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Pre-Crisis Final Fantasy VII All content for Before Crisis and Crisis Core focusing on the 8 years, leading directly up until the events of Final Fantasy VII.

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Old 07/20/2017   #136
The Twilight Mexican
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The things you highlight, Lic, are some of the reasons I say Square Enix tried having this both ways while just looking clumsy about it.

Nonetheless, it is part of the wider canon:

Jenova War

In 「FFVII」, the purpose of the fighting was to stop Meteor from destroying the planet. Word spread of Cloud’s group protecting the planet against Sephiroth and his Jenova-kind. After Sephiroth’s defeat they became known as the 「Heroes of the Jenova War」.
It's referenced not just there, but many times in the Crisis Core Complete Guide -- and it, of course, gets brought up at least twice in DC.
Minato wrote: Yes, they saved some people in the moment. I'm sure they are capable of that.
So, still no response to that point? Okay.

Minato wrote: Reno is the one that orphaned Denzel in the first place ...
Why would he know that?

Minato wrote: ... and Marlene and Denzel are Tifa's responsibility too.
So perhaps we should be raking her over the coals for not going with Cloud? =P

Even though one of the SHM had already singlehandedly mopped the floor with her, same as Reno and Rude.

No, we're not raking her too? Just the Turks then?

Minato wrote: But Cloud is DYING.
And still way stronger than them.

Minato wrote: He was unconcious when they found him in the church, due to the Geostigma they now know he has then he lost conciousness again due to Geostigma he still has and then the rescue attempt was over because he was forced to go alone.
"Forced to." Where did he ask anyone to go with him?

He asked some people to go in place of him, but that was all.

Minato wrote: I think they want Cloud to fight the Silver-haired men. But even with Rufus and Jenova not physically present at the time, and now that Cloud has a strong incentive to go after Silver-haired men they still aren't willing to tell Cloud anything about they know about what they are and what they seek.
Where did they show an unwillingness to? It didn't come up then. Maybe they would have been; maybe they wouldn't.

Minato wrote: Honestly Marlene would probably have enacted her escape sooner, rather then have to take care of it all by 6-year old self.
How does Reno and Rude going instead of Cloud result in anything but dead Turks? How does Marlene escapes sooner in that scenario?

Minato wrote: Resurrecting Sephiroth got Aerith to cure Geostigma, they deserve no credit for this. Everyone on the Planet should be dead on account of Rufus keeping Jenova on his person and then pulling it out in Kadaj's presence.
Everyone on the planet would have been dead several times over if Rufus and the Turks hadn't been interfering with Sephiroth's resurrection for a while already. I still don't see them getting any credit for stopping Kadaj months earlier in TKAA or for snagging Jenova's remains at the crater just before the three SHM arrived.

Clement Rage wrote: Call me crazy, but gambling on the fate of the world to avoid difficult conversations ...
Yes, avoiding difficult conversations is totally what I described.

I won't call you crazy, but I will say you deliberately distorted what I said here. Why?

Clem wrote: If he was sincerely concerned about JENOVA puppetry, which, by the way, doesn't come up in the movie at all ...
Right. So we don't see Cloud's eyes turn into Seph's at all? And Cloud's 10th Anniversary Ultimania entry doesn't include this?:

In FFVII Cloud finally regains his true self and defeats Sephiroth, but this doesn’t mean he’s completely freed from the will of Jenova, and in AC he is tormented by the Remnant’s call for the Reunion.

[Caption on a screenshot of Cloud's eyes as he's collapsing]
[AC] Cloud’s pupils narrow, just like those of the Remnants of Sephiroth. It’s almost as if he can never escape from Jenova’s command…
Clem wrote: ... then he wouldn't want him anywhere near him. That justification just doesn't work.
What part of "desperate" and "last resort" am I not getting across? If it's me, tell me how to fix it.

In the North Cave the second time? When?
When they killed Sephiroth's body and then Cloud had to fight his spirit. He obviously could have messed with Cloud sooner.

Hell, he had the whole team locked in a telekinetic deathgrip at his mercy before the fight with him even began, but then his classic arrogance kicked in and he released them.

Clem wrote: He has a spy on the team which he is now the financial backer of.
Which Reeve doesn't even know about. And it's pretty safe to say Reeve had been done spying for Rufus for a while.

Clem wrote: But the argument was that he couldn't give JENOVA to Cloud because she might control him. And then you're arguing that she could do that anyway.
Okay? I'm not going to give the keys to my house to somebody who I suspect is willing to steal from me just because they could break in anyway.

Clem wrote: The rest of AVALANCHE?
Who would probably contact Cloud, no?

Clem wrote: The WRO?
Probably also going to want the remains.

Clem wrote: Any surviving first class SOLDIER lying around?
Most of them were apparently trapped in Modgar's ruins and ended up recruited into Deepground.

Clem wrote: So why deny the possibility?
He doesn't deny the possibility. He explicitly describes them as extremely dangerous.

Which -- as I've gone over at length -- Cloud would know at this point anyway because he fought them and lost; because they can form and dismiss non-summon monsters; and because they can get to a place ordinary people shouldn't be able to. Even if Rufus had suddenly gone into some long spiel about how not dangerous they are at the point Cloud decided to leave, Cloud already knows all these things at this point -- and again, Rufus has already described them as extremely dangerous.

At this point, I feel like we're talking about two separate movies with completely different content in the actual body of the films.

Clem wrote: Which entails finding out those reasons before leading them back to his home?
They just ambushed him in the middle of nowhere. I'd assume they'd been watching me if I were in that situation.

Clem wrote: New Question: How do they know where the church is? Kadaj calls off the other two while in conversation with the Shinra, where they give him a new location for 'Mother'. The next place Loz searches? The church. So yeah, it's totally Cloud's fault for not securing his home immediately, when he has no idea it's in danger because that is something else Rufus didn't tell him, and he sent them directly there?

...

See above. Rufus appears to have given them that location too, but it's obviously Cloud's fault for not assuming that the man asking to see him has deliberately given superpowered killers his home address.
It's honestly unclear how much of what happens at this point in the movie is a result of what Rufus told them, what they've figured out, or just what the plot requires happen next. Before Loz and Tifa fight, Kadaj has already taken Rufus hostage after calling him a liar about Cloud having Jenova; gotten another lie (that the box fell from the helicopter as the Turks were escaping from the crater); and Yazoo has been shown being creepy around Denzel.

Whether Rufus even knew Cloud was living at the church is questionable. He says he heard that Cloud has orphans living with him, which was no longer true by that point, so it's more likely that Loz followed Tifa and Marlene from Seventh Heaven to the church. Especially since the person on the other end of the phone who calls him (Yazoo or Kadaj) tells him to grab Marlene -- implying they knew she and Tifa were at the church.

Whatever the reason for the discovery, though, Cloud made a stupid decision there.
Clem wrote: Aw, come on. He has a small cut on his forehead and has lost one of his many swords. He comes back from far worse situations over the course of the movie.
He has only taken such little injury because they stopped right as he was about to get mauled. They called off an ambush that was overwhelming him.

Clem wrote: Because the script said so. It doesn't make it a good idea to carry the artefact of doom in the one place you know the people seeking it are going to come back to. Almost anywhere else would be an improvement.
"It doesn't make it a good idea" is not the same as having sinister intentions for holding onto the remains -- which, if you follow this chain of quotes within quotes back far enough is what this specific line of discussion originates from: "if he was actually altruistic." That's what you said.

Not that I'd apply the word "altruism" to him, mind you (I wouldn't apply it to most of FFVII's heroes), but there's a wide spectrum between altruism and the malevolence you've been insisting upon.

Cloud failing to go check on things at Seventh Heaven and the church before going to Healen because he may suspect the call from Reno has something to do with the bizarre battle he was just in "doesn't make it a good idea." And the fact that he went with what wasn't a good idea doesn't mean he was hoping the SHM would kill his family.

Clem wrote: Which may entail not mentioning JENOVA, but still calls into question the rest of the withheld information, if Rufus considers that much a risk.
I've agreed before that he may have held back more than he needed to there. I also pointed out a possible reason for doing so.

Like I've said before, taking the time to ask yourself "What would I do in this unbelievably shitty position?" rather than just concluding "Must be evil" is going to let us arrive at a much more believable understanding rather than one full of self-contradictions and canyons in reasoning.

Clem wrote: I don't know. There's no particular reason not to.
What about looking for Rufus?

Not particularly superhuman in this universe, considering what other mortals do.
For little kids, though?

