Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Final Fantasy 7: The Forgotten Capitol

I've always referred to it as the City of the Ancients, though apparently it's actually called the Forgotten Capitol. That makes more sense, since the Ancients were a nomadic people, so a city wouldn't make much sense for them. Even so, apparently the Cetra once lived there. Regardless, the place is remarkably well-preserved.

Anyway, we'll get to that strange city in a bit. First, let's pick up where I left off:

After the encounter with Sephiroth in the Temple, I started second-guessing myself about the relationship between Jenova and Sephiroth. As I stated before, I thought Jenova was the puppetmaster and Sephiroth her slave, but I'm not so sure anymore Certainly Jenova drove Sephiroth crazy, and Sephiroth is trying to accomplish the same things Jenova woudl want to accomplish, but over the course of this playthrough I've noticed several instances in which the actions Sephiroth takes are clearly his will, not Jenova's. Killing President Shinra, for instance, served no purpose for Jenova, but Sephiroth would have wanted revenge. The basement of the Shinra Mansion holds no relevance to Jenova, yet it was a location of great importance to Sephiroth. Also, the reunionites always refer to him as Sephiroth.

In short, I think that Sephiroth's incredible willpower is accomplishing things through the power of Jenova's cells, making Jenova a willing puppet to his desires. In short, he's doing what Jenova couldn't do on her own. Given this perspective, I feel a bit better about Sephiroth as a villain.

Anyway, after the Temple become the Black Materia Cloud goes nuts again. It's interesting seeing the tiny, innocent image of Cloud's true self watching helplessly as his body hands the Black Materia over to Sephiroth.

After beating up Aeris and blacking out Cloud has a dream in which Aeris gives Cloud two very clear instructions: stay put until he recovers, and let her handle things. The impressive thing is that Cloud was going to obey! He actually concurred! However, his friends give him a pep talk and convince him to go. Which makes sense, given the vision he had of Sephiroth chasing Aeris through the woods.

I wonder why they went to Gongaga of all places after the Temple? Maybe it was to remind us of Zack once more before heading toward the northern crater.

The forest is past the Bone Village which features some interesting imagery. Is that a jet that crashed while fighting a dinosaur? How awesome is that? When do I get to play that game? You can see lots of other evidence of an impressive, high-technology civilization in the slums of Midgar, like evidence of giant robots long destroyed. Though the Midgar stuff is probably more recent. Who knows? Regardless, it's imagery that makes you wonder.

Which brings us to the Forgotten Capitol itself, with its very nautical decor. How long has this basin been dry? It's just a fascinating, beautiful place, make spooky by the lack of people. There aren't even monsters there.

When you find Aeris, why in the world does Cloud go to her alone? Why would his friends let him? One of the conditions Cloud set for going to find Aeris was that if he does anything crazy his friends needed to stop him. Yet when he approaches Aeris (who, I remind you, Cloud started beating relentlessly last time they were together) they just kind of sit back and watch as Cloud slowly yet inevitably pulls out his sword and goes to kill her. Luckily the trance was broken by their voices this time, especially since they were nowhere close enough to stop him any other way.

Doesn't matter, though. Though Aeris dies there anyway, Cloud managed to resist Sephiroth's control for a moment. If he hadn't, I don't think he would have ever recovered from the mental damage of killing Aeris himself.

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