Why does this game mean so much to us?

Random FF Fan

Lv. 1 Adventurer
#1
The recent FF7R commercial hit me like a ton of bricks. I watched the 7 minute version without subtitles and then yesterday watched the 13 minute version with subtitles. I went through some trauma almost a decade ago and since then I've rarely cried or get overly emotional. In the last ten years I could count the number of times I've cried on one hand. Watching this I had tears streaming down my face. It felt so good, I can't exactly explain why either.

My Wife didn't grow up playing video games nor is she a gamer now. She plays the occasional game on her phone but that's about it. She's seen how excited I've been for this remake and is confused as hell, yet I think she also shares some excitement with me. She first learned I was crazy about this game when at our wedding I insisted everyone was seated to Aeriths theme and she walk down the aisle to Tifas theme haha. I'm hoping she'll play the remake herself or watch me play it.

I sat with her and had her watch the 13 minute version also. She didn't get it. Why is everyone so excited... it's just a game... her brothers an asshole if he'd only talk to his sister because of a video game. I tried to explain this game is that powerful. I honestly believe this remake could bring a lost relationship back together like that. But why?? Why is this game that powerful? Why does it mean so much to me and so many others? Why does just a commercial for it have grown men in tears? It's just a game right?

I don't know how to explain why it means so much to me. I'll try here, because I know you'll understand. I'd love to hear your stories and why it means so much to you.

I remember the day my dad gave me this game vividly. I would've been about 9 years old. He came home from work and told me he had a surprise for me. I was extremely excited, what 9 year old doesn't love surprises? We sat down on our couch and he handed me a plastic bag from best buy or wherever he'd bought it. I pulled FF7 for PC out of the bag and was immediately intrigued. Cloud looked so cool with his giant buster sword. I had no idea what the game was about. I don't know why my dad bought it for me. I hadn't heard of it or asked him to get it for me. He's not a big gamer or anything like that. The only gaming console we really had was a Sega Genesis. I had to go to my cousins house or a friends to play PS1 or N64 games (sad i know:(). I don't know of any other big games I'd played on our home PC. To this day I'm not sure where he'd heard of FF7 and why he got it for me, besides he was/is a good dad and just wanted to get me something.

He helped me install it and I was immediately hooked. It came with a keyboard cover that showed all the commands and I felt so smart/cool learning to use the num pad to play. My older sister got hooked playing it as well. She didn't play video games a whole lot either. She was really into the Shining Force games for Sega but that was about it before this. Our house was about 100 yards from our mailbox where the school bus would pick up and drop us off. Every day after school we'd get off the bus and race to the house to see who'd get to play FF7 first. Some days I'd win, some days she would. Whoever lost would sit and watch as the other played. In school I had 2 other classmates who were playing it as well. We'd spend all day talking about Cloud, Barret, Tifa and the gang saving the planet. How cool Red XIII looked, how pretty Aerith was, it was all we talked about. We'd all draw sketches of the characters. I was a terrible artist so i'd usually just trace from the book that came inside the game case. It was a competition to see who would get to the next disc first. My sister was always ahead of me and I was jealous. She got a golden chocobo before me, got the final limit breaks, beat the weapons and all that way before I did. Whenever I went to my cousins house I'd watch him play and he'd explain the depth of the story to me. He understood all the parts that were confusing to me.

The game absolutely consumed my life, In the best way. I can't help but smile as I type this thinking about how happy I was back then. Those days seem timeless. I'm not sure how long this period lasted, a few months? A year? I really don't know. This time period is the epitome of my childhood and innocence. My biggest worry was if I could run faster than my sister that day. My biggest fear was Sephiroth, Meteor, Jenova and Shinra. This is before 9/11, before my parents almost got a divorce, before my older sister hit her rebellious phase and we grew apart. Before I learned that there were evil things in real life, not just in my game.

I think that's why this game means so much to me. It symbolizes the purest, most innocent, happiest time period of my life. I don't think I'll ever feel that happy again. That's life though, there's a certain innocence to childhood that is lost at some point. To think I could re-create that happiness as an adult is unrealistic. Not to say that true happiness itself is unattainable as an adult. it's just whatever type of happiness I have now is just.... different. I'm not sure how to explain it. It's kind of like the story of FF7 itself in a way. Aerith always embodied innocence to me. After her death the story is forever changed. No matter what happy moments come later, those happy moments are always tainted by her loss, in this case, the loss of innocence.
The cousin I've referenced committed suicide 9 years ago. His death will always carry the same weight as Aeriths. Not literally but metaphorically. We were really close and my life story much like the story of FF7 is now split in two, the time before his/her death and the time after.

I suffer from anxiety and depression. I've never seriously considered suicide but there have been times I've asked myself what's the point, and things like that. Since the remake announcement thoughts like that are quickly extinguished because of this game. Like I'd be thinking and say to myself, "life sucks right now... what's the point of being alive? Nahh dude the FF7 remake is coming eventually, you can't miss that". That was some time ago before I got married and had my daughter and made a lot of progress on my mental health. So don't worry I'm good haha :P.

Part of me was hoping for new content or a Red XIII reveal in this commercial. The commercial was perfect and really embodied the nostalgia and what this game means to so many people.

If you can put into words why this game means so much to you I'd love to hear it. I love this game and it's fans. Thanks for allowing me to be vulnerable and listening :)
 

Clean Cut Chaos

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Cub Chaos
#2
My grandma came over to babysit my brother and I for the weekend while the parental units were out of town. I got home from school on Friday, did my chores, and we went to Blockbuster to rent me a PS1 (I'm not that old, but kinda am). I had borrowed FF7 and a memory card from a friend. I sat in our unfinished basement on the small TV and only came up for some food and a few hours sleep.

