Trace of Two Pasts novel discussion

Eerie

Fire and Blood
I was just thinking... Tifa's not the only one to be overly distrustful; Cloud is the same with Aerith too. Now I really wonder what kind of Pétia i volk they tell the kids in Nibelheim XD
 

Torrie

SOLDIER simp
Now I really wonder what kind of Pétia i volk they tell the kids in Nibelheim XD
I had to read the sentence twice because... The least did I expect to see a reference to this tale and this particular title here, on TLS, of all the places xDDD

I've come across some fanfic once where the author drew a few parallels between the people in Nibelheim and Russia. I honestly found it hilarious but was kinda flattered, not gonna lie.
 
lol, even as a kid I thought that was funny. "Someone has been with us for, what, one day? How could you implicitly trust them already?"

Of course, on the other hand it's not like the Turks being there was even all that suspicious. It wouldn't have taken a super genius to guess where the party was after the events of the Cargo Ship and the mass shooting at Gold Saucer.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Here we are, Traces of Two Pasts: Episode Tifa, p.122-149.

There are a lot of interesting things in this part, so I'll comment in spoilers:

“Huh?” Tears began to fall from the corner of her eyes.

“Huh?”

She wiped them away and blinked repeatedly.

“How strange…”

She couldn’t pretend to be ignorant of the emotions concealed within her heart. She envied the three of them. They made her realize that she was all alone.
It's meeting up with Wedge, Jessie and Biggs that made her realise how lonely she was. For the first time too, she saw real friends and that made her envious because she lacked it.

“Yikes!” Jessie sat down on the bed and patted the seat next to her. “You can tell your big sister all about it.”

Tifa sat down on the bed as well. After some thought, she let her emotions take control and began to tell her story from the moment the Soldier lost his mind and set fire to her village until the present day. The more they talked, the more it stirred up feelings of regret. Shouldn’t she try to find out the truth about that incident? And yet, she even felt like her debt was a form of escape. Once she got it all out, she wept.
Jessie's behaviour in Remake is, to me... well I don't like it at all. But I'm really glad that Nojima took the time to develop their friendship there. Finally, the scene where Jessie dies in chapter 12 makes sense; looking back, this is not so much about Cloud's feelings regarding Jessie's death (although they accurately describe a young guy who doesn't know what to do because one of his friends is dying in front of him), but rather, Tifa's feelings, which is why she weeps that hard. Jessie is the very first friend she made in the slums - one of her age anyway.

“I am Yuuri Romana, a mentor in the studies of Planetology. I would like to speak to you about the relationship between us and the Planet and of the Planet’s life. I’m sure those of you who are watching this video already know all of this, but please bear with me. To tell the story of our Planet’s life in my own words is, I believe, the only way to pass on the study of Planetology to future generations under this oppression.”

In the video, Yuuri Romana spent thirty minutes talking about the relationship between Planet life and human life. When a person dies, their body decomposes and returns to the earth. But the spirit is absorbed, and becomes a source of life, circling within the Planet and enriching it. Thus bringing new life into existence, and then returning to the earth’s surface. Life changes its form and dwells here and there, in everything. Life is eternal, and the Planet will be their eternal vehicle.
So, there it is. Avalanche's belief in the Planet. I think it's the first time we've heard about the Planet being eternal, uh? I do wonder if the devs modified this bit or if the characters are wrong. It may even be simply a figure of speech to give hope.

“When people die, they disappear. Nothing is left. Since I always thought of it that way, I found the studies of Planetology fascinating.”

“Shinra Company’s the one who brought that up—That people disappear when they die. They’ve got it down to a science. Before them it was the Republic that taught us that when people die, God would condemn them to either Heaven or Hell. And way, way, way before them, the ideas from the study of Planetology were widely accepted.”
So we find out that Shinra was the one who made up the "you die, you disappear" belief - which was an easy out of "oh no we're using the Lifestream which depletes the Planet's strength and kills it little by little" I guess. No hope in such a world.

