News

The Love Triangle of FFVII – An Analysis by Squall_of_SeeD

by September 25, 2009 304 comments

cloud-and-aerithcloud-and-tifa

Ahh, the Love Triangle of Final Fantasy VII. It is arguably, the most passionately discussed topic of all of FFVII fandom. Going by the comments on this site, at least.

Today, we post the next article from his FAQ, written by Squall_of_SeeD. In this one, he’ll analyze the hot button topic of Cloud’s feelings and affections for the two heroines of FFVII: Aerith and Tifa. What do the creators and story have to say regarding Cloud’s feelings for the two? Anything? Squall_of_SeeD gives us the answer.

With great pleasure, we host this controversial, yet well written and insightful analysis. Enjoy!

EDIT: As expected, Squall_of_SeeD and I have received lot’s of feedback, both positive and negative, regarding this article. Squall_of_SeeD decided that it was necessary to address several of the additional points and critiques of his analysis that were mentioned, and with that, he has amended several portions of his FAQ regarding his analysis. You can read the newly edited article below.

EDIT2:
Squall_of_SeeD is such a slave driver making me update this FAQ again, today, the eve of Halloween. But he’s just a stickler for completion. So again. Take a look at what else has been added XD

—————————————————————

Initially, I’d intended for this FAQ to ignore the Love Triangle
Debate like a plague. It succeeded in that for a good number of years, but updating it after an absence of more than three years from this fandom, I feel a need to address this topic.

Why? You know, I’m really not sure. Probably because it’s hard to call the FAQ’s analysis complete when I don’t even talk about what remains the most passionately and frequently debated aspect of the game more than 12 years after its release.

The Love Triangle Debate, of course, centers around whether Cloud had more romantic feelings toward Aerith or Tifa. Basically, who did he want to be with?

Twelve years after the release of Final Fantasy VII, the most passionately and frequently debated aspect of the game remains the Love Triangle Debate.

For those nine of you who don’t know, the Love Triangle Debate centers around whether Cloud had more romantic feelings toward Aerith or Tifa. Basically, who did he want to be with?

Those fans who prefer — or “‘ship”, as the verb goes — CloudxAerith are known in the fandom as Cleriths, while those who ‘ship’ CloudxTifa are called Clotis. That being said, obviously a Clerith may still argue that Cloti is canon, and a Cloti might argue the opposite if it’s what they believe.

Generally speaking though, those in both camps argue in favor of their preferred relationship as canon.

While I’ve had my preference since the beginning, it was initially based on my own preferences in women. More to the point, I couldn’t stand Aerith and adored Tifa. That’s still the case 12 years later, though it obviously doesn’t have to be the same for Cloud.

None of that is to say that I don’t like Aerith; just not in “that way,” if you get me. I simply prefer more somber and restrained females. Still, if you fear my declared preference for Tifa may bias my views in this analysis, that’s not an unreasonable concern.

However, in any public address, it’s necessary to state one’s personal views upfront. Otherwise, it becomes a question of honesty.

Whether I am credible I leave to each of you to decide.

I do believe this, though: You won’t find someone with no opinion on the LTD actually discussing the matter at length. Not only because it takes a vested interest in the first place, but because it’s impossible.

Anyone analyzing data and drawing conclusions from it, even if they began as neutral, no longer is by the end of the process. This is as true of researchers making employ of the scientific method as it is of scholars conducting media analysis.

They must, of course, attempt to distance themselves as much as possible while drawing their conclusions, though. You are free to determine otherwise if not convinced, but I believe my three-and-a-half-year absence from this fandom has given me a degree of distance. I will tell you outright that I could not have objectively discussed this matter in 2005.

I believe I can do so now.

In any case, as said, I am a Cloti. Accommodating me and so many others, the original game’s developers designed it such that the player’s own choices influence who Cloud’s affection is greatest for in the original game.

The way several scenes play out are influenced by this, and, consequently, it left Cloud’s feelings ambiguous at the end of the game. As an additional consequence, it meant players would debate, disagree with and flame one another for more than the next decade since there was no definitive answer.

There were no official declarations in interviews, no scenes in the newer FFVII titles featuring Cloud and one of the ladies in an overtly romantic context, and no apparent end in sight to the blood feud that lay between fans of the two pairings.

