• Due to datamining of the demo files, substantial leaks are now everywhere. As a reminder, some of these are in-development screenshots and may point to events that aren't going to be in the final game. Some of them are clearly going to be in the game. The TLS stance is this: Any thread which will contain discussion on the leaked images/ details must clearly contain [SPOILERS] within the title. Anything within those threads does not need to be spoiler tagged. Any POST anywhere on the board containing spoilers must be spoiler tagged or it will be removed and warned. Please report this where you see it. Let's try to make sure everyone can still freely post until everyone has a chance to play this game please!

Leaked Character Screens (Untagged Spoilers, potentially big implications)

God, from the title on down, these fucking Mumblers of Intrusive Back-Patting False-Clever Writer's Fate are the one and only thing bumming me out about RM.
Like, I know I shouldn't react until I genuinely see how, why and when they are implemented in the final game...but just the basic concept seems so...so...stupid. And childish, frankly. Am I the only one feeling this?
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
The Guardians of Destiny are examples of further clarification and exposition on the fantasy Gaia Theory which serves as the base of the world building of FFVII, and by proxy, FFIX and FFX. Because all three games by their nature share similar concepts which each other. These "whispers" are the spiritual embodiment of a deterministic will that shapes the future of a planet and it's life.

Spirit Energy is the flow of life that connects all living entities that exist on a planet. Composed of souls that have died and are yet to be born, it continuously cycles back and forth at the margin of life and death. This flow in FFVII is called the Lifestream, and while it can be harnessed as energy called Mako, that's only it's physical form. The true nature of the Lifestream, is the planet's collective life force.

A planet is defined by its Lifestream. It's spirit energy. And by that logic, planets are alive and carry within them a will and consciousness. This is shown by the Cetra who speak to the planet and in turn listen to it. Its this very will that dispatches Weapons to protect itself from threats to its existence, and even casts judgment on humanity via Holy.

In CC we see that the Planet's will, the will of the Lifestream, can be embodied in a singular divine entity, aptly named "The Goddess." The Goddess Minerva is in essence the strongest, most powerful summon that is invoked by the Lifestream itself. She is a spiritual manifestation of the collective will of the Planet.

In essence, the collective consciousness of all people created their goddess, and in turn the goddess functions as their embodiment and will. An on the nose statement regarding history and mythology.

And in DC, we see Omega. The ultimate ark of planetary self preservation that is meant to ferry a planet's life force so it can be reborn anew in the cosmos. This reveals that the spirit energy cycle plays out not just on a planetary level, but a cosmic one. Planets cycling back and forth between life and death so they are reborn anew elsewhere in the stars.

Suffice to say that a planet's own existence plays out much the same way as a human's. Albeit on a macro scale. It lives, struggles to survive, and then when it nears its end, it's life joins the cosmos and seeks to be reborn elsewhere to start the cycle again.

However, the one thing that stands out against this entire cycle is Sephiroth. His mind and spirit subvert the natural flow of life by not only maintaining it's ego within the collective consciousness of spirit energy, but by acting from behind the veil. The entire cycle of life is premised on the living making the choices and experiences in life, and then rejoining the Lifestream.

But what if a force within the Lifestream could work the process in reverse?

Sephiroth corrupts the Lifestream, and by extension, the very will of the planet. If Sephiroth were able to fully subvert the entire planet's natural order and determined path of life and death, his will would become the Planet's will. Which in turn would forge the fate of the Planet's spirit energy. A new destiny with potential to create hitherto unrealized life. Thereby, he creates the mechanisms of the planet that in turn work for him for their own benefit.

As seen OTWTAS Lifestream Black, Sephiroth's hatred for the planet and it's order, draws out spirits steeped in hatred. These spirits fuel him and become his "Negative Lifestream" seen in Advent Children.

So what if this new potential future for the planet and it's life, becomes the Planet's assumed Destiny to pursue? And this newly corrupted spirit energy now wishes for Sephiroth to be their makeshift god and grant them a new and until now, unforeseen potential future? A newly established impulse and desire to self destruct all to be reborn and ushered into a new life with Sephiroth as their god. A whisper towards destruction and damnation.

