SPOILERS LTD Remake — It's like New Coke except ... no, it's exactly like New Coke

AKA
Blue
A couple years being part of this fanbase and I still don’t quite get the train of thought on that particular point in the LTD.

For those who insist that word suggests a mutual romantic relationship, haven’t both girls been described in such a manner? To then try to say it exclusively solidifies Cloud and Aerith as the only legitimate couple, you’d have to ignore the many official statements made regarding Cloud and Tifa’s relationship…which would be silly and frankly dishonest.
 
Even if some people insisted Clerith is canon because of their feelings (not relationship), an author doesnt write a story with a couple separated in death---but with the guy now lives with the girl he had loved since childhood who also love him and they adopt child together, and the girl is in afterlife with the first love she had waited to home for 5 years that his dying thought is also her waiting for him---as the only canon couple while the other two couples aren't... unless the writer portray the two characters of the only canon as jerk and selfish.
 
Yes, it really is a weird take on both Cloud and Aerith.

I really look at the history of the LTD with curiosity nowadays, because to me the story is very straightforward (if you truly think about it, before he made up his fake persona, Cloud doesn't remember a state where he's not in love or at least crushing hard on her; how can people claim she's second best is beyond me). And I think this was the most interesting to me:


In this rare interview of Masato Katō, we do see him talking about how they worked on FFVII; they first talked about the story all together thoroughly, then would get assigned subevents. And, I noticed: Mideel, Lifestream scene, Highwind scene, the ones he took care of were all the major cloti events. But, I'll get back to this.

When FFVII was launched, it was a one time game, no Compilation needed, etc. Back then, the developpers clearly didn't think much of the love triangle - to them it was a tool, and whatever fans wanted to believe, be it! They were also young, trying out new stuff - those were exciting times for them. But because they were young and inexperimented, they made errors in their storytelling and the message was definitely misunderstood by the fans - how many tried to revive Aerith when the message was that we have to live on with the dead in our hearts?

What was done was done, and Nomura was a little flippant when he answered interviews because he truly didn't care about who Cloud loved.

But, because there is always a but, the Compilation began as they worked on BC and AC. They still made storytelling errors that they didn't notice, but this time, women told Nomura they pitied Tifa; and he did not understand, because to him, Cloud and Tifa had a good relationship. However, they absolutely and spectacularly failed to convey this in AC, and the feedback they had made them scramble back to the story: what went wrong? I sometimes do wonder though if them wanting to cater to both CAs and CTs back then made them have such a way to tell the story in which, if fans wanted to, they could pretend Cloud was in love with Aerith. So many cloti fans got out of the movie thinking that they weren't a couple yet that it was a major drawback for years in fandom (you really don't want to read fics from that era lol, so depressing it made me stop reading CT fics altogether), and I can't say that we weren't looking for clues there - because most fans before AC thought that Cloud was in love with Aerith, so it definitely tainted how that movie was interpreted. The ending especially with Aerith looking over Cloud was so bad in showing their intent that SE had to take it off in ACC.

There was definitely wrongness in how they portrayed and made their characters look to the public. There was a lot of unawareness from them in how the fans would understand what was shown, and I think it shows in AC - I absolutely despised Cloud there. AC had cool graphics but pretty terrible story. The dialogues were, in all honesty, kept to a bare minimum, which made Cloud's motivation hard to understand - and he was the main character! So, when women complained to Nomura, it was because there was a real reason to not understand this story and those characters. And I think that it made the devs understand that they had failed to convey a big part of their story - in fine, this is why ACC does exist, and why we can see more clearly their intent there. It made them realise that the way they presented their characters was important to convey their story (look at Aerith in OG; look at what she became in Remake, they nearly entirely redid her character, accentuating her feelings for Zack to the max).

Then we got On the way to a smile novellas which helped understand the context, but as Nojima was trying for the first time to write, there were still errors in how everything was handled, which led to serious fights in the LTD. By that time though, I knew that Cloud and Tifa were definitely a couple, as I felt during the OG. Then came CC, ACC, the novellas revised and now Remake, which, I think, truly shines in its characterisation; this is the best the characters have ever been, because finally SE cares about how the characters present themselves to people. They're not only tools for a story, but also make the story and they want everyone to love them.

