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FF7 in 494 words (it isn't emo)


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FF7 is not the most enduring game of all time. Not even close. Claiming it as such shows immense ignorance and invalidates the entire review straight from the beginning.

Revise the cornerstone of your review, or come back when no one's heard of Super Mario Bros.

This is not to say you don't have some insightful points. However, coming here to toot your own horn about your deeply flawed fanboy review is not something I appreciate.

Thank you for more accurately stating what I was trying to say. And yeah, SMB was the first thing that came to mind. They're still making 2D Mario platformers modeled after that first one; that's endurance. Discussing a game on a forum, writing essays to show how obsessed you are with prettyboy Cloud does not make a game "enduring". Hell, there are people out there still talking about Breath of Fire 2.

I'm rather ignoring the rest of the essay, since I only made it through disc 1 of FF7 before I got bored of it, but that one claim annoys the crap out of me regardless.

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Let's have a look. Spoilers ahead.

It's something I'm interested in as someone who studies human culture, thought, and society as a profession.

How old are you? This seems more like an apologia for FF7's would-be emoness than any sort of actual review or rigorous analysis.

Yes, every sequel to FF7 has been emo. But not the original.

This is exactly what Native Jovian was saying. It is impossible for you to argue with him unless you don't believe the information in your own review.

Let's have a look:

It is the most enduring game of all time.

Wrong, as others have already pointed out.

Since its rerelease on the PSN, Final Fantasy VII has received over 100,000 downloads, polygon graphics be damned! Why has this antiquated game endured so strongly through the ages? It’s in the story, I say. Nay-sayers call it “emo” but I don’t think they realize how dark a game it is.

I'm not entirely sure what emo is because I don't keep up with that shit, but I don't think emo and dark are mutually exclusive.

Final Fantasy VII broke from JRPG tradition in that it isn’t a game about a bunch of people saving the world. Rather, it is about a man failing to save the world, or anything in it, over and over again. It doesn’t follow the classic epic story arc, in which a weak character finds their own inner strength and overcomes previously insurmountable odds. It follows a reversal of this arc, in which a strong character’s ego is slowly chipped away until he is left a broken shell of his former self.

So when he finally shakes Sephiroth's mind control and wins the internal battle against him at the end of the game, he isn't overcoming previously insurmountable odds and he is, in fact, a broken shell of his former self? Interesting take.

Cloud’s first words in Final Fantasy VII are to tell Barret to bugger off when the man asks for his name. Cloud doesn’t get chummy with the locals. He is willing to use his gargantuan sword to help the locals in exchange for a bit of extra cash, but that’s about it. At the start of the game, Cloud is a self-sure badass who looks out for number one and doesn’t give a damn about anyone else unless they have tits and might be up for showing them.

This is all true, except for the last part, which I assume was some attempt at journalistic humor.

Our faith in Cloud’s abilities are quickly shaken. He has strange lapses of memory and odd mood swings. He blows off his childhood love interest for some random woman he meets in the slums. He later beats this woman half to death and stands by as she is idly killed by a sword through the gut. He becomes obsessed with understanding this darker side of himself, bringing to mind the old warning "stare into the abyss..."

This is important. It's not that he himself is constantly changing. It's that Us, the players, are finding things out about him that we didn't know before. He's like Snape from the Harry Potter series, or maybe more like the guy from Memento. Our perspective on him changes as the story progresses. This mindfuckery and general darkness of character is what makes Cloud so appealing. He is nothing at all like any previous FF heroes. We're in agreement on this one.

It's not an easy path for Cloud. Every scene in Final Fantasy VII exists to point out how much of a failure he is. He fails to save the members of Avalanche or the rest of Sector 7. He fails to kill President Shinra and, shortly afterwards, his son Rufus. He gets wrongly framed at the Gold Saucer and fails to prove his innocence, landing him and his buddies in the Desert Prison. He hands Sephiroth the very object he needs to destroy the world.

