"Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography: TURKS - The Kids Are Alright"

AKA
The Engineer
TKAA is important because it's the only Compilation entry that outlines how exactly Jenova destroyed the Cetra... which wasn't by *her* destroying them herself. It was by using Mimic to make them see things that weren't there to get the Cetra to turn on each other out of paranoia. Which is... kind of important when it comes to what most likely happened with Sephrioth at Nibelheim (and what happened with Angeal and Genesis in Crisis Core). They are all paranoid about something and it gets blown out of proportion in each case and that's when they all over react. And all of them have way more integration with Jenova than anyone else...

It also goes into what kind of science Shinra was doing with Jenova before Sephrioth was born which is... sketchy as hell. I do not want to know what exactly was going on to make an arm that was both Jenova and "human. It's not from the actual Jenova mummy so... Jenova Cells acting like stem cells and regrowing organs on their own maybe???

Either way, there's info in TKAA that should really have been in... a lot of other Compilation titles since it fills in so much of the backstory of Jenova. If it doesn't end up in Remake in some way, I'll be very disappointed.
 

Kyo Cobran

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Jim Kyo
Just finished TKAA last night. Man, oh, man, was it good. Read it over four days, just could not put it down. Kudos to the translator, Melissa Tanaka: it read very naturally in English compared to other Japanese novels I had read.

There is a lot to unpack in novel. I was nice to see the world of Midgar from the perspective of a bystander. A very relatable one as well. Also, the Turks, wow, you hate 'em, you love 'em, you love to hate 'em, you hate to love 'em. Nojima really draws the gamut of emotions out of the readers with the Turk.

Also with Jenova, Obsidian Fire brought up a great point. Nojima does a great job really expounding on Jenova means of destruction - the paranoia and psychological manipulatation. There's a part where you see it in play and it's very chilling.

I really does fill the gap well between FF7 and AC well.

Read it, it's good.
 

ultima786

Pro Adventurer
AKA
ultima
Just finished TKAA last night. Man, oh, man, was it good. Read it over four days, just could not put it down. Kudos to the translator, Melissa Tanaka: it read very naturally in English compared to other Japanese novels I had read.

There is a lot to unpack in novel. I was nice to see the world of Midgar from the perspective of a bystander. A very relatable one as well. Also, the Turks, wow, you hate 'em, you love 'em, you love to hate 'em, you hate to love 'em. Nojima really draws the gamut of emotions out of the readers with the Turk.

Also with Jenova, Obsidian Fire brought up a great point. Nojima does a great job really expounding on Jenova means of destruction - the paranoia and psychological manipulatation. There's a part where you see it in play and it's very chilling.

I really does fill the gap well between FF7 and AC well.

Read it, it's good.
Im gonna buy it now
 

Kyo Cobran

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Jim Kyo
This book would make a sick OVA. The ending confrontation at Icicle End would be so awesome animated by Madhouse.
Totally! There were so many things going on and it was so well-written, I could just visualize the scenes in my head. An OVA or CG version would be hella tight. And man...
...Nojima did a great job making Kadaj far more menacing in this book than in AC
 
AKA
The Engineer
TKAA shot Kadaj up my list of "people to run away from really fast in FFVII". When it comes to Mimic at least, I'm more scared of how he uses than how Sephrioth uses it (although Remake Sephiroth is edging up there...).

If there's one thing Nojima has shown he can really right (and in such a way it works even after being translated!) it's horror.
 

Kyo Cobran

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Jim Kyo
TKAA shot Kadaj up my list of "people to run away from really fast in FFVII". When it comes to Mimic at least, I'm more scared of how he uses than how Sephrioth uses it (although Remake Sephiroth is edging up there...).

If there's one thing Nojima has shown he can really right (and in such a way it works even after being translated!) it's horror.
That's exactly what I thought too. When I saw AC years ago, I was like who the hell is this goof ball, but when Kadaj appears - especially when he appears Fabio in the inn peering through the window, that some scary shit.
 

Kyo Cobran

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Jim Kyo
I agree with you - Kadaj is more terrifying, and the Turks are more frightening, in this story than in AC. I wonder if that's because written fiction can do something video can't so easily do: take us inside a character's head.
Totally, that's a huge part of it. One thing I really liked about this was Nojima gave us the internal monologue of not just Evan, but Tseng and a few others too, but not Kadaj which added to fear.
The part where Tseng stepped into the dark cabin in Icicle Inn or when he first spotted Kadaj in Junon for example.

But I also thing about Kadaj in AC, he just looks and acts far less scary in the Novel.
 

Kyo Cobran

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Jim Kyo
Totally, that's a huge part of it. One thing I really liked about this was Nojima gave us the internal monologue of not just Evan, but Tseng and a few others too, but not Kadaj which added to fear.
The part where Tseng stepped into the dark cabin in Icicle Inn or when he first spotted Kadaj in Junon for example.

