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Dissidia 012 Plot Analysis FAQ

by April 5, 2011 56 comments


• What happened to Shantotto, Gabranth and Prishe?
In the cutscenes of Dissidia 012’s Report 8, Gabranth and Shantotto show up in a new, expanded version of the scene from Destiny Odyssey scene 110 in the original game, Shantotto battles and kills Gabranth — and then either are hardly ever seen again.

Gabranth, in fact, isn’t seen again outside his Distant Glory storyline from the first game (which reappears as the Land of the Stolen Crown gateway in the Confessions of the Creator campaign from Dissidia 012), while Shantotto only gets two more scenes in which she’s seen talking with Prishe and Cosmos, in addition to her own Distant Glory storyline (the Curses and Hopes of Yore gateway in Confessions of the Creator).

Where did they go? Gabranth should have revived, and Shantotto wasn’t killed by manikins as far as we know, so what happened to them? Did Chaos decide he didn’t want Gabranth back after Shantotto killed him, as with Cloud after he rebelled in Report 7? Was Shantotto offed by manikins offscreen and without mention?

What about Prishe? She gets cutscenes in Report 8 and Report 17, but, like Shantotto, mysteriously disappears from Cosmos’s ranks. Did manikins get her somewhere along the way too?

Were they the three warriors who were said in Report 14 to have been lost during Shinryu’s purification process at some point? These three were unable to handle Shinryu’s purification at the end of an unidentified cycle — and, thus, they were removed from the war permanently:

“The summoned, debilitated through battle,
are purified by Shinryu.

Their memories are returned to the state
of when they were first summoned.

Three damaged bodies, unable to withstand
purification, have perished.”

In actuality, Gabranth and Shantotto both left the war of Dissidia of their own accord, and were not among those unidentified warriors who were lost to Shinryu’s purification process.

Shantotto’s profile reveals that she hid herself away somewhere beyond the war’s reach, with no interest in seeing its conclusion:

“Paying no heed to the fact that she was summoned as a pawn of a goddess, Shantotto uses battles as an excuse to experiment with magic. Shantotto disappears as she nears completing the ultimate spell, as the pending end to the cycle of conflict would hinder her research. Or so the rumors go.

It seems that after disappearing, Shantotto has come even closer to completing her research on the ultimate spell.”

According to his profile, Gabranth, meanwhile, at some point after being defeated by Shantotto found his way into the Interdimensional Rift and remained there for the rest of the war:

“Gabranth goes into hiding after his battle against the mage, making some believe that he was transported to the Rift by Shantotto’s ultimate spell.

In reality, Gabranth had arrived at the Rift after having forsaken the fight and wandering the land. He may have concluded that the path he had taken was mistaken, as Gabranth later repels warriors who happen upon him, and sends them back to the battlefield.”

In Gabranth’s case, this presumably took place in a cycle following his fight with Shantotto, as he would have needed to revive first.

Whether Shantotto departed in the same cycle as the one in which she killed Gabranth is also not specified, nor is her hiding place.

For her part, Prishe’s in-game Museum profile says she disappears following one of Cosmos’s defeats in an unidentified cycle:

“Prishe later disappears after Cosmos falls in battle, and the Warrior of Light no longer retains any memories of her through the multiple purifications he has experienced, but he took her words to not rely on memories and to live strong to heart, growing into the stern and blunt man he is today.”

Whether she perished under the circumstances described in Report 14, those described in the Confessions of the Creator storyline, or for another reason is unknown.

• Do Gabranth and Shantotto return to their respective worlds after the end of the Dissidia conflict?
Difficult to say for sure since one of them was in the Rift and the other’s whereabouts were entirely unknown — but my guess would be yes. Given that so much had been affected by the power of the two gods, and all of it seemed to be undone with their deaths, I’d expect Shantotto and Gabranth’s displacement from their proper homes to be among the matters mended with the end of the war.

Still, if you prefer to imagine Gabranth remaining resurrected and wandering about the Rift to wherever it may lead him, I can’t fault you for it.

• Isn’t the first cutscene from Report 8 a contradiction with Destiny Odyssey scene 110 in the original Dissidia?
For clarification’s sake, DO scene 110 was Cosmos’s flashback to Gabranth and Shantotto confronting one another during the first game. The first cutscene of Report 8 in Dissidia 012 is a recreation of that scene with additional dialogue and different blocking.

Does this, then, amount to a contradiction?

Not really. It’s an inconsistent portrayal, sure, but not an outright contradiction. If it weren’t Cosmos’s memory of the event (complete with a sepia color filter), I’d call it a contradiction. Since it’s just her recalling the moment, though, we can chalk it up to her memory abridging the event and not doing so entirely accurately.

A goddess she may be, but she’s far from infallible. Clearly, she was too busy working on mastering her sad expressions to make notes of exactly how it went down.

Given that Cosmos having the flashback was removed from Dissidia 012’s retelling of cycle 013, it probably doesn’t matter anyway.


• Does Dissidia take place before or after FFV for Shinryu?
Since he’s a dragon that travels both space and time via the Rift, it’s a tricky matter. His profile in Dissidia 012’s Museum says that following the end of cycle 013 he “departed to the Interdimensional Rift,” and that is all we know. His departure is also mentioned by Chaos in the ending to the Confessions of the Creator story mode.


• Ultimecia’s Museum profile in Dissidia 012 says that she has no memories of her past due to multiple resurrections by Shinryu. How is this possible?
First, let’s review the relevant portion of Ultimecia’s profile:

“After learning of the never-ending cycle of battle in this realm, she has slowly garnered strength while protecting herself.

All of her actions are in preparation for when the gods fall. She plans to compress time itself at that very moment to escape the fate of a warrior and create a world of her own.

Having received purification multiple times, Ultimecia possesses none of her prior memories. Whether out of contempt for the warriors of Cosmos who fight diligently, or out of confidence, she places herself in harm’s way and provokes the warriors of Cosmos on occasion.”

Given her knowledge of Time Compression in both games, as well as her line to Squall in the Shade Impulse portion of the first game where she mentions that he’s from the same world as she (“It is such a misfortune that you had to be born in my world”), this seems like a direct contradiction.

Even if it only meant that she’d undergone multiple purifications in the eleven prior cycles of the war and only meant memories related to the war when it refers to her not possessing any of her prior memories, her comments to the Cloud of Darkness during Shade Impulse that the cycle’s end feels different this time around and that she’s had an eternity to exploit the situation she’s been trapped in suggests otherwise:

Ultimecia: “It seems the conflict is nearing its end. Shinryu is stirring.”
CoD: “…Shinryu?”
Ultimecia: “Yes. That which purifies the world. The wyrm will cull the wheat
from the chaff and wipe the world clean. A checkmate. And then the board is
cleared for another match.”
CoD: “So that is how these battles have repeated time and again…”
Ultimecia: “Yes. I have had an eternity to master my gambit. But I feel
something…unusual this time. The world trembles like never before…”

How does one go about explaining these conflicting statements?

In the event that it refers only to her not having any memories of her homeworld during cycle 012, perhaps she only remembered that which was most important to her — Time Compression. And, in any case, if she didn’t already have them, she could have recovered more memories of her past between the beginning of cycle 012 and the final battle between she and Squall, the same as Firion remembered his history with Emperor Mateus and the context of the wild rose between his death in cycle 012 and where the first game’s story picks up with him.

The fact that Ultimecia actually survived cycle 012 — something she apparently hadn’t done often during the war — especially means that there’s cause to suspect her of recovering memories.

For that matter, given that it’s during Shade Impulse that both the conversations with Squall and with Cloud of Darkness take place, that makes room for special circumstances to begin with. Everyone’s memories seemed to be coming back in earnest around that time anyway (e.g. Squall had just remembered Rinoa, Chaos had a dream about reigning in balance with Cosmos, and Sephiroth remembered his suicide from cycle 012).

