The Love Triangle Debate thread of KNEEL BEFORE ZOD OR SUFFER HIS WRATH (ignore the opening posts at your peril) (Round 6)

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Disclaimer: I will not be saying that all Cleriths think like this, but many of their essays and analysis that they publish does. This is the Clerith perspective that a lot of people are having problem with:

On what true love is, I love Clerith in a way that it's a "red string of fate." Two people are fated to meet, they are perfect for each other but got torn apart by evil. Their suppesedly happy future together has been taken away from them. However, their love is eternal and will never be defeated by death. Though they might be apart, their hearts are close together. It's a beautiful romantic story, however someone gets in its way: Tifa.

Tifa is the real enemy of this love. She's clinging to Cloud even if he sees her as nothing but a friend. She forced him to make a promise and wants him to be the ideal man she wants. She's selfish and would not accept that Cloud loves Aerith. Though Cloud would never love Tifa, she is causing him pain because she nitpicks his weaknesses and ignores his mourning for his love Aerith. She's claiming that Denzel is their child when it's Aerith and Cloud's. Still, Cloud, being such a good man still takes care of Tifa and the kids because they need him. Tifa begin to slowly realize that she should just accept that she's just friend, in this way, she'll be happier.

What's worse is, a lot of people actually love this Tifa. And Cloti supporters are much more than Clerith? Why can't they see this? It's probably because Tifa is so busty and wears revealing clothing that guys want her to be with Cloud. They may look good together, but people aren't seeing past that. They don't see that both these people suffer in that dysfunctional and incompatible relationship. They should wish the best for both: Cloud with Aerith in his heart forever, and Tifa a single mom, or Barret's new wife.

Worst, one site with a good reputation as a source of information claims that Cloti is canon, and many agrees with this. It just shows how desperate Clotis are to defeat Clerith.


I honestly think that behind those politely written essays, a lot of people think like this.

Now I present my response to that pink paragraph.

Love is love no matter how young it is, how short it is. Teens experience love. Love at first sight exist. Short, passionate romances can exist. So Zerith, which they claim to be puppy is still love and Clerith which happened in a span of weeks can be called love. Those love are bright, sweet loving and wonderful.They're an ideal happily ever after until tragedy struck.

However, it's just the tip of the iceberg. There's a bigger part that we don't see sometimes. Love is made up of many things. Before that, all love start weak, fed by feelings or attraction alone, like a plant without fertilizer of sunlight. Love has to grow to become strong and bear fruit. It's not just the matter of the heart, but also the mind the soul. It needs time, understanding, knowledge of each other and memories. And love is not supposedly the master of a person, if it is, that person is blind. A person decides and chooses on who he will love, and how he would show this person this love. Determination and commitment comes as a support for love to grow.

But this person is not perfect, he can have the best love in the world, but it's too great for him. He can be burdened by past mistakes, haunted by old memories and feel insecure about his capability. He may feel undeserving of this wonderful woman and thinks that she can be as happy without him. He loves her, but wants her to be better off. Worse is when he knew he's going to die, he cannot bear to see the people her love worry and suffer in front of him. It's easier to escape than to confront, he's frightened, he isn't strong enough. The people he wasn't able to protect proves how worthless he is.

Now this is why It's unfair and baseless to call the Cloti relationship loveless and dysfunctional and this is why I loved Cloti. It's even more immature to blame the fault on Tifa alone. Cloti is a ship sailing on stormy seas unlike ships that does nothing but stay in calm waters, enjoying the sun and the singing mermaids.

Now, this might be harsh, but I believe that Cloud never fell in love with Aerith, it's possible and I'm open to the idea but there isn't simply anything that I can see that would prove that Clerith is two-way. Cloud had sweet moments with Aerith but I never saw exchanged feelings between them. Cloud was not himself.

Aerith knew it and she saw the real Cloud was hiding in a shell, but she never met with him. It's like looking through a glass, seeing but never touching. Tragically, this shell shattered, along with the person inside it when Aerith died and when Sephiroth told him that he's just a puppet. He was in pieces but it was Tifa who eventually brought him back together, now without the fake persona in the LS scene, the most touching part of the game for me (though I had never played it yet.)

So Aerith was a very important person in Cloud's life. She loved him, want to meet the real him, but she never had the chance. That's why I don't agree with many Clerith proofs that takes place after her death. I want evidence when she was still alive, when she still has the desire and hope to live her life with him.

