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The Love Triangle Debate: Another Turn in the Cycle

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream
Aerith's death motivates Cloud to action more then anything else regardless of your choices and his attraction to Tifa, his need to impress her is what motivated his true self to join SOLDIER, hide his identity when he returned to his hometown and pretend to be SOLDIER when he reunites with Tifa in Midgar. Your dialogue options can give the girls the cold shoulder yes, but you really do not have the ability to create a version of the story where his feelings towards Tifa and Aerith are portrayed as purely platonic in the original game and I'd be very, very, very surprised if they go that route in the remake.

This does not mean he can't feel anything for anyone else, no. I just don't think Jessie will be a third option, as in mutually exclusive to pursueing Aerith and Tifa romantically.
Except that in Part 1, neither Aerith nor Tifa can get that far with him, and Aerith's death won't happen for at least another game, perhaps two, and the revelations about Cloud and Tifa in the lifestream may be farther away even than that. When I say third option, I was referring to Part 1 only and in terms of that game only, since that's the only game Jessie will be in. Including her as a possible third choice in the affection mechanic for Part 1 only doesn't have to be done in an overt way but, as I've already said, the scenes and events relating to it can be done in a more indirect fashion like Aerith and Tifa's arcs in the OG, where what we see is left to player interpretation and choice and nothing is ever really overtly confirmed. Being a third option doesn't have to be a joke like it was with Yuffie, is all I'm saying, nor does it have to harm the larger story, especially if it's optional as any path in the affection mechanic would be.
 

Vortigern

Lv. 25 Adventurer
I found the implications from this snippet found here to be interesting: https://square-enix-games.com/en_US/news/final-fantasy-vii-remake-developers

KAZUSHIGE NOJIMA (STELLAVISTA LTD.) - STORY & SCENARIO

In FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, there will be much less room for player imagination. This fact will probably change the feel of the story considerably. People who know the original might not know quite how to take it. Such is the fear that I have. But I also have conviction. It should be possible to feel a much deeper connection to Cloud as you join alongside him. It would be amazing if you could feel that fiery flame together with him.


While this could obviously be about all sorts of things, it'll be curious what filling in what was previously hinted at will do to the whole LTD.
 

NazMan

Rookie Adventurer
Honestly? I can't believe people are still debating this. Square has pretty much made it clear who the intended couple is. Nojima himself has stated they were lovers. Doesn't get any more canon than that, sorry to break it to you all.

Let's take a look at a few very pro-clerith things Square has given us so far:

Cameo in Tactics
Cameo in FF9
Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts 2
Kindgom Hearts 2.8
(Not yet but most likely Kingdom Hearts 3 if SE keeps it up)
Dissidia 1 & mobile
Mobius
Advent Children
Maiden Who Travels the Planet
On the Way to a Smile
Airbourne Brigade where they were crowned Emperor and Empress in traditional Japanese wedding attire
Not to mention the official FF7 commerical

Now, let's take a look at the cloti side.....

CC (which isn't canon as stated by SE)
I mean, YES, Cloud had feelings for Tifa when they were younger. HAD. Tifa didn't so much as look at him and not to mention she literally told Cloud he couldn't play with her friends. Suddenly she shows an interest in him when he told her he was going to be famous? Shallow, much?

But then later on in the story, Cloud meets Aerith. A girl with most impressive eyes. A girl he didn't mind spending a gil for a flower, as long as it made her smile. She's the one who melted his frosty exterior. Please... play the game and pay close attention to who he acts most warmly to. Sure ain't Tifa! All through disc 1, we see his frostiness slowly melt away while in the presence of Aerith. He slowly opens up to this innocent girl. Cait Sith predicts they'll get married and have a bright future before Aerith knowingly went to her death. When she dies, Cloud is a broken man. He reverts back into his shell and frosts up again. Skip to the ending and Cloud tells Tifa he wants to MEET Aerith in the Promised Land. Tifa (annoyingly dense) invites herself along. How is that romantic?

Then we have Advent Children where Cloud wants to die because of Aerith's death. He's living in her church! Again, I ask, how is that romantic for cloti? Cloud finally smiles at the end when he sees Aerith and the credits, literally, has him riding to the flower fields to feel closer to Aerith.