• Ultimecia’s Museum profile in Dissidia 012 says that Ellone of Final Fantasy VIII is a sorceress. True?
No, not true. The official English translation of Dissidia 012 does, indeed, say that, though:

“A sorceress hailing from a distant future of Squall’s world, she sends her consciousness to the present to possess the sorceress Edea, and came to hold ultimate authority in a dictatorship.

Ultimecia schemes to possess Ellone, a sorceress capable of sending a person’s consciousness back in time, to use her Time Compression spell.”

However, this was a translation error. In Japanese, the sorceresses of FFVIII were referred to as 魔女 (“majo”; meaning “witch”). The Japanese text in Ultimecia’s Dissidia 012 profile doesn’t refer to Ellone with this term. It refers to her as 思念を過去へと飛ばせる能力者 — “a person with the ability to send thoughts [or consciousnesses] back in time.”

• Sephiroth’s Museum profile in Dissidia 012 says that he is an agent of JENOVA’s will. Isn’t he supposed to be in control?
It’s been well established by now in such sources as the FFVII Ultimania Omega (pp. 53 and 213) that Sephiroth was under his own command rather than being controlled by JENOVA, so why this line in his Dissidia 012 profile?: “Once learning of his origin, he refers to the Calamity that fell from the skies, Jenova, as his mother, and acts as an agent to carry out her will.” This isn’t a mistranslation, as with the passage about Ellone in Ultimecia’s Museum profile; the Japanese form of the line says the same thing:

しかし自分の出自を知ってからは空からきた厄災ジェノバを母と呼び、その意思を代行する存在となりはててしまった。

So, why the contradiction?

I’d argue that there is no contradiction here, as I’ve always pictured post-Nibelheim Sephiroth as something of a combination of JENOVA and Seph — an evolved form of the JENOVA virus, if you will, with her powers, instincts and physical material guided by his intellect. I don’t think there’s really a valuable distinction between the two, and I think that lines like this convey that. The 10th Anniversary Ultimania for FFVII also seems to use their names rather interchangably (e.g. in Cloud’s profile), as though it doesn’t matter which you’re talking about in post-Nibelheim contexts.

While his personality was unquestionably the dominant one, I still believe that the virus-like behavior of JENOVA is reflected in Sephiroth’s desire to assimilate the entirety of Gaia’s spirit energy and become one with the planet.

Even in Advent Children, he speaks of assimilating Gaia, then traveling the cosmos like JENOVA and finding a new world to assimilate. I believe that whether he knew it or not, Sepihroth had the instincts of JENOVA and that
the two were, in all relevant ways, the same being by the time of the events of Final Fantasy VII.

Certainly the possibility was present for such a merge to occur given that Sephiroth fell into the Lifestream with JENOVA’s head, only for his own body to be dissolved and then reconstructed, according to the Advent Children Reunion Files (pg. 60) and FFVII Ultimania Omega (pg. 211). At any rate, even the official position, as revealed in Final Fantasy VII’s Ultimania Omega guide, is that it was by virtue of having JENOVA’s head with him in the Lifestream that Sephiroth was able to influence the location of the Reunion (pg. 212), if not altogether how he was able to take command of JENOVA’s cells and power.

I also feel that the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania supports my position that Sephiroth gained JENOVA’s instincts, as — in Sephiroth’s profile from the book (pg. 76; pg. 78 in the Revised Edition) — the following description is made: “Born into the Shin-Ra Company as ‘JENOVA’s son,’ a fallen hero who inherited Jenova’s will to destroy the planet.”

Furthermore, as mentioned above, Cloud’s profile from the same book seems to treat Sephiroth and JENOVA as interchangeable, referring to Cloud as a “puppet of JENOVA,” referring to him as still under the “will of JENOVA” during Advent Children, and commenting on the effects of Sephiroth’s influence on him during the film with, “It’s almost as if he can never escape from JENOVA’s command” (pg. 38).

• Is it true that the original Japanese release of the first Dissidia had different Chaos Reports than the versions released overseas?
Yes, actually. The original Japanese release had very strange Chaos Reports that made for a highly confusing story. Apparently, sometime between that initial release and the time of releasing the game in North America a little over eight months later, the developers decided to actually make the story into something sensible. For English translations of those original Chaos Reports, you can find them in MinoSpelgud’s Script Translation FAQ for the first Dissidia. For the official English translation of the Chaos Reports included in the overseas releases, simply consult my Game Script FAQ for the first Dissidia.

For the Universal Tuning rerelease of the first game in Japan, the Chaos Reports were updated to match those found in the overseas releases. For an example of this, here follows the Japanese text of Chaos Report 7 in the original version of the game:

まさか、この世界の真実を探るため
自ら命を絶つ者が現れるとは思わなかった。

当然、記憶は失われるだろうが
ある意味、彼は真実を証明したともいえる。

肉体が朽ちても、魂は死なず。
その理論は、半分が正解であり
その半分は正確ではない。
もともと、この世界に確固たる肉体など存在していないのだ。

肉体が器にすぎないという考えは
我が継承の儀の名残かもしれない。

だが本質はどうなのだろうか。
精神があるから肉体が存在できるのか
肉体があるから精神が存在できるのか。

おそらく善と悪のように
どちらが先に生まれたというわけではないのだろう。

Now, here are a couple of screenshots of the Japanese text of Chaos Report 7 in the Universal Tuning release: first portion; second portion.


Are the scenes from the original game that weren’t included in Dissidia 012 retconned out of the story?
There are a number of scenes that took place during cycle 013 in the original game that aren’t depicted during Dissidia 012’s retelling of cycle 013 in the Light to All story mode. Examples include Kefka and the Emperor’s exchange at the beginning of Destiny Odyssey VII about Sephiroth’s suicide, as well as Sephiroth and Garland’s conversation from Shade Impulse chapter 3-2. Are these scenes to be considered no longer part of the canon storyline?

They should still be considered part of the story unless openly contradicted in some way. Though the conversation about Sephiroth’s suicide is no longer present, mention of it still shows up in his Museum profile. Likewise, though Sephiroth and Garland’s conversation from Shade Impulse is no longer presented, mention of Dissidia’s world being comprised of shards of different worlds is still present in a late-game exchange between the Emperor and Golbez.

Similarly, we wouldn’t consider the Chaos Reports from the first game to no longer be canon to the story, though they don’t show up again in this game.

We must also keep in mind that disc space considerations were likely a factor in what was left in and what was taken out, as director Mitsunori Takahashi has mentioned in at least one interview that it was difficult to fit everything on the UMD. For instance, the opening FMV from the original game is all but entirely removed from this one, all that was left in being its final shot of the Warrior of Light laying face down after the battle at Order’s Sanctuary. This shot of him — which the Prologue portion of cycle 013 picks up from, with the Warrior of Light waking up in that position — is shown at the very end of the FMV ending to cycle 012’s story, Treachery of the Gods, skipping both the Silent Presage scenes from the Universal Tuning and foreign (to Japan) releases of the first Dissidia, as well as the opening FMV’s battle that took place before the Warrior of Light was left unconscious.

Yet those things are, of course, still part of the story.

All that being said, in the case of revised scenes from the original game, the newer versions should be considered canon and the old omitted.

That ends our Q&A session.

Despite how impressed I am with how Dissidia 012 took care not to leave holes in its plot or create contradictions, there are still a few holes that could use some filling if anyone cares to take a shot at them:

• In the first Dissidia, Garland refers to Kuja as “new” when telling him why Ultimecia has “directed” him. However, in Dissidia 012 Kuja seems to have all of his memories from his original game, given his conversation with Cloud in the first cutscene of Report 1 concerning that subject — and he’s demonstrated to remember at least enough to know that Zidane will expect him to be a good guy.