The Guardians of Destiny serve as embodiments that pursue the determination of a planet's fate. They appear as unborn corrupted spirits that wish to protect the course of Fate that presents to them the chance to see their future made real. A sort of thematic inverse of an unsent/remnant. Instead of a being resisting death to stay alive, they're as of yet unrealized future spirits resisting death in hopes of being born.

Destiny doesn't have to necessarily imply literal time travel, only the perceived and inevitable fate that the choices through time thus far have laid out that must be adhered to. Sephiroth giving the weakened, dying planet and it's potential spirit energies a new destiny, would be horrifying yet fitting given the nature of his powers. And in turn, the planet and the potential spirits clinging to Spehiroth, now wish to protect that Destiny. Because he's on his way to becoming a god.

And if anything, this new plot thread concisely connects to Sephiroth's original plan to ascend to godhood. It clearly establishes that Sephiroth is working on a level beyond the physical and beyond the motivations of just a malevolent alien invader. Jenova is now but one means for Sephiroth to reach his divinity. The other, is the very planet he wishes to kill and then remake in his image.

It certainly cements the "birth of a god" theme of his plan and leaves no question as to who is in control between him and his mother.
 

Elisa Maza

NYC Detective
AKA
Darkslover, Lilith, Seras Victoria, Tea-chan, Groose
CloudxAerith... "It's not real."
*wraps self in capacious cloak and vanishes amidst a puff of smoke and demonic laughter*
You Agent of Chaos, you. :ego:

The Guardians of Fate thing is the only thing I'm concerned about, too. I found myself very satisfied of thinking of the planet as a living organism that can act and cleanse itself if needed be and this cleansing being the consequences of the actions people chose to do, rather than any... "Greater Plan" that's set in stone out there.

It sounds like a 14-year-old's overcomplicated, pseudo-deep fanfiction. At least to me. :hohum:
 

Megumichan

Rookie Adventurer
I'm not sure if anyone has seen this (must be one of the data-mined content) but I just thought Cloud dancing is so freakin' hot:

All these leaked contents and I'm still searching all over YT if anyone will be posting the demo in Japanese voice over. :puppy:
I just can't waaaait any longer for this game to be released. I've been waiting for this since 2015! :rage:
 
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Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
ev_sbil0_2830_0220_red_0Whispers. Red XIII
ev_sbil0_2830_0230_red_0Perhaps best described as arbiters of fate. Red XIII
ev_sbil0_2830_0240_red_0VThey are drawn to those who attempt to alter destiny's course and ensure they do not. Red XIII
ev_sbil0_2830_0250_tif_0Like capital D... "Destiny"?Tifa
ev_sbil0_2830_0260_red_0LThe flow of the great river that is the planet, from inception to oblivion. Red XIII
ev_sbil0_2830_0270_tif_05And you're saying that that flow is somehow...fixed?Tifa
ev_sbil0_2830_0280_red_0.Yes. For it is the will of the planet itself. Red XIII
ev_sbil0_2830_0290_blt_0\So if we're destined for a bleak future, these Whispers will try to keep us on that course?Barret
ev_sbil0_2830_0300_blt_0Now wait just a damn minute!Barret

$ev_sbil0_7610_0050_blt_0,Okay, asshole, let's─,Barret
$ev_sbil0_7610_0060_art_0,Don't.,Aerith
$ev_sbil0_7610_0070_art_0,And you... You're wrong.,Aerith
$ev_sbil0_7610_0080_sep_0,Those who look with clouded eyes see nothing but shadows.,Sephiroth
$ev_sbil0_7610_0090_art_0,Everything about you is wrong.,Aerith
$ev_sbil0_7610_0100_sep_0,All born of her is bound to her.,Sephiroth
$ev_sbil0_7610_0100_sep_1,Should this world be unmade, so too shall her children.,Sephiroth
$ev_sbil0_7610_0110_cld_0,The world won't end today. But you...,Cloud
$ev_sbil0_7610_0110_cld_1,You will.,Cloud
$ev_sbil0_7630_0010_sep_0,Hearken...,Sephiroth
$ev_sbil0_7630_0020_sep_0,Destiny squalls.,Sephiroth

