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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 07/14/2017   #91
Octo
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I never said ambition and power were intrinsically evil? Rufus is supposedly trying to 'atone' but his actions in AC show that he cares more about clinging to power. Maybe he's a little bit sorry? But not much.

And re: good/evil as a binary. Not at all, I wouldn't like the Turks otherwise, I don't think they are pure evil, I don't even think Rufus is pure evil. I'm just not willing to swallow this whole atonement thing when in universe his motives are not pure and out of universe the whole thing has been cooked up to allow the character a resurrection.

With that being said, I'm glad that you brought up Star Wars before I did; there's a lot of EU stories about all of the chaos and collapse that resulted from the Empire's defeat.
Of course but, I mean what is that saying really? Sometimes shit gets worse before it gets better right? Nobody would argue that the Empire should have stayed around (although they did have cool ships and uniforms) Although this is getting off onto a wider tangent that I don't really have the time to discuss, I dont feel like anyone would argue that an essentially fascist dictatorship should just be allowed to continue because they make the space freighters run on time
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Old 07/14/2017   #92
Cat Rage Room
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I never said ambition and power were intrinsically evil? Rufus is supposedly trying to 'atone' but his actions in AC show that he cares more about clinging to power. Maybe he's a little bit sorry? But not much.
Forgive me; I'm sort of projecting on you my universal response for a sentiment I see a lot of; "YOU SEE, RUFUS STILL WANTS POWER AND HE'S AMBITIOUS! HE'S STILL A BAD GUY" I see a lot in the fandom.

But still, even if that's not what you're saying, I still interpret it differently; Rufus sees himself as a capable manager who's good at what he does, and doesn't want to give it up. You bring up 'clinging to power' as a bad thing, and in the context of what Rufus did and who he was, it is a bit of a black mark, but not entirely.

I think that Rufus good and well knows that the era of the Shinra company and family ruling Gaia is over. But that doesn't mean that he has to live in a sewer, either. I don't blame him for wanting to return to a position he's good at and where he's accustomed. It's what he does with that power that'll define him, and with that being said, I don't get the impression that he's only 'a little bit sorry'.

To me, someone only being a 'little bit sorry but not really' for their role in almost ending the world would be approaching comically pure evil, and I just don't see that from Rufus, and I never did, even in the original game back in FFVII. He's a guy that's good at running shit, and that's what he wants to do, whether it's good, bad, or neutral. I think through the WRO, he sees an opportunity to both run shit, 'be Rufus', and perhaps do a little good for once in his life. Does that have to run mutually exclusive with one another?

I'm just not willing to swallow this whole atonement thing when in universe his motives are not pure and out of universe the whole thing has been cooked up to allow the character a resurrection.
I think someone can seek atonement and not have entirely pure motives at the same time. Out of universe, as far as SE's motivation, I totally agree with you, though.

Of course but, I mean what is that saying really? Sometimes shit gets worse before it gets better right? Nobody would argue that the Empire should have stayed around (although they did have cool ships and uniforms) Although this is getting off onto a wider tangent that I don't really have the time to discuss, I dont feel like anyone would argue that an essentially fascist dictatorship should just be allowed to continue because they make the space freighters run on time
I bring that up to address the earlier argument a few posts ago that more or less read to me 'Why would ANYONE want Shinra back'? Because Shinra made shit work. I'm not even sure comparing it to the Empire is a good example, because at least in the Star Wars universe, the Empire didn't invent civilization.

Shinra more or less did, and is either directly or indirectly responsible for almost everything that anyone enjoys that was made by man (the original game even lampshades this a few times). I'm NOT defending Shinra, but I am just stating how it is, straight up.

I can understand if a few people were lowkey thinking "damn I kinda miss Shinra minus all of the evil shit"

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Old 07/14/2017   #93
Octo
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Fascination wrote: Forgive me; I'm sort of projecting on you my universal response for a sentiment I see a lot of; "YOU SEE, RUFUS STILL WANTS POWER AND HE'S AMBITIOUS! HE'S STILL A BAD GUY" I see a lot in the fandom.
no worries
But still, even if that's not what you're saying, I still interpret it differently; Rufus sees himself as a capable manager who's good at what he does, and doesn't want to give it up. You bring up 'clinging to power' as a bad thing, and in the context of what Rufus did and who he was, it is a bit of a black mark, but not entirely.

