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Forsaken Lover
07-22-2015, 02:03 PM
It seems to me a lot of people over the years have come to think of Midgar as the best part of FFVII. From what I have read and gathered from these individuals, they felt Midgar was the most unique part of FFVII and establishes its identity. Once you travel into the world map, things kinda became more "stereotypical Final Fantasy." I know a lot of people especially have problems with the quaint, tranquil Kalm right outside the hellish cyberpunk dystopia Midgar. Or is it steampunk? Whichever.

Thoughts?

Sephiroth
07-22-2015, 03:07 PM
Good god, no. I don't think so.

Mr. Carnelian
07-22-2015, 03:53 PM
I know a lot of people especially have problems with the quaint, tranquil Kalm right outside the hellish cyberpunk dystopia Midgar. Or is it steampunk? Whichever.

Thoughts?

Steampunk. Cyberpunk tends to involve virtual realities and such like.

Whilst I've never played VII, I have no problem with juxtaposition. Contrasting the supposed darkness of urban living with the imagined tranquility of rural life is a well-established literary trope, used to comment on the human condition.

Wolf Kanno
07-22-2015, 06:04 PM
The biggest issue is that Midgard created some really interesting themes and unique situations that elevate the plot from previous games in the genre but after you leave Midgard they are largely dropped for a simple "stop the bad guy from getting the doomsday McGuffin". The party's reasoning for going along with it is shaky as best, especially since Shin-Ra proves to be the more compelling antagonist for most of Disc 1; whereas Sephiroth just kind of steals the spotlight from them without really contributing much until Disc 2. The themes get minor call backs towards the end but they are pretty shallow with what was originally presented. It doesn't help that Midgard gave a very unique experience whereas the rest of VII's locations feel like typical RPG fare so the further you get from it, the more VII begins to feel like a typical RPG.

Formalhaut
07-22-2015, 07:17 PM
Some of the reasons for your companions joining you do get very shaky at times.

Psychotic
07-23-2015, 03:09 PM
Steampunk. Cyberpunk tends to involve virtual realities and such like.There is absolutely nothing steampunk about Midgar - for one, everything is powered by mako and not steam! :p Also Cyberpunk isn't necessarily about virtual reality. I would definitely say its hi-tech mixed with poor living conditions and overseen by a totalitarian corporation makes it more Cyberpunk than anything else.
Some of the reasons for your companions joining you do get very shaky at times.They all have one common shared characteristic: They've all lost something to the Shinra. Admittedly the reason Cait Sith gives (I want to see how this fortune turns out!) is shaky but as we all know that was meant to be bullshit.

Also, no. Midgar is a superb piece of atmospheric scene setting and story telling. Leaving it, though, leaving it is freedom. In so many ways, you are free. There is more to life than the constant grind and mess and sprawl that is Midgar. As Cloud said, the people of Midgar are like the train, their life cannot leave the tracks that they are on. But you do, and it's great.

Shorty
07-24-2015, 01:07 AM
If we are getting technical about terms, I believe I have heard Midgar correctly referenced as dieselpunk.


The city of Midgar stood like a titan around, above, and below Cloud Strife and his companions. Suspended upon enormous pillars and literally teeming with dilapidated piping, twisting corridors, and rising smoke, Midgar seems at once alive and alien – one of the first play experiences a gamer encounters, setting the tone for the entirety of the adventure. The importance of technology, here bordering on pervasiveness, is a theme dieselpunk would become well known for. This is accentuated by the often run-down, impoverished nature of Midgar itself, a place where even the sky remains a primarily dark space (a technique used quite effectively in the film Dark City, which was discussed beautifully by Seraphimish here).

The Shinra corporation, de-facto ruler of the world from all evidence, helps to add a distinctive ‘wartime’ feel to the game, including waves of faceless soldiers in ominous armor, an agenda which includes leveraging the planet’s vast resources in order to attain its goals (as seen by the existence of numerous ‘Mako’ reactors – power-plants constructed to draw the energy from the planet) so that Shinra may continue to power its cities and weapons. Here again, the thematic similarities to eventual dieselpunk notions of a great war (i.e. WWII) and the war effort are strong.

https://flyingfortress.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/final-fantasy-vii-the-best-dieselpunk-rpg-ever-made-almost/

Midgar is fantastic to me in the same way that Gotham is fantastic. The citizens living in the slums and sectors are all struggling to survive, yet something ties them all together. It's a dark city with its own living identity and characteristics.

Slothy
07-24-2015, 01:20 AM
The biggest issue is that Midgard created some really interesting themes and unique situations that elevate the plot from previous games in the genre but after you leave Midgard they are largely dropped for a simple "stop the bad guy from getting the doomsday McGuffin". The party's reasoning for going along with it is shaky as best, especially since Shin-Ra proves to be the more compelling antagonist for most of Disc 1; whereas Sephiroth just kind of steals the spotlight from them without really contributing much until Disc 2. The themes get minor call backs towards the end but they are pretty shallow with what was originally presented. It doesn't help that Midgard gave a very unique experience whereas the rest of VII's locations feel like typical RPG fare so the further you get from it, the more VII begins to feel like a typical RPG.

Couldn't agree more. Not only was Midgar completely different than anything we'd really seen in other RPG's and the themes raised while you're there compelling though, I also find it far more interesting because a ton of questions are raised while you're there, and none of the pay offs are all that interesting to be honest. It's like the first season of Lost. Utterly spectacular, but nothing that happens after ever lives up to the standard it set. Although there are a few great parts here and there after Midgar. None of them have to do with Sephiroth or Aeris dying though really.

Psychotic
07-24-2015, 08:36 AM
If we are getting technical about terms, I believe I have heard Midgar correctly referenced as dieselpunk.


The city of Midgar stood like a titan around, above, and below Cloud Strife and his companions. Suspended upon enormous pillars and literally teeming with dilapidated piping, twisting corridors, and rising smoke, Midgar seems at once alive and alien – one of the first play experiences a gamer encounters, setting the tone for the entirety of the adventure. The importance of technology, here bordering on pervasiveness, is a theme dieselpunk would become well known for. This is accentuated by the often run-down, impoverished nature of Midgar itself, a place where even the sky remains a primarily dark space (a technique used quite effectively in the film Dark City, which was discussed beautifully by Seraphimish here).

The Shinra corporation, de-facto ruler of the world from all evidence, helps to add a distinctive ‘wartime’ feel to the game, including waves of faceless soldiers in ominous armor, an agenda which includes leveraging the planet’s vast resources in order to attain its goals (as seen by the existence of numerous ‘Mako’ reactors – power-plants constructed to draw the energy from the planet) so that Shinra may continue to power its cities and weapons. Here again, the thematic similarities to eventual dieselpunk notions of a great war (i.e. WWII) and the war effort are strong.

https://flyingfortress.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/final-fantasy-vii-the-best-dieselpunk-rpg-ever-made-almost/
Ehhh, I don't think it's Dieselpunk. There's nothing art deco about FFVII's art style, and notions of a Great War and a war effort are completely wrong. There are perhaps a couple of references to a war (between the Shinra and Wutai) several years ago, but the Shinra army's presence in FFVII is nothing to do with that - it is more about the totalitarian oppression of the people of Midgar and Shinra's control. The only "war", if you can call it that, is a very modern conflict with AVALANCHE acting as terrorists and Shinra doing its best to tighten the noose and track down the terrorist cell through increased security, control and intelligence gathering.

