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

Ryeleigh

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Rye
I think the Clerith interpretation of that scene is that the Aerith in the garden is a dead Aerith. She would have spent 2? weeks with the party by then, Cloud has already fallen in love with her.
Oh, I know. I was just thinking of it more from the Current Cloud's point of view xD I mean, my reaction to that scene was: "ooookay" *slowly backs away*. Imagine what Cloud must've felt to be told that out of the blue lol. And honestly, the Clerith interpretation kind of assumes that 1) Garden Aerith is in love with Cloud and 2) Cloud of future games will also fall for her. Possible? Sure, I guess. But still just an assumption at this stage. And we know what people say about ass-u-me.

And considering how blatant they made Cloti in the first part and whatever shenanigans is going on with Zack, I just... really can't imagine FFVIIR turning into some relationship drama square. It's a total mental block for me lol.
Her ability to transcend space time via the lifestream, allows her to go back in time to say her goodbyes to present Cloud and warn him not to love her cos future her knows he has already fallen for her and doesn't want him to feel bad.
Lol, kind of sounds like circular logic at its finest. I'm not dismissing the possibility but seriously, I think we all just need to wait until the next games to see what the devs meant by that scene. Because, as I said, I think it's more multilayered than a "Clerith Canonz!"

I'm not saying that's the right interpretation, just the most common one. This theory is also then commonly paired with Cloud will then also travel space time to destroy Sephiroth to bring Aerith back to life, and they will marry and live happily ever after 🤷‍♀️
XD
 

Ryushikaze

Deus Admiral Parsimonious, PHD, DDS, MD, JD, OBE
AKA
Tim, Ryu
The read I get off of Aerith in her scene is that she's making jokes and putting on a cheery face to distract from a deeper hurt. Distract Cloud a little bit, but distract herself most of all.
 

Biscuit

Lv. 1 Adventurer
AKA
Bikit
No worries about being nervous, you made a pretty coherent argument, and reading through this entire thread takes dedication!
Don't worry. First time posting is always awkward but it gets easier :)
Thank you very much for the encouragement (It’s just social anxiety). Also sorry, I appeared to be cringy (and probably still will be…smh) but I’ll try to calm down and be less defensive. I don’t know about dedication haha, but its 100% anxiety doing the work.
Johnny being an exaggerated version of him is a funny thought but I'd have to look more into that I think!
Haha, it depends on what kind of writer nojima is. But considering the expansion they made for him in this game, I find it hilarious if it’s a true Easter egg.
As for Cloud's mom, I think he remembers her (the Nibelheim/Sephiroth flashback at the beginning of Remake and the dream at Aerith's house) and then probably remembers her better once he, er, unmuddles his head with Tifa? He was something like fifteen/sixteen when Nibelheim happened so he'd have more concrete memories than Tifa at any rate.
Granted he remembers his mom more, but I find it strange how he handles this. As far as I know, cloud has yet to properly grieve for his mom. She’s the only one he had growing up (tifa too, but…). He barely sent postcards and he was in an avoidant mood (due to shame) during the last time they’ve spoken. To me this inspires guilt, as he could have felt like he had taken her for granted (obv Claudia would never blame him). Also, he should have greatly empathize with tifa’s words (he experienced the same thing) and yet soldier cloud prioritizes her comfort instead of get sad with her. Maybe true cloud was sad but the way this scene has been described, it’s as though he was swept by his youthful romantic feelings instead and forgot that. Hence why, Nojima says “they’re still young” (hormones + he’s pinning on her). I was surprised to find that initially this wasn’t thought of as romantic, that scene was textbook (what I call) “amnesia hug”. Also, it’s quite bold of SE, considering the LTD. For characters (cloud) and scenes like this, it’s more common that it takes time before the act. Yet they skipped right through the climax of it haha. In any case, Tifa was the one who did not think of romance. Crying her heart out while Cloud was taking advantage of the moment (priorities). But yeah, it feels as though without ToTP, Claudia feels like a tool to add confusion w/ her line. That’s what I think. I don’t assert my idea as a fact, rather I just think it’s a good opportunity to tie her into his arc more. In fact despite caring, cloud does take aerith for granted sometimes.
Oh no, it's not the "what ifs" that keep Clerith going. It's denial, literary incomprehension and spite lol.
There’s a faction like this in every debate. However, severe Cleriths are easier to ignore. Ones who don’t ship and yet act the same way as you’ve described, confuses me more. By “what ifs” I meant, if cloud uncharacteristically blurts out “Hey aerith, you’re like a ___” then every single CA interaction (cloud’s pov) gets colored with context. Currently it’s empty, so it’s easier to fill in with whatever that’s working or not (Like I’m doing).

Actually, I don’t think aerith’s confused here at all (I only tried to entertain it and what could happen). Whatever happened with that line, it happened off cam to me. I see her confident and decisive albeit forlorn. Perhaps I’m projecting but if you’ll allow to humor me (and forgive this sappy narration). I think Masayoshi Yamazaki’s One More Time, One More Chance (5 cen per second) encompass what I think of ZA. For years, aerith waited for zack with no mere effort on her part. During the years before his passing, she really could have thought he went with some other girl or wasn’t true to her at all. In defense (in OG), she talked like The Fox and the Grapes to ease her pain of not knowing what’s real and to deny his death (or later on to force herself to move on through soldier cloud). I’m not sure if she had a memento of his image, but the only things she has of him are objects and fond memories. There’s a chance she’s starting to forget them and feels helpless about it (that’s why even though cloud is so far from zack, she still sees it). During the time of his passing, she’s at the peak of her loneliness (loveless st). She’s yearning for hope and still waiting, then she meets cloud. Is it a cruel/blessing turn of events? As he indirectly reminded her again of what was important to her. Perhaps she fell for Soldier cloud (not true cloud), but eventually realizes it was with his false image all along (the ver half the man zack was in her memory). A love that literally never was, hence star-crossed lovers (Lovers whose relationship is doomed to fail/ end in tragedy. Meanwhile the stars motif with CT acts as a way to confuse you but aren’t truly doomed to fail. I swear only masochists would want that label for their ship). Just like cloud, aerith too cannot heal their pain through embracing illusions. They have to face reality or they can’t escape the loop of this mere dream that engulfs them on what truly matters. Specifically what Re!aerith is doing, she’s being proactive instead.

One more thing, friendship. I assume she didn’t have many/any? (Kid aerith crying scene). Yamazaki (cloud’s mo cap actor) says it better than I, but I really felt for aerith after that “we found you” line from tifa. There’s an emphasis on this friendship. Whatever Re!aerith is doing? She’s already grounded unlike before. Instead of falling in love with someone who reminds her of her ex. She instead made more friends. Equally seeking them as she fills the void and loneliness. That’s why the idea that aerith chooses between zack and cloud while thinking of tifa is just unnecessary. But if they did? How long will they do that? Part 2 till part 3? Then Z & A will die anyway? What’s the point? However I think it’s important for the game to address that lifestream white line otherwise it would look like a retcon (just one line, one line to confuse it all). That wasn’t even built up in OG. We can make up a guess like I did, but still, better them than us.
In a way, I guess Aerith's character arc is also about letting go of her denials; her denial of her cetra heritage and her denial of Zack's death. It kind of started already when she met Zack and the two of them helped each other to sort of embrace their "non-normalness".
You worded this better haha, but I’m a bit dishearten it’s not the common guess of her trajectory? I digress, imagine just finishing CC-reunion. What kind of psychopath would choose to bring zack back only to make him suffer (not meet her, rejected, etc)…but I can see him still dying. That’s just tragedy for the sake of tragedy, plus isn’t zack Nojima’s favorite character? (I’m not sure lol I just heard it).
The bottom line is that Final Fantasy VII is neither an american sitcom nor a bishōjo game.
Of course not, because if it is then as a huge consumer of visual novels etc. FF7 really sucks. It’s missing everything that sells this genre. I hope that’s not their goal is it? It’s a cool technique to aid showing the conflict but… as simple “it’s to show illusion of choice” would have helped greatly but devs rather not. Unless of course this isn’t the case at all???
I'm not saying that's the right interpretation, just the most common one. This theory is also then commonly paired with Cloud will then also travel space time to destroy Sephiroth to bring Aerith back to life, and they will marry and live happily ever after 🤷‍♀️
I know I’m superrrr late, but I’ll take a bit of a gander. “Even if you think you do, it’s not real/imagination” can be a throwaway line that’s done for the drama/tension. Then we’d be heading out with that theory. Though if real, I have to say I think SE’s not stopping at just killing the LTD only .....