This suggests that his memories go all the way up through the ending of FFIX, where he had a deathbed repentance, so he should have been around for a few cycles by then.

Why the inconsistency? Is Kuja, perhaps, just new by Garland’s standards given that he’s been there for all 013 cycles? Or — given our speculation above under the response to “Why was Cloud ever on Chaos’ side to begin with?” — could it be that Kuja was just new to Chaos’ side?

In any event, that conversation between Garland and Kuja was revised in Dissidia 012’s retelling of cycle 013. In the new conversation, Garland no longer refers to him as new. Along with some support, Garland offers Kuja a brief explanation for what Ultimecia was talking about when she taunted him earlier.

For the record, that conversation between Kuja and Ultimecia has also been revised. Here follows the old and new versions of both conversations:

(Kuja and Ultimecia; old)
Kuja: “No… That’s a lie!”
Ultimecia: “I’m afraid not. Sadly, you are no more than a vessel…a flawed one at that.”
Kuja: “Do not look down on me! My performance will be the brightest in this entire cast! Just you watch. When the curtain falls, even you will give me a standing ovation!”

(Kuja and Ultimecia; new)
Kuja: “What? All I remember…isn’t real?”
Ultimecia: “Indeed. Your memory has been written over. Because you have been defeated–”
Kuja: “Hmph. Trying to confuse me by looking down on me? If you think I can easily be swayed by your words, you are sorely mistaken. Just you watch. When the curtain falls, you will see just how superior I am!”

(Kuja and Garland; old)
Garland: “You are growing reckless, Kuja.”
Kuja: “You again… Have you come to laugh at me, too?”
Garland: “Not at all. You and I are the same. Not just me. We are all the
same. Even that witch, Ultimecia… We all bear the same fate. You have only
been…directed…because you are new.”

(Kuja and Garland; new)
Garland: “You are growing reckless, Kuja.”
Kuja: “You again… Have you come to laugh at me, too?”
Garland: “Not at all. You and I are the same–warriors summoned to this land by the god of discord. And that is the truth for all of us. Even that witch, Ultimecia… Not one remembers everything. You were used when you had just awakened.”

• Sephiroth is apparently newer than Kuja, given that his memories are incomplete in Dissidia 012. If Kuja was manipulated for being new, then why was Sephiroth left alone? Is Kuja no longer intended to be new, due to the revised conversations above, and his mistreatment is due to Ultimecia and Kefka having such contempt for him due to his plot in cycle 012?

Could it be a combination of his plot causing them to have contempt for him along with him being relatively new to Chaos’ side since he was apparently stolen from Cosmos’s team?

• Why did Kain save Tifa’s life during Chapter 7 of cycle 012’s story when Ultimecia was about to kill her? Given that he was planning to kill all his allies so as to safeguard their entry into the next cycle of the war, if he had just let her die then wouldn’t she have been safe from the manikins?

While there was a manikin disguised as Ultimecia that Tifa fought during that scene, she had already dispatched it, and it was presumably the real Ultimecia that attempted to kill Tifa when Kain intervened. Granted, Kain may have believed it was another manikin, but this isn’t indicated, nor does the scene otherwise suggest that it wasn’t really Ultimecia.

Perhaps Kain just thought it would be too difficult to get away with both Tifa and Zidane’s bodies?

• If Chaos and Cosmos have the power to combine worlds from different dimensions and summon warriors from other dimensions and time periods, then why is Chaos unable to transport himself and Cid straight back to their own time?

• Similar to the previous, if Cid is capable of sealing his failed manikin experiments in the Interdimensional Rift, then why is he unable to access his homeworld?

Acknowledgements:
My first and biggest thanks goes to my wife-to-be Katelyn for putting up with me while I took the time to put all this together. I love you, babe.

Second and next biggest thanks goes to my fellow TLS staff member MakoEyes for discussing damn near everything in this FAQ with me. It wouldn’t have been possible without him. As with our first Dissidia plot FAQ, this was a team effort.

Very special thanks also are due to several GameFAQs users — dvader518 for providing me with the text-only portions of all the Reports, DuodecimKnight for providing me with Warrior of Light’s Museum profile, and Espeon8 for providing all the other character profiles and most of the text from the Confessions of the Creator storyline.

I also owe my gratitude to several more GameFAQs board members who helped me refine some sections of this article after it was initially published: Spiroth_Kweehh for pointing out that Cid of the Lufaine wanted revenge on Onrac rather than Lufenia, as well as the suggestion that Cid and Cosmos created three more Warriors of Light following the events of Dissidia; W_Mark_Felt_Sr for noting that there may be a connection between Jecht’s crystal and the dark crystal that Garland had in the Chaos Shrine in the first FF; Ravagestorm1 for suggesting that the warriors who defeated Enuo may have weakened Shinryu; Jayhawk9408 for the suggestion that the first FF’s three Warriors of Light not depicted in this game may have been warriors who removed from Dissidia following a prior cycle; and Mrfipp for the suggestion that the first FF’s other three Warriors of Light may be an alternate timeline’s version of the perfect manikin Cid successfully created in the text-only portion of Report 16.

ForceStealer of TheLifestream.net is also due a big thanks for providing me with Sephiroth, Shantotto and Gabranth’s Museum profiles, while I owe ShikamaruNara — also of TLS — one for providing me with a paragraph of story text from Confessions of the Creator, as well as Shinryu, Ultimecia and Garland’s profiles.

ShikamaruNara also clarified some important details of Confessions of the Creator for me after this FAQ was published, allowing me to make a needed correction. Thanks for everything, SN!

At the same time as SN’s correction, Ryushikaze (again, of TLS) pointed out the similarities between Dissidia’s Onion Knight and Ingus from the DS version of FFIII, so thanks to him too.

Another TLS forum member, Fairheartstrife, pointed out the similarities between Squall’s crystal and the Sephiroth wing pendant.

Also, the screenshots from the Universal Tuning release of the first Dissidia found under the entry about the original Chaos Reports were provided by TLS forum member Anzu Mazaki.

Next up, thanks to forum member roku for providing a translation of a Dengeki interview with Dissidia 012 director Mitsunori Takahashi.

Though not a forum member or staffer at TLS, clide88 commented on this article after its publication, clarifying for me the matter of Golbez having once belonged to Cosmos’s forces. So, thanks for that to him.

Additional thanks are due YouTube user Naeryu/Ryuni for his thorough walkthroughs of the storyline scenarios of Dissidia 012 and YouTube user ShiroSora445 for posting videos of the Reports (both English and Japanese versions).

Finally, I owe LiveJournal user Xi-Feng for providing me with text from Ultimecia and Sephiroth’s Japanese Museum profiles.

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56 comments

  1. Ryushikaze
    #1 Ryushikaze 5 April, 2011, 18:49

    A quick point re: OK

    I don’t think it’s Luneth. If it is one of the new DS version heroes and not one of the OK from III, then I think it might be Ingus.

    Luneth is the archetypal ‘Rush in ASAP’ hero, regardless of who is involved. Ingus, by contrast, is much more reserved, wanting to examine a situation before leaping in, much like OK in Dissidia. Though Ingus certainly would not ‘fight only battles he was sure he could win’ he would do everything he could to maximize his chances.

    I reckon that OK is a younger Ingus, years before ever becoming a knight of Sasune.

    Besides, OK has his hair and his color scheme. It takes the Luneth Alt for OK to look anything like Luneth.

    Just my 2c.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 7 April, 2011, 13:58

      Fair points. I’ll add mention of the similarities to Ingus in as well. Thanks, Ryu.

  2. Shikamarunara
    #2 Shikamarunara 5 April, 2011, 19:41

    I gotta ask, when was it stated that Chaos lost the 13th and several cycles afterwards in 000? Because I can’t find that stated in the game.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 7 April, 2011, 14:04

      On a second look, you are right. I’d misinterpreted this line previously: “The Cycle of destruction and purification gave Chaos power and corroded his
      mind.”

