If Cloud thought he was Zack, why did he act the way he did?

#27
I'm not saying it isn't canon, I'm just saying I don't like it.
I prefer this: Cloud thinks Zack is his friend because Zack has been nice to him and friendly in passing a few times, bought him a meal once, stood him drinks a couple of times... Cloud doesn't get a lot of positive interactions with people, so Zack's friendliness meant a lot. Whereas, up until Nibelheim, Cloud was just a Shinra grunt Zack sometimes shot the breeze with, but not anybody special.
I know my version isn't canon.
 
#28
See, that I don't think really differs from my impression of things. I just don't know that I'd consider a friendly Zack to be a retcon. I don't think CC really portrays Cloud as Zack's best friend. He likes the guy fine, but it's not like he looks him up between missions that they're assigned on together. Cloud sends Zack a text inviting him over for dinner, but given that you can't respond, that tracks with Zack being more important to Cloud than vice versa.
 
#29
I agree with you, Force, but a lot of fans do think they are BFFs forever, constantly hanging out in each other's dorms, spending every spare minute together and sharing everything. Which would then beg the question of why Zack never introduced his BFF to Aerith... :awesomonster:
 

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#30
I… always felt like Zack’s line removes some layer of ambiguity from this complex, extremely well-written web of subconscious thoughts and desires, but maybe that’s just me.
That's obviously not what Zack intended, though. He's just affirming -- mostly for his own benefit, probably -- that what he did was worth it. Cloud could barely speak or understand what Zack was saying. I don't think he even realized Zack was dying until his eyes had closed.
 
#34
From the external materials, reference books, etc I think, it's touched on that Zack has/had multiple girlfriends, even in the CC Ultimania if I remembered right it's played up as to which "girlfriend" Zack would be taking Cloud to. I don't think it's fair to Aerith to assume or something that it's all just rationalization or that on Aerith's part either. She had her reasonings to think the way she did. Now while it's not impossible that she might have fell back on it to avoid thinking or addressing that Zack might be dead there is some truth in it. Also I can't find the quote right now about Aerith and other girls and not liking it/jealousy or something but I read a HC recently about Elmyra being some kind of slum overlord and that's why she and Aerith have the swell digs and I think the idea that Elmyra might have used connections to dig up proof/dirt on Zack and I think I might prefer that theory over CC Aerith knew things because she knew because ... powers! :pinkmonster:
I was talking about how the phrase "woman in every port" was never used to describe Zack in the OG.

Also I went and checked the various translations from guidebooks The Lifestream has https://thelifestream.net/guide-book-translations/
and none of them use the that phrase either from what I researched. There are entries about Zack being a flirt (and that's consistent across the OG and Compilation) but none of them use the phrase a "woman in every port"
 
#35
You're not familiar with the phrase? It's not meant to be taken literally, and I never meant to suggest that SE had ever used those actual words. It's just a way of calling someone a womaniser.
 
#36
You're not familiar with the phrase? It's not meant to be taken literally, and I never meant to suggest that SE had ever used those actual words. It's just a way of calling someone a womaniser.
No, I am familiar with the phrase. But there is a significant difference between a womanizer who is described with “a women at every port” and a womanizer who is just described as being flirtatious, as the former implies infidelity while the latter doesn’t so much (and even in the OG Zack explicitly described/referred to Aerith as his girlfriend, and considered her important enough to write to his parents about, so I don’t think we are meant to view Zack as cheater even without taking the Compilation into consideration).
 
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#37
But who said he had to have “fidelity” with anyone? There’s no evidence Aeris ever asked him to, even in Crisis Core. Maybe Zack wrote about her because she was someone he was proud to talk about. Maybe he wanted it to be more. Maybe she did too. We’ll never know, cause circumstances ensured it wouldn’t really ever work out.

Certainly imo it never got there. “Were you close?” “No but I liked him for a while...”
 
#38
But who said he had to have “fidelity” with anyone? There’s no evidence Aeris ever asked him to, even in Crisis Core. Maybe Zack wrote about her because she was someone he was proud to talk about. Maybe he wanted it to be more. Maybe she did too. We’ll never know, cause circumstances ensured it wouldn’t really ever work out.

Certainly imo it never got there. “Were you close?” “No but I liked him for a while...”
I mean usually when someone considers another to be their boyfriend/girlfriend/significant, that implies that you’re going to be faithful to them. (also when I use the term “infidelity/fidelity” I don’t mean to imply that that means the relationship was of sexual in nature or not, that’s entirely up to player interpretation, I just mean faithfulness in terms of having a formal romantic relationship). Anyways, since there’s nothing in either the OG or the Compilation that Zack and Aerith had an open-relationship and/or we’re polyamorous, I am going to go with Occam’s Razor and assume they had a standard monogamous relationship with the typical boundaries that implies.
 
#39
OK. Meanwhile, I got the impression OG Zack was playing the field, and had more than one girlfriend, even if Aerith was the one he felt the most for; that he was the kind of guy, who, when accused of cheating, would innocently protest, "But I never said we were exclusive!" Obviously CC Zack isn't like that. To each his own.
 
#41
OK. Meanwhile, I got the impression OG Zack was playing the field, and had more than one girlfriend, even if Aerith was the one he felt the most for; that he was the kind of guy, who, when accused of cheating, would innocently protest, "But I never said we were exclusive!" Obviously CC Zack isn't like that. To each his own.
Sure, if that’s what your impression of Zack’s limited OG characterization was, that’s a perfectly valid interpretation (though I would personally argue it requires more presumption than assuming OG Zack was flirty yet still monogamous, but I’ll admit I am biased towards the interpretation that OG Zack easily fits with his CC/BC depictions).