I think that Rufus good and well knows that the era of the Shinra company and family ruling Gaia is over. But that doesn't mean that he has to live in a sewer, either. I don't blame him for wanting to return to a position he's good at and where he's accustomed. It's what he does with that power that'll define him, and with that being said, I don't get the impression that he's only 'a little bit sorry'.

To me, someone only being a 'little bit sorry but not really' for their role in almost ending the world would be approaching comically pure evil, and I just don't see that from Rufus, and I never did, even in the original game back in FFVII. He's a guy that's good at running shit, and that's what he wants to do, whether it's good, bad, or neutral. I think through the WRO, he sees an opportunity to both run shit, 'be Rufus', and perhaps do a little good for once in his life. Does that have to run mutually exclusive with one another?
Nah I dont think he has to live in a sewer, I would imagine he has a load of personal wealth anyway. As for the rest, he was born into power, so whether that makes him inherently good at running shit - bearing in mind that 'ruling through fear' is like the easiest way of running shit, you dont have to please people you just have to crack skulls and crush dissenters or whatever, so its more out of a sense of entitlement than anything else. In terms of being a benevolent ruler he's an unknown quantity.


I'm just not willing to swallow this whole atonement thing when in universe his motives are not pure and out of universe the whole thing has been cooked up to allow the character a resurrection.
I think someone can seek atonement and not have entirely pure motives at the same time. [/quote] Sure, but I think it crosses a line if it's going to put people in danger.

Out of universe, as far as SE's motivation, I totally agree with you, though.
Yep

Basically FFVII has a lot of good ideas but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
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Old 07/14/2017   #94
Cat Rage Room
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Nah I dont think he has to live in a sewer, I would imagine he has a load of personal wealth anyway. As for the rest, he was born into power, so whether that makes him inherently good at running shit - bearing in mind that 'ruling through fear' is like the easiest way of running shit, you dont have to please people you just have to crack skulls and crush dissenters or whatever, so its more out of a sense of entitlement than anything else. In terms of being a benevolent ruler he's an unknown quantity.
Of course, and it's entirely fair to use his track record as a predictor of future actions, but I also think it's only fair to account the EARTH SHATTERING FORMATIVE EXPERIENCE of seeing the world about to end before your eyes and being partially responsible. Rufus is at a crossroads right now between 'good' and 'bad', and maybe he never goes down the road and just stays at 'rich opportunist', but I don't think that means he's bad by default.

If anything, and I stress again, I believe that someone with Rufus' crimes who DOES get a second chance but ISN'T sorry about it to an appreciable degree probably is evil, and I don't think that's Rufus. While they may never be 'good', I truly believe based on what we've seen that Meteorfall fundamentally changed Rufus.

Or maybe not! More on that below.

Sure, but I think it crosses a line if it's going to put people in danger.
I entirely agree, but the problem with attaching this to Rufus is that we don't know yet. The only results we've seen out of post FFVII Rufus is his funding of WRO, which is a 'good' thing with 'possibly shady' motives. It's entirely possible that in a future Compilation entry, Rufus could go back to his old tricks like a drug, but it's also entirely possible that being partially responsible for bringing the world to its knees sparked some real change in a man that could grow to something more, even if he grows into an old man and dies and never touches heroism.

It absolutely crosses a line if Rufus does harm, but we just don't know yet.
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Old 07/14/2017   #95
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But IIRC - and probably Tres will be able to tell me I'm totally wrong - its a while since I saw ACC but doesnt Kadaj attack Cloud because of Rufus or something?
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Old 07/14/2017   #96
LicoriceAllsorts
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Fascination wrote: I can understand if a few people were lowkey thinking "damn I kinda miss Shinra minus all of the evil shit"
Yes. You would be surprised how often older people in Africa told me they missed the colonial administration - or rather, some of the more efficient aspects of it. Now of course the colonial administrations were responsible to a greater or lesser degree, directly or indirectly, for a lot of the shit that befell those countries after independence, but they also built their railways, roads, schools, hospitals etc... The situation with Shinra is fairly similar, I think.
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Old 07/14/2017   #97
The Twilight Mexican
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An even more recent example, I just heard this on NPR on Tuesday: Venezuelan President Announces Plan to Rewrite Constitution

This is being done entirely for the purpose of giving more power to the Venezuelan presidential administration -- in a country that has gone from being richer than all its neighbors to an absolute shithole teetering on the edge of complete implosion and revolution. And yet: those who have benefited more from this crumbling administration, even if they're suffering now, are still right there (at a political meeting being held on a basketball court) cheering, doing the wave (I'm not exaggerating) and calling on their fellow citizens to be supportive too.