But I also thing about Kadaj in AC, he just looks and acts far less scary in the Novel.
Sorry, I mean to say, is...Kadaj also just looks and acts far less scary THAN in the Novel.
 
AKA
The Engineer
I wonder if that's because written fiction can do something video can't so easily do: take us inside a character's head.
I wouldn't be surprised. For me, the FFVII OG characters as a whole are at their most compelling in the OTWTAS novellas.

Ironically, I think Nojima is a better literature writer than he is a video-game writer. So many of his character arcs involved complex mental states/reasons and it's so much easier to get that kind of thing across to people in a *book* than through a video-game.

One of the reasons FFVIII works for me is because it lets you get inside Squall's head in a way you never really got do that in FFVII. You get a visual representation of what Squall is actually thinking in scenes vs what he is saying and that really sells how he feels about Rinoa. Before Crisis does a similar thing with several character's thoughts vs how they feel. For that matter, Crisis Core does to. Nearly every chapter starts out with how Zack *thinks* about what is going on (and even other scenes show what his *thoughts* are vs what he says). Remake is actually better about this in a lot of ways than the OG was. And... I think that might be what is tripping people up in terms of characterization... there's a lot less ambiguity about what Cloud's mental state is in Remake vs the OG.

I think one thing that has changed since the OG in Nojima's writing is that he's gotten a lot better at giving the player/reader access to a character's thoughts *without* resorting to a character telling *another* character what their thoughts are. We don't have a lot of reason to think a character is lying to *themselves* about what they think when they "talk to themselves" and that shows up a lot more in later Compilation works than in early ones.
 

Kyo Cobran

Lv. 25 Adventurer
AKA
Jim Kyo
Yeah, Obsidian, you hit the nail right on the head. Nojima can really get you much more invested in a character through his written works than in FF7 OG -largely by revealing the characters internal milieu. I do think once we get into the Crisis Core and later into the Remake Era, that deficit between character development via written vs visual media is far smaller because with better graphic technology we also get much better depictions of body language, facial expressions and transitional screens like Cloud's traumatic flashbacks.

Y'know, I know Nojima writes the stories, but I wonder how much involvement he has with making sure the character has *this* expression when *this* happens or *that* expression when *that* happens. It seems like he has a lot of directoral control in the Remake because, for example, I feel Kyrie and Leslie in the Remake line up very well with how they are depicted in TKAA.
 
AKA
The Engineer
Y'know, I know Nojima writes the stories, but I wonder how much involvement he has with making sure the character has *this* expression when *this* happens or *that* expression when *that* happens. It seems like he has a lot of directoral control in the Remake because, for example, I feel Kyrie and Leslie in the Remake line up very well with how they are depicted in TKAA.
I get the idea he does have a lot of directorial control... If simply because he had a lot of directorial control in the OG. You look at how he talks about scenes from the OG in the FFVII 10th Anniversary Discussion interveiw and... he's talking about them not just in a writing sense, but in the sense of directing them.
Nojima said:
Story-wise, the scene at the Northern Cave where Cloud talks while upside-down left an impression on me. I worked on the direction for that scene, but getting the characters to run to match with the movie scene was tricky, and I remember having trouble with it. The part where Cloud addresses Tifa as “Mrs.” Tifa, I made that hoping that the people playing it would be taken aback by the change in Cloud and it would really hit the player.
Had you thought about the truth of the mysteries regarding Cloud and Zack from the very beginning?

Nojima: No, I thought of it as I went on with my work. So at the beginning there wasn’t much foreshadowing. The foreshadowing scenes, I asked the staff in charge of the event scenes to add after development reached a point where an outcome for the mysteries came into sight.

Kitase: In those days it was easy to go back and change things around later on. Lately, with the workload involved in making the graphics, it’s hard to ask people to change something once it’s been finished.

Nojima: Well, even back then, there were some people you could easily ask to change an event later on, and people who were difficult to ask, so the locations of the foreshadowing might be biased. I only went to the people who were easy to ask, and the foreshadowing is focused at the scenes they were in charge of (laughs).
So yeah, I'd bet Nojima is involved in how certain scenes are presented to the player. Or at least, gets some kind of input/final say on how they end up coming out.

That interview is really interesting to read in light of some of the Remake interviews. Particularly in how one of Nojima, Kitase and Nomura will come up with an idea and the others will figure out how to include it or implement it. There's a lot of mentions of them collaborating together to make scenes (IE: Nojima writes up the scenario and Kitase will do the cutscenes). And not a lot of examples of them outright vetoing ideas. You get the idea that they less... keep each other's crazy ideas in check and more that they enable each other! They very much sound like a team writing a story rather than one person coming up with ideas that then get shot down by the other two.
 
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