The only statement about Cloud’s feelings that could be given with complete confidence is that he cared about both women very much. Now, however, I believe more than that can be done.

I believe there’s now a definitive answer.

The only statement about Cloud’s feelings that could be given with complete confidence is that he cared about both women very much. Now, however, more than that can be done.

There’s now a definitive answer.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

304 comments

  1. Quexinos
    #1 Quexinos 8 September, 2009, 23:50

    Thank you very much for this ^_^

    Reply to this comment
  2. fairheartstrife
    #2 fairheartstrife 9 September, 2009, 00:07

    This was an awesome read. You make many well thought out, concise and clear points throughout. Thank you for taking the time to do these FAQs.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Stratus
    #3 Stratus 9 September, 2009, 00:41

    Bravo… lovely read, i agree with you and this was very well thought out and there were no bias comments on the matter… ^.^ finally things can be wat they were always meant to b Zack + Aerith and Cloud + Tifa ….. lol thank you

    Reply to this comment
  4. Splintered
    #4 Splintered 9 September, 2009, 00:47

    In before flamewar…

    I mean, awesome analysis.<3

    Reply to this comment
  5. Raquelborn
    #5 Raquelborn 9 September, 2009, 00:49

    It’s basically a summary of the LTD threads lol.

    Reply to this comment
  6. DaySekay
    #6 DaySekay 9 September, 2009, 01:09

    You are correct, I honestly don’t think there is any more subjects to pick, Cloud wanted forgiveness and Aerith/Zack where the only ones capable of giving it.
    I also think that after his “release from the guilt” life with Tifa is just a matter of time.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Death Sin
    #7 Death Sin 9 September, 2009, 01:10

    It’s always good to see a throughful yet still hard pressed factual analysis. I do think you focus all the “core” points of the LTD and do it in a simple yet objective way (backing it up with evidence from the series but, most importantly, from the comments and views of the Compilation creators/developers as well. The evidence has always been there for everyone to see… The latest Compilation titles have only made it all more clear. I sincerely believe the LTD has an answer and that is that Cloud and Tifa are meant to be (the same way Zack and Aerith are together in the afterlife).So what can I say more…? Not much, except “well done”.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Ryushikaze
    #8 Ryushikaze 9 September, 2009, 01:56

    I’ve made my other comments in the PM, but good job, man. Concise summation of all the common sense arguments that’ve been floating around for ages.

    Reply to this comment
  9. ZackFair1219
    #9 ZackFair1219 9 September, 2009, 03:12

    Wow, I always belived myself to be a Cloud/Tifa Zack/Aerith person, but I personally always hated Aerith because she started hitting on Cloud in the first place. I was pretty much on that thought the whole time until the last line about Zack’s Buster Sword and Aerith’s flowers of how Cloud knows that the two belong together as he and Tifa do. I do believe that my hatred for Aerith is now null and void.

    And still, well done to Squall_of_SeeD. I’ve read all the articles of summerizations he has put to the compilation and he never ceases to amaze me. Well done as usual.

    (Not to mention this one actually ended up making me go teary-eyed. :3)

    Reply to this comment
  10. ChocoboChick
    #10 ChocoboChick 9 September, 2009, 04:48

    You are my new hero, Squall_of_SeeD!

    Reply to this comment
  11. ForceStealer
    #11 ForceStealer 9 September, 2009, 07:57

    Very very well done. But this still won’t end the debate unfortunately.

    The only thing in all of that I didn’t inherently agree with was a pretty minor point anyway – Cloud’s crystal in Dissidia. I always figured it was the Holy materia, but I didn’t take it as really having anything to do with Aerith, just as it is FF7’s most notable “crystal.” Indeed, I didn’t even pick up on the fact that Cloud was referring to Aerith by the “one he wanted to meet.”
    True, many of the crystals are ‘generic’ symbols of their respective game, a lot of them are specific.
    The oddly named “White Materia” always appeared green and the size isn’t relevent as Zidane’s crystal should be 5x his size.

    But, as I said, minor point, and not one that I even consider to relate to the LTD.

