News

Now for something new: user-submitted editorials

by February 4, 2010 21 comments

Here at the Lifestream.net, we’re usually looking for new and interesting angles to examine Final Fantasy Seven from, and it is with this in mind we are announcing our new front page feature- essays and articles written and submitted by you- the fans. Towards this end, we are proud to present the first of what hopefully will be many user editorials, an essay by a girl named June- also known as Messenger of the Ancients- reposted in its entirety with her permission. For some context, this essay is in part a response to my and Squall of Seed‘s recent articles, as well as the Love Triangle Debate that has plagued much of Final Fantasy Seven Fandom, so you may wish to familiarize yourself with these before reading. In any case, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy the essay.

Experience

I will first start off by saying that I have not been a fan of Final Fantasy VII as long as many people here.  I only saw it a few years ago when a friend showed it to me in Japan.  When she played the game she played so that Cloud loved Aerith.  Many choices came up to have Cloud love Tifa, but she always was nice to Aerith.  To me this game was showing a man who fell in love with a girl he met, then lost her at the hands of evil.  But he still wished to see her and look for her in the end of the game.  It was very sweet.   I remember my friend telling me that some parts will change if you have Cloud love someone else, like Tifa.

One day I looked up what parts of the game would be changed if Cloud loved Tifa.  I was surprised to find out that not that much changed.  The two important scenes that would change would be the dating scene, and scene with Cloud and Tifa under the Highwind.  This is normally called the Highwind scene. If Cloud loves Tifa, the Highwind scene will have small amount of possible romance in it but it is unclear how the scene end.  The ending to the game is always the same.  Cloud will say that he wants to seek or find Aerith again.  To me this showed that, even if you played the game to make Cloud love Tifa, that would not matter because in the end, the game chose Aerith for you.

When I saw the movie, Advent Children, it made sense that Cloud and Tifa did not seem to have any romance going on.  Cloud seemed to focus on Aerith, even living in the church he met her in.  He wanted to find her, to see her again, and when he did, he was able to fight again.   While I do not think that if Cloud and Tifa were lovers, that Tifa could just make Cloud feel better after his hard life, I did think that Cloud living in the church and wanting to see Aerith just one more time was very extreme for just a friend that he lost.  Zack died too, but Aerith was still the one he was trying to find.  The end of the movie has Cloud smile at Aerith as she smiles back.

It is because of this, I always thought that Aerith was Cloud’s true love and did not see that in Tifa and Cloud.  When I moved to where I am now, I was able to find a copy of Final Fantasy VII for kind of cheap, so I bought it.  I played it like my friend did and was fine with that.  I have never played the game so that Cloud loves Tifa, but I’ve from what I read it does not matter that much.

The second thing I want to start off with is that living in another culture has taught me how important experience is.  Many times, someone’s experience will reflect on what conclusion they come to.  The right conclusion for some, might not be right for others.  What seems clear to some, may not to others.  This does not mean there is not ever a right or wrong, and in many cases there is a right and wrong, but even right and wrong can be up to a person’s experience.

The final thing I will say to start off with is that sometimes stories do not end up how we wanted to.  This does not mean we can not enjoy them, or that they are bad.  It just means things do not always happen how we want them to. Sometimes we lose things, even ideas, but then we have to remember what we do have and enjoy that.

Hate

When I first came to the Northern Crater from a youtube link I found, I did not know that this war had been going on for so long.  There seems to be a lot of hate for both sides.  I don’t think there should be this hate.  My dad likes Cloud and Tifa together, and I like Cloud and Aerith but we don’t hate.  Because of this hate I almost did not want to respond to this, but both sides seem to want the truth, so I will give them what I know.

Conclusions

So, the Clotis want to say they win with this new scan.  I am not sure how one can really win or lose with this, but to make everything easy I will say this to start off .  If this page saying that Cloud and Tifa shared romance under the Highwind is what would make Clotis win, I would have no choice but to say they win.  I did not think Cloud and Tifa were together when I watched the movie, or when I read Case of Lifestream White.  But I did kind of think it was possible after reading some texts in the Reunion Files.  A line in Reunion Files says Tifa is a sweetheart (Japanese word, koibito) to someone.  Now it does not say a name, so you would have to look somewhere else to find the answer.  On this new scan, it says Tifa and Cloud verify feelings, and the feelings would be of romantic love.  It also does not mention a low or high version of the scene Under the highwind, just that they verify feelings.  This would make them sweethearts or koibito to each other.

I have been asked if the feelings match.  I do not disagree with the other translation I have seen, but I do think that in this case 合う is not on its own.  It is part of the verb 確かめ.  In this case 合う means they confirmed what they feel together.  They feel it together and that is what they are confirming.   This is how I read the statement but I would not say it is impossible for me to be wrong.  I have also been asked if these feelings are not romantic.  The page is about romantic love, so yes they are romantic feelings.  There is a box at the bottom that talks about family and brotherly kind of love, and FFVII is not talked about.  So Cloud and Tifa are sharing romantic love for sure.