So yeah, what a long post. I had planned to write an LTD commentary but it seems that I had already spilled everything. Let's see if I still have beans left.

I just made up the pink part, I didn't copy it from anywhere to be dissected here. But essays like that exist.
 
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Ryushikaze

Deus Admiral Parsimonious, PHD, DDS, MD, JD, OBE
AKA
Tim, Ryu
PS: Just wanted to clarify so my post makes sense. Vendel keeps saying the story doesn't revolve around a love triangle (lol) and that Square didn't make a distinction between Cloud, Tifa and the rest of the Final Fantasy couples on the romantic love page. Although they did not make a distinction on the specific page in question, they did include a distinction on page 232. Page 232 was clearly and blatantly listed above the photo of Cloud and Tifa. This distinction points out that the Highwind scene of Cloud and Tifa is an optional scene, therefore they are an optional couple. This is a distinction that was made for no other couples but Cloud and Tifa. This distinction is important and worth noting.
I know this is a day old and already covered, but no, IT DOES NOT SAY THIS. In fact, p232 reiterates that Cloud and Tifa DO confirm their feelings in the narrative. What the sidebar mentions is that degree of emotion changes depending on Tifa's affection value. But the main section of the text declares Cloud and Tifa as confirming.

Omitting Tifa and Cloud from a page discussing Final Fantasy romance because the couple is based on an optional scene doesn't make sense, but does warrant a distinction. A distinction Square gave us on page 232 (a page number that was blatantly listed above the photo of Cloud and Tifa). Just wanted to clarify I was referring to the distinction made on page 232 because Vendel didn't seem to catch that or pretended not to catch it. :)
You literally have used this same phrasing about five times now.
You are very obviously repeating a talking point, not making your own argument. It is you who are not catching things. We understand. We REJECT your talking point.

Anyway. Loved reading all your responses. Just wanted to clarify!
As did I.

Also, the story of FFVII revolves around numerous themes. One theme is a love triangle. I never said the story doesn't revolve around other themes, but that one of the themes it does revolve around is a love triangle, which is why Square has given evidence to support both sides. One side might view their evidence as stronger, but Sqaure has yet to officially say anything black or white.
In this post, Blank plays extremely fast and loose with the idea of 'revolving around' and 'themes' to double down on her erroneous argument instead of admitting she made a mistake.

Bah! I keep getting sucked back in...nooo! Must. Resist. The. Urge.
If you want to resist, then leave the debate. That means avoiding sites devoted to it, and I don't mean this one.

Disclaimer: I will not be saying that all Cleriths think like this, but many of their essays and analysis that they publish does. This is the Clerith perspective that a lot of people are having problem with:

On what true love is, I get the appeal of Clerith in a way that it's a "red string of fate." Two people are fated to meet, the one for each other but got torn apart by evil. However, their love is eternal and will never be defeated by death. It's a beautiful romantic story, however someone gets in its way: Tifa.

Tifa is the real enemy of this love. She's clinging to Cloud even if he sees her as nothing but a friend. She forced him to make a promise and wants him to be the ideal man she wants. She's selfish and would not accept that Cloud loves Aerith. Though Cloud would never love Tifa, she is causing him pain because she nitpicks his weaknesses and ignores his mourning for his love Aerith. She's claiming that Denzel is their child when it's Aerith and Cloud's. Still, Cloud, being such a good man still takes care of Tifa and the kids because they need her. Tifa begin to slowly realize that she should just accept that she's just friend, in this way, she'll be happier.

What's worse is, a lot of people actually love this Tifa. And Cloti supporters are much more than Clerith? Why can't they see this? It's probably because Tifa is so busty and wears revealing clothing that guys want her to be with Cloud. They may look good together, but people aren't seeing past that. They don't see that both these people suffer in that dysfunctional and incompatible relationship. They should wish the best for both: Cloud with Aerith in his heart forever, and Tifa a single mom, or Barret's new wife.

Worse, one site with a good reputation as a source of information claims that Cloti is canon, and many agrees with this. It just shows how desperate Clotis are to defeat Clerith.
Why HELLO passive aggressive dig at my article!
Who was this, Danseru? I do enjoy knowing who my detractors are.

I honestly think that behind those politely written essays, a lot of people think like this.
I'd argue that the people behind pretty much all the essays think exactly like that. Mostly because I can link a lot of them directly to similar statements.

