Conversation Between Wolf Kanno and Sephiroth

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  1. Well I'm sorry our discussion has been causing harm, For that we can end the subject entirely and simply move onto something less stressful for either of us.

    If it's any consolation, I don't see you as someone who is "broken" per se, or at least I would say you conduct yourself in a manner that is typical for most people I meet. Normalcy from a social standpoint for me is not an objective mental state that comes natural for anyone, rather it's just an agreed upon social standard we all poorly try to conform to for the sake of harmony. Everyone is broken in some regards, life is too hard and people are so brittle, it simply comes with the territory that everyone is chipped, cracked, and falling to pieces. With that said, I won't delve any further into this matter.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the Remake, I imagine the reception and fallout will be close to the Compilations. While I have little emotional investment in the project, I would hope that they at least re-write some of the sillier parts of the plot like using the dolphin to get into Junon or Cid's entire intro sequence. On the other hand, I fear the game will lost quite a bit of it's charm because it may lose those moments. It's the fundamental issue of remakes and trying to repackage nostalgia I guess.

    As for KH, I'm on the back half of KH2 where the party revisits the world, and while the game is better than I remember in some regards, I still take issue with the game's plot, as I feel Sora kind of lacks purpose in this one and so much of the backstory element of the game's really feels like Nomura and the team were simply just preparing for the three spin-offs that came after as opposed to giving a more self-contained narrative. It's got that middle child syndrome of trilogy films like The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean where it's too co-dependent on what comes after to enjoy it for it's own merits. When I listen to fans bitch and whine about the later entries and how this game ended the series perfectly, I honestly become confused because I sort of felt KH2 left us with far more questions than answering anything. Hell, even before the later entries confirmed it, I kind of already put together the idea that destroying a person's Heartless and Nobody would potentially reunite them back into their original being.
  2. But you know what? Thank you for talking. And who knows what Nojima-san writes for the Remake anyway. Maybe this time he will really lean it towards the thing that I do not want at all. It would destroy Final Fantasy VII because it blasts a hole in one important aspect of the narrative when it comes to the relevance of certain aspects and Cloud and Aerith's relationship and how they value each other that by many people (e.g. "Tifa only instead of value both girls as the story shows" people) is just handwaved away with this whole "true Cloud" thing (which is one of the reasons why it is so important) as big as some of Kingdom Hearts' holes but we have to see. Maybe he will use the wrong words like Nier 2 but "means the right thing". Then it would still be okay. It is one of the only ways to enjoy stuff like Nier 2 for me anyway instead of thinking "and this is the sequel to what is almost as good as FFVII to me ..." The intention has priority and if that's fine even such a broken person like me can live with it. I hope at least. Let's just hope Sephiroth does not become a fatso.
  3. I never said that's not the case what you called splintering and weak(er) to Sephiroth; but it is important what is meant. I also said a part of Cloud is seperated. It is just that you treat it as another person while I say it is not and that it does not make sense to treat it like "you and me" instead of just "a guy getting inner echo warnings from his own repressed fragments" and that those "fragments" speak about Cloud like he is another person even though they are not can be clearly seen when Tifa talks to Cloud fragments that definitely belong to him an are no literal "own entities" while he is in the Lifestream so this even more emphasizes on it being written as tricky to understand without acknowledging the full context and logic.