I think the main problem that existed is that the characters were tools, just like the LT was; convenient tools that helped conveying a message. As I noted way earlier in this message (:D) Masato Katō was the one who designed ALL the major CT interactions; which means that the man who understood best Cloud and Tifa, their interactions, was also the one who left and never talked about it. Which led to devs never really commenting on them while it's probably one of the best love stories SE has pulled from 7 and on (sorry I do not know about earlier Final Fantasy games). Which did lead a lot of people to believe that Cloud loved Aerith, when it was not the story. SE finally cares about people understanding their message, so you can clearly see that all the differences between the OG and Remake are made to explain things better (minus chapter 18 lol). And that includes the LT, because there has always been an answer to it, which has always been the Lifestream scene; as I said, true!Cloud never knew a state where he wasn't in love with Tifa, and that's what the Lifestream scene also tells.

But it took MORE THAN A DECADE for fans to begin to understand this, and it's a long time that taints fandom a lot. By then it's natural that people won't want to let go of what they thought happened, they are too invested, and that leads to the current LTD debacle (it should be dead).
 
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AKA
Blue
Even if some people insisted Clerith is canon because of their feelings (not relationship), an author doesnt write a story with a couple separated in death---but with the guy now lives with the girl he had loved since childhood who also love him and they adopt child together, and the girl is in afterlife with the first love she had waited to home for 5 years that his dying thought is also her waiting for him---as the only canon couple while the other two couples aren't... unless the writer portray the two characters of the only canon as jerk and selfish.
I mean I guess it could work as a star-crossed lovers story if Cloud and Aerith totally moved on from Tifa and Zack respectively but that’s very much not what happens at least in Cloud’s case…as for Aerith, I hope the remake really clarifies how she feels about Zack after meeting Cloud because she doesn’t seem to dwell on him much in the OG

how many tried to revive Aerith when the message was that we have to live on with the dead in our hearts?
Ugh, the amount of times I’d seen people wanting her to survive the remake just to be with Cloud lol

I’m willing to concede that Cloud and Aerith could’ve had a future together if the circumstances worked in their favor but like…they don’t, that’s the whole point

Then came CC, ACC, the novellas revised and now Remake,
Cloud & Tifa’s relationship has all the post-launch patch updates of a modern AAA game lmao
 
AKA
Peko
A couple years being part of this fanbase and I still don’t quite get the train of thought on that particular point in the LTD.

For those who insist that word suggests a mutual romantic relationship, haven’t both girls been described in such a manner? To then try to say it exclusively solidifies Cloud and Aerith as the only legitimate couple, you’d have to ignore the many official statements made regarding Cloud and Tifa’s relationship…which would be silly and frankly dishonest.
I agree with you on how the word is used. I thought it's used the same way in EN. I don't know why people think Japanese people use it any differently. I jokingly call Jihoon from Treasure my "boyfriend" on Weverse app, but he doesn't respond to me and I know we'll never date in RL sobs

I don't think they were both described as Cloud's koibito though. The director is the one who described Tifa as being someone's koibito, and the scenario writer only wrote Aerith making her one-sided confession in the afterlife to Cloud that she viewed him as a koibito. All that was made clear to me is that Aerith's feelings for Cloud were definitely not platonic. She loved him as a woman loved a man. However, that's not anyone describing her as someone's koibito. Not at all the same thing.

The only issue I have now is that some people are connecting this to Mr. Toriyama and others calling the rooftop scenes a "date" with Aerith in the interviews, and claiming that this proves Cloud and Aerith are dating/in a relationship... They're now making the argument that when she said she saw him as her koibito in the novel, it's proof that Cloud and Aerith are dating, because see? They called it a "date"?

I really hope it's just ignorant people not understanding how casual the word is used.

The events in the game, the Ultimania quotes I've seen here and on twitter, they show me the devs know Cloud and Tifa are written to be together romantically but Nomura refused to name drop Cloud when it comes to Tifa. We all know it's him because now Nojima has made it clear in his novel that there was never anyone else but him in Tifa's heart. As for Aerith, she clearly loves Cloud romantically but his feelings for her were purposefully left ambiguous. I have yet to be shown any interview or any dialogue where he tells her that he feels the same way. If you find it, let me know. That's the stuff people can dream and let their imagination go wild about. Doesn't make it real though.

But it took MORE THAN A DECADE for fans to begin to understand this, and it's a long time that taints fandom a lot. By then it's natural that people won't want to let go of what they thought happened, they are too invested, and that leads to the current LTD debacle (it should be dead).
LTD thing is already dead to me after completing og. Like I've talked to you about, compilation are like pieces of the puzzle being put together to create a picture. Remake trilogy might not end as the better game for most people who loved the og, but they definitely improved on so many things. Things make more sense now in relation to characterization.
 
