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Early Material Files Worldview & Terminology – p. 523-525 of the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega

by August 11, 2009 11 comments

The last segment of the FFVII Early Material Files has been translated by hitoshura, and this one by far, offers the best look into the possible world of FFVII had the creators gone a different route. Below is a collection of notes and definitions regarding the world scenario and plot points of the draft of FFVII. Many things here are different from the original, finalized game, so please keep that in mind and don’t let yourself actually think this has anything to do with the finalized story. With that, enjoy!

ffvii-amano

Materials on the worldview and terminology, with many parts in common with the final game. Additionally, we have included “Another Hypothesis” which, while quite different from the final game, is an interesting interpretation.

Worldview

When they die, everything abandons their physical body and becomes solely spiritual energy.

For a while this spiritual energy wanders, but gradually they meld into a larger body of spiritual energy. Like a drop of ink in a glass of water, which at first retains its shape and colour but gradually diffuses, they start to assimilate into the larger spiritual mass. This large spiritual body is, in other words, the life of the planet. The life of the planet undergoes divisions in small units. These become new lives. All life exists within this cycle.

the_planet

Spiritual energy grows through a process of separation, joining and diffusion. This occurs in the same way on a biological, planetary, and galactic level. In other words, the universe is a developing giant body of spiritual energy. And when its energy increases, the universe divides a smaller mass of spiritual energy, like giving birth to a child. This is an egg for a universe. The egg goes to another dimension and ignites a big bang, and there it creates a universe and by dividing itself creates galaxies, planets, lifeforms… And it grows through the process of division and joining.

The universe didn’t begin in nothingness. It started in a state of highly concentrated, pure spiritual energy. The world of this story has turned this spiritual energy into a source of power and is at the height of its prosperity. But behind the surface the planet, due to having its spiritual energy drained out of it, is sick and verging on death.

[About magic]

On the surface magic doesn’t exist, and is something only very few people can use.  Only people with the ability to materialize spiritual energy as they will it and utilize that can cast magic. In the modern world only SOLDIER exhibits this power. The Ancients (people who flourished in ancient times) were said to be able to use magic.

[The Mako City, Midgar]

In the pitch black darkness, beams of light rise up as if that place is the opening to another dimension. The Mako City, Midgar… The cultured people, despising the slums where the lower classes gather, constructed pillars 50 meters tall, and atop a plate upon those pillars they built a city.

midgar

The size is enough to completely encompass all of Tokyo’s 23 wards, but due to rapid development it is a chaotic city with erratically constructed buildings with pipes of various widths carelessly sticking out. That said, it’s not necessarily like rows of modern buildings, it’s a world where stone pavements and pipes seemingly made up of tin-plate and strange streetlights (powered by mako energy) and gimmicky tram engines co-exist. In the center of the city stands the massive Shinra Company building. Wastelands surround the pizza-shaped circular city, and monsters sent out by Shinra keep the people of the slums from escaping.

[Note “Tokyo’s 23 wards”: Tokyo is made up of 23 separate districts which make up the city: You can read about them here.]

[Shinra Co.]

shinra-execs

A company from a certain country, with Old Midgar as its capital. They developed and constructed weapons, and practically monopolize the defense industry. Received vast profits from a long-lasting war with  another nation (they also secretly exported weapons to the enemy country as well. The traces of this can been seen in various towns and cities afterward. Characters such as Barret notice this.)

At the start of the war they had already began practical use of mako energy. Towards the end of the war they create “SOLDIER” utilizing mako energy. Due to the actions of SOLDIER, the country on Shinra’s side obtained an all-out victory in the war.

shin-ra-company1

After the war, because of their monopolizing of technology relating to mako energy, they control the country economically. After changing Midgar into a plate city, that control structure was perfected.

[Shinra’s Goal]

Shinra discovered a technology to mine the spiritual energy hidden underground. Large cylindrical structures known as mako reactors suck up the energy from underground like a well, and preform the function of purifying it. The one who took control of this energy and extended their ruling power was the Shinra (SINRA) Company, with President Shinra at its top. Making use of that financial power, they created many secret organization within the company.

[SOLDIER]

Warriors bathed in mako energy. Can use magic. An army formed to suppress regional rebel elements opposed to the construction of the mako reactors. However, what is there true motive?

soldier

The war with another nation which took place on this planet dragged on due to the strength of each country being equal. That was when SOLDIER appeared. Only those whose aptitude had been acknowledged, having been selected from the general army or civilian population and after undergoing many examinations, were able to enter the SOLDIER training facility. At the training facility, in addition to training, were also exposed to mako energy.

Although only those who had been selected in the first place could enter the SOLDIER training facility, only a handful of them manage to make it into SOLDIER. Many people, perhaps due to the mako energy, become physically and mentally ill and drop out. These were dealt with in secret. So there are an extraordinary number of accidental deaths and suicides at the training facility. (There may be some people somewhere who have successfully escaped. They may be able to tell you many secrets.)