    Reply to this comment
    • Makoeyes987
      Makoeyes987 Author 9 September, 2009, 08:07

      But again, if it were the Holy materia, why would it not be mentioned as a relevant personal connection to FFVII? If a feather belonging to Rinoa is worth a mention in Dissidia’s Ultimania, along with a reference to Zack in regards to his statement about the Buster Sword…why would the Crystal being the White Materia just be inexplicably forgotten? It’s not the same size or color, which would be necessary to equate it as such.

    • ForceStealer
      ForceStealer 9 September, 2009, 19:50

      Oh I know, if the Ultimania doesn’t mention it than it isn’t. I was just saying that I thought it was Holy but only for the reference to the Planet, not her.

  12. Squall_of_SeeD
    #12 Squall_of_SeeD 9 September, 2009, 09:12

    Thanks for your responses, everyone. I appreciate your kindness.

    @ForceStealer: I’d agree that the size of the materia wouldn’t be relevant if it seemed that Zidane’s crystal was supposed to be the actual crystal of creation. I think it was just a representation of it, though, for the very reasons I don’t think Cloud’s crystal is the White Materia — the size and the color.

    Nonetheless, thanks for your feedback.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Quexinos
    #13 Quexinos 9 September, 2009, 09:34

    I just read this again and I have to say again, this is really awesome XD
    I posted it on a couple sites and showed a couple friends too ^_^

    Reply to this comment
  14. thuthuy62
    #14 thuthuy62 9 September, 2009, 09:52

    Cloti loves this!
    Clerith doenst.
    Squall_of_seed’s just a Cloti!
    Nothing’s new.

    Reply to this comment
    • Quexinos
      Quexinos 9 September, 2009, 09:54

      :kermit:

    • Makoeyes987
      Makoeyes987 Author 9 September, 2009, 10:08

      What an insightful and valid criticism. Did you read the article or what? Cause if that’s all you have to say, it doesn’t really seem like you did.

    • I Am Not Me
      I Am Not Me 9 September, 2009, 13:01

      HAHAHA.

      M’kay.

      And you’re a Clerith.

    • Ryushikaze
      Ryushikaze 9 September, 2009, 22:26

      … the saddest part? The only part worth mentioning here is the blatant mispelling of ‘doesn’t

      That and to note that I did indeed call that SoS would be labeled ‘just a Cloti’ when this hit.

    • Cthulhu
      Cthulhu 15 September, 2009, 19:53

      Nothing’s new indeed, :monster:.

    • Bisojo1218
      Bisojo1218 30 May, 2010, 05:42

      Bleah! is that all you have to say?!

  15. Rin
    #15 Rin 9 September, 2009, 09:53

    I agree with my Friend Quexinos
    Finally, someone does an intelligent, well thought-out article on the subject…
    Too Bad it won’t Sway the Cleriths… Seriously, Nomura could actually go and say “All Cloud feels for Areith is Friendship, and Later Guilt. Not only does He Love Tifa, and wants to be with her always, but they do it every night till the sun comes up.” and they’d still deny it and make up excuses…

    And as for the “Koibito” thing. What I always say about that is, Yeah, “Koibito” means “Person who is Loved”, however, screw with the Kanji a bit and you get 鯉人 (Koibito) Which means “Carp-Person” Yes, Carp as in Fish. so I submit, that Tifa and Aerith are Cloud’s Fish-People. Cloud considers them to be a mutant race of Fish people.
    Argument Solved!

    Reply to this comment
    • I Am Not Me
      I Am Not Me 9 September, 2009, 13:14

      You know what you’re talking about. Thank you, Rin.

      We’re not Clotis nor Cleriths here, we’re pro Fish-people!

      Unfortunately the fish-people isn’t Tifa and Aerith–it’s Cloud and Tifa. Tifa is a koibito to Cloud (Cloud sees her as a fish-person) and Cloud is a koibito to Aerith (Aerith sees him as a fish-person). I guess this would mean Cloud and Tifa are meant to be together, because they’re both mutant carps!

      (I laugh at anyone who takes that seriously.)