      I’d taken this to mean that Chaos had received purification over and over (in which case he would have died), and that this had messed with his mind. However, it’s said that Cosmos herself receives purification over and over and loses power over time: “Cosmos was true to her mission, even as she lost her memory after every purification. … Cosmos’s power to summon warriors eventually started to wane. After the 20th purification, she could not summon any new pawns for herself.”

      I guess the reference to purification in the line about Chaos just means that he kept getting more and more powerful, and the increase in power made him insane.

      So, Confessions of the Creator is more like an expanded version of Inward Chaos then. Thanks for the correction. I’ll add it in, along with further thanks to you. =)

  3. I Am Not Me
    #3 I Am Not Me 6 April, 2011, 02:46

    Hi… er. Why is this posted under ‘Final Fantasy VII’?

    Also, your Seventh Heaven Strategy guide appears to be a dead link.

    PS: I’m still reading this article.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 7 April, 2011, 14:06

      It’s under the “Final Fantasy VII” category because I forgot to add tags when I posted the article, and that’s the default tag. Thanks for pointing that out. I went ahead and fixed it just now.

      You finished reading the article and have anything else to add?

  4. DeltaRay
    #4 DeltaRay 7 April, 2011, 23:38

    I believe regarding manikins are truly merciless they have no will of their own they will continue slaughtering their victim including destroying their victims flesh which is why I even though Terra was nearly about to die she killed the manikins before they killed her and leads me to believe that if you have no Flesh Shynryu cant revive you, If the villains kill you they will leave your body but I believe manikins dont know any better so they will continue to slaughter a body.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 7 April, 2011, 23:43

      I’ve considered that possibility before, but since Shantotto apparently vaporized Gabranth and he was still brought back for the next round of the cycle, I don’t think it’s the case.

      Thanks for throwing that out there, though.

    • DeltaRay
      DeltaRay 8 April, 2011, 05:02

      I though Gabranth ran away with shame after his defeat against Shantotto, and in the end he ended up in a place thats not in the gods battle ground or so it says on dissidia 013 game I cant remember where I read that.

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 8 April, 2011, 19:24

      Well, his profile says that he went into hiding after being defeated by Shantotto, but it’s clear from their fight that she killed him. So I assume it was in the next cycle that he went into hiding, once he’d been revived.

    • DeltaRay
      DeltaRay 8 April, 2011, 20:47

      ah ok yea that makes sense but killing him doesnt mean she destroyed his flesh which is why I believe no body = no revive also doesnt shynryu keep reviving chars until they can no longer give him “experince”, I mean if a character has no body he cant really absorb their experience to make himself stronger because he only heals their body he doesnt make them their body if he made their body then that probably make them manikins which I believe they arent manikins.

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 9 April, 2011, 12:11

      Don’t the bodies of all the warriors of Chaos discorporate into black smoke upon death, though? So they really don’t have bodies when Shinryu arrives anyway.

      In any case, I thought Shantotto incinerated Gabranth. She said she would, and he wasn’t there after the battle.

  5. clide88
    #5 clide88 8 April, 2011, 00:49

    New here, but I had a few opinions/questions.

    First off, you pointed out that the Dissidia world is an amalgamation of the various worlds from the main series’ games. What would you say the gateways are supposed to be? Distortions of the Dissidia world, perhaps (given that in a single gateway a character battles manikins on different stages)?

    As far as the necessity for Chaos and Cosmos summoning new warriors every so often, could it simply have been (in addition to your points) that Chaos and Cosmos, being pawns themselves of Cid and Shinryu, were simply summoning new warriors in their attempts to win? Cosmos, as I understand, was unaware of the cycle, so would it not make sense that she was summoning more warriors for the sake of winning?

    When talking about Terra’s and Cloud’s survival, you said “Though Cloud wasn’t killed by a manikin, he was killed by his own side’s god…” That god being Chaos…who, as you noted, was in fact a manikin himself. Nothing really relevant there, I just found it amusing, though I could see someone not very pensive being confused by that.

    This wasn’t ever covered (and I’m a little surprise no mention was made of it), but do you think Golbez was a warrior of Cosmos at some point in the conflict? At the end of Cecil’s Destiny Odyssey (in the 012 version; the scene was evidently revised from its original representation in the first game), Mateus and Exdeath have a conversation in which they discuss Golbez’s betrayal. Mateus uses a familiar phrase – “a heart of light with a body of darkness” – in reference to Golbez. Exdeath also mentions the harmony/light has not yet left Golbez. It very much sounds as though they’re referring to him having been sided with Cosmos some cycles ago. (Forgive me for not regurgitating the colloquy; I couldn’t find the 012 version of this scene ANYWHERE online).

    As far as the inconsistencies mentioned at the end, I’ll give a few of them a shot:

    As far as Kuja being manipulated by several of the villains when Sephiroth wasn’t, all I can suggest is that Kuja was more emotionally/mentally fragile than Sephiroth, who wasn’t easily manipulated, if for no other reason than he more or less showed a disinterest in their ploys.

    About Chaos’ inability to transport himself and Cid to their world, perhaps, despite his immense power, teleportation just isn’t one of his abilities? Clearly he can conjure beings from other dimensions/universes, but it could be just that it’s a one-way street sort of thing. He can summon things, but cannot transport himself over space and time. That might be implausible or flat out ridiculous, but it’s about the best I can come up with off the top of my head.

    On that note, it was apparent Cid was unable to find the gateway to the Rift and so return to his home, which explains why he couldn’t access his homeworld. I think a better question is, “If Cid doesn’t know where the gateway to the Rift is (since he needed Chaos to find it for him), how was he able to seal manikins in the Rift?” All I can think of there is that he had access to the Rift, but not the gateway to return home. By being able to enter the Rift but not have a doorway to his homeworld, he could conceivably seal up the manikins while at the same time be unable to return home.

    Just some questions/thoughts. Feel free to correct me/shoot me down wherever necessary. I certainly haven’t put as much thought or effort into the storyline as you, so any theories I have may easily be explained by an oversight on my account.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 8 April, 2011, 20:01

      First, thank you for your very thorough and thoughtful response. =)

      -“First off, you pointed out that the Dissidia world is an amalgamation of the various worlds from the main series’ games. What would you say the gateways are supposed to be? Distortions of the Dissidia world, perhaps (given that in a single gateway a character battles manikins on different stages)?”

      Yes, actually, that’s exactly how I would have described the gateways.

      -“As far as the necessity for Chaos and Cosmos summoning new warriors every so often, could it simply have been (in addition to your points) that Chaos and Cosmos, being pawns themselves of Cid and Shinryu, were simply summoning new warriors in their attempts to win? Cosmos, as I understand, was unaware of the cycle, so would it not make sense that she was summoning more warriors for the sake of winning?”

      Cosmos was also aware of the cycle itself, actually. Check out the conversation between Golbez and Cosmos in the second story segment of Report 7.

      -“This wasn’t ever covered (and I’m a little surprise no mention was made of it), but do you think Golbez was a warrior of Cosmos at some point in the conflict? At the end of Cecil’s Destiny Odyssey (in the 012 version; the scene was evidently revised from its original representation in the first game), Mateus and Exdeath have a conversation in which they discuss Golbez’s betrayal. Mateus uses a familiar phrase – “a heart of light with a body of darkness” – in reference to Golbez. Exdeath also mentions the harmony/light has not yet left Golbez. It very much sounds as though they’re referring to him having been sided with Cosmos some cycles ago. (Forgive me for not regurgitating the colloquy; I couldn’t find the 012 version of this scene ANYWHERE online).”

      You know, that’s an excellent observation. Yeah, I’d agree — Golbez must have belonged to Cosmos at some point.

