Sitting in my room I watch the train race along the tracks. Familiar music is pumping through the little PsP speakers, but it doesnít matter. I feel excited as Iím starting up another new game. Itís been over a decade and Iím still hooked playing. After all of this time my obsession is still going strong, but has changed over the years and yet I never get bored playing Final Fantasy VII.
When you first watch the first scenes of the game you have no idea what the fuck is going on. You see nothing but blackness for a little while and think youíre just drifting into space until you see the face of a girl, then once the music starts and the camera zooms out to view this behemoth of a metalized city you zoom right back in to watch a train pull into a station. People rush off and beat the crap out of the guards that try to stop your guys, but thereís no time to waste!
I tend to think I love this game for other reasons than most others, but I know thereís other people out there like me. With as wide spread as the game is thereís very little explaining needed. Sometimes I curse this, and sometimes I donít care. I love how the characters are so different and a little bit dorky in their own way. I love the music. Iím the musical type, so when I hear good music it puts me in the best of moods. Finally there was a game aside from Mario RPG that I could really race my older brother to beat it first. Drowning within the story I fell in love with Final Fantasy VII in a heartbeat. I can remember the AD I saw on TV when it first came out and wanting to play it, but we were a Nintendo family and had a N64 and not a Playstation. It was until a few years later that I heard about the game from a friend of mine. Somehow either I was too tired to understand what the hell she rambled about or she just didnít make much sense talking about it, but I knew I wanted to play especially after playing it at her house for a few hours.
When my brother and I got a PSone for Christmas that year I was so happy. It was nothing but Spiral the Dragon and FFVII for me, but I ended up playing mostly FFVII. As I said I loved the characters. Cloud wasnít my favorite at first. Because I was hanging around my friend who got me into the game was a major Sephiroth fan, (who at one point did a nicely done Safer Sephiroth painting on her wall,) I ended up hating Cloud. However, the more I played the more I couldnít help but love the dork. The story was another thing that drew me in farther to the game. In the beginning it speaks of saving the planet and giving my type of personality itís something I can dig.
In the end you find the truth to everything. Turns out Cloud was insane for the years of being in a tube and snapped when the only person who cared for him at the time up and died saving his butt. That and the guards figuring Cloud was too messed to up survive. The ending was what made me wonder whatever happened. Sure you can see Red XIII and some cubs in that snippet at the end, but it doesnít really tell you much.
There was a point where I knew I was obsessed with the game when I started to RP with one friend I made. Ironically, I didnít play my favorite character, Cloud, my friend did. Oddly I played his favorite characters. Though to make a long story short, I loved Role Playing with my friend. We had some crazy plotlines over the years and kind of miss it now that weíve seem to talk sparsely. We tried to keep our thoughts out of the characters we played and usually spazzed at others when we thought they did horrible jobs playing characters. There are a few fond memories I have back when I still used AOL and Iíd play Zidane falling out of a bar rafters in a drunken stupor as he would then hit on everyone that had two legs while my best friend played Vivi. It was awesome.
I swear he was crazy at times.
When FFVII: AC was said to be released, I was tickled pink. With still playing FFVII many times I was beyond excited. I had preordered my copy with Game Stop. However, somehow my friend got a hold of the Japanese copy without sub-titles. At first he tried to send it to me through AIM, but it didnít work so we went with the good old mail system. I remember how baffled we were wondering why it took over a week to cross one state. We found out he didnít put enough stamps on it. When I finally got my letter I couldnít help but laugh at the entire thing he drew and wrote on the letter. That and the fact that the envelop was two posted notes taped together. Mind you, I donít know a lick of Japanese. But as I watched in horror and some confusion due to dialog, I wondered to myself, what happened to my beloved game? Why half of the time was spent flying through the air? At least with Sephiroth we know he can fly. And there were just a lot of things I disliked about the movie. Sure the ending was cheesetastic, but it was closer, especially for Cloud. A different friend of mine gave me some sub-titles and was still confused. Really I hoped the English version would be better. Sadden, even after when I got my English copy I was still saddened by the dialog not helping me out. I heard that FFVII: ACC makes a ton of a lot more sense with 30 minutes piled on there. But why didnít SE just do that to begin with? I think I can hear mooing from the cash cow. I still havenít been able to watch the newer movie. I could have at a friendís place, but we ended up getting drunk for New Yearís.
At least from what I can remember DoC came after AC. I know it was set a year after AC. I love Vincent not because he wields a gun. I like guns, but I liked Vincent because of how fucked up he is. Hereís a guy who was locked away in a coffin for 30 some years with his own personal demons that haunted his mind. You canít tell me heís the sanest out of the lot. Really I just imagine this guy who probably has a different personality for each limit break he has, and even the man he is now would be separate from when he was a TURK. Heís not really a vampire, but they never say isnít. Though in personal opinion whenever I had to play him with my friend I usually gave him a few traits of one. Iíll be honest and admit that Iíve never played the game. I remember standing in the Game Stop staring at the game in wonder if itís worth buying it. Of course with time come spoilers. I never got the full story, but from what I heard makes me want to groan and climb into my own coffin and hope in 30 years something decent would surface or it would just all stop. This isnít even touching the subject of Vincent/Yuffie fans. I dislike Yuffie a lot and having a game full of her is a real turn off. I honestly donít understand why sheís in the game. At least with Reeve he was a part of ShinRa so I can see the logic there. But as Iíve said, Iíve never played the game.