Things aren't looking too good for the other side in the remake. The past trailers have been pretty pro-clerith if you ask me. Cloud and Aerith holding hands? Cloud's jaw dropping at the sight of Aerith?

We can debate this all we want, but the fact remains that Cloud and Aerith were lovers. As stated by the man himself, Nojima. *mic drop*
 

Ryvius

It's Rihv-EYE-us :P
The bottom line is that Aerith is dead. While it's shortsighted to suggest that there were no romantic feelings between Cloud and Aerith, it's also shortsighted to suggest that there are no romantic feelings between Cloud and Tifa. Also, I'm not sure why you're using Advent Children as evidence. The scenes between the two were quite platonic, while it was clear that Cloud and Tifa were trying to be a family and raise two children, which it wasn't working out until Cloud was able to let go of his guilt and say goodbye to Aerith. Both women help push Cloud toward his realizations, but Cloud and Aerith never had the opportunity to truly get to know each other, unlike Cloud and Tifa. Cloud is still in the frenzy of his identity crisis by the time Aerith dies, and let's not forget that his identity was obfuscated by Aerith's first and only boyfriend in the first place. I think there is a line where she talks about how she wanted to learn about the real him 'one day'? Cloud and Tifa have a history which pulls them closer together, and then build upon that as they build a life together, which includes literally rebuilding Cloud's memories. That's pretty damn intimate, romantic or not. You cannot acknowledge Clerith without also acknowledging the feelings that Cloud and Tifa express toward each other throughout the compilation, between how they look at each other as Cloud regains his self esteem toward the end of AC and how they express the desire to be a family.

Do you really expect Cloud to not move on after the death of Aerith? Or that a person can only love one other person throughout their lifetime? That's not romantic, that's unrealistic and cruel. Not to mention the fact that they both care for Aerith and share a lot of the same pain and experiences of what had happened throughout those 7 years.

I am saying this as a person who prefers the chemistry between Cloud and Aerith over Cloud and Tifa.
 
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NazMan

Rookie Adventurer
Kingdom Hearts 3 actually came out this year, unfortunately Cloud, Aerith and Tifa were not featured in it.
My bad, dude, I should've been more specific. I know it's been released. I just meant there will probably be some DLC concerning the FF characters.

When and where was it stated that Crisis Core is not canon? There's people who love/hate Genesis who would like to know.
There was an interview this year where SE has said the compilation will not be canon in the remake. Once I find it, I'll post.

The bottom line is that Aerith is dead. While it's shortsighted to suggest that there were no romantic feelings between Cloud and Aerith, it's also shortsighted to suggest that there are no romantic feelings between Cloud and Tifa. Also, I'm not sure why you're using Advent Children as evidence. The scenes between the two were quite platonic, while it was clear that Cloud and Tifa were trying to be a family and raise two children, which it wasn't working out until Cloud was able to let go of his guilt and say goodbye to Aerith. Both women help push Cloud toward his realizations, but Cloud and Aerith never had the opportunity to truly get to know each other, unlike Cloud and Tifa. Cloud is still in the frenzy of his identity crisis by the time Aerith dies, and let's not forget that his identity was obfuscated by Aerith's first and only boyfriend in the first place. I think there is a line where she talks about how she wanted to learn about the real him 'one day'? Cloud and Tifa have a history which pulls them closer together, and then build upon that as they build a life together, which includes literally rebuilding Cloud's memories. That's pretty damn intimate, romantic or not. You cannot acknowledge Clerith without also acknowledging the feelings that Cloud and Tifa express toward each other throughout the compilation, between how they look at each other as Cloud regains his self esteem toward the end of AC and how they express the desire to be a family.

Do you really expect Cloud to not move on after the death of Aerith? Or that a person can only love one other person throughout their lifetime? That's not romantic, that's unrealistic and cruel. Not to mention the fact that they both care for Aerith and share a lot of the same pain and experiences of what had happened throughout those 7 years.

I am saying this as a person who prefers the chemistry between Cloud and Aerith over Cloud and Tifa.
I see your point but.... Did Laguna ever move on from Raine's death? To say Cloud has to move on to the next girl after the love of his life died is a little offensive, I must say. Cloud doesn't have to move on to the next. Cloud isn't "alone" anymore after AC. As shown in the credits. Nomura has said Aerith lives on inside him.

