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Perseverance (Clessie Club)

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
#30
And on that note, here's an amazing piece that was a commission for Erica Lindbeck, Jessie's VA in the remake:


http://instagr.am/p/B2HqGQZDXDH/
Man, why does she have to die? I'm really gonna miss her in the later installments, I think. I just hate that in order to get to the rest of the story, that has to happen to her. If only she could be saved, but then that would alter the story a bit. Oh, well. At least we'll have her around for at least half a game this time, and hopefully she'll be a prominent part of the time she's there.
 

Odysseus

Pro Adventurer
#31
Here here, brother.

I've been thinking about this for a bit now, and I think it's time to share my "why the fuck do I like this minor character so much" story. When I first played FF7 back in 2012, I didn't care about her at all. You talk to her maybe five times, and by the time I got to Kalm I had already pretty much completely forgotten about her. She's a minor character, why should I care? Obstinate Melon's ff7 comic was probably the first thing to warm me up to her a little. She's part of a few fun jokes towards the beginning of the comic. a particularly memorable one is when she gives cloud his "special" ID card, the ID image is just her naked. Cloud later uses this card to prove that he's a sexy naked girl and not obviously a man in drag. That may have been part of it, but it's not the real reason.

You can blame @Shademp entirely for me liking her so much, actually. Once I started looking onto FF7's unused content, and subsequently working on my unused content restoration mod, I got really attached. It was these unused interactions with her on the train that got me:


Seeing those (and then putting them back in the game ) is what did it. Hearing her motivation for joining Avalanche, seeing her trying to reach out to Cloud when he's at his most guarded, that's when she became more than a forgettable NPC to me, that's when I started seeing her as an actual person with complex emotions. With that in mind, I started paying more attention to her other scenes, and it clicked that she was actually pretty badly shaken by how much damage her bomb did. After the mission her heart is racing, while everyone else is yucking it up in the basement, she's watching the news quietly and taking in how much death and destruction she caused. There's ANOTHER unused scene the next day where all the Avalanche members are hesitant to continue, but she tries to put on a brave face and carry on. Later at the pillar, she's so remorseful about what she did that she thinks she deserves to die for it.

Here was this person, suffering in silence while the plot left her in the background. She dies a miserable death at the hands of fan favorite pretty boy Reno, and that's it. She never gets a chance to make up for her actions like the main characters do. And then she's just forgotten, by the game, by the player, and by the compilation. That's pretty fucking sad, isn't it? So yeah, I got attached.

Some time after that, I drew this abomination:

d8wnb3h-874344b8-625c-48dd-bad0-93783394e0bd.jpg

And while that drawing might be hot garbage, it made me realize something else: Jessie's character design is like, really good. My best way of really getting to know a character is by drawing them. And jessie has a main character tier design IMO. The way her red headband compliments her brown hair and eyes. And how that's contrasted by the blue shirt. She really pops! And the silver armor adds a nice level of detail. She just plain fun to draw. This little portrait of her I did is probably in my top 3 drawings I've ever done:

jessie_doodle_by_thestrifeisrife_ddla0ut-pre.png

And thaaaaaaat's my college dissertation on why I like Jessie. D end.

EDIT: There were so many goddamn typos in this thing, don't write long posts on your phone at 2 AM kids
 
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Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
#32
A+, Ody! Lol, j/k

Anyway, since we're on the topic now of why we like Jessie, I guess I'll share my story. I've always liked her ever since I first played FFVII back when I was in college and it had just come out - yeah, I'm 42 and a geezer, lol. I almost missed FFVII entirely, since that year I had originally gotten an N64 for Christmas like I had asked for. I didn't know anything about Playstation or Final Fantasy at the time. But my mom and my older brother convinced me to let him exchange the N64 for a PS1, and since I didn't know what games there were for it, I pretty much let my brother decide. FFVII was one of the two that he got me, but I never actually got around to playing it until that spring (I had played the other game, MK Trilogy, instead since I was really into MK at the time). But while on spring break, I got curious about FFVII so I decided to try it out.

