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Final Fantasy VII Remake The remake of FFVII announced at E3 on June 15th, 2015 -- OUR WHOLE LIVES HAVE BEEN LEADING UP TO THIS MOMENT!!

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Old 07/11/2017   #1
Pixel
Default FFVII REMAKE vs NOSTALGIA

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Old 07/11/2017   #2
ChipNoir
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I can already say that as probably one of the biggest Aerith fans on the planet, I am deeply nervous about how she'll be portrayed, to the point where I'm ready to leap onto Dissidia Omnia Opera just to get an idea what what modern Square thinks of her.

On the one hand, I can appreciate how she is in Crisis Core; She's younger, and Zack can be argued as a positive influence on her, leading by example as a proactive, energetic person. On the otherhand, every other appearance she has made since the original has increasingly flanderized her to the point where she has become a completely different character.

The bottomline here is that while I accept that there are going to be some unexpected changes to the characters, I'm going to be deeply suspicious of the remake if it pulls the characters too far from their original incarnations. Cloud I've been resigned to, by by god if Aerith becomes a Hime type, I'm snapping my copy of the remake in half.
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Old 07/11/2017   #3
Lex
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Aerith is hardy, streetwise and to-the-point. Cutting in the way she addresses people, even. The fandom (and to a good extent, Square Enix themselves) have completely fucked that up by portraying her as a whining flowery airhead. I know which Aerith I want to see in the remake.

Same goes for all the characters tbh, they need to get it right, but Aerith is obviously a huge one because it would be too easy for them to go in the mary sue direction in order to (in their eyes) affect the emotional impact of that moment later in the story.

I don't think this is a remake vs. nostalgia thing as much as it is just fear that they're going to screw up the characters in an awful way. But only time will tell
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Old 07/11/2017   #4
The Twilight Mexican
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And to be clear: not an irrational fear either. More like an informed doubt.
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Old 07/11/2017   #5
Pixel
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You could see that as remake vs headcanons for some people too though.
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Old 07/11/2017   #6
The Twilight Mexican
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That is also a notion worth addressing in your piece. That certainly manifested as the Compilation titles were released, and I expect it to come up again.

In the specific case of what Lex said about Aerith, though, that's pretty readily demonstrable.
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Old 07/11/2017   #7
X-SOLDIER
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I think it's gonna seem strange, but I think that the absolute most important thing for the Remake to nail for me is the Mako Reactor music.

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I don't think that any other bit of music in the entire game REALLY hits the core of my nostalgia like that does. It's got mixes of orchestral, vocal, and electronic moving through it that really built the picture that makes me think of FFVII, and those are things that orchestral versions and lots of other updates don't hit with some of the other music from the game – even if they're still really good. To me, THIS is the piece of music that is the beating core of the thick, electrcal-buzzing, ozone-scented, green-tinged atmosphere that permeates the air amongst pipes and roboguards as you're sneaking in to blow up a massive reactor that really captured my full awe when I went to play FFVII at my neighbor's house in his basement about a kajillion years ago.

Even with the little changes here and there in expanding the story and such, I already know that the visuals of the Remake are pretty much hitting the right notes for me to be engaged from what they've shown off. I've seen versions of the opening scene enough to know that I'll be immediately brought in to that nostalgic sense of love for the game at the start, but that song is the beating heart of the atmosphere for your first dive into that setting that is an immediate make-or-break moment for if it FEELS right and truly like FFVII or if it has the tone of something different.



To that point, I think that whatever people are particularly nostalgic for in FFVII are what will make the Remake feel like that world finally brought to life in modern graphics, OR will make them disconnect and feel like it's a very pretty version of something that lacks the soul of what they were expecting. It's different things for different people, but I think that it boils down to a gut reaction of seeing the genuine article vs. a dopplegänger and whether or not people really connect with it.

If that nostalgia hits its mark, you get that full sense of something old and loved brought to new life, whereas if it misses it it's likely going to get a hyper critical reaction of its flaws in an attempt to figure out what part isn't sitting right with them. This is why I fully expect reviews on the game (and especially conversation here on it) to have pretty heated opinions on things that will REALLY bother some people, but others see as a complete non-factor.





X
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Old 07/12/2017   #8
Theozilla
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ChipNoir wrote: On the otherhand, every other appearance she has made since the original has increasingly flanderized her to the point where she has become a completely different character.
Isn't that arguably more due to every other appearance she has had in other titles (besides CC, which as you said most can agree she was written well/acceptably) being extremely minor/limited roles in terms of narrative capacity. Like in AC/C she was basically a ghost/memory, so there was/is not much room/place to showcase her streetwise nature. And her KH appearances definitely simplify her character traits but no more so than any of the other Square Enix and Disney characters are limited to in their characterization (like there's no way you can compare the level of depth The Beast's character had in KH compared to the original Beauty & The Beast film). And BC basically only has her cameo in few chapters right?