I had just gotten past the "event" at the end of disk 1 when it was time to take everything back and get my homework done. I was devastated. I couldn't concentrate on reading a thing. I didn't get to pick it back up again until sometime later when I was able to buy my own PS1 and game.

Sometimes I wonder if I would have had the same reaction to the game if I could have just continued on with the story right away.

I don't know exactly why, but I've had a strange emotional attachment to the game ever since. I thought I was crazy until people started talking about the remake. I had no clue how many people where impacted by it.
 
#4
Over the years Final Fantasy VII taught me something.

"You will never know everything there is to know about any given game."​

As a young boy, I may have defined "knowing everything about a game" as knowing how to achieve 100% completion. With FF7, every time I thought I knew how to achieve 100% completion I would be proven wrong in less than a year. Eventually I got into the rabbit hole(s) of the game's unused content, developer interviews, mods, translations, versions of the game, interpretations of the story, the real-life cultural inspirations and so on and so on.

The statement "you can't know everything" may seem like a no-brainer but it's a lesson that resonates with you on an ever deeper, emotional level the more you learn about any given topic.

Final Fantasy VII taught me, on a truly visceral level of understanding, that I can never learn EVERYTHING there is to know about games and indeed ART as a whole.


Some games lend themselves better/easier than others towards rediscovery and re-examination of course and FFVII lands especially high in that "re" category. Replayable. Rediscoverable. Re-examinable. Remake-able. :monster:
 

Random FF Fan

Lv. 1 Adventurer
#5
I had just gotten past the "event" at the end of disk 1 when it was time to take everything back and get my homework done. I was devastated. I couldn't concentrate on reading a thing. I didn't get to pick it back up again until sometime later when I was able to buy my own PS1 and game.
Just getting through disc 1 and having to stop would have drove me crazy.
 

Sephira

That Silver-haired Lady
AKA
Sephiravania
#6
Hoo-boy, this thread... now we're talking.

I think I already said this before in another thread (the FFVIIR Commercial one) but yeah, Final Fantasy VII is not just a game for me. It has a myriad of meanings for me, it brings back the sweetest of memories, and that's simply priceless.

I've always been kind of a loner. I'm an introvert, socially awkward and a geek -holy cow, I did read Astronomy books at age 5, for kids, but yeah- and spent almost all of my childhood, puberty and adolescence alone, as I didn't have many friends. So, a day, I got a PS1 as a gift from one of my uncles, and I all I could play on it were the demo versions of the games that came in the Demo Disk: Metal Gear Solid 1, Medievil, Gran Turismo, Wild 9, and some others I can't really remember now. Mind you, my mom and I were mostly poor, we didn't have much money, so a PlayStation for me was the greatest treasure ever.

My mom. She knew I wanted more games, so she secretly saved money from the small jobs she did, and, one day, she told me she was going to buy me one. She took me to the Shopping Mall, and as I walked in the videogame store, I saw this huge, awesome poster with a guy carrying a big sword on it--- WHOA. The guy in charge of the store told me that was the newest game that had arrived, and that, along with my immediate crush with that poster, made me want that game. The game: Final Fantasy VII. The year: 1997.

So yeah, I got the game and began playing it. I would read the dialogues and write down the words I didn't understand (I was only 13 years old at the moment and I speak Spanish!) to look them up at my old English-Spanish/Spanish-English dictionary so I could understand more--- yeah, that means I learned how to speak and write English thanks to Final Fantasy VII! ... I learned by myself, using my English classes at school as a base.

To say I fell in love with the story immediately would be the understatement of the millennia. The first scene that got engraved in my mind was Sephiroth revealing Jenova at the Mako Reactor in Nibelheim: "But they... those worthless creatures are stealing the Planet from Mother. But now I'm here with you... so don't worry." ... That scene. I remember watching it and immediately feeling identified with Sephiroth (I adored my mom, there was a time when the whole family turned its back on us after my dad's death, so it was only the two of us) because he was telling his mother he was there for her. So yes, my love for Sephiroth was born at that very moment.

And speaking of my mom, she absolutely loved the music from the game. She would ask me to leave the intro sequence roll so she could listen to the Main Theme (imagine me when it started playing during the commercial!), and would relax and fall asleep while listening to the music in the World Map. She also loved Bugenhagen's explanation about life, death, and the Lifestream.

Unfortunately, she passed away almost two years ago. I wish she was here so I could tell her about the Remake and for her to watch me play it while enjoying its absolute awesomeness and beautiful music. But I know she's there in the Lifestream now, somewhere.

That's why Final Fantasy VII isn't just a game for me. I absolutely adore it, and it's a part of myself now.
 

Scribe

All Materia Peddler
AKA
ScribeTheTaru
#7
I want to take a moment out to answer the thread title: I believe it is because it was the game that actually was a fantasy based on reality. It's ties to the real world are very specific for me: Mako=Oil, Cries of the planet=Natural Disaters, Ancients = Indigenous Tribes, Shinra=Corporate Greed. It explores losing oneself in Ego, loss of a loved one, extreme tragedies, greed, suffering, POVERTY, class-ism, betrayal, the list goes on. So in totallity I am attached to this game because it helped me navigate complex human troubles which lead me to make decisions on what kind of adult I was going to become. This wasn't the only thing to help shape me but it was a big part.
 

Random FF Fan

Lv. 1 Adventurer
#8
Hoo-boy, this thread... now we're talking.

I think I already said this before in another thread (the FFVIIR Commercial one) but yeah, Final Fantasy VII is not just a game for me. It has a myriad of meanings for me, it brings back the sweetest of memories, and that's simply priceless.

