Post Reply Essay # 1: Retcons and Original
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Posted 9/6/08 , edited 9/6/08
Retcons and Original: I Blame The Fans
An Essay by Secret Leavings

One might today put in Final Fantasy VII for the original Playstation game system and find a set of characters and story they’re unfamiliar with. But how could this be? They have Advent Children, Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, Before Crisis, Last Order, and even Ultimania OMEGA. So what’s the problem? Retcons. Retcons are when later in the series an author or company changes the story from how it was originally. Retcons are almost always just to make fans happy. Almost every piece of the Final Fantasy VII spin off series has retcons in it. I shall now break it down.

Advent Children’s biggest “sin” when it comes to retcons is character altering. Cloud, by the end of Final Fantasy VII, was relatively still weird and goofy. He said, “let’s mosey” right before fighting a demi-god. So why would after two years, that could’ve been used to help him come to terms with Aerith, Cloud became an angsty pre-teen bitch? Because Square Enix discovered the “Squall Factor”. The majority of Final Fantasy players are teenage geeks who would associate with someone who is brooding, angsty, semi-self loathing and troubled (like a teenager) rather than just a socially awkward but still sociable man. Even after Cloud makes his piece with his dead paramour he still doesn’t stop the angsty pre-teen behavior. I would normally think Cloud more than willing to pitch in at WRO but because he’s selfish and immature he does so grudgingly.

Dirge of Cerberus is the retcon whipping boy. Meet the “Vincent Factor”! Vincent is a lame, shallow fan boy/girl’s wet dream. He’s effeminately attractive, vampire like, angsty, immature in his emotional state, and carries a fancy pistol. But Professor Hojo is old and crazy. Ew! Now I would like to say that this thinking is all very shallow. Before Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent was genuinely rejected. Lucrecia knew her priorities. She didn’t want him. She wanted science. Dirge of Cerberus went and stomped all over that and portrayed Lucrecia in a less than feminist role. She accidentally killed his dad (who was never even a plausible factor before) and went to some rather asinine lengths to avoid Vincent. This was to make the relationship of Vincent and Lucrecia seem more plausible while I find it only makes the case weaker. It’s ridiculous. Why would she go so far as to marry and bear the child of someone as “icky” as Hojo just to avoid her emo paramour? Nice try, Square.

Last Order and Crisis Core are of the same realm. They “improve” upon Zack. And by improve I mean make him more palatable to the fan base they’re pandering to. In the VII flashbacks he is stated to only have one girlfriend but to be a bit of a flirt. In Crisis Core he keeps not two but three lady friends. Sure he cares more about Aerith than them but that’s like Hugh Heffner saying he loves his top girlfriend. I personally find him repugnant in due to that and the other changes. He also became ridiculously strong. Sephiroth, who has been altered since birth to be a walking murder machine, killed Zack in one strong blow in VII. Last Order instead gave them a big old fight scene. Oh yeah, and now he can dodge bullets in slow motion. Pretty lame.

Last Order also altered the fate of Final Fantasy’s favorite girly Oedipus: Sephiroth. In the flashbacks presented in VII Cloud is speared through the shoulder by the Masamune and Sephiroth dangles him above a fall to his death. Cloud eventually regains his strength, grips the sword, and drags himself along the blade and back on to the bridge. With the sword still firmly implanted in his abdomen he throws Sephiroth off the bridge to the fate he himself was being offered. Last Order just wouldn’t have it! While Cloud does get impaled and does drag himself along the blade to safety, Sephiroth swings him off before Cloud can grip the blade. Then, I believe due to soon arrival of more Shinra officers, Sephiroth willingly leaps off the bridge with Jenova’s head. They spared Oedipus Rex the shame of being killed by Cloud.

While this essay didn’t cover every retcon in not only Final Fantasy but also the Final Fantasy VII Reunion collection it does cover some of the more gratuitous ones. I hope you were intrigued and learned that fandom is much more than thinking a character is “hawt” or “bad ass”.
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Posted 9/6/08
well Caitlin,

that is pretty harsh of you.

and i won't say a thing. i probably can't debate about this with you. XD. i'd lose. but then again, how would they know that final fantasy VII is supposed to be branched out when they made it back in 1997..this all is part of marketing schemes..and also..i think they said something about "when they hit the jackpot..they'd try and squeeze every single drop of it as much as they can." and that is probably why they retcon most of final fantasy VII and try and connect everything and make everything canon..but as you say..they failed..like how the scene goes in the reactor where cloud grabs masamune and throws sephiroth down. its been retconned over and over again. then there is Hawt and bad ass. that my friend is being human.
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Posted 9/6/08 , edited 9/6/08

mrfinalfantasy wrote:

well Caitlin,

that is pretty harsh of you.

and i won't say a thing. i probably can't debate about this with you. XD. i'd lose. but then again, how would they know that final fantasy VII is supposed to be branched out when they made it back in 1997..this all is part of marketing schemes..and also..i think they said something about "when they hit the jackpot..they'd try and squeeze every single drop of it as much as they can." and that is probably why they retcon most of final fantasy VII and try and connect everything and make everything canon..but as you say..they failed..like how the scene goes in the reactor where cloud grabs masamune and throws sephiroth down. its been retconned over and over again. then there is Hawt and bad ass. that my friend is being human.