I was hooked right away, and Jessie's cute, geeky nature appealed to me. Still does, hehe. I had originally thought she would be Cloud's love interest or part of a triangle and didn't realize Aerith was more than just another random character until I met her in the church later - the first time I played, I didn't buy a flower and I just sent her on her way, lol. Anyway, I could tell right off that Jessie had a crush on Cloud, and I hated losing her in the pillar. That's gonna be hell in the remake, and I hope they make it a real tearjerking, gut-wrenching moment - the big emotional blow of FFVIIR Part 1, in other words, like Aerith's loss was for the original game.

But while I liked her, I never really thought much about her until the remake came along and we got those new trailers last year. And, ahem, I have to say that Jessie's gotten hotter with every new bit of footage they've shown us. She also gives a whole new meaning to the term "breastplate", hehe. It was also when I started writing Lifestream, and doing that made me like her even more since it was an opportunity to give her and Cloud a lot more interaction together than what was shown in the game and expand her character and story, especially when it came time to write her end in the pillar. As it got closer to the time to do that, I found myself reluctant to do it. I'd gotten attached to her and didn't want her to disappear from the story, but I didn't want to diverge from canon and make it AU, either.

Also, writing that part of the story - Jessie's death - brought up a lot of thoughts and feelings of my own from when I lost my girlfriend back in 2011. She didn't look like Jessie, but she was like her in some ways. Caring, a bit goofy sometimes, energetic, and no stranger to computers - she wasn't really a tech whiz like Jessie, but she knew her way around and could get to where she wanted to go without much trouble. She was also flirty, and when we were first going out, it was actually more her pursuing me than the other way around, since I was so shy and had never had a girlfriend before. I remember she came to my door once with one of those big vinyl roses for me, and she was the one who initiated our first kiss, the first one I had ever had. Like Jessie, she didn't do much to hide her feelings.

So when writing Cloud's feelings about losing Jessie, I ended up drawing on my own to do it. It was hard at times, and I don't know if writing Aerith's loss will affect me in the same way. Well, to some extent, probably. But Jessie got there first, and so that experience bonded me to her and her tragic story. I ended up writing in a few post-death appearances for her in Shinra HQ - her spirit appears now and then to help Cloud in his efforts to rescue Aerith - and once more when she comes to him in a dream while he's in the cell with Tifa.

The dream wasn't an idle idea, either, and it had more than one purpose. It wasn't just to let Jessie show up again but also to bring her and Cloud's part of the story some closure that they weren't able to have when she was alive. There was also a personal, real-life influence for the dream. I haven't told very many people about it, as it's something very special and private for me. Let's just say that art sometimes imitates life.

Final Fantasy VII: Lifestream

Anyway, seeing how much Jessie was featured in the trailers and how likeable they made her really got me excited about the possibilities for her and Cloud in the remake. They could have left her out of the trailers entirely and just focused on Aerith and Tifa, but they didn't. Jessie's gotten almost as much screen time as they have. All she needs now is a nice, shiny, hires profile render to really show off her beautiful figure.

I've also been developing a mod for the PC version of FFVII that, unsurprisingly, involves Jessie - yeah, you knew that would be part of it, lol. It was originally just going to be a simple vanilla enhancement mod with a script revision based dialogue changes from my story - better drop/steal rates, additional item and equipment locations, etc. - but as I've gotten better at using the modding tools (many thanks to Ody for his continued help with Makou Reactor!), it's ballooned into something much more.

I'm implementing features such as an expansion to the affection system which not only includes notifications whenever a character gains or loses affection but also adds Jessie to the system, though her affection value has a different purpose and doesn't tie into the Gold Saucer date for obvious reasons. So you'll still take one of the original four on the date, but now you'll be able to earn rewards - items, armor, an accessory, or even a weapon - for winning a character's affection. Each character will give you a different reward. And you'll also be given a new key item, a token of affection that will let you get a further reward later in the game by talking to certain NPC's. For Aerith, Tifa, Yuffie, and Barret, I plan to have them give their rewards once you get off the gondola but before returning to the station to start the Cait Sith chase.