It's been said on EoFF before and I think it's the best way to describe it: FFVII is Makopunk.

Mirage
07-24-2015, 10:09 AM
I know a lot of people especially have problems with the quaint, tranquil Kalm right outside the hellish cyberpunk dystopia Midgar. Or is it steampunk? Whichever.

Thoughts?

Steampunk. Cyberpunk tends to involve virtual realities and such like.

Whilst I've never played VII, I have no problem with juxtaposition. Contrasting the supposed darkness of urban living with the imagined tranquility of rural life is a well-established literary trope, used to comment on the human condition.

Don't forget about dieselpunk!

oh someone mentioned that already

Ayen
07-24-2015, 05:25 PM
The biggest issue is that Midgard created some really interesting themes and unique situations that elevate the plot from previous games in the genre but after you leave Midgard they are largely dropped for a simple "stop the bad guy from getting the doomsday McGuffin". The party's reasoning for going along with it is shaky as best, especially since Shin-Ra proves to be the more compelling antagonist for most of Disc 1; whereas Sephiroth just kind of steals the spotlight from them without really contributing much until Disc 2. The themes get minor call backs towards the end but they are pretty shallow with what was originally presented. It doesn't help that Midgard gave a very unique experience whereas the rest of VII's locations feel like typical RPG fare so the further you get from it, the more VII begins to feel like a typical RPG.

Agreed about Shinra. I always felt that Shinra should have been kept in the fold as the primary antagonist with Sephiroth taking on more of an antihero role since they're responsible for him going crazy in the first place.

Wolf Kanno
07-24-2015, 09:30 PM
If we are getting technical about terms, I believe I have heard Midgar correctly referenced as dieselpunk.


The city of Midgar stood like a titan around, above, and below Cloud Strife and his companions. Suspended upon enormous pillars and literally teeming with dilapidated piping, twisting corridors, and rising smoke, Midgar seems at once alive and alien – one of the first play experiences a gamer encounters, setting the tone for the entirety of the adventure. The importance of technology, here bordering on pervasiveness, is a theme dieselpunk would become well known for. This is accentuated by the often run-down, impoverished nature of Midgar itself, a place where even the sky remains a primarily dark space (a technique used quite effectively in the film Dark City, which was discussed beautifully by Seraphimish here).

The Shinra corporation, de-facto ruler of the world from all evidence, helps to add a distinctive ‘wartime’ feel to the game, including waves of faceless soldiers in ominous armor, an agenda which includes leveraging the planet’s vast resources in order to attain its goals (as seen by the existence of numerous ‘Mako’ reactors – power-plants constructed to draw the energy from the planet) so that Shinra may continue to power its cities and weapons. Here again, the thematic similarities to eventual dieselpunk notions of a great war (i.e. WWII) and the war effort are strong.

https://flyingfortress.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/final-fantasy-vii-the-best-dieselpunk-rpg-ever-made-almost/
Ehhh, I don't think it's Dieselpunk. There's nothing art deco about FFVII's art style, and notions of a Great War and a war effort are completely wrong. There are perhaps a couple of references to a war (between the Shinra and Wutai) several years ago, but the Shinra army's presence in FFVII is nothing to do with that - it is more about the totalitarian oppression of the people of Midgar and Shinra's control. The only "war", if you can call it that, is a very modern conflict with AVALANCHE acting as terrorists and Shinra doing its best to tighten the noose and track down the terrorist cell through increased security, control and intelligence gathering.

It's been said on EoFF before and I think it's the best way to describe it: FFVII is Makopunk.

I disagree and agree to a point. VII is definitely a mix between Diselpunk (the majority of the visual design) and cyberpunk (the themes of the game) but the war is actually a prominent background element in the plot, at least in the beginning. Once you get to Cosmo Canyon, it's largely dropped except for Cid making a reference to it when he's recruited and Wutai; but the War is mentioned a lot in Aerith and Sephiroth's back stories and it's explained how Shin-Ra even came to power as both a merchant of death and the war being so devastating that people easily chose to put their faith in Shin-Ra over standard governments. It's definitely a major background element but loses it's focus on the cyberpunk and standard RPG shenanigans.

VII is cyberpunk due to the genre focusing on how technology can create social upheaval and man trying to deal with a changing world. Barring Midgard, Junon, and the Gold Saucer; VII's aesthetics and sprites are distinguishable as looking like early 20th century rural America/Europe. Lots of overalls, cotton farm dresses, and driver hats. Hell, outside of Shin-Ra's military robots and the Gelinka, many of the game's vehicles look like something out of diselpunk design, including the Highwind which has a 20s to 40s aesthetic instead of VI and IX's steampunk and VIII and X's futuristic designs. It's why it is one of the more unique designs in the series.

MJN SEIFER
07-26-2015, 12:03 AM
Also, no. Midgar is a superb piece of atmospheric scene setting and story telling. Leaving it, though, leaving it is freedom. In so many ways, you are free. There is more to life than the constant grind and mess and sprawl that is Midgar. As Cloud said, the people of Midgar are like the train, their life cannot leave the tracks that they are on. But you do, and it's great. That's a good way of looking at it - there's little to no freedom in Midgar, and that feeling is in someway given to the player. I agree that there is a sense of freedom once you leave Midgar - there's so much more out there, and the fact that the way you travel changes once you leave Midgar adds to that.

To put in my view on Midgar, I liked it. There was a kind of atmosphere to it, and I liked the technical side to it (even when we were in the slums, there was the odd technical side to it) and I liked the look of the Shinra Building. I enjoyed the Sectors of Midgar as well, and the parts of the game visited them during, but I appreciate the freedom of having to leave.

Also, Final Fantasy VII was my first Final Fantasy, and my first RPG of this type, so I didn't know that The World Map was an integral part of these kind of games, so I didn't view Midgar as a departure from it.

One thing I would have kind of liked, was to have the chance to check out the Sectors we didn't see (I posted about this in the past), like when we came back, after getting the Key to Sector 5, to be able to see Sector 2, and Sector 3, as well as Sector 4 in full. Also Sector 1 in full if there's anything left of it.

Psychotic
07-26-2015, 11:05 AM
I disagree and agree to a point. VII is definitely a mix between Diselpunk (the majority of the visual design) and cyberpunk (the themes of the game) but the war is actually a prominent background element in the plot, at least in the beginning. Once you get to Cosmo Canyon, it's largely dropped except for Cid making a reference to it when he's recruited and Wutai; but the War is mentioned a lot in Aerith and Sephiroth's back stories and it's explained how Shin-Ra even came to power as both a merchant of death and the war being so devastating that people easily chose to put their faith in Shin-Ra over standard governments. It's definitely a major background element but loses it's focus on the cyberpunk and standard RPG shenanigans.Disagree entirely. The war is a minor nebulous concept that is occasionally used as a plot explanation. We don't even know who it was fought between until we visit Wutai, and we don't know any of the major battles or leaders, the causes or the outcome. I like that you yourself described it as being "mentioned" in Aerith and Sephiroth's back stories - exactly! :p Mentioned! The war is used as a minor plot device in Aerith's backstory to explain why Elmyra took her in - the focus of that piece was firmly Aerith's special abilities and Shinra's attempts to recruit her. As for Sephiroth, we have no idea what he did or saw in the war other than him being a hero. His backstory firmly focuses on the events of Nibelheim.