If that is being human then I must be a demi-god. I like Professor Hojo because of his unending lust for the truth and desire for knowledge that drove him to madness. The human condition is boredom and loneliness not shallowness. You can think of things on a more emotional and mental level if you just try!

By the way, call me Cate or Secret. I'm not crazy about my proper name.
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ooh! you're angry!!! sorry Cate..but i had a bad feeling about this post..you know..you sounded like you're trying to massacre final fantasy VII..but then again..there is millions of Final Fantasy VII fans..and i am trying to save u!..everyone loves cloud..probably not because of his teenage angst..maybe because he wields a big cool Zweihander called Buster Sword and First Tsurugi..XD..well..mainly if i ignore all the bloody Squall-Syndrome..then that's mainly the reason why i like Cloud Strife..XD..kind of a pathetic reason..but suddenly..thanks to Cloud Strife..small thin guys with BIG BIG swords tends to look REALLY REALLY FIERCE..but then again..nothing beats big swords vs a whole platoon of shinra soldiers..XD..
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Posted 9/6/08 , edited 9/6/08
Well.............................................................agreed......hahaha xD

but to say anymore would put me on the Fan B/G target list......and ehhhhhhh i dunno if im feeling argumentative these days! espec. with the kiddies!.....xD oh...and im getting old.....

though i will say...........i agree with Mr.FF...from an artist perspective....i fell in love with cloud based on his anime style Character Design....and yes his huge sword! xD

dude check my avatar......."Rip off Much?!".....hahaha







-RpGJuNki3



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I think a thin, effeminate man holding a large sword is not "fierce". It's disproportionate. I like VII but I like the ORIGINAL VII. Not the VII from these fan built spin offs. I like the VII where a man who is genuinely kind hearted but socially lacking falls in tragic love with an ambitious and spirited woman.

I think liking a character for looks and "bad assery" is shallow. I like to judge a character on not only appearance but also actions and personality. I liked the original Cloud. He was endearingly odd and quirky but well meaning. He was warped into a pre-teen bitch when AC came out.
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Posted 9/6/08
hahahaha dammmmm man....-_-

were friends right secret?...haha
dont forget what i told you on aim

BUT......Thats mad disappointing to hear you call cloud disproportionate....especially considering your an artist?? thats kinda sad.... .......but its all your close minded opinion right?.....

and hahaha wow.... i think this is the first time ive ever been called shallow for thinking a male video game character looked cool ? xD geesuzz christ sue me....im a dude?!

Check it....and and i bet both me & Mr FF can agree that were not only deciding how we feel for character based solely on there Character Design...once again were guys...
can we not think hes partially cool cause of how he looks xD

and shit...If that were true for me?......then ashe would be my favorite FF girl....cause though i think shes the most gorgeous/sickest female character design Nomura has created.......i think her personality sux.....
and not cause the drastic difference from the past heroines but...well if you played 12 then u know the story forces her persona to have a certain annoyance ....xD

But dang.....Secret...i think these Spin offs have really created a bitter monster out of you....
i think everyone can agree on some level....its suxed what happen to FF7..but u know
roll with it man......just appreciate what it is.....SE has milked 7....that's all there is to it
and i doubt this will be the last time we will see the 7 crew.....
somethings gonna come out on the PS3..i mean...why would they kill it off on the psp...when they've pushed the graphics and Cg to that level with AC.

but u know...its all my opinion xD

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I come off as bitter because I feel its my job to be the person to vocalize this. I'm a very intellectual leaning person. I prefer analyzing a Victor Hugo book to watching anything on TV. I'm not close minded either. I find that very offensive. I just stand firm for what I think. I just won't willingly support shallowness and ignorance. It doesn't make you a shallow person to like a character for looks it is just a shallow judgment.