The important difference between True cloud and Soldier cloud
The main difference is the existence of agency. True cloud is somebody out of therapy. To further explain, I’ll be taking some out of otp-oasis-heavenxearth’s comment on DutchDread’s video. Basically if a certain somebody meets the points that fulfills the needs of the soldier cloud persona (also the player), then he will favor said girl. Anybody who hypes up his ego as a hero, seen as cool, needed, dependent upon on, etc. Everything that true cloud desired he was or think Tifa would want. So it’s no wonder why soldier cloud could have fallen for aerith in OG because she was handling all the points to him. But in remake, re!aerith is self-aware. She proceeds to push down his ego, questioning his abilities, even her flirting (“my hero”etc) sounds sarcastic. I think Subaru (vtuber) and Yamazaki actually points out how harsh she is lol. Like a classmate or an older sister pulling no punches. It’s reminiscent of her CC personality but harsher yet playful. Aerith also paints tifa as the damsel in distress here to soldier cloud (the points). As highlighted in Don Corneo arc. That being said, he too could fall for Jessie if given the chance. I think it’s a good choice to include her. Her personality reminds of OG aerith and it helps see the nuance in the changes. But here comes the tricky part (maybe). Tifa too, even if she’s prioritized by soldier cloud, it also doesn’t matter. Not as much as true cloud’s favor (the one whose opinion only matters lol). Going by the trailer, it seems that he’s doubting her (there’s some kind of shift) and so no matter who he favors at one point, it can easily be manipulated. Much like how the player can decide if they feel like going for aerith or tifa instead (or none). Soldier cloud/ Player can change it anytime. Now, while the impact of SC-T’s interaction is arguable. Frankly my dear, the devs don’t give a damn. From the quality & quantity of their interactions, The numerous “romantic” CT scenes you still get even if you miss the corkscrew tunnel/ alone at last, the uniqueness of CT’s interactions compared to CA and CJ, the camera framings, Crescent moon charm’s description that both C & T shares a piece of the pair of and she wears it with her mature dress (Claudia’s line), revised B&W top for both tifa and kid cloud (CT also had similar designs in AC), Midgar Blues, the promotions, the fact that soldier cloud’s persona was curated to be accepted by tifa (a hero), and most vital, true cloud appearing when he’s with tifa (not sure if it’s only in her resolution). I do find it fascinating how he’s already flirting with her (more obv in the Jp ver). Maybe something happened off cam or that’s just soldier cloud’s default setting, favoring tifa first. So even if it can be argued, SE themselves are doing this to hype up for the real deal anyway (TC-T). I don’t think they’ve come this far, do all the work, only to take it away.

Aeirith’s resolution scene
Again, I got the idea from otp-oasis-heavenxearth and Silver-wield. They had other things covered about the HW etc. so I ought to reference them. Other than that, I want to give a different perspective. https://www.tumblr.com/silver-wield...t-wanted-to-say-that-i-love-your?source=share
There are two speakers here. SE for the viewer, while Aerith is to Soldier Cloud. I’d like to think, she doesn’t know we exist lol. What is this, Doki Doki lit club? SE’s just using their artistic license/ Direction because they can. Just like how they used the illusion of choice to present the nature of conflict. SE’s the one presenting the HW ref. The characters don’t know HW, but we do. Aerith (OG/Re!Aerith) is aware of his affliction. Re!Aerith specifically, knew 100% about his feelings by the time she saw that flower at Tifa’s bar (though she had a hunch). It’s not Marlene because during the flower selling scene, cloud immediately says he’ll buy it once she told him that his girlfriend will be happy (TY, I learned that because of this forum). Also Re!Aerith unlike OG has a clearer mind here, she isn’t slow on the uptake (you know, like claudia’s “goodness goodness” after realizing that cloud has a crush on tifa. Inspiring him to become Soldier, okay I’ll stop lol). If aerith does know HW…. how? If it’s OG aerith, does she have the ability to see what happens to the cast after she dies? If so, she watched it alongside Barret and Cid. We also have to accept that she knew true cloud. Thinking that he’s her lover would make sense if she stalked cloud long enough. She didn’t even spoke of tifa, the girl who called aerith more than a friend. Tbh when does the lifestream white line happen? Is it before or after meeting zack again in the lifestream? Perhaps that’s the off cam thing I spoke of before. Maybe she got a wakeup call. If it’s Re!Aerith, then I have no clue. Such a detail seem invasive and also sepiroth unrelated. To me it’s a no but….I will go back to this later.

Before I start, it’s important to place yourself first in someone who prioritized Aerith in the whole game. SE’s addressing these players the most. For what you get reflects the player’s approach when they played the game (with a purpose in mind). PS. If I sound like an asshole on SE’s side, I just felt like what they did here sounded like they’re frustrated (or that’s me) and that influenced my interpretation. Also, I used to write scripts, so if some parts are over interpreted, then apologies. It’s a force of habit.

“Whatever you do, you can’t fall in love with me” - It’s peculiar that instead of fixing and adding parts that would deliver this naturally/ understandably as they fought about this line. They’d rather settled with "they may think she’s arrogant unless they know the story” instead. As insane-hobbit has said, none before and after happened to address this scene. Which brings me to think that the devs meant not only her death but also the condition of cloud. The fact that he literally cannot fall for her because it’s not the real him. If true, they sure are sneaky with their words lol. I hate it. Also, if it was meant to be romantic then it will look romantic, SE has proven that over the years with their other games but this scene was just sad and serious.
Player: I know you love aerith the most, but not only are you not cloud (so don’t self-insert), we will also eventually kill her. So to save yourself from having false hopes of you/cloud ending up with her, don’t. For the rest of the audience, we know you can’t help but love her even if you know she’s about to die. We understand.
Cloud: I’ll group both her revelations as what nojima referred to as the same function as her golden saucer line. Which is to hint at his character conflict and Soldier cloud is completely oblivious of what she’s talking about.

“Do I get a say on this? / That’s one-sided”
Player:
If you’ll allow me to use the same trick with aerith (looking at the player), then this could be the player’s back and they’re protesting to aerith. That, or/and it could be the mirror image of the 3rd photo. This could also be the back view of the mirror image of the HW ref with tifa in her resolution (perhaps a hint at the possible conflict CT might have that challenges their bond…It’s just my theory lol. That pars with her red dress and bartender scene etc.).

“It’s almost morning. Time to go”
Player:
SE literally using true cloud’s own words (his say) as a reply to this player’s protest. Cheekier with the English ver while subtle brushing off yet still reminding in the jp ver. But the overall answer was “none/ignored” because the points system is a ruse.

“If that’s what you want, thank you/ it’s frustrating/shameful, but I’m happy”
Player:
So even after all the hints we’ve given, the shots, the lines (also the word “embrace”), and the whole franchise rather. You still won’t accept defeat. Well then, we’re happy that we’ve managed to make aerith this effective that you’d love her this much. Thank you.
Cloud: There’s a part of her that knows soldier cloud couldn’t understand her (despite wanting to help), but can’t help but be happy he missed it and that he hasn’t change from what she remembered. If this is present time aerith, then just cut the “he hasn’t change...remembered”
OG aerith context- Nostalgia, She met soldier cloud again (but it’s not a real reunion/ no flowers under her feet because soldier cloud isn’t real and she isn’t there). Last time, she communicated with true cloud instead in AC. She’s here to help cloud and say what she couldn’t before.
Re!Aerith context- Not sure if this was after or before she goes off on her own. But this message could be brought by the cracks she’s seen in him (beating her up etc) and wants to help and at the same time say her peace (I wish she could have thanked tifa as well etc).