Clem wrote: Reno and Rude pick up the children back in Edge, before Kadaj releases his control, which only happens after the explosion that they carry them away from.
I meant he wasn't directing them at that point like he had back at the Ancient's city. At this point, he'd decided he no longer needed them.

Clem wrote: How so? He doesn't have to admit he has JENOVA, just that that seems to be what they're looking for, if that's really an issue. You know what would have helped, if he wanted an alliance? Warning the person he expects to fight to the death before he was attacked by superpowered killers. That is a large part of why Cloud is immediately hostile.
No doubt it would have helped -- but once again, he's hoping Cloud does what he couldn't. He's not wanting to even go the alliance route if the threat can be taken care of without telling the potentially bigger threat precisely what's going on.

Clem wrote: Rufus has in the past endangered the fate of the world in order to secure personal benefit (funding AVALANCHE) This kind of thing isn't even out of character.
Cloud endangered the world for something even less than that ... and actually knew that what he was doing meant endangering the world. =P

Both have also tried to do better, though.

What's in-character here for Rufus to me is that he would gladly kill one, two or ten people for the benefit of the rest of the world. He was willing to execute Barret and Tifa when it meant giving the populace a sense that at least those responsible for Meteor had been punished. And he was willing to endanger Cloud if it meant preventing another crisis like that.

Does that make him evil? Not to me.

Clem wrote: It does get across how well written he is that we're having this argument, though.
I'm glad you feel that way, as your descriptions of his actions seem so bland to me.
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Old 07/20/2017   #137
LicoriceAllsorts
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What's in-character here for Rufus to me is that he would gladly kill one, two or ten people for the benefit of the rest of the world. He was willing to execute Barret and Tifa when it meant giving the populace a sense that at least those responsible for Meteor had been punished. And he was willing to endanger Cloud if it meant preventing another crisis like that.
Rufus in the OG and ACC is making the same kinds of decisions that Erwin Smith makes in Attack on Titan, namely being willing to sacrifice some lives to save many others. Interestingly, this is total contrast to what is possibly the worst (and most unbelievable) bit of all the shoddy writing in Before Crisis: the willingness of the Turks to risk the entire world on the off-chance of saving the life of one person.
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Old 07/20/2017   #138
Minato
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The Twilight Mexican wrote: So, still no response to that point? Okay.
Also, I'm confused as to why you're giving the Turks crap for refusing to go after the kids when the dude asking them to do it was himself refusing to go? None of them were refusing because they didn't care, though. Cloud was worried he would make things worse; the Turks were backing Tifa's effort to push Cloud into action.

For that matter, all of them end up saving kids -- Reno and Rude included. They grab some as they run away from Bahamut.
Is it this point you want reply too? Yes, their actions at Edge prove they do have it in them to save these kids. I do not however think Reno and Rude were merely of a common mind with Tifa on the issue when they refused to go to the Forbidden city to save the kids right away.

Why would he know that?
He knows he murdered thousands of people and homes in Midgar, that people from Midgar build Edge and that the SHM rounded up streetophrans from Edge, Rufus tells Cloud he hears he has orphans living with him, so they aren't completely ignorant to Denzel's story. How thorough their intel is, is unclear. Reno has no reason to feel this is exclusively a Cloud problem in any case.

So perhaps we should be raking her over the coals for not going with Cloud? =P

Even though one of the SHM had already singlehandedly mopped the floor with her, same as Reno and Rude.

No, we're not raking her too? Just the Turks then?

And still way stronger than them.

"Forced to." Where did he ask anyone to go with him?

He asked some people to go in place of him, but that was all.

Where did they show an unwillingness to? It didn't come up then. Maybe they would have been; maybe they wouldn't.

How does Reno and Rude going instead of Cloud result in anything but dead Turks? How does Marlene escapes sooner in that scenario?
It is not a binary choice between Cloud going and Rude and Reno going. All four of them could go and yeah, I feel Tifa let Marlene and Denzel down here. With her I do actually think she just wanted more from Cloud then he was showing here. Cloud told the Turks to go, they told him to instead. Cloud as you put it was "being a bitch" expecting his Geostigma to make him less then ideal for the job (he was superright), but he was still convinced to go. The Turks weren't, despite being asked (yes, Tifa should've also been asked).

Then later, despite dead Turks being a no less probable outcome, they choose to fight the SHM head on without Cloud's help. And then later during the bikechase decide to stand in the middle of road to hold bombs as they detonate in their hands as Loz and Yazoo pass, just hoping to do some damage that'll help Cloud out.

Now maybe this is just bad writing and the Turks can basically see SHM's plot armor dimishishing as we get ready to move onto Sephiroth. If I had to justify it in story I'd say they don't want to be in the same area as Cloud and the people asking them about Mother.
Rufus tried to set Cloud off on the wrong foot when asked about Mother, just equating Kadaj to an orphan, and lied about having found anything at the Northern Crater (not just about the Jenova he has but the silver haired creatures that spawned there). He did tell him he was trying to do something about Geostigma and thus was tracking down traces of Sephiroth, in this I think Rufus was telling the truth (though yes, Case of Shinra doesn't back that Rufus has any business thinking this will solve much like I misremembered). And was gonna hang onto it in the hopes the illness that was killing him could be cured though it's study.
The moment Rufus lost possession of the case, the Turks suddenly were 100% self-sacrificially dedicated to helping Cloud save the Planet and showed no reservations about the idea of him getting a hold of it from Kadaj.
Their unwillingness to fully inform Cloud or fight alongside him up till then in my eyes is not a fear of Cloud's nature as a Sephiroth Clone (which never changed and never will change) or just being misguided in their completely earnest attempt to save the world, the Turks and Rufus had two priorities, helping Rufus and the saving the Planet, in that order.

Everyone on the planet would have been dead several times over if Rufus and the Turks hadn't been interfering with Sephiroth's resurrection for a while already. I still don't see them getting any credit for stopping Kadaj months earlier in TKAA or for snagging Jenova's remains at the crater just before the three SHM arrived.
I apologise, they do deserve credit for their actions prior to the beginning of the movie. In the movie itself, I feel Shinra Inc. shows it hasn't changed it's colors much from the bad old days, just adapted to the times rather.
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Old 07/20/2017   #139
The Twilight Mexican
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I think you and I, Minato, can at least agree on 90% of what you said there.
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Old 07/22/2017   #140
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Reeve had turned his back on Shinra and thrown his lot in with Avalanche long before the OG showdown in the Northern Cave. Are we to suppose he tells Rufus everything? Is he stupid? He tells Rufus as little as he can get away with.
I believe that, but if this is a question the fate of the world hangs on, would Rufus not bother to ask (through his representative if need be) and would Reeve not answer that question?

As I've said before, Rufus shares pretty much all the information he has with Cloud, including his concerns over the fact that some of Jenova's cells are still out there and that Sephiroth's mind is still alive. This isn't crap he's pulled out of his arse. They are real fears he has. The ONE THING he doesn't share with Cloud is the fact that he has Jenova's remains in his lap. Cloud already knew the SHM were seeking "Mother". He didn't need to know precisely where it was in order to defeat them.
He was deliberately discouraged from drawing that conclusion. 'there are plenty of kids who miss their mothers' He doesn't need to say 'the head is in my lap' Rufus doesn't want him to draw that conclusion for some reason.

Cloud knows the SHM are connected to Sephiroth. They're looking for Mother and they call him Big Brother. If Cloud can't work that out, then he's as thick as a brick.
We know that, because meta knowledge. Cloud might not. He suspects, but Rufus deliberately leads him away from that conclusion. He's probably not the only surviving Mako enhanced person in the world.

I would be willing to accept in fanfiction that Rufus had given the SHM Cloud's address, but there is nothing in the film script to suggest the writers intended us to assume this. Canonically they are able to read minds to some extent. Perhaps that's how they figured it out. Perhaps they just asked around.
Kadaj in a phone conversation gets given another location for JENOVA "Don't tell me you're leading me on... because I think you do have Mother there" And then Loz goes to search the church. Kadaj goes to speak to Rufus in the meantime, but LOZ isn't with him for that, so he's still acting on the old information until they get in contact by phone.

We'll never know, because Kadaj called off the Shadow Creepers before our Hero could get to grips with them.
There I agree, but I think it's a bit dramatic to call that Cloud 'getting his ass kicked' when he can come back from multiple impalements and being thrown through buildings.

I really am not convinced. The President takes the nuclear codes everywhere with him. Sometimes it's best to keep the artefact of doom where you can see what's happening with it every damned second.
The President has more than two guards with him, and when said guards have already been shown to be ineffective and he knows that someone can get to him any time they want, I reckon there'd be a change of policy.