I've always been kind of a loner. I'm an introvert, socially awkward and a geek -holy cow, I did read Astronomy books at age 5, for kids, but yeah- and spent almost all of my childhood, puberty and adolescence alone, as I didn't have many friends. So, a day, I got a PS1 as a gift from one of my uncles, and I all I could play on it were the demo versions of the games that came in the Demo Disk: Metal Gear Solid 1, Medievil, Gran Turismo, Wild 9, and some others I can't really remember now. Mind you, my mom and I were mostly poor, we didn't have much money, so a PlayStation for me was the greatest treasure ever.

My mom. She knew I wanted more games, so she secretly saved money from the small jobs she did, and, one day, she told me she was going to buy me one. She took me to the Shopping Mall, and as I walked in the videogame store, I saw this huge, awesome poster with a guy carrying a big sword on it--- WHOA. The guy in charge of the store told me that was the newest game that had arrived, and that, along with my immediate crush with that poster, made me want that game. The game: Final Fantasy VII. The year: 1997.

So yeah, I got the game and began playing it. I would read the dialogues and write down the words I didn't understand (I was only 13 years old at the moment and I speak Spanish!) to look them up at my old English-Spanish/Spanish-English dictionary so I could understand more--- yeah, that means I learned how to speak and write English thanks to Final Fantasy VII! ... I learned by myself, using my English classes at school as a base.

To say I fell in love with the story immediately would be the understatement of the millennia. The first scene that got engraved in my mind was Sephiroth revealing Jenova at the Mako Reactor in Nibelheim: "But they... those worthless creatures are stealing the Planet from Mother. But now I'm here with you... so don't worry." ... That scene. I remember watching it and immediately feeling identified with Sephiroth (I adored my mom, there was a time when the whole family turned its back on us after my dad's death, so it was only the two of us) because he was telling his mother he was there for her. So yes, my love for Sephiroth was born at that very moment.

And speaking of my mom, she absolutely loved the music from the game. She would ask me to leave the intro sequence roll so she could listen to the Main Theme (imagine me when it started playing during the commercial!), and would relax and fall asleep while listening to the music in the World Map. She also loved Bugenhagen's explanation about life, death, and the Lifestream.

Unfortunately, she passed away almost two years ago. I wish she was here so I could tell her about the Remake and for her to watch me play it while enjoying its absolute awesomeness and beautiful music. But I know she's there in the Lifestream now, somewhere.

That's why Final Fantasy VII isn't just a game for me. I absolutely adore it, and it's a part of myself now.
Gave me chills, thanks for sharing. Sorry your moms no longer here. I'm sure she'll be watching you play and listening along to the music :). I hope my cousin gets a copy wherever he's at and will be playing along with me.

I never truly appreciated the soundtrack til a re-playthrough a few years ago. Around the time they announced the remake I re-played the original. I was surprised how well I remembered all the tracks. After that I often will play YouTube mixes of the soundtrack when i'm in bed trying to fall asleep. Tifa and Aeriths theme now hold an especially special place in my heart. Every time I hear Tifas theme I picture my Wife walking down the aisle :). The Cosmo Canyon theme, OMG I can't wait to hear that in the remake.
 

Sephira

That Silver-haired Lady
AKA
Sephiravania
#9
Gave me chills, thanks for sharing. Sorry your moms no longer here. I'm sure she'll be watching you play and listening along to the music :). I hope my cousin gets a copy wherever he's at and will be playing along with me.

I never truly appreciated the soundtrack til a re-playthrough a few years ago. Around the time they announced the remake I re-played the original. I was surprised how well I remembered all the tracks. After that I often will play YouTube mixes of the soundtrack when i'm in bed trying to fall asleep. Tifa and Aeriths theme now hold an especially special place in my heart. Every time I hear Tifas theme I picture my Wife walking down the aisle :). The Cosmo Canyon theme, OMG I can't wait to hear that in the remake.
Thanks to you for reading and sharing your story as well! :properhug: not everyone understands why we love FFVII so much, that's why I'm happy I can tell you all about it. Because we're on the same ship here.

I've always loved FFVII's music (well, all of the music from Final Fantasy, truth to be said) because it has a very special meaning to me. Tifa's and Aerith's Themes are beautiful, and one of my favorite tracks is Mako Reactor, it's like... mysterious to me. I also like The Chase, and, of course, One-Winged Angel, that's a song I listen to really, really often. This Remake is going to be wonderful. I'm sure of it.
 

ChipNoir

Internet Ghost
AKA
Mister Spooks.
#10
For me, FFVII is the nexxus point of developing my identity. Nearly every hardcore interest I have extends out from playing it when I was 10 and just starting to really understand the idea of personal identity. Every interest I pursued from that point onward till my early 20s has a big neon arrow pointing back to that formative year focusing on nothing but FFVII.
 

Roundhouse

Pro Adventurer
#11
The game is tied to my childhood, like it is for so many of you. It absolutely blew me away -- the characterisation, the music, the setting, the direction, the way the world could just swallow you up. Even when I play it now, years later, I still think of it as one of the greatest games ever made, simply because it has such a powerful emotional core. The (carefully earned) tragedy at the heart of it is something that even a lot of modern games simply don't have. Some games are fun, some make you think, some make you feel, etc. FF7 didn't just do those things, it also makes a lasting mark/impression on you. It's not a perfect game, but it has real heart.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream & FFVII: Reflections
#12
FFVII was my first of the series, the first Final Fantasy game I had ever played (aside from snippets of Mystic Quest on a friend's SNES once or twice, but I barely remember it). I was in college back in '97, my second year, and it was Christmas break. I remember I had asked for an N64 for Christmas because I was big into Mortal Kombat at the time and I didn't know anything about the PS1 but still had my 8-bit NES and enjoyed it. I did get the N64 and a couple games like I asked, but my mom convinced me to let my older brother trade them in for a PS1 instead since she'd heard that was the more popular console. So I did, and as I didn't know what games there were for it, I let my brother decide. And of the two he picked, one of them was FFVII.