Red XIII's line solidifies that the defined "destiny" the Whispers enforce, is the choice and will of the Planet. A Planet's own determined desire to meet it's fate or future, which apparently is a bleak one. Which is, unsurprisingly, something Sephiroth intends and desires as well. Not a time travel plot, but outlined cause and effect which is determined by the will of a greater life form. The living planet.

The fact Sephiroth refers to the planet as "her" and the life on it as "her children" is also interesting given what we know about said Planet and the embodiment that represents the "will of the Lifestream." The planet's always been alive and able to act within its own self interest (see the Cetra, the Weapons, Holy's judgment on humanity, Omega), however given its weakened and vulnerable state, it's also possible that Sephiroth has now essentially hijacked its will. Hence, how he basically says "Listen, destiny cries" before doing whatever it is he intends to do in confronting the others.

Sephiroth piloting the planet's own system of enforcement makes it kinda harder to stop him.
 
Like, I know I shouldn't react until I genuinely see how, why and when they are implemented in the final game...but just the basic concept seems so...so...stupid. And childish, frankly. Am I the only one feeling this?
because it is dumb as hell astaghs. all i'm hoping is that some of the script i read in the pessimistic bitches with no taste diss chord is dummied out because dreadful no amount of convoluted over-explanation is to me justification enough for that kind of metafictional wink at the player. i also hate all of CC and DoC have never been a fan of how the comp recontextualised the planet/its geophysiology/the world building in general, so even the textual rationalisation gives me stomach cramps.
 

pxp

Pro Adventurer
I don’t really like the sound of it much either, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now until I see how it plays out. I’ve got a feeling I’m still not gonna like it, but if that’s the case I hope it’s a minor nuisance rather than having a major effect on the game in totality - and therefore on my overall experience.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
Red XIII's line solidifies that the defined "destiny" the Whispers enforce, is the choice and will of the Planet. A Planet's own determined desire to meet it's fate or future, which apparently is a bleak one. Which is, unsurprisingly, something Sephiroth intends and desires as well. Not a time travel plot, but outlined cause and effect which is determined by the will of a greater life form. The living planet.
The planet is also supposed to have the mentality of a wounded young child, lashing out fearfully and angrily -- i.e. irrationally. I don't feel that even the most generous reading of the descriptions of these Whispers jibes with that sense of its consciousness.

I'm definitely hoping to be wrong. Just offering my impressions.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
It definitely comes across as irrational for the planet to be guarding and propping up Sephiroth as it marches towards a doomed future.

And the Planet being wounded and vulnerable from mako depletion certainly explains Sephiroth's capability of taking advantage of her. If anything, this falls more in line with that reading of the planet. Why else would a consciousness be lured or deceived to act against its own self interest? Naive vulnerability exhibited by the weak and inexperienced.

And it brings new meaning to Sephiroth's claim to fame of being, "Chosen by the Planet." He's technically not just saying it anymore.

EDIT: More Sephiroth lines. Source comes from Gosetsu, one of the original leakers who got DMCA'd but apparently powered through it :monster:

Gonna just post the text since the image is big, blocky and watermarked.

This presumably takes place before his boss fight and contains lines of dialogue he says throughout the battle to various party members.

Sephiroth: Fate is not to be taken lightly, Cloud.

Cloud: Shut up!

Sephiroth: Come, Cloud.

Sephiroth: Have we forgotten already? The weakness within.

Sephiroth: The planet will claim you.

Sephiroth: Do I frighten you?

Sephiroth: Will you weep for me?

Sephiroth: What hope have you?

Sephiroth: Can you not see your future? You cannot change it.

