Trace of Two Pasts novel discussion

odekopeko

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Peko
As far as the "don't objectify Tifa" point goes, it felt like a meta-commentary which Nojima was making with the novel. It's not the only point he was making, no not at all, but I think it was one of the messages he wanted to communicate with the novel. As I noted above, it seemed like the references to Tifa's appearance was done intentionally from an external-universe perspective (in-universe too for character and plot reasons but that's not what the point is about here). From an external perspective, it was like Nojima - the author, the man himself - is acknowledging that, "Yes Tifa's attractive," but he - Nojima the man himself - is also encouraging the fans to look beyond that external beauty and to look at the content of her character that extends beyond the surface.
Damn it. I choked up reading this. ㅠㅠ
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Finally, this is the end of the Tifa part novella in ToTP. It's a long read this time!

About this part specifically:
There is of course a passage that reminded me of the convo we just had; and so yeah, I do feel that we're supposed to see Tifa struggling because she looks too hot and people will judge her based on her looks (and how they can exploit it) rather than her own good points. It does feel that Nojima is pointing fingers at a certain part of the fandom who only judges her based on her looks, definitely :D

We finally meet Barret and Marlene! And everything reconnects. I reckon we're going to see more of Avalanche in the next parts, there are definitely things that are left unanswered - especially about Elfe - so I'm keeping my eyes opened in the next parts for this. I wonder if we'll see them in Wutai? Since it looks like it's going to be heavily redesigned. Again, tho, it does feel to me that Biggs wasn't developped in part 1 because he will get development later on - even here, he barely is here, his motivation for hating Shinra are left unsaid, etc. Yeah, Bigg's coming back (only to die, I know, I know, well, probably...).

Also, I would have never guessed who Uncle truly is, it took me by surprise lol.

About the whole Tifa part: it was a fantastic read, and a pleasure to work on alongside @odekopeko! Thank you my dear for this huge gift to the fandom! I love Tifa even more, and her part definitely read like a testament of her importance and Nojima's love towards her character. We can see how strong and kind she is, how her past connects the dots, alluding to Cloud's past and their feelings for each other. The Avalanche connection, and some mysteries about it. When I read the Tifa part, it definitely reads like this is the backbone of Remake, as it alludes heavily where Remake is going.

About the Aerith part: I'm a bit miffed because it feels... less about herself. Sure it's eventful, and I think there are some really interesting things to look up to regarding her powers but... her part definitely feels lackluster compared to Tifa's? Although it does explain some of her character, I would have liked to dive more into how she felt, etc. I can't pinpoint it, but Aerith part felt less connected to the overall plot to me, except the part about her powers and the very beginning with Ifalna. So I'm a bit disappointed.
 

frosty

Pro Adventurer
AKA
The Snowman
Thanks for the translations and proofreading @odekopeko and @Eerie!

Eerie said:
I can't pinpoint it, but Aerith part felt less connected to the overall plot to me, except the part about her powers and the very beginning with Ifalna. So I'm a bit disappointed.
Personally I felt that it's because Aerith's part is quite heavy on new characters (the children who bullied her, the Gainsborough connection with the sector gangs), and these characters are created solely for this novel with no further presence in the compilation - off the cuff now while I'm typing this, I can't even remember their names besides "That creepy guy who helped Ilfana out and gave her drugs" and "Elmyra's husband's best friend who became the new gang lead and gave Elmyra a hug before he left".

Tifa's part has a good balance between new (expendable) characters like Damini and Rakesh, but the also connections she makes with people like Cloud, Zangan, Marle, Barret, Marlene, Jessie, Biggs, Wedge etc - characters the audiences are already attached to. Like you said, this "connect the dots" is what is enjoyable and organic.
 
Ah this is great, thanks to you both!

I like that Rakesh and " Manson" aren't fully evil - they're complicated, realistic characters with a range of motivations and good and bad traits, like real people, with Rakesh ultimately being pathetic more than anything else. It feels like they're emphasising how much it's the situations that the slums put people in that leads to everyone kinda fucking everyone else over to survive. That said, it was a little bit of a deus ex machina to solve Tifa's debt problems quickly, but he had to wrap things up somehow!

Also very interested in Elfe cropping up by name, they really are fully linking in Before Crisis, which I am extremely hype for!
 

jeangl123

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Jean
I'm so happy that Elfe was mentioned! First were the characters from that Advent Children novel, then Nero and Weiss, and now Elfe. They are really integrating the Compilation in Remake!

Who will be next? Cissnei? Genesis? Minerva? I cannot wait!
One of the BC turks was referenced in an earlier chapter so we're definitely going to see more of them. Hojo's character description in the chapter loading screen references Lazard with the "former director" being mentioned there. Genesis and Angeal also had multiple references so I also expect to see more compilation characters rather than them being name-drops or references.
 

JBedford

Pro Adventurer
AKA
JBed
I don't know if this is useful, but the Kindle e-book locations:

34% of the way through the book
知ら ない わけ では なかっ た。 アバランチ は ミッドガル の 秩序 を 乱す 反 神 羅 組織 だ。 あちら こちら で 暴力 的 な 事件 を 起こし て いる。 リーダー は エルフェ。 「たとえ そう だ として も、 悪い 人 たち じゃ あり ませ ん」 「君 が どう 思う か じゃ なく て、 問題 は 神 羅 が どう 思う か だ よ。 距離 を 置い た 方 が いい。 アバランチ 狩り に 君 が 巻きこま れる ん じゃ ない かと 思う と 不安 でね」
野島一成. 小説FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Traces of Two Pasts (Kindle Locations 1377-1380). スクウェア・エニックス. Kindle Edition.