      Unless Nomura talks about Clerith positively, they won’t listen to anything else he says. Nothing will sway those Clerith, especially something that is TL;DR (too logical; didn’t read) to them. I don’t think they’d ever read anything as well thought-out as this anyway.

      (Now prove me wrong and read the whole article, and then rebut point for point. You know who you are.)

      PS: Squall_of_SeeD, you rock forever and ever. But… this article needs more Clack vs Clephiroth. XDDDD

    • Cthulhu
      Cthulhu 15 September, 2009, 19:55

      I’m now going to rename the LTD thread to the Broiling Fish Stew Thread.

  16. Lily
    #16 Lily 9 September, 2009, 17:31

    Ohhh, amazing arguments. Really. Nothing I’ve never heard before though… And I can think of hundreds of counter-arguments for every of yours that my fellow Cloriths and any reasonable Cloti will give much credit. I won’t start a new discussion, though.
    I’m just dropping by to say, please, will you stop this?? If there have been room for the triangle discussion through 12 years,
    1st – it isn’t now (or EVER) that this will be solved;
    2nd – this is one of the magics of the game that makes it everlasting, so why would you bother to ruin that??
    Even if SE releases an article intitulated “CLOUD AND TIFA MARRIES AND HAVE TWENTY CHILDREN” I won’t stop supporting Clorith, because I believe in them, as well as I think neither of you (true) Cloti’s will stop shipping your couple if Cloud kills himself to reunite with Aerith in the Lifestream.
    Anyone can dig up anything from the series/producers and affirm “this is the real proof my ship wins” and there will be as much ones to support the other couple. No one, I repeat, NO ONE – and Nomura clearly stated that – of the team will take just one side of the triangle because they want the debates to continue. It’s a triangle, for God’s sake, and what is left to a love-triangle if one of the extremities are cut off? Almost half the FF7 fans are CLorith supporters, there’s no logic in them getting in the bad side of half their fanbase. Think about that.
    Just one more thing… Stop bashing Clorith, will you? I’ve read your comments and I’m more disgusted than ever. You’re just jealous that Cloud spends more time thinking about Aerith (romantically or not) in AC/ACC than in Tifa. I’ve never seen you refuting any Clorith arguments that wasn’t in the lines of “you Clorith are unreasonable”. I can affirm that my ship doesn’t do that! Who’s really unreasonable here???

    Reply to this comment
    • I Am Not Me
      I Am Not Me 9 September, 2009, 18:04

      LOLOL Whut.

      “Anyone can dig up anything from the series/producers and affirm “this is the real proof my ship wins” and there will be as much ones to support the other couple.”

      Please do the digging and show us. 😀 Join the forums so we can discuss this properly.

      “Nomura clearly stated that – of the team will take just one side of the triangle because they want the debates to continue. ”

      Source, please? If it was SO clear, we should have seen it by now and ended this stupid LTD once and for all.

      So it will always be a triangle? I wonder why they made Crisis Core and all. Maybe they made CC so blatantly ZackxAerith until the end because they want the love triangle to continue? They even extended AC to show more of Zack. Uhh, yeah. The love triangle is still so a triangle. Who’s Zack Fair, First Class SOLDIER, again?

      “Almost half the FF7 fans are CLorith supporters,”

      Except no, there are three kinds of main ships in the fandom now. Zerith, Cloti, and Clerith. Zerith has grown quite big in the recent years, and Clotis are still more than Cleriths. Just FFnet is enough proof of that. Search for Cloud-Tifa fics, then Cloud-Aerith fics. Heck, even Zack-Aerith beats Cloud-Aerith. Internet numbers that you can clearly see with a click don’t lie.

      Maybe what you mean to say is that almost half of the fandom LIKES Clerith. I don’t mind that. My friends like it, a lot of people like it. WE DON’T CARE. They can ship the pairing they want to ship, but they can’t say which is canon and which is not when it’s not in their hands. Sorry to say.

      Also, please look at what the Clerith fandom is doing to the Clotis. Did Clotis ever make a hatelisting for Clerith? No. Is there a Cloti forum alive that bashes Cleriths behind their backs? No. Are Clotis making anti-Clerith banners and blatantly bashing characters on every other website they make? No.

