The Love Triangle Debate: Another Turn in the Cycle

fancy

i gotcha back, homes! 🤘🏾😎
AKA
Fancy
Zack can't stand LOVELESS to the point that he screams at Genesis to shut up and dismisses it, what kind of friendship could they possibly have had?
The thing is, as it's been stated numerous times, relationships are nuanced. This sounds like a typical interaction between my kid brothers, but I know that they would die for each other.

I'm thrown off by what seems to be an arbitrary definitions of what constitutes as a 'real' friendship. Hell, there are friendships that are 'toxic' and poisonous to both parties involved, but if you asked the persons involved if they considered the other a friend, they would say yes. And it counts, even if they sound exhausted admitting it.
 
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He's not actually a summons, you know that. He's not a summons and he's not a mystery of the world, however much he may like to think he is. So what is he, if not a friend? Isn't it, in fact, one of the odder parts of Crisis Core that Zack spends so much of it trying to save the loathsome Genesis, when nobody would blame him for killing Genesis down in those caves under Banora (the depths of despair or whatever they're called)? Yes, there are times when Genesis really irks and exasperates him, but he still feels a sense fo comradely loyalty towards him. He probably likes Cloud a lot more than he likes Genesis, but he feels the same soldierly camaraderie towards both of them.
 
The problem with this kind of thing is that friendship building tends to happen offscreen, rather than the middle of fighting giant monsters. So if we try to quantify exactly what a relationship is, there's always enough ambiguity to interpret whatever you want.

Tifa and Aeris may be friends, they may not be. But it seems likely they would have spent a lot of time together over the course of the journey around campfires and the like, even if it's only sharing rooms at Inns out of propriety and budget saving.

The extent of Zack and Cloud's friendship depends on how much time they spend together offscreen. It can be whatever you want it to be.
 

Roger

Gentleman Adventurer
AKA
Minato
He's not actually a summons, you know that. He's not a summons and he's not a mystery of the world, however much he may like to think he is. So what is he, if not a friend? Isn't it, in fact, one of the odder parts of Crisis Core that Zack spends so much of it trying to save the loathsome Genesis, when nobody would blame him for killing Genesis down in those caves under Banora (the depths of despair or whatever they're called)? Yes, there are times when Genesis really irks and exasperates him, but he still feels a sense fo comradely loyalty towards him. He probably likes Cloud a lot more than he likes Genesis, but he feels the same soldierly camaraderie towards both of them.
Genesis isn't someone he'd willingly spend time with, unless the world or lives were at stake. Nor did he. Cloud and Zack spent any amount of the last 7 years of Zack's life together off screen. Genesis he thought he killed at Modeoheim for most of the time before Nibelheim. There his only interaction from the floor after getting a fireball in the back. Then five years later Genesis is eating his hair and Zack has to to stop him. They were never on the same side. I do think Genesis is an important presence in Zack's thoughts and life that you cannot call friend.
 

SailorStarDust

Kept you waiting, huh?
AKA
SSD
Err, I'm surprised that Zack and Cloud being portrayed as close friends (best friends according to various Ultimanias) is called into question, here:rclosedmonster:

Tifa and Aeris may be friends, they may not be. But it seems likely they would have spent a lot of time together over the course of the journey around campfires and the like, even if it's only sharing rooms at Inns out of propriety and budget saving.
Those 2 weeks on the journey before Aerith died (since the OG took place from December until early January, if my memory isn't failing) when you have control of Cloud, you can see them hanging out together at the Cosmo Canyon bar, chatting in the beach area of Junon, etc, etc.

Sure, I'll concede that Aerith and Tifa might not have wound up as 100% BFFs, but the English translation of the 25th Ultimania states how they were "in many ways, kindred spirits" (you especially see this in-game when Tifa is in your Party at Aerith's death).
 
It's being called into question because SE stating in an Ultimania that they're best friends is not the same thing as providing a convincing portrayal of a best friend relationship in their games.

It's not as if Cloud and Zack have to be either best friends or completely indifferent to each other. Their relationship is so much more interesting, complex and nuanced than 'best friendship' as typified by, say, Prompto and Noctis in FFXV. Now those guys are best friends and were designed that way from the beginning. I don't believe Zack and Cloud were originally intended to represent a 'best friend' relationship. It's not even consistent with the character Zack was given that he'd make a best friend out of someone like Cloud. I think that's SE retconning their relationship to keep the fans happy.

SE can state what they like in their Ultimanias. I accept it's supposed to be canon, but if I have to rely on a guidebook to clarify the relationships between the characters, and if that guide book then contradicts the messages I picked up from the game, then honestly, the game writers are not doing their job properly.

Personally, I never chat with or hang out at bars with anyone who hasn't already been certified as my BFF. God Jesus, it's like two women can never be together in the same adventure without either being best friends, or fighting over the hero, or turning into lesbians.
 

SailorStarDust

Kept you waiting, huh?
AKA
SSD
I only discovered the Ultimania books in more recent years. Before that, I "only" had the original game and (some 10-15 years later) the Compilation project to go on. The sense the games/Advent Children (later the Complete cut) themselves gave me for both sets of relationships is we are dealing with very close friendships, here. There's a suspension of disbelief with hanging out off-screen, especially since Crisis Core didn't show more of that with Zack and Cloud like they intended. (Cut for time, I believe?)

As such, I don't really have much else to say:closedmonster:
 
For me I think Zack was definitely Cloud's best friend (partially because Cloud can be anti-social and any friend he has would likely qualify as a best automatically for him). For Zack I think Cloud was definitely at least a close friend, whether or not he qualifies as a best friend I think really depends on what a best friend means for an individual. For some, best friend can literally only refer to one person, others may use best friend casually for many people.
 
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looneymoon

hedgehog pandacat
AKA
Rishi
Cloud and Zack are friends like no other, so I don't really see the problem in shorthanding that into "best friends." It makes sense, even if you might think it's a tad reductive. I don't really agree that it is, but I can see the point.

Barret and Cloud have something more akin to a typical best friend relationship, but like... if this was put down to a trivia question, Zack would be the more correct answer just due to the sheer importance he has to his overall arc.
 

SailorStarDust

Kept you waiting, huh?
AKA
SSD
This indeed sparks joy :lol:

Actually, on LooneyMoon's note: I'd personally say within the confines of FFVII's "present day" (given how Cloud relaxes around Barret and Tifa as the story progress) they wound up as his best friends, more or less. I certainly wouldn't mind Remake going for that impression in the present day—especially how hard-hitting the Lifestream Event revelations would emotionally hit CloTi as a result!
 
The original game at least implies friendship - not just from the "we're friends, right?" line - I just played through the Kalm flashback and because of this discussion I took extra care to talk to the soldier (that is really Cloud) with Zack (Cloud in the flashback - this may sound confusing but I'm sure you all understand).

Anyway hidden!Cloud repeats that he's nervous or feels uneasy, and Cloud (who is Zack) has dialogue options, one of them is "want to do what we always do?" which to me definitely implies a deeper level of friendship than what we see in most cases.
 
I wonder what they always do?

Probably squats.

I mean it could be a secret private thing that Zack and Cloud do because they're best mates, but on the other hand it could more like two team-mates talking to each other, and one says, "Man I'm so nervous about this match," and the other says, "Wanna do what we always do? The big team cheer!"

If nothing else, this thread has taught me there's a huge range of difference in how people define "best friend".
 
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