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Ryushikaze

Deus Admiral Parsimonious, PHD, DDS, MD, JD, OBE
AKA
Tim, Ryu
I agree with you on how the word is used. I thought it's used the same way in EN. I don't know why people think Japanese people use it any differently. I jokingly call Jihoon from Treasure my "boyfriend" on Weverse app, but he doesn't respond to me and I know we'll never date in RL sobs

I don't think they were both described as Cloud's koibito though. The director is the one who described Tifa as being someone's koibito, and the scenario writer only wrote Aerith making her one-sided confession in the afterlife to Cloud that she viewed him as a koibito. All that was made clear to me is that Aerith's feelings for Cloud were definitely not platonic. She loved him as a woman loved a man. However, that's not anyone describing her as someone's koibito. Not at all the same thing.
No, THE WOMAN made a one sided confession in the afterlife. We can't be sure who the woman is[/sarcasm]

Sorry, it just bugs me that we act like it's not just as obvious who Tifa is a lover to as it is who the man and woman in COL are.

The only issue I have now is that some people are connecting this to Mr. Toriyama and others calling the rooftop scenes a "date" with Aerith in the interviews, and claiming that this proves Cloud and Aerith are dating/in a relationship... They're now making the argument that when she said she saw him as her koibito in the novel, it's proof that Cloud and Aerith are dating, because see? They called it a "date"?
To Aerith it might be a 'date,' to Cloud it was 'huh, what? Sorry, trying to get back to Ti- I mean Avalanche.'

I really hope it's just ignorant people not understanding how casual the word is used.

The events in the game, the Ultimania quotes I've seen here and on twitter, they show me the devs know Cloud and Tifa are written to be together romantically but Nomura refused to name drop Cloud when it comes to Tifa. We all know it's him because now Nojima has made it clear in his novel that there was never anyone else but him in Tifa's heart.
Plus their shared future, family they formed together etc. etc. etc. yadda yadda yadda.

As for Aerith, she clearly loves Cloud romantically but his feelings for her were purposefully left ambiguous. I have yet to be shown any interview or any dialogue where he tells her that he feels the same way. If you find it, let me know. That's the stuff people can dream and let their imagination go wild about. Doesn't make it real though.



LTD thing is already dead to me after completing og. Like I've talked to you about, compilation are like pieces of the puzzle being put together to create a picture. Remake trilogy might not end as the better game for most people who loved the og, but they definitely improved on so many things. Things make more sense now in relation to characterization.
The LT, such as it was, died with Aerith. Died even harder when Cloud got his full self back. The Debate, that's the part that lives, if living is the right word, like a lich, devouring the souls and sanity of those who stray too close.
 

odekopeko

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Peko
No, THE WOMAN made a one sided confession in the afterlife. We can't be sure who the woman is[/sarcasm]

Sorry, it just bugs me that we act like it's not just as obvious who Tifa is a lover to as it is who the man and woman in COL are.
Well, I know it's Cloud. We all know it's Cloud!😭 But this is what I’ve turned into after being in this fandom for almost two years.

With these people, if Cloud’s name isn’t spoken aloud in the same sentence, they would rather say “it could be anybody” than admit it’s Cloud.
 
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Ryeleigh

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Rye
Some people have this really entrenched image of FFVII in their minds. Typically they don't seem to understand that the player choices were about as meaningful as the player choices in Fire Emblem Awakening. As in, those choices never affected the plot and if they did affect anything, they affected the party's feelings, not Cloud's. That FFVII was never a Western RPG otome ala Bioware who give multiple resolutions to their romances.

That the "LT" died with Aerith. It further died with the Lifestream scene. And the final nail was Under the Highwind.

They also ignore that post-game Tifa and Cloud have all the trappings of a post-timeskip shonen couple (living together, two kids), but they tend to ignore and hate AC anyway.

Tifa undeniably has romantic feelings for Cloud.

Aerith undeniably had romantic feelings for Cloud or what she saw in Cloud Zack, but would she have had those feelings for "real Cloud" too? Who knows, but by the time AC rolls around she seems to think of him as a big kid.

Cloud undeniably has romantic feelings for Tifa. They're mentioned in the game and in every post-game material. Did he have romantic feelings for Aerith too? Well, seeing as the devs have never confirmed nor denied it, I suppose this is the part that's up to interpretation and people can interpret whatever makes them happy.

(Didn't really write that as well as I hoped to but it'll have to suffice.)
 
The thing is, how you interpret Cloud's feelings towards Aerith are due to players' choices. That's why it's never confirmed because it can change from a player to another, depending if they chose Aerith or Tifa. However, the players' choices do not supercede the story itself; and that's why the story tells you "Cloud loves Tifa, the end".