      Who’s being unreasonable here? I beg you to search Cloti on google. What will you see? “Anti-Cloti” “Unofficial Cloti hatelisting” “Anti-Tifa” Wow, 12 years later, and they still haven’t matured.

      I should have been a full-fledged Clerith before, until I saw all of that. It’s a big turn-off.

      Just so you know, we have Clotis that absolutely love Aerith. I love Aerith. So why do Cleriths hate Tifa?

      What are you affirming that your ship isn’t doing? Don’t accuse the Clotis of being unreasonable. That’s just silly and downright hypocritical. And besides, what makes you think everyone here is a Cloti anyway? Jumping right down to labeling people who don’t agree with you?

      “You’re just jealous that Cloud spends more time thinking about Aerith (romantically or not) in AC/ACC than in Tifa.”

      Did you watch ACC (the retcon of AC)? Actually, no, he thinks about Zack equally too. Are we supposed to argue that Cloud loves Zack just as much as Aerith and more than Tifa? So… Squall_of_SeeD is jealous that Cloud spent more of his time thinking about Zack and Aerith than Tifa, so he made a comprehensive analysis about the triangle of Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa? Wow, that makes a whole lot of sense.

      And before you label me as a OMGCLOTI, I’m actually more Fack than Cloti. Currently, anyway. Thanks to a Cloti shipper who’s writing an awesome ZackxTifa fic that I’m fangirling over right now, I got to like Fack more than Cloti. That doesn’t mean I want Fack to be OMGCANON. Things don’t work that way.

      I won’t stop supporting Cloti, even though it’s not my OTP. I won’t stop liking Fack just because it isn’t canon. I won’t stop supporting FFVII just because it’s practically as old as I am.

      See the freedom of choice?

      Oh noes some people probably didn’t reach this part of my comment before blowing their tops and getting emotionally involved with a video game pairing and wanting to flame me oh noes what do i do

      PS: OH LOOK HERE STARTS THE FLAME WAR. I BET I’M GOING TO BE FLAMED IN THE NEXT COMMENT BECAUSE I’M SO UNREASONABLE. LOLOLOLOLOL YAY

    • cReo
      cReo 9 September, 2009, 19:24

      ang haba naman ng sinulat mo….

      really…..

    • I Am Not Me
      I Am Not Me 9 September, 2009, 19:31

      Haha, sorry. Marami akong oras eh. Cancelled classes hanggang bukas hehehehehe XD

    • WHATEVER
      WHATEVER 2 March, 2015, 02:16

      WHAT THE HECK! PINOY! WOOOHOOO!!!

    • Cthulhu
      Cthulhu 15 September, 2009, 19:58

      We’ll have no bukakke in the latest LTD argument, kthx =D.

    • Bishojo1218
      Bishojo1218 15 July, 2010, 08:45

      ahaha. ou. ang haba ng sinilat niya.
      haha. makikisingit lng ako sa usapan niyo aa…

    • Treyu
      Treyu 5 October, 2009, 22:22

      Actually… I googled CloTi and I got pro-CloTi stuff everywhere. dA clubs, fanlistings, the works… I then googled Clerith and got the same, except for an ED page, which surprised me. I didn’t read it because well, I’m sure we all know what ED is like.

      I’m a Clerith shipper. I love the pairing and though I don’t mind CloTi shippers, I hate the ship mostly except for one song I think goes well with them. ANYWAY, not all Cleriths are all “omg Tifa sucks and should die in a fire”. I love Tifa! I think she has a bit of an overly Cloud-complex in FFVII, but in AC/C when she has more of a motherly love for him, she’s a much more likeable character.

      The internet is so huge that you may have either missed some obscure CLoTi-shipping, Aerith hating site somewhere or you actually didn’t look. I didn’t find anything either, but I wouldn’t 100% deny that there was one, even if it’s some unpopular, outdated thing.

      Fack is awesome however. You are cool.

    • Vendel
      Vendel 5 October, 2009, 23:18

      “I think she has a bit of an overly Cloud-complex in FFVII, but in AC/C when she has more of a motherly love for him, she’s a much more likeable character.”

      Tifa does not love Cloud like a son. And he does not love her like a mother.

      They are lovers, business partners and parents.