Agree. Rufus miscalculated the speed at which they would move. Or maybe he didn't, maybe he deliberately sicced them on Cloud or deliberately dropped Cloud in it, hoping that either they or Cloud would die, because, you know, Cloud is totally expendable and/or Rufus is stupid. Or maybe he called Cloud over to Healen because it's easier to manipulate someone in person than over the phone, and also because, you know, Cloud thinks he's dead - and his plan was to warn Cloud about the SHM but they moved too fast for him. And maybe he needed to throw them off the scent and so he said Cloud had the head because a) it's plausible and b) Cloud is the one person in the world who has an excellent change of surviving an encounter with the SHM. Rufus is playing a game of chess here. He's the King, but Cloud is his Queen
.

He had contact in the first voicemail, he could have warned him then, even vaguely, but chose not to.

Cloud has in the past endangered the world by adopting a false persona, assaulting the last surviving Cetra on several occassions (just like Tseng, imagine), stealing - for no raisin - the large Materia which Rufus was planning to use to save the world by destroying Meteor, and handing the Black Materia to Sephiroth so that he could summon Meteor in the first place. So forgive me for being unsurprised if Rufus isn't completely open and above board with Cloud.
Which he then did everything possible to redeem himself for, suffered unimaginably for in so many ways, You're saying that like it was voluntary, he was puppeteered, had his mind broken, and was manipulated by a man who went to considerable lengths to convince him that he didn't even exist. Meanwhile, Rufus just did it for personal gain. The two situations are not equivalent.

Who would probably contact Cloud, no?
Probably also going to want the remains.
So?

He doesn't deny the possibility. He explicitly describes them as extremely dangerous.

Which -- as I've gone over at length -- Cloud would know at this point anyway because he fought them and lost; because they can form and dismiss non-summon monsters; and because they can get to a place ordinary people shouldn't be able to. Even if Rufus had suddenly gone into some long spiel about how not dangerous they are at the point Cloud decided to leave, Cloud already knows all these things at this point -- and again, Rufus has already described them as extremely dangerous.

At this point, I feel like we're talking about two separate movies with completely different content in the actual body of the films.
"There are plenty of kids who miss their mothers" That's playing down the threat, calling them just lonely, if dangerous kids, not world ending threats.

They just ambushed him in the middle of nowhere. I'd assume they'd been watching me if I were in that situation.
You wouldn't think it had anything at all to do with the job from Shinra you had just been hired for and were on the way to?

It's honestly unclear how much of what happens at this point in the movie is a result of what Rufus told them, what they've figured out, or just what the plot requires happen next. Before Loz and Tifa fight, Kadaj has already taken Rufus hostage after calling him a liar about Cloud having Jenova; gotten another lie (that the box fell from the helicopter as the Turks were escaping from the crater); and Yazoo has been shown being creepy around Denzel.

Whether Rufus even knew Cloud was living at the church is questionable. He says he heard that Cloud has orphans living with him, which was no longer true by that point, so it's more likely that Loz followed Tifa and Marlene from Seventh Heaven to the church. Especially since the person on the other end of the phone who calls him (Yazoo or Kadaj) tells him to grab Marlene -- implying they knew she and Tifa were at the church.
Kadaj gets a phonecall with a new location, then Loz searches the Church, while Kadaj goes to see Rufus.

Yazoo doesn't seek out Denzel, he just collects a bunch of kids from Edge, moogle girl picks him up. We see none of them at Seventh Heaven. Reno and Rude find Cloud and Tifa at the church, how did they know to go there if Rufus didn't know he was living there?

[QUOTE]What about looking for Rufus?[/QUOTE

Was he already taken at that point? Wouldn't they look for him at the place they know the Remnants are?

He has only taken such little injury because they stopped right as he was about to get mauled. They called off an ambush that was overwhelming him.
Very debateable. He was on the back foot, but can and has come back from far worse situations.

"It doesn't make it a good idea" is not the same as having sinister intentions for holding onto the remains -- which, if you follow this chain of quotes within quotes back far enough is what this specific line of discussion originates from: "if he was actually altruistic." That's what you said.

Not that I'd apply the word "altruism" to him, mind you (I wouldn't apply it to most of FFVII's heroes), but there's a wide spectrum between altruism and the malevolence you've been insisting upon.

Cloud failing to go check on things at Seventh Heaven and the church before going to Healen because he may suspect the call from Reno has something to do with the bizarre battle he was just in "doesn't make it a good idea." And the fact that he went with what wasn't a good idea doesn't mean he was hoping the SHM would kill his family.
"Altruism" and "Evil" may have been strong words. But I think there's a double standard being applied here, where Cloud being attacked by superpowered killers for reasons he doesn't understand is reason to immediately check in on the people around him is contemptible, but Rufus' complete knowledge of the stakes and facts but not warning anyone including the person he has pointed superpowered killers towards is being glossed over as more forgiveable.

I meant he wasn't directing them at that point like he had back at the Ancient's city. At this point, he'd decided he no longer needed them.
But they were still under his control, and we actually see one resisting Reno by poking him in the face, so I can't say they're such huge threats.

Cloud endangered the world for something even less than that ... and actually knew that what he was doing meant endangering the world. =P

Both have also tried to do better, though.
Again not comparable. Cloud was tortured for four years to the point of catatonia, was physically puppeteered and the subject of a concerted campaign to break his mind, and then devoted everything he had towards redeeming himself for his mistakes.

Rufus just endangered the world in the hope of personal gain, kept going after his pet terrorists did things like nearly succeed in blowing up everyone in Midgar, and to redeem himself... what? Says 'I am reformed now'. Most of what he's done since seems to directly serve his own interests.

What's in-character here for Rufus to me is that he would gladly kill one, two or ten people for the benefit of the rest of the world. He was willing to execute Barret and Tifa when it meant giving the populace a sense that at least those responsible for Meteor had been punished. And he was willing to endanger Cloud if it meant preventing another crisis like that.
I mostly agree, I just think 'for his own benefit' comes in ahead of 'the rest of the world', judging from the actions I'm aware of. Additionally, I'm not sure he's particularly reluctant to endanger people that don't work for him.

He tells Cloud that he's dealing with a hand grenade, rather than a nuke, when you kind of want your bomb disposal expert to know the difference if you're banking everything on his success.

Sorry I'm late, it's been a busy couple of days.
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Old 07/22/2017   #141
The Twilight Mexican
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Clement Rage wrote:
Reeve had turned his back on Shinra and thrown his lot in with Avalanche long before the OG showdown in the Northern Cave. Are we to suppose he tells Rufus everything? Is he stupid? He tells Rufus as little as he can get away with.
I believe that, but if this is a question the fate of the world hangs on, would Rufus not bother to ask (through his representative if need be) and would Reeve not answer that question?
If he was asked, would he not want to know how this person even knows about Cloud's weakness? And could he not just lie if he didn't want to make Cloud or himself (by association) look bad?

Clem wrote: Which he then did everything possible to redeem himself for, suffered unimaginably for in so many ways, You're saying that like it was voluntary, he was puppeteered, had his mind broken, and was manipulated by a man who went to considerable lengths to convince him that he didn't even exist. Meanwhile, Rufus just did it for personal gain. The two situations are not equivalent.
Cloud knowingly handing over the Black Materia for the reasons he did is not really any better ...

Your life is supposedly a sham, Cloud, so you're going to let Sephiroth end everyone else's? That's better than accidentally endangering the world by putting confidence in the wrong people?

And if you don't think both of those dudes suffered a lot, I don't think you're being fair. Hell, there's a lot of parallels between them in terms of what they've physically suffered -- including losing several years of their lives.

Clem wrote: So?
So the alternatives you presented are not alternatives at all. They come back to the same issues.

Clem wrote: "There are plenty of kids who miss their mothers" That's playing down the threat, calling them just lonely, if dangerous kids, not world ending threats.
There's a lot of room between "world-ending threats" and "harmless children" -- and again, Rufus has already called them extremely dangerous. You cannot get away from this fact. You just can't.

And Cloud knows it, too, at this point. "Kids who miss their mothers" or not.

Clem wrote: You wouldn't think it had anything at all to do with the job from Shinra you had just been hired for and were on the way to?
Whether I did or didn't, that would have nothing to do with whether I would conclude they knew where I was while in the middle of nowhere due to having watched me when I had been somewhere.

As for being "on the way to" said job, Cloud had literally just gotten the voicemail. He wasn't in this area because of the call. (Pointing this out also relates to the next quote from you I'm about to respond to, by the way.)