Jessie, due to her much shorter time in the game, is a bit different. To compensate for how little time you're able to have with her, she will give you two rewards instead of just one, as well as her token of affection key item - which, like the others, will be able to get you further rewards late in the game (again, two instead of one). She'll give you her rewards during your last encounter with her in the Sector 7 pillar if you've treated her well enough before that. She'll also have expanded dialogue which again, will only be seen if her affection level is high enough. Otherwise you'll get her standard speech. I've added new dialogue and interactions to give you several opportunities to boost Jessie's affection. Here's one of them, which allows you to do something for her that you previously never could before:



I've also added several new scenes to show what before we only heard about from Tifa - what went back in Sector 7 while Cloud was with Aerith. Here's the first of them, showing Tifa and Barret arriving back home after escaping from Reactor 5:

Return to the 7th Heaven

Probably my biggest addition (other than the script revision) - and my most recent - is going to be what I call the AVALANCHE Database. It's basically an in-game information source that you'll be able to access from any save point and can tell you about the enemies and treasures in the area, things to watch out for, and more. Storywise, it was created and designed by Jessie, and she'll give you a new key item early in the game for it. It's not just a series of info pages though. At least, that's the idea. Jessie herself - well, an AI patterned after her appearance and personality (as far as the story is concerned) - is your guide in the ADB and will talk from time to time about things that are happening in the game. She'll also introduce you to the ADB the first time you open it. I may come up with other things for her to say as well, such as when going from one part of the ADB to another, to make it feel like she's really interacting with you. Here's the main screen of the ADB, it's all I have done so far since I just started it recently:




It's gonna be a lot of work to make, but I'm hopeful I can pull it off. And it has the very nice (and very intentional, hehe) side effect of keeping Jessie in the game long past the time she would normally be gone. So yes, I like Jessie very much. She's a bright, beautiful, but tragic character, and I guess that's part of what draws me to her. Also the fact that she's the underdog to Aerith and Tifa, and I've always had a soft spot for such characters. I've also begun writing a Lifestream side story about Jessie and her background, so keep an eye out for it, I think I'll be starting to post it soon once I get the next chapter of Lifestream itself up. Jessie's such a good, underrated character and deserves to have center stage for once, so I decided to give it to her.

Aaaand that's my story, folks! So, who's next? :mon:
 

Ryvius

It's Rihv-EYE-us :P
#33
I am quite drawn to Jessie (not into Clessie, though, admittedly). Perhaps because I am also a techie, always tend the campfire, and am obsessed with cargo pants and freedom from oppressive corporations. I'm also looking forward to seeing her character fleshed out, because in the original she has interesting dialog and comes off as a good concept that was never developed. Did she grow up in Midgar? Was there a specific moment when she decided to join AVALANCHE and resort to violence to achieve her goals; is she partially motivated by revenge like the other characters? Where did she learn her skills? What are her likes and dislikes? I admit I'm curious as to what she would've contributed had she not died. Not just narratively, but through skillset as well - she was the only nerd of the group. I assume she'll be fighting with the party in combat, so ideally we'll get to see what her combat style is like. There are definitely benefits to the expanded format of the remake, and I think Jessie (and Biggs/Wedge) will be one of them.

Do you guys like Lucca from Chrono Trigger? She is a lot like Jessie, I think.

That being said, I still like Reno, Ody. :monster: I think most of FFVII's characters are likeable in spite of questionable actions.
 
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#34
Lucca is best Chrono Trigger gal (with Ayla close second). Nerdy tech ladies are awesome.

EDIT: On the same topic I have to fanboy out about Alia from Mega Man X. She is an analyst who navigates hunters on their missions and she's a computer specialist with a background in Reploid engineering. Alia is very professional and is able to push her emotions aside if the mission requires it. While Alia gets a lot of flack for constantly interrupting gameplay in Mega Man X5 (and that criticism is well-earned) I have a soft spot for this supporting character.