      Now that you bring it up, I notice that the original dialogue alluded to it, but they evidently realized that it wasn’t explicit enough and revised it. Here’s what it was in the original:

      Emperor: “It was right to give him space. We now see his true colors.”
      Exdeath: “Indeed. He is a betrayer to the last.”
      Emperor: “I suppose it was only a matter of time until he became aware of the light within him… Nevertheless, we must resolve this issue before Shrinyu makes its move.”

      And here’s the new version:

      Emperor: “It was right to give him space. We now see his true colors.”
      Exdeath: “Indeed, he is finally caught in the act. His inner light of harmony never faded.”
      Emperor: “A heart of light in a dark body… How intriguing. We must resolve this issue before Shinryu stirs.”

      Makes me think that they probably did the same thing with Kuja after all, and that he hadn’t originally been summoned by Chaos. This would explain why he discorporates into white smoke like Lightning and co. when he dies in Shade Impulse.

      I notice that they’ve also removed Garland’s reference to him as new. This was the original flow of that conversation:

      Garland: “You are growing reckless, Kuja.”
      Kuja: “You again… Have you come to laugh at me, too?”
      Garland: “Not at all. You and I are the same. Not just me. We are all the
      same. Even that witch, Ultimecia… We all bear the same fate. You have only
      been…directed…because you are new.”

      Here’s the new one:
      Garland: “You are growing reckless, Kuja.”
      Kuja: “You again… Have you come to laugh at me, too?”
      Garland: “Not at all. You and I are the same–warriors summoned to this land by the god of discord. And that is the truth for all of us. Even that witch, Ultimecia… Not one remembers everything. You were used when you had just awakened.”

      Seems like Garland is now elaborating on the new conversation that Kuja had with Ulty earlier in which she now tells him that his memories have been tampered with (in the original, she told him of his mortality instead).

      Seems like I’m going to have to make some more edits to the FAQ to account for all this.

      -“About Chaos’ inability to transport himself and Cid to their world, perhaps, despite his immense power, teleportation just isn’t one of his abilities? Clearly he can conjure beings from other dimensions/universes, but it could be just that it’s a one-way street sort of thing. He can summon things, but cannot transport himself over space and time. That might be implausible or flat out ridiculous, but it’s about the best I can come up with off the top of my head.”

      It is true that we never see him teleport, but didn’t he just sort of pop up at the beginning of Shade Impulse when he wasn’t there before? Right before he killed Cosmos, I mean.

      He wasn’t there, then the scenery deteriorated, Tidus looked around him, looked back at Cosmos, and suddenly Chaos was floating in front of her.

      -“On that note, it was apparent Cid was unable to find the gateway to the Rift and so return to his home, which explains why he couldn’t access his homeworld. I think a better question is, “If Cid doesn’t know where the gateway to the Rift is (since he needed Chaos to find it for him), how was he able to seal manikins in the Rift?” All I can think of there is that he had access to the Rift, but not the gateway to return home. By being able to enter the Rift but not have a doorway to his homeworld, he could conceivably seal up the manikins while at the same time be unable to return home.”

      That’s the thing, though: the rift the manikins were coming out of was the one that was opening because of Chaos’s growing power, per Cid’s plan. And Cid knew of this rift, so why didn’t he go through it?

      Thanks again for your feedback. I look forward to hearing from you again.

    • clide88
      clide88 8 April, 2011, 20:19

      – “Cosmos was also aware of the cycle itself, actually. Check out the conversation between Golbez and Cosmos in the second story segment of Report 7.”

      Yeah, I had completely forgotten about that scene.

      – “Seems like Garland is now elaborating on the new conversation that Kuja had with Ulty earlier in which she now tells him that his memories have been tampered with (in the original, she told him of his mortality instead).

      Seems like I’m going to have to make some more edits to the FAQ to account for all this.”

      I’ll admit I haven’t played that far into the game yet (not on the 012 version, anyway), otherwise I may have caught that revision as well. I’ll also admit I find Golbez WAY cooler than Kuja, too, and I tend to focus more on the characters I like the most, quite naturally.

      Glad I could help. It’s awesome that someone decided to make such a comprehensive analysis/FAQ. Being able to contribute is sort of a service to FF fans.

      – “It is true that we never see him teleport, but didn’t he just sort of pop up at the beginning of Shade Impulse when he wasn’t there before?”

      Also a good point, but perhaps the developers differentiated between short-distance teleportation and long-distance teleportation. It is somewhat logical, after all, and Chaos teleporting back to his homeworld would also require him to teleport himself across dimensions, not just from one spot to another on the current planet he’s dwelling.

      It could also just be the developers didn’t think about it. I suppose you can’t expect them to cover EVERY detail (or maybe you should expect it…I don’t know), and like I said earlier, it’s just a presupposition off the top of my head.

      – “That’s the thing, though: the rift the manikins were coming out of was the one that was opening because of Chaos’s growing power, per Cid’s plan. And Cid knew of this rift, so why didn’t he go through it?

      Thanks again for your feedback. I look forward to hearing from you again.”

      Yeah, I have no idea about that, either.

      I’ll be happy to provide further commentary as I crawl my way through my current playthrough and (hopefully) discover further points of interest.

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 9 April, 2011, 19:20

      -“Glad I could help. It’s awesome that someone decided to make such a comprehensive analysis/FAQ. Being able to contribute is sort of a service to FF fans.”

      I very much appreciate your help. =) I’m glad you like the FAQ.

      -“I’ll be happy to provide further commentary as I crawl my way through my current playthrough and (hopefully) discover further points of interest.”

      I’ll be looking forward to it!

  6. Shady
    #6 Shady 8 April, 2011, 06:04

    Slight disagreement on the comment about Shantotto in the “Why was Cloud ever on Chaos’ side to begin with?” section.

    While Shantotto is indeed ruthless and seems to have erased Mercy from her dictionary, her heart’s in the right place. In XI, she’s fiercely loyal to the Federation of Windurst (her home nation) and was an active participant in saving the world on at least 3 accounts (providing valuable enemy information to the Allied Nations during the Crystal War, going undercover to assess the situation in Aht Urhgan, and showed up at the last moment to stop Domina and Bella Shantotto from Shantottofying everyone in Vana’diel).

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 8 April, 2011, 20:09

      I’ll concede that I sounded a bit too harsh on Shantotto there. That was meant to be a joke, but it didn’t come across as such, did it?

  7. DeltaRay
    #7 DeltaRay 8 April, 2011, 20:56

    BTW im really loving the analysis plot not just this game I read the other analysis plots from other FF games.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 9 April, 2011, 17:29

      Thanks.

      Which others have you read?

  8. Sephiroth_Owa13
    #8 Sephiroth_Owa13 9 April, 2011, 00:57

    Hm, I have a question for you if you can answer it. It’s more of something that I’m curious about really.

    It’s clear that Jecht went from team Cosmos to teams Chaos, but were other villains who were once warriors of Cosmos as well? Say like Golbez, Kuja, or even Sephiroth?

    It’s pretty clear why I ask for Golbez and to a point Kuja. But the reason why I ask for Sephiroth is because as you said in your FAQ, Sephiroth doesn’t seem to have a lot of memories of his home world as Cloud does. Which seems very off to me and sort of reminds me of how Jecht was in the first Dissidia. When the Emperor told him that he was once a warrior of Cosmos he seemed very surprised by it. Then there’s the fact that Sephiroth summons the Masamune in a flash of light like the heroes do, versus just carrying it around like the villains. Also he vanishes in a flash of light sort of the same way Kuja does when he dies.

    So I’m really wondering if at some point Sephiroth was a warrior of Cosmos, something happened and he was defeated, and when he woke up he was a warrior of Chaos with almost no memories. Or is it just SE nodding their head at Sephiroth’s hero status before Nibelheim?