Except for being used as Sephiroth's puppet, all of those are hurdles that are common to RPGs. If your characters succeed at everything they do, it's a boring and shitty gaming experience. In FF6, the villain WINS. He thwarts the heroes, takes over the world, kills entire cities full of people and sits in his tower as supreme god of the world for a year. Sure, you eventually get to kill him, but it's not some point A to point B progression. He fucks you up the ass first.

Those who write Final Fantasy VII off as "emo" forget that it isn’t a game about a whiny group of teenagers. Cloud starts off as a cocky dick. The gamer is given the rare opportunity to witness the fall of this character. By the end, perhaps Cloud is a little depressing. But it takes him 40 hours of psychological and emotional abuse to get there.

The fall of the character happens before the story even starts. Hell, he's only a cocky dick because he's not capable of facing his past. He blocks out his mistakes and acts as though they never happened. Like I said above, it's not the character that changes but our perception of the character based on the way he is presented. This is a redemption story. As Shadow Wolf points out, Cloud is "cleansed" in the Lifestream. He recovers his manhood or whatever you want to call it and he at last has the mental fortitude to defeat Sephiroth. If you remember, he had lost this strength of will when he was a kid and nearly got Tifa killed on Mt. Nibel. He was always a skilled, tough fighter, but he couldn't join SOLDIER because he cracked. His mind wasn't as powerful as his body needed it to be. That's why he blows off Tifa. All the memories associated with her constitute a threat to his ego, which is extremely fragile from day one. I don't know how the other games treat this topic because I haven't played them. I've only seen Advent Children once, but I recall that Cloud had some guilt. This could be seen as a regression, but really he is claiming ownership of all that has happened. It's a good thing.

They’ve tried, but Square Enix hasn’t abused a character in such a memorable way since.

People will hate me for saying this, but Tidus undergoes more character development than Cloud or any other FF character. I would agree that they hadn't abused him, but he is definitely comparable to Cloud in terms of memorability. Cloud is just a lot more fun to analyze.

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Yeah, I mean Cloud isn't a broken shell at the end of the game... he's actually stronger than his former self.

You're forgetting that while him going downhill is interesting to do rather than always winning, the game's not gonna be fun either if that's all he does. He's gotta man up and beat the crap outta the big bad at some point, and he does that at the end, three times.

Bizarro Sephiroth (I killed with one knights of the round)

Safer Sephiroth (I killed with one knights of the round)

Sephiroth (Cloud automatically gains Omnislash and he just hacks away with 5000+ damage per strike at Sephiroth while changing pretty colors.)

And I must be missing something here:

At school, everyone's definition of emo is:

so depressed that you cut yourself.

Is there any time in Cloud's life where he just cuts himself? No, so he's not emo. :P

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I'm glad that comment confused someone else, because it confused me.

I'm not saying that Cloud was emo in FFVII, or started out as not-emo and gradually became emo over the course of FFVII. I'm saying that because people think he was emo in FFVII (which he wasn't), they portray him as emo in non-FFVII things that he appears in. He's not emo in FFVII, but he's sure as hell emo in Kingdom Hearts 2.

Right, and I said pretty much the exact same thing, which is why I was wondering if the review had been read. I couldn't tell if you were making your own point in response to this title's thread or if you were agreeing with what I'd said in the review.

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Let's have a look. Spoilers ahead.

How old are you? This seems more like an apologia for FF7's would-be emoness than any sort of actual review or rigorous analysis.

How old am I? I'm 26, a graduate student in social science and education and what I find fascinating is the fact that this review, while short as hell and not well advertised, has received over 300 hits in 48 hours. That says something about FF7 and the society of the gaming world.

Wrong, as others have already pointed out.

SMB3 didn't recieve 100,000 downloads on the Wii and it's been out longer than FF7.

I'm not entirely sure what emo is because I don't keep up with that shit, but I don't think emo and dark are mutually exclusive.

Emo is a write off of other people's emotions, but basically it means overly emotional to such a degree that it becomes pointless.