    Yes, Cloud would have likely "not done stuff mask Cloud did", I will always agree with that. But that does not make him another Cloud. That is why I told you there is a big big big big BIG neccessity in differentiating between "literal and metaphorical differences of self". There is always a great difference between talking about "personality" as a mere character structure and as a "self". I would never ever do stuff I did 20 years ago. Psyche change is not Death and Birth.
    When Cloud while being temporarily repressed through his own mental weakness and inner desire replaces a facette of his being with another one, then it is still his being. What you are trying to argue is the Theseus Ship paradox on a psychological basis. "Is x still x when component 1-n is replaced/missing?" and the answer is yes. That is just pseudo-philosophy that actually has answers in life. Just as an apple is an apple no matter how much you eat from it or if you randomly decide to glue something on it. That can be answered with "Apple: State ..." And that is the same with us. "Oh, you are not yourself". No. Wrong. It is impossible.
    You brought up a timeline guy. The timeline guy is not me. Why? Because despite the same origin, the same chronology trunk, he through a split (let's just say crap like timesplits are possible) has a seperate self, a seperate instance to perceive reality. He is exactly what I said before: A clone. Of course in his case he would be a clone through other means and have already changed but a clone nonetheless. Not me.
    And this is exactly why it is so important for me to differentiate these things. The woman Encina, she shares rooms with her friends in her brain. They are not her. They have their own selves. Why? Because they have their own perceptional instance. It is "not her just being forced by her body to be different" which would result in it still being her but just metaphorically different. No, it is really someone else and she experiences that. That is also why I made it very clear "btw. of course Cloud speaks to Cloud" so nobody can actually say "WAIT! You forgot!" No, believe me, I do not forget. I made it very clear this is not the kind of talk that two people have. And that this is supported by the rest of the story where Cloud actually has to live through things and not "backseat experience" because it does not make any sense in the narrative. You are aware that Cloud has a spiritual connection with Aerith and that what he associates with her is his Promised Land? Does not make sense either if he was just "the third wheel" hiding behind a driver that you want to be killed after the Mideel incident.

    Anyway, I assure you, with my neurotical disorder you have done more harm to me now than you felt when you reluctantly went back to the conversation that I for my own mental health wanted to deflect with my Kingdom Hearts comment. If you do want to know what that means, ask Psychotic. I have no problem with him telling a teeny bit about me if your question is now "wtf is going on with him right now". Maybe you now at least can kind of understand that I do not do the conversation and ad infinitum discussion stuff out of mere joy and assholery and that I suffer a lot more from this than the mere roll-eyes discussion partner that only thinks "omg this arrogant asshole again". That does not mean nobody should ever discuss with me but let's just say when we have both already let it die down, then let's leave it at that. Especially if both instances already say stuff like "I have no intention to talk further about this" (you) or "this is getting bad for me through my disorder" (me), especially as I can tell you, if it does not help me to bring up more and more points that are of almost fundamental nature and it does not contribute to my person saying "huh, okay, never thought about that and that it really would destroy the purpose of that other thing" then it only gets me more frustrated. I do not do these discussions where I seem obnoxious to people because it is my will. It is an urge on a scale that reaches far into disorder territory steming from an even worse time for me. Well, at least the disorder helps me a lot when gathering information.

    Thanks for your time.
  4. I wished you would not have continued this discussion with a neurotically disturbed person so I have to apologize to you in advance that I have to fall back into this pattern which I have to use to close this. And about "don't really care about Cloud's condition" - you actually started it once I posted a list of what is misunderstood.

    The "Self" is not a matter of opinion. This is just one of the modern day tries of humanity to be pseudo-philosophical and pseudo-psychological. There are the dynamics of personality. The instance to perceive reality is the ego, which can be flat out equated with the consciousness. If the organism develops an association to itself to differentiate "there is the external source and the internal source, there is the others and there is ... this ... that is not the others ... the internal source which is located exactly where information is registered ... self" the feeling of individialism is established. What the existence of an entity as individual "self" is is NOT open to debate, I repeat, it is NOT open to debate.

    What is not the person:
    The person is not the body. The body is just a host.
    The person is not the memories. The memories merely shape the character and thus the person but the person does not "die" by getting rid of those memories, nor does a potential clone getting a replica of those memories become that person.
    The person is not just a personality structure. This goes hand in hand with the memory thing. While to the character build of course we also say "personality" and the sum of traits of course is what we are used to recognize by people as there is nothing to focus on when there is a potential blank slate, the existence of the self in an on itself is something that functions as a basic layer before all that. It can and will never be replaced. Every self is its own entity.