Excuse me if I sound harsh or cold in my writing. It's just how I talk...
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haha of course you stand firm for wat you believe.. your Secret!......even saying the name strikes fear in my heart!......xD

but dammm...not again...
your honestly gonna try and praise your self cause you choose to read a Victor Hugo Book over watching tV??.......does not....make me any less intellectual....?

and in no way is it your job?.....you choose to glorify your self as make your views known
comon now.....the fact that you have to sit they and defend your self with some off topic interest......shows ur insecurity with how were seeing you right now?......

as far as shallowness goes........everyone shallow on some level whether you agree with me or not...........
but dont get me wrong...i hate shallow ignorant ppl with a passion...

but why try and dirty my name and MR FF with saying and associating us with having a "Shallow judgment" over a video game character??....its so unnecessary
there designed to look appealing??....if they didnt....then the Character Designers are doing something wrong....??

And yea just a tad...your writing is harsh and cold.....but i just think u have such a high mighty view of yourself that your blind to exactly that....a exaggerated sense of self-importance

this coming of course from a friend...





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Posted 9/8/08 , edited 9/8/08
Sorry to interrupt this back-and-forth but... When did Zack get 3 girlfriends??? If you count that he was two-timing Aerith with Cissnei then, fine, 2.. but where's the third one hmm? Unless of course you counted Tifa... the only other female who he was on proper talking terms with but only because of the Nibelheim incident... (and Square putting in more conversation between them for the sake of it.................. ) But then again he's supposed to be a flirt so the receptionist lady and maybe someone else I have forgotten was just that.... flirting right? If you talk to the female... it doesn't mean they're your girlfriend.... otherwise...... well yea.... (O RIGHT there was Yuffie too XD ya but God it was really in there for comic relief XD you have issues if you think otherwise lollol)

Also I can't help but read the back-and-forth XD To Secret, I'm sure it's the human that decided that "analysing books" is more "intellectual" .., well the "human condition" is everything around us.. all senses and all levels (of stupidity and whatnot lol)! If not then god we are not human but then again we, humans, are the ones defining ourselves as humans..... so this is just going in circles lol

As for character design... its partially MARKETING XD! Designers are fully aware that people will buy the game if the characters look good, that is the "cover" looks good... of course our first instincts, unless you have been trained otherwise, are to shun what "grosses" us out. Of course to completely shun would be "shallow" in todays terms but that's how it was with most people. But now... most people would have the initial "shun!!!!!!!!!!!!" then think "ah BUT ladaladalada"... from our improved education I guess :O (I hate English Literature...... absolute hate...... no offense (I mean it) but who sits around reading words written by someone else then tries to find meaning in there that won't do a gram (hooray for metric) of good? GAaahhhhhhHHH sorry I just really hate that subject....... Have to rant about it once in a while.. and yes sometimes it can be fun depending on the teacher but GAAAH pointless)

O wow look at my rant
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cheesepizza wrote:

Sorry to interrupt this back-and-forth but... When did Zack get 3 girlfriends??? If you count that he was two-timing Aerith with Cissnei then, fine, 2.. but where's the third one hmm? Unless of course you counted Tifa... the only other female who he was on proper talking terms with but only because of the Nibelheim incident... (and Square putting in more conversation between them for the sake of it.................. ) But then again he's supposed to be a flirt so the receptionist lady and maybe someone else I have forgotten was just that.... flirting right? If you talk to the female... it doesn't mean they're your girlfriend.... otherwise...... well yea.... (O RIGHT there was Yuffie too XD ya but God it was really in there for comic relief XD you have issues if you think otherwise lollol)

Also I can't help but read the back-and-forth XD To Secret, I'm sure it's the human that decided that "analysing books" is more "intellectual" .., well the "human condition" is everything around us.. all senses and all levels (of stupidity and whatnot lol)! If not then god we are not human but then again we, humans, are the ones defining ourselves as humans..... so this is just going in circles lol

As for character design... its partially MARKETING XD! Designers are fully aware that people will buy the game if the characters look good, that is the "cover" looks good... of course our first instincts, unless you have been trained otherwise, are to shun what "grosses" us out. Of course to completely shun would be "shallow" in todays terms but that's how it was with most people. But now... most people would have the initial "shun!!!!!!!!!!!!" then think "ah BUT ladaladalada"... from our improved education I guess :O (I hate English Literature...... absolute hate...... no offense (I mean it) but who sits around reading words written by someone else then tries to find meaning in there that won't do a gram (hooray for metric) of good? GAaahhhhhhHHH sorry I just really hate that subject....... Have to rant about it once in a while.. and yes sometimes it can be fun depending on the teacher but GAAAH pointless)

O wow look at my rant


haha
cheesepizza.......im not gonna lie......u seriously confuzzled me xD

though i found this hilarious
But now... most people would have the initial "shun!!!!!!!!!!!!" then think "ah BUT ladaladalada"...
genius...xD
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