Before that was the Republic, which is the period when Aerith's church has been built I guess - so it does hold up the theory that no one does pray there anymore. Heaven, Hell, this does look a lot like christianism, uh? FFVII feels more and more like our world. And before that was the Ancients and their belief that probably propagated until the Republic spread out - who knows when that was though, compared to the Cetra's ending?

“Nibelheim is right here with you, and your dad is right here with you too.” Jessie cupped Tifa’s face in her hands. Her touch was warm. “You’re not alone.”

Tifa placed her hands on top of Jessie’s and said, “I haven’t been alone since the day you first came here.”

Jessie’s eyes widened. Flustered, she broke away.

“Oh my god! That’s so sweet of you to say!” She brought both of her hands up to her cheeks, looking extremely flattered. “Well, see ya!”
Forget about all the ships, I present you Jefa? XD No but seriously though, we see it right there as it was being pointed out when Tifa was working with her village's elders: Tifa has become the living memory of Nibelheim. The whole village, as well as her father, they all live with her. Which strengthens her position too for the Lifestream scene which is to come.

“Learning martial arts, fighting, and how it can lead to a person’s death. Things that are so obvious. Why didn’t I think things through?”

“You weren’t the one who killed him.”

“Yeah, I thought of it that way too. I tried to convince myself of that. But it’s not like that. When we fight, we do so while staring at death in the face. Our opponent’s or our own. If we’re not prepared for that, we shouldn’t be fighting. There must be something we want, something we wish to protect, even if it means taking a life. If we don’t have that, then, even after winning, the only thing left is regret. This is a price which is too great to pay for meager satisfaction.”

“Humans are troublesome creatures.”

“Yes, we are. Especially me.”
I really enjoyed this passage with Red XIII. Here we see Tifa who, at that time when she fought the Shinra grunt (think about it! It could have been Cloud!), realises the extent of her power, and what it means to fight. This cast a whole new light on her not really wanting to fight at the beginning of Remake. What's that Spidey's line? With great power comes great responsability? Something like that, probably.

In terms of growth, what we learn, etc. I must say that the Tifa part does an absolute fantastic job. It feels to me that it's something Nojima probably had in mind for quite some time before he finally could write it down. Everything is very detailed, gives a lot to reanalyse in game, as well as a good foreshadowing.

Edited for clarity, because @odekopeko just told me that

the idea of the Planet being an eternal vehicle is just Avalanche's belief; to which Red XIII says that he thought differently.
 
Last edited:
AKA
BBseal
Before that was the Republic, which is the period when Aerith's church has been built I guess
You would think, the materials Ultimania (not plus) seemed to suggest the Church was built after the sector 6 plate collapse as a place to grieve (I know this blew my headcannon apart). So it’s possible Shinra adopted this practice after that.
I’m really curious about the “republic of Junon” and how it gets woven into the geopolitical history in remake moving forward.
 

a_apple 2.0

Pro Adventurer
AKA
a_apple
Here we are, Traces of Two Pasts: Episode Tifa, p.122-149.

There are a lot of interesting things in this part, so I'll comment in spoilers:

It's meeting up with Wedge, Jessie and Biggs that made her realise how lonely she was. For the first time too, she saw real friends and that made her envious because she lacked it.



Jessie's behaviour in Remake is, to me... well I don't like it at all. But I'm really glad that Nojima took the time to develop their friendship there. Finally, the scene where Jessie dies in chapter 12 makes sense; looking back, this is not so much about Cloud's feelings regarding Jessie's death (although they accurately describe a young guy who doesn't know what to do because one of his friends is dying in front of him), but rather, Tifa's feelings, which is why she weeps that hard. Jessie is the very first friend she made in the slums - one of her age anyway.



So, there it is. Avalanche's belief in the Planet. I think it's the first time we've heard about the Planet being eternal, uh? I do wonder if the devs modified this bit or if the characters are wrong. It may even be simply a figure of speech to give hope.