    You always can answer these things with a thought experiment: What can I remove and replace. You can do that with a body. You can do that with memories and character traits. But you cannot do that with someone's own awareness of themselves. I do not, I repeat, not become a literal other being by forgetting or learning. I do not live for only one moment. This is as pseudo-philosophical as it gets. A person does not die the moment it gets amnesia and does not get magically ressurected one that is over. When I die and a perfect clone with my memories is created, I do not live again just because that clone is a perfect replica of me with my memory. That guy has his own sense of self.

    And to ultimately close this: Watch the video "How it's like to live with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DiD)". The person Encina will 100% show you what an entity itself is and that she is only one of those people. She is not the others and she will never be. Cloud does not suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder. And the "true Cloud" which you seem to imply as being a second literal person that knows Aerith is not "co-conscious" (not in the way you seem to think as another guy) just so it fits your description of still knowing her. You have to be aware of the implications of your own words and how they do not make sense. 1) It means that we run around with an entity that they want to die which is not the case (I will leave out the explanation here how alters normally do not get destroyed anyway, how it is normally impossible to get DiD when older, et cetera, especially with the latter one being handwaveable away through fiction), that 2) Cloud absolutely and without a doubt feels all that connection to Aerith (both in FFVII and VIIAC) and he cannot feel that connection if it was not him - you imply that it is still possible if he was co-conscious but someone that is co-conscious is still their own entity (as can be proven with the Encina video) and thus even while experiencing life situations still would not be "the entity that rightfully lived through the situation, became friends with somebody, etc." (in the Encina video she says one of her alters had a date - now if Encina is co-concious that does not make Encina have a date with that person, she simply witnesses) so of course I have to absolutely argue against the point that there are two literal Cloud because the entire logic of the story speaks against it. Pardon the comparison but what you say is about as logical as when the streamer SevenS1ns in DoC said "Hojo is a cyber clone, its not the real Hojo", when Hojo himself flat out said that he virtualized himself and the logic of the story is "I do not want to die, I want to become a god" instead of "I do not want to die, I want to become a god - so what do I do? I create a clone of myself that becomes a god instead and then I die". Those things are so fundamental I think even if you do not want to understand why I disagree with you you can see with that example why and how I feel when reading what you write. Cloud is the master of his illusions.
  5. Ooh boy a lot to come back to, but I can already see that I feel the underlying issue here is that you and I identify Cloud's personas differently when we use our terminology. Ultimately, I feel like this discussion is going to seriously start delving into existentialism, and why we may agree on certain aspects, I feel we're both approaching the concept from different world views which means we'll likely never see eye to eye on this subject as we both interpret Self differently. With that said, I'll clarify a few of my points as I feel part of the issue here is that I was not clear enough when I used certain terms.

    I don't believe I ever said OM (Original Memory) Cloud doesn't experience what his fake persona is doing. When I say the initial Cloud you meet is not the true self, it was never my intention to say that Cloud's core self was simply dormant the whole time. I feel the real Cloud is very much aware of what his fake persona is doing so he does know who Aerith is and is well aware of what he's been doing this whole time, but I don't believe he was in control of the situation either as it was more of his fake persona in charge. Likewise, I feel the scenes where Cloud's true self speaks in the inner monologues as well as fake Cloud's continual disturbed and eventual existential crisis at the climax of Disc 2 is simply the fake persona becoming aware of their true nature and eventually losing all sense of self.