    • Makoeyes987
      Makoeyes987 Author 9 September, 2009, 21:46

      Of course this LT will never be solved. It’s not like there’s been any new creator commentary or creative work within those 12 years that gives any sort of position or narrative context that allows one to see Cloud’s true feelings. Yup, there’s no answer at all. Clearly it’s all a mystery.

      Btw, thank you for admitting to the fact you’d deny the truth even if the creators slapped you in the face with it. Stopped reading there. “Die for our ship!” fans are so amusing. It’s like common sense just goes out the window for some people.

    • fairheartstrife
      fairheartstrife 9 September, 2009, 22:05

      Aside from not knowing what “intitulated” means… I’d have to say your response is very rant-esque. There was no bashing in this essay–AT ALL. None. Zippo, zero, zilch, nadda. Soooo…I’m confused where that snide little remark comes in.

      Also, “Anyone can dig up anything from the series/producers and affirm “this is the real proof my ship wins” ” Please, do. (In the proper forum of course)

      And last: “as well as I think neither of you (true) Cloti’s will stop shipping your couple if Cloud kills himself to reunite with Aerith in the Lifestream.” You bet your ass I’d stop “‘shipping” Cloti if they did that. It goes against the entire framework of compilation and characters…but I digress. Let’s say the magic EMO fairy makes Cloudy boy cut his life-strings and he does go float with Aerith I’d still respect the narrative, and consider that canon. Like it? No. But respect it and acknowledge it, yes. Acknowledging canon does NOT mean giving up your ship, it simply means accepting the compilation as creator intended. It’s not all that hard.

    • Quexinos
      Quexinos 9 September, 2009, 23:37

      “repeat, NO ONE – and Nomura clearly stated that – of the team will take just one side of the triangle because they want the debates to continue.”

      Proof plz

    • Tennyo
      Tennyo 10 September, 2009, 12:16

      1.) You’re right in that it probably won’t be resolved. XD
      2.) Nobody cares what ship you like best. NOBODY. Canon or not, just ship a ship and shut up about it, okay?
      3.) The vast majority of the FFVII fandom doesn’t even care about the LTD anyway, because in reality it is the least important aspect of the entire plot. FFVII is not a love story. It is not some cheesy romance novel or Twilight. So stop with the “half of us are clerith!” That doesn’t mean anything anyway. Shear numbers of believers don’t constitute proof.
      4.) Where in this article were Clerith shippers ever bashed? Where? Nowhere.

    • Cthulhu
      Cthulhu 15 September, 2009, 20:03

      All other points aside, you’re right on the fact that they’ll probably never create anything showing, for example, Cloud / Tifa getting married / getting it on directly, nor the same the other way around with Aerith (which would be a bit odd, considering she’s dead), nor him positively shunning either. Next to the base story of antagonist v.s. protagonist with superpowarz and loads of subplots, the LTD is quite possibly the main reason why FFVII is still discussed as much as it is. In fact, I can’t think of any other game that’s as old as FFVII that’s discussed about as much, or whose story is picked apart in such detail.

      And yeah, the creators / writers know that too. The quotes listed in the article don’t explicitly state ‘X is canon’, and I’m sure that if you’d have a video of the listed interviews, you’d see the people being interviews picking their wording very precisely, as to not bluntly say ‘X is canon’. ‘Cause that’d be dumb.

      However, it can’t be denied that at the current ‘time’ of the Compilation, Cloud is much closer to Tifa than with Aerith. Besides, people tend to quit being romantically interested in people years after they’re dead. Love, oh sure, but love in the old friend / family sense of the word.

  17. ss
    #17 ss 9 September, 2009, 17:52

    I think it’s useless asking the opinion of someone who’s already chosen a side. It’s better to ask someone who’s neutral. First, it doesn’t matter how many editorial ‘pieces’ you’ve made on the Final Fantasy game series, it doesn’t a) make anything you say official or b) make it anything more than just your opinions which have already been biased by your clear preference for one girl over an other.

    I mean if we’re going to be posting this guy’s opnion on the love triangle, let’s ask a thoughtful, well-written CloudxAerith shipper about her thoughts, or a thoughtful, well-written CloudxZack shipper (like me) about HER thoughts and they’ll probably be able to give equally thoughtful and well-written essays explaining why they’re OPINIONS are somehow canon.