Sephiroth: Begone.

Sephiroth: Away.

Sephiroth: Leave.

Sephiroth: Fools.

Given Sephiroth's dialogue, I'm almost now 100% certain Sephiroth is the one in control of the planet's Guardians of Destiny system, hence his attribution of 'fate' and the 'future.' "The planet will claim you" is a huge sign he's the one calling their shots and siccing them on you, and his desire to see the planet's future pretty much aligns with his desire to ram a Meteor face first into it. He's basically going, "The planet's mine to control and I am its future. Why are you even bothering to fight me? It's settled and I will win."

...Sephiroth has essentially given the planet AIDS. :awesomonster:
 
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The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
You're probably right about all of that. I just find the "fate" and "destiny" terminology being associated with these ghouls veers too heavily into something obnoxious for me. I can't even put my finger on what it is.

And besides, if you're right, these things are essentially just another type of Weapon, which already have that name and a way less cheese prior description.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
I think the attribution of "destiny/fate" is a carry over from how people like the Cetra believed the planet's will is akin to a divine master plan. Like "The Promised Land" is a world of bountiful happiness and the paradise one seeks after a journey of hardship. Things connected to the planet carry clear connotations of divinity and a "higher power."

Which thematically also fits with Sephiroth's own theme and outlined goal. He wants to be a god to rule over the planet and every soul. And what is the one thing that separates a god from men?

Their control over fate and destiny. The fact the Whispers follow Sephiroth and his will hammers in that Sephiroth is on the fast-track to godliness and is the true villain of FFVII. It's a change to match Sephiroth's new depiction and inclusion in an expanded Midgar.
 
What's all this about Aerith now has the power to make flora literally by magic (and Tifa says she can't keep the flower Cloud gave her alive I guess because magic flowers:flipmonster:) :whaa:)
 

Vortigern

Lv. 25 Adventurer
Is there any informations about size of Midgar? Will it be linear or full explorable?
We don't quite have the full picture yet but it does look like its veering away from a fully explorable Midgar. Its hard to say how much will be accessible in the post-game so I wouldn't quite say linear either but we definitely see alot more of the city compared to the OG, especially above the Plates.
 

billy22

Lv. 25 Adventurer
You're probably right about all of that. I just find the "fate" and "destiny" terminology being associated with these ghouls veers too heavily into something obnoxious for me. I can't even put my finger on what it is.

And besides, if you're right, these things are essentially just another type of Weapon, which already have that name and a way less cheese prior description.
Fate and Destiny have always been lazy storytelling elements. It shoves aside character motivations which push plot depth in favor of the "it was all because of destiny" garbage.

IE: Barret murdered a bunch of people with his Avalanche activities. He got his own team killed. Gets Dyne killed, loses his wife, destroys his hometown and his job. Nearly gets his adopted daughter killed. Watches as a party member dies.

But it was all because of destiny anyway. So why he should he feel any regret? Regret, personal identity, and learning to overcome failure are the most powerful themes of this game. 'Destiny' and 'Fate' want to stomp all over that. I have the same fears you do because of it.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
Fate and Destiny have always been lazy storytelling elements. It shoves aside character motivations which push plot depth in favor of the "it was all because of destiny" garbage.

IE: Barret murdered a bunch of people with his Avalanche activities. He got his own team killed. Gets Dyne killed, loses his wife, destroys his hometown and his job. Nearly gets his adopted daughter killed. Watches as a party member dies.

But it was all because of destiny anyway. So why he should he feel any regret? Regret, personal identity, and learning to overcome failure are the most powerful themes of this game. 'Destiny' and 'Fate' want to stomp all over that. I have the same fears you do because of it.
....But that's not even what's being said or implied? So I have absolutely no idea how you're attributing Guardians of Destiny absolving Barret of his mistakes. They have zero to do with him or any of the character motivations at all.