So we find out that Shinra was the one who made up the "you die, you disappear" belief - which was an easy out of "oh no we're using the Lifestream which depletes the Planet's strength and kills it little by little" I guess. No hope in such a world.

Before that was the Republic, which is the period when Aerith's church has been built I guess - so it does hold up the theory that no one does pray there anymore. Heaven, Hell, this does look a lot like christianism, uh? FFVII feels more and more like our world. And before that was the Ancients and their belief that probably propagated until the Republic spread out - who knows when that was though, compared to the Cetra's ending?



Forget about all the ships, I present you Jefa? XD No but seriously though, we see it right there as it was being pointed out when Tifa was working with her village's elders: Tifa has become the living memory of Nibelheim. The whole village, as well as her father, they all live with her. Which strengthens her position too for the Lifestream scene which is to come.



I really enjoyed this passage with Red XIII. Here we see Tifa who, at that time when she fought the Shinra grunt (think about it! It could have been Cloud!), realises the extent of her power, and what it means to fight. This cast a whole new light on her not really wanting to fight at the beginning of Remake. What's that Spidey's line? With great power comes great responsability? Something like that, probably.

In terms of growth, what we learn, etc. I must say that the Tifa part does an absolute fantastic job. It feels to me that it's something Nojima probably had in mind for quite some time before he finally could write it down. Everything is very detailed, gives a lot to reanalyse in game, as well as a good foreshadowing.

Edited for clarity, because @odekopeko just told me that

the idea of the Planet being an eternal vehicle is just Avalanche's belief; to which Red XIII says that he thought differently.
This story is so good, I can't believe it's from the guy who wrote OWTAS. They better make a anime out of it :monster:

EDIT:
The only thing I think is too much is the amount of people who comment on Tifas looks, I understand the idea is to show us how she gets objectified and stuff, but basically every new character that gets introduce tells the reader how cute or how hot she is
 
Last edited:

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
This is Nojima going all out.

OTWTAS were a collection of short form mini stories or novellas.

This is basically a light novel. So it's got far more weight, writing and characterization. The Kids Are Alright would be this story's best comparison and that one was incredible too.
 

frosty

Pro Adventurer
AKA
The Snowman
Eerie said:
Jessie's behaviour in Remake is, to me... well I don't like it at all.
Was it the hitting on Cloud? I always thought it was clear she had no real interest in him - he was an awkward manchild that she enjoyed teasing. Everything she does to him in the game screams HAHA JUST JOKINGGG, and I do kinda like how this characterization carried over into the novel. Like, I can literally HEAR Erica Lindbeck say these lines theatrically:
TotP said:
“Is it because you’re in such awe of my beauty that you’re convinced I’m an actress?”
Eerie said:
Heaven, Hell, this does look a lot like christianism, uh? FFVII feels more and more like our world.
Well, I think most religions have the concept of a heaven and a hell. What I don't like is the possibility that they will introduce God(s), and combined with whole plot ghosts / wrinkle in time / multiverse....like FF13++ shenanigans in FF7R....Which I feel extremely meh meh about.

a_apple_2.0 said:
This story is so good, I can't believe it's from the guy who wrote OWTAS. They better make a anime out of it
I'm going to give @odekopeko credit for the pleasant English localization as well. I read Aerith's part in it's entirety and it feels like it was written by a completely different person and imho more difficult to follow

a_apple_2.0 said:
The only thing I think is too much is the amount of people who comment on Tifas looks, I understand the idea is to show us how she gets objectified and stuff, but basically every new character that gets introduce tells the reader how cute or how hot she is
Same. As if the NPCs in Sector 7 weren't enough. Also, for some reason slighttlyyy uncomfortable at the implication from Marle and Rakesh that she could earn money from her beauty via, well, prostitution. Which brings me to the previous translated chapters of ToTP
ToTP said:
There was a lot of talk like that: Adventure stories from when she was fifteen, tales from when she used to work at Wall Market,
What....was...Marle working as when she was at Wall Market? :huh:
 
Last edited:
Maybe Marle was a Honeybee??