The SOLDIER operatives who were sent to the war were an elite few, and with guerrilla warfare shifted the state of the war to favor the nation on Shinra’s side. The activities of their new weapon “SOLDIER” were broadcast in detail, and the people view SOLDIER as heroes. They are idolized by children. Cloud was also one of these children…

– After the end of the war… In an time without war, the duty of SOLDIER turned towards ‘maintaining the peace’. This of course includes ‘suppression of rebel elements’.

– Difference from the government troops… To the people the government is as good as worthless. Only Shinra will protect them. The fact is the government will do nothing for them. The government does have an army. However, the one who actually commands the army is Shinra. Just like the government, they are under Shinra’s power.

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11 comments

  1. S and G
    #1 S and G 12 August, 2009, 00:59

    An interesting read. Thanks again for bringing us this, Hito. There are quite a few odd (or odd to us veterans of the original) concepts. I find Sephiroth’s early character strange as it kinda rams home how powerful but collected he was as an individual before the whole Nibelheim incident. And Jenova as an ability? That was cool to read. There didn’t eem to be much change with the whole Spirit Energy idea except that it the universe could use it to give birth to alternate universes. Hmmm….

    Reply to this comment
    • Makoeyes987
      Makoeyes987 Author 12 August, 2009, 01:49

      Yeah, the big change regarding who/what Jenova was, surprised me. I love reading esoteric stuff like this. It certainly goes to show how much thought and time went into development for this game.

      And who knows, we may see some of these ideas/concepts again in another Compilation title. The whole universe/spirit energy thing reminded me of Lucrecia’s/Shelke’s monologue in DC regarding the universe, Omega, and Spirit Energy.

  2. ForceStealer
    #2 ForceStealer 12 August, 2009, 02:15

    Wow, that was really fascinating, thanks a lot. That’s really interesting about how different Jenova is. Makes you wonder how they made the leap from being a part of your mind to an alien…

    And Midgar encompassing all of Tokyo? Certainly doesn’t look it…

    The way they talk about SOLDIER and magic makes it sound like, either SOLDIER can cast magic without materia, or materia are just very hard to use. But the symptoms of mako addiction being part of regular SOLDIER seems to have been transferred to Deepground.

    Reply to this comment
  3. OWD
    #3 OWD 12 August, 2009, 23:22

    Oh awesome. I love these. Thanks, hitoboy.

    I actually like the idea of Sephiroth being inherently destructive, which is what I thought was really the case before CC. The whole “mad” but composed is kind of awkward — not translation wise, but I just don’t get the whole “calm judgment & composure” + “amplified madness” in the same sentence. LOL @ mako addiction/withdrawal.

    Not a whole lot of changes though, minus Jenova. I’d love to read more on her. What exactly do they have on her (not necessarily from early files)? I’d rather get somethign on Jenova than the pointless Case of _____. Yuffie’s was lame, for example.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Frostwave
    #4 Frostwave 16 August, 2009, 22:17

    Some interesting stuff here.

    Thanks for translating this! (=

    Reply to this comment
  5. Fern
    #5 Fern 8 September, 2009, 20:10

    Thank you for this translation!

    These are fascinating concepts. I enjoyed these early material files a whole lot more than some of the other additions to the FF7 compilation. Jenova as an ability and a part of the brain, activated by mako energy, is awesome as is the concept of Sephiroth’s mako addiction to explain his villainy and the Turks being able to sense people with their Jenova awakened. I would love to see these ideas used somewhere else, be it in future FF7 sequels or in other FF games. But I must say that I’m glad that they didn’t go with the term “Thaumaturges”.

    Reply to this comment
  6. angelina jolie
    #6 angelina jolie 10 September, 2009, 18:06

    I love your site. 🙂 Love design!!! I just came across your blog and wanted to say that I

    Reply to this comment
  7. Tappymint
    #7 Tappymint 21 October, 2010, 13:37

    Ah, this means what Sephiroth read in the Nibelheim mansion was actually that godforsaken book.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Wostvely
    #8 Wostvely 24 October, 2010, 21:35

    Thanks for translating.
    The idea of the ancients sounds like chrono trigger to me, just like the kingdom of Zeal and the earthbound ones.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Mr. Ite
    #9 Mr. Ite 6 May, 2011, 14:15

    The idea of a “Forbidden Black Magic” called “Disintegrate” wiping out every one who lived in “The White Tower of Holy” sounds too good to forget about. FFXVI, please?

    Reply to this comment
  10. Orah
    #10 Orah 1 September, 2013, 23:52

    i would have liked some more insight on sephy…: (

    Reply to this comment

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