Octo wrote: But IIRC - and probably Tres will be able to tell me I'm totally wrong - its a while since I saw ACC but doesnt Kadaj attack Cloud because of Rufus or something?
Rufus told him that Cloud had Jenova's remains, sure. Difficult to hold that against him, though, considering the consequences for the world if Kadaj lifted that white sheet, that he thought two of his closest/only friends/subordinates (Tseng and Elena) were already dead, and given that Rufus knew Cloud had a better shot at killing Kadaj and his brothers than any of them.
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Old 07/14/2017   #98
LicoriceAllsorts
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@ above post - often, when a country is in a crisis, people look for a strong leader who seems to have answers, and are often willing to surrender some of their democracy in return for what they see as security.
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Old 07/15/2017   #99
Clement Rage
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If anything that gives them depth and consistency. It was established pretty early that the Turks have no real personal beef with AVALANCHE.
It also establishes that they're pretty much dicks. First, vacationing in the heartland of a subjugated enemy. Second, bullying and belittling Elena. Third, being extremely insulting and dismissive to a soldier asking them for help. Given the rivalry, he/she wouldn't be asking if help wasn't badly needed, but they're willing to watch colleagues die rather than give up a few hours of vacation time. It comes across as even worse in the context of BC.

Also, Reno does hold a grudge over them making a fool of him in Sector 7.

How do you know their intentions?
If Rufus was sincere in his good intentions, the first thing he would have done would have been to hand over JENOVA's head to Cloud or Reeve and say 'hide this somewhere I can't find it.'

Also this:

Kadaj: You don't seem all that sorry.

Sorry? Why, I've never had this much fun.
(while watching Edge be destroyed, no less.) He straight up says he's not sorry at all, guys. And manoevers things so that Cloud is the primary target of superpowered killers without telling him. That doesn't scream remorse to me.

Rufus told him that Cloud had Jenova's remains, sure. Difficult to hold that against him, though, considering the consequences for the world if Kadaj lifted that white sheet, that he thought two of his closest/only friends/subordinates (Tseng and Elena) were already dead, and given that Rufus knew Cloud had a better shot at killing Kadaj and his brothers than any of them.
Difficult to hold against him? How so? He chose ' send these superpowered killers against my enemies' ahead of 'put it somewhere safer than in my lap', which looks rather a lot like a play for power to me. Without Aeris' intervention, consider that the result would have been the remnants and Cloud all dead, which is a result I think he'd probably have been happy with. If he had sincere intentions, there would have been a warning. Not giving one is inexcusable, no matter how you slice it. He gambled with the fate of the world for his own power. Doesn't look like reform.

As far as Rufus being a skilled manager, he hasn't proven that. He was an actively destabilising force when Shinra was in power (funding AVALANCHE) and Shinra's two big plays under his management, the rocket and the cannon, were the idea of Scarlet and Heidegger.
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Old 07/15/2017   #100
The Twilight Mexican
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I guess you can spin anything to look bad if you try. "He says he's not sorry he kept Jenova's remains away from Kadaj, guys. What a villain!" =P

You're also forgetting that Rufus did contact Cloud (through Reno). That's the reason Cloud goes to Healen to begin with.

Speaking of which, why do you think it would have turned out so much better if he had given the box to Cloud at that point? The dude was despondent and uncooperative with the people closest to him at that time, to say nothing of what trying to work with a former enemy would have been like. Tifa had to bless him out just to get him to try rescuing the kids in their care. Oh, and that dragon you mentioned was wrecking Edge? From another box, this time of materia that had been left in Cloud's care -- which he just left laying in plain sight for anyone who might be watching him (like, I don't know, the three guys who had just attacked him) to find.

Not the best showing when it comes to keeping dangerous stuff away from the bad guys.

Maybe Rufus should have at least told him he had the remains. But maybe he would have if their meeting had gone better and he felt like he knew he could count on Cloud. As it was, the location was ultimately kept a secret even from Reno and Rude.