If this is OG aerith, then she’s just a tragic character. If it’s Re!aerith then she’s even more tragic. By the vibe, it seems that she never met true cloud and perhaps zack. She also wasn’t able to say her farewells to everybody only to cloud here (…tifa). Her life gets taken away by force once again instead of her own way. We won’t be addressing the lifestream white line (not sure if Re!aerith will still say that). With OG aerith, there’s still a chance for re!aerith’s life to be prolonged.

IF this Re!aerith is wholly with complete Meta knowledge of everything about FF7
Then Re!aerith must be in great pain than I thought she was. I don’t know if she got time for romance when the world is hanging by a thread. Like a god, I can totally see why Marlene would react to her that way lol. I thought if they were separated then OG aerith is influencing/guiding Re!aerith here. Causing her to have Meta knowledge w/o her knowing. Are there theories besides her being a Cetra that causes her to have so? It seems so convenient. Certainly she knows of HW or AC. Then everything I’ve placed in SE’s message to the player is a double entendre with Re!Aerith (just adjust it). Hmm, I don’t know if I like the idea that it’s because of Re!aerith that the LTD is dying, that inspires “tifa only won because aerith let her so” because she probably has feelings for soldier cloud due to that lifestream white line (or she doesn’t anymore? I don’t know…). I have to wonder how "much" she saw the HW scene. No wonder she’s sad, not only does she know she’ll die but also got Meta knowledge rejected if she still likes him. Anyway, with Re!aerith being adamant with CT, I can only think of two that will continue CA as “romantic”: 1. its connected to the conflict I theorized for myself lol w/or w/o Re!aerith's choice (sepiroth related) or 2. They’ll prolong it to not lose audiences for part 3. Tbh this is probably stupid (related to 1.) but 7 seconds sounds like a countdown to choose who to save. Moving on, then her “If that’s what … but I’m happy” context is well depending on the timing. If it’s present time of her kidnapping, then she is indeed only trying to make herself happy despite the pain. Though, again didn’t say her farewells to tifa in her dreams. If she’s dead, then it’s same with Re!aerith’s great tragedy. Now, if there’s a possible way to save her from death after dying/not (time travel /alternate universe logic). I won't discount the possibility, but this is big thing to pull off only for her to die again? Whether she gets saved by zack or cloud, it will be redundant and cruel. If this is in the present time, then there's still hope that she can do more things but tbh OG aerith just seems cleaner to me. I hope this all made sense, I wanted to look at all the angles.

Interpretation of cloud’s perspective
Cloud doesn’t know he’s talking to the real one but since he’s in a dream, he allows himself to be less tsundere. Suddenly she goes saying all this death flag shit then BAM! “Whatever you…love with me”. In my pov, Cloud is at the height of his worry (she just got kidnapped lol) gets dishearten and offended so he looks away. But not because: 1. He got caught having feelings or 2. Appalled by her arrogance (lol, but I would). Rather, not of what she specifically said but because she probably went teasing him again! Seriously, Even in a dream aerith infuriates him while he’s worried sick here Or during her long pause, he was anticipating she’ll say something awful but it was just this. He’s happy it wasn’t serious but it sure was annoying. But not for long, because as soon as she touches his checks and continue on, a cold water is splashed at cloud. This isn’t normal cloud who knows he’s in a dream suddenly forgets that he is due to sincere worry. So he catches her hands to know what’s going on, but fails. He realizes yeah, it’s only a dream, but still it worries him so. Then says “Do I get…one-sided” perhaps because she’s talking on her own about a topic he doesn’t understand is coming from and that she’s speaking for him. Not because he’s protesting but because he literally has got no clue and wants to say his side of the story or ask wth is going on (going by what nojima said is like her golden saucer line, no clue at all). He only gets ignored. Classic. So with limited understanding he ends up just brushing it off as a bad dream or wtvr. It’s pointless to overthink about a dream and instead says “I’ll come to save you”. Whether she’s doing this weird thing to push him away (to save him?) or a bad premonition, Soldier cloud’s main code is still to protect (he also cares). So he won’t back down. Then Aerith says her line with a bittersweet smile. Cloud’s “not really” is a classic tsundere move. Unlike in a dream, this is reality, he doesn’t allow himself to talk freely. But is happy that it was indeed just a dream. However considering the new events unfolding, he can’t just brush it off. Like someone said here, cloud’s “he’s tough” is him telling aerith that she might be better of far away from danger. Lol aerith sounded like “who you calling a weakling! Huh?”

HW is also referenced with tifa’s (it’s mirrored because they haven’t truly reunited yet). I’ve seen somewhere that this scene has been built up since Alone at last. Tifa’s rug with a reunion flower design and his false expectation. I think his “hmm”, was a result of that yearning. He was truly disappointed then, so I can get why he would get lost in a trance (in the same way he did before he got awakened by tifa’s “so”). While the flower aren’t just a rug, it’s the real one and they truly reunite for a short while. If I have to guess based from the pattern, I believe in the real HW, cloud will be the one to hug tifa instead. Because that’s his silent reply right? But since he’s shy, he hugs tifa on her back (his “…” in OG could be him short-circuiting or pondering how to proceed). I could go on but I’ll stop, however I do wish for Cloti fans to get at least 26+ years’ worth the wait moment (Shinran….). The best we can get on screen is probably a visible kiss then fade to black. I’m actually more excited for the ost, I loved what they did in her resolution. Do you think they’ll pre-render this scene so it won’t be edited? If you know what I mean.

I think SE is sacrificing the LTD for a coherent story (hopefully). Some of the probable factors that caused this divided understanding of OG are: 1. People played once and called it a day, 2. played every single thing but didn't care to connect the dots, 3. in denial etc., and 4.The subtlety or way of writing/directing wasn’t effective on delivering the story clearly. But they did make solutions: 1. Divided into parts, so the points reset. Perhaps to have control w/ the story or way of play if you choose someone else, 2. The only thing you can get with the points are the resolutions. Yet, seemingly meaningless because it’s all canon, 3. Unlike the limitations in OG, they’ve gone hell on earth to give all the clues for CT. Honestly I can feel they're shouting lol, 4. Equally made Aerith and Tifa important. Also their expansion in ToTP (like retconned Ranka-Sheryl in Macross Frontier), 5. Zack is back. But, the resolution you get isn’t exactly pointless. Like Nomura says, it reflects the player's choice. A director's artistic choice. Personally, I usually don’t bother with what's canon or not, because everything is there for a reason/intention. It’s all connected to the story they want to tell you, like a murder mystery. These are clues. Though I said I’m not, yet I’m going to assert that tifa is the canon choice every time you’re tasked to decide. If you got Barret, his would remind "Player, you should have known cloud’s jealous with anything about tifa, therefore he will prioritize her". Aerith’s “Player, you should have known about the HW in OG, same way you got her death flag here. If you understood what happened with HW then he will prioritize her". Barret’s Remake while Aerith's OG. With Tifa's it’s her’s alone. Bringing up Aerith isn't anti, but pro CT. It’s related to his goal to impress her and got caught he wasn’t suave. Btw the “dead and buried” as pro CA is too psychotic, wtf??? We need to keep the context always, tifa’s despair has nothing to do with romance. BUT if it were, she gets hugged by true cloud while being surrounded by the same flowerS. Like "Not true, I'm still here Tifa".…………...I’d rather we stay with it not being related to romance.