TBH I thought TOTP does a very good job of portraying the constant low-level harassment Tifa has to live with. Maybe we can't even call it harassment, but how she is hardly ever allowed to forget about her body and appearance and the effect it has on other people. It's not pleasant to think of teenage girls being recruited into prostitution, but TOTP has never shied away from the uglier aspects of life in an impoverished slum ruled by gang lords. Container alley! That's just one of many true to life details. (I've seen people living in shipping containers in slums in Khartoum and Nairobi). To me this Tifa section feels really authentic and believable. And I love the descriptions of the steamed buns. They sound delicious, and now I want one!!
 
Last edited:

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Was it the hitting on Cloud?
No, it's because of chapter 3 where she disses Tifa in her back to Cloud. I reallyyyyyyyyyy hated that moment, and really that's the biggest reason why I regret that this Tifa chapter wasn't put in, because I really needed to see Jessie making up for that. Being backstabbed by friends like this is a huge no to me. Not to mention that we do see in ToTP why Tifa acts like this - because she feels the weight of fighting and killing, probably more than Jessie (at least up until she blows up that reactor) - because she knows she has to face death in the face (which is, BTW, a buddhist saying apparently, probably in JP as Peko made the comment to me).

What I don't like is the possibility that they will introduce God(s),
It feels more like "they were wrong to think like that" though. It's not because you have a faith belief that it's true.

As for Marle, yeah I noticed that... and we don't know XD I guess some things are best left unknown lol.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
The summons of FFVII are the equivalent of "gods" in the setting. They were worshiped, revered, and their existence and form are tied to the memories, folklore and experiences that form their existence. Minerva is a "goddess" that takes form from the collective Lifestream. Another example is Ifrit, who was believed to be the giver of flame to humanity and an incarnation of creation and destruction.

So yeah, there are "gods" in FFVII, they're just summons and thanks to materia well... They can be invoked and controlled by those who can handle said materia.
 

a_apple 2.0

Pro Adventurer
AKA
a_apple
No, it's because of chapter 3 where she disses Tifa in her back to Cloud. I reallyyyyyyyyyy hated that moment, and really that's the biggest reason why I regret that this Tifa chapter wasn't put in, because I really needed to see Jessie making up for that. Being backstabbed by friends like this is a huge no to me. Not to mention that we do see in ToTP why Tifa acts like this - because she feels the weight of fighting and killing, probably more than Jessie (at least up until she blows up that reactor) - because she knows she has to face death in the face (which is, BTW, a buddhist saying apparently, probably in JP as Peko made the comment to me).


It feels more like "they were wrong to think like that" though. It's not because you have a faith belief that it's true.

As for Marle, yeah I noticed that... and we don't know XD I guess some things are best left unknown lol.
I think it's safe to assume that Tifa and Jessie had at one point a HUGE fucking fight, probably just before Cloud showed up. Jessie really believes in the cause while Tifa basically only went along because Jessie told her so and she wanted to be her friend. So as soon as shit got real and their Avalanche cell started to get extreme Tifa probably went wtf I didn't sign up for this. So a falling out was unavoidable.
The only thing I literally can't wrap my head around is why they didn't cut out the Pizza talk and gave her and Tifa a moment where they could have some kind of resolution. It felt like even on her deathbed Jessie held some kind of resentment against Tifa.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
Wait wait wait.

That... Is not how Jessie characterized Tifa towards Cloud in chapter 3, at all. She wasn't even dissing Tifa. There was no insult or disrespect. She said:

"Tifa'll be joining us too, but I dunno... Even a blind man can see her heart's not in it. She was never on board with the bombings. So if it comes down to do or die... If I've got to put my life in someone else's hands... Then I'd rather that someone was a professional. Like you."

