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    I feel there are two fanwank theories I can give to have an answer here.

    The first is most likely the real reason, Sephy took the long road because he was doing it to smurf with Cloud. This is especially true with waiting to have Cloud give him the Black Materia because nothing would probably send him over the edge more than knowing that he helped him the whole way, and Sephy didn't bother with direct control most of the time because it would have given Cloud an excuse not to feel everything wasn't his fault. So yeah, just plain old bitter revenge for hurting his pride back in Nibelheim.

    Theory two is less likely, but intriguing, Sephy didn't actually do half the stuff Cloud saw, but instead Sephy made him think it. The Midgard Zolom and Jenova battles are Jenova possessed Sephy of course, but things like talking to Dio or the truck driver never occurred, but when Cloud speaks to them, Sephy makes him hear what he wants to hear or see what he wants to see. There is of course no evidence for this one, but it is an amusing thought experiment.

    As for Sephy needing his original body to cast Meteor, I would imagine that it was simply due to location, with his physical body being conveniently trapped in a mako rich area required to summon the materia. Outside of Mideel, most other mako rich locations seen within the game have been harvested by Shin-Ra, so just getting it to him would work out better since it resolves the second half of the requirements to use. Another idea may be that Jenova's alien biology makes it incapable of using materia from the planet since it's a foreign being, but that theory is unlikely and personally, I still feel like the black materia came from her originally anyway.

    Sephy ultimately has the same problem that Ex-Death has which is that he puts a lot of effort into gaining godlike powers despite the fact that they have so many story breaking powers to begin with that they really don't need the plot device powers in the first place. Course I tend to hand wave it all away because Ex-Death is an amalgamation of evil, so it would make sense that he would be so greedy to always want more, whereas Sephy's goal isn't far off from what Jenova does anyway and so his plan is just a human rationale of his alien instincts he's following.

    Overall, I still imagine Sephy is going to take the long road mindrape path like he did the original, so bread crumbs ever after.
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    I always figured Sephy never showed off the full extent of his abilities in Disc 1 simply because he just needed to leave bread crumbs for Cloud. Though I also feel his obsession with Cloud was always a bit wonky in the English translation. With that said, I expect Sephy's inhuman abilities will likely get more screentime in this one, so I wouldn't be surprised if we got to actually see the scenes where he butchers President Shinra and the MIdgar Zolom in this one.

    I agree that they should have left the reveal for Sephy for later, but I also figure this is a remake for the long time fans and thus they chose to introduce him early since there is no point in hiding his existence in the plot. Chances are that Cloud's mental episodes are going to have a more visceral visual effect than the ambiguous dialogue from the original so they might as well just reveal the poor guy still has PTSD from 5 years ago. I'm wondering if they'll be even more heavy handed about Zack's existence in this one, like maybe Aerith will see a vision of Zack when she meets Cloud at the church with his image over lining Cloud's before it returns to just Cloud? We'll know in March I guess.

    I dabbled in Fragmentary Passage but didn't get far since I wanted to finish BbS first. Sadly, I'm burnt out on KH for the moment, so it may be awhile before I see that episode or even KHIII. Just more games in my backlog at the moment.

    Glad you're enjoying CT still, I'm sure everyone in the forum knows its my favorite game.
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    Yeah, I'm pretty sure Aerith will have some quirks to her style that makes her play differently. I imagine her ATB may load faster than other characters so she can use magic and skills more frequently. I've read that all of the characters have an FFX deal going where certain characters are built for facing of with certain types of opponents with better proficiency.

    I'm sure we'll see some over the top wire-fu once we get to them trying to implement some of the higher tier limit breaks as skills. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Cloud get access to his AC version of Omnislash much like what we saw in Dissidia.
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    Did you notice Aerith has a move called Gaia's Wrath in her command list in screenshots? Perhaps they're going to go back to the idea of her being a geomancer.
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    I feel the reason Cover and Counter would be remove is because they would likely take control away of the party member. Now that I've thought about it though, I can see a way Counter could work though the new ATB mechanics may take out the Command/Summon Counter materias since you would only be able to activate the move when the character had enough MP and ATB to utilize it, so either certain mechanics would have to change to compensate, or the materia will be dropped or heavily retooled.
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    Yeah, we'll just skip CC at the moment because my issue with adding to that scene really stems with my issue of the game as a whole and SE's insistence on trying to make side stories just as earth shattering as the original IP they are based on, but that can be a discussion for another day. Personally, I feel the ending would have been better if the scene had played exactly like the original scene without the extra scenes and dialogue because Zack's story should have always been a Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story.

