Trace of Two Pasts novel discussion

kathy202

Pro Adventurer
Hmm I read it as being a guide would give her an opportunity to ask Shinra folks about Cloud, seeing that she sort of did that in Crisis Core?

That aside, I love how the novels are written as an interaction between Tifa and Aerith. Fans fight over these two so much, but for all the differences in portrayal, their experiences and personalities are rather similar. Both have lost a family, both know what it's like to be alone, etc. Feels like a setup for a very strong friendship. Though I'm starting to feel bad that Tifa's going to lose another very good friend when/if Aerith dies...
 

a_apple 2.0

Pro Adventurer
AKA
a_apple
Hmm I read it as being a guide would give her an opportunity to ask Shinra folks about Cloud, seeing that she sort of did that in Crisis Core?

That aside, I love how the novels are written as an interaction between Tifa and Aerith. Fans fight over these two so much, but for all the differences in portrayal, their experiences and personalities are rather similar. Both have lost a family, both know what it's like to be alone, etc. Feels like a setup for a very strong friendship. Though I'm starting to feel bad that Tifa's going to lose another very good friend when/if Aerith dies...
Yeah that makes sense. Also I totally agree Aerith and Tifas relationship is probably the highlight of the remake. Like they both together are so charming and lovable, it makes me happy to see that they keep emphasizing it :3
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
If she takes it, it'll all be over. She had a strong hunch.
Excuse me while I feel so validated in how her powers work *again* :awesome:

"Nope. It is because I still can meet her."
This is such a strong throwback to the end of the game, where Cloud and Tifa realise that they can still meet their dead beloved ones in the Lifestream :'(:'(:'( and also shows how much it's not about running after a dead beloved one :mon:

And ahhh, so it's Elmyra's father who was rich!

Also it seems that her powers were stronger when she was a kid - her connection to the Lifestream I mean. It reminds me that in ACC it was the kids also who heard her calling.
 

eleamaya

Pro Adventurer
Geez, reading the literal translation, not the summary, even if it was just Aerith's part; I WANT TO HAVE THAT BOOK
Have to be patient till it's translated to english.

Anyway, So... the orphanage in Sector 5 is under the influence of Shinra company... I wonder if they recruit Turks candidate from that place since Cissnei is an example of an orphan
And ahhh, so it's Elmyra's father who was rich!
Father-in-law, the name is Gabriel Gainsborough.

Also it seems that her powers were stronger when she was a kid
But it can be also she's more in denial of her power because the kids didn't wanna play with her, that she's weird.... want to be normal.
I think other kids who aren't Cetra in ACC are just pure and innocent so they could have the connection. I believe the older Cetra is, the more powerful they are; not when they were kids.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
But it can be also she's more in denial of her power because the kids didn't wanna play with her, that she's weird.... want to be normal.
I think other kids who aren't Cetra in ACC are just pure and innocent so they could have the connection. I believe the older Cetra is, the more powerful they are; not when they were kids.
Yes, I thought about it too, actually. It could go either way, or a bit of both. Maybe the fact that the gang accept her as she is is also a factor as to why she can open up to her powers more - but in the OG, it didn't prevent her from feeling lonely because she was the last of her kind and no one could truly understand what she went through.
 
Reading behind the lines, Elmyra knew or suspected that Fuzz (their rescuer) was in love with her, or perhaps wanted some favour-for-favour deal that she had no wish to get herself into. And perhaps was afraid that Aerith wouldn't be safe in Fuzz' care if she, Ifalna, died.

I really like the portrayal of Elmyra in this novel, and how Aerith can't get along with her at first. The way Nojima handles her reaction to her mother's death is beautiful.

He's also really good at writing scoundrels and their shenanigans, so I'm looking forward to finding out what Elmyra is involved in. I got the impression she used her home as a guest house but I might be wrong, maybe it's something else.

"Carlo Kinky". With a name like that, can he be anything but a villain?
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
Nojima has really outdone himself here. He's come a long way in his prose writing.

Though I do suspect @Shademp will hate this part:

“I’ve heard that there’s a church in the Sector 5 Slums. In the past, people gathered here and prayed to God, but nobody comes here anymore. I’ve been thinking that we should hide here a little…”

“I’ve heard about God! Does he really exist?” Aerith was surprised.

“According to his believers, he does. I heard that when they pray, they get empowered.”

“Pray…?”