Was that a gamble? Absolutely. You'll have to explain how it was for power, though. Rufus had no intentions of keeping those cells and using them. Hell, he had the scientist who dared even propose such a thing killed in Episode:Shin-Ra, then commented on the matter in The Kids Are Alright: "I am not my father. I will bring an end to it, once and for all."

I'm also curious what you mean by this:

Clem wrote: Without Aeris' intervention, consider that the result would have been the remnants and Cloud all dead, which is a result I think he'd probably have been happy with.
How do you figure this would have been the result? Without Aerith, the result would have probably been Cloud dead, Sephiroth revived, and the rest of the world following right behind Cloud. It was thoroughly demonstrated that the Turks didn't have any means of actually killing the SHM, much less Sephiroth himself.
----



Meant to reply to this bit from you before, by the way, Octo:

Octo wrote: I know Rufus was quite happy to rule through fear prior to meterorfall.
He was, or at least thought he was, and I think that was the purpose behind some of what he went through on a personal level. He found himself the captive of a sadist at one point, and also found himself disgusted by this person. I think he discovered that he wasn't who he thought he was.

He literally goes from talking about ruling through fear to saying (privately, with no one to impress) that they're going to heal the world. That's a stark shift for him to be unchanged.
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Old 07/15/2017   #101
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"Vacationing in the heartland of a subjugated enemy."

There are flyers all over the world inviting people to come and vacation in Turtle's Paradise! Gil is gil. And it's not as if they were there to make trouble, quite the opposite.
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Old 07/16/2017   #102
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Rufus, Reno or Rude could have picked up a phone and told Cloud that Sephiroth Clones had appeared as soon as Tseng and Elena were captured.
Instead they waited while Tseng and Elena got information tortured out of them, then when Kadaj found them sicced them on Cloud, still without warning him, then lied about the trio's nature or what they are after to Cloud's face resulting in Materia falling in the wrong hands and the return of Sephiroth and the near destrunction of the Planet. Even Tseng and Elena had to be rescued with zero help from them. When Cloud expected them to help save the kids they turned him down flat. Yeah, they're real heroes, screw Cloud and his mopeyness.
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Old 07/16/2017   #103
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You're right - they should have handed everything over to Cloud and let him take charge. It's not as if giving Jenova's head to Cloud might trigger his Jenova cells. It's not as if the cells he shares with Sephiroth might prompt him to do Sephiroth's - or the Remnant's - bidding. Like that could ever happen! I mean, it's not as if Rufus ever actually saw Cloud give the Black Materia to Sephiroth, or that this was associated with the unleashing of the Planet's Weapons, one of which almost succeeded in killing Rufus. It's not as if Aerith died while travelling the world in Cloud's so-called protection. It's not as if Cloud has never been known to lie or pretend to be something he isn't. And it's certainly not as if Cloud is quite obviously depressed. Rufus has no more reason to mistrust Cloud than we, the audience, do.

Obviously from our point of view Rufus is acting like a bit of a dick, but why is it so hard to see the situation from his POV?
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Old 07/16/2017   #104
Clement Rage
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You're also forgetting that Rufus did contact Cloud (through Reno). That's the reason Cloud goes to Healen to begin with.
No, I'm not. There is a huge difference between 'I've got work for you' and 'three superpowered killers are gunning for you, watch your back' If Rufus has benevolent intentions, what is your in universe explanation for deliberately playing down the threat at stake? He even dismisses them as 'kids who miss their mothers' in person intentionally trying to lower Cloud's guard. That's the only reason to say that.

Speaking of which, why do you think it would have turned out so much better if he had given the box to Cloud at that point? The dude was despondent and uncooperative with the people closest to him at that time, to say nothing of what trying to work with a former enemy would have been like. Tifa had to bless him out just to get him to try rescuing the kids in their care. Oh, and that dragon you mentioned was wrecking Edge? From another box, this time of materia that had been left in Cloud's care -- which he just left laying in plain sight for anyone who might be watching him (like, I don't know, the three guys who had just attacked him) to find.
Because Cloud has already proven he can defend himself against them, and the Turks have already proven that they can't. Rufus is relying on blind luck that they don't search or interrogate him.