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 9 April, 2011, 12:39

      I think that Seph manifesting his weapon as the heroes do is just referencing his hero status prior to the razing of Nibelheim.

      I don’t think he was ever on Cosmos’s team. Changing sides shouldn’t affect homeworld memories, as both Cloud and Jecht seem to retain the significant amounts of it they’d recovered.

      Also, unlike Kuja, they wouldn’t really need to feed him false memories or goad him into fighting, so tampering with whatever memories he had shouldn’t have been necessary.

    • Sephiroth_Owa13
      Sephiroth_Owa13 9 April, 2011, 18:49

      Okay, cool. Thanks for answering. It’s something I’ve wondered about because I’ve been trying to figure out at what point everyone came from their game. With some it’s pretty clear (like Kuja and Zidane I’m sure they’re post game), with others it’s a guess.

  9. DeltaRay
    #9 DeltaRay 9 April, 2011, 18:22

    Ah ok I definetely Agree then yea the pyreflies with the villains so that obviously isnt it then, wonder what truly is the reason behind for not being able to revive heroes killed by munchkins

    Reply to this comment
  10. Squall_of_SeeD
    #10 Squall_of_SeeD Author 9 April, 2011, 22:28

    Just wanted to keep everyone informed: all necessary updates have been applied at this point. =)

    Thanks again to everyone (here and elsewhere) who has commented and strived to improve the article!

    Reply to this comment
  11. jammi568
    #11 jammi568 10 April, 2011, 17:06

    Appreciated that you added my question to the FAQ. As one of my college (high school to Americans) teachers said – “If you have a question about something, chances are that someone else will also have it.”

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 10 April, 2011, 18:14

      You’re very welcome. =) And, yes, your teacher was right.

  12. clide88
    #12 clide88 13 April, 2011, 03:18

    As promised, I do in fact have a few more questions.

    How exactly are the characters in Dissidia able to perform some of the feats they do? I know your article mentions the concepts of Ex Mode and the supernatural abilities that accompany it, but what about abilities such as Free Air Dash? With the except of Advent Children, it’s not really known for the characters to be able to perform such a stunt like boosting themselves forward (or backward, in the case of Reverse Free Air Dash) in mid-air. On that note, where do they derive the power to perform magic in this game? Cloud’s arsenal of bravery attacks include numerous fire spells, yet Materia (presumably) doesn’t exist in the Dissidia world; Squall, likewise, can performs attacks such as Thunder Bullet and Fusillade, yet he doesn’t have GFs to junction magic attacks. If there is some other element that allows magic to be performed by all the characters in Dissidia, that might also provide a more satisfactory answer to why Terra and Kefka are able to use magic (though “a wizard did it” is certainly satisfying enough for me given all the other things that have occurred in the game).

    Any insight on that topic would be most interesting.

    On a completely different and much more minute topic, what causes Squall’s crystal at the end of Chapter 7 in Light to All (Destiny Odyssey VIII) to emit a light pointing toward Bartz? I’ve wondered how it was able to react like that since my first playthrough of Dissidia.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 17 April, 2011, 11:41

      Sorry for the slow response. Meant to do this sooner and got tied up with other things.

      Stuff like Free Air Dash I won’t even attempt to address. =P I’ll be straight up with you on that. And I don’t think we’re really meant to. That sort of thing has got to be just gameplay-related.

      As for magic in general, thanks for bringing up those points. Tifa and Cloud do, indeed, use magic despite us having no reason to believe they have materia. Squall could be given a pass, perhaps, since one can still use para-magic in the world he comes from without junctioning GFs — though that still leaves points like Laguna never running out of ammunition.

      Yuna, meanwhile, even has her aeons back, despite the game making it clear that her pilgrimage and Tidus’s death is in the past tense for her.

      “A wizard did it” really is the best and only explanation. Some folk who are dead set on trying to bring the game down or don’t like to picture it as canon may not ever accept that, but you can’t reason with a fool who chooses to be a fool knowingly anyway.

      In answer to your last question about Chapter 7 of Light to All/Destiny Odyssey VIII … a wizard did it? =P

      No, I’m kidding. Your guess is as good as mine, really. Probably something to do with the crystals being born from a combination of the heroes’ resolve and Cosmos’s own power, so it pointed in the direction his heart was set.

    • clide88
      clide88 18 April, 2011, 01:41

      – “Sorry for the slow response. Meant to do this sooner and got tied up with other things.”

      Full-time college student with a full-time job right here. You have my understanding.

      Another point of interest (for me, anyway) that I came across occurs in Chapter 10/Destiny Odyssey I. From the beginning of cycle 013 Warrior of Light seems to recognize Garland (or at least knows who he is), made evident during the scene between the two before WOL battles him the first time before ever leaving Order’s Sanctuary. WOL refers to Garland by name, yet he should have no memory of Garland since Team Cosmos lost the previous cycle and, as made abundantly clear, Dissidia chronologically predates FFI, so there’s no “homeworld memories” argument to obfuscate the matter.

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 19 April, 2011, 21:09

      He knows him because the story of cycle 013 apparently begins a good while after that cycle had already begun. Remember, the opening to the original Dissidia is actually part of the story.

      And the Silent Presage scenes included in the releases of Dissidia outside Japan (and in the Universal Tuning rerelease in Japan) took place before that opening battle sequence.

      That clear things up?

    • clide88
      clide88 22 April, 2011, 00:48

      The way the opening of Chapter 10 (WOL’s story) and the prologue/Silent Presage were situated made it seem like the prologue led straight into WOL’s story, given that the prologue ends in Order’s Sanctuary and the first dungeon in WOL’s story took place solely in Order’s Sanctuary. I could be mistaken, though. I wonder, though, if the opening battle in Dissidia is canon, why is not included in 013?

      I also would like to point something out regarding your well thought out Garland timeline (I could actually have a lengthy discussion on that topic, but I’ll keep it brief). You suggested Garland from World B was transported to World A after Dissidia, transported back in time by Chaos/himself, and then thrown back into the world of Dissidia, explaining why he remembers the time loop from FFI. However, in the opening scene for the Inherited Memories gateway in the 013 epilogue, we see this exchange between Golbez and Garland:

      Golbez: “What is it that you know? Who ARE you?”

      Garland: “Nothing so dire as you imagine. I was once made a prisoner of a time loop. The Great Will saved me from that fate. In return, I agreed to carry out a task.”

      While this doesn’t discredit your conjecture, it seems to provide a discrepancy. Again, you suggested Garland, after traveling to World A following Dissidia, is pulled into the time loop and sent by Chaos back into the Dissidia universe. Garland, during this conversation with Golbez, makes it clear that it was the Great Will who pulled him from the time loop. This also begs the question if that the Great Will saved him from the time loop and that was the reason Garland carried out the task of watching over the deities battle for eons, what did the Great Will offer the first time he met Garland (assuming your theory that Garland was originally a product of World B)?

      It should also be noted that Garland was evidently involved in the FFI time loop for a cycle or two anyway, as he describes himself as a “prisoner” of the time loop. If he had only been killed, transported back in time, and immediately thrust into World B in the Dissidia universe, he would have had no time to realize he was trapped in an actual time loop and would simply have deduced he had been pulled 2000 years into the past without any notion that he would repeat the cycle indefinitely.

      …Okay, that was much longer than I intended, but when dealing with a convoluted subject such as time travel, you can seldom be brief. Anyway, just some thoughts on the Garland timeline mystery. Hopefully you can shed even more light on this mind-boggling subject.