Anyways, I really find them special pleading more often than not.
Hell, I'd be willing to admit Cloud was in love with Aerith IF they could provide compelling evidence. But I am certainly not holding my breath.
Their game plan hasn't really changed much, even though they keep changing the tricks in the playbook from time to time.
 
Why HELLO passive aggressive dig at my article!
Who was this, Danseru? I do enjoy knowing who my detractors are.
Sorry, I can't tell you in fear of my safety. :scared: However, I can give you a hint to figure it out. They are the ones who dubbed FFVII AC Final Fantasy VII Aerith+CloudandnothingelseTifaisanannoyingwhore.
 
Now, this might be harsh, but I believe that Cloud never fell in love with Aerith, it's possible and I'm open to the idea but there isn't simply anything that I can see that would prove that Clerith is two-way.

/nod

me of this school of thought too:neo:


 
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Wolfmania

Saint of Killers
Aerith is certainly up there with Zack as one of the most important people to Cloud. I'm sure there exist some people who might try to downplay that, but It's true. She's an important person to him. Right up there with Zack. Obviously his family is priority #1, though. The relationship is just not romantic. Purely platonic would be the wording best suited for it.

Unless...someone can slap objective/empirical/whatever evidence of the contrary, on this thread's face. Like, right now.
 

Gym Leader Devil

True Master of the Dark-type (suck it Piers)
AKA
So many names
I think to be purely platonic it'd need to be platonic both ways. Aerith DID have interest in Cloud before she died at least, so it's more one-sided/unrequited than purely platonic.
 

Zee

wangxian married
AKA
Zee
aeris offers him a date in exchange for helping her

cloud takes the offer and pretty seriously

i mean when he first talks to her in the shinra tower he says "i'm your bodyguard, right?" reminding her of the deal


dude sure didn't have a problem with her mackin' on him that's for sure

and what EG is also good
 

Unlucky

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN
aeris offers him a date in exchange for helping her

cloud takes the offer and pretty seriously

i mean when he first talks to her in the shinra tower he says "i'm your bodyguard, right?" reminding her of the deal
I always saw this as Cloud being a man of his word. Remember in AC how he apologizes to Tifa for being 'late', it's pretty much the same thing. IMO.
 

Wolfmania

Saint of Killers
I think to be purely platonic it'd need to be platonic both ways. Aerith DID have interest in Cloud before she died at least, so it's more one-sided/unrequited than purely platonic.
That makes sense. Though I was referring to how Cloud felt towards her.

Zee said:
aeris offers him a date in exchange for helping her

cloud takes the offer and pretty seriously

i mean when he first talks to her in the shinra tower he says "i'm your bodyguard, right?" reminding her of the deal


dude sure didn't have a problem with her mackin' on him that's for sure
Erm. Ok, that was unclear of me.

When did real!Cloud show any romantic interest in Aerith? Post-Lifestream sequence, I mean.
 

Zee

wangxian married
AKA
Zee
more like being a man of his word for that sweet ass amirite fellas

AM I RIGHT

When did real!Cloud show any romantic interest in Aerith? Post-Lifestream sequence, I mean.
man, if the lifestream sequence showed anything, it's that no one was holding back cloud but cloud

he was always himself
he constructed the persona himself
he also allows that persona to fall when he gets close to people

cloud was screwed up but that doesn't make his feelings less genuine
 

Gym Leader Devil

True Master of the Dark-type (suck it Piers)
AKA
So many names
aeris offers him a date in exchange for helping her

cloud takes the offer and pretty seriously
He does? He doesn't say yes or anything at all, just makes a hand gesture and such.

i mean when he first talks to her in the shinra tower he says "i'm your bodyguard, right?" reminding her of the deal


dude sure didn't have a problem with her mackin' on him that's for sure
He did refer to the deal, in that he has decided to be her bodyguard. That much is true. Aerith is the one who brings up the date bit.

Cloud may not have a problem with her mackin' on him, but he doesn't seem exactly thrilled about it either.

and what EG is also good
Of course it is, I said it :awesome:
 

Zee

wangxian married
AKA
Zee
Cloud may not have a problem with her mackin' on him, but he doesn't seem exactly thrilled about it either.
i dont recall cloud ever being like whoa aeris back up man you're too up in my grill
he's just awkward and has never been in a relationship thus he doesn't understand why aeris gets so frustrated when she's like trying to get his opinion and stuff and he's shrugging because he just honestly has no idea

cloud is just simple

doesn't make him uninterested

He does? He doesn't say yes or anything at all, just makes a hand gesture and such.
he waggles his hand playfully but i mean i would think the consent was marked by him immediately stepping up to the turks to protect her
 

Wolfmania

Saint of Killers
man, if the lifestream sequence showed anything, it's that no one was holding back cloud but cloud

he was always himself
he constructed the persona himself
he also allows that persona to fall when he gets close to people

cloud was screwed up but that doesn't make his feelings less genuine
Erm, what? The dude's mind was literally shattered into pieces. Which had to be reconstructed by someone else's soul/mind.