Totally not pushing poly on FF7 but surely “shopping around” is a standard practice for itinerant soldier types?
I don’t think so? At least I don’t think there’s any evidence for or against what standard dating practices are for SOLDIER, since neither the OG or the Compilation was concerned with depictions what is “standard” for people in SOLDIER, and instead was focusing on extraordinary individuals. And in real life there are plenty of people who have occupations that involve frequent travel and are faithful to their significant others, if not moreso than people who are unfaithful.
 
#44
Are SOLDIER all that mobile? They seem to spend most of their time in the Shinra building, with occasional breaks to kill stuff in the wilderness.

Re: "I liked him for a while..." I'm not sure if we can take that as truth, given she's talking to Cloud in a setting where she's not likely to say 'oh, I was deeply in love with this dude that looked a lot like you. I'm over him, I swear.'

Given that Aeris can sometimes tell if people dies, she might even be hoping that Zack is shacked up with someone else, rather than being poked by Hojo in a lab, which Aeris knows is a possibility given her past.
 
#47
I was referring to the
[FFVII] Fleeing towards Midgar, means intending to be under the care of one of his many female friends?

though I remembered it as girlfriends :pinkmonster:
Well to be fair, the noun used there is ガールフレンド [garufurendo] which I believe is essentially a loaned word (gairaigo) from the English equivalents of "girlfriend or female [girl] friend". I can only speak based on what I've researched, but it seems pretty common to have this used for referring to what we know as a girlfriend (this was also the noun used in Zack's letter to describe Aerith), but I've also seen it as for describing a female friend as well.

Full line for curiousity sake: ミッドガルに逃げようとしたのは、大勢いるガールフレンドの誰かに世話になるつもりだったから?

Though, this was something that was specifically described in the Ultimania, right? The actual scene has Zack pretty much describe this part of his dialogue in a way that doesn't imply multiple people: "I got a place I can crash for a while...", "No wait, the mother lives there, too...", "Guess that's out..."

That seems to be the end of it. There's also the fact that the BentStuff staff intentionally wrote it as inquisitive as opposed to a fact—this accompanying the idea of Zack being a "ladies man" and the ambiguity of this trait in regards to the mystery corresponding to Zack's whereabouts in the OG, specifically for what Aerith was thinking happened to him. Other than the truth of what Zack was actually doing, one would still have to consider the lack of context and development his character has in the OG. Personally, I don't believe this line in the 10th Anni was meant to be taken as fact, anyway, other than being a nuance to that part of the story regarding the ambiguity of Zack's character and his fate. Since it was a section talking about that part of his flirty personality corresponding to the depictions in each specific game, I can see why the BentStuff staff decided to write it that way for the OG scene specifically.

With that being said, I'm sure it was translated to "female friends" because of contextual reasons.

I mean, it would seem rather counterintuitive for Zack to write "I've managed to get a girlfriend" like it's some sort of feat, even if Aerith happened to be the first one he acquired by the time he wrote that letter. Really, the ever so hounded nature of his flirtatious personality really doesn't actually depict him being super successful with this (or even that he really is trying to be every time) Almost like a less extreme Johnny Bravo, I guess, but I digress. I don't believe we're given enough context to believe he was cheating with certainty, as even Aerith in the OG pointing out his personality-trait is purposely then compromised by the truth of Zack's fate and the fact he hasn't returned home. The storytelling in the OG doesn't really give the impression her thought process was actually correct given the revealing of the truth.
 
#48
I don't think anyone is saying Zack was definitely, canonically cheating on Aerith, just that it's not an impossible take on his character as its presented to us in the OG. Though tbf it's not cheating if you never agreed to be exclusive in the first place. I just find it, I don't know, weird that some people think Zack having multiple girlfriends would make him A Bad Person.
 
#49
I don't think anyone is saying Zack was definitely, canonically cheating on Aerith, just that it's not an impossible take on his character as its presented to us in the OG. Though tbf it's not cheating if you never agreed to be exclusive in the first place. I just find it, I don't know, weird that some people think Zack having multiple girlfriends would make him A Bad Person.
I don't know about the "bad person" bit, but I would say that a reason for thinking differently there is because that specific direction wasn't emphasized or hinted at all in CC—where we get the real meat of who Zack Fair was, or what they then intended for his character to be at that time when considering him being a fully developed character. I mean, if it was written to be so for him, most would have no choice but to move on and accept that as something he did, but there isn't any context there of it being the case.. I'm not saying it's an impossible take, as how anything can't ever be by the power of "fan perception", but when taking a look at the material, there doesn't seem to be something pointing towards it outside of that Ultimania quote, specifically for the OG as well.
 

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#50
And that line from the 10th Anniversary Ultimania is from the book that doesn't reveal the full plot points of CC. It's only detailing the OG, BC and LO in describing Zack's character.

We know from VII and CC contextually that Zack's line about the girl in Midgar who lives with her mother is Aerith, and the only other girls he playfully flirts with are Cissnei (a Turk who we for damn sure know he could never shack up with) and on occasion the lobby girl of the Shinra Building (who he certainly does not know seriously at all).

Bear in mind this is also younger Zack, before he gets his scar and slicked back hair.

When Zack comes back from Modeoheim and cries in Aerith's arms, he's a different man. His flirtatious nature is a small part about him. Compared to his devotion and desire to see Aerith, there isn't really a question who he really is serious about.
 
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