“It’s something like us Cetra speaking to the planet, although I don’t really understand it. But, since no one is coming to the church anymore, there probably aren’t any believers. It’s too bad for God, but it seems like it’s great for our situation.”
I don't know if he feels differently about it now, but when discussing this very notion before with regard to FFVII, he's expressed to me that the allegory for a thing shouldn't occupy space in the same narrative as the thing it serves as allegory for (e.g. the Lifestream and God).

Tifa bump into Turks when she was on the mountain and offer her service as a guide

RedXIII said they pick Tifa probably because younger ones are easier to manipulate, and are more susceptible to Shinra's propaganda. Tifa was almost still a child, and that's exactly what they want

Aerith ask her would she still want to be the guide now that she knows why she got pick

Tifa think to herself "Yes, because I want to get closer to Cloud", but she never actually answered that question
https://fusetter.com/tw/qd3QlXNj#all

So does that mean that Tifa actually thinks that Cloud was at the Nibelheim incidence present, Is that why she doesn't say anything?
She was hoping he would be coming -- expecting it even if I remember correctly from her CC Ultimania profile.

Anyway, So... the orphanage in Sector 5 is under the influence of Shinra company... I wonder if they recruit Turks candidate from that place since Cissnei is an example of an orphan
They absolutely do. That's confirmed in the CC Complete Guide, as I recall.

Reading behind the lines, Elmyra knew or suspected that Fuzz (their rescuer) was in love with her, or perhaps wanted some favour-for-favour deal that she had no wish to get herself into. And perhaps was afraid that Aerith wouldn't be safe in Fuzz' care if she, Ifalna, died.
Possibilities, but I kind of figured Ifalna just suspected he would probably be found out and then she and Aerith would be seized once again.
 
There's more than one orphanage on their planet, guys. There's probably more than one in Midgar.

Zack has a set of missions called "Orphans Escaping" in the "Seeking Priceless Items" set of missions. However, the orphanage and its children are described like this:
7.5.2 The child is highly trained and reckless. Be mindful of the dangers in this area.
7.5.3 The care facility in question was built to protect orphans brought from various location by Shinra.
7.5.4 By the way, we found out why the orphans run away—chalk it up to the harsh training forced upon them.
7.5.5. By the way, the orphans are set to be assigned with various battalions that correspond with how hard they have trained.
7.5.6 Additionally, this incident has prompted the executives to review the care facility's management...

This does sound like the kind of place Cissnei came from, but it definitely doesn't sound like Leaf House. One could spin it that after the "breakout" of the oprhans Shinra decided to become more caring and compassionate in their treatment of orphans, but does that really sound like the Shinra we know and love? We don't know when Zack undertook these missions, but we do know that it could either have been before or after he met Aerith; we know Aerith has had a long association with Leaf House, and that Biggs worked there before Miss Folia. Does he seem like the kind of man who would have helped to run a brutal boot camp for child soldiers?

Could it be the same facility? Yes, it's possible. However, Leaf House and the facility described in Zack's orphan missions are very, very different. Lead House is a place where kids get love and care, are encouraged to grow up into kind, responsible citizens, and are happy. They love their orphanage. The facility described in Zack's mission is pretty much the complete opposite. Going on the descriptions alone, we can't just assume they're one and the same. We'd need a novel from Nojima explaining how the one turned into the other. (Maybe the Aerith portion of TOTP will do this?)

Until we're explicitly told the two are the same, I find it easier to assume Shinra runs multiple orphanages with multiple purposes.
 
People have been bashing Aerith's section because apparently she doesn't suffer enough? Like apparently she didn't suffer enough since being captured as a baby and now because Elmyra has a nice house and garden she's spoilt and doesn't have to do anything?
Seems like a portion of the fandom is taking TOTP as some kind of Sympathetic Sue dick contest...
Appalling, but not surprising.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Hahaha fandom, never cease to disappoint me.

Back to the book, what I find absolutely fascinating, is that it offers another look on how the characters might feel during their scenes in Remake. Think about the recontextualisation that we can do. Like Tifa thinking that she'd never meet Cloud again, telling him how odd it is to meet again in such place, and coming to make sure he's not going anywhere without her knowing. Like Marlene, wanting desperatly to stay at 7th Heaven because she can't live in the streets again, and understanding that her safe place is going to get destroyed by Shinra with Aerith. Like Aerith seeing her mother die under her eyes, and hear by Hojo how he dissected her.

There are tons of details that give so much depth to the game, I'm actually impressed.
 
Exactly. Tifa and Aerith have lived charmed lives if we really sat and did a compare and contrast list. But I'm not surprised there's discourse like this and it's exactly why I'm not up for watching Cloud suffer in HD 4K the same way he did in the og again. Hell, there are people who posted angry rants about how platefall was too long and wasn't as tragic/devastating/deadly because so many people from Sector 7 slums managed to survive. (This made me realize many people don't know how disaster/evacuation situations play out and that most times there's a great delay from the cause and effect.)