    Only they probably wouldn’t have the name or the mighty creditials (ie: wrote essay about Ultmecia…wooo) to make their biased fan opinion seem official.

    Look in the end you’re just a guy with your own opinions. You wrote a nice article, but no one should take it as having any more proof about the original intentions of the series than ANY well-written article written by ANY other blatant shipper about ANY other pairing in existence.

    Unless you’re secretly one of the original creators, I don’t give a shit about what you say. Sorry. But I’m sure other Clotis really appreciated you validating their opinions (just like, had I written a CloudxZack essay, Clackers would be kissing MY ass).

    Reply to this comment
    • I Am Not Me
      I Am Not Me 9 September, 2009, 18:06

      DO THE ESSAY. DO IT.

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD 9 September, 2009, 20:55

      Thanks for your response, SS.

      I believe what you overlooked in this article, however, is that I didn’t present my opinion as the definitive answer. Instead, I presented the words of the individual who wrote most of the FFVII titles — including the original — as that definitive answer.

      Given that you say you would concern yourself with what the original creators say, I must, then, ask why you don’t address them in your reply. You address only me.

      I’m more or less just compiling the various things they have said on the matter into one place.

      Any article you read featuring the words of those designers will probably be presented to you by someone else. Does that dilute the relevance of what they’ve said?

      As for my preference of Tifa biasing my views of the matter, that’s not an unreasonable concern. However, as you may know, in any public address, it’s necessary to state one’s personal views upfront. Otherwise, it becomes a question of honesty.

      Would you prefer one who has made up their mind keep that a secret while speaking to you behind a veil of complete objectivity, or would you prefer that they tell you their views and then explain why they hold them?

      You won’t find someone with no opinion on the matter actually speaking on it. Not only because it takes a vested interest in the first place, but because it’s impossible. Anyone analyzing data and drawing conclusions from it, even if they began as neutral, no longer is by the end of the process.

      This is as true of researchers making employ of the scientific method as it is of scholars conducting media analysis. They must attempt to distance themselves as much as possible while drawing their conclusions, however.

      You are free to disagree, but I believe my three-and-a-half-year absence from this fandom has given me a degree of distance. I will tell you outright that I could not have objectively discussed this matter in 2005.

      I believe I’ve done a reasonable job of it at this point, however. I started with the developers’ comments as both foundation and framework, analyzing the various materials through that lens and in light of one another.

      While I would agree with you or Lily that there are a multitude of counterarguments to be made, I also feel — from my, yes, potentially flawed perspective — that they only work when made in isolation. Not when examining the context of all materials present, with each individual component part of a whole, and without value when examined as not part of the whole.

      It’s reasonable enough to see Cloud’s line about meeting Aerith at the end of FFVII as a sign of yearning when examined in isolation. Looking back on it today, the original game alone presented as strong an argument for Aerith as for Tifa — and arguably a stronger one.

      Likewise, it’s easy to see how Cloud leaving the family situation he had with Tifa as a sign that he was unhappy being around her — but only if you stop there. If you don’t look at AC/ACC or the various comments on the matter from the developers, you wouldn’t know he left because he was happy there but felt unworthy of it.

      I’m not, however, examining this matter in light of the original game alone or “On the Way to a Smile” alone. If all are to be treated as part of a larger body of work, then all must be examined in the context of one another.

      I hope you see where I’m coming from better now. You are, of course, still free to disagree.

    • Reina
      Reina 13 September, 2009, 10:38

      I agree with everthing you said here but I especially would like to point out one section:

      “You won’t find someone with no opinion on the matter actually speaking on it. Not only because it takes a vested interest in the first place, but because it’s impossible. Anyone analyzing data and drawing conclusions from it, even if they began as neutral, no longer is by the end of the process.”

      This is such an overlooked and important aspect of debates

    • Ryushikaze
      Ryushikaze 9 September, 2009, 22:33

      Typically, a number of the people you see arguing ‘for’ C/T aren’t shipping it. They are simply seeing the common sense answer by taking all the available evidence and attempting to parse it in a rational manner. They are without emotional preference in the matter, and aside from the people who claim it has no answer or have no opinion, that is as close as it’s going to get.