So isn't most of her "flanderization" due to having a limited role, which obviously won't be an issue in the Remake, rather than a deliberate reinterpretation of her character on the part of Square Enix's writers?


I also wonder how simply having a more accurate translation might affect people's perspectives of characters. Like Kefka was arguably better received in the West compared to his lukewarm reception in Japan because his localization spiced up/gave his character more flavor.
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Old 07/12/2017   #9
Channy
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I can definitely see the "flanderization" and share that same fear as well. I fell in love with Aerith because of who she was not who they later turned her to be.

Theo definitely makes a point about the limited role she has in her cameos. And if you want to look at a starting point, her and Cloud's cameo in Tactics was their first and was a far cry to who she was. Aerith needing rescuing from a couple of thugs and talks about a hero coming to take her away... that's not the old Aerith we know, she would have been able to take care of them herself.

I think her death played a bigger role on her post-game than it did in-game. It turned her into this martyr, this... flower that needed to be protected in every other appearance they've shared.
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Old 07/12/2017   #10
ChipNoir
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Theozilla wrote:
ChipNoir wrote: On the otherhand, every other appearance she has made since the original has increasingly flanderized her to the point where she has become a completely different character.
Isn't that arguably more due to every other appearance she has had in other titles (besides CC, which as you said most can agree she was written well/acceptably) being extremely minor/limited roles in terms of narrative capacity. Like in AC/C she was basically a ghost/memory, so there was/is not much room/place to showcase her streetwise nature. And her KH appearances definitely simplify her character traits but no more so than any of the other Square Enix and Disney characters are limited to in their characterization (like there's no way you can compare the level of depth The Beast's character had in KH compared to the original Beauty & The Beast film). And BC basically only has her cameo in few chapters right?

So isn't most of her "flanderization" due to having a limited role, which obviously won't be an issue in the Remake, rather than a deliberate reinterpretation of her character on the part of Square Enix's writers?


I also wonder how simply having a more accurate translation might affect people's perspectives of characters. Like Kefka was arguably better received in the West compared to his lukewarm reception in Japan because his localization spiced up/gave his character more flavor.
Thats why I remain nervous. We haven't seen her in any other way but these weird AU versions, and then there's Crisis Core. I can head canon all I want that she's shy and princess'y in CC because Zack is supposed to be the one who brought her out of her shell, but until we see something that is intentionally supposed to go back to Aerith Prime, there's no telling what they'll do. That's why I'm so eager for Aerith's episode in Opera to come out.
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Old 07/12/2017   #11
ForceStealer
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I understand the concern about Aerith but...within the Compilation she hasn't really seemed terribly off to me? She's young in CC, as pointed out, and in AC/C...she mostly just seemed concerned with helping Cloud out of his funk. When Cloud says he wants to be forgiven with no question to what he's referring and she just answers "By who?" that seems a fairly Aerith-y thing to do. Now the way she voiced those lines was, of course, a disaster, but hopefully that can be mitigated.

Wholehearted agreement on X with Mako Reactor. When people express understandable concern about them over-rocking the VII soundtrack, that's a song that makes me worry about over-orchestrating. Because that song really benefits from that synthy-industrial sound and I hope they can maintain. Like that grungy guitar in the background of Cosmo Canyon, those are crucial elements that I could see getting overlooked. Even if Uematsu himself did the music.
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Old 07/12/2017   #12
The Twilight Mexican
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You're right that we probably don't have enough to go on yet with Aerith, but she is definitely off in CC. Whether that's supposed to be part of a deliberate transformation from when she was a little younger, an overly seraphic post-mortem mischaracterization, or just another example of how badly they fucked up the slums in CC ...

I'm reminded of what Mog said several years ago in the first installment to his Fantastic Journey series:

Mog wrote: The Slums, oh, the slums! Seriously, SE aimed at the ‘fantasy world version of the ghetto’ target and hit it dead on. Drunks, prostitutes, badasses, poor kids, and gangsters, you have it all, here. What I really liked about it though, is the atmosphere.

I’m sitting here typing this, and there are a lot of ‘dangerous place’ like towns and cities in RPGs, but FF7 is the only game that to me, has actually nailed the atmosphere of the slums being a dangerous, dirty, and shady place. It could be the music, Under the Rotting Pizza, which remains one of my favorite songs in the entire OST, but I also feel is the dialogue and the attitude of the inhabitants. Unlike a lot of RPGs, they don’t go around ‘WAH I’M SO HUNGRY AND POOR’, no, they act more like actual inhabitants of the slum, and that’s angry. Angry at Shinra, angry at their circumstances, and generally just angry at everything. Another personality trait I noticed is also another realistic one, and that’s acceptance. It ties into what Cloud said; “I know… no one lives in the slums because they want to. It’s like this train. It can’t run anywhere except where its rails take it.”