Everyone in this story has gone through some traumatic shit. Even Sephiroth. I hope this doesn't turn into a who suffered more competition.
 

Pandemonium

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Nate
Hell, there are people who posted angry rants about how platefall was too long and wasn't as tragic/devastating/deadly because so many people from Sector 7 slums managed to survive
From what I read, those complaints were more about the secondary characters not dying like they did in the OG (Biggs, Wedge, possibly Jessie). Even characters who were introduced in remake, survived the platefall (Marle, Weimer)
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
Even characters who were introduced in remake, survived the platefall (Marle, Weimer)
Which I still think is a legitimate headscratcher. I know for a fact I wasn't the only one who thought "Dammit, game, I see what you're doing here" when it made me like this feisty but compassionate senior citizen who seemed like the only foot race she'd be likely to run was to the top of the "Most Likely to Die When the Plate Falls" list.
 

frosty

Pro Adventurer
AKA
The Snowman
Maidenofwar said:
People have been bashing Aerith's section because apparently she doesn't suffer enough? Like apparently she didn't suffer enough since being captured as a baby and now because Elmyra has a nice house and garden she's spoilt and doesn't have to do anything?
Who are these "people"? Is this just a small part of the fandom though, who have just...proven to dislike the "other girl" for the sake of their own preferred character?

Anyway, my current thoughts after going through both the Aerith and Tifa bits in the book, (as well as remake) is that SE went through exactly the same thing as my ex-company did when they decided on the live-action remakes of the princess classics in the 1990ies. There was a big PR, marketing and perception sweep of the old source material, and SE picked out all the problematic areas of the OG to tweak them.

The same way, say, Belle was 95% same as her cartoon version in 1991... plotwise, but her 2017 counterpart was bookish, but also an inventor, and they delved into the relationship with her dead mother. Jasmine ended up exactly the same path as her cartoon version (Falling for someone below her station)- but they gave her a new song about how her voice isn't heard as a woman. (Then there was Mulan, which was a bit of a train wreck in feminism, but lets not go there)

You can really see these subtleties in ToTP as well - Aerith has been tweaked to be a bit more "protected" than her OG counterpart - She grew up in a lab, but at 22 has a curfew, lives with her mom, she doesn't know what a "picnic" is, she doesn't know what "hiking" is, she's never seen the sky...or experienced rain, but also grows to stand her ground against Elmyra who is overly protective. Tifa says she's never met "chivalrous / gentlemanly men" because she's grown up with "pretty privilege" and she was objectified, but she's grows up to really hustle - and it's almost laughably predictable that she's going to have a "I like you for you, not just cos you're hot" moment with Cloud, or even Rude - because Rude is written to be really gentlemanly with women.

None of these little tweaks are going to change the story in anyway, but is definitely a modernization process. And when (mostly women) shippers spat over which girl is "better" - know that the huge soc med engine of Square Enix are watching your every move :P
 
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Pandemonium

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Nate
Which I still think is a legitimate headscratcher. I know for a fact I wasn't the only one who thought "Dammit, game, I see what you're doing here" when it made me like this feisty but compassionate senior citizen who seemed like the only foot race she'd be likely to run was to the top of the "Most Likely to Die When the Plate Falls" list.
I thought for sure she and Weimer would've died. For me, it doesn't change the impact of the platefall and aftermath though. I still teared up on my 2nd playthrough of Barret's scene.
 

kathy202

Pro Adventurer
Anyway, my current thoughts after going through both the Aerith and Tifa bits in the book, (as well as remake) is that SE went through exactly the same thing as my ex-company did when they decided on the live-action remakes of the princess classics in the 1990ies. There was a big PR, marketing and perception sweep of the old source material, and SE picked out all the problematic areas of the OG to tweak them.
I was just comparing Square Enix's approach to Disney's in a conversation with a friend today and talking about how similar they are. Very appropriately written to appeal to masses at each point in time.

When I first played the remake, I found it much more modern and better than the OG. Yet as time goes by, I find that while it is still an extremely high quality and enjoyable production, its appeal didn't linger the way the OG's did. Not for me. In fact, some parts became rather cringeworthy. And part of me wonders if it's because the mass appeal factor just doesn't stick to me well as an adult as it did when I was a child.

... I say all that but I'm still reading every damn thing that they release and internally begging for a translation lol
 
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