I have seen relationship charts, but to me they seem to be doubtful.  The one had the phrase “more than friends, less than lovers” with a question mark for Cloud and Tifa.  It also showed Aerith’s picture and had a question mark after her name.  Other charts do not tell us for sure if two people share romance even when it is obvious that they do.   Other charts do not show love at all with any characters.   I have also seen Nomura say that he is not sure if Cloud and Tifa got together after FFVII or not, but many later interviews have more different answers.

My best conclusion on this entire love triangle is that it was meant to be guessed at early on, but they slowly began to give us clues to the answer.  This page is a big clue.  We know Cloud and Tifa share romance for each other, and we can guess that they got together after FFVII.  There is an interview where Nojima states that things did not go well at the start, but this is where Advent Children happens.  Then, Marlene and Denzen might help them work it out.  It is unclear what happens after Advent Children with Cloud and Tifa, so this is when we make our own conclusions from our experience.

Winning and Losing

So, does this mean I lost?  No, it does not mean I lost.  It seems very silly for this to be about winning and losing.  I did not talk to friends about this to win or lose.  I wanted to talk about ideas and theories, so that is what I did.  I do not feel that I lost anything.  I think the real people who lose, are the people who think this is about winning and losing.  I feel more like I won.  I have made new friends, and this event has helped me improve my writing and reading, which is something I needed.   So if you want to say you win because of a scan, go ahead.

What do you win?  Do you get a new car?  Do you have better health?  Do you get a lot of money?  No, you do not get anything.  Don’t be so silly and enjoy what you have instead of trying to win everything.

The End of Cloud and Aerith?

No this is not the end.  Do not even think something like that.  First of all, in the scan, there is also a picture of Cloud and Aerith on a date.  The text below it tells us that one of Cloud’s company will invite him on a date and it could be anyone dependent on Cloud’s behavior.  To me this seems to be almost dismissing the date scene as nothing, but I would not say that they are dismissing Cloud and Aerith or saying they do not matter.  The text at the top of the page talks about the heroes of the game.  Both Aerith and Tifa are heroes in FFVII and even though there text says anyone can come, the picture is of Cloud and Aerith.  If this date scene was not important, it would be be pictured at all.  If Aerith was not important, she would not be there.

The story did not end up how I would have thought or how I wanted.  But people who think that if Cloud and Tifa got together, Cloud did not love Aerith seem to be missing something.  Cloud and Aerith have a special bond.  It was not something anyone else in Avalanche had with her.  There are statements that say that Cloud and Aerith’s bond was different than the one Cloud and Tifa have.  We are always being reminded of this.  Case of Lifestream White is a good example.  Aerith is still willing to call Cloud her sweetheart or koibito, even though it is after FFVII.  The one thing she is worried about is making sure Cloud is safe.  Cloud is similar in that the thing that mattered to him the most was his forgiveness from Aerith.  It was not until he got forgiveness that he was able to fight again.  When asked what was most important to him, Cloud thought of Aerith first.  What Cloud and Aerith have may not be completely based around romance, but it is based around a strong bond and a strong love, that no one else has with her.  He feels this and he knows this and this is why he wishes to see her again at the end of the game.

Am I saying that Aerith is more important to Cloud than Tifa?  Well, this is where we need to find our own conclusions, but I want to say this.  Cloud and Tifa being romantically involved does not make the bond that Cloud and Aerith share any less special.  If Cloud was with one hundred girls it would not make their bond any less special.   Their bond was one of the main ideas of the game, and one of the main ideas of the movie and will continue to be a main ideas.  It is not something that should be ignored or just thrown away.

Will Cloud stay with Tifa?   Again, we need to make our own conclusions, but I want to say it again that whether he does or not, does not make what he shares with Aerith any less special.  Aerith will always be there to watch over Cloud, and to realize that and to understand that really does make me feel like I won.  People who miss this idea or just think Cloud and Aerith have nothing are the ones who really lost.

These are my thoughts and conclusions on this whole love triangle based on what information I know.  Will I change my mind?  It is possible, it has changed once.  I thank you for reading and hope that I helped people who might have been having trouble or were confused.  I am sorry if I made anyone angry or sad, but remember what I said, it is not about winning or losing.  It is about love and a strong bond that two people share.  And that is something I can enjoy and something I think anyone can enjoy.    So have fun with your game and the love the characters have, and remember, it is not about winning or losing.  It’s about the experience you share with each other and the conclusion you come to in the end.  And I wish you all good luck with both and once again, thank you for listening.