None of what Jessie said was a lie or even an insult. It's all a statement of fact. Tifa was not for the bombings and did have doubts over the aggressive tactics. And Jessie felt that given the dangerous mission they were about to go on, she would feel safer having a "professional" around like Cloud to rely on, given his resolve and lack of hesitation.

So what's the insult or disrespect here? Jessie isn't maligning Tifa. She just knows her and stating her wish to have Cloud around for guaranteed support for the mission. There's no indication there was even a past fight. Just Tifa feeling hesitant over the direct confrontation and Jessie being aware of that. If anything, Jessie saying this to Cloud isn't just a sledgehammer across his head over the fact she trusts him.... It's also a pretty huge hint that maybe if Tifa is important to him, he should come along to support her too. But of course Cloud doesn't see it that way and the point flies over his head.

And Jessie certainly didn't carry resentment towards Tifa as she died on the pillar. I have no idea where that implication comes from.
 
You guys are reading way more drama into the difference of opinion between Tifa and Jessie than I am. Tifa doesn't seem bothered that Jessie shared it with Cloud:

Cloud: I heard you're having second thoughts.

Tifa: I know we have to think big if we're going to make a difference. But not like this. I just... I feel trapped.

Tifa doesn't deny having doubts, and Jessie's right: if someone has doubts, they shouldn't be a crucial member of the very mission they're having doubts about. It seems Avalanche talked about it pretty frankly while they were down in the basement:

Cloud: What, they kick you out?

Tifa: We agreed to disagree.

I think Tifa and Jessie are both mature enough not to get into a fight about it. After all, they're good friends.

Paradoxically, Tifa's burden of guilt is probably greater than that of Biggs, Wedge or Jessie. Tifa knows in her heart that she joined Avalanche to get personal revenge, and that the people who get killed in their bombing raids had nothing to do with the death of her father. She believes, I think, that the motives of the others are more altruistic and idealistic than her own.

Edited to add: It seems we agree for once, Mako. You posted yours while I was still typing.
 

a_apple 2.0

Pro Adventurer
AKA
a_apple
The vibe I got is that there is a lot of hurt feelings between them. It's hard to describe but, it's kinda their body language and how they interact with each other? I wouldn't be surprise if we find out in part II when we visit the GS what happen between them.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
The Ultimania Plus offers nothing to imply that and the words themselves say nothing of the sort. Jessie's grave demeanor while confiding in Cloud she'd like to have him watching her back, comes from the simple fact this is an important and dangerous mission. Jessie has every reason to want Cloud to accompany her and offer his services to ensure success and not getting killed.

As for Tifa, her feelings and behavior are pretty clear in their origin. She says it openly. She feels trapped. She is torn between wanting to fight Shinra and not wanting to hurt people. She disagreed with some of it and that's why she feels torn.

Really not seeing how this is a Tifa and Jessie fight with waves of animosity or resentment. This isn't even so much a conflict between them as it is with Tifa and disagreeing with all of the rest of AVALANCHE, over tactics.
 

a_apple 2.0

Pro Adventurer
AKA
a_apple
Nah I disagree, I think something went down between them, that's just the vibe their behavior gave me. I'm betting 10 bucks that we will learn about it in part two :mon:
 
I used to be puzzled by that statement of Tifa's - "I feel trapped". Trapped by what, I wondered? If she didn't like what Avalanche was up to, why didn't she just hit the bricks? But TOTP makes it clear (to me anyway) that she feels trapped between her loyalty to her friends (her only friends?), who have helped her in so many ways, and her personal doubts about the morality of terrorism.

PS I'd take that bet. Apart from anything else, Tifa is profoundly conflict-averse when it comes to her friends.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
Honestly, I think Part 2's plot is going to be focused on the pursuit of Sephiroth, the Nibelheim massacre, and what Sephiroth's intentions are to really revisit an isolated meeting over bombing Reactor 5 and whether or not Tifa and Jessie butted heads over some unmentioned and hidden drama. But I guess we'll see.
 
Top Bottom