I didn't actually touch it until spring break because I didn't know much about it and was still more into MK. But when I finally did, out of curiosity more than anything else, I was hooked within minutes. I had never seen a game like it before, one that was as much a story as it was something you played. I couldn't get enough of it. And by the time spring break was over, I had finished the Temple of the Ancients but not gotten to the Forgotten Capital yet. I had to leave my PS1 at home - college was two hours away - so I went online and read what I could about the game. I didn't find out exactly what happened to Aerith, but I did accidentally see in a walkthrough that she wasn't coming back. I didn't go further to find out why because I wanted to see it for myself, so the moment still affected me, though probably not as much as it would have had I not found out what I did.

Anyway, it's still my favorite after all this time and after playing and finishing virtually every single player numbered FF there is. There's something about it that sets it apart. Something that reaches you, I think, in a way most games don't. And over the years, it's become more relevant to me than it once was. I discovered fan fiction through FFVII after I had played it, and I would never have developed my skills as a writer if I hadn't written my own stories based on the game. Some, the oldest ones, I've lost and unfortunately can't find anymore, while others remain on my alt account on FFN and saved on my hard drive. I stopped writing about twelve years ago after finishing a long FFVII/FFVIII crossover story that had taken me a couple years to finish.

I didn't think I'd do any more after that, and I was busy with my girlfriend and my son, who was two at the time. I had also wanted to focus more on original work, and while I do have one such story I poke at now and again, it's been hard to get very far with it - I'm better at writing narrative than doing world-building, I think. But when all the new trailers for the remake came out this year, it inspired me to get back into writing and return to an attempt I had begun many years ago to novelize FFVII. I was afraid I had lost my touch because it had been so long, but it's been going better than I had originally thought it would and I've gotten pretty far with it.

FFVII has become more personal to me over the years as things have happened in my life, especially because I've unfortunately come to have firsthand experience with what Cloud went through with Aerith. Back in 2011, my girlfriend - the same one I mentioned previously - fell ill and died unexpectedly just after her 31st birthday. We had been together almost seven years by then and loved each other very much. We hadn't had much money, but with my family's help, we had finally gotten to the point where we were able to at least be on our feet, so to say, and not have to worry about how to pay all our bills. I had just gotten her an engagement ring after finally being able to afford such a thing for the first time since we'd been together.

But I was never able to give it to her because she died before I had the chance. I had taken her to the ER the day before, she was there for like six hours, but they never found anything and they let her go. And she passed away during the night while our son and I were asleep. So the loss of Aerith in FFVII resonates with me very personally, as I felt much the same as Cloud when my girlfriend died and I've been through what he went through. I blamed myself too, for a while, like Cloud surely did about Aerith, until I realized there was nothing more I could have done for her than what I did and that it wasn't my fault.

So I've been raising our son ever since, and now I have a younger son as well, from a short and troubled marriage I had a few years after my girlfriend died. They've both seen me play FFVII and asked me about it. My younger boy, when he sees battles going on, sometimes likes to pretend he's fighting, too. He's five now and says "Aerif" instead of "Aerith", and one time, when he saw the scene where Cloud is hanging off the edge of the catwalk after beating Air Buster, he said "Cloud's in big trouble!" He's funny like that. My older son used to listen to the prelude all the time when he went to bed. It actually works pretty well.

Whenever I replay FFVII and get to that moment with Aerith - and to a lesser extent, the loss of the AVALANCHE trio - I think of my girlfriend. She never played it herself, but she had watched me play it before, and she had watched AC/AC:C with me before, too. So she knew a little of what it was. And when I started writing my novelization this year, I hadn't realized at first that this would be the first time since she died that I'd have written about characters dying. But it was. I'd had characters die in that crossover I wrote, but it wasn't the same. I hadn't experienced it myself back then.

But with Lifestream, it's been different. It wasn't until I got close to the scenes at the pillar that it really hit me. It turned out to be harder to write than I had thought. Not because I didn't know what what going to happen, but because of all the thoughts and feelings it brought back. I drew upon them to convey those moments even though I almost didn't want to keep going. I was a little tempted to go AU and keep the trio alive, but I couldn't bring myself to do that. Both because it wouldn't have been true to the story and because I didn't want to run from my feelings. And I had more reasons for that dream Cloud had than just giving him one last scene with Jessie, though that was of course part of it, too. But I had other reasons, much more personal ones again tied to my experiences with the loss of my girlfriend. I'll just say that art can sometimes have a way of imitating life, and this was one such case.

I always think of my girlfriend when I replay FFVII. She's my Aerith, in a way. I still miss her. It comes and it goes, but it never disappears entirely. She's always a part of me. And her memory makes FFVII more special to me than it otherwise would have been. I've had a few relationships in the years since she died, but none of them worked out. I'm still looking for my Tifa. And in the meantime, raising my boys on my own. Sorry this was so long, just wanted to share my story of FFVII and what it means to me. It's more than a game, I think. It's an experience, one you never forget and always want to go back to. I replay it every couple years so, and it never gets old. There's just something about it that draws you in and won't let go.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream & FFVII: Reflections
#14
Thanks, Celes. I know she is. Sometimes if we're outside at night, our son will look up at the sky and say she's up there. I've had him send a balloon up there with a note before on her birthday once (we always do a little something to celebrate it every year), and he has a picture of her in his room. So he misses her too, in his own way. He was only five when she died, but he does remember her.