    • Quexinos
      Quexinos 9 September, 2009, 23:36

      It’s his opinion that Nojima and Nomura have said that Cloud and Tifa are a couple?…

    • I Am Not Me
      I Am Not Me 10 September, 2009, 04:12

      SoS is so powerful than he can make Nomura and Nojima tell everyone his completely baseless, biased, Cloti opinion?

      Wow, he’s getting cooler by the minute…

    • Cthulhu
      Cthulhu 15 September, 2009, 20:11

      “I think it’s useless asking the opinion of someone who’s already chosen a side. It’s better to ask someone who’s neutral.”

      If you’d give someone neutral FFVII and let him play it, halfway he’d go ‘Cloud obviously lieks Aerith, lol’, and quite likely stick by it. But if you want someone neutral to give his / her own, neutral opinion, you’d have to give him / her all the available materials, make him/her play all the games, read everything.

      In the end, that person, as indicated earlier, would no longer be neutral, and be quite likely as confused as everyone else. Cleriths and Clotis are both groups that played the games, read the comments, the interviews, and everything, and which have both interpreted the story in their own way – Tifa-focussed, or Aerith-focussed. There’s nothing a ‘neutral’ party can say about that.

      In the end, it’s personal preference. Facts are abundant, but remain vague and sometimes open to interpretation, and are always given a certain ‘strength’ based on the reader and the source of that fact. The amount of strength given to a creator saying ‘yeh cloti is cannon’ would be low in the eyes of a Clerith shipper, and vice-versa.

      So yeah.

    • Winterine
      Winterine 6 August, 2010, 05:59

      I agree, do the essay!
      I’m too busy to even contemplate doing it myself 😀

  18. fairheartstrife
    #18 fairheartstrife 9 September, 2009, 18:57

    First off Squall_of_Seed’s LTD essay isn’t “Pro-Cloti” ‘Shipping opinion. It follows the narrative of compilation, and comes up with a conclusion BASED on that; not opinion. The counter argument of “This won’t change anything” is stupid. It’s not meant to CHANGE anything. Compilation is what it is, and in it there IS a definitive answer. THIS just points it out with big neon signs for those too ‘ship-blind to see it. **sigh**

    It’s also NOT and OP-ED piece. It’s compilation, creator statement, and fact. People seriously need to learn what an opinionated essay is versus what a factual reconstruction of a narrative is.

    No one is kissing any ass (jealous much?), but there are plenty of thanks for the time taken to compile the FACTS into this essay form.

    You all can put your lighters back in your pockets. For real.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Vendel
    #19 Vendel 9 September, 2009, 22:58

    It’s strange. This makes complete logical sense.

    Almost as if it was intended that way by the creators.

    Reply to this comment
    • Quexinos
      Quexinos 9 September, 2009, 23:35

      Stop that blasphemy this instant >:(

    • I Am Not Me
      I Am Not Me 10 September, 2009, 04:19

      Vendel, FFVII is just a game with a storyline that was only intended to be interpreted point for point. Nothing was intended by the creators. Everything was intended by the fans. It’s obviously more logical this way.

      I agree with Quexi. Stop this nonsense! >:(

      Stop the trolling! /lookwho’stalking

    • rabbitbooboo
      rabbitbooboo 31 May, 2010, 20:31

      I agree with Quexi and I Am Not Me. Vendel is the one who constantly make nonsense comments but flaming people being nonsense.

  20. OWD
    #20 OWD 10 September, 2009, 02:35

    Yes, the Clerii have come up with a multitude of so-called counter arguments.

    Remember the made up Japanese people dining at WacDonalds making up shit like koi___bito being two words and not meaning what it does (unless it’s used in reference to Aeris)É
    The rest fo them follow in a similar fashion.

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolwut
      Lolwut 9 January, 2010, 20:29

      OWD, You strike me as someone who would write articles for Destiny Failed. CloTis make up shit all the time, so don’t go and make all Cleriths look like lying wackjobs with no valid arguments.

Data protectionYour email address will not be published. No data will be shared with third parties.