The puppet persona was constructed by several things, namely Sephiroth's strong will, the mako poisioning, and the memories assimilated from Tifa and Cloud's own synthesized by the S-Cells in him to create an image of who Cloud thought was strong in-order to cope with the trauma. Namely, Zack.

This is why he reminded Aerith of Zack, why he has so many lines which are identical to Zack's, why his fighting style is just like Zack's when compared to the fighting style he creates for himself in AC.
This isn't just refelcted in his personality after the sequence, even his clothes are changed to reflect the real Cloud breaking away from his puppet persona.

You could think of them as two entierly different people. Real!Cloud would probably just dork out with a deadpan look instead of reflecting the strange mixture of Zack/Sephiroth/Jenova/Tifa's memories inside of him. Heck, they even blamed his laughing with Aerith on the persona created by the cells.

That is estremely shaky evidence that real!Cloud feels any sort of romantic attachment to Aerith. I'm gonna need something more substatial to declare that real!Cloud feels anything other than platonic love for his dear flowery friend.
 

Ryushikaze

Deus Admiral Parsimonious, PHD, DDS, MD, JD, OBE
AKA
Tim, Ryu
Y'know, for someone who agreed to and wanted a date, Cloud sure as hell protests and doesn't go on a date. He has to be pushed out.

And yes, he's pushed out by the other two as well, but my point is, if he's raring to go on a date earlier, why the fuck does he protest then and not engage at all on the actual date?

I don't think 'Ohshit, a date' entered into it at all. I think it was all 'BODYGUARD. MUST PROTECT. THING MUST DO.' Cloud has always wanted to be the protector, the hero, the Vanguard Paladin. Something in his Ur unconscious tells him he must.

Cloud does not break promises lightly, and he PROTECTS. When he fails at either, or feels he fails at either, he feels shit.
Cloud shows interest in protecting. Dating, not so much.
 

Zee

wangxian married
AKA
Zee
they aren't different people though

fractured cloud is still a part of cloud, he is still there is disc one. that's why aeris can see through him and get so close to him in a short amount of time, he's not missing, just blurred and buried.

the crazy cells helped him adopt the persona but it's still cloud who chose it based on his own insecurities which is why his "zack" persona isn't really zack

aeris even makes the distinction herself; cloud can mimic zack's movements, but he is still a different person


also let's take a minute to appreciate that having cloud m.i.a on disk one makes zero sense story wise

like

hey let's introduce this character to cloud's storyline who's death is going to really be the turning point for the entire game and have an emotional impact the size of a crater that follows cloud even in ac but

let's cheapen that emotional impact by having him autopilot on disk one so his feelings don't count


what


also my potion is finally done brewing thank FUCK this takes forever
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
I largely agree with Zee. Even though Cloud's personality and thought processes weren't those of the genuine article, it stands to reason that the attraction to Aerith was there. Attribute that to the false persona if you want, but it was there at that time. And I will always argue that the attraction is obvious.

In the first place, why wouldn't he have been attracted to someone like her? As well, the fact that he does agree to the date exchange says something to me. At that point in the game, he wasn't even interested in sticking with Tifa out of chivalry. He clearly wanted something from Aerith if he was agreeing to help her.

Sure, the real deal would have helped her out of his protective nature, but this wasn't the real deal. This was douchebaggy-"What's in it for me?"-Cloud.

And, really, regardless of whether wanting to do her was due to the fake personality (it seems really implausible to me that the real guy wouldn't want to anyway), he'd remember that once he was himself again. The real Cloud would have had to integrate those memories.
 
AKA
Noctis
in general i think a lot of people don't get cloud/aeris

the relationship and its purpose



big sigh
Zee stop

you don't know what love is


Also I want to add I am SO TIRED of people saying "Aerith made Cloud do this, Tifa made Cloud do that" they didn't MAKE Cloud do anything. Anything he chose to do, he did by himself without being forced. Cloud accepted Aerith's date payment. I believe that Aerith's date scene is canon, do I think it means love...? No. But she didn't push him or force him to accept it. Same with Tifa. She didn't force Cloud into their promise.
 