What is the effect of the war on the people of Midgar? Do we see propaganda posters and statues? Do we see injured veterans? Do we even see any widows besides Elmyra? Compare that to the AVALANCHE vs Shinra conflict, the one that is on everyone's lips. We know the reasons, the battles, the victims, how the people of Midgar feel about it and are affected by it - from irritance at their commute being interrupted to having their homes and lives destroyed. All people in Midgar want to talk about is the modern conflict (AVALANCHE vs Shinra), poverty and mako energy. And that last one brings me firmly onto my final rebuttal. Shinra's power doesn't come from the war. Shinra's power comes from, well, its power! That concept is repeatedly and wholeheartedly mentioned at every turn. The convenience, the impact on the planet, materia, mako eyes, mako poisoning, pollution, it all comes down to Mako. And that is how a major element is handled. Anything that gets less airtime than Johnny or Don Corneo is not a major element.

Wolf Kanno
07-27-2015, 04:52 AM
Disagree entirely. The war is a minor nebulous concept that is occasionally used as a plot explanation. We don't even know who it was fought between until we visit Wutai, and we don't know any of the major battles or leaders, the causes or the outcome. I like that you yourself described it as being "mentioned" in Aerith and Sephiroth's back stories - exactly! :p Mentioned! The war is used as a minor plot device in Aerith's backstory to explain why Elmyra took her in - the focus of that piece was firmly Aerith's special abilities and Shinra's attempts to recruit her. As for Sephiroth, we have no idea what he did or saw in the war other than him being a hero. His backstory firmly focuses on the events of Nibelheim.

The war is still a prominent element in the story background. As I said, it explains how Shin-Ra became noticed, it explains part of why Shin-Ra came into power because the foolish nations fought each other so long that people put their trust into Shin-Ra and their SOLDIER units who helped end the war. The war is largely why Shin-Ra has good PR and gets away with half the shit in the game. It's how Shin-Ra has a standing army and no one really cares. It's not the main theme of the game, I agree, but it's still there and it still fills in a lot of information the game doesn't spend time addressing. It can be both dude, it doesn't have to be one or the other and frankly most of the game's cyberpunk elements are dropped once Midgard is over.


What is the effect of the war on the people of Midgar? Do we see propaganda posters and statues? Do we see injured veterans? Do we even see any widows besides Elmyra? Compare that to the AVALANCHE vs Shinra conflict, the one that is on everyone's lips. We know the reasons, the battles, the victims, how the people of Midgar feel about it and are affected by it - from irritance at their commute being interrupted to having their homes and lives destroyed. All people in Midgar want to talk about is the modern conflict (AVALANCHE vs Shinra), poverty and mako energy. And that last one brings me firmly onto my final rebuttal. Shinra's power doesn't come from the war. Shinra's power comes from, well, its power! That concept is repeatedly and wholeheartedly mentioned at every turn. The convenience, the impact on the planet, materia, mako eyes, mako poisoning, pollution, it all comes down to Mako. And that is how a major element is handled. Anything that gets less airtime than Johnny or Don Corneo is not a major element.

Except no one cares about the AVALANCHE vs Shin-Ra conflict once you leave Midgard, in fact AVALANCHE isn't mentioned by anyone but Barret, Cait Sith and the execution scenario in Disc 2. It's completely dropped for the "search for Sephiroth" arc meaning after the first 5-8 hours of a 60+ hour game, the conflict doesn't mean jack shit.

Mako is how Shin-Ra maintains control, it's not what brought them to power. Even the Ultimania mentions that the War is what put people's trusts in Shin-Ra and Sephiroth's exploits in the war made children want to grow up being him including Cloud. Shin-Ra has power because they ended the war and as the premier weapons development manufacture, they have all the best toys which is why they even have power. The fact they have a monopoly on the best source of energy on the planet just made people keep loving them. The war is over, but it's effects on the current scenario are still completely there whereas the eco-terrorism conflict is largely new. None of this is helped by SE muddling the timeline with the Compilation. I agree that everything that gets less focus than two minor characters is not worth talking about, the issue is that AVALANCHE and what they stand for is one of those things. It completely drops from the plot after Midgard and while Shin-Ra is still there causing mischief, Cloud has the party so convinced Sephiroth is the bigger threat that even Barret stops wanting to pick fights with them for most of the game.

The party is trying to save the Planet and the game maintains a bit of a Green Aesop throughout, but the issue of Shin-Ra causing it is dropped for just mankind and evil extraterrestrials becoming more of the focus and shuntering Shin-Ra into "bad guys who give the party things to do while chasing after real bad guy". Shin-Ra doesn't become a factor in the plot again until the party decided to stop them from trying to save the planet. The other problem is that environmental issues are not necessarily an element of cyberpunk, it deals with social change caused by technology but after Midgard, the only effect we see of Mako Plants is Zack's hometown. Even Corel Town is more about Shin-Ra just being an oppressive force than some environmental or social commentary element. The fact Shin-Ra uses that army they used to win the war to suppress people kind of shows how beyond the thinly veiled use of name changes, Shin-Ra largely acts like a typical evil empire seen in the genre. I mean they won the war and now the world is either complacent or apathetic to their rule. AVALANCHE itself changes from eco-terrorist to oppressed people rebelling against the current regime, hell there is not even a single member of the team who really cares about the planet. Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie seem more into for the fame than ideals and while they may have actually cared, it's not like any of them got enough screen time to show that since Don Corneo has more screen time than all of them. Barret and Tifa are out for revenge against Sephiroth and Cloud is ultimately the same way. The rest of the party is largely united by not liking Shin-Ra and what they've done to them as opposed to idealistic notion of saving the planet. No one cares about the planet until it actually gets put into real peril. The Aesop is kind of lost due to focusing on human failings and how people unite under a morally righteous cause for usually petty selfish reasons.

Skyblade
08-02-2015, 11:31 PM
Oh, hey, look, it's this thread again:
http://home.eyesonff.com/showthread.php/150277-Beyond-the-Fantasy-Getting-off-the-train-once-and-for-all?highlight=Wutai

Yes, go ahead, worship the wonderful story telling of the cliche "evil corporation destroying the world", and ignore everything else about the game the made it truly great, or which made the small fragment of the story which focused on Shinra actually have some depth to it.

Wolf Kanno
08-03-2015, 04:39 AM
Well if the rest of the plot after Midgard was a bit more than "Let's chase after Sephiroth and always manage to be too late while ignoring Shin-Ra until Disc 2 when Oh snap, Sephiroth is going to destroy the world, let's ignore that and stop Shin-Ra from actually trying to stop him from doing that because their EVILUZ and then will half bake a convenient solution in the games last five hours to go beat him up." then maybe I would care about it. Honestly I'm playing through it again and the rest of VII's story is kind of boring because the party is more focused on the generic FF villain stereotype than Shin-Ra, who proves they really are more of the threat to the world and their membership gets enough characterization to make you actually want to take them out.

Let's face it the first Disc is basically Midgard, and then 30 hours of "Dude, your Princess is in another castle" which isn't nearly as interesting as the tight objectives felt in Midgard, where the plot actually feels like you're progressing and getting things done instead of "sorry, you just missed him but if you hurry, maybe you'll catch up to him in the next town". The game spends the first five to ten hours setting up Shin-Ra as the big bad. It spends 30 minutes setting up Sephiroth and quite frankly the sociopathic CEO board that was willing to drop a city on top of another city to kill five people, and has reactors across the globe that are killing the planet for profit is a bit more pressing than the bishy pretty boy with a god-and-Oedipus complex who wants to become a god but no one knows how he'll do it and frankly doesn't really do much for 40 hours and then proceeds to do nothing the next 40 hours afterwards.