And Barret didn't get Dyne or his hometown destroyed. Dyne killed himself and Shinra burned down Corel. Don't know when Marlene was nearly killed either.
 

billy22

Lv. 25 Adventurer
....But that's not even what's being said or implied? So I have absolutely no idea how you're attributing Guardians of Destiny absolving Barret of his mistakes. They have zero to do with him or any of the character motivations at all.

And Barret didn't get Dyne or his hometown destroyed. Dyne killed himself and Shinra burned down Corel. Don't know when Marlene was nearly killed either.
That is what Fate and Destiny are. Things that are beyond your control. If it's beyond your control, why feel any regret whatsoever? That is the problem with this.

And I don't know what the heck you mean by "not said or implied?" Fate/Destiny per their respective definitions imply that. Outright said no, but you can hardly count on Square to come out and admit to that. Much less for the future games in the series that are still years away.

As for Barret, he feels regret over Dyne's death. Just as he feels (somewhat) responsible for his town burning down, since he was one of the ones who pushed Dyne into allowing Mako energy. And he definitely admits to being at fault for getting Corel destroyed, whether it's completely his fault is irrelevant to his character development. In the case of Marlene, when the plate fell and when Meteor came down she nearly died. Although hypothetical, he would feel responsible for that. The point is Barret feels regret over a lot of things, and it's a core part of the game. Fate/Destiny per their definitions dampen the meaning of that character development/motivations.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
That is what Fate and Destiny are. Things that are beyond your control. If it's beyond your control, why feel any regret whatsoever? That is the problem with this.

And I don't know what the heck you mean by "not said or implied?" Fate/Destiny per their respective definitions imply that. Outright said no, but you can hardly count on Square to come out and admit to that. Much less for the future games in the series that are still years away.

As for Barret, he feels regret over Dyne's death. Just as he feels (somewhat) responsible for his town burning down, since he was one of the ones who pushed Dyne into allowing Mako energy. And he definitely admits to being at fault for getting Corel destroyed, whether it's completely his fault is irrelevant to his character development. In the case of Marlene, when the plate fell and when Meteor came down she nearly died. Although hypothetical, he would feel responsible for that. The point is Barret feels regret over a lot of things, and it's a core part of the game. Fate/Destiny per their definitions dampen the meaning of that character development/motivations.
So you're simply commenting without actually reading what the Guardians of Destiny are? Ok.

The Whispers being determiners or guides on character choice is not even tangentially what they are or even about in the story. So talking about how they remove character agency or development is almost non-sequitur.

Also, Marlene wasn't in Sector 7 when the Plate fell (Aerith saw to that from the start), and she wasn't in any more mortal danger than any other person on the surface of the planet during Meteorfall. She wasn't even in Midgar. Yeah, Barret carries lots of guilt, however those things didn't happen, and he certainly didn't get Dyne killed. Feeling regret =/= inadvertent killing. And we know that Shinra was going to shove a Mako Reactor in Corel regardless of what the town thought, and it was the reactor being damaged by anti-Shinra activity that prompted Corel to get unjustly punished and destroyed.
 

billy22

Lv. 25 Adventurer
So you're simply commenting without actually reading what the Guardians of Destiny are? Ok.

The Whispers being determiners or guides on character choice is not even tangentially what they are or even about in the story. So talking about how they remove character agency or development is almost non-sequitur.
I have read, yes. Obviously, I have not played the entire game, although I don't think you have either. I'm making some assumptions, but so are you on a few scenes/dialogue pieces and interview. All I can say is I wish I held your optimism. Square and Nomura do not inspire much confidence from me anymore. So I'm glass half empty.

Also, Marlene wasn't in Sector 7 when the Plate fell (Aerith saw to that from the start), and she wasn't in any more mortal danger than any other person on the surface of the planet during Meteorfall. She wasn't even in Midgar. Yeah, Barret carries lots of guilt, however those things didn't happen, and he certainly didn't get Dyne killed. Feeling regret =/= inadvertent killing. And we know that Shinra was going to shove a Mako Reactor in Corel regardless of what the town thought, and it was the reactor being damaged by anti-Shinra activity that prompted Corel to get unjustly punished and destroyed.
I don't even know what you're trying to say.