She was the first girlfriend I'd ever had, the first girl I'd ever kissed. I was 26 when we met. I'd been painfully shy with girls all through high school and college, could barely even look at a girl I liked back then, much less talk to her. Fortunately it got better over the years. So, Tasha (my girlfriend) is still special to me not just because of her loss but also because she was my first love. We shared a lot of things over the years, including FFVII, so her and the game will always be intertwined for me.
 

youffie

Pro Adventurer
#15
This thread is really beautiful.

I grew up with FFVII. My parents bought me a PlayStation for Christmas in 1998, and by chance FFVII was included. I was eight at the time, had never played anything like that before and the game has never been translated into my language, so the English text boxes were pretty much unintelligible gibberish to me. Still, I was deeply fascinated by it in a way I cannot explain even to myself. I remember that sometimes I’d look at the book manual in the case and I’d think they were all so old and mature – even Yuffie looked so grown up to me.

For my very first playthrough, I played with my slightly older sister, though playing with her actually meant that I could only watch. I have many fond memories of that first playthrough and others, some hilarious (our poor English led to some wild mistranslations and misconceptions), some more bittersweet. The first time I saw that death I didn’t cry, but my sister did. I remember that, because I vividly remember thinking that she was so stupid, like, didn’t she know how videogames worked? There had to be a way to bring her back. I was so sure that when I finally got to play myself, I tried everything. I was one of those dumb kids that would try every stupid, badly translated myth on the Internet to bring her back, or prevent her death, or even just delay it long enough to show her the damn tapes in her parents’ house, just a little bit further. Years later I finally gave up, and I accepted it, and I understood, and I think FFVII taught me a precious lesson at a very young age, in a way that only a videogame could.

The most significant twist in my personal history with FFVII actually came around the time that Advent Children was released. I didn’t particularly care for the movie, to put it mildly, but someone made this amazing Italian fansite that featured beautifully written analyses on the original game and its characters, the story, some of the themes, and I finally understood many plot points that were unclear to me. So much finally clicked, it was like playing for the first time. And then the author of the fansite said she wanted to create a fanfiction archive dedicated exclusively to FFVII. I wanted to help so bad, but I didn’t feel confident enough to write, so even if my English was not great I asked if translations were okay too. She said yes.

That tiny forgettable moment changed everything for me, because I ended up translating many fanfictions, and by translating I actually learnt English, I learnt how to write in my own language, I learnt how to articulate critical thoughts, and I found out that I really enjoyed this translation thing. So much that when I was eighteen I moved to the other side of the country to study languages and translation, and I’ve been working as a translator for the past few years, a job that I’ve been lucky enough to choose and that I love, despite its inevitable shortcomings. Maybe none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for that single game – maybe I wouldn’t have even met some of the most important people in my life if I hadn’t moved, chasing the dream that my favorite game had inspired. One of my most important collaborations so far was even kicked off with a cover letter featuring our very own FFVII, I wish I was joking because it’s embarrassing but I’m really not. The damn thing always manages to sneak back into my life at very pivotal moments.

When I say I grew up with FFVII, I mean it quite literally. I remember finally being Yuffie’s age and realizing that maybe she was just a kid after all, I remember being Cloud’s age and understanding how painful it is to struggle to define who you are, how failing to meet your own expectations can hurt. I’ve now experienced disappointment and loss and love, and every time I go back to the game, it still finds new ways to speak to me, after all this time.

In the end, I’m pretty sure I would have been fine without ever playing FFVII. I just don’t know who that person would have been, because this game has been with me for most of my life, guiding me, introducing me to some amazing people, and helping me shape the person I am today.
 
#16
Honestly, the game itself doesn't mean that much to me, but the communities I met because of it in forums and fanfiction, really turned into a huge part of my life. I owe y'all a lot.

I'm very fond of several bossfights because I remember the struggles I had beating them the first time. I still have a save from about 2004 from when I finally beat Materia Keeper, and frantically had to go save because I was nearly dead and I knew I'd never do it again. I've only really played the game through twice that I remember, because I don't want to beat Materia Keeper too easily (but lots of bits and pieces since) as well as a bunch of sentimental saves at specific points.
 

Celes777

Pro Adventurer
AKA
...
#17
When I was in high school FFVII was not really that popular anymore. This guy was the only one to recognize the game on my tshirt. We were pretty much strangers back then. And he told his friend that he was really excited to see someone who knew the game and he wanted to talk to me about it.


And then I went to him for that effing submarine game...

Having played FFVII make me felt like we've traveled to a world only we know (or at least most around us didn't know). It's some hidden adventure I won't bring up to most. But seeing someone who shared it naturally gave me a weird sense of... familiarity?

We've been together for five years now i still can't beat that effing submarine game:mon:

I also made lots of online friends through FFVII back then. Most of us lost contact. But when remake came out everybody suddenly showed up again. It's really magical.
 

Sephira

That Silver-haired Lady
AKA
Sephiravania
#20
Anyway, it's still my favorite after all this time and after playing and finishing virtually every single player numbered FF there is. There's something about it that sets it apart. Something that reaches you, I think, in a way most games don't. And over the years, it's become more relevant to me than it once was. I discovered fan fiction through FFVII after I had played it, and I would never have developed my skills as a writer if I hadn't written my own stories based on the game. Some, the oldest ones, I've lost and unfortunately can't find anymore, while others remain on my alt account on FFN and saved on my hard drive. I stopped writing about twelve years ago after finishing a long FFVII/FFVIII crossover story that had taken me a couple years to finish.