Sorry for the late reply, life happens. I still want to post my take on CA’s nature (and other things) because while I did felt it to be “spiritual” (because FB’s thoru is like that tbh) I didn’t entertain it, but I did find something (hope it makes sense and doesn’t offend). So thank you for mentioning that! hmm If I sound over-confident or arrogant, that’s not the case at all. I’m just describing what I’m seeing and it’s been a long time since I’ve done analysis on my own accord (it’s usually forced on me haha). Still everything is a possibility because despite asserting, I’m not SE nor Nojima. But I hope I didn’t sound so absurd and correct me if I’m wrong because this franchise is so huge! Actually I’d like to ask if this topic is already done? Because I would really hate to be a noise. This is my first time contributing to forums like this so I’m a bit slow on the uptake haha. Any advice would be kindly appreciated. Thank you!
 

Biscuit

Lv. 1 Adventurer
AKA
Bikit
Cloud character analysis (my take on CA)
The last one before I go. I did say that I don’t know Nojima as a writer but this guy sure has a thing for patterns and repetition. Also, I’m only going to look at the characters as their function/ role to cloud’s story. So I wouldn’t go 1:1, just the abstract of it as much as possible. I think there are others who has dived through this more than I and they were awesome. Some I would imply as a plot device and if that offends anyone, that’s not my intention (promise!). Okay, so the theme I used is Self-acceptance and it’s aided by mental health subjects (modified for creative writing). And I got the idea from this incredible analysis by Klemira, Curious Amber’s video essay on Cloud Strife, a bit from L.C.’s take on the LTD, and some info from Dr Mike Llyod (DID specialist). https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/vg4mv3
True Cloud is our main character w/ a simple pattern of his conflict. Consists a series of hiding/ running away from his desires due to a failure he did once. Once bitten, twice as shy. What’s Fascinating to me is that cloud, regardless of his good looks, his natural strength, his kindness, (later on, the feats he actually did as a real hero in CC and OG) etc. is plagued by low self-esteem issues (understandable, for he is young). To me Tifa symbolizes Happiness in Cloud’s internal plot. Through her there is self-acceptance, relations/ bonds/support (friends etc). Where strong relationships with friends, lover, and family was crucial not only for happiness but for health and even resiliency (Harvard Longitudinal study of Adult Development). Something that Cloud severely lacked growing up, to some degree his fault too. In a way, tifa acts as his goal to “fix” his conflicts. If tifa accepts him or impresses her, then maybe things will go his way. What’s ironic is that Happiness was only just one step away but he’s the one that keeps denying himself of that: Promise- A girl who never accepted invites goes to him while he goes away for her, CC- She excitedly and desperately searched for him yet he hides with a helmet not to disappoint her, OG- She’s the one who found him + still takes care of him and he hides himself in the form of Soldier Cloud to gain her favor, AC- She wants to be a family with him but he goes away to fix his shit so he could feel like he can deserve/protect what they have now. There’s a pattern of needing to prove something first in himself before he thinks he can deserve it. Reminds me of how he rejects his mother about needing someone who takes care of him. This man has an unhealthy relationship with his pride and sense of self. What Cloud needs in his resolution is the ability to accept himself in order to believe that he is allowed (not permitted) to deserve happiness. Hence why I think “A memory or us” signifies choosing between being stuck with his memories of failures (that causes him fear) vs a life with the opportunity of happiness with everyone (not just tifa). Aka the things he cherishes! Once cloud gains this, then there is no room for darkness (Sepiroth) to tempt him back on running/hiding away from what matters. That his strength lies in knowing that he can rely on others and that most of all, that he believes in himself no matter how imperfect.

Soldier Cloud is the biggest manifestation of true cloud’s escapism from rejection. Through completely denying himself of what makes him who he is, then perhaps he will be accepted. In a way, SC acts like an alter to a DID patient. It exists to protect him from his other traumas and to be his representative to do what he couldn’t do as TC. Like the player taking the wheel of his fate, he leaves it up to you to fulfill his story that he doesn’t know how to finish. An alter can either be good or bad for the host, but ultimately TC isn’t ready and neither is tifa. This is where aerith enters the field. Before that, I find it brutal but this has nothing to do with her character/ my real opinion of her, just her function in this narrative. Okay, when dealing with an alter, you either work with it or you don’t. What works best depends on the case. What does end up happening first is, SC and OG aerith in a continuous cycle of back and forth acts of reenacting a fantasy. Very fitting for the dark side of Chesed (Kabbalah), which is over giving. He is able to be a hero/soldier while aerith is able to redo her memories. Not for long, because SC is unstable and dangerous at times. This alter is turning into a complete disorder. Aerith wants to help but ends up meeting her untimely demise. This is how aerith literally breaks TC (not SC) out of his shell. This is where the real story starts. The fact that she was his responsibility to protect yet fails, causes him to realize that he isn’t the all-around hero he think he was. We then see him slowly turning into a character that would break our hearts, as he is desperate to exist. Then he asks tifa for her opinion. The one thing that matters (no matter who the player favors), not because she knows the event but because this whole façade was made for her to accept. Yet tifa indirectly invalidates his existence, the opposite of what OG aerith did. The one thing TC is running away from, rejection. To me his mental breakdown signifies SC’s death. As it is, this isn’t his story (much like it’s not the player’s story). But instead of the host coming back to the surface, he is nowhere to be found. It’s not as simple as it seems (I mean it’s also FF). I take this as TC having nothing to preserve himself, he is at his weakest point. But this isn’t a bad thing, just the natural progression of things. Though he thinks all hope is lost, Tifa then, enters into his space whether he likes it or not (in mideel). Literally reminding him of what matters (lifestream), TC. Once whole again, ready for the battle.

I kind of get why the devs are so lenient with saying shit like it’s up to you which girl you want to pick. Or adding a mechanic just for the fun of it because whatever you do with SC doesn’t actually matter. Because whoever you pick, aerith’s still the responsibility you failed and CT has their own arc after. Except of course if you failed to give TC a good time in the HW scene. Regardless of whether he fell/not for aerith doesn’t matter. What the alter feels doesn’t equal to what the host wants. Maybe unless they like the same thing, like in remake. Wonder how that works though. TC does come out when he’s with tifa. But aren’t there times in OG where TC overrides the sweet things the player chooses for aerith with something less…sweet? Can I assume he comes out in opposition? Anyway, going by this thinking all I can think of is aerith’s “even if you do it’s not real/just your imagination” is literally, “just your imagination”= aka SC. I realize it’s just sad for her now, but I don’t know if she’s still interested to meet TC (I actually gave up on that but I still want it to happen but not for the LTD). So SC’s narrative finish in OG, but his is only the exposition and rising action for TC in OG. HW is CT’s resolution. Before AC, TC remembers everything right? But he knows that he wasn’t capable at that time of contextualizing feelings (at least that’s what I heard). I did say modified DID (Like Golden Time’s
modified amnesia that almost acts like DID
).