    Where I feel we're at a standstill is that I feel that altering a person's memories would generate a new personality, identity itself being a culmination of memory, experience, genetic information, and likely a core awareness of personal distinction. Once you start tampering with that to the point of altering the predictable behavior an identity generates, I feel it's safe to say it's not the same person anymore. To me, this persona is based on enough altering factors that I would say it's not Cloud, nor do I feel Cloud would identify with his actions during this time frame, which only fuels some of his self-doubt that plagues him during Disc 2. Mask/Fake Cloud's actions are not the actions the original Cloud would have likely taken, thus I can't necessarily agree they're the same person, simply that mask is a constructed and splintered off personality that Sephiroth manipulates. Original Cloud is not sleeping or unaware of this other personality, and in the few cases of alternate personalities in real life, this is usually true for the patient as well. If this were a simple case of confabulation such as James Sutherland, I'd agree, but as discussed earlier, the origins of this fabricated persona makes me feel that I can't in good faith call Fake Cloud a simple self inflicted delusion, rather it's a partial manipulation and extensive brainwashing that has constructed a false persona for manipulation. For me it would be like dealing with an alternate timeline of yourself. Physically your the same being but your personalities could be radically different enough to be identified as two separate people.

    Overall though, we have to remember that we're trying to apply real world concepts on a story that obviously skimmed a freshmen text book on the subject matter, and thus the writers themselves are likely ignorant of the full scope of the idea they were playing around with. I honestly doubt Nojima or any of the other writer's could give a clear answer if they were part of this debate. With that said, I feel it's best we agree to disagree on the matter cause I honestly don't really care about Cloud's condition and have no desire to spend any time discussing it, hence why it took so long to get back to you.

    In terms of the nature of "self" itself. While I believe in an objective concept of self that likely permeates through all living beings, I feel it's too far removed from us to define it. We as humans can put it in terms by attributing factors to it to build identity, or examine the outside biological functions that we believe is the source of it, but I feel that information is transient and mutable at best. Simply dressing to help us put the idea and concept into terms we can discuss. Hence why I feel that manipulating those factors would alter the way one defines themselves and change the individual. I ultimately feel that most people use the terms of self and identity interchangeably and I don't believe that's the case. I feel the concept of Ego eimi is ultimately the closest people have come to attributing to my own definition of self.
  6. All this crap aside I still haven't come around to continue my Kingdom Hearts bullcrap dismantling. By now some Ultimania answers have been released but its not like those solve the problems as as always there are too many of them and a Kingdom Hearts Ultimania always brings in more problems than before since it never acknowledges that with every answer new contradictions are made. At least Final Fantasy always has an Ultimania that is not that big of a deal and some answers actual are worth something. Well, in some context some for Kingdom Hearts also are, but there is just too much that can be a weakness in its lore.
  7. I advise you to re-read everything if you are interested because I have made edits.
  8. "While I can agree that he has most of the symptoms of confabulation, I feel his disorder goes beyond simply just filling the gaps in his memory and borderlines on disassociate identity disorder, which is why I feel the fugue state diagnosis fits better. Man I feel like I'm back in abnormal psychology class all over again."

    There is a significant difference to that which is why I pointed it out earlier and it is SO important to understand that because it is a completely different story when you think there are two literal guys running around instead of just one. Mask Cloud is not a second entity that gets destroyed. It is just that. A mask. There is no "Cloud never actually met Aerith so he does not need to feel sorry for her or never liked her because he never knew her" or anything. Cloud and Aerith met. She just wanted to met "HIM", as in, fully restored and healthy as he ordinarily was. Cloud CANNOT treat stuff from the first 1.5 CDs as something he lived through if that was not himself but he does. Because it was him. I do not know how close a fugue state is to a literal dissociative identity disorder. If it allows the self to be the same and suffer from that stuff and try to cope with it then I do not really care if we call it "confabulation" or "fugue state" because then that is just semantics. But it definitely is not a dissociative identity disorder because that creates a literal seperate entity. This is very very important. A "different personality" is not the same thing as a "different entity". And one that suffers from such a psychotic break does not just go through "oh let's forcibly change my character". He literally swaps out for another guy. Mask Cloud is not another guy. One Cloud that lives through it all. Not Wolf Kanno and Sephiroth sharing one body and arguing here. This is a very important difference that influences the narrative. And a fugue state can actually create such a thing from the get-go, as I just looked up to refresh so this is more than unfitting.