I didn't think I'd do any more after that, and I was busy with my girlfriend and my son, who was two at the time. I had also wanted to focus more on original work, and while I do have one such story I poke at now and again, it's been hard to get very far with it - I'm better at writing narrative than doing world-building, I think. But when all the new trailers for the remake came out this year, it inspired me to get back into writing and return to an attempt I had begun many years ago to novelize FFVII. I was afraid I had lost my touch because it had been so long, but it's been going better than I had originally thought it would and I've gotten pretty far with it.
So I'm not the only one here who has actually written stories and fanfiction about FFVII! I've written a lot too and I even have my own OC -yeah, you can guess now, her name is Sephira :lol:-. I used to be a member in other Final Fantasy Forums (they disappeared, unfortunately, but I'm still friends with two former members) and we had our own Final Fantasy RP Thread, its name was "The RP of the Many Final Fantasies" as it was a huge crossover among all the Final Fantasies known until the moment, which was Final Fantasy XII. My OC, Sephira, was a part of it, as OCs were welcome. It was great, and I even saved a Word archive with the story (it's 1300+ pages!) so I can read it whenever.

I'm sorry to hear about your girlfriend. Losing someone one loves is never easy, never. But the fact we can remember them and think of them while enjoying this game we love so much because it reminds us of them is beautiful, and it's something to be forever cherished. And good luck finding your Tifa! I'm still looking for my Cloud.
 

Jairus

Author of FFVII: Lifestream & FFVII: Reflections
#21
So I'm not the only one here who has actually written stories and fanfiction about FFVII! I've written a lot too and I even have my own OC -yeah, you can guess now, her name is Sephira :lol:-. I used to be a member in other Final Fantasy Forums (they disappeared, unfortunately, but I'm still friends with two former members) and we had our own Final Fantasy RP Thread, its name was "The RP of the Many Final Fantasies" as it was a huge crossover among all the Final Fantasies known until the moment, which was Final Fantasy XII. My OC, Sephira, was a part of it, as OCs were welcome. It was great, and I even saved a Word archive with the story (it's 1300+ pages!) so I can read it whenever.

I'm sorry to hear about your girlfriend. Losing someone one loves is never easy, never. But the fact we can remember them and think of them while enjoying this game we love so much because it reminds us of them is beautiful, and it's something to be forever cherished. And good luck finding your Tifa! I'm still looking for my Cloud.
Yeah, I've done a fair bit of fanfic writing over the years, mostly under another name than this one - Axwind. I used to be on the FF:Worlds Apart forums back when they were still alive, before FFXI came out and sucked everyone away. So I know how it is to lose an online home like that. But I think you'll like it here, people are pretty friendly. And OC's are definitely good, I used a few in my FFVII/FFVIII crossover, including the main antagonist (because I didn't want to follow the typical trend of reviving existing baddies).

But anyway, I don't mean to go off topic. Thank for your wishes, and yes, it's not easy. And you're right that we should cherish how their memory and this game we love mingle together the way they do. Good luck to you, too!
 

Saven

Pro Adventurer
#22
WARNING: VERY LONG POST COMING UP. I apologize for the length of this and I got a little carried away not knowing I wrote up something as long as Wizard and Glass.


It was March 1998 I believe. I was on spring break away thankfully away from the worst class of my life for a bit (1st grade). My family just got a PSX for Christmas the past year for my older brother (I wanted a N64 but this ended up being the right choice in the end plus I ended up getting one the next year anyways) and we were just getting started with that console after being a Sega Genesis family from 1992/93 - 1997. We got off to a good start with Crash 1 & 2, Resident Evil 1 & 2, and Tomb Raider 1 & 2. My older brother brought a friend over to spend the night and he brought with him a shit load of PSX games and some tips to help us on Tomb Raider (we were stuck in Egypt). I was allowed to play some games that night and put in Tekken 2 but got quickly bored of it (never appreciated that series until the 3rd one came along and that wasn't until 1999 for me) and went to sleep.

The next morning, I went downstairs and saw my brother playing a game where there was so much going on. He was escaping from some reactor and he would enter these scenes where a bunch of flashy shit would happen that amazed me (which was Cloud using Braver). I watched all the way until they got to a save point as soon as they got off the train and then they turned the game off because we had to go somewhere. I sat there in amazement at what I had just seen. It was like nothing I had seen before and I had no idea was an RPG (which I had played a couple before like Dragon Warrior) and thought it was some new genre.

When I was in the 2nd grade, I saw the cover to the game at Blockbuster, remembered how cool it was, and rented it. My brother saw me playing the game and hated the fact I was playing it (he is not into RPGs and it turns out he was not impressed with the game at all). I was able to get all the way up to Air Buster before I had to return the game.

Then my best friend (at the time) who was obsessed with Parasite Eve to a fault (got annoying listening to him rave on and on about the game and how we were not allowed to like anything other than it more) told me he picked up some game called FFVII and I was like "its awesome!" and he was like "It is!" and I was invited to spend the night with him where we played that for a bit (he was at Shinra HQ). We recruited Red XIII (which he named Shiva, Tifa "Aya", and Barret "Daniel". I wasn't kidding when I said he was obsessed with the game. Wasn't surprised that both that and FFVII spawned from the same idea years later), but then we couldn't play anymore that night because I was "too obsessed" with it according to him and I guess I was spending too much attention to the box art because I wanted to play more of it.

After my brother for whatever reason tried convincing my parents to not buy the game for me when I wanted it (claiming that it would brick Memory Cards, you are REQUIRED to train with "birds" for four hours to defeat the final boss, no one has ever beaten it because its too long, etc.) my mom let me buy it in the Summer of 1999, not too long after the previous story. I named Cloud after myself, Barret after my friend on my street that ended being my best friend for years to come, my brother after Vincent, and the other friend after Cid (which turned out to be a problem because we didn't realize how much he cursed in the game lol) and a bunch of my other friends after the other characters. I thought the game was going to only take place in Midgar (which is funny to say now), was going to be like MGS1 in scope, that each disc was a different game, and that at the end of it all, we were going to fight the Shinra HQ building with President Shinra piloting it and that's what the NA box art was showing off (never seen more than one main bad guy at this point).