I consider CoT as the equivalent of SC's new life bonding with aerith until his eventual breakdown in mideel. First things look good, he does what he can then realizes he can't bite off more than one can chew, then he retreats to the Church seemingly being at his worst. But in that one it's written more fairy tale like at the start, here it's written in a realistic tone as TC takes the stage this time, properly doing his own side of the story. My understanding of cloud if we're just going by his pattern. He starts off CoT with a desire that tifa could rely on him, at least that's what I got with his " If you’ve forgotten the way you were then, I’ll be there to remind you" as he blushes probably unsure if he could do it. Tifa then proceeds to show him the ropes into his new life with reasonable worries of her own. "He is pushing himself too hard for me. Will he leave one day once the bar gets on the right track? Tifa shook her head trying to drive that doubt away. She told herself she shouldn’t hope for anything more than this" Tifa sure knows this guy's shtick, if I didn't know any better I'd think she's quite traumatized (I mean 4x?) . In my pov, cloud is enthusiastic to prove something in himself, working his ass off with things he isn't comfortable with. Maybe to get back the years he lost and to become the adult he needs to be in this equation. While he's grateful for tifa's support, I can feel that he wants to prove that he can stand on his own so that he could be someone one can rely on. There's one thing I feel bad for cloud though, I wish she could have said something more than just a nod at cloud when he looked at her about the family part. Anyway, I don't know how he took that but after this, he started doing things without consulting her first. Makes sense, cloud wants to be equal/more and therefore have his own will, but it only ends up making tifa lonely. Now, this is where things escalate. I don't know if it has anything to do with the weight of the word "family", but that is a huge responsibility. Everything is a blur after that, we learn he took Elmyra's request. I consider this part as SC's cracks showing up and when aerith tried to help, is akin to Tifa trying to preserve the bond again only to end up in vain. To me, I considered what he told tifa about being unable to talk to Marlene as his answer to her real question, indirectly answering her that he does love her (he does the same with his "beautiful" line, using the drink as a plan B if he failed). I think he's afraid to give her false hopes, not because he doesn't love her but because he doesn't know if he deserves to say it, he isn't sure he can keep it. His usual pattern. Pressured by that desire to prove something in himself w/o relying on others, he took denzel and we realize later why. Things just end up getting worse though no matter how much tifa reassures him of how much he isn't alone in this battle. Truly, they need help. It's not tifa's fault but rather no matter where, as long as cloud continues to not include himself into the equation of things worthy of cherishing then nothing will work in his life, no matter how many "new life" he is blessed with. I consider AC the continuation of mideel but cloud gets a really long therapy with the whole cast where aerith takes the last stage reminding him of what's important as tifa did in the lifestream, himself (forgiving himself, something only he can do). What happens after that, everyone knows that he is ready for battle. I consider Cloud smiling at tifa as their HW equivalent. Blessed with another chance at life (again literally like in OG), knowing he isn't alone and allowing himself to deserve that. Now he knows everything will be alright. Thus concludes the real journey of not SC but Cloud Strife.

Okay this isn't a cloud analysis thread I know but I did this to show that there is a pattern that happens with aerith and him. As L.C. says aerith acts like an opportunity for his redemption. Her death, being his only mistake forces cloud to ponder his own self. He can't keep running away just like how he can't stay inside the illusion called SC. With tifa, I think he is driven with shame (there's still a leeway for escape) but guilt is worse than shame, as it is the highest form of sadness, you can't just sleep on it or go around it. You can't just save a life/bring someone from the dead just to prove your worth, it's not the same as with just trying to be a soldier/hero/delivery man etc. Even if cloud is happy, it’s not easy to show that but we do know he wants to otherwise he could just throw everything away yet didn't (like his phone etc). I’m not surprised why cloud's feelings for aerith in the ultimania is just guilt, it took her literal death just to give him this opportunity for him to challenge his own conflict (both in OG and AC). That’s how strong her death ties into his story. But I think just guilt is sad, so going by what Nomura says about them in KH (showing their relationship). I see an aerith giving guidance to cloud as she does indirectly with her death and with her words of wisdom. Akin to Jesus Christ dying to give the world a chance of forgiveness from their sins, a new life. Also cloud like in OG (as SC), AC (Church), KH (before receiving tifa's light), had to go first to her before the real battle, like a prayer guiding his way. I consider Zack and Aerith both signifying Grace (blessings) and Guidance in Cloud's life. SC might have had feelings for aerith but it doesn't matter, this isn't his story. TC at most is filled with gratitude for her in the way we are grateful to god for answering our prayers (his goal, leading a proper path towards happiness). Thus he will always keep her in his heart, for she has been a vital part of his journey too. PS I think I’ve already implied the same theme with Re!aerith in my last post (pushing SC to tifa and giving him words of wisdom in her resolution).

Uh, going by this I guess I just dropped the Yuki-thoru thing (uh but even Yuki treats thoru like some saint, I swear Thoru and Aerith have similar key plot points ugh). The wavering doesn't seem to be as important to me now. But In a way, spiritual feels really intangible/detached but going by the theme it makes sense. People do hold onto the divine to guide and bless them out of their struggles. For cloud is tormented by his inability to face what he needs to face, to be where he wants to be at. I don't think this is eros, but sometimes people do love their spiritual figures more than their SO, it happens. What aerith has to offer is agape in his mind. I still consider her motherly though, maybe not claudia. It makes me laugh however how similarly she is designed to Mother Mary. The stumping of the serpent (like sepiroth) on her feet + the meaning, her accession in heaven, and her reunion flowers strikingly close to lilies (Mother Mary motif). Keywords earth, flowers/plants, healer and she literally gets called as one. To conclude what I think about this debate, the biggest difference I see with how how he treats aerith and tifa? With aerith he allows himself to be guided by (though sometimes stubborn) but with tifa he refuses to be beneath her, it should be always equal/more (" I don't know about need..."). But soon realizes equal or not, doesn't matter anyway Cloud is Cloud and that’s how she always wanted it anyway.

Bonus: In KH Aerith tells Sora “Stay strong Sora. Don’t let illusions distract you from what’s truly important” then she suddenly disappears. Doesn’t seem to be the same Aerith he’s always been talking to. She does the same guidance and has the same vibe as her resolution. Just wanted to share this lol.

Extra Commentary (not really important):
  • I think cloud is demisexual.
  • I think ZA will die together for some reason.
  • Remake is the 25th anniversary for C & T (CT), but also the continuation of Aerith’s story. This is her story. I always took CA’s promotional artworks as two main characters who influence each other but leading on their own separate narrative. I implied before that aerith acts like a plot device in OG, but after CC etc. her dialogue in OG have been given soul to me but before it was really hollow. Tifa too has been improved tremendously. If my memory doesn’t betray me, I read in an FF8 interview that one of their mistakes in FF7 is not having enough female employee imputed in the mix.
  • The fact that CT weren’t close childhood friends isn’t a negative, it’s a huge plus.
  • “Words aren’t the only thing that show you what you feel” reminded me of P3P akihiko’s
    “let our bodies do the talking”
    . How can anybody think that is anything but suggestive is beyond me.
  • Comparing CT to Tess & Joel (Last of us), and Fran & Balthier (FF12) makes CT quite the scandalous “ambiguous” pairing.
  • Everyone would get CT if this wasn’t a LT.
  • Nojima seem to have a thing for reunions where the girl collects their man (in his other FF games). If anything, I’d say ZA is his most ambitious yet.
  • SC’s relationships. Imagine having a professional relationship with a coworker/classmate. You talk, interact, go through hurdles and have comradery from that. Though outside of that space, there's nothing more (hollow). connecting only through the surface (SC) is not fake but rather incomplete. You can call it a start, but as long as you're not permitted (through TC), then its close, but no cigar.
  • Feck that “it wasn’t serious”, it’s almost synonymous with cloud’s “no!” when asked if tifa is his girlfriend. Technically, it was both not serious by dating standards and tifa isn’t his girlfriend. But the thing is, both of them desire so badly for it to be so!
  • I’m so sappy but essentially Cloud’s whole thing is “You can always choose to be happy if you really want to”. As faint heart never won fair lady.
  • Kid cloud saying he wanted to be like Sepiroth, sounds like a foreshadowing to madness now.
  • I hate how much Thinking of you (Katy Perry) and This I promise you (NSYNC) is 1:1 to ZA and CT. wth
  • I have great expectation for the HW, considering the writer gave his own birthday to that event.
  • I think Aerith’s lover referred to SC not TC.
  • AC seems to have Christian references. Both OG has Nordic and Tree of Life (kabbalah) references. I think?
I feel like I went super intense in my last post but it is what it is haha, if I look crazy then so be it (right /wrong). Essentially I’m just saying that SE wants the players to keep in the flow of the story, they aren’t angry. I let myself entertain it because this reminds me of Fullmetal Panic! Where Shoji Gatoh seemed to sacrifice his own preference in subtlety/ambiguity when writing vol. 8 for a more direct season 4. Yet there were still people who missed the point. I’m done now and have nothing else to post and I realized this seemed rather self-indulgent haha (I just wanted to get my thoughts out there but I'm still weird about it...) but anyhow i had so much fun reading all the analysis of this IP. Have a good day everyone!
 

eleamaya

Pro Adventurer
Whoa! Did you write a theses? I dont even reply your previous one yet.