Clem wrote: Kadaj gets a phonecall with a new location, then Loz searches the Church, while Kadaj goes to see Rufus.
We have no reason to think that at all. You're implying that the "first location" they were given -- rather than a person to look for -- was a precise area at a precise time in the wasteland around Midgar.

That shouldn't make sense to you.

Clem wrote: Yazoo doesn't seek out Denzel ...
I never said he did. What I said is that it establishes the SHM in the vicinity of Seventh Heaven.

Clem wrote: We see none of them at Seventh Heaven.
Where do you think Denzel was?

Clem wrote: Reno and Rude find Cloud and Tifa at the church, how did they know to go there if Rufus didn't know he was living there?
They could have gone looking for Cloud's trail and followed him there, of course. Cloud clearly took his time getting back, seeing as Rude and Reno arrived right after he did (you can see them running into the church when he collapses: watch the bottom-left side of the screen from 1:05-1:07 in this video).

Clem wrote:
What about looking for Rufus?
Was he already taken at that point?
Yes.

Clem wrote: Wouldn't they look for him at the place they know the Remnants are?
Unless they have reasons we don't know about not to.

Or do they not care about Rufus now either? =P

Clem wrote: Very debateable. He was on the back foot, but can and has come back from far worse situations.
He was losing, plain and simple. He had his "oh shit" face on and was thoroughly confused when the monsters disappeared. They didn't disappear as he was preparing some super ninja countermove.

Clem wrote: "Altruism" and "Evil" may have been strong words. But I think there's a double standard being applied here, where Cloud being attacked by superpowered killers for reasons he doesn't understand is reason to immediately check in on the people around him is contemptible, but Rufus' complete knowledge of the stakes and facts but not warning anyone including the person he has pointed superpowered killers towards is being glossed over as more forgiveable.
I feel like the double standards are yours. If Rufus is desperately trying to contain a threat that could end the world, and is trying to do so without giving the situation a chance to get any worse, that doesn't seem to strike you as common sense.

Clem wrote: But they were still under his control, and we actually see one resisting Reno by poking him in the face, so I can't say they're such huge threats.
The question wasn't about them being threats. I asked you what good would have come of the Turks going to the Ancient's City, and you said they could have snatched the kids then and there. I pointed out that they were unlikely to accomplish even that much.

Clem wrote: Again not comparable. Cloud was tortured for four years to the point of catatonia, was physically puppeteered and the subject of a concerted campaign to break his mind, and then devoted everything he had towards redeeming himself for his mistakes.

Rufus just endangered the world in the hope of personal gain, kept going after his pet terrorists did things like nearly succeed in blowing up everyone in Midgar, and to redeem himself... what? Says 'I am reformed now'. Most of what he's done since seems to directly serve his own interests.
Right. So the patients in Kilmister's cave that he worked for hours to save while still having to rely on a cane to walk was for his own benefit? And he found himself saying words of reassurance to them (and being confused at his own actions) because ... that somehow benefited him too? And he breathed a sigh of relief when one of the other patients showed signs of life after he thought she had already died because -- well, I don't know, do you?

House of cards, dude.

Clem wrote: He tells Cloud that he's dealing with a hand grenade, rather than a nuke, when you kind of want your bomb disposal expert to know the difference if you're banking everything on his success.
"Bomb control expert" implies finesse. He needs muscle.

Clem wrote: Sorry I'm late, it's been a busy couple of days.
No hurry.
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Old 07/22/2017   #142
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I feel as if this argument is going round in circles. What it all comes back to, I think, is Clem's conviction that Rufus is motivated by nothing but personal selfish reasons. I'm just unclear as to what those selfish personal reasons are supposed to be. He's clearly not a crazed masochist who gets off on watching people suffer, so it's not that. He wants power and the responsibilities that go with power; he's been brought up to rule. But he doesn't want power so that he can go all Kim Jong Un on their asses. He has to be given the credit of his character development arc. Even when he said "I'll rule with fear" in the OG, this dramatic, possibly throwaway statement was not borne out by his actions. In the northern cave he realised, maybe even before anybody else, just how wrong everything had gone and how much it was Shinra's fault, and after that he did everything in his power to protect people and the world. It's just that he did it in the high-handed, arrogant way that is his nature. He can't even plead for his own life without sounding like he thinks he's better than everyone else.

As I pointed out before, Cloud clearly states that he has his own personal reasons for hunting down Sephiroth. He's no altrustic hero.

Clem, I do not recognise the portrait of Rufus you're trying to paint and I'm not clear what you think his objectives are in acting the way you seem to think he does. Unless you believe he's incredibly stupid?
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Old 07/22/2017   #143
Clement Rage
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Perhaps I should clarify my position. Rufus is not a cackling maniac. But he does seem to serve his own interests ahead of anyone else, while claiming to be trying for redemption.

The difference between Erwin Smith and Rufus is that Erwin is willing to sacrifice his own life, his own limbs, in a heartbeat if that's in the best interests of humanity. Whereas Rufus largely sacrifices things that belong to other people, like Cloud's life. He kills Kilminster when it becomes clear that he won't get a cure, but as far as we know, doesn't publish that you can protect yourself from Geostigma by not being depressed.

All your excuses for not warning Cloud come down to, at best, justification for not telling him about JENOVA. But instead he doesn't warn him at all despite being in contact through phone messages.

I'm not saying he's preparing Cloud to lose, exactly. I'm saying that Cloud's life isn't especially valuable to him, so he's willing to put it at more risk than necessary (thereby increasing the danger of the world) in order to avoid having to explain anything. He wants to keep JENOVA in his own hands, even when this increases the risk to the world at large.

In case of Shinra he puts up a monument in Edge to put Shinra's stamp on the place.

“What kind of monument?”

“An ostensible kind- A monument to commemorate how the planet repelled the Meteor.”

“An ostensible kind? Then what’s its true purpose?”

“To claim our place.”

“Ah! Having it in the centre of the city means Shinra owns the place!
Reno, with the help of some volunteers, began to construct the monument. People were happy to help thinking it was some kind of symbol being built at the centre of the plaza. Amongst them, there were also those who protested, knowing Shinra’s true intentions but such problems were resolved using as Reno liked to call it, “the Turks’ way of doing things”.
Protests about the symbol are squashed covertly. This is just a monument, but he want Shinra's stamp on the world and is willing to use the Turks to stop anyone that gets in his way, even if it's just protesting the monument with his name on it.

In the northern cave he realised, maybe even before anybody else, just how wrong everything had gone and how much it was Shinra's fault
In the North Cave he was delighted to see all the Mako and Materia that he could use for his own benefit "This really is the promised land."

If he was asked, would he not want to know how this person even knows about Cloud's weakness? And could he not just lie if he didn't want to make Cloud or himself (by association) look bad?
With the fate of the world in the balance?

Cloud knowingly handing over the Black Materia for the reasons he did is not really any better ...

Your life is supposedly a sham, Cloud, so you're going to let Sephiroth end everyone else's? That's better than accidentally endangering the world by putting confidence in the wrong people?

And if you don't think both of those dudes suffered a lot, I don't think you're being fair. Hell, there's a lot of parallels between them in terms of what they've physically suffered -- including losing several years of their lives.
You cannot seriously compare being stuck in a Mako tank for four years slowly losing your mind for being in the wrong place at the wrong time to being locked in a room in the Shinra building with guards you trust after a failed coup.

There's a lot of room between "world-ending threats" and "harmless children" -- and again, Rufus has already called them extremely dangerous. You cannot get away from this fact. You just can't.

And Cloud knows it, too, at this point. "Kids who miss their mothers" or not.
And you cannot get away from the fact that Rufus tries to lead him away from the conclusion that they can actually achieve what they're trying to do

We have no reason to think that at all. You're implying that the "first location" they were given -- rather than a person to look for -- was a precise area at a precise time in the wasteland around Midgar.
Well, they were waiting on that cliff for some reason. They knew he'd be coming that way on this particular day somehow.

Kadaj then gets a new location "Don't tell me you're leading me on, because I think you do have Mother there". And subsequently Loz searches the church. We don't see them go anywhere else. It seems a reasonable inference.

I never said he did. What I said is that it establishes the SHM in the vicinity of Seventh Heaven.
In Edge, collecting Geostigma kids. Doesn't give them any knowledge of 7th Heaven. And I always thought Denzel was just picked up in the street, but you're right, it's written on the barrel behind him. Still, it's moogle girl that bring him some distance to the truck.