A lot of the slum inhabitants just accept their lot in life and deal with it the best they can. They eat, sleep, play, work, and screw, doing the best with what they got, their own way. In that way, the slums stuck out to me as a real place, and I, playing Cloud, Barret, and Tifa almost felt ‘at home’ there because well, I guess it’s because we’re terrorists, but still. In a remake, please don’t neglect the slums. Hell, make it more expansive, and dare I say, longer.

Whatever you do though, don’t make it like you made the slums in Crisis Core. Because in CC you fucked them up.

-The music did not fit with a slum at all. Could you imagine this beat in your head walking down Watts or a New York slum or something? I want the music to accompany the mood of an undercover drug deal, somebody getting stabbed or a bum sleeping next to a kerosene fire, not dapper doo dan shit.

-You’re not supposed to see the sky in the Slums, ever. Not that it’s my decision to make, but the fact that you saw the BRIGHT BLUE SKY peeking out in the CC slums really killed the atmosphere. The original game flat out tells you that the Slums are super polluted and never sees daylight, and hell, Aerith also tells you that she’s never seen the sky. FF7 circumvented this brilliantly by having every camera angle in every location in the slums give the appearance of a dark, dank visuage. The ONLY think you should see when you look up is industrial pipes and Midgar’s asscrack. No sky. Ever.

-The inhabitants are too happy. You can’t really tell they’re living in a slum. I realize in the above I said the inhabitants deal, but in CC they’re downright elated. “I JUST GOT BACK FROM WALL MARKET DOO DAA DEE DOO” fuck that, you should be more worried about tetanus, bitch.
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Old 07/12/2017   #13
Lex
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You're right that we probably don't have enough to go on yet with Aerith, but she is definitely off in CC. Whether that's supposed to be part of a deliberate transformation from when she was a little younger, an overly seraphic post-mortem mischaracterization, or just another example of how badly they fucked up the slums in CC ...
I'm going to say something that might be a bit controversial, but given Tabata's track record with female characters in the games he has directed I really can't shake the idea that he had at least a little to do with how she was portrayed in CC.
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Old 07/12/2017   #14
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I give CC a little credit. The aesthetics are off, yes, and I loath that they traded off the amazingly distinct NPC designs for k-mart rejects. But I also feel like Tabata was going for a romantisized version of Midgar, before things got too far, and people began understanding that ShinRa didn't, nor will it ever really have their best interests. A lot can happen in a decade.

Already we can see in the remake that Midgar is a LOT dirtier, even above the plate. There's even individual garbage objects fluttering around...so we'll see?
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Old 07/12/2017   #15
Theozilla
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I think another significant aspect of how nostalgia can affect people's perceptions of the characters/story has a lot to do with when a individual first encountered the FFVII franchise and played the OG combined with the fact that the OG was far more text-based and abstract with its visuals in depicting the characters. Variance in those factors can do a lot to effect the subjective experience a player has when playing the game for the first time.

Personally, I have very little issue with Aerith's portrayal in Crisis Core (and at times occasionally found her more engaging as a character in CC than in the OG). However, while I am sure I could make a sufficient literary "objective" argument to support my view, I also can't deny the fact that my first exposure to the FFVII franchise (in 2006/2007) was through the Compilation (specifically a neighbor friend inviting me over to watch Advent Children on DVD), thus affecting my perceived notion/image of the characters even after (watching first, then) playing the OG even if it is on a subconscious level. It's likely easier to reconcile a more specific/defined depiction of a character to a more abstract/visually-iconic depiction of character, than it is to do the other way around.

Scott McCloud in his Understanding Comics, discusses this phenomena (audio/voice acting also adds another layer of specificity to people's experiences).

Basically, I think it is easier for a person to reconcile their personal experience if they started on the left side (even as just a background radiation encounter) of the spectrum and transition to the right, than it is to transition from the the right to the left end of the spectrum.

It's similar with franchises like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and A Song of Ice and Fire, where the screen depictions of said story/characters will affect how an individual experiences the characters when reading the original texts. Even if a person reads the original texts before consuming the screen-adaptations, the mass-media proliferation of the screen images of the characters will color their first time experiences with the text even on a subconscious level. In contrast, fans who first encountered said franchises before their screen-adaptations are likely to have a much more personalized conception of what "fits" and what makes a character "off" than fans who experienced the story later.
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