I largely agree with Zee. Even though Cloud's personality and thought processes weren't those of the genuine article, it stands to reason that the attraction to Aerith was there. Attribute that to the false persona if you want, but it was there at that time. And I will always argue that the attraction is obvious.

In the first place, why wouldn't he have been attracted to someone like her? As well, the fact that he does agree to the date exchange says something to me. At that point in the game, he wasn't even interested in sticking with Tifa out of chivalry. He clearly wanted something from Aerith if he was agreeing to help her.
I think another problem we have is that we do have different standards on romantic love. Some of us feel that his interaction with Aerith are not enough to show romance, but his feelings does matter. If Cloud's feelings doesn't really matter in disk 1, then his cross-dressing for Tifa doesn't really matter too because it's a fake feeling. It just that others folks here need evidence that goes beyond attraction. Cloud does has feelings in disk 1 but some people believe that before Cloud can reciprocate Aerith's feelings for him he needs to come in terms with himself. He had false memories and he believed that he's entirely a different person, not totally different but that was the problem- he had no idea was his real self was. It surfaces here and there but he doesn't know it. Aerith even has to tell him that she wants to meet the real him.

So again the plant example, I think the seed of love is there, but the soil has problems. But it's there.

We're using psychology to judge Cloud but this identity problem is created by fantastical circumstances. So we're not just interpreting their relationship, we're interpreting Cloud's mental circumstances as well.

in general i think a lot of people don't get cloud/aeris

the relationship and its purpose



big sigh
Even Cleriths have different interpretations about it though, and I'm sure you don't agree with all of them. The same way, people who don't ship it can give a strong and beautiful interpretation of the relationship, but don't see anything romantic to it. Some people judge their relationship without reading official statements, some want official statements before they can judge. A lot of people in this thread is the latter.

So do they really don't get it or do they just don't agree with your perspective? Can you clarify?

I'm not saying that I'm the expert of this relationship or that whatever Cleriths say are invalid. This past page has already taught me new things and new insights. But we're talking about canonity in the LTD thread and it would be natural to demand for objective and canon evidence. So pardon me if I seem to imply that Cloud's feelings in disk 1 were fake, it's just that like many people in this thread have a different standard of romantic love is and the circumstances needed to make it grow. Besides this, we need to see official confirmation of romance from the creators.
 
Even though Cloud's personality and thought processes weren't those of the genuine article, it stands to reason that the attraction to Aerith was there. Attribute that to the false persona if you want, but it was there at that time. And I will always argue that the attraction is obvious.
Obvious? You could argue that point. But obvious is pushing it.

In the first place, why wouldn't he have been attracted to someone like her? As well, the fact that he does agree to the date exchange says something to me. At that point in the game, he wasn't even interested in sticking with Tifa out of chivalry. He clearly wanted something from Aerith if he was agreeing to help her.

I find the "but Cloud accepted the date" point nonsensical. If Cloud was so interested in collecting on that debt why does he try to bail on her in the middle of the night? To get back to a different woman no less.

So much for obvious attraction.
 

Fairheartstrife

[no fucks given]
AKA
FHS, that cloti bitch
Cloud was attracted to Aerith. How is this even up for debate? He was. Fractured, splintered, ZaCloud or whatever WAS attracted to her. I imagine that was very conflicting for him, as his inner Cloud was still jonsing for Tifa, but that's another discussion. Cloud was intrigued at the very least.

However, having said that, attraction =/= love. And that's where I don't buy Clerith as canon or even a 'relationship'. Could it have been? Maybe. It'd be a stretch considering the events after LS and Cloud was whole again. Because honestly I don't think Aerith would find insecure moody Cloud all that appealing (just my opinion, people). Not to mention that even if you feel Cloud had a hard on for Aerith there's a ton of underlying feelings about Tifa that would need to be worked through.

I think my frustration with the Clerith 'sunshine and rainbows' love story is that it WOULDN'T be. Not realistically. They both have a shit ton of issues to work through, as was brought up in that infamous creator interview that wasn't talking about love or marriage or relationships, but location **cough**.

Holy, that answer went on longer than I wanted.

TLDR; Cloud was attracted to Aerith, but that doesn't mean he loved her.
 
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