So needless to say, the biggest plot twist for me was the death of President Shinra (more on why THAT ONE wasn't later). I did not expect that and wondered what direction the game was going to take next. Then after some boss battles and a motorcycle chase later, I was thrown into the world and realized there was MUCH MUCH more to this game than Midgar and I was about to be even more blown away than what I had just seen. The Kalm flashback really cemented what a badass Sephiroth was going to be (along with the Midgar Zolom that was killed by him), the vast world filled with giant ass snakes to avoid, chocobos to ride, forts to defend, and other continents to explore with even more surprises that waited for me. I began reading more about the game about certain things like KOTR or the "American Monsters" that the back of the Bradygames Strategy Guide talked about that put the fear of God in me (I remember assuming that Earth and the United States would be involved at some point and dropped off monsters on this planet). At this point, it became pretty clear that this was not the game that I had thought I was going to buy and that was a good thing. It became more of a game, it became an experience.

After playing the game for a couple months, I had finally reached the Temple of the Ancients and got stuck on Demon Wall. It was then that the friend who I played with during the Shinra HQ segment told me that he had finally reached Disc 2 (after thinking that Disc 1 would never end). He then said something that I will never forgive him for:
"Oh yeah, Aeris dies. Sephiroth kills her."

YOU COULDN'T WAIT A COUPLE MORE DAYS FOR ME TO TRY AND BEAT THE DEMON WALL!? Jesus Christ, I was only a story segment away... He also spoiled the Cloud thing that happens shortly after in the same conversation as he was already at that point. But thankfully, me and him were a bit too young to completely grasp what was going on so that scene had a good impact on me in future playthroughs.

Anyways, after the impact of Aerith's death was significantly ruined for me, Demon Wall was finally defeated and I, along with my brother (he was starting to come around on the game and thought Sephiroth was cool) and the friend on the street saw the infamous scene, but thankfully it had some impact on me. I remember getting close to tears seeing Aerith's lifeless body sinking into the water and realized how serious the whole thing was getting. Sephiroth had gone wayyyyy too far this time and it was time to make that son of a bitch pay.

But then I had more fun (after the Great Glacier segment which was the only time I didn't care for the game). I got a airship and now I can just fly all over the world and do all kinds of shit that I wasn't able to do before! The game got even more amazing. How?

Then the game decided to introduce underwater segments! I remember seeing this big blue thing that looked funny and I thought it would be HILARIOUS to ram my submarine into it because I figured nothing would happen. Jokes were had on me when I saw this big blue thing totally annihilate my whole party in two seconds. By this point, I had acquired the Bradygames guide and immediately read up on WTF that was:
"NOTE: This is one of the American creatures. Avoid it for now." That was good to know.

Then I finally got to the last disc, and tried to defeat Sephiroth once and for all. Bizarro-Sephiroth was easy peasy, but Safer-Sephiroth on the other hand was my worst nightmare for a year and a half lol. Due to my lack of experience with rpgs and how young I was, I simply just couldn't figure out how to deal with things like Pale Horse or Super Nova which always destroyed my party. I tried to breed chocobos (which added new life into the game for me now that I was able to explore more of the map), but got stuck when I had the black chocobo and had maxed the in-game clock to 99:59:59 (which I had assumed if you got to that point Meteor would finally fall lol) and assumed that it wasn't possible to get a Gold chocobo anymore due to the clock. I looked online in hopes that there was another way to defeat Safer-Sephiroth besides KOTR. At the time, it seemed like EVERY walkthrough had "to defeat Safer-Sephiroth, you must have KOTR. Otherwise, turn the game off and get it, because you are not defeating him. All I could find was just the same KOTR tactic. The friend who owned the game couldn't beat Sephiroth either, a cousin of mine who I had found out played the game Gameshark'd the game at the end because he couldn't defeat Sephiroth. I had lost hope.

But then one Saturday morning in March 2001, I read about ribbon accessories - which blocked all status ailments and was like "Why the hell did I not try that before!?". I booted the game up, saw I had one in my inventory, and decided to try and defeat Safer-Sephiroth for the 29128402198th time with this ribbon accessory.

I survived Super Nova, attacked a couple more times, but was doing really good and Sephiroth wasn't really doing much to me. I then saw the Wait icon at the bottom right after the next attack and was like "Alright, I guess I will summon Hades again and then-"

GLASS SHATTER SOUND! No, Stone Cold Steve Austin did not walk into my living room and the sound came from the TV. And then I saw Sephiroth breaking apart. "Is this a new attack?" I thought. But when I saw more and more of him breaking apart and floating away, that's when I knew.

"OH MY GOD, I BEAT HIM!!!!!!"

I was so happy, going through the text dialogue excited that I finally did it. And then Sephiroth beckoned me for one more battle. I was not prepared at all and I was worried at the difficulty knowing that I only had Cloud for this battle. I remember as the ATB gauge was filling up going "Ok, I am going to use Hades right away, then attack, then see what happens" and then seeing that my only option was a limit break (I only had level 3 and never got Omnislash). I was pissed and was like "WHY THE FUCK IS THIS GAME DOING THIS TO ME! I WON'T BEAT SEPHIROTH LIKE THIS!" and then saw that it was Omnislash - a limit break like KOTR I tried to get to beat the game, but failed many times at the Battle Square before giving up. I wasted no time pressing circle because I wanted to see what it looked like, I wanted to finally beat Sephiroth once and for all, and after a year and a half, I wanted to beat the game. I'm so glad I never got Omnislash in this playthrough, because seeing Cloud just slash the shit out of Sephiroth was so god damn satisfying and it was a perfect way to close out the game.