 
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Odysseus

Pro Adventurer
#35
Ayla is probably my favorite Chrono Trigger girl, just because her extremely simple world view and straight forward attitude always makes me laugh (give dactyl!) But yeah, I like Lucca a lot too. Never played any Megaman games, but I've been meaning to try the X series.
 

Odysseus

Pro Adventurer
#37
Aw, that's pretty cute!

You know, there were a lot of people who didn't even realize Jessie was a girl until the remake trailers started cropping up. I wonder if that played a part in the general apathy surrounding her.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
#38
It might have - her original model doesn't make it too clear with the way her hair is, but the one from the Reunion mod collection does a much better job of it. I always knew, though.
 

Ryvius

It's Rihv-EYE-us :P
#39
I thought she was a guy during my first playthrough as well, until I saw her concept art. Jessie was very androgynous for her time, especially for Japan. I do think that more people would have been more interested in her if they knew she was a girl.
 

Odysseus

Pro Adventurer
#40
She's the only one who actually wears pants. When you're as low poly as ff7 was, that makes a big difference. While I'm still no fan of graphical upgrade mods (popeye arms 4 lyfe) I will admit that the mod you're using does help with this, Jairus.
 
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Odysseus

Pro Adventurer
#42
I knew you wanted that render for something like that, you were so persistent about it lol. Like, I know I was being all "lower your expectations" to you yesterday, but I'm so happy I was wrong about her getting a render. Gives me hope we'll get to see a lot of the BWJ trio in Remake.

You mighta seen that comic I'm making, well I'm coloring the second page now. It's got narration by Jessie over it, and I'm going to be designing a younger (like 2 or 3 years before the game) version of her soon. I'll post the design here to see what the gang thinks. Also, there's a certain drawing I commissioned that's coming soon which you're probably gonna like a lot, look forward to it.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
#43
Cool, sounds good! Can't wait to see what you've got. And yes, I did want the render for a project of mine, different from this one - it was the last piece, as it were, though I could have released it without it as it's otherwise basically finished. I'll post a thread about it once I'm ready to release it. That little wallpaper I just thought of doing today when I saw the render - couldn't resist, lol.

And here's the Valentine's Day version of the above wallpaper:



Oh and I've recently begun a major revision of Book 1 of Lifestream - I felt that there wasn't enough development between the trio and Cloud prior to the plate collapse and that the progression of their friendship (and the mutual attraction with Jessie) progressed too quickly, though that was due in part to the short time between the two missions and how much I was confining myself to that. But I felt that expanding it might make Cloud's warming up to them all more believable and less rushed - I was never fully satisfied with how it turned out. So the revision actually begins two months before the Reactor 1 mission, just after Tifa first finds Cloud at the train station. Gives me more freedom since nothing is really known of what went on during that time frame, and I think I'll expand the time in between the Reactor 1 and 5 missions as well. It never seemed very believable to me that they would go right back out the next day and bomb another reactor and draw even more heat their way instead of waiting a bit first.
 
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Odysseus

Pro Adventurer
#44
Whenever you finish that I can teach you the dark art of custom book making. Feel free to include those drawings I did for you if you want btw, I think you can do pictures on AO3 right? Looking forward to whatever your secret project is.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
#45
Will do! Yes, you can include pictures on AO3, and that scene from the Sector 4 plate interior that you illustrated for me is still going to be in it. As for my other project, are you familiar with Launchbox/Big Box? It's software to manage your game library and can be customized with different themes. I've made an FF7R theme for it featuring renders of Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa and always hoped I'd be able to include one of Jessie in it as well. Now I am! Here's a sneak peek:





 

Odysseus

Pro Adventurer
#48
Every time you brought up the picture you called it "the sector 4 picture" but, idiot that I am, I had "SECTOR 5" huge in the back. It was bothering me. I'm still pretty pleased with the color on this one, even if the poses are stiff.
 
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