21 comments

  1. Quexinos
    #1 Quexinos 4 February, 2010, 02:18

    This essay is made of pure epic win. You should be proud June, I think you really hit the nail on the head.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Isabella
    #2 Isabella 4 February, 2010, 02:43

    A very well written essay. I agree with most of what you’ve said. Thank you for sharing it.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ellis
    #3 Ellis 4 February, 2010, 03:21

    Very nice work. I hope you do more.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Celes Chere
    #4 Celes Chere 4 February, 2010, 03:59

    I really love your essay, MOTA. ♥ As I expressed over at The Forgotten City. 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  5. Quexinos
    #5 Quexinos 4 February, 2010, 05:22

    FFS guys her name is “Messenger of the Ancients” not “messenger of the ages” XD

    Reply to this comment
  6. Zoki
    #6 Zoki 4 February, 2010, 05:35

    Many thanks for the top notch points in the post, it has really helped myself!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Tennyo
    #7 Tennyo 4 February, 2010, 06:26

    Very very nice. 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  8. Death Sin
    #8 Death Sin 4 February, 2010, 10:38

    Nicely written and quite to the point. Definitely worth a read, IMO *nods*

    Reply to this comment
  9. Vendel
    #9 Vendel 5 February, 2010, 03:01

    It’s nice to see you can look at a Ultimania page rather objectively. Although some of your other assertions about C/A are rather…..well never mind.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Rasa
    #10 Rasa 9 February, 2010, 11:35

    God, how can somebody still be mulling over this debate. Does ACC not show clearly enough Aerith/Zack canoness? Why in the hell would Cloud put Zack’s sword in Aerith’s church if he woudn’t think they are “THE couple”.
    True, I agree that Cloud and her had a strong bound in AC/ACC, but I don’t see it as romantic one in any way. Just Zack standing there at the end points out “hello, she is mine”.
    Yes, your essay is reasonable, I mean, everyone has their “likings”, as for those pairing things, but people are getting too deep making all those theories/speculations. Just how much more “proofs” do you need after seeing CloTi with such obvious couples like Squall/Rinoa and Tidus/Yuna?…

    Reply to this comment
    • PrimaRosa
      PrimaRosa 19 April, 2010, 09:09

      Chill out. June just said YES. They are a confirmed couple. By the way I really enjoyed the essay. I have felt this way too in the past couple of years. I still feel like I’ve won :p

  11. Falcor
    #11 Falcor 12 February, 2010, 01:28

    Sometimes the simplicity and purity of English learned as a second language can express things the most clearly.

    “To me this game was showing a man who fell in love with a girl he met, then lost her at the hands of evil. But he still wished to see her and look for her in the end of the game. It was very sweet. ”

    That’s just a beautiful description. And by beginning it with “To me,” it reemphasizes that many of us don’t care about forcing the other side to agree, we just want have a right to our own opinion without being antagonized.

    By posting this and properly labeling it as an editorial and not a news article, LS.net has regained a good deal of credibility

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD 12 February, 2010, 05:47

      –“By posting this and properly labeling it as an editorial and not a news article, LS.net has regained a good deal of credibility.”

      In fairness, we only have the one front page. Whether something’s an editorial or a news article is evident by the content and the source.

      Never understood why some people exclaimed that TLS was posting editorials as though they were hard news pieces.

  12. Teresa
    #12 Teresa 16 February, 2010, 02:19

    (I am only posting here because your contact form is not working. Please feel free to delete at any time)
    Hello, I no longer intend to engage user “Vendel” on any of your boards. However, I would like to know if it is your policy to allow users to insult other users and to use words such as “retard”.
    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
    • rabbitbooboo
      rabbitbooboo 18 March, 2010, 01:55

      Vendel and Makoeyes are the real retards, they never accept others’ opinions.

  13. fantasypunk2005
    #13 fantasypunk2005 19 February, 2010, 20:01

    I really understood what your opinion was and I’m less confused than before, Thank you very much I’ve enjoyed your essay. My head doesn’t hurt anymore and I can’t thank enough for that.

    I really didn’t mind who cloud really ended up with cause I love him either way and both tifa and aerith are awesome characters. I may be a clerith fan but all of these years I’ve always wanted to know who he really loved or he cared the most. Now that it makes more sense because of your words I’m grateful. I’m still supporting clerith but I know the truth now.

    “see everything is alright…”
    “yeah…I know …. I’m not alone…. not anymore”
    FF7 forever

    Reply to this comment
  14. fantasypunk2005
    #14 fantasypunk2005 19 February, 2010, 20:07

    I really understood what your opinion was and I’m less confused than before, Thank you very much I’ve enjoyed your essay. My head doesn’t hurt anymore and I can’t thank enough for that.

    I really didn’t mind who cloud really ended up with cause I love him either way and both tifa and aerith are awesome characters. I may be a clerith fan but all of these years I’ve always wanted to know who he really loved or he cared the most. Now that it makes more sense because of your words I’m grateful. I’m still supporting clerith but I know the truth now.

    “see everything is alright…”
    “yeah…I know …. I’m not alone…. not anymore”
    FF7 forever

    Reply to this comment
  15. rabbitbooboo
    #15 rabbitbooboo 18 March, 2010, 01:57

    I enjoy reading your essay, good job!

    Reply to this comment
  16. Clover
    #16 Clover 19 April, 2010, 12:57

    They are NOT a confirmed couple–they had sex was all!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Ryushikaze
      Ryushikaze 19 April, 2010, 15:46

      I do hope you are simply being facetious, Clover, because painting Cloud as a ‘love them and leave them’ type is simply ludicrous.

  17. Matthewtheman
    #17 Matthewtheman 12 September, 2012, 20:09

    I liked this essay. June, it was very honorable of you to concede that the other side of the argument is right. Most people are to stubborn to admit when the other side has proven themselves right.

    Reply to this comment

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