I immediately beat him afterwards just to prove that it wasn't a fluke. Then I invited my street friend over to watch me beat him again.....but Super Nova beat me that time and it looked like I was just full of shit to my friend lol. Thankfully a few days later he was able to see that I could do it and see the ending.

No other game has been able to accomplish how fun and excited I was to play this game nor have the same emotional impact it had on me since. I used to try to find anything FFVII-related and dive right into it like fanfiction pieces. Advent Children's announcement was so exciting a couple years later and I remember eagerly awaiting for that to come out. I used to check sites all the time for information on that and Before Crisis including this site (if it weren't for that movie, I probably would've never found this site). Unfortunately the Compilation sucked, but I always had OG FFVII to play. I remember on my fourth playthrough, I remember texting my street friend out of the blue saying "No matter how many times I play through it, Final Fantasy VII will never get old" and he agreed.

Over the years with the remake speculation going on, I was initially excited about it. But then after seeing the final result of the Compilation, I didn't want a remake at all. I remember the Sunday before Sony E3 2015, I was at my street friend's house showing him a movie I did in college that I re-edited to get feedback on. Out of the blue, he asked me if I had heard anything about the remake (he doesn't play games much anymore), and I said no and that "honestly, I don't know if I really want one after seeing how Square is nowadays". One night later (through text): "OMFG, ITS HAPPENING! ITS FUCKING HAPPENING! FFVII REMAKE! IM SO FUCKING EXCITED OMG!" Turns out, I really wanted it lol. With this announcement, I had a conversation with my old friend who spoiled Aerith's death after not speaking for a long time. I saw my cousin later that week and we both talk about it at every family get-together's.

I was very excited at first, then my hype died after the lack of news for a couple years and assumed that Square was destroying it. Thankfully in May of this year, I saw that was not the case at all (and I had a very similar reaction to above "I dont care anymore" and then "OH HO HO HO YES! ITS BACK!") and couldn't wait for E3. I wasn't for sure at first with the demonstration (I was really anxious if we're being honest), but after seeing tactical mode, how intense Guard Scorpion was (it will always be that to me, not Scorpion Sentinel, sorry), and then noticing the dialogue banter between Cloud and Barret, I said ".....even the writing is the same!" out loud. That was when I knew.....

I had tears of joy after that. And I have been on the train (*slaps knee*) since. I rediscovered this site remembering I used to lurk it back in 2005, and now I'm here writing this up.

So....to sum up this novel I wrote up today, Final Fantasy VII means the world to me. This game opened my imagination up, allowed me to explore a fun world and escape from the real one, etc. Honestly, there aren't enough words in the dictionary to describe how much I love this game but I believe I have the most appropriate avatar for myself right now that best describes it. Final Fantasy VII is like Big Trouble in Little China - the intensity keeps ramping up and it never lets off the gas pedal.. After going through it, I believe I now know how OT Star Wars fans felt after experiencing that trilogy. Final Fantasy VII is my Star Wars and I hope that the Remake will be the same for many, many others who will be entering this universe for the first time on March 3rd, 2020.

tl;dr FFVII is dope.
 

Sephira

That Silver-haired Lady
AKA
Sephiravania
#23
Yeah, I've done a fair bit of fanfic writing over the years, mostly under another name than this one - Axwind. I used to be on the FF:Worlds Apart forums back when they were still alive, before FFXI came out and sucked everyone away. So I know how it is to lose an online home like that. But I think you'll like it here, people are pretty friendly. And OC's are definitely good, I used a few in my FFVII/FFVIII crossover, including the main antagonist (because I didn't want to follow the typical trend of reviving existing baddies).

But anyway, I don't mean to go off topic. Thank for your wishes, and yes, it's not easy. And you're right that we should cherish how their memory and this game we love mingle together the way they do. Good luck to you, too!
I used to be in the Adventchildren.net Forums and later in FinalFantasy.CC ones. I was an Admin in the latter, and it was a very nice site, I have to say. People was nice and we had a lot of fun chatting, posting and RPing (I still RP, it's one of my hobbies) but it had to close and I lost contact with everyone except for three members, with whom I still talk from time to time. I was known as Kadaj there. But I'm already loving it here! I'm really, really happy to have found this site and these Forums, to have more people to talk about the game and saga I love the most is fantastic.

And thank you very much for your good wishes too! :lol:
 

youffie

Pro Adventurer
#24
HA, I also first saw Omnislash the first time my sister beat Sephiroth, didn't even know it existed! It was a hell of a finish!

You guys just reminded me of some of my deep-buried trauma about the bosses of this game. My personal nightmare was Demon Wall, it would always kill my poor babies by slamming those painful-looking ice thingies over their cute heads… And of course I didn’t have any Phoenix Downs because I was cheap. I think you could get those from some monsters in the Temple, but then again, everything would kill me, so that wasn’t really an option.

So of course I restarted the game for the umpteenth time and made sure to buy EVERYONE a Restore and a Revive materia :monster:

Also, fuck Sephiroth and the status effects attack. I also didn’t know about Ribbons (I probably didn’t have them), and when I used Vaccine on the characters not only it wouldn’t cure them, but it’d actually made it harder to revert any effect, BECAUSE OF COURSE I’d only use it after he’d done his attack. Do you have any idea how undignified it is to fight the final battle of an epic journey with everybody turned into a worthless frog and the music going all One-Winged Angel on you and having no clue how to get out of it? Pretty undignified, let me tell you that~

Don’t even get me started on Emerald and Ruby. Just don’t
 
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