As a game, leaving Midgard was great as it finally gave the player some breathing room if only a little but from a story standpoint the main narrative is pretty boring until Meteor shows up and then the plot shoots itself in the foot shortly afterwards.

Forsaken Lover
08-03-2015, 06:32 AM
Those are some amazingly bad generalizations and criticisms.

Sephiroth is foreshadowed all throughout Midgar. He is always spoken of in the highest regard by everyone, including the other villains. Then the "climax" of Midgar is the Shinra getting their teeth kicked in by, you guessed it, Sephiroth, who murders the head of their company and then leaves.

If all he subtle stuff about Sephiroth wasn't enough to entice you, that was the clincher that Sephiroth is the real deal to Shinra's sideshow. It's why when you get to Kalm everyone, including the audience and the characters in game, want to hear the story of Sephiroth from Cloud. And tell me, do you think more people remember anything Shinra did than the iconic FMV of Sephiroth walking through those flames? Because I sincerely doubt it. Sephiroth made more of an impression by burning down one village than Shinra did by crashing the plate onto the Sector 7 slums.

And you make it sound like there aren't story arcs or character arcs after you leave Midgar. This is a JRPG and in those you are often given an "overall goal" that merely guides you along while things happen along your path. We're trying to get Nethicite to oppose the Archadian Empire but along the way we learn about Fran's and Balthier's backstory. Would you say our constant failure to secure Nethicite and power was a waste of time? Of course not, because we got character backstory. FFVII is exactly the same way. Our "search for Sephiroth" is mostly fruitless but who the smurf cares because you're learning about Barret and Red XIII and Cid? Oh and Vincent and Yuffie too if you get them now. Of course Vincent gives a whole new spin on Sephiroth. Your similarly optional stop in Gungaga can be very illuminating to what the hell is going on with Cloud (as there is something blatantly wrong with him).

Oh and I forgot to mention, Cloud and the others got across to the new continent by sneaking on a Shinra ship. Oh and guess who else was on that ship and killed tons more of Shinra goons? Yep, Sephiroth. I'm so scared and intimidated by the evil corporation that is ineffectual and does nothing but help our heroes ad the real villain.

The Shinra are the archetypal Evil Empire that exists in all FF games. And like all FF games, they are just an opening act. Baron is the opening act for Golbez, Gestahl is an opening act for Kefka, Galbadia is an opening act for Edea and Alexandria is an opening act for Kuja. You are essentially saying you want the opening act to be the entire show, even when their entire purpose is to be secondary. The concert is set up for the real band and the game is set up for the real villain. Everywhere you go gives you more info on Sephiroth, on his origins and his power, while Shinra's influence only wanes. It gets to the point that, around the same time Sephiroth is beginning his plan to smash a meteor into the planet, the Shinra are...trying to steal a tiny ass airplane.

You see, one of these things is impressive. The other...isn't. I'll let you guess which.

In conclusion
http://i.imgur.com/yhayzKc.jpg

Aeris
Our enemy is someone that could do this...?

Tifa
Amazing...

Red XIII
It's a power that we should respect...

Barret:
This Sephiroth guy's pretty strong, I'd say.


vs.

GYA HA HA HA

KYA HA HA HA

MORE LARD PLEASE

LET'S HAVE THIS DOG THING AND THIS GIRL SCREW EACH OTHER AND MAKE BABIES BECAUSE THAT'S HOW SCIENCE WORKS

I'LL CONTROL THE WORLD WITH FEAR WHICH IS WHY I HAD A LAVISH PARADE IN MY HONOR AND THEN DIDN'T DO ANYTHING THE REST OF THE GAME

Wolf Kanno
08-03-2015, 08:37 AM
Yes Sephiroth is mentioned in Midgard in hush tones and he makes a splashy entrance by having his more interesting mother murder a lot of people in the building including the President. The issue is that Sephy never backs up the promise of the Nibelheim flashback, he's nothing but smoke and mirrors. He leaves bodies occasionally by which I mean twice. He then spends the rest of the game just always being out of your reach and just leading your party on. over 30 fucking hours of "Hey, you might see that badass motherfucker who torched Nibelheim but no, he never shows until Disc 2, constantly using Jenova in his form to do his dirty work while he sits in the crater like a materia ice cube. He's crazy, methodical, and cold hearted but we can define most of the FF villains in this way. Sephy isn't a foil to the party for most of the plot. He just comes in to give breadcrumbs and then really does most of his evil deeds in the background while the party ignores the more proactive Shin-Ra who remain a true foil to the party for most of the plot. He's no better than Zemus really, whereas Shin-Ra is more like Golbez. A proper foil who really contrasts what the party is standing for and represents the duality of humankind as opposed to Zemus and Sephiroth who are so alien in nature by story standards, you can't relate to them.

While Sephy is stringing the party along, you discover Shin-Ra is trying to wipe out condors because they are nesting on one of their reactors, polluted the waters of Junon to the point of turning the fishing villages into slums, burned down Coral and killed most of their citizens because they thought they sabotaged a reactor, let Zack's hometown have a meltdown and did squat for the survivors and just left it a hulking crater, rebuilt Nibelheim for Hojo's creepy experiments, and are also seeking Sephiroth for the sole purpose of finding what they think is the Promised Land so they can build a second planet killing Midgard on top of it. They hired people like Scarlet, Heidegger and Hojo who all lack any scruples and are largely responsible for every problem in the story including Sephiroth. Even before that, Midgard represents all the evil that Shin-Ra's out of control capitalism has caused to the world. Are they an evil empire thinly disguised as a 20th century counterpart? Yes, but Sephiroth himself ultimately comes across as a typical cold calculating, smug snake who wants to become a god because he can. He's Zemus with a cooler backstory and Golbez's goal. He burns down Cloud's hometown, he kills Aerith and then he summons Meteor. Shin-Ra did a better job destroying the world than he ever did and they killed people for money which is a bit more sickening than a wannabe eldritch creature with an Oedipus complex trying to follow in his infinitely more interesting mother's footsteps.

Yes there are stories in between all that searching but the writing has not aged well and in hindsight you learn they have certain plotholes or largely didn't matter. What you mainly see in all that chasing downtime is how Shin-Ra really does deserve more of the party's attention than Sephiroth. Until he killed Aerith, the only things he's does up until that point is burn down Nibelheim after discovering he's an experimental tool of Shin-Ra, he breaks the party out of their cells, kills a guy they planned on killing anyway, killed a bunch of mooks your party would kill anyway, and is looking for the Promised Land because Cloud still thinks Sephiroth thinks he's an Ancient. If I were Barret, Red XIII, Yuffie, Aerith, and possibly Vincent; I'd be wondering why the party wasn't trying to recruit him. It's not like he hasn't done anything up until that point that AVALANCHE had not already done indirectly or directly in Midgard. Cloud and Tifa have reasons to hate him but no one else, so why is it so easy for Cloud to convince the others he 's the bigger threat when it's obvious the rest of the cast has a personal vendetta with Shin-Ra or Hojo who show throughout the game why they deserve the proper ass kicking? Compared to other villains in the series and RPGs in general, Sephy's rap sheet is pretty small, whereas Shin-Ra has a far more substantial one. It's the Golbez/Zemus dynamic all over again with the superior villain bowing out for an inferior one. Even Jenova is more interesting just conceptually and she's largely just a plot device to explain all of Sephiroth's powers. She might be a Lavos knockoff, but Eldritch Horrors are so rare in the genre that it would have been more interesting to explore Jenova than her Wilbur Whately wannabe son.

