FFVII REBIRTH - Double Spoiler Hell - DO NOT CLICK IF YOU HAVEN'T ROLLED CREDITS

but first,

Who did you take on the Skywheel Date in Chapter 12?
  • Aerith
  • Tifa
  • Barret
  • Yuffie
  • Nanaki
  • Cait Sith, Vincent, and Cid
0 voters

Now THAT was a real hamburger steak of a game. Not high art, not entertainment, but high entertainment. Bada bing

Okay, remember, if you clicked on this thread, it‘s because you have rolled credits. Even still, I’m gonna give you a helpful drop down button, just in case you‘re a compulsive weirdo who can’t not click on threads, ‘cause here comes spoilers about THAT SCENE, YES THAT ONE, YOU KNOW THE ONE I’M TALKING ABOUT, DON‘T EVEN TRY TO PRETEND YOU DON’T:

Summary

The more I think about it the more the way they handled the moment Aerith is (?) killed (???), and then also the aftermath of it, the more I can't get over how fucking INSANE and funny conceptually of a way to do that it was.

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A friend of mine put it brilliantly: it‘s Schrödinger’s Murder. There is a way to believe in both outcomes: we get to literally see Cloud knock Sephiroth‘s sword away, CLEAR AS DAY, yet we also see Aerith’s blood dripping off of it, which we can absolutely presume is because she was ran clean through and killed. We see the whole party except Cloud acting crushed and devastated, then we see Aerith sitting among them like nothing is happening. There‘s that moment in the scene in the field before the whole party flies off, where Cloud and Aerith “have a conversation” and there is a manufactured a reason as to why Aerith is no longer with the party going forward (because she’s “staying behind”), and then in the same goddamned scene there's a moment in that scene where Nanaki goes “…Aerith…?” as if he sensed her being there, but the tone of his voice overwhelmingly suggests he is confused at this because she obviously cannot be there because she fucking died.

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Aerith‘s death is a Schrödinger’s Murder, but we are not yet brought to the point of true observation of whether or not it happened.

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The way it was presented, in my opinion, completely robbed the moment of its shock value and emotional weight. A lot of the entire sequence is confusing and feels rushed through.

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And it's perfect this way, and personally I think it was clearly done that way on purpose.

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As I‘ve theorized in the past, it’s all part of a narrative device for getting us all in a parallel emotional track to our leading man himself, Cloud. I really think they are trying to pull off being able to have their cake and eat it too. I know I‘ve extolled my own theories about what they’re cooking here before elsewhere so I‘m not going to go over it again, but, I can’t think of too many ways in which Rebirth has really strongly contradicted this. The whole “divergent worlds/timelines” thread teased out in Remake and then kinda both pulled back from yet also more explicitly talked about in Rebirth was suggestive, even provocative, but I really think they are still employing all of that as a red herring. All of this is in Cloud‘s head. Maybe the whole game isn’t framed within Cloud being adrift in the Lifestream after Ultima Weapon‘s attack on Mideel as I thought (although let’s not even I get into the expanded Gongaga reactor section has a sequence where Tifa is swallowed by the Weapon, adrift in the Lifestream, and experiences vivid visions of her past…), but, I think it‘s very arguable that a lot of what we see in this game is what Cloud wants to see or remember. I still say that we’re experiencing the events of the game as filtered through Cloud's trauma induced amnesia one way or another.

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That I‘m certain this is the case is also really the beauty of it all too, though, because there’s absolutely still a way they can go the other route here and they can commit fully to the alternate timelines or parallel worlds thing. I mean, if you ask me the lack of commitment and trust in the source material is why I think that kind of thing is a bit of a copout and wishy-washy, you can just insert “it's a parallel universe/timeline” into any story to justify getting fanfic-y about it. But, even if I think it‘s all a red herring, I didn’t find it nearly as worrying or grating as I did in Remake. If that‘s what they end up doing, maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to win me over, but, it will take some work.

In any case, the actually rather narratively interesting aspect of it all is that parallel emotional journey we‘re on here, because, as things stand, we’re not going to find out whether Aerith was truly killed, or if we‘re truly in some kind of parallel dimension, until Cloud does. And, so, that shock value and emotional weight I mentioned earlier isn’t exactly robbed, but, is going to be deferred to the next entry, suspended in air. Which is I think a pretty meta-narratively clever way to remake a game with the stature of Final Fantasy VII and the kinds of themes and narrative devices it has. And I feel pretty confident they'll stick the landing in the next entry.

If nothing else it sure had me goddamned glued to the television screen as that scene unfolded. Where else has a remake of a 20 year old anything with a famous twist to it gotten anyone invested just in the idea of just seeing what is actually going to happen?