As for that dragon, when he left the Church he had no idea the remnants existed (something a warning might have helped with, by the way) By the time he gets back, they've already been and gone. And why do they go to the church? Because Rufus sends them after Cloud.

Maybe Rufus should have at least told him he had the remains. But maybe he would have if their meeting had gone better and he felt like he knew he could count on Cloud. As it was, the location was ultimately kept a secret even from Reno and Rude.
Doubtful, he'd already lied multiple times and said they found nothing. Cloud correctly deduces they're being insincere and walks out.

How do you figure this would have been the result? Without Aerith, the result would have probably been Cloud dead, Sephiroth revived, and the rest of the world following right behind Cloud. It was thoroughly demonstrated that the Turks didn't have any means of actually killing the SHM, much less Sephiroth himself.
----
Meh, maybe. By her first intervention in the church, Loz and Yazoo have already been knocked out of contention for the moment and Kadaj is on the run. But the second one keeps Cloud alive after he's shot in the back and blown up.

Was that a gamble? Absolutely. You'll have to explain how it was for power, though.
Playing his enemies against each other is likely to get one of them killed. If Cloud loses, then when Kadaj comes back he says 'Oh, did I say Cloud had JENOVA's head? I meant Vincent!'

I guess you can spin anything to look bad if you try. "He says he's not sorry he kept Jenova's remains away from Kadaj, guys. What a villain!" =P
You omitted the part about not minding because he's having so much fun.

There are flyers all over the world inviting people to come and vacation in Turtle's Paradise! Gil is gil. And it's not as if they were there to make trouble, quite the opposite.
Godo mentions that he's very uncomfortable with the Shinra presence in town, but can do nothing about it. The last time the Turks were in town they blew it up, it's like SS Officers deliberately going drinking in uniform in Occupied France.

You're right - they should have handed everything over to Cloud and let him take charge. It's not as if giving Jenova's head to Cloud might trigger his Jenova cells. It's not as if the cells he shares with Sephiroth might prompt him to do Sephiroth's - or the Remnant's - bidding. Like that could ever happen! I mean, it's not as if Rufus ever actually saw Cloud give the Black Materia to Sephiroth, or that this was associated with the unleashing of the Planet's Weapons, one of which almost succeeded in killing Rufus. It's not as if Aerith died while travelling the world in Cloud's so-called protection. It's not as if Cloud has never been known to lie or pretend to be something he isn't. And it's certainly not as if Cloud is quite obviously depressed. Rufus has no more reason to mistrust Cloud than we, the audience, do.
Because sending superpowered killers after someone with no warning whatsoever is a major dick move, especially a former enemy that it might be useful to you to get rid of. If merely being in the presence of JENOVA was enough, Kadaj would know as soon as he was in the same room and that's game over. He could even just have had Cloud deliver the damn thing somewhere, anywhere, safer than his lap. Have Reeve put it in a vault. Almost anywhere in the world is safer than in his lap. The safest thing to do if he was actually altruistic would be to put into some else's care.
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Old 07/16/2017   #105
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LicoriceAllsorts wrote: You're right - they should have handed everything over to Cloud and let him take charge. It's not as if giving Jenova's head to Cloud might trigger his Jenova cells. It's not as if the cells he shares with Sephiroth might prompt him to do Sephiroth's - or the Remnant's - bidding. Like that could ever happen! I mean, it's not as if Rufus ever actually saw Cloud give the Black Materia to Sephiroth, or that this was associated with the unleashing of the Planet's Weapons, one of which almost succeeded in killing Rufus. It's not as if Aerith died while travelling the world in Cloud's so-called protection. It's not as if Cloud has never been known to lie or pretend to be something he isn't. And it's certainly not as if Cloud is quite obviously depressed. Rufus has no more reason to mistrust Cloud than we, the audience, do.

Obviously from our point of view Rufus is acting like a bit of a dick, but why is it so hard to see the situation from his POV?
They could have told AVALANCHE what was what, instead of keeping them in the dark. OR handled the situation themselves since they felt capable of doing so. They did neither.
They did involve this depressed, untrustworthy Cloud into the situation, against his will. Counted on him doing everything for them but didn't tell him anything useful because they preferred manipulation over trust and wanted to hold on the chance of making it out of this situation with the Jenova head in possession even if it meant Tseng and Elena's lives were forfeit. Does this sound like they've changed all that much?
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