So when he finally shakes Sephiroth's mind control and wins the internal battle against him at the end of the game, he isn't overcoming previously insurmountable odds and he is, in fact, a broken shell of his former self? Interesting take.

Considering all the sequels they've made? Yes. Yes he is.

This is all true, except for the last part, which I assume was some attempt at journalistic humor.

Have you ever gone into the Honeybee inn? It's a half truth, I'll admit, but it drives home the image that the character tries to portray of himself.

Except for being used as Sephiroth's puppet, all of those are hurdles that are common to RPGs. If your characters succeed at everything they do, it's a boring and shitty gaming experience. In FF6, the villain WINS. He thwarts the heroes, takes over the world, kills entire cities full of people and sits in his tower as supreme god of the world for a year. Sure, you eventually get to kill him, but it's not some point A to point B progression. He fucks you up the ass first.

Yeah, FF6 was pretty great.

I like the idea of FF7 as a redemption story. Just another way of looking at it, I suppose, and a completely viable one.

People will hate me for saying this, but Tidus undergoes more character development than Cloud or any other FF character. I would agree that they hadn't abused him, but he is definitely comparable to Cloud in terms of memorability. Cloud is just a lot more fun to analyze.

Actually, Tidus was the character who made me write that last statement the way I did, because I do think he is possibly the deepest FF character yet. However, he isn't abused quite as much as Cloud. Yes, he gets royally fucked throughout the piece, but I feel he holds it together better than Cloud does and his ending is a much clearer redemption, with the final scene involving him and his father.

That scene actually still makes me cry, it was very beautifully done.

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In this thread Fanboys and Haters do not get along :tomatoface:

But seriously, is there any point to this argument? Let the FF7 fans praise FF7 just like I'm always going to praise, I dunno, Half Life or something. No big deal. :-)

Half Life rules. I agree with and greatly appreciate your praise.

So in conclusion, Half Life rules.

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In this thread Fanboys and Haters do not get along :tomatoface:

But seriously, is there any point to this argument? Let the FF7 fans praise FF7 just like I'm always going to praise, I dunno, Half Life or something. No big deal. :-)

I don't think there really is a problem in the thread, yet. Actually, I've been really happy with some of the arguments against what I wrote.

McVaffe posts! The very first OCRemix I ever downloaded was a McVaffe song, must've been... shit, like 8 years ago now... maybe longer... it was a Tetris remix.

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Half Life rules. I agree with and greatly appreciate your praise.

So in conclusion, Half Life rules.

It's the most enduring game of all time bro!

(sorry, couldn't resist!) ;-)

Also, have you seen the "Half Life in Half an Hour" speed run? Flipping amazing. Can you play FF7 in just half an hour? Hmmmmmm?

(Now I'm just kidding around, of course :-))

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I don't think there really is a problem in the thread, yet. Actually, I've been really happy with some of the arguments against what I wrote.

McVaffe posts! The very first OCRemix I ever downloaded was a McVaffe song, must've been... shit, like 8 years ago now... maybe longer... it was a Tetris remix.

Congratulations, but you do realize he did not even say anything about your review or FF7 or even you. xDDD Just thought that was kinda funny.

Anyways, you're wrong. Cloud's never a broken shell of himself. Otherwise he wouldn't be trying to save the world. :P And there's only one FFVII sequel, just so you know. :P It's called Advent Children, oh, yeah, and he saves the world in that one too.

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And yet, here we are 12 years later, still posting about it, still discussing it. And not just some small subgroup of gamers, a fairly large chunk. Im trying really hard to think of another game thats 12 years old that gets that kind of attention.....

Ocarina of Time, Starcraft, Tetris

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You have an interesting definition of most enduring ... seems to be "Has a remake a long time after the original that sold a lot of copies"

In my mind, it should be a lot closer to a game that is still played by a large population despite the game's age, regardless of whether there's been a re-release on a modern platform, and regardless of what platform it's being played on now.