Marlente wasn't in Sector 7? Yes, I know that. Barret however, did not at the time. It's a (small) part of his character.
She wasn't in any more mortal danger than anyone else during the Meteorfall? Yes, I know that. However, Barret wouldn't particularly care whether or not she was in more or less danger than everyone else. She was in danger at the time regardless. Saying she wasn't is hindsight bias anyway.
He didn't get Dyne killed? Yes, I know that. However, the point is Barret still carries guilt over getting Dyne's death. Whether he (factually) inadvertently killed him is irrelevant. That has little to do with whether he feels regret over it or not.
Shinra was going to shove a reactor in Corel regardless? Yes, that's probably true. However whether or not they were going to regardless is irrelevant to whether Barret feels regret or not.

None of what you're saying has to do with Barret's regret. Everyone feels regret, and it's often exaggerated because there are other factors involved, just as it is with Barret. Whether or not Barret is solely or even mostly responsible for these things is irrelevant. The point is Barret feels regret over his actions. How much actual fault resides with him is irrelevant to how he feels about he matter- how his character motivations and development proceed through the story.

I feel like you're arguing this point just for the sake of arguing. I'm done talking about this.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
I have read, yes. Obviously, I have not played the entire game, although I don't think you have either. I'm making some assumptions, but so are you on just a few scenes/dialogue pieces. All I can say is I wish I held your optimism. Square and Nomura do not inspire much confidence from me anymore. So I'm glass half empty.


I don't even know what you're trying to say.
Then if you read what they are, then you'd understand literally nothing about what you're talking about is on topic of what the Guardians of Destiny are. They aren't shaping the motivations or fates of the main characters. That's not their job or function. They deal with maintaining the order and balance of the Planet, and that system is now hijacked by Sephiroth to enforce his design of the planet's destiny. You're literally making up a topic that has nothing to do with the issue of the Guardians of Destiny. So I don't know what you're talking about either. Having played the game isn't a prerequisite for me to understand or parse what the actual script and definition of the Whisper entities are.

Marlente wasn't in Sector 7? Yes, I know that. Barret however, did not at the time. It's a (small) part of his character.
She wasn't in any more mortal danger than anyone else during the Meteorfall? Yes, I know that. However, Barret wouldn't particularly care whether or not she was in more or less danger than everyone else. She was in danger at the time regardless. Saying she wasn't is hindsight bias anyway.
He didn't get Dyne killed? Yes, I know that. However, the point is Barret still carries guilt over getting Dyne's death. Whether he (factually) inadvertently killed him is irrelevant. That has little to do with whether he feels regret over it or not.
Shinra was going to shove a reactor in Corel regardless? Yes, that's probably true. However whether or not they were going to regardless is irrelevant to whether Barret feels regret or not.
Okay. Yes, Barret carries a lot of guilt. But your attribution of responsibility for these events was wrong as you stated they were part of his character arc and what defined him in terms of his choices in the story. But in terms of his feelings, okay sure. He felt those things, and nothing at all is changing that.

None of what you're saying has to do with Barret's regret. Everyone feels regret, and it's often exaggerated because there are other factors involved, just as it is with Barret. Whether or not Barret is solely or even mostly responsible for these things is irrelevant. The point is Barret feels regret over his actions. How much actual fault resides with him is irrelevant to how he feels about he matter- how his character motivations and development proceed through the story.
So he just feels responsible. Fine, nothing changes that then. It has zero relation to the Guardians of Destiny.
 

Ryuman

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Pointlessname, Pointer
I'm not reading the script and other text leaks, so the impression I got is that the Guardians are just a manifestation of the Lifestream that Sephiroth hijacked to help him with his plans, all the while passing it off as some kind of 'Destiny' to mess with Cloud (& Co.) because he is incredibly extra. Does that seem pretty close so far?
 
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