Have you guys taken the Yuki-Thoru (fruits basket) perspective on cloud and aerith's relationship (particularly on cloud's pov)? I've seen some already brought up the mother aspect.
Well, I've read manga since 90s and I read Fruit Basket manga at the time of its serialization. Nah, I just complete it and never reread or dive myself in the fandom; so I really forget the detail to analyze the characters and their relationship. I just remember I was on Kyo Team since the beginning. And since I'm sucker for tragedy, my fave one is Tohru's parents lol.

I really like Akira x Tomoe in RK. I can't help but imagine the smile and tears she'll be having on her face once she sees zack again).
You've liked my 13 posts so you might've known I ever mentioned about Kiyosato x Tomoe x Kenshin similarly with Zack x Aerith x Cloud. Kenshin loves Tomoe romantically but he felt very guilty not only because of her death but also because he found out he's the one who took her happiness (by killing her fiancee), he probably never knows Tomoe had loved him, too, not revenge anymore.

And the woman's feelings?

Anyway, I also wanna share this doujins for you

I also find similarity about Kenshin x Kaoru to Cloti. An online friend who study Japanese Literature said that "a man leaving his woman/family to face his own problem "is classic/historical JP trope and then he return after overcoming it. Besides Kenshin when Shishio declared war so he left to Kyoto, I can see this pattern in shounen manga like Naruto (with Sasuke character) and One Piece (with Sanji). Cloud also did this before AC.


I don’t know Nojima as a writer but this guy sure has a thing for patterns and repetition
To put it simply, regarding romance, Nojima values a deep and long-lasting relationship in hardship, a romantic relationship that needs to be maintained because once you confess your feelings and declare that "hey, we're official/canon now", it's not over yet. Let's pick his writings in FF7, FF8, and FF10. But I dont wanna repeat that because I know you've read and liked my post talking about it.

Based on that pattern, Clerith doesn't even stand a chance. And I agree with you that fact is both Cloud and Aerith's feelings ever wavered, to Cloud it's between them her and Tifa, and to Aerith, it's between him and Zack: hence, a LTD (or LSD for Compilation). But, again, this fact doesn't matter as it never goes anywhere that they eventually reunite with and return to their respective partner. From illusion/fake love to the real/true one.

Well, as Aerith said, "Even if you do (fall in love with me), it's not real." which Toriyama also confirms in FF7R Material Ultimania Plus that Aerith also reflect the line to herself.

I hate how much Thinking of you (Katy Perry)
There are two AMVs in youtube about Aerith seeing Zack in Cloud using this song. Heck, the original PV of the singer literally telling it without AMV, Though, her arc is she finally moving on from that grief so her feelings for Cloud as her second love is genuine (just to reunite with her dead first love in the next few days ironically)
 
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Biscuit

Lv. 1 Adventurer
AKA
Bikit
Whoa! Did you write a theses?
>_<|||
since I'm sucker for tragedy
I don't read a lot of tragedy (it triggers me) but maybe you'll like these ones (though I think you already know them ahaha): Tsuka No Ma No Ichika, I Want to Hold Aono-kun So Badly I Could Die, and Bronze No Tenshi (not a fave but it's based in real life).
Kiyosato x Tomoe x Kenshin similarly with Zack x Aerith x Cloud.
Hmm I don't know if we've arrived at the same conclusion. I forgot the summary you made. But mine's not far from my narration with One more chance, One more time (except the "false image"part).
I'm only going to refer to the manga ver because to me the 2 OVA and Live-action are really different. In my POV Tomoe was at the height of her depression, anger, longing, etc. Fast forward into their "married" life, to me I see Tomoe being able to relieve the things she wasn't able to do with Akira (be a wife, etc). I mean he was her childhood love so I can only imagine she had fantasies of their future then taken away so suddenly. I don't think she just liked Kenshin as himself, I feel like his kindness also reminded her of akira (that's my head canon because that guy did everything just to see her smile, to the point he would endanger his life. Got to hurt kenshin despite being really weak because he just can't die yet, god I love that panel. I can't possibly think that kenshin loved tomoe more than akira). Fast forward, she tells her truth to kenshin. Now, for me? I think Tomoe did love kenshin but she didn't love him more than akira. By the time of her sacrifice, she did it for 3 people: Kenshin (to show her gratitude for giving her a second chance at her dreams/regrets like to smile/save his life, Allowing her to remain as herself because she didn't have to kill him, and that kenshin's kindness & dreams for the new age give akira's death have meaning, that he didn't die just in vain) , Tomoe (To redeem herself from her sin of loving her fiance's killer), Akira (to finally be with him) . Summary is akira>tomoe>kenshin>enishi for Tomoe. I always thought if akira was her first priority, then it would make more sense why she didn't thought of enishi or her father when she decided to do this (because I feel really bad for enishi). Tomoe always had another choice if she wanted to live, she could have just told the truth to kenshin that night but choose not to because her priority was to protect him (reminds me of her regret w/akira but this is battousai lol, trust in him). There are other more factors why I think she loved akira more but anyway, I liked that she smiled at kenshin during her deathbed. It's like she was telling him, "You have no idea how much you made me happy and this was my choice, so please don't cry" than her OVA and live-action. She felt more "just being Human" in the manga while in the others, it's like she was putting a curse onto him as she places a wound right next to akira's. Anyway that's about it. I don't know if it's the same as yours, but I think it still ties in a bit with Zack x Aerith x Cloud. Where aerith too, is at the height of her grief ( who like tomoe, for 4 years probably fantasized a future with zack only for it to be taken away). Then she meets cloud who helped her relieve the things she couldn't do/ wanted to remember (like how I imagined with kenshin). Every step amplified what she could have felt for SC and later on, wanted to do something for him (gratitude) but ends up dying. Maybe love? I don't know. But that's how I see those three tying up in this formula (but it's tremendously toned down etc). Actually, If I'm just going by my theory with SC, that would mean she fell in love with two soldiers who died too early. But Zack takes the win for me because SC is unfaithful and questionable at best haha. Though I think, whatever happened with CA in OG was more for aerith's story than TC's. I really did think it was only a plot device and her death was the thing that connects her to TC.
Anyway, I also wanna share this doujins for you
Hahaha thank you! but as a Kenkao fan I've definitely seen his works. But yes, I really loved this one!

"a man leaving his woman/family to face his own problem "is classic/historical JP trope and then he return after overcoming it
But both kenshin and cloud keeps forgetting something. The power of friendship/relationship haha.