  13. Theophanes
    #13 Theophanes 16 April, 2011, 13:30

    Excellent work!
    However trying to seperate heads from tails in a story that involves two cycles and time space rift is impossible 😛 I would very much like to hear your thoughts on these two points
    1) if they propose that dissidia is a prequel to FFI how come Garland says to Chaos ( in shade impulse) that when he was on the verge of death it was chaos who sent him 2000 years in the past? that happens in FFI after WOL defeats garland for kidnapping the princess :s that puts dissidia after FFI

    2)Also the text entry says that WOL heads to cornelia with a darkened crystal in hand. But the WOLs had shinning crystals that they used (along with defeating each fiend) to restore the light to the apropriate big crystals. It seems like WOL returning with a darkened crystal means he returns to a peaceful world of FFI -after its ending-

    Reply to this comment
  14. Squall_of_SeeD
    #14 Squall_of_SeeD Author 17 April, 2011, 11:48

    Thank you for your compliments. =)

    In address to your questions:

    1) I talk about this in the section about Garland in the FAQ. For Garland, being defeated at the hands of the Warriors of Light happens before Dissidia.

    He’s mortally wounded by them, left on the floor dying, and then Chaos pulls him through time — but also drops him off in World B, where he resides until meeting Cosmos, Cid and Chaos (Garland’s own past self).

    After Dissidia ends, he’ll go back to where he last was before entering World B: 2000 years in World A’s past. He’ll then gain more power, become Chaos once again, and reach across time to the future to save his past self, who is dying after being defeated by the Warriors of Light.

    At least that’s how it will go until he’s defeated by the Warriors of Light before being able to pull his past self across time. Who knows what becomes of things after that.

    2) That is a good observation. However, since the Warrior of Light was born on World B during the conflict of Dissidia, he’s never been to World A until the ending of cycle 013. He couldn’t have taken part in the events of the first FF yet.

    Someone made a mistake there, it sounds like.

    Reply to this comment
    • Theophanes
      Theophanes 17 April, 2011, 20:28

      -For Garland, being defeated at the hands of the Warriors of Light happens before Dissidia.-
      Thats the crazy part lol. he is defeated by WOL before dissidia while WOL doesnt get in that world until after dissidia!

      Damn SE and those loops! :p

  15. DeltaRay
    #15 DeltaRay 17 April, 2011, 19:10

    No wonder… Whenever I saw the ending for original Dissidia I would get a nostalgic feeling that the ending of Dissidia was the beginning of FF1, because the scene staring at cornelia castle “warriors will be holding crystals”,Also Im starting to think the crystal that WOL obtained in dissidia somehow “revives” or powers up the ones being guarded by the elemental fiends.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Squall_of_SeeD
    #16 Squall_of_SeeD Author 22 April, 2011, 18:58

    Response to clide88:

    “The way the opening of Chapter 10 (WOL’s story) and the prologue/Silent Presage were situated made it seem like the prologue led straight into WOL’s story, given that the prologue ends in Order’s Sanctuary and the first dungeon in WOL’s story took place solely in Order’s Sanctuary. I could be mistaken, though. I wonder, though, if the opening battle in Dissidia is canon, why is not included in 013?”

    I imagine it was left out for disc space considerations. Even the Silent Presage cutscenes and the primarily text-based exchange between Kefka and the Emperor discussing Sephiroth’s suicide was left out, after all, and Cid of the Lufaine’s voice-over monologues about the heroes during each of their chapters are heavily abridged from what they were in the Destiny Odysseys of the first game. Each is cut by about half.

    You can also tell at a glance that the cutscenes from the original game were compressed at a lower quality in order to fit them all on the disc.

    In any case, as an example of how the FMV opening from the original game actually fits into the story, recall that the last shot of it is of the Warrior of Light laying face down on the ground in the vicinity of Order’s Sanctuary — exactly how we find him at the beginning of the Prologue segment of cycle 013, both in the original game and this one.

    The only difference in how it’s presented this time around, though, is that following Shinryu’s restarting of the cycle, we’re shown that part of the opening FMV to the first game as the last shot of the ending FMV for cycle 012. They just skipped over Silent Presage and the opening FMV to cycle 013.

    “Garland, during this conversation with Golbez, makes it clear that it was the Great Will who pulled him from the time loop.”

    I don’t think it necessarily suggests that the Great Will pulled him from anywhere. Especially since Garland’s monologue in Report 12 outright says that Chaos/his future self was the one who placed him there where he met the Great Will.

    He speaks of hearing Chaos’s/his own voice explain the existence of the time loop to him as he was saved while on the verge of death at the hands of the Warriors of Light in Cornelia, and that he found himself on World B, thinking he had been taken 2000 years to the past of World A.

    I think Garland’s comment about the Great Will saving him is merely a mistake on Garland’s part. He thought this because he was confused as to why he was there in the conflict of Dissidia to begin with if he was supposed to have been taken to World A’s past.

    If the events of Dissidia are just part of the overall timeloop of the first FF, Garland probably didn’t know that at first. It seems like he figured it out once he realized that the cycle would be coming to an end, though. That’s probably why he tells Chaos the truth about their relationship toward the end of Shade Impulse/the Epilogue.

    Also, notice that in the same conversation with Golbez that you mentioned, Garland says “…There is no end to my cycle, Golbez. As long as he is me… .” That contradicts what Garland said earlier in their conversation about the Great Will saving him.

    So, yeah, I think Garland just thought that he’d been saved from the time loop, but realized he was still in it once he found out the Dissidia conflict was ending. After all, it was supposed to last forever — or at least until Chaos grew powerful enough to do what Cid wanted.

    “This also begs the question if that the Great Will saved him from the time loop and that was the reason Garland carried out the task of watching over the deities battle for eons, what did the Great Will offer the first time he met Garland (assuming your theory that Garland was originally a product of World B)?”

    I wouldn’t worry about this. It’s like trying to establish a beginning to FFVIII’s time loop. You can’t. It just is.

    “It should also be noted that Garland was evidently involved in the FFI time loop for a cycle or two anyway, as he describes himself as a ‘prisoner’ of the time loop. If he had only been killed, transported back in time, and immediately thrust into World B in the Dissidia universe, he would have had no time to realize he was trapped in an actual time loop and would simply have deduced he had been pulled 2000 years into the past without any notion that he would repeat the cycle indefinitely.”

    Remember, Chaos/his future self told him about the time loop as he was being saved, per Report 12. So he knows he’s supposed to be a prisoner in a time loop the moment he’s rescued.

    “…Okay, that was much longer than I intended, but when dealing with a convoluted subject such as time travel, you can seldom be brief.”

    No doubt. Have you seen the FAQ that Sir Bahamut, TheOnionKnight and I did on FFVIII?:

    http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/197343-final-fantasy-viii/faqs/34215

    “Anyway, just some thoughts on the Garland timeline mystery. Hopefully you can shed even more light on this mind-boggling subject.”

    Thanks for your continuing contributions to this analysis. I hope my response was illuminating in some way.

    Reply to this comment
    • clide88
      clide88 25 April, 2011, 20:23

      “Even the…primarily text-based exchange between Kefka and the Emperor discussing Sephiroth’s suicide was left out…”

      Yeah, and in my opinion that was crap. It sounded like such an awesome occurrence worth covering in 012. I imagine it was primarily due to space constraints, as well (given that it’s still mentioned in Sephiroth’s profile), but I still felt jipped, maybe just because VII’s my favorite title. But seriously, would a two-disc game have been all that bad? Type-0, after all, is rumored to span two UMDs.

      “The only difference in how it’s presented this time around, though, is that following Shinryu’s restarting of the cycle, we’re shown that part of the opening FMV to the first game as the last shot of the ending FMV for cycle 012. They just skipped over Silent Presage and the opening FMV to cycle 013.”

      I didn’t catch onto that. At least it all makes sense now.

      “Especially since Garland’s monologue in Report 12 outright says that Chaos/his future self was the one who placed him there where he met the Great Will.”