Midgard had themes about industrialization, runaway capitalism, terrorism, and you learned more about the world in those five hours than you did in the next 70 because the rest of the world just reinforces the worldview the first few hours did. You can tell the world is fucked in the first half an hour of VII without the game even needing to mention Sephy, Jenova, Meteor, and Hojo which is pretty good for an RPG. Midgard had more focus as a narrative as the party had clear and obtainable goals, better pacing of the story and the characters, and frankly didn't have as many plotholes or discrepancies the rest of the narrative is filled with. Most of the game's best scenes and most memorable experiences are in Midgard. No one is crying about Squenix not messing with the boat scene of the party in disguise or Cloud masquerading as a soldier in Junon doing marching drills, but fans will lynch Kitase and the VII team if the cross-dressing scene is changed. Everyone's excited about the Bike chase sequence, but no one is really thinking about the Submarine game or Fort Condor. If VII didn't have Midgard, it wouldn't be half as interesting, that's how powerful those first few hours are compared to the rest of the game which is largely textbook RPG.

Forsaken Lover
08-03-2015, 01:34 PM
You've got to be troutting me. ZEMUS? The asshole mentioned in the last five minutes of FFIV and never before that? You're comparing that to a guy who has a constant presence throughout the entirety of FFVII?

It doesn't matter if it was Jenova in Sephiroth's form, it WAS Sephiroth as far as we knew playing through the game for the first time. It was Sephiroth who regularly beat the crap out of Shinra, it was Sephiroth who killed Aerith, it was Sephiroth who broke our main hero's mind and will. The fact he was doing this from a distance is irrelevant because, unlike Zemus and Golbez, the fact Sephiroth was stuck in Northern Crater all this time and he was acting by proxy really changes nothing. The person doing everything in Disk 1 looked like Sephiroth, talked like Sephiroth and was doing what Sephiroth wanted. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and wants to commit genocide like a duck....

And yes, I guess you could describe pretty much all the FF Big Bads as "He's crazy, methodical, and cold hearted." I could also describe Light Yagami that way or Naraku or Cell or... Now tell me, is Light Yagami like Kefka? Is Naraku like Kuja? Is Cell like X-Death? The answer of course is no to all of these. Those are stock traits and say nothing of motivations or character background or anything of real substance.

You say Sephiroth was alien but he was the first FF Villain that we actually got to see "fall." The only even vaguely human Big Bads before him were the FFIII Guy and Kefka. So far as I know, their "humanity" comes from a couple lines of dialogues, which is nothing compared to Sephiroth who had one of the best sequences in the game dedicated solely to having us understand him and why he became what he did. It was something completely unique for the franchise at his time and absolutely no one in Shinra has even a quarter as much depth as what we see of Sephiroth in Cloud's Past.

You love your Golbez/Zemus butI'd say a more apt comparison is Garland/Kuja or even Brahne/Kuja. You say Sephiroth did less damage than Shinra? Yes and Kuja did much less damage than Brahne and Garland has done much more damage than both of them. Yet look who's the main villain. Because it's not about who has caused the most direct harm, it's about who is the biggest threat at the moment. Shinra had their time in the sun - a time largely cemented back when Sephiroth was a soldier of theirs by the way - but they're yesterday's news now. Their golden boy, their tool, has decided to go rogue and there's nothing they or anyone else can do about it.

Why do our heroes want him dead Pre-Temple of the Ancients? Well Red XIII only wanted to get to Cosmo Canyon so far as I could tell and going beyond that was because of Bugenhagen. Yuffie is just along to steal our Materia and eventually because she likes us. Cid becomes a fugitive of Shinra so he might as well hang out with Shinra's other fugitives. Vincent is expressly traveling with the party in hopes of meeting Hojo again.

So, no, not everyone in the party is united by their hatred of Sephiroth. But then he summons a planet-ending rock, kills Aerith and pretty much kills Cloud too. That's all the reason the other heroes need now to pursue him. Everyone clearly liked Aerith and one of the best things about her death is the unique animations they all have. Yuffie especially is surprisingly potent as she's the only one who just absolutely breaks down,reminding you she's just a little girl.

I'm not going to tell you Sephiroth is the most unique villain or even anything close to it, but you're dismissive attitude is really annoying. You are purposefully ignoring the game's excellent establishment of his threat. He doesn't need to be on screen kicking a puppy every five minutes, the way people talk about him and the way he's built up, makes the Temple of the Ancients confrontation all the better. It's great that we had seen so little of him up until this point because it meant we weren't sick of him. And you do get sick of Shinra. By the time Scarlet and Heidegger march up in the Proud Cloud, you're just rolling your eyes and saying "will you die already?"

Oh and Barret's arc is one of the best parts of the game. Dyne was a better character than almost anyone you meet in Midgar.

Skyblade
08-03-2015, 02:36 PM
Everything that Forsaken said is accurate, so let me just pop in with another part that is frequently ignored (which I mentioned in the other thread):

Shinra's story is improved by making it outside Midgar.

Fort Condor, Junon, Corel, Nibelheim, Rocket Town, Wutai, Icicle Inn. The fantastic world building that went into these parts of the game are utterly brilliant, and they help to reinforce what Shinra is, why it's a threat, and why it needs to be taken down. You get a much deeper look at the conflict with Shinra, what they've done, what they're still doing, and just how power hungry they are. Without the setup here, the story would lose considerable depth.

And, without the interactions with Reeve, the Turks, and Cid which happen beyond Midgar, the story would lose even more depth and be one of the most ridiculously cliched crusades ever. So much is done to flesh out the characters and show how human they are, and how the bad guys can be good guys as well, which helps balance the "Gya ha ha" evil of Shinra.

There's a reason why one of the most memorable parts of the games for most new players is when they step out into the world beyond Midgar, and see how much more there is, how much greater the game becomes.

Wolf Kanno
08-04-2015, 09:13 AM
You've got to be troutting me. ZEMUS? The asshole mentioned in the last five minutes of FFIV and never before that? You're comparing that to a guy who has a constant presence throughout the entirety of FFVII?

Yep. :cool:


It doesn't matter if it was Jenova in Sephiroth's form, it WAS Sephiroth as far as we knew playing through the game for the first time. It was Sephiroth who regularly beat the crap out of Shinra, it was Sephiroth who killed Aerith, it was Sephiroth who broke our main hero's mind and will. The fact he was doing this from a distance is irrelevant because, unlike Zemus and Golbez, the fact Sephiroth was stuck in Northern Crater all this time and he was acting by proxy really changes nothing. The person doing everything in Disk 1 looked like Sephiroth, talked like Sephiroth and was doing what Sephiroth wanted. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and wants to commit genocide like a duck....