Regarding Nojima's writing, tbh I think DoT to AC would have been a really difficult read with how inorganic it feels (also it's weird transition from OG). If I didn't saw that OG was like it's direct blueprint (If I'm right), then I could see why people thought of tifa that way. For some reason in both OG & CoT- AC, Tifa always gets the damage because of the way it's written. I get that it was like a modified 1:1 restart for TC, but it could have been handled way better. Anyway, If I'm right then I see CT's being tributed properly in Remake and I'm super excited for the fans who had to wait for so long. I'm not shipping anybody in FF7 (well maybe Tifa x rufus) but as a ShinRan fan (Detective Conan) I get the pain. Mine hasn't even reunited yet in the truest sense since 1994.
Though, her arc is she finally moving on from that grief so her feelings for Cloud as her second love is genuine
Hmm I'm not asserting my stance on this one, but my personal opinion of that is she fell in love more with the idea of moving on from zack with SC, than SC himself but she does so subconsciously. Usually (even if it's not romantic), It's quite difficult to say that she just moved on from her grief while knowing completely nothing of what happened and why I like how she's searching for answers in remake, maybe she realizes that. To me there's a difference with moving on (reactive) and moving forward (proactive), the latter needs for you to handle your past first while the former expects that you throw/forget it. But In game, I suppose we could say that aerith completely fell in love with SC but I just couldn't see her loving him more than Zack considering the nature of their beginning (plus there seems to be a part in aerith that pushes her thoughts of zack away). Plus going by what I said in my third post, even if she lived it'll only end up in vain because he isn't real & he's dependent on tifa's opinion. Seriously at first I thought the devs were just trolling with the star-crossed lovers thing but they weren't kidding (but it's mostly only on her part). But it only adds to the tragedy of her character in OG.
You've liked my 13 posts
ughhh I can only imagine the notification for the others, It didn't cross my mind at all. (×_×)

Also I forgot to ask, if anyone can answer me. What is that thing with the DokiDoki? I see it everywhere? all I know it's about cloud's heart skipping a beat? The cleriths I've seen really hold onto that but I couldn't get a good source anywhere, was it from the game? I probably forgot....
 

eleamaya

Pro Adventurer
I don't know if we've arrived at the same conclusion.
It's same, I just never breakdown Soldier!Cloud and Real!Cloud when it comes to Aerith's feelings. I dont really like discuss that. To me, Aerith loves both men, in the same case as Tomoe, period. Actually, I wish Nojima addressed her line in COLW like how Tomoe says "the second man I love" not plain "koibito/more than a friend, for she had loved" because this fuel the debate as if Aerith didn't love Zack anymore, that Cloud is her ONLY love.

I also like the moment right before Tomoe goes out of the hut protecting Kenshin, she feels like she saw Akira, "I can't protect this man so this time, I'll protect him." My HC is Aerith feels the same when she's about to leave the party in Gongaga, she couldn't save Zack (who knows her prayer in CC ending contains great gospel within the rain that pouring down in Zack's last moment), so this time, she would protect Cloud from Sephiroth.

And this is me wonder because it's never addressed in the Compilation, but just as Kenshin finding out the truth in Tomoe's diary about him killing her fiancee and why she follows him that it deepen his guilty to both of them (thus, his X-scar never fade till him completely move on with Kaoru in ending), I want Cloud to react the same after he regain his true self and remember Zack; he must remember how Aerith searched Zack and may think Aerith really think Zack had dumped her to new girlfriend in Gongaga because he can't tell her the truth that he was there in Zack's final moment (and maybe he ever heard Zack's screaming "Why do you mean final! Aerith, wait for me" in Banora as the event is just few days before the ambush) and give her closure... so seeing they're together in AC ending would also reassure him.

but as a Kenkao fan
I'm not Kenkao fan lmao. I'm rooted to Sano x Megumi but damn, they dont go anywhere. And yes, I love Ken x Tomoe.

I just couldn't see her loving him more than Zack
When did I say that? I would never support that idea. And didn't I say I view her feelings similarly to Tomoe? Even to the point that they want to protect the men? This is me trying to clear up things because Clerith shippers always spread propaganda of Matsuyama's writings that she loves Cloud much than Zack and I'm tired of that
Yep, I edit that Wiki page, including Cloti and Clerith page lol. You can check it on the history.

but as a ShinRan fan (Detective Conan) I get the pain. Mine hasn't even reunited yet in the truest sense since 1994.
I've been reading Detective Conan since 1998 (because that's when the manga is officially published in my country) till today. Main pairing tend to be not my OTP lol. So I'm fangirling more with Takagi x Miwako and Makoto x Sonoko, even Ran's parents. I know Childhood friends is JP trope I'm never against, but it's also not my favorite (Kogoro x Eri is childhood friends but the story is not about them but their marriage relationship, right?). I dont like Heiji x Kazuha, and it's because they're so stupid with their feelings (man I hate slow-burn and this is why Tifa is not my preference in OG despite my support of Cloti endgame status) and I dont have time to their drama with Momiji. Anyway, ShinRan is far better, Shinichi is straight-forward and I've already viewed them going to Tropical Land as a date since first volume, there goes the fancy dinner in fine dine restaurant and confession in London lol. Shinichi is a man! That's why their classmates say Shinichi is Ran's husband like.... it's not even a secret and Ran doesn't seem bothered by that as she also admits it to Sonoko. It's just the cruel circumstance that prevent him (as Conan) be honest with Ran---I also love the angst how she waits for him and how he wants to "return" to her as Shinchi.

What is that thing with the DokiDoki? I see it everywhere? all I know it's about cloud's heart skipping a beat? The cleriths I've seen really hold onto that but I couldn't get a good source anywhere, was it from the game?
Isn't from the game itself? The power of strength description? Doki doki is in JP version and "heart skip a beat" is in NA version
 
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Biscuit

Lv. 1 Adventurer
AKA
Bikit
her line in COLW like how Tomoe says "the second man I love" not plain "koibito/more than a friend, for she had loved" because this fuel the debate as if Aerith didn't love Zack anymore, that Cloud is her ONLY love.
I won't elaborate but at that point I didn't really react to the characters/story. I was just purely pissed off at the writer.
When did I say that? I would never support that idea.
???? you never did said that. I just wanted to say that, that's all? I'm confused. I was 100% speaking out of wanting to share only and tried to elaborate why, uh maybe it came off the wrong way. Apologies, this happens to me a lot. Being really new to all this (9 months superrr on/off), I don't really know much about the depths cleriths go and I see it only in passing (the severe ones are loud though). At best they really just remind me of Ranka x Alto fans (Macross Frontier) so I just move on with my day. otp-oasis-heavenxearth is probably the only clerith whose analysis I've ever read off of too.
Isn't from the game itself?
lol so I did forget about it. Only until very recently I've started engaging with the fandom, I see it brought up sometimes in reddit/youtube/Game FAQs and some in this forum too. I asked a cloti once on tumblr and they said it's related to an interview and that some cleriths hold onto it like proof. Anyway every time I ask/see about it, the answer keeps on changing so I wanted to know the whole context but maybe it's nothing really serious... I personally thought it was something that evolved along the years at least in my pov as an outsider.
I hate how much Thinking of you (Katy Perry) and This I promise you (NSYNC) is 1:1 to ZA and CT. wth
I'd have to add Say So (Doja cat) to CT (promise that's the last one ahaha). It didn't enter my mind before, but how can I forget. That's basically everything cloud's been doing to tifa. This boy is too darn frustrating smh. But I guess the JP ver suits her better.
 

eleamaya

Pro Adventurer
they said it's related to an interview
Oooh, maybe it's in FF7R Material Ultimania Plus. Toriyama makes comments on many things of the scenario in that book. Sorry, I forget too

I'd have to add Say So (Doja cat) to CT (promise that's the last one ahaha). It didn't enter my mind before, but how can I forget. That's basically everything cloud's been doing to tifa. This boy is too darn frustrating smh.
Never hear that song. I usually comes to rock or emo song when it's about Cloud. So I'm glad Nomura also thinks the same haha.
 