    I feel my issue with Hyne really is just the fact that it's weird to name drop such an important figure and then never really go into them again at all. Like I figured Ultimecia's goal with Time Compression was always meant to be here trying to reunite and take control of Hyne's power, but the fact that even that is never directly stated is kind of weird to me. VIII has so many strange world building issues.

    Yeah, I'm aware of the novel, though I've heard the game is a very loose adaptation of it. Personally, I think the more interesting thing about PE is that most the game feels like it was built from all of the discarded ideas from VII. The Guch wanted the story to be set in New York City, Jenova was originally envisioned as a biological component within all beings and that Shin-Ra was simply trying to wake it up with Sephiroth being an artificial Eve type figure.

    I've always liked the fact the Square's core developers tended to save unused ideas for later games, such as Celes' unused spy role being utilized for Cait Sith, or how VI and CT's plots utilized several unused ideas for Secret of Mana, and how Xenogears used several unused ideas from CT. It's nice to see interesting ideas didn't simply just die with the finished project, but instead moved onto become their own thing.
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    I have played maybe five minutes of Parasite Eve at most. I had no disposable income when it first came out and I only acquired the game years after it's release. I think I tried to play it while I was between games but it didn't hook me at the time. I meant to play it last year when I was revisiting the PS1 era Square titles, but I got consumed by my new found love of the SaGa franchise. I might try again this year since I've always been interested in playing through it.

    I agree that VIII is the real first "fantasy based in reality" story. Hell, I never understood that tagline anyway since everything we ever saw from Versus XIII proved contrary to that statement. I'm not even sure Nomura could explain it since he has a bad habit of latching onto weird phrasing that sounds cool to him, hence every subtitle in a KH game ever. Still, I actually liked VIII's portrayal of it;s world, I only wish we had a chance to really explore the setting more. I've always been curious about the geopolitical climate of the Galbadian continent and I still feel like the info given about the Centra and their disappearance was pretty lazy. Conceptually, I feel VIII had a lot of great ideas in terms of its world building, but it also feels like there was too much and perhaps the writer's simply stuck to what they were interested in, which is why some of the more interesting concepts never go anywhere. I still feel like Hyne was meant to play a more substantial role in the game beyond being a cheeky shout out to FFIII. I feel like VIII, more than the other PS1 titles probably had more ideas that never made it out of pre-production than players know.
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    It did kind of overwrite things though, as it added dialogue that Zack gives to Cloud, the original is more poignant due to feeling more senseless whereas Crisis Core tries too hard to give Zack greater meaning. I feel it undermines the original intent of the character who was so invaluable to Cloud's character but no one really knew anything about him until the reveal and the short flashback. Having Zack give some silly speech about legacy and handing off his sword does retcon the original scene as none of that happens. The game basically tries too hard to make the player feel better for him whereas I prefer the more shocking and abrupt end given in the original.

    It would be like George Lucas redoing the scene from Empire Strikes Back where Vader reveals he's Luke's father and then he adds in a ten minute exchange that tries too hard to take a shocking scene and drag it out longer until it's almost a farce in itself. Likewise, CC's ending is taking a really powerful moment from the original and trying to drag it out and milk it for all it's emotional worth, which is frankly a bad choice. Having Zack's 10 second disappearance from the original transformed into a ten minute battle against the Shin-Ra army is trying too hard to make more out of him than was really necessary. CC in general was trying too hard to be over the top and like the original in terms of scale that it makes the series continuity almost laughable. I honestly feel a story that simply explored the SOLDIER program and unit would have been more interesting and better for the series lore than by forcibly adding a Sephiroth expy and having Zack go through a thinly veiled redo of the major plot points of VII.
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    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.
  10. View Conversation
    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.
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