Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Final Fantasy 7: Psychiatrist Planet

I think I'm going to just keep posting these FF7 blog posts until I get it out of my system. If these aren't your bag, come back next week and I should be done.

Anyway, here we go: the emotional climax of the game.
After watching Cloud act like a vegetable for a while, the Planet finally gets sick of Cloud's whining and swallows him whole, along with his girlfriend.

The doctor blames the Mako poisoning for Cloud's vegetative state, but if that were true then getting dumped in another Mako pit probably wouldn't help things. However, he offers an important note in that regard: he's surprised that Cloud is even alive. Apparently Cloud is stronger than he seems...

So, Tifa and Cloud get eaten by the Planet after Ultimate Weapon arrives and distracts the party long enough to prevent them from "saving" Cloud. Huh. It's almost like the Planet itself is trying to help Cloud out, sort of like how Sapphire Weapon just happened to set Tifa free during the attack on Junon.

Anyway, somehow by falling into the planet Tifa ends up in Cloud's fractured subconscious and starts helping Cloud piece together his identity.

First, they clarify who Cloud isn't: Zack Fair, the identity Cloud attached himself to through his PTSD.

Next, they find something that is distinctly Cloud's memory: the night Cloud vowed to join soldier at the water tower.

Then, they sought a memory that belongs only to Cloud, which is when the reality of Cloud's childhood comes into focus: he was a lonely, proud kid, and not really very close to Tifa at all until he left. He was kind of a jerk, but a jerk I could relate to: I, too, was quiet and thought other kids my age were dumb. This made me awkward and lonely for the most part.

In short, this is the first part of the game where I started feeling connected to Cloud. I could finally relate to him.

As a side note: don't Tifa's friends look like Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie?

Anyway, the big reveal is that Cloud was at Nibelheim all along, but as a regular Shinra soldier. He wasn't strong enough for SOLDIER and was ashamed.

Yet, in the end, he turned out to be much stronger than he seemed: he gets impaled by Sephiroth of all people, yet manages to turn the table on him. I remember the first time I saw that scene, and the music swelled up at just the right moment to make it simply unforgettable. The PC version didn't capture that, though. Sigh.

It's worth noting that this scene is what I think of when I see a battle between Cloud and Sephiroth: two tired, hurt people filled with emotion: anger and sadness on all sides, Cloud coming out of top, not because he was faster or had the bigger sword or anything, but because he'd simply had enough, fighting through his injuries to throw Sephiroth off the catwalk.

All we get now from them in Advent Children and Crisis Core is anime DBZ moves, flying around, chopping things in half and flinging summons and such... that's not what I want, and it's not what I think of when I think of FF7. There's nothing like getting to this part of the game to remind me of what the game did well and what, therefore, the spin-offs did poorly.

And so, with Cloud recovered he and Tifa swim out of the Lifestream, I guess, and the final stretch of the game begins.

No comments:

Post a Comment