm glad to see that the Yuffie chapter takes place during that same part of the story and we even got to see how worried Tifa was from the trailer.
I’m thinking maybe they took elements of the Tifa chapter and worked them into the Yuffie episode but it would be nice if Intergrade could fit the full scenario into the main story. Here’s hoping!

Then we also got FF7 Ever Crisis which covers the entire FF7 compilation including Advent Children! I'm really hoping with Ever Crisis, more people will be able to see the full story and to see the close bonds between Cloud x Tifa and Zack x Aerith.
I wonder if they’ll work in OTWAS as well, the thought of playing AC is already wild enough to me. Overall I’m pretty excited for the news, just waiting with bated breath for that FF7R2 announcement. Also, holy hell do I need that PS5 already.

I wonder if Ever Crisis will have love points and low affection scenes, or if, like Remake, it’s going to remove the role playing in favour of a more overt romance...?
Oh yeah, this will surely open up some...interesting conversations to say the least. I noticed Tifa’s got her Remake outfit on in EC so between that and the reused battle animations, I’m definitely curious to see how Remake might factor into EC storywise.

I wonder how that Highwind scene might play out this time...
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Given EC has the OG title, I bet the romance points are there, though I wouldn't mind if they weren't. But I also think it's the only game that will have them, I doubt they'll let the players chose in ACC how to screw their own story.

And yes, definitely, I wish the novels were added to the mix, even under some form (novels with audio and key art maybe? I would kill just for that, because I don't think most novels are doable into game format). CoT alone would kill off the LTD lol.

Speaking of the OG, interestingly the Aerith date is considered as the canon route (and I think it is) because she mentions Cloud's troubles, but Tifa does it before her at Cosmo Canyon, at least if you favoured Tifa. So you can totally favour Tifa and not miss that plot point.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
I know you wish to, but past the Lifestream scene (and even past the GS date), we don't really have a say in that lol. I feel a lot of players think they can "chose" who Cloud loves, but it's part of the trick from the first disc - you absolutely cannot chose it, Cloud tells you in the Lifestream whom he loves and you have no say in it as a player. That's why them adding a LTD mechanism to AC would feel clunky and completely out of place.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
I think it's one of these scenes that really showcase Tifa not only as the heroine, but also as Cloud's partner. I really enjoy it. The cloti scene is a natural outcome because Cloud and Tifa gravitate towards each other, but I'm glad Kitase wanted to highlight Tifa in such a way!
 
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