As a Clerith, I have acknowledged the past feelings of Cloud and Tifa. Cloud had a "fleeting crush" on her as a child.
 

Lex

Administrator
There was an interview this year where SE has said the compilation will not be canon in the remake. Once I find it, I'll post.
But this isn't the same as stating that Crisis Core is not canon to the original story, which is the subject you're debating. I remember the interview you're talking about and that's not even what was said anyway. They've consistently said they may or may not take elements from the compilation if they happen to serve the additional story points they'll be adding in, but that they won't be constraining themselves to what's already there (including the original).

Twisting shit like this to attempt to make a false point won't work on anyone reading this board. Continue to try and fail as you see fit but be aware that at a certain point we could consider it trolling, which could end up getting you banned :monster:
 
lol, how did I know a post like this would show up after the posts in the other thread?

Tifa (annoyingly dense) invites herself along. How is that romantic?
Wowww.

Also, Cloud does not withdraw again after Aerith's death as a broken man. From that point on he's far more open to the team than he was before. Maybe you should play it again.

Now, let's take a look at the cloti side.....
 

Ryvius

It's Rihv-EYE-us :P
I see your point but.... Did Laguna ever move on from Raine's death? To say Cloud has to move on to the next girl after the love of his life died is a little offensive, I must say. Cloud doesn't have to move on to the next. Cloud isn't "alone" anymore after AC. As shown in the credits. Nomura has said Aerith lives on inside him.

As a Clerith, I have acknowledged the past feelings of Cloud and Tifa. Cloud had a "fleeting crush" on her as a child.
I've actually never finished FF8. You are right that Cloud, and real people, shouldn't enter any relationships, especially rebound ones, if there is no one that they are truly interested in being with. However, most people seem to find it fulfilling to allow themselves to move into a new relationship eventually if the person and the time is right. And the narratives of the compilation convey the latter for Cloud. You haven't addressed the fact that him and Tifa raise two children under the same roof and share similarly sweet moments between each other that him and Aerith shared, except with a greater level of emotional intimacy due to the fact that Tifa knows him better. Do you really think that Tifa is twisting his arm to do these things? Aerith and Cloud never got off the ground - Cloud couldn't even remember who he was during the time they knew each other. Tifa helps him rebuild himself, and based on things you've said in other threads, I think you're really undervaluing her importance to Cloud and in the narratives of the compilation in general, not just as a romantic interest. Aerith lives on in Cloud, but she also lives on in all of her friends, including Tifa. Cloud is not alone because of the people he loves who have survived Aerith, who share the memory of her in their hearts as well.

They could have gone in the direction that you are proposing, but the vast majority of FFVII fans disagree with your assessment that Cloud and Tifa don't get together. Don't make me dig up the koibito thing. :monster:
 
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Vortigern

Lv. 25 Adventurer
Just going to toss this bit from Case of Tifa in:

As Tifa looked down from the sky at what would soon be the ruins of Midgar, she was fearful of the future. But Cloud stood by her, gazing at the same scenery, smiling peacefully. It was a smile she hadn’t seen before during their journey. Cloud noticed her gazing at him.
Cloud: “What’s wrong?”
Tifa: “Cloud, you’re smiling.”
Cloud: “I am?”
Tifa: “Yeah.”
Cloud: “It all starts now. A new…”
Cloud searched for the right words.
Cloud: “A new life.”
Cloud: “I’m going to live. I think that’s the only way I can be forgiven. We’ve been through … a lot.”
Tifa: “Yeah…”
Cloud: “But when I think about how many times I’ve thought about how I was going to start a new life, it’s funny….”
Tifa: “Why’s that funny?”
Cloud: “Because I’ve always screwed it up.”
Tifa: “That’s not funny.”
Cloud: “After this … I think I’ll be okay.”
Cloud became very quiet for a moment.
Cloud: “Because I have you this time.”
Tifa: “You’ve always had me.”
Cloud: “What I mean is kind of different,” Cloud answered with another smile.


While it is undeniable that over the course of the rest of the novel and much of Advent Children that they hit a bit of a rough patch due to lingering feelings of guilt and Cloud's choice on how to deal with his Geostigma, I think its fair to say they idea that Cloud only had feelings for Tifa is basically a non-starter. Those feelings are still there for sure.
 