They could have gone looking for Cloud's trail and followed him there, of course. Cloud clearly took his time getting back, seeing as Rude and Reno arrived right after he did (you can see them running into the church when he collapses: watch the bottom-left side of the screen from 1:05-1:07 in this video).
They're still with Rufus when Kadaj visits, so they didn't follow Cloud. And as for fast travel, they have access to helicopters. Following his tracks would be a slow process, and given the delay and how fast he moves, would be pretty difficult to do so quickly.

He was losing, plain and simple. He had his "oh shit" face on and was thoroughly confused when the monsters disappeared. They didn't disappear as he was preparing some super ninja countermove.
Losing, yes, but a long way from lost. This dude can get up after being impaled three times and shot in the back, one cut on his forehead isn't game changing.


I feel like the double standards are yours. If Rufus is desperately trying to contain a threat that could end the world, and is trying to do so without giving the situation a chance to get any worse, that doesn't seem to strike you as common sense.
Because his actions don't bear out that point of view. He keeps more information to himself than is necessary if the world was his top priority.

The question wasn't about them being threats. I asked you what good would have come of the Turks going to the Ancient's City, and you said they could have snatched the kids then and there. I pointed out that they were unlikely to accomplish even that much.
I'm not so sure of this. They're able to carry away resisting children that are still under Kadaj' control in Edge.


Right. So the patients in Kilmister's cave that he worked for hours to save while still having to rely on a cane to walk was for his own benefit? And he found himself saying words of reassurance to them (and being confused at his own actions) because ... that somehow benefited him too? And he breathed a sigh of relief when one of the other patients showed signs of life after he thought she had already died because -- well, I don't know, do you?
I did say most. But he's still the guy who will send the Turks to deal with people that protest the monument with his name on it because they see the true intentions behind it. He doesn't take joy in suffering, but he serves his own interests first.
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Old 07/23/2017   #144
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How is Cloud any less serving of his own interests than Rufus is?
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Old 07/23/2017   #145
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Sorry for my own delay now. Diagnosed with kidney stones at the hospital last night.
Clement Rage wrote: Perhaps I should clarify my position. Rufus is not a cackling maniac. But he does seem to serve his own interests ahead of anyone else, while claiming to be trying for redemption.

The difference between Erwin Smith and Rufus is that Erwin is willing to sacrifice his own life, his own limbs, in a heartbeat if that's in the best interests of humanity. Whereas Rufus largely sacrifices things that belong to other people, like Cloud's life. He kills Kilminster when it becomes clear that he won't get a cure, but as far as we know, doesn't publish that you can protect yourself from Geostigma by not being depressed.
I've not seen "Attack on Titan" yet, so can't fully appreciate the comparison, but I expect to like Erwin a lot from what little I've heard.

As for Rufus: we don't know that he doesn't announce that information either, so you can't cite that. As well, you can't keep saying he kills Kilmister because of something to do with a cure. Rufus outright says he won't let mad scientists have Jenova again.

Since you're bringing up the matter of a cure again, though, I should point out that the last word he's gotten on the matter from Kilmister is that it's too late for anyone already infected.

That alone addresses almost everything else we have or could discuss on this topic. Cloud's safety means little if he's going to die anyway. As does Rufus's for that matter. And all his ambitions.

So if all Rufus truly cares about is himself, what is he doing all this for now? Why isn't he just ending his life on his own to maintain control of it? Why is he spending what will be his last days making sure Jenova’s dealt with and his father's nightmare is ended?

Clem wrote: All your excuses for not warning Cloud come down to, at best, justification for not telling him about JENOVA. But instead he doesn't warn him at all despite being in contact through phone messages.
Yes, he could have, and maybe he should have. But what are you driving at? As I keep saying, Rufus needs the SHM put down. He stands to gain nothing from them achieving their goal, so he's not looking for Cloud to lose here.

Remember that the ideal situation is that Cloud fights them once, wins, and Rufus never has to mention anything about Sephiroth or Jenova. Maybe his thinking is that, in the event Cloud "couldn't finish 'em. Looks like this's gonna get complicated," he will be more likely to cooperate if he's already been attacked and experienced their strength.

Whether he was correct or not (hard to imagine that meeting going much worse), that could have been his thinking.

Clem wrote: I'm not saying he's preparing Cloud to lose, exactly. I'm saying that Cloud's life isn't especially valuable to him, so he's willing to put it at more risk than necessary (thereby increasing the danger of the world) in order to avoid having to explain anything.
Even without the question of what Rufus is doing all this for if he's probably just going to die anyway, this and comments like "He keeps more information to himself than is necessary if the world was his top priority" are the crux of where your line of argument so obviously falls apart to me. That matters little, though, if I can't put it across in a way that lets you see it as clearly to you as it is to me.

I feel that I have failed to say what I need to say here to get across what I mean about the whole endeavor being a calculated risk of last resort. I'll give it one more shot, though, and if nothing changes your mind this time, I will just have to concede that I have failed to express myself well enough, and ruminate on my failure.

So, we're talking about darn near the worst possible situation someone trying to save that planet could be in: Short on friends, dying, unable to harm the enemy, trying to keep the doomsday button away from that enemy, forced to rely on someone much stronger than they are who doesn't trust them -- and whom they also in turn can't trust.

Even if the situation is not quite as fucked as he probably thinks (i.e. Cloud actually probably is more reliable than Rufus is aware of), it's still a more nuanced situation for him than just "Swing this sword at the dude with feathers growing out of his ass."

I also have to ask you once more: Do you have a motivation to ascribe to him for any of this beyond "shady is as shady does"? Because the person you describe is, frankly, a moron -- or a "cackling maniac," as you put it, a la Hojo.

There is no scenario here in which Rufus benefits while the planet suffers. No scenario in which he can. It's all or nothing. He needs the SHM defeated, the situation is extremely volatile for everyone who isn't Sephiroth -- and deliberately trying to sabatoge Cloud or lower his chances for no tactical reason (i.e. without it in some way seemingly serving the goal of keeping the world from teetering over the brink) doesn't serve Rufus's needs, no matter what his top priority is. So it makes precisely zero sense for him to be doing what you (vaguely) say he's doing. He could only be downplaying things for Cloud because he genuinely believes Cloud having all the information could be dangerous to the mission.

Even if his condition weren't terminal, he lives on that planet too, and so even if he had aspirations to keep Jenova (which you've not substantiated in the face of extraordinary evidence to the contrary), there comes a point where the situation is a wash and it makes no sense but to abandon any perceived gains of that idea to instead focus solely on survival/living to fight another day. For Rufus, that Rubicon should have been crossed several plot developments ago -- at least as far back as learning that he and his Turks had no means to really harm Sephiroth's agents, if not before that, when he learned that the disease killing him was being caused by Sephiroth in the first place.

Clem wrote: With the fate of the world in the balance?
Would he immediately trust that it is? Perhaps. Reeve does come off as more trusting than Rufus. But would he be willing to exchange information about his friends to this mysterious benefactor without first confirming they're good for more than their cheques?

Clem wrote: You cannot seriously compare being stuck in a Mako tank for four years slowly losing your mind for being in the wrong place at the wrong time to being locked in a room in the Shinra building with guards you trust after a failed coup.
Of course I can. You did just now. =P

For real, though, what other character lost a similar chunk of time, had a bout in a wheelchair, and got geostigma?

Anyhow, being a prisoner for years on end is still being a prisoner for years on end (is it worse to sleep through it or be awake? Who knows) -- and, if anything, in terms of suffering experienced as a result of their sins, Rufus has almost certainly suffered as much. Cloud's tenure in that tank was a result of, as you say, being in the wrong place at the wrong time; that was years before he chose to hand the Black Materia to Sephiroth.

Clem wrote: And you cannot get away from the fact that Rufus tries to lead him away from the conclusion that they can actually achieve what they're trying to do.
I don't need to get away from it since I see no problem with this, given the walking, sword-swinging, basically flying wild card Cloud could be. Rufus doesn't think Cloud's going to work with him (on Rufus's terms) at that point.

Clem wrote: Well, they were waiting on that cliff for some reason. They knew he'd be coming that way on this particular day somehow.
Why would Rufus have known Cloud would be visiting Zack's grave right then? To me, it looked like they were on their way to Midgar, and it was just (in)convenient timing.

Clem wrote: Kadaj then gets a new location "Don't tell me you're leading me on, because I think you do have Mother there". And subsequently Loz searches the church. We don't see them go anywhere else. It seems a reasonable inference.
A reasonable inference is that Loz followed Tifa and Marlene since the person who's on the other end of the phone with him later already knows about them being there. At no point after he opened the doors to the church did he call and say "So, yeah, I found this girl and this bigger girl here. No idea who they are. What should I do with 'em?"