      Pardon me if I’m being curt, but where is it outright stated? We hear Garland in-game mention on two occasions that the Great Will pulled him into the Dissidia realm: the first is the aforementioned exchange between him and Golbez; the second is while speaking with Chaos (in the Epilogue/Shade Impulse). Garland states: “Before the Great Will led me to
      this realm, when I was on the edge of death, it was you who sent me two
      thousand years into the past.” He clearly acknowledges Chaos as transporting him through time while simultaneously denoting the Great Will as separately having brought him to the Dissidia realm (transporting him through space, if you will).

      In Report 12 there are certainly implications, but I never read where it was explicitly stated that Chaos transported him across dimensions (if I overlooked something, please correct me!). To me it seems to be a logical assumption that Chaos did so, but given the in-game conversations it seems to me that the Great Will is responsible.

      As far as whether Garland said the Great Will did because he was mistaken, I guess that’s subject to perspective (unless, again, if I have missed something that definitively proves otherwise). It seems, however, to be unlikely for the sake of storytelling. Why risk confusing players with an intentionally erroneous statement from a character unless it served a specific purpose to the plot?

      “I wouldn’t worry about this. It’s like trying to establish a beginning to FFVIII’s time loop. You can’t. It just is.”

      Even time has a genesis. It merely cannot be established without more information. In other words, given the lack of information we’re given in Dissidia/FFI about the time loops (as well as FFVIII), yes, I would concur.

      On that note, I have in fact seen that well-written FAQ. I admittedly didn’t read the entire thing because it’s been like seven years since I’ve even played FFVIII and it’s not one of my favorites (though I did enjoy it). I thoroughly enjoyed your FFVII/AC plot analysis, though!

      “Remember, Chaos/his future self told him about the time loop as he was being saved, per Report 12. So he knows he’s supposed to be a prisoner in a time loop the moment he’s rescued.”

      The manner in which Garland presented these revelations to Golbez implied (at least to me) a much more emotionally invested response that simply being told about doesn’t produce. Only experiencing the catastrophe personally would elicit such a deep and heavy lamentation. That being said, I certainly could have perceived that conversation incorrectly and Garland was in fact merely told about it without experiencing it. I don’t know, though; it really did seem like his words were too heavy to not have experienced the time loop for a cycle or. Again, I’m not too haughty to admit I could be wrong.

      “Thanks for your continuing contributions to this analysis.”

      I’m curious. I ask questions. I’ll be the first to admit my priority is understanding the facets of the story myself, though I am glad if my contributions are helping others reach a greater understanding as well.

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 29 April, 2011, 13:39

      -“Yeah, and in my opinion that was crap. It sounded like such an awesome occurrence worth covering in 012.”

      It really should have been. That was one of the things that I believe a great many fans were looking forward to seeing depicted.

      -“Pardon me if I’m being curt, but where is it outright stated?”

      In Report 12 he speaks of Chaos/his future self transporting him several times:

      “I heard a voice speak to me as I laid
      dying–and that voice was my own.

      My words were the only clues I had of the
      realm in which I found myself–in which I
      assumed time has been frozen for 2000 years.”

      “In the present, I no longer have an interest
      in carrying my future self back to the past.”

      “As I imagined the hatred building inside me
      that would eventually and inevitably lead me to
      make a irreparable mistake, all I could do
      was cower in fear.”

      “I often think of the start of the cycle.

      I as Chaos summon me from the future;
      once summoned, I become Chaos.”

      He also speaks of encountering Cid/the Great Will after he’s been wandering for a while, so there’s no indication from his monologue that Cid had anything to do with him appearing there — even if Garland came to believe so himself for whatever reason. For that matter, Cid’s own monologuing from Chaos Report 4 in the first game doesn’t imply that he summoned Garland; only that he came across him in the same way that Garland came across Cid.

      -“Why risk confusing players with an intentionally erroneous statement from a character unless it served a specific purpose to the plot?”

      Well, it does serve the purpose for the plot of explaining why Garland ever agreed in the first place to assist the Great Will in all these shenanigans.

      -“On that note, I have in fact seen that well-written FAQ. I admittedly didn’t read the entire thing because it’s been like seven years since I’ve even played FFVIII and it’s not one of my favorites (though I did enjoy it). I thoroughly enjoyed your FFVII/AC plot analysis, though!”

      Thanks for your compliments. =) Glad you enjoyed.

      -“Again, I’m not too haughty to admit I could be wrong.”

      Me neither. I just can’t see any other way at the moment that the plot would work otherwise. Especially since Cid’s own monologue — and the circumstances under which Garland encounters him (prior even to Cid gaining his disembodied form from Shinryu) — don’t imply the GW to have had any hand in Garland’s appearance on World B.

      -“I’m curious. I ask questions. I’ll be the first to admit my priority is understanding the facets of the story myself, though I am glad if my contributions are helping others reach a greater understanding as well.”

      They have. Thank you again. =)

    • clide88
      clide88 30 April, 2011, 18:46

      Something else that occurred to me to refute my presupposition is that Cid didn’t have access to World A, given that his goal was to cross the door in the Rift to reach his world. So yeah, there’s not really a way he could’ve even accomplished transporting Garland from World A to World B. He couldn’t even get back to World A himself!

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 1 May, 2011, 01:46

      That’s a good point too. Hadn’t thought about that.

  17. B
    #17 B 24 April, 2011, 06:27

    Perhaps Chaos could summon warriors and couldn’t just teleport himself and Cid because it works one way and not the other? Also, it is established exactly what causes disembodied essences of other worlds to be floating around World B? It seems to be a consequence of Chaos’ very presence, at least as long as he fights Cosmos. In any case, those consciousnesses are accessible because they’re present, and none from World A show up so it may not be included in the Katamari ball. Of Final Fantasy I’s representatives, the Warrior of Light was made in World B and Garland got there by another means, as you outline here.

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 24 April, 2011, 23:10

      -“Also, it is established exactly what causes disembodied essences of other worlds to be floating around World B? It seems to be a consequence of Chaos’ very presence, at least as long as he fights Cosmos.”

      It would most likely be that those worlds have been shattered and fused into World B.

      -“In any case, those consciousnesses are accessible because they’re present, and none from World A show up so it may not be included in the Katamari ball. Of Final Fantasy I’s representatives, the Warrior of Light was made in World B and Garland got there by another means, as you outline here.”

      It’s a good question, really, whether the World A version is part of the Katamari ball. It’s not entirely clear. My guess would be yes since the Chaos Shrine shows up as part of gateways and such.

    • B
      B 25 April, 2011, 22:57

      But shattered by what? A consequence of the fact that Chaos and Cosmos fight, rather than intentional reaching for the other worlds on their parts?

    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 29 April, 2011, 13:43

      It seems to have been a deliberate action on the gods’ part, probably at the same time as when they acquired their warriors. Here’s what Golbez had to say on the matter:

      “This world is formed of shards brought from different realms by the two gods.”

  18. B
    #18 B 24 April, 2011, 06:28

    I meant “is it established”, not “it is established”.

    Reply to this comment
  19. B
    #19 B 1 May, 2011, 00:22

    I read in other summaries that Chaos went crazy in 018 in the “Confessions of the Creator” alterniverse because he kept losing to Cosmos, not because he kept winning. For instance, here: http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Feral_Chaos

    Reply to this comment
    • Squall_of_SeeD
      Squall_of_SeeD Author 4 May, 2011, 14:21

      That was a misunderstanding some of us had early on, but, no, Cid is very specific that Cosmos lost every time in the 000 story:

      “Cosmos was true to her mission, even as she lost her memory after every purification.”

  20. Black Jesus
    #20 Black Jesus 2 May, 2011, 23:44

    Has anyone ever considered that Cid, Chaos and Cosmos’ powered are limited to this world only and would not allow them to escape while still allowing them to pull others in from outside?

    Reply to this comment

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