Biscuit

Lv. 1 Adventurer
AKA
Bikit
Oooh, maybe it's in FF7R Material Ultimania Plus. Toriyama makes comments on many things of the scenario in that book. Sorry, I forget too
haha that's quite alright, thank you, I'll look at that material. I was just super curious why cleriths hold onto it so much because from my experience with seeing "doki doki" (in any genre/demographic) it's usually almost never (if ever actually) used in a serious or vital context in Japanese media. So when I first heard that cloud's heart skip a beat at aerith, my blind assumption was cloud just being an inexperienced harem protagonist. hmm somewhat like Rito ( To Love Ru). As I've heard that it's quite an inside joke that cloud's a known virgin to Japanese audiences (though the boy does try to clumsily flirt w/ tifa whenever he can, priorities haha).
when it's about Cloud
oh no no haha, I meant in Tifa's pov about cloud's conflict pattern (Rainych's jp cover of Say so fits her more innocent vibe though, plus the song seems rather fitting for Alone at last's context). But I agree, those genres do fit cloud. I guess Within/ Touch (Daft Punk) fits cloud for me, while Into the light (Yuki kajiura) fits CA/ZA for me, however you want to look at it.

 

Biscuit

Lv. 1 Adventurer
AKA
Bikit
Going by the new trailer uh I used to think Zack was the main subject for Hollow but now I think It's actually closer to Tifa. Maybe both of them lol. But lines such as him 1) becoming whole, 2) thinking if it was all a dream, being foolish and blind etc (maybe questioning her existence due to his cluelessness), 3) the "never let you go" is like the same thing andrea tells him about tifa etc , 4) the "dark mysteries lurking beneath those smiles" is like tifa's apprehension about the truth, 5) "This void to fill" in relation to his selfishness/ emptiness is what makes up his alter (the fill to cope with the pain), 6) the "hidden inside your tears" considering tifa is the only one who cried in front of him without explaining much why, and last but not least

"But I I know
That you're long gone
But I I will
Go on howling, and hollow"

Considering the new trailer and probably obvious to some people already maybe..., true cloud might really be considering that tifa is actually really REALLY dead and that hollow is true cloud's internal monologue inside soldier cloud. Part 1 felt like a second chance for him, not questioning much if his memories are real of her dying or tifa is fake because he was just too happy to see her again (I can see why Sephiroth is letting him remember stuff more easily unlike before, he's betting on tifa's imperfect recollection to break their reality). During alone at last, when tifa told him "that we would never meet again" he was completely forlorn looking down because the last thing he saw of her was her dying. There's a high chance he really bit into Sephiroth's scheme for rebirth and the cloud who says "reunion" in the trailer (other timeline cloud) is the consequence if the current cloud really looses his connection to tifa. Tbh, I think resolution aerith is helping him out for him to not get stuck in that illusion because his life will genuinely be in detriment (that's her *guidance but lol she could have been more specific but maybe she doesn't know yet what Sephiroth's plans are if that was OG aerith).

I suppose I'm actually still underestimating Tifa's importance and I thought I didn't lol smh. If I remember correctly? . .. The devs laughed weirdly saying "yeah zack and cloud are close it could be about that" along those lines? when someone asked if hollow was about zack. Uh not sure but if this was really about tifa and they thought it was about zack, my mind would go directly to thinking that the one who asked is some kind of zack x cloud fan and I would also laugh. But lol I'm not even sure if that incident was legit lol. but I still think zack is still part of that song, he's the last straw afterall afterall those tragedy. the song was played in a chapter that reminisce about him and the last part of part 1 where he does appear. but logic is telling me tifa is closer to it now considering how they're making her "death" and her being a "lie/imposter", out to be what breaks true cloud completely making Sephiroth's plan succeed. And lol I read that players don't even need to play part 1 to get rebirth??? But why? If I'm just going by my weird take with the resolutions, i suppose part 1 was mostly to establish the importance of their connection and to refresh or add major points/world building tbh it's a grand exposition lol but the main story is just about to begin...so you know, you wouldn't be confused why she's taking so much spotlight on his internal conflict (if you failed to get that in OG). But uh overall, it's a shame I didn't get to see much of zack in the new trailer but I guess the first one actually addresses him more but they can't just say too much because unlike with tifa's his is completely new content.

Not sure if this should count on this thread though but I suppose why not considering Cleriths think this is about CA when that's like the least further from the truth (especially now) as she isn't dead yet and this time devs are adding the new concept where true cloud really thinks tifa is dead unlike in OG. Considering the new trailer, Hollow might exist as a blueprint for the main conflict in rebirth, doesn't have to be shippy... But uh it's just the narrative being a narrative lol.

Uh yeah I suppose that's about it just wanted to share my thoughts because I really thought it was completely only about zack lol and there wasn't much who thought it was about tifa. I could have expanded the lyrics more in connection to tifa but I think it will only be redundant and annoyingly long but overall it's like a mix of sadness and intense regret and him really bitting onto the lie Sephiroth fed him.....and I love it because it will only make the pay off much much better later on. I suppose 8 more months to go, I'm just glad I came to this IP late so I didn't have to wait too long lol.
 

null

Mr. Thou
AKA
null
Hey as long as they're civil and not, say, harassing Nojima over Clessie on Twitter - again - seriously, like yesterday - they can recycle ancient talking points all day long.
 

Stiggie

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Stiggie
Apparently this clip caused a bit of a stir:


I guess we can expect more interesting takes from streamers and influencers on this particular topic as we get closer to Rebirth’s release
Its honestly depressing that this constitutes as convincing arguments to some people, I mean, it takes about 2 seconds of research, or hell, thought, to understand why this is a complete misrepresentation of what is happening in FFVII, and especially in AC.
 
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LNK

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Nate
Forreal. Even playing through the Wall Market section that was talked about in the video should not be taken at face value. Not even close
 

KindOfBlue

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Blue
Twitter was already a cesspool before Elon with all this LTD garbage, now we can get both Elon AND the LTD garbage! Yay! Friggin’ kill me, already…

If only SE would just put the final nail in the coffin on this subject. No room for debate, no ambiguity, no “it’s up to the player” nonsense.
 

Theozilla

Kaiju Member
Twitter was already a cesspool before Elon with all this LTD garbage, now we can get both Elon AND the LTD garbage! Yay! Friggin’ kill me, already…

If only SE would just put the final nail in the coffin on this subject. No room for debate, no ambiguity, no “it’s up to the player” nonsense.
I mean SE basically already has, they just also like to advertise and play up the romantic drama of the LT, which is pretty common with many popular romance/romance having stories with LTs in them (like plenty of shōnen and shōjo do that all the time), combine that with people often being obsessed with the idea of a one true "singular love", that is bound to perpetuate drama. This person ruminates on that aspect well.

Screenshot 2023-12-10 at 1.22.48 PM.png
TresDias/The Twilight Mexican, touched upon this before in his old LTD analysis dissertation a decade ago, but I think he hit the nail on the head that what's kept the FFVII Love Triangle drama going for so long (besides Cloud being a fandom bicycle) isn't due to any narrative and/or textual ambiguity (which there really isn't much), but more is that because Aerith died, and thus unlike other stories with love triangles and romance where a protagonist eventually actively chooses between two (or more) romantic options, circumstances of plot external to the romance result in a story where that explcit resolution of choice is taken away. Thus people are always able to speculate and argue on the "what if..." in regards to the subject of FFVII's romance and characters.
 

Enthralll

Lv. 1 Adventurer
Updated list of BlankBeat's Victims... except it's just all the staff and lifestream users.

I know you've had a whole weekend to erect your cope but the spiraling social media meltdowns among cloti and zerith, even up to and including harassing Nojima over it, have said enough.

This forum spent decades denying Clerith with the most desperate technicalities but now Square releases a trailer full of explicitly chosen moments to frame their new theme song. Then put those moments in the background of its page about the song. And the singer of the song mentions Cloud and Aerith by name as those she had to learn about to prepare for the song. They spent money and marketing capital on this. Against which your words are meaningless. After all, who are you anyway? It's a clear case of actions (and effort) speaking louder than words (and sophistry).

What even are the coping mechanisms this time? That you can still hold out hope these were all clumsy misstatements? That none of them force you in particular to accept what they're saying? I mean, I'm sorry, but your positions aren't above the same scrutiny-- if we can't take all of what we just saw seriously, why should we take you seriously?
 
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