He knew who they were; that they were important to Cloud; and he expected to find them there before he ever opened the doors.

I also have to say I never took the "Don't tell me you're leading me on" line to refer to anything but the matter unfolding below Kadaj at that very moment: that inital engagement with Cloud as they followed up on the first "tip" they were given.

Clem wrote: They're still with Rufus when Kadaj visits, so they didn't follow Cloud. And as for fast travel, they have access to helicopters. Following his tracks would be a slow process, and given the delay and how fast he moves, would be pretty difficult to do so quickly.
Them still being with Rufus when Kadaj visits is why I said "They could have gone looking for Cloud's trail" and "he clearly took his time getting back." I doubt they get a lot of motorcycle traffic (or a whole lot of any traffic for that matter) at Healen, so I'd hope these professional black ops guys could quickly identify which tracks belonged to Cloud, follow them, and figure out that they headed into the old city rather than toward Edge.

Seeing as they had the skill to follow a truck through shitty terrain in the dark during a monsoon in Case of Shin-Ra, I feel like they could pull this off.

And like I mentioned before, since they arrive almost at the same time Cloud did, but well after he had left (as well as after they had time to get trounced and watch Rufus get taken away), he was in no big rush.

Long story short, they may have known he was staying at the church, they may not have known. For whatever reason, though, they thought it made the most sense to take he and Tifa to Seventh Heaven, and also noted when he woke up "Weren't there some kids staying with you?" -- again, like that's what they understood the status quo to be.

Clem wrote: Losing, yes, but a long way from lost. This dude can get up after being impaled three times and shot in the back, one cut on his forehead isn't game changing.
We agree on "losing." Do we agree that he was losing badly? Because it looked like a shit show to me.

Clem wrote:
The question wasn't about them being threats. I asked you what good would have come of the Turks going to the Ancient's City, and you said they could have snatched the kids then and there. I pointed out that they were unlikely to accomplish even that much.
I'm not so sure of this. They're able to carry away resisting children that are still under Kadaj' control in Edge.
Once again, they move them a couple of dozen feet after Kadaj no longer cares about them and gives his attention instead to Bahamut. The kids may still act on his influence for a second or two when initially awoken, but we see that it breaks pretty much immediately (when Tifa snaps Denzel out of it).

That's a very different situation from needing to carry them all the way out of a forest when Kadaj still needs them, is actively exerting his control over them, and most definitely won't let them be taken until they've guided him.

Once they've done that, he doesn't care what happens to them because he doesn't need them any longer -- evident by the fact that he's just directed Bahamut to blow up the monument behind them without first ordering them to move.

Clem wrote:
Right. So the patients in Kilmister's cave that he worked for hours to save while still having to rely on a cane to walk was for his own benefit? And he found himself saying words of reassurance to them (and being confused at his own actions) because ... that somehow benefited him too? And he breathed a sigh of relief when one of the other patients showed signs of life after he thought she had already died because -- well, I don't know, do you?
I did say most.
What’s the value in the observation then? Most of what most people do is for their own benefit.

Clem wrote: But he's still the guy who will send the Turks to deal with people that protest the monument with his name on it because they see the true intentions behind it. He doesn't take joy in suffering, but he serves his own interests first.
It's probably more accurate to say he serves his own interests in tandem with the bigger picture. "There are still many things only Shin-Ra can accomplish." That was the directive these remnants of the company set out with the morning after Meteor passed, and they genuinely believe in that.

Through Case of Shin-Ra and The Kids Are Alright, we see that Rufus does genuinely want what's best for his people -- because that's how he sees them: his people. He feels a certain responsibility for them.

He may not have started out that way when we met him in the original game, and he almost certainly wasn't like that in his Before Crisis days, but you have to -- as Lic put it -- give him the benefit of his arc. He even offers a sincere apology to a man who kidnapped him, restrained him, and was beating him up when the dude pointed out that Rufus had walked past him many times before yet didn't recognize him now.

Rufus reaps the harvest he had sown from actions both large and small. His very personality and beliefs about himself confront him with harsh rebuke. And he becomes better because of it. That's all any of us can do, really.
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Old 07/25/2017   #146
Clement Rage
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LicoriceAllsorts wrote: How is Cloud any less serving of his own interests than Rufus is?
He endangers his own life and a team of volunteers (which he goes out of his way to ensure are volunteers), rather than other people's against their will. He owns up to his ulterior motives rather than hiding them and suppressing people that suspect them.

Hope you're okay, TTM. Attack on Titan was an example Lic used, so I followed her example.

As for Rufus: we don't know that he doesn't announce that information either, so you can't cite that. As well, you can't keep saying he kills Kilmister because of something to do with a cure. Rufus outright says he won't let mad scientists have Jenova again.
I'd expect people that suffer from it to act differently if that was public knowledge. He follows Kilminster's advice of sending his people after JENOVA. He has been told that the Stigma are linked to JENOVA. It makes sense to research JENOVA, but not to let it near the guy that wants to recreate Sephiroth.

[QUOTESince you're bringing up the matter of a cure again, though, I should point out that the last word he's gotten on the matter from Kilmister is that it's too late for anyone already infected.

That alone addresses almost everything else we have or could discuss on this topic. Cloud's safety means little if he's going to die anyway. As does Rufus's for that matter. And all his ambitions.

So if all Rufus truly cares about is himself, what is he doing all this for now? Why isn't he just ending his life on his own to maintain control of it? Why is he spending what will be his last days making sure Jenova’s dealt with and his father's nightmare is ended?][/QUOTE]

Because he hasn't given up on finding a cure? He's devoted a considerable amount of time to finding a cure for the disease he has so far, he's not giving up, he just realises that Kilminster isn't the person to do it

Yes, he could have, and maybe he should have. But what are you driving at? As I keep saying, Rufus needs the SHM put down. He stands to gain nothing from them achieving their goal, so he's not looking for Cloud to lose here.

Remember that the ideal situation is that Cloud fights them once, wins, and Rufus never has to mention anything about Sephiroth or Jenova. Maybe his thinking is that, in the event Cloud "couldn't finish 'em. Looks like this's gonna get complicated," he will be more likely to cooperate if he's already been attacked and experienced their strength.

Whether he was correct or not (hard to imagine that meeting going much worse), that could have been his thinking.
Yes, he could have, and maybe he should have. But what are you driving at? As I keep saying, Rufus needs the SHM put down. He stands to gain nothing from them achieving their goal, so he's not looking for Cloud to lose here.

Remember that the ideal situation is that Cloud fights them once, wins, and Rufus never has to mention anything about Sephiroth or Jenova. Maybe his thinking is that, in the event Cloud "couldn't finish 'em. Looks like this's gonna get complicated," he will be more likely to cooperate if he's already been attacked and experienced their strength.

Whether he was correct or not (hard to imagine that meeting going much worse), that could have been his thinking.
If you want your champion to win and that's the only goal, why handicap him? Possibly the ideal result is a Pyrrhic victory, or the winner weakened.

I feel that I have failed to say what I need to say here to get across what I mean about the whole endeavor being a calculated risk of last resort. I'll give it one more shot, though, and if nothing changes your mind this time, I will just have to concede that I have failed to express myself well enough, and ruminate on my failure.

So, we're talking about darn near the worst possible situation someone trying to save that planet could be in: Short on friends, dying, unable to harm the enemy, trying to keep the doomsday button away from that enemy, forced to rely on someone much stronger than they are who doesn't trust them -- and whom they also in turn can't trust.

Even if the situation is not quite as fucked as he probably thinks (i.e. Cloud actually probably is more reliable than Rufus is aware of), it's still a more nuanced situation for him than just "Swing this sword at the dude with feathers growing out of his ass."

I also have to ask you once more: Do you have a motivation to ascribe to him for any of this beyond "shady is as shady does"? Because the person you describe is, frankly, a moron -- or a "cackling maniac," as you put it, a la Hojo.

There is no scenario here in which Rufus benefits while the planet suffers. No scenario in which he can. It's all or nothing. He needs the SHM defeated, the situation is extremely volatile for everyone who isn't Sephiroth -- and deliberately trying to sabatoge Cloud or lower his chances for no tactical reason (i.e. without it in some way seemingly serving the goal of keeping the world from teetering over the brink) doesn't serve Rufus's needs, no matter what his top priority is. So it makes precisely zero sense for him to be doing what you (vaguely) say he's doing. He could only be downplaying things for Cloud because he genuinely believes Cloud having all the information could be dangerous to the mission.
He continues to hold information that it doesn't benefit him to disclose, even at points where it might benefit the Planet. If his priority is crushing the SHM, then it would make sense to call Cloud after he walks out or send a Turk with information along the lines of 'Okay, you don't trust me and don't want to work for me. Fair enough. But this is what's at stake here. I'll give you everything I have (maybe withholding a few key pieces of information if he really thinks Cloud might be turned). You don't have to do it for me, but I'll give you my information anyway, because this is about the world, not you and me.' But he doesn't.