Some players chose to believe that their choice (aka Aerith) would "win" if she hadn't died, but that's not true; she's barely mentioned after her death and we're still shown that Cloud doesn't understand her, which should be the biggest hint about his feelings towards her.

But how the OG played out is also the reason why Remake is this way: much less players' choices, a lot of cloti scenes that aren't "optional", so that finally Mideel, the LS scene and the Highwind scene will form a cohesive ensemble, a momentum for the players who will be able to understand the nature of especially the LS scene and what it says. Fans will get a "ah, they love each other" feeling rather than a "ha, who knows who Cloud loves?"
 

frosty

Pro Adventurer
AKA
The Snowman
Ryeleigh said:
FFVII was never a Western RPG otome ala Bioware who give multiple resolutions to their romances.
I don't think the most vocal FFVII LTD combatants play many other games to see what "real" players choice means tbh. Or at least from what I observed. Sometimes I don't think they're gamers at all even 😄

And the funny thing I learned with JRPGs that are truly canon-less, 100% player's choice is that the "male hero comforting a crying / hurt girl" is A BIG romantic trope.

I swear a good third of my experience with Persona was pretty much:

Me: Oh she's crying, i feel bad for her, but i want to romance the next girl
Game: Hug character A?
Me: Yea sure why not, we're friends!
Game: There's no turning back
Me: Huh?
Game: Your relationship with A is now intimate
Me: Huh?
Game: *proceeds to call A my girlfriend the whole remainder of the game and serves her as options for Xmas, Valentine's day and White Day
 
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Ryeleigh

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Rye
I don't think the most vocal FFVII LTD combatants play many other games to see what "real" players choice means tbh. Or at least from what I observed. Sometimes I don't think they're gamers at all even 😄
Oh, there are some who are gamers. But I'm not entirely sure they've actually internalised anything from them :) Their basic idea seems to be that "if SE wanted cloti to be canon, they would've written a very special memo". That, or Cloud and Tifa would've turned towards the camera and decidedly said that they're together now.

I don't know. It's the regular practice of rejecting what's in the actual text in favour of what's in their heads?

And the funny thing I learned with JRPGs that are truly canon-less, 100% player's choice is that the "male hero comforting a crying / hurt girl" is A BIG romantic trope.

I swear a good third of my experience with Persona was pretty much:

Me: Oh she's crying, i feel bad for her, but i want to romance the next girl
Game: Hug character A?
Me: Yea sure why not, we're friends!
Game: There's no turning back
Me: Huh?
Game: Your relationship with A is now intimate
Me: Huh?
Game: *proceeds to call A my girlfriend the whole remainder of the game and serves her as options for Xmas, Valentine's day and White Day
Lol, I remember when I played Dragon Age: Origins the first time and I had no idea I could romance my teammates. I thought I was just being friendly until one of them said something decidedly flirty and I was like, that was supposed to happen, right? o__o
 

Ryushikaze

Deus Admiral Parsimonious, PHD, DDS, MD, JD, OBE
AKA
Tim, Ryu
Well, I know it's Cloud. We all know it's Cloud!😭 But this is what I’ve turned into after being in this fandom for almost two years.

With these people, if Cloud’s name isn’t spoken aloud in the same sentence, they would rather say “it could be anybody” than admit it’s Cloud.
Even if it is, sometimes. I mean we have a reunion files quote referring to "their future" the CC Complete Guide keyword of the two of them - and Zack and Aerith didn't get a shared keyword in the Crisis Core Complete Guide - and they refuse to admit Tifa is important to Cloud.

I don't think the most vocal FFVII LTD combatants play many other games to see what "real" players choice means tbh. Or at least from what I observed. Sometimes I don't think they're gamers at all even 😄

And the funny thing I learned with JRPGs that are truly canon-less, 100% player's choice is that the "male hero comforting a crying / hurt girl" is A BIG romantic trope.

I swear a good third of my experience with Persona was pretty much:

Me: Oh she's crying, i feel bad for her, but i want to romance the next girl
Game: Hug character A?
Me: Yea sure why not, we're friends!
Game: There's no turning back
Me: Huh?
Game: Your relationship with A is now intimate
Me: Huh?
Game: *proceeds to call A my girlfriend the whole remainder of the game and serves her as options for Xmas, Valentine's day and White Day
P4 is also an amazing example for when a pairing is so obvious the creators don't feel the need to say "Yeah, that's the one," sepcifically Kanji and Naoto.
 
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