and 50% of the way through (near the end of Tifa's chapter)
バレット は 床 に ど さり と 座っ て あぐら を かい た。
「単純 な 話 でよ。 俺 を アバランチ に 入れ て くれ。 あんた が 頼り な ん だ。 リーダー に 引き合わ せ て くれ よ。 エルフェ だろ?」

ジェシー は ベッド に 腰掛け て、 やはり あぐら を かい て いる。 ティファ は 壁 に 寄りかかっ て ふたり の 話 を 聞く こと に し た。
「うーん」 ジェシー は 頰 を、 そして 脇腹 を 搔 い た。「 こっち の 話 は 単純 じゃ ない の。 でも 説明 する から、 聞い て」


バレット が 身 を 乗り出す。
「エルフェ が 率いる アバランチ の 本流、 源流 が どうも おかしな こと に なっ ちゃっ てて。 目的 が 見え ない ん だ よね。 で、 そこ から 距離 を 置い た アバランチ が 幾つ か 存在 する わけ。 でも、 それぞれ が 小さい の。 三人 とか 十人 とか 大きく ても 二十 人 くらい。 神 羅 相手 に 事 を 起こす には 全然 足り ない よね。 だから まとまろ う と する ん だ けど、 神 羅 を 潰す、 魔 晄 炉 を 壊す、 星 を 守る、 ミッドガル の 自治。 共和国 復興。 ね?   色んな 目的 の 人 が いる わけ よ。 それ をね、 まとめよ う という のが 今夜 の 集会 だっ た。 でもさ、 まとまる はず ない じゃ ない?   私 たち 三人 ─ ─ ビッグス と ウェッジ でさえ まとまら ない のに」
野島一成. 小説FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Traces of Two Pasts (Kindle Locations 2037-2047). スクウェア・エニックス. Kindle Edition.
 

ultima786

Pro Adventurer
AKA
ultima
I agree--I think the "Aerith closest to memories of the future" is our Aerith--but the simplest explanation for who's helping her materialize would be her future Lifestream self. Otherwise the theories start to get a little crazy... Jenova? Minerva? Sephiroth?
did you ever translate this yourself? do you agree with Audrey's translation? Does it give you the sense that it's one aerith or two?
 

TurquoiseHammer

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Ultimasamune
did you ever translate this yourself? do you agree with Audrey's translation? Does it give you the sense that it's one aerith or two?
Q: What sort of message were you trying to convey by having Aerith speak the lines “You mustn’t fall in love with me. Even if it seems you have, it isn’t real”?

[Toriyama's] A: Aerith herself is physically detained inside the Shinra Building at this point in time. The figure that shows up before Cloud is an Aerith who's exceptionally in touch with memories of the future, and who appeared here after some sort of consciousness acted upon the Lifestream. She seems to be making a genuine plea, yet while these words are intended for Cloud, I think Aerith is partly speaking them to herself. Her request to Cloud may be at odds with how she truly feels inside.

Audrey's translation is basically the same, though it omits one line from the answer and it also says "an Aerith with memories closest to the future" instead of "an Aerith closest to memories of the future." But either way, no firm answers other than that someone/something other than present-day Remake Aerith was involved in making her appear there.
 

ultima786

Pro Adventurer
AKA
ultima
Q: What sort of message were you trying to convey by having Aerith speak the lines “You mustn’t fall in love with me. Even if it seems you have, it isn’t real”?

[Toriyama's] A: Aerith herself is physically detained inside the Shinra Building at this point in time. The figure that shows up before Cloud is an Aerith who's exceptionally in touch with memories of the future, and who appeared here after some sort of consciousness acted upon the Lifestream. She seems to be making a genuine plea, yet while these words are intended for Cloud, I think Aerith is partly speaking them to herself. Her request to Cloud may be at odds with how she truly feels inside.

Audrey's translation is basically the same, though it omits one line from the answer and it also says "an Aerith with memories closest to the future" instead of "an Aerith closest to memories of the future." But either way, no firm answers other than that someone/something other than present-day Remake Aerith was involved in making her appear there.
You’re doing God’s work.
 

Eerie

Fire and Blood
Q: What sort of message were you trying to convey by having Aerith speak the lines “You mustn’t fall in love with me. Even if it seems you have, it isn’t real”?

[Toriyama's] A: Aerith herself is physically detained inside the Shinra Building at this point in time. The figure that shows up before Cloud is an Aerith who's exceptionally in touch with memories of the future, and who appeared here after some sort of consciousness acted upon the Lifestream. She seems to be making a genuine plea, yet while these words are intended for Cloud, I think Aerith is partly speaking them to herself. Her request to Cloud may be at odds with how she truly feels inside.

Audrey's translation is basically the same, though it omits one line from the answer and it also says "an Aerith with memories closest to the future" instead of "an Aerith closest to memories of the future." But either way, no firm answers other than that someone/something other than present-day Remake Aerith was involved in making her appear there.
Even with your translation, I still think it's Aerith who has died. I remember me and @odekopeko chatting before this interview was out about this scene because she thought it was OG!Aerith in this scene (linked to how she talked), but everything truly makes sense if she's dead and she knows what happened at this stage (Cloud's identity troubles, his love for Tifa, the fact that Sephiroth kills her). Those three points are pointed at during her scene, and all three do hurt her, IMHO. And despite being in love with Cloud still (as per CoLW), she wishes she wouldn't fall in love with Cloud, to at least ease her heart.

End of off topic for me XD
 

Roundhouse

Pro Adventurer
Just looked through Tifa's section of the book. My main thought is that Rakesh is actually the best scumbag character in Midgar...better than Corneo and whoever else popped up in the game. Kinda a shame that we never see him in remake. Also the translator's comments about Eerie are adorable! They must be a good pal.
 
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