    Maybe you are not even trying to argue that and you do not mean stuff like "identity" on a literal level but I got to really really point out that difference because what an entity from the core is can be pretty much presented on an axiomatic level. With my neurotic behaviour and focus on psychological and existential thinking I have to point out a metaphorical and literal difference. Which is by the way why Nier 2 is not just contradicting the lore of the first game but also can only be accepted because it is "fiction trying to get the right point across" even though the tools it uses for questioning existence in reality are literally contradicting things. Just like Detroit Become Human raises questions for 20 year old people that are blatantly obviously answered. Biological Life is cellular life. Psychological life is the result of a cognitive system establishing an instance to perceive reality which can evolve furthermore through something that I personally to make it easier call "self association" to create a sense of self. And every sense of self is its own personal entity. Memories can be replaced. Characteristics can be changed, especially through the memories. But the entity will always be the one entity that starts with the sense of self. Which is why I hate the sentence "you are not yourself". No. You cannot be someone else than yourself. No matter what happens you always take your Self with you because that is you. I cannot literally become somebody else. Just like "presence" cannot be left behind. Which is why the sentence only works as metaphorical expression.

    I do not know if Nojima-san does a solid job this time when it comes to making it more obvious but I think no matter what people are going to bring on their crap anyway. Like the really nice FF Peasant on youtube that brings theories with one single line in the game already contradicting him and he says he knows that but nonetheless he wasted his time making that video.
  9. "That is why I would argue that Cloud's initial identity is a fabrication, and not simple him trying to fill in holes of his memory."

    Going by exactly what the game gives us, seeing how much of his ordinary character is still on the surface as well as a piece of dialogue with Aerith that is just not available because of a glitch that nonetheless showed she was very much able to see which parts were "his" everything shows that there were a lot of his "normal" traits on the surface and that the rest was the result of inevitable change due to the circumstances.

    "He's being manipulated by Sephiroth through Jenova's DNA, he has transposed himself into the role of Zack, and his initially personality throughout the first disc involves taking on the characteristics of both Zack and Sephiroth which is then completely dropped once his identity is restored. In the case of James Sutherland, his confabulation simply hides the truth of his guilt from him, but he does not undergo any noticeable changes of his personality."

    Which is where you are making a big mistake. James' character does not change because the mask to cope does not influence him enough. The mask that Cloud creates from reading Tifa's mind and to live on with reality gives him experiences that would of course change his character. It has nothing to do with it not being confabulation or not being "the same Cloud that is just lying to himself". Their reasons for confabulating were simply different. James did it because he could not deal with the fact that he killed his wife on her death-bed out of mercy (and frustration). Cloud confabulated through subconscious activation of Jenova cells because he was in a miserable state and he was so ashamed so of course the outcome would lead to a change of character as that was the entire purpose.

    "Ashley Riot in Vagrant Story also never shifts his personality much when learning his past is a lie, but then that game also makes it difficult to discern which scenario is actually true. Cloud on the other hand begins the game with Sephy's "too cool for school" attitude when dealing with AVALANCHE, finally starts to show his past self when dealign with Tifa, and then jumps into a more heroic self once Aerith shows up, drawing on Zack's selflessness and bravado. Cloud's persona is presented as being rather inconsistent and erratic from the beginning, which I feel is there to serve as early foreshadowing that Cloud isn't who he says he is."

    Which is fine because not every case is the same. But your Cloud shifting perfectly presents what I am saying: It is Cloud. Not Cloud and his newly created friend Kloud. This "inconsistent" behaviour consists of normal characteristics that he also has when healthy proving my point that it is not just some other guy taking control while Cloud hides in a corner but instead the same guy that just altered HIMSELF so much to the extent that he does not even realize that the guy that is talking to him and who is asked by him who he is in reality is just his own brain having a subconscious talk instead of a Gollum-Smeagol talk.