AKA
Mr. Ite
Just going to toss this bit from Case of Tifa in:

As Tifa looked down from the sky at what would soon be the ruins of Midgar, she was fearful of the future. But Cloud stood by her, gazing at the same scenery, smiling peacefully. It was a smile she hadn’t seen before during their journey. Cloud noticed her gazing at him.
Cloud: “What’s wrong?”
Tifa: “Cloud, you’re smiling.”
Cloud: “I am?”
Tifa: “Yeah.”
Cloud: “It all starts now. A new…”
Cloud searched for the right words.
Cloud: “A new life.”
Cloud: “I’m going to live. I think that’s the only way I can be forgiven. We’ve been through … a lot.”
Tifa: “Yeah…”
Cloud: “But when I think about how many times I’ve thought about how I was going to start a new life, it’s funny….”
Tifa: “Why’s that funny?”
Cloud: “Because I’ve always screwed it up.”
Tifa: “That’s not funny.”
Cloud: “After this … I think I’ll be okay.”
Cloud became very quiet for a moment.
Cloud: “Because I have you this time.”
Tifa: “You’ve always had me.”
Cloud: “What I mean is kind of different,” Cloud answered with another smile.


While it is undeniable that over the course of the rest of the novel and much of Advent Children that they hit a bit of a rough patch due to lingering feelings of guilt and Cloud's choice on how to deal with his Geostigma, I think its fair to say they idea that Cloud only had feelings for Tifa is basically a non-starter. Those feelings are still there for sure.
What a sweet scene. That’s the first time I’ve read it.
 

billy22

Lv. 25 Adventurer
I mean, YES, Cloud had feelings for Tifa when they were younger. HAD. Tifa didn't so much as look at him and not to mention she literally told Cloud he couldn't play with her friends. Suddenly she shows an interest in him when he told her he was going to be famous? Shallow, much?

...

Skip to the ending and Cloud tells Tifa he wants to MEET Aerith in the Promised Land. Tifa (annoyingly dense) invites herself along. How is that romantic?
The anti-tifa ship argument always ends up degrading Tifa's character. That fact alone is very telling.

Things aren't looking too good for the other side in the remake. The past trailers have been pretty pro-clerith if you ask me. Cloud and Aerith holding hands? Cloud's jaw dropping at the sight of Aerith?
Really? Because I feel the opposite.

Tifa does diddly-squat for the Midgar portion. She does not get her character arc until near the end of the game. In contrast, Aerith plays a larger role early on. However, despite being mostly irrelevant for the Midgar portion, they've given Tifa a rather large amount of focus in these trailers.

IE: They have her clinging onto Cloud along with Aerith (despite being less flirty than Aerith), reaching out for each others hands in the beginning and ending of another trailer (since Clerith's love the hand reaching for some reason), a previously optional drink scene with the gifted flower, another scene with being back to back, another with the talk of the promise, etc etc. I haven't bothered to count up every single second the two have been in the trailers and compare the two, but I'd wager the amount the pair is on screen in advertisements is roughly the same.

And you have Nomura talking about Aerith and Tifa as the two heroines to the story; Which, while I believe he's talking about the story as a whole, for Midgar portion it sounds weird. Aerith is more important to the Midgar portion in the original game.

Not that any of this matters though. Aerith is more important to the story for the first half, Tifa for the second half.
 

Lex

Administrator
I know you don't love the Compilation, but have you you not read the On the Way to A Smile entries? Easily the best stuff from it. Cases of Tifa, Barret, and Shinra are all good to great. And even the not-great ones like Yuffie and Nanaki have some sweet moments.
I have to agree @Mr. Ite , they're well worth a read (and we have them on the site :P). The Turks novel is also great.
 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
i was actually super surprised how much i liked the turks novel. otwtas was at times a bit dry and felt to me that nojima was still in the mindset of writing scripts and not prose, but the turks novel felt a lot more novel-y. i think they're all in english now so yeah, pick it up

then there was ffx-2.5 or whatever it was called and i died a little inside. it's prose, but it's harmful prose that's damaging to the psyche
 

youffie

Pro Adventurer
Since Laguna and Raine were brought up, ackchuyually

Before Raine, Laguna was in love with Julia, who at the very least liked him back. They didn't really know each other, but there definitely was something there. Unfortunately, their love never had a chance to fully develop because Laguna almost died. He was found almost dead on a shore near a secluded village, where a young bartender stayed by his barely conscious side and nursed him back to health. They gradually fell in love and they raised an orphaned girl together. He moved on from Julia because sometimes that's how life goes.