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@“Gaagaagiins”#p159159 >!In any case, the actually rather narratively interesting aspect of it all is that parallel emotional journey we’re on here, because, as things stand, we’re not going to find out whether Aerith was truly killed, or if we’re truly in some kind of parallel dimension, until Cloud does. And, so, that shock value and emotional weight I mentioned earlier isn’t exactly robbed, but, is going to be deferred to the next entry, suspended in air.!<

I've been surprised by some of the negative reactions to the way they handled >!the big scene. It seemed pretty clear to me that they're setting up the big reveal about what actually happened to coincide with the mental breakdown Cloud has in the latter part of the game, precisely because they knew they couldn't recreate the emotional impact of that moment for anyone who knew going in that Aerith was supposed to die. They've deferred it, like you say, and I would lay down money that we're going to see the scene, including laying her to rest like in the original, at some point during Part 3. If they play their cards right, I think it's going to hit like a truck. I've got a fair bit of faith that they will, too.!<

All in all, I'm really intrigued and excited by the direction they took things. After Remake, it was clear that we weren't going to get a 1:1 remake, so I went in with no expectations as to what would or should happen, so that may have helped me roll with the direction they're taking things better than some others have been able to

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@“allie”#p159166 They’ve deferred it, like you say, and I would lay down money that we’re going to see the scene, including ||laying her to rest|| like in the original, at some point during Part 3. If they play their cards right, I think it’s going to hit like a truck. I’ve got a fair bit of faith that they will, too.

The deliberate omission of the moment where Cloud >!lays Aerith to rest in the water!< was almost like a smoking gun for me, on this whole thing. Like... in the original it's a touching and heartwrenching and haunting and serene moment, it's The Good Stuff, and, in a game that puts it's whole goddamned game-ussy into lovingly, obsessively creating and recreating and recursa-creating and un-creating-only-to-actually-just-secretly-straight-forwardly-recreating the source material, in a way that is almost even _crass_ a lot of the time (crass in way I eat up like a man starved, mind you), how could they have _possibly_ consciously chosen to NOT put that in??????????? It was all I was thinking about in that moment.

By which I mean to say, I would not in a million years bet against you on that, madam.

Not to mention, after just trying to find a video of the original, I have now been reminded of the fact that it was all but shown on camera (mind you, through a thoroughly obscuring bloom) in a sequence during the final boss fight in _Remake._ Timestamp is at about 1:30 here:

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https://youtu.be/pwDMFe5QQ_M?si=2vOA2zKEDryLXZRj

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@“Gaagaagiins”#p159168 Not to mention, after just trying to find a video of the original, I have now been reminded of the fact that it was all but shown on camera (mind you, through a thoroughly obscuring bloom) in a sequence during the final boss fight in Remake. Timestamp is at about 1:30 here:

Oh shit, what a find! I missed that when I went through _Remake_. Yeah, we're definitely gonna see it in Part 3, no doubt in my mind

@“Gaagaagiins”#p158495 look I don’t have to roll credits to vote Aerith and Barret. If the date is the climax of the game that’s fucking dope

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@“treefroggy”#p159197 If the date is the climax of the game that’s fucking dope

It's more climax adjacent, but, it's certainly in a place of high importance.

Also just gonna put this out there… Yuffie is such an adorable little dork. She is cringe but she is free

I generally don’t talk about my “job” as a community moderator because that’s not a healthy relationship for the community to see you as mod first member second, but I want to make it clear that I’m clicking on this thread both because it’s my “job” and also because this game has been fun as hell and I just want to be involved in any FFR2 stuff I can be involved with in real time.

Post some stuff in this thread everyone. But know I’m still over in the “normal” spoiler thread enjoying life.

||Something that’s really stuck with me is the part in the Temple of the Ancients where Sephiroth is talking about his plan (which I still don’t fuuullllyyy understand) of merging timelines to become this eternal timegod being that will rule over all of creation “forever”, and Aerith says “there’s no such thing as forever” to which Sephiroth replies “but there will be.” That’s a really interesting exchange to include in a remake that so openly grapples with the task of trying to recapture a feeling that legions of gamers in their 30s or 40s felt playing the original more than 20 years ago. It also sort of leads me to read Sephiroth’s motivation starting from burning down Nibelheim as almost like a mid-life crisis story, which is the closest any FFVII-adjacent work has come to making him feel like a human being to me.||

Grumpy about the gastropod’s attacks that can’t seem to be blocked or dodged in the last stage of the fight. First time I’ve been this stuck on a boss.

Wait, is there not a Japanese version of No Promises to Keep? But… you’ve got Maaya Sakamoto right there!

I‘m finally watching NightSkyPrince’s video on the ending and somehow I never noticed that ||Stamp is a different breed of dog in Zack's timeline||

EDIT: ||Oh shit and he's also different in any offshoots of the timeline too. Why did nobody tell me Stamp is important. I wasn't paying attention to Stamp||