I assert (and this is just one example of many, especially if sequels are counted) that today there are many more people playing some version of Tetris than there are people playing some version of FF7 (Perhaps even more than the entire FF series combined). This is of course excluding games like "Tetris Attack" and "Tetrisphere" which aren't really Tetris, just including games using the original formula.

Even going by your definition, Super Mario 64 DS, for example, sold 639,000 copies by February 2005, 9 years after the original game.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, a 1999 remake of a 1985 game, sold 2.8 million copies 14 years after the original.

FF7 is NOT the most enduring game, even by your own definition.

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Congratulations, but you do realize he did not even say anything about your review or FF7 or even you. xDDD Just thought that was kinda funny.

Anyways, you're wrong. Cloud's never a broken shell of himself. Otherwise he wouldn't be trying to save the world. :P And there's only one FFVII sequel, just so you know. :P It's called Advent Children, oh, yeah, and he saves the world in that one too.

Hey I can talk about Half Life in a FF7 thread dammit!! Actually I just don't have much to add - don't remember much about the game and when I played it I wasn't all that into it. I might have a different opinion if I played it right now, but to me FF7 has always been to games what 'Scarface" is to movies (the game everyone around me tells me is the best thing ever and I guess I just never quite "got" it).

I'm not saying it's bad, I just didn't care all that much for it.

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I don't think this is a fanboy/hate thread. There's not enough hate. Zipp handled all the criticism, including mine, with a great deal of grace.

Also I can never play FF7 again. My first time through I broke the time limit (99:59:59) trying to get everything without looking things up (I failed). Now I usually quit after the Kalm flashback or maybe around Cosmo Canyon if I'm particularly determined.

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I don't think this is a fanboy/hate thread. There's not enough hate. Zipp handled all the criticism, including mine, with a great deal of grace.

Also I can never play FF7 again. My first time through I broke the time limit (99:59:59) trying to get everything without looking things up (I failed). Now I usually quit after the Kalm flashback or maybe around Cosmo Canyon if I'm particularly determined.

Whoa...

just remember in video games there's always a way... if it seems like impossible just do what you'd rather not.

Walk in every walkable space, talk to every person, and then start over (repeat ten times). And most importantly, hit the A (or circle) button in every place possible.

It may seem time consuming, but it's better then wondering around for 99:59:59.

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I'm sorry, am I missing something here, or is this whole thread about trying to justify why Cloud's character doesn't come under a certain definition? If so isn't it just a little petty? Who cares if Cloud is 'emo' or not? Does it hinder his character or the storyline in anyway? Did it stop FFVII being enjoyable?

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Whoa...

just remember in video games there's always a way... if it seems like impossible just do what you'd rather not.

Walk in every walkable space, talk to every person, and then start over (repeat ten times). And most importantly, hit the A (or circle) button in every place possible.

It may seem time consuming, but it's better then wondering around for 99:59:59.

Ha ha, my first playthrough was the same way! I spent more time on FF7 than I did on FFXII! I think it had to do with the Gold Saucer.

As for my review, I appreciate all feedback, really, even negative feedback. Especially negative feedback, as it helps me grow and adapt my writing. I'm enjoying everyone's comments. About the enduring thing, I don't REALLY think there is an ALL TIME enduring game... but it's a good way to start a journalistic piece. Gets people's attention. And sometimes, that's what you gotta do. In a 500 word piece, strong emotion is a plus.

As for McVaffe, I was mostly just pointing out that he was the reason I first came to OCRemix nearly a decade ago. Saw him posting, it brought it to mind. If he, or anyone else, wants to talk about Half Life instead of FF7, that's fine. Half Life is an awesome game. One of the first games to truly qualify as an "experience" over just a game.

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I'm sorry, am I missing something here, or is this whole thread about trying to justify why Cloud's character doesn't come under a certain definition? If so isn't it just a little petty? Who cares if Cloud is 'emo' or not? Does it hinder his character or the storyline in anyway? Did it stop FFVII being enjoyable?

The point of this topic is to prove that people should not dislike FFVII because it is emo, and the review explains that while the plot is dark, it's not emo.

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