That does sound familiar doesn't it :mon:

Also I'd love to know why we shouldn't look at the Compilation for clarification on the characters' feelings, but Cloud (who was actually supposed to be Vincent in the original drafts iirc) looking for his light in freaking Kingdom Hearts is totally super canon Clerith proof.

Cloud and Tifa have a history which pulls them closer together, and then build upon that as they build a life together, which includes literally rebuilding Cloud's memories. That's pretty damn intimate, romantic or not.
THIS. It's such an amazing, intimate moment, regardless of how you feel about Cloud and Tifa as a couple, my favorite moment in a game where I love pretty much anything. As someone who's always, always struggled with conveying her feelings and deepest thoughts I definitely understand their pain, and seeing them being able to finally talk openly and without shame is just so beautiful. I know everybody's like "uhhhh sex" at Tifa's "Words aren't the only thing that tell people what you're thinking" – I mean, I am too :desu: – but there's so much more condensed in that one line.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
Well they are canon in Kingdom Hearts :pinkmonster::bigpumpkinmonster::mjolnir:
I mean sure, if you manage to ignore KH2 and Tifa being Cloud's light and all that. :monster:

Seeing as how there are parallels to AC in Cloud and Tifa's portrayal in KH2, there is a very real creative intent that seems to be hammered in over and over. Wherever Cloud goes, Tifa seems to be right there alongside him.

As for the Remake excising player input on this dynamic I do feel rather disappointed. I appreciate the upfront honesty although seeing the unique dialogues and interactions based on who you choose for Cloud was always fun and added replay value.

... But this will open the door to some very interesting creator intent. This is obviously going to hurt some and vindicate others. I personally don't think I'll be surprised by what they intend to do but nonetheless for some? It might end up shattering their interpretation entirely.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
I mean sure, if you manage to ignore KH2 and Tifa being Cloud's light and all that. :monster:
In fairness, that Tifa is the manifestation of the light in that Cloud's heart, same as that Sephiroth is the manifestation of that Cloud's inner darkness -- so it's unlikely they're romantically entangled ... :monster:

It's also not necessary for an external bearer of one's light to be their romantic interest. It's long been understood by many fans that Sora is Riku's light, and Riku himself does specify that Sora is the light in his own heart in the novelization of KHDDD -- but short of taking an unsupportable reading of the narrative, they aren't romantically entangled.
 
Yeah she's like a manifestation or some shiz :desuawesomonster: Cloud and Aerith aren't and they are included in the couples montage in the credits - not the original KH one with other characters but the actual couples one in 2.856789 or whatever :pinkmonster: Yes Tifa is included, they both are. Same goes for Opera Omnia as well, Tifa stuff, and Aerith references the gold saucer date:loveglomp:

Got ninjad by Tres :monstersmashed:
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
In terms of the tangible narrative, yeah Tifa is Cloud's manifested light. Although how it relates to her precise existence is ambiguous because while she may be incorporeal in comparison to a person, others still see her and interact with her. Squall sees her and speaks to her when she goes around Ansem's study looking for Cloud.

But while Cloud may not be literally romantically tied to this "light" there is a thematic parallel which is being relayed here, especially in light of AC being used as inspiration for their characters KH2. The person closest to Cloud's heart, his literal light in the darkness that is aiding him conquering said darkness, is Tifa. That's a very telling role to have Tifa fit in.

Meanwhile Aerith's character is more a support that is not exclusive to Cloud, but to every body. Aerith's role is focused more on restoring Radiant Garden and helping Sora. It's very telling and interesting Nomura had Aerith move towards a more protective role for Aerith regarding the entire cast and left the character who would be more attached to Cloud, as Sephiroth's polar opposite, be Tifa.

Unless you think that's coincidence, there's a consistent theme and depiction being shown regarding Cloud and Tifa.
 
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