Would he immediately trust that it is? Perhaps. Reeve does come off as more trusting than Rufus. But would he be willing to exchange information about his friends to this mysterious benefactor without first confirming they're good for more than their cheques?
So what? Maintaining his secret identity should be secondary to preserving the world.

Anyhow, being a prisoner for years on end is still being a prisoner for years on end (is it worse to sleep through it or be awake? Who knows) -- and, if anything, in terms of suffering experienced as a result of their sins, Rufus has almost certainly suffered as much. Cloud's tenure in that tank was a result of, as you say, being in the wrong place at the wrong time; that was years before he chose to hand the Black Materia to Sephiroth.
Would you really rather be in an an underwater tube in Hojo's lab than in a prison cell guarded by people you trust?

That's not the question, though. It seems like people are more inclined to excuse endangering the world purely for personal gain that doing so after your mind shattering twice and being the victim of an orchestrated campaign to put you in a vulnerable state specifically to make that decision. Including blaming Cloud for things he literally had no control over, like assuming a false identity or attacking Aeris. And Cloud still takes more responsibility for his actions than Rufus does.

My original point was that Rufus has previously endangered the world for personal gain. Nobody broke his mind, it was a choice. So is it out of character for him to gamble the fate of the world for his own benefit again?And I don't remember any apology or regret over that in any canon source, he was just upset it didn't work.

I don't need to get away from it since I see no problem with this, given the walking, sword-swinging, basically flying wild card Cloud could be. Rufus doesn't think Cloud's going to work with him (on Rufus's terms) at that point.
If the world is top priority, he doesn't need Cloud to work with him on his terms. As long as he solves the problem, it shouldn't matter if it's done on Rufus' terms or not. But he seems to want it on his terms or not at all, even if that increases the risk to the world.

Why would Rufus have known Cloud would be visiting Zack's grave right then? To me, it looked like they were on their way to Midgar, and it was just (in)convenient timing.
I dunno "Hold on, he's coming." makes it seem planned to me.

A reasonable inference is that Loz followed Tifa and Marlene since the person who's on the other end of the phone with him later already knows about them being there. At no point after he opened the doors to the church did he call and say "So, yeah, I found this girl and this bigger girl here. No idea who they are. What should I do with 'em?"

He knew who they were; that they were important to Cloud; and he expected to find them there before he ever opened the doors.
How? Cloud has not been back to Seventh Heaven in some time, him being out of contact is a plot point. Loz is surprised that there's 'no one here'.

At the time of the attack on Cloud, the SHM's intelligence is 'we know you hid her, brother'. During the phonecall,Kadaj switches to 'I think you do have mother there', which refers to a place, not a person, and then he calls off the others. Sounds like new information to me.

Them still being with Rufus when Kadaj visits is why I said "They could have gone looking for Cloud's trail" and "he clearly took his time getting back." I doubt they get a lot of motorcycle traffic (or a whole lot of any traffic for that matter) at Healen, so I'd hope these professional black ops guys could quickly identify which tracks belonged to Cloud, follow them, and figure out that they headed into the old city rather than toward Edge.
That seems extremely difficult to me and relies on a lot of assumptions like that there was no other traffic, it wasn't a windy day, Cloud didn't cross any hard ground, and that it wouldn't be obscured by that giant fight from earlier which Cloud travels back through (he passes Zack's sword again). Seems less likely than that they already knew where to go and choppered straight there.

We agree on "losing." Do we agree that he was losing badly? Because it looked like a shit show to me.
No. He deals with a similar situation (monsters jumping at Tifa from all directions) quite handily in Edge later on.

Once again, they move them a couple of dozen feet after Kadaj no longer cares about them and gives his attention instead to Bahamut. The kids may still act on his influence for a second or two when initially awoken, but we see that it breaks pretty much immediately (when Tifa snaps Denzel out of it).

That's a very different situation from needing to carry them all the way out of a forest when Kadaj still needs them, is actively exerting his control over them, and most definitely won't let them be taken until they've guided him.
The explosion snaps Denzel out of it, he doesn't respond to Tifa. It seems as likely that they could rescue the kids with Kadaj preoccupied fighting Cloud. And all those kids fit in one truck, bring one with you. Handcuff them if you have to. The Turks are professional kidnappers, it shouldn't be too difficult.

What’s the value in the observation then? Most of what most people do is for their own benefit.
It's more difficult to believe someone sincerely wants to redeem themselves when they are trying to force people to view them positively. Forgiveness is given, not taken.

It's probably more accurate to say he serves his own interests in tandem with the bigger picture. "There are still many things only Shin-Ra can accomplish." That was the directive these remnants of the company set out with the morning after Meteor passed, and they genuinely believe in that.

Through Case of Shin-Ra and The Kids Are Alright, we see that Rufus does genuinely want what's best for his people -- because that's how he sees them: his people. He feels a certain responsibility for them.
And who are his people? What grand design made it necessary to send the Turks after people that (correctly) suspected ulterior motives for his monument? The world's not at stake over this monument, he's trying to manipulate people into forgiving him rather than earning it. Is there some reason Shinra can't accomplish things without suppressing dissent with black ops squads?


He may not have started out that way when we met him in the original game, and he almost certainly wasn't like that in his Before Crisis days, but you have to -- as Lic put it -- give him the benefit of his arc.
Alright, but why does Cloud not get the benefit of his? He puts work into redeeming himself (by jeopardising his own life, not someone else's), saves the world, and not trying to claim credit for it, but you two are still blaming him for jeopardising the world while in a vulnerable state of mind while somehow not blaming Rufus for jeopardising the world for personal gain of his own choice while displaying less regret and trying to take redemption rather than earn it, to the point of sending Turks after people who correctly mistrust his motives.

What does he do differently post redemption that indicates a sincere attempt at making up for his mistakes? He tries to find a cure for the disease that he himself suffers from. He sends Turks after people that don't want to give him credit he doesn't deserve.

I'm really not seeing a sincere attempt at atonement here. What he does post meteorfall seems to fit equally well with someone tha just wants his throne back.
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Last edited by Clement Rage; 07/25/2017 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 07/25/2017   #147
LicoriceAllsorts
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Alright, but why does Cloud not get the benefit of his? He puts work into redeeming himself (by jeopardising his own life, not someone else's), saves the world, and not trying to claim credit for it, but you two are still blaming him for jeopardising the world while in a vulnerable state of mind while somehow not blaming Rufus for jeopardising the world for personal gain of his own choice while displaying less regret and trying to take redemption rather than earn it, to the point of sending Turks after people who correctly mistrust his motives.
Don't confuse how I see the situation, from the point of view of a gameplayer/viwer, with how Rufus sees the situation. I'm not arguing that Cloud should trust Rufus or give him "the benefit of his arc". Cloud will always think Rufus is a self-aggrandising dick and will never trust him. As I keep saying, of course it's easy from my superior vantage point to see what would have been the best course of action, objectively speaking. My point, and I think Tres' point as well (though I cannot speak for him) is that Rufus's actions are understandable and even justifiable, given the fact that he knows much less about Cloud's character development arc than we do.

At the end of the day, everybody's entitled to their own interpretation of a character. How we as individual players/viewers/readers interpret a character is one thing. What the author's intentions are regarding that character is something else. If viewer interpretations of a given character vary wildly, then we can say that either the authors intended the character to be ambiguous and provoke multiple interpretations, or they weren't completely successful in making their characterisation convincing.

(or the fans are deliberately overlooking certain aspects of that characterisation for their own personal reasons).

It is one thing to say that you don't find Rufus's desire for atonement convincing. It's another to argue that the authors who created him intended us to find his atonement unconvincing. I don't think they did. I think we are meant to believe that Rufus' desire to atone and to do good in the world is sincere.

But he still has to do it in a Rufus way. He can't suddenly become a completely different person.
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Old 07/25/2017   #148
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I think it's intentionally ambiguous, for what it's worth.
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Old 07/25/2017   #149
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For what it's worth, I agree with that (to a limited extent), Clement. Nomura very much wanted it ambiguous, and he personally holds the same opinion of Rufus that you do (or did when he was last asked 11 years ago).

I don't put a lot of stock in what Nomura says, though, especially when it comes to story and characters. Nojima's the writer, and those two have disagreed plenty.