    It is absolutely true the story takes some liberties when it comes to expressing things especially when it comes to the subconscious stuff but I can not point out enough: "TRUE CLOUD" NEVER NOT EXPERIENCED HALF OF THE STORY. When healthy again he sees himself as the result of all that crap that happens. He acknowledges HIS time during all that psychological crap, not that it was some other guy.
  10. "Oh you and I both know that's going to happen. I'm sure Nojima and Nomura will alter the Remake plot in a way that's different from both the original and Compilation. It will likely be a third interpretation of the title."
    I would not be sure about that. They assured the fans that there would only be tweaks with the core staying intact so I would seriously hope that this is the case.

    "As for the confusion on Cloud, I never saw Cloud's issue as simple confabulation, I honestly feel like he's suffering from a fugue state instead. I say this because I feel there is a significant change in how Cloud acts and presents himself before and after the revelation of his true identity. He loses a lot of his cockiness and bravado and instead starts to second guess himself a lot more."

    Which goes directly hand in hand with confabulation. When I talked with the user "Spooniest" a few years ago I saw that you Americans (you are one as well, right?) have a different understanding what "Confabulation" means. Which is why I pointed it out directly with the example. A fugue state is of dissociative nature. This goes too much into the territory of a brand new entity being born through a psychotic break. And this is not what happens with Cloud. A direct result of confabulation, the repressing of a troublesome memory and replacement of it with another one to create a "half-truth" goes hand in hand with a change of the character on the surface while other ordinary traits stay intact. You know what that is such an important thing to differentiate? Because everything that would create a different entity would result in more than just a "different person" from a metaphorical perspective (metaphorical perspective: I'm telling you "wow, you're not yourself", "wow, you are not the guy you were 10 years ago" - literal perspective: seperate self: you and me, Smeagol and Gollum, literally every human that suffers from a psychotic breaks where the brain splits of a part of the psyche and creates a different self that is not your own and literally has nothing to do with you). Now you might ask "ok, what are you actually trying to say?"
    I am telling that because the game never ever has a literal second Cloud that is "not THE Cloud". There is no difference between a "true Cloud" and a "mask Cloud". If by "true" people say "his ordinary and healthy character" then yes, that is absolutely true. If by "true" they think it means "there are two seperate guys, one is A and the other one is B" then no. It is really important to understand that the "echo" that Cloud hears is not a literal person; that the Cloud that Tifa talks to in the Lifestream is not a literal different being. As Cloud acknowledges it, he "is the master of illusions". He does not hide and lets another person do the job. It is him. And that is important. He went through a change based on this psychological problem and he did not realize. We do not literally run around with another person for one half of the game and then this person gets destroyed and then we run around with another person. This does not happen. The Ego, the sense of self is what we are. And Cloud only hosts one. Well. Technically he hosts more. Since Sephiroth haunts him. But you know what I mean. This is no case of Johnny Depp in the Secret Window creating "John Shooter" while not being aware that this John Shooter guy shares one body with him. This is a case of "oh I am such a loser, I without having active control over it better convince myself as defense mechanism that I was more than I am and can live on with my life as long as Tifa does not decide to tell everyone including myself that I was bulltroutting".

    "Of course the other issue at play here is that the circumstances of Cloud's identity crisis goes beyond psychology since we have to deal with the fact he's being manipulated through alien DNA as well, so I don't feel we can rule out a more complex answer to his condition."
    I will when it comes to that all the time 100% agree with you about that but confabulation is still the disorder that comes the closest in real life.
    To prevent itself from getting damaged, the brain represses troublesome memories, looks for things it can do to create half-truths and thus cope with the situation better.
    Except for the "oh, it is from an alien thing" this is exactly what happens.
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