Then what's the problem with Zemus, because it's the same deal. Ultimecia does a similar thing. They control an avatar they use to do all their evil deeds. So like Jenova, Golbez and Edea's crimes and actions are really Zemus and Ultimecia's it's just not apparent to the player until later whereas Sephiroth reverses it. ;)

Of course, you miss part of my point. You go on about how powerful Sephiroth is in the post-Nibelheim scenes but I'm simply referring to the fact you are not witnessing Sephiroth's power but the power of his much more obviously physically powerful mother, Jenova. I mean you're going on about the killing of the Midgard Zolom like Sephy is a total badass but it actually isn't physically him. It's his unkillable alien mother Jenova, who you beat down like a red-headed stepchild just a few hours later in the game. In fact one town later.


And yes, I guess you could describe pretty much all the FF Big Bads as "He's crazy, methodical, and cold hearted." I could also describe Light Yagami that way or Naraku or Cell or... Now tell me, is Light Yagami like Kefka? Is Naraku like Kuja? Is Cell like X-Death? The answer of course is no to all of these. Those are stock traits and say nothing of motivations or character background or anything of real substance.

The issue here is that Sephiroth's personality and objectives are really no different from past villains in the series. It's not even just his personality it's his goals and personalities that make him boring. Yes he gets a tragic backstory, but then he spends the rest of the game acting like ExDeath, whom also had an interesting backstory. Yet it doesn't change the fact that both of them feel they are godlike beings destined to rule the universe like gods, and plunge the world into chaos to do so only to fail. Both characters also represent a symbolic relation of the story with both origins being steeped in humanity's hubris of kicking problems down the road instead of fixing them (ExDeath) and mankind's greed and belief of being top species (Sephiroth). My issue here is you speak like he's unique but frankly you strip the origin away, which ultimately was partly a red herring with the whole Ancient's Revenge deal, and you're left with a character no different in personality and depravity than any other FF villain.

Golbez: I seek the crystals to become more powerful and unlock the power of the moon so I can rule the world.

ExDeath: I seek the void so I can become a god and rule the universe and all dimensions.

Kefka: I seek the Warring Traid, so I can become a god and rule the world and reign destruction on it.

Sephiroth: I seek the Black Materia so I can use it to become a god and rule the world like Jenova did before me.

Ultimecia: I seek Ellone (hey development, the magic McGuffin is a person this time, course the Void had more personality...) so I can do Time Compression and become a god so I can rule the time and space.

All three villains before Sephiroth and one after him have the same bloody plan and four of the five have interchangeable personalities. As some one who didn't go into VII as one of my first RPGs, and had my fair share of this plotline because it's not exclusive to just FF, his backstory wasn't enough to win me over. He has a sob backstory but whatever sympathy it gave him is lost two minutes after he burns Nibelheim to the ground and then proceeds to spend the rest of the game in ExDeath mode with the laughing and pompous attitude about "being more mighty than the party" loses what little unique elements he has. The fact he doesn't do much in the plot makes him boring to me as I prefer more proactive villains. Leading the party one for half the game, and sitting in a hole waiting for his plan to succeed before the party beats him up with only maybe an hour of on screen action in a 60+ hour game does not scream compelling villain to me.


You say Sephiroth was alien but he was the first FF Villain that we actually got to see "fall." The only even vaguely human Big Bads before him were the FFIII Guy and Kefka. So far as I know, their "humanity" comes from a couple lines of dialogues, which is nothing compared to Sephiroth who had one of the best sequences in the game dedicated solely to having us understand him and why he became what he did. It was something completely unique for the franchise at his time and absolutely no one in Shinra has even a quarter as much depth as what we see of Sephiroth in Cloud's Past.

Understand what? He's an elite soldier with gifted abilities who discovers Hojo's experiments and then starts investigating his origins only to completely snap, turn against half his species and then decides he was always meant to be a god like his mother. He's kind of a jerk in the flashback with a few kick the dog moments. He leaves a fellow soldier to die and is a standoffish jerk to everyone but Zack. He may have had "humanity", but he was kind of a dick in the flashback with maybe two pet the dog moments which I feel hardly justify this woobie destroyer of worlds schlick fans keep trying to stick on him. If his fall had actually helped with his characterization beyond his origin story, I might have cared but it's largely an excuse plot to half-justify why he's an asshole before generic RPG villain syndrome kicks in and drives the rest of the plot. It also doesn't really fix the issue that he was interesting in the backstory, he's not interesting in the plot proper, acting more as plot device for most of it rather than a villain. Had the game had Sephiroth wrestle with his origins more and his mixed heritage or his past as an famous soldier instead of him going into full swing "smurf everyone that isn't me" syndrome, his origin would have had a greater literary impact. Instead it's used as an excuse by fans to try to justify him not being a stereotypical RPG villain for 98% of the game. Xande also had sympathetic backstory but it doesn't change the fact he's largely a flat one-dimensional villain when you actually meet him.



You love your Golbez/Zemus bu tI'd say a more apt comparison is Garland/Kuja or even Brahne/Kuja. You say Sephiroth did less damage than Shinra? Yes and Kuja did much less damage than Brahne and Garland has done much more damage than both of them. Yet look who's the main villain. Because it's not about who has caused the most direct harm, it's about who is the biggest threat at the moment. Shinra had their time in the sun - a time largely cemented back when Sephiroth was a soldier of theirs by the way - but they're yesterday's news now. Their golden boy, their tool, has decided to go rogue and there's nothing they or anyone else can do about it.

Well, those are not really good analogies because for the most part, the Garland/Kuja relationships is pretty much the Zemus/Golbez one with both Kuja and Golbez turning against their former master and one being successful. Brahne is also the obvious flunky to Kuja who is obviously the mastermind. The problem here is that Sephiroth never really manipulates Shin-Ra, he's manipulating Cloud. In fact, Sephy doesn't really seem to give a damn about getting revenge against Shin-Ra beyond Midgard. He's more interested in getting revenge on the mook soldier who hurt his pride, not the organization that lied to him and made him. He kills some mooks just to give Cloud the next breadcrumbs needed to find him on the new continent, and he nearly kills Tseng to prevent Shin-ra from getting the Black Materia before he can trick Cloud into getting it because he can manipulate Cloud but not Shin-Ra. Even in the flashback, he's laready jumped past getting revenge on Shin-Ra and just decided to wipe out humanity.

He didn't turn on Shin-Ra like Kuja did to Garland, Kuja's main goal for most of IX is revealed to be him getting enough power to take out Garland, screwing him over was the plan. Sephiroth doesn't care about Shin-Ra. He had plenty of opportunities to get revenge on most of the Shin-ra Brass (so did AVALANCHE) but never bothers to take it. Brahne tries to kill Kuja when she thinks she doesn't need her anymore only for Kuja to turn the tables on her. Garland already knew Kuja was a mad dog that needed to be put down but underestimated Kuja due to thinking himself stronger than anyone on Gaia or Terra beyond the Eidolons. So I disagree about Sephy being this "golden boy" turning against his masters. That idea gets shot down before the Nibelheim Flashback is even over and the rest of the game drives the point home.


Why do our heroes want him dead Pre-Temple of the Ancients? Well Red XIII only wanted to get to Cosmo Canyon so far as I could tell and going beyond that was because of Bugenhagen. Yuffie is just along to steal our Materia and eventually because she likes us. Cid becomes a fugitive of Shinra so he might as well hang out with Shinra's other fugitives. Vincent is expressly traveling with the party in hopes of meeting Hojo again.