Nomura's the guy who was saying Midgar was the Promised Land when the story, as written, made it clear that everyone has their own Promised Land. Nomura's the guy who insisted on tweaking the presentation of things in Advent Children and KHII that Nojima originally had the scripts explain -- just so he could pontificate about how thought provoking they supposedly are. So if Nomura's also the guy who thinks Rufus is nothing but a villain through and through, that's all well and good, but I'm going to defer to the guy who wrote two stories (Case of Shin-Ra and The Kids Are Alright) that give us direct insight into the character's actual thoughts.

I especially can't put any stock in Nomura's assessment of Rufus since he gave it before Case of Shin-Ra and The Kids Are Alright were ever written.
---


I'm doing well, by the way, Clement. Thanks for asking.
---


This is going to have to be my last post on this matter for several reasons. First and most importantly (for me), Clem, you're so locked up in a notion you don't want to let go of that you've cited one error after another in your quest to prove it, in this post and previous posts.

You also seem unable or unwilling to recognize the difference between my perspective on the characters vs. my perspective of their perspectives on one another -- which are two drastically different things, as Lic exquisitely went over.

You've also got some really bizarre non sequiturs going on now.

I don't know what it is about this topic that makes you irrational, but hoo boy, this post of yours is a doozy. Nonetheless, having had time to mull it all over, I still see this debate as an enormous failure on my part for reasons that I will point out at the end of this post. It's actually a failure on my part and yours -- one which both of us should have caught sooner.

Clem wrote:
So if all Rufus truly cares about is himself, what is he doing all this for now? Why isn't he just ending his life on his own to maintain control of it? Why is he spending what will be his last days making sure Jenova’s dealt with and his father's nightmare is ended?]
Because he hasn't given up on finding a cure? He's devoted a considerable amount of time to finding a cure for the disease he has so far, he's not giving up, he just realises that Kilminster isn't the person to do it
With who and what? The guy who's been researching the matter since day one is dead by Rufus's own doing, and we don't know of anyone else who has been fulfilling a similar function.

Rufus and Kilmister certainly never mentioned them at any rate -- and as you pointed out, Rufus has devoted a lot to finding a cure, and has invested a lot in this researcher in particular. But he went ahead and had the guy who knows the most about the disease killed since he couldn't be trusted around Jenova.

For that matter, if this guy was the best Rufus had, that doesn't bode well for his declaration that he won't let mad scientists get their hands on Jenova again. At least not if he's planning to keep it, going to hand it off to another quack in a labcoat, and say "Analyze this. Make medicine with it."

And who else is going to do the work? Rufus himself?

Clement wrote: I'd expect people that suffer from it to act differently if that was public knowledge.
People still react to illness with despair even though staying positive is important, if for no other reason than not taking care of yourself will certainly make matters worse.

Clem wrote:
I wrote: Would he immediately trust that it is? Perhaps. Reeve does come off as more trusting than Rufus. But would he be willing to exchange information about his friends to this mysterious benefactor without first confirming they're good for more than their cheques?
So what? Maintaining his secret identity should be secondary to preserving the world.
Okay, so here's a non sequitur. What you said has nothing to do with answering the question of whether Reeve would immediately buy into the story he's being told and start handing over information on his friends.

Reeve also doesn't have a secret identity (well, not anymore), so you're clearly talking about Rufus -- but that doesn't make sense either because I never said anything about anyone maintaining their secret identity. I spoke only of Reeve's willingness to believe the story about the world being in danger, and his willingness to give up personal information about Cloud et. al.

So, yeah, really bizarre response from you here.

Clem wrote: How? Cloud has not been back to Seventh Heaven in some time, him being out of contact is a plot point.
Because Rufus obviously told them Cloud lives in Edge at Seventh Heaven.

This is a pretty easily inferred series of events:

• The SHM confront Rufus and the Turks at Healen; Rufus lies to them that Cloud has Jenova, and tells them where he lives

• When it becomes obvious during their attack on Cloud in the wilderness that they're barking up the wrong tree, Kadaj calls Rufus and expresses his displeasure; Kadaj then goes to confront Rufus while Yazoo and Loz head on to Edge to doublecheck that Cloud really doesn't have Jenova; Yazoo begins rounding up kids infected with geostigma while Loz follows Marlene and Tifa from Seventh Heaven to the church

• Loz confronts Tifa and Marlene in the church, plays around with Tifa, then promptly trounces her when Kadaj or Yazoo (whichever one it was) calls him to ask for an update; Loz informs them that Jenova isn't there, and is then instructed to "bring the girl" (who the person on the other end of the phone already knows about)

Clem wrote: Loz is surprised that there's 'no one here'.
"She's not here" isn't the same as "No one's here." Even if he says that, it wouldn't make any sense to go from saying "No one's here" to immediately referencing someone who is, in fact, there: "I got it. I'll bring the girl."

More importantly -- and for the last time -- the person he's talking to already knows who he's talking about when he says "I'll bring the girl." And they clearly instructed him to grab her.

Clem wrote: At the time of the attack on Cloud, the SHM's intelligence is 'we know you hid her, brother'.
Yazoo: Hey, Kadaj? Is that where big brother lives?
Kadaj: Yeah.

They had been given more than that.

Clem wrote: During the phonecall,Kadaj switches to 'I think you do have mother there', which refers to a place, not a person, and then he calls off the others. Sounds like new information to me.
It shouldn't. "I think you do have mother there" -- i.e. where the person on the other end of the phone is: Healen. Which is where he goes right after the phone call.

In other words, "I think you do have mother there with you" -- not "I think you do have mother at the church Cloud is staying in, which you only just told me about after I called to say I think you're lying to me about Cloud having her in the first place."

Clem wrote: Would you really rather be in an an underwater tube in Hojo's lab than in a prison cell guarded by people you trust?
If I'm catatonic, I probably don't know the difference.

Clem wrote: That seems extremely difficult to me and relies on a lot of assumptions like that there was no other traffic, it wasn't a windy day, Cloud didn't cross any hard ground, and that it wouldn't be obscured by that giant fight from earlier which Cloud travels back through (he passes Zack's sword again). Seems less likely than that they already knew where to go and choppered straight there.
And they totally could have. But -- as I've already cited and you ignored in favor of bringing up "a windy day" -- they tracked someone at night through torrential rain and roads described as flooded. If they can do that, yet "a windy day" throws them off the trail, they just need to go ahead and crash that helicopter into the nearest bluff.

Clem wrote: The explosion snaps Denzel out of it, he doesn't respond to Tifa.
Watch again. His eyes flicker between normal and "Sephirothed." He also doesn't do anything to physically resist her, neither then or when she actually moves him.

Clem wrote: It seems as likely that they could rescue the kids with Kadaj preoccupied fighting Cloud. And all those kids fit in one truck, bring one with you. Handcuff them if you have to. The Turks are professional kidnappers, it shouldn't be too difficult.
Kadaj didn't even participate in most of the fight with Cloud.

Clem wrote: And who are his people? What grand design made it necessary to send the Turks after people that (correctly) suspected ulterior motives for his monument? The world's not at stake over this monument, he's trying to manipulate people into forgiving him rather than earning it. Is there some reason Shinra can't accomplish things without suppressing dissent with black ops squads?
I didn't say everything he did was for the world. Even there, though, he'd probably say "There are still things only Shin-Ra can do" -- which, if Sephiroth's failed attempt to return and kill everyone is any indication ... is absolutely true.
---


So, we come now to the final point I'm going to make on all of this, and it embarrasses us both.

You could go back through this debate, swapping out any arguments about Rufus's concern (or lack thereof) for the world and replacing them with your assertion that he cares only about himself ... and all my points about how he handled Cloud and the SHM would remain exactly the same. Every single one of them.

Do you realize this? Regardless of Rufus's motivation, the things you say about endangering the world just do not make any sense whatsoever. At all. You are describing a cackling maniac, but won't acknowledge it.

How does putting himself first in any way make sense of what you claim are attempts to sabotage the effort he has himself been leading to stop Sephiroth's resurrection? How does he benefit from a scenario where the SHM can't be stopped?

This whole line of argument is absurd, frankly, and I expect way better of you.
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Old 07/25/2017   #150
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I've just been stirring following a Tumblr debate on Tifa that makes this discussion look like a chat between Trump and Putin. You may think we differ on how Rufus's character should be portrayed, and all I can say is, I had NO IDEA the fandom differed so widely and wildly in their interpretation of Tifa. Our difference is a little crack in the sidewalk; theirs is a mighty canyon.
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