So, no, not everyone in the party is united by their hatred of Sephiroth. But then he summons a planet-ending rock, kills Aerith and pretty much kills Cloud too. That's all the reason the other heroes need now to pursue him. Everyone clearly liked Aerith and one of the best things about her death is the unique animations they all have. Yuffie especially is surprisingly potent as she's the only one who just absolutely breaks down,reminding you she's just a little girl.

Yes, by Disc 2 the party has a reason to hate him, but that doesn't change Disc 1. Which is the first half of the game. That's the problem here. Sephiroth doesn't do anything to warrant the majority of the party's ire until the end of Disc 1 and beginning of Disc 2. Up until that point, he's done nothing to warrant why 7/9ths of the party is following him. In fact all he's allegedly doing is trying to reach the Promise Land, a place no one but Shin-Ra thinks exists. Really think about it. A guy who keeps spazzing out when his mind tries to fix itself and has a fishy backstory wants you to help him track down a crazy super soldier, who just set you free and killed your number one enemy, because he's trying to reach a mythical land that no one believes in. Think about that and tell me Barret and the others aren't crazy. Tifa especially since she knows Cloud's story is wrong. Who does that?

He does absolutely nothing until the Temple of the Ancients to really warrant the idea of being the "bigger threat" compared to Shin-Ra. This isn't like Kuja, whose obviously pulling the strings of Brahne, nor is this like Kefka whom his own allies acknowledge him being a loose cannon as he disobeys orders and racks up higher body counts than necessary for personal trouts and giggles. He just leads the party on until the Temple of the Ancients. Meanwhile, Shin-Ra's evil is exposed even more so and they actually try to stop the party at every opportunity. He also doesn't kill Cloud, not even metaphorically. He reveals to him that he's been fooling himself about his past, which frankly wasn't a shocker by that point. Even the whole "there never was a Cloud and you're just a part of Jenova tricking itself into thinking your human" angle is actually an aborted arc from the original script. He then kills Aerith, summons Meteor and then sits in the Northern Crater doing nothing until you fight him in Disc 3. In fact he doesn't have a single line of dialogue for the rest of the game that isn't a flashback to Nibelheim. He does some trout in the beginning of the game, doesn't do squat until the middle, and then proceeds to do nothing for the rest of the game until the final boss battle. The rest of the game is about stopping the Shin-ra despite no longer being the obvious threat. It's aggravating watching a party with such terrible priorities. Let's tracks down the dude who is looking for a metaphorical spiritual concept and hasn't really done anything else that Shin-Ra hasn't done worse and then come back to stopping the evil mega corp when they are trying to actually save the planet. Damn straight Midgard was the best part, at least the party had their priorities straight and the plot wasn't held together by stupidity.


I'm not going to tell you Sephiroth is the most unique villain or even anything close to it, but you're dismissive attitude is really annoying. You are purposefully ignoring the game's excellent establishment of his threat. He doesn't need to be on screen kicking a puppy every five minutes, the way people talk about him and the way he's built up, makes the Temple of the Ancients confrontation all the better. It's great that we had seen so little of him up until this point because it meant we weren't sick of him. And you do get sick of Shinra. By the time Scarlet and Heidegger march up in the Proud Cloud, you're just rolling your eyes and saying "will you die already?"

I am dismissive because I completely disagree with you about the game doing an excellent job of establishing his threat because it doesn't. The most annoying aspect of Sephiroth is that he has one thing that does separate him from the rest of the villains in the series. He could have accomplished his goal if he wasn't so damn petty. He could have actually accomplish his goal without anyone knowing about it until it was too late but the fact Cloud hurt his pride made him come up with the most asinine plan to screw him over and try to accomplish his goal in one setting when he could have easily just had some Sephy Clones retrieve and deliver the Black Materia and summon Meteor before anyone knew the wiser. He could have then used Jenova, who is conveniently in Midgard with the last Ancient holding the White Materia, to kill her and make it impossible to stop him. Every other villain had to deal with complex schemes due to too many problems in the way but Sephy could have honestly succeeded in his goal without having to resort to all of that. You can't tell me he's a great villain, he's an idiot with good PR.

I prefer Shin-Ra, their members are stereotypical Saturday morning cartoon villains but at least their stupidity was intentional and amusing.


Oh and Barret's arc is one of the best parts of the game. Dyne was a better character than almost anyone you meet in Midgar.

I don't disagree. Though the plot is a bit contrived but the emotional impact was well done.


Everything that Forsaken said is accurate, so let me just pop in with another part that is frequently ignored (which I mentioned in the other thread):

Shinra's story is improved by making it outside Midgar.

Fort Condor, Junon, Corel, Nibelheim, Rocket Town, Wutai, Icicle Inn. The fantastic world building that went into these parts of the game are utterly brilliant, and they help to reinforce what Shinra is, why it's a threat, and why it needs to be taken down. You get a much deeper look at the conflict with Shinra, what they've done, what they're still doing, and just how power hungry they are. Without the setup here, the story would lose considerable depth.

And, without the interactions with Reeve, the Turks, and Cid which happen beyond Midgar, the story would lose even more depth and be one of the most ridiculously cliched crusades ever. So much is done to flesh out the characters and show how human they are, and how the bad guys can be good guys as well, which helps balance the "Gya ha ha" evil of Shinra.

There's a reason why one of the most memorable parts of the games for most new players is when they step out into the world beyond Midgar, and see how much more there is, how much greater the game becomes.

The issue I have is that VII's themes were at their strongest within the Midgard section. Shin-Ra was stereotypical evil but I honestly feel their representation of corporate greed over human decency is better told within Midgard as it had the atmosphere to properly display the despair. What makes Midgard more impactful than anything beyond it's city walls is the fact that it's the success story. The slum infested, shady, hellhole that people can't escape from is actually the success story that people in that world are striving for. Shin-Ra's atrocities outside Midgard simply show how the writers didn't know how to really write such a powerful topic and instead they resorted to what they knew, oppressive authoritarian governments. Midgard flat out says Shin-Ra controls everything despite Midgard having a civilian government. Beyond Midgard, there are no governments, just little towns screwed over by Shin-Ra but not willing to fight back because they know they will lose. In Midgard, people know Shin-Ra is a sleazy company but they control power and the things that maintain their decadent lifestyles or the hopes of making it to the surface and becoming someone important, so people play ball. That's power. The ability to have people bow to your whims, not out of fear but because they know they can't do anything without you. Sephiroth had to OHKO a Dragon, burn a village down, and summon a planet killing Meteor to prove how powerful he was to the player. All you had to do with Shin-Ra was walk in the slums and talk to the people.

Midgard is just more focused and the setting allows the game's central themes to really hit home. The only location outside of Midgard that comes close to that is Cosmo Canyon but even there, Bugenhagen has to spell it out for you while Midgard quietly showed you. As a game, leaving Midgard was the best thing for the player. The game feels more open after you leave it because Midgard constricted your options gameplay-wise until you left it and then suddenly the player is tripping over materia and new things to see. Yet, you would never appreciate that if it wasn't for how well constructed the Midgard section had been. It manipulated you into feeling that openness.

What I would point out about Midgard is this. Had it not existed but instead broken up into different towns and dungeons on a world map like a traditional RPG, the game wouldn't have had the same impact. It's the most well put together sequence in the entire game and one of the best in the series.

Psychotic
08-04-2015, 04:11 PM
It can be both dude, it doesn't have to be one or the other and frankly most of the game's cyberpunk elements are dropped once Midgard is over. But we’re talking about Midgar being cyber/diesel/steampunk and not the rest of the game, so… :p

Except no one cares about the AVALANCHE vs Shin-Ra conflict once you leave Midgard But we’re talking about Midgar being cyber/diesel/steampunk and not the rest of the game, so… :p

But seriously, of course not. AVALANCHE isn’t talked about, in, say, Mideel, because Midgar is half the world away. They don’t talk about the Mideel earthquake in Cosmo Canyon and they don’t talk about the rocket launch at the Gold Saucer.

Oh, and while I totally agree on Shinra being a better villain than Sephiroth,
I am dismissive because I completely disagree with you about the game doing an excellent job of establishing his threat because it doesn't. Not in the slightest. Trail of blood is a smurfing incredible threat building scene, and there hasn’t been anything before or after it in a Final Fantasy game. Don’t give me the “Jenova did it (according to some fan theories)!” line. We don’t know enough about Sephiroth/Jenova at that point in the game to even make those theories. At that point, there is no doubt Sephiroth is responsible. Palmer straight up said he saw Sephiroth do it. Sephiroth’s sword – which Cloud states only he can use –is in the back of President Shinra. Nobody says “Oh, maybe it was that wacky old Jenova, better keep an eye out for her”

Oh, and, you know, giant honking great snake that you’ve just spent a lot of time being murdered by and then trying to avoid.

When I first played FFVII, I was scared of Sephiroth, scared of his threat, scared that hey, yeah, I’m chasing this guy but I’m not so sure I can catch him. A game’s never made me feel like that. The one thing they did perfectly with Sephiroth (and again, I stress I prefer Shinra as a villain to him) was making him feel like a threat.

Also why are you saying Midgard? Stop it at once. I can only just about tolerate Shin-Ra!

Pumpkin
08-05-2015, 05:32 AM
Honestly I didn't like Midgar. I don't much like the game until Disc 2, really. But to me the city was ugly and dreary and depressing and that's something that can affect my mood and it just puts me in a bad mood. I hate the Shinra building part especially and I, for whatever reason, hate Aeris/th with the passion of a thousand suns etc etc and Midgar focuses on her a lot more than I like.

Not saying there's something wrong with it, but it's really not for me. It's dark, it's depressing, it's confined (I mean, not for an RPG town, it's actually very big. But compared to a whole world map), you're stuck in it for too long, the sense of humour is not my sense of humour, too much Aeris/th focus, and the story doesn't really grab me and all of my favourite scenes happen outside of Midgar.

Just not Pumpkin's dealio

Wolf Kanno
08-05-2015, 06:52 AM
It can be both dude, it doesn't have to be one or the other and frankly most of the game's cyberpunk elements are dropped once Midgard is over. But we’re talking about Midgar being cyber/diesel/steampunk and not the rest of the game, so… :p


Honestly, take a real look at the character models in Midgard as well as the designs of common vehicles like cars and tell me they don't look like something out of the early 20th century. I mean Midgard is pretty much based off Metropolis which itself was made in the silent film era of the early 20th century. You've got your neon lights and 80s inspired office buildings and punks but the rest of the NPCs are wearing overalls and long dresses which is not really cyberpunk as much as it's dieselpunk. Also let's use some visual aids.

http://home.eyesonff.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=65401&stc=1
The Highwind

http://home.eyesonff.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=65402&stc=1
Dieselpunk Zeppelin

http://home.eyesonff.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=65403&stc=1
Common FFVII Truck

http://home.eyesonff.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=65404&stc=1
1930s Stespside Truck

http://home.eyesonff.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=65405&stc=1
Sector 6 Slums

http://home.eyesonff.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=65406&stc=1
Typical 1930s "Hooverville"

You can see the influence this era and world style has on Vii's Midgard and overall world.


Oh, and while I totally agree on Shinra being a better villain than Sephiroth,
I am dismissive because I completely disagree with you about the game doing an excellent job of establishing his threat because it doesn't. Not in the slightest. Trail of blood is a smurfing incredible threat building scene, and there hasn’t been anything before or after it in a Final Fantasy game. Don’t give me the “Jenova did it (according to some fan theories)!” line. We don’t know enough about Sephiroth/Jenova at that point in the game to even make those theories. At that point, there is no doubt Sephiroth is responsible. Palmer straight up said he saw Sephiroth do it. Sephiroth’s sword – which Cloud states only he can use –is in the back of President Shinra. Nobody says “Oh, maybe it was that wacky old Jenova, better keep an eye out for her”

Oh, and, you know, giant honking great snake that you’ve just spent a lot of time being murdered by and then trying to avoid.

When I first played FFVII, I was scared of Sephiroth, scared of his threat, scared that hey, yeah, I’m chasing this guy but I’m not so sure I can catch him. A game’s never made me feel like that. The one thing they did perfectly with Sephiroth (and again, I stress I prefer Shinra as a villain to him) was making him feel like a threat.

Also why are you saying Midgard? Stop it at once. I can only just about tolerate Shin-Ra!

Except I mentioned that Sephiroth never lives up to the promise made in the Nibelheim Flashback, which is after Midgard. Believe me, I enjoy the Trail of Blood sequence as well, but I'm not talking about "oh in my first playthrough, the player doesn't know" when everything is said and done and you learn you've actually been following Jenova it diminishes those moments for me. I'm thinking I'm chasing after some walking death god and instead it was his eldritch horror mother instead and to me that just makes Jenova scarier. I'm not even bringing up the Sephy/Jenova argument, I'm simply stating I felt she was the scarier and far more interesting character than Sephiroth. A magician can make you feel he can work actual magic and illusions but once he shows you how he did it, wonder of the moment is lost. My main point of "it was Jenova" is to point out that Sephy's fantastic power you see up until you face him in the ending is not his actual power, it's the power of the creature the game spends more time actually explaining how scary it really is. You didn't actually come across a Midgard Zolom killed by Sephiroth, you came across a Midgard Zolom who faced an immortal planet devouring alien lifeform that wiped out a civilization 2000 years ago. There's a big difference when you look at it like that.

Believe me, my first playthrough, I was hooked on finding this scary guy but once the smoke and mirrors are revealed and you decide to do another playthrough, he's not as impressive the second time around. You watch Nibelheim and then realize he isn't going to do squat for the next 20-30 hours and I can't help feeling like he's wasted potential. Despite my trolling him hard, I don't even consider him the worst villain and he definitely has the best presence of any FF villain besides maybe Golbez or Garland but how can you not love Those Chosen by the Planet?

With that said, I feel like I've made my point in this thread so I'm going to let others debate the pros and cons of Midgard, Sephy, and whether it's purely cyberpunk or has elements of dieselpunk.

Forsaken Lover
08-05-2015, 04:08 PM
pWdd6_ZxX8c

That's all I got since this is a hopeless argument because it's very doubtful either of us will agree on anything in this matter.

MJN SEIFER
08-10-2015, 03:38 PM
Yeah, what's all this "Midgard" stuff? I get that's what the name Midgar is based on, but was it called "Midgard" in the Japanese version or something?

Forsaken Lover
08-10-2015, 08:18 PM
Surprise, fangirls, Loki's true form was Palmer all along. Try getting wet over that.