After DoC I think there was a slew of cell phone games and short movies that came out over Japan. I remember watching Last Order (at least I think thatís what it was called.) I remember liking it. It wasnít too long, and it didnít feel too short. Luckily I watched one that had sub-titles. I loved seeing Zack. Zack was another character I adored, and was always sad how little he was in FFVII, but considering he was dead before the time the game starts I can understand why.
Speaking of that asshole of a ladyís man, he got his own goddamn game! Once again I felt myself excited. Went through the same rollercoaster as with AC; preordered, waited for the release, got it, played. I will say this. I loved Zack in the game. Somehow in spite of the really shitty storyline they forced him in, he still came out like a star. He, Aerith, Cloud, Tseng, and even Sephiroth had his moments. So what fucked it up? Genisis and Angeal. Most of the new characters that were forced into the game made me want to scream. I think Genisis was hinted in DoC, but since I never played it I really have no idea. I know people tell me most days ďits cannon you canít argue with cannon.Ē but what about the first game? I know things can change between games, but it just feels so forced. We get two genetic rejects that youíre supposed to feel sorry for or be in awe of but end up laughing at. At least I ended up laughing at Genisis, Angeal I didnít like or dislike. But the other scientistÖ I couldnít be happier to kill him. Maybe if they had given him a different personality I could have liked him, but there was just no way I could believe that he did all of this crap before Hojo or worked with him or whatever the fuck it was suppose to be. Also this Goddess horse shit. I know some people are religious, but seriously? Are we going to start a religion in the FFVII world? I like to think out of Genisisí stupid insanity he was hallucinating all of that crap and died.
If I may ask, what is with all of the holograms and really techy stuff in these newer games? Sure there was airships and a fucking rocket in FFVII but I donít really remember any high tech training rooms that you see in CC thatís suppose to be at least seven years before when FFVII starts. Maybe they had it during CC, forgot it during FVII, and remembered they had this shit laying around in DoC. Remember the scene when Cloud and co. jumped off the airship into Midgar like total badasses? Yeah that shit wouldíve been way better with fucking air-boards. At least I can say the graphics was as beautiful as the movie along with the music. Though I still need to get around to DLing the music from CCÖ
The thing, I think, that pisses me off the most about CC is how they wrecked Sephiroth in the game. As I stated before in spots he was the Sephiroth that I remember from FFVII and not the dingus the uttered, ďletís ride this planet like a ship to other planets,Ē or something along the lines. I liked Sephiroth when he was only around Zack or in those flash memory things during battle. Thatís the Sephiroth I wanted! Do you honestly think this guy somehow managed to have real friends? Never mind this forced friendship with Genesis and Angeal, but somehow I doubt these two idiots would somehow befriend Sephiroth? Not even Zack could and everyone loves him. What irks me the most is during the very moment that Sephiroth questions everything he believes in and right before he goes insane, Genesis rears his ugly face to be whiny and complain about how horrible his life is, and how everyone should mourn his oncoming death because he apparently so great. I still donít see whatís so grand about him. He has Gacktís face, but just because youíre pretty doesnít make you awesome. I find him annoying and whiny, like a five year old who broke a toy sword. Also reading the same poem over and over doesnít make you deep. Itís a nonsense poem that one seems to point at the made up forced friendship with him, Sephiroth, and Angeal to painful levels. And also, for a guy whoís supposed to be all powerful he certainly sucks at being a bad guy. Sure, I can understand towards the end of the game when heís been dying for seven years, but maybe at this point Iím just being too harsh.
Lastly there was just way to many things that were made to hit our tender thoughts of FFVII. How Zack met Aerith was way too much like how Cloud met her. It felt like a cop out and lazy writing. At least the meeting with Cloud was done well. It made me wish he had met Aerith in his own awesome way. In spite of not liking Yuffie I actually donít find her so ungodly annoying. Still I would have loved to see less side missions and more game like being able to go in the houses in Nibelheim. I remember in the flashback in FFVII if you walked into one building the woman inside start to say something funny since itís not really Cloud and he stops, and tells everyone sorry he didnít go in there. I would have loved to see what happened with Zack, or if Cloud had really gone to see his mother or not. Guess I can chalk it up to either SE being assholes or just not wanting to tell us.
Still, even with all of that heartache I still canít completely hate CC. As I said, there are characters in the game that I liked. When Iím playing a part that werenít rewritten or is forcedóI completely love the game! At one point I was playing in my dark room one night. I got to the part where youíre on the run and carrying Cloudís retarded ass around and it was right after I busted out. I suddenly busted into tears at my surprise. This way mostly due because my best friendóa guy I literally grew up with from the cradle was still away in the army overseas. I never really said much while he was away about missing him, but there was something about watching Zack take care of his best bud and carrying him around half the planet just hit me like a catbrick. Also I cried at the end of the game. Itís not like I didnít know it wasnít coming, but goddamnit, itís still hard. Of course then the J-pop song ruined it. Iíve beaten the game a couple of times, but I doubt Iíll ever go the extra mile and finish all of the side missions. Also it's kinda scary when you talk to the other SOLDIERs and MPs in the ShinRa building and they're really just normal guys with hopes of becoming SOLDIER first class. Scary when you think of how many of them you ended up killing in FFVII.
So how did I end up playing FFVII on my PsP? A different friend of mine that actually lives within walking distance put it on there. Sorta. My PsP was hacked so the game could be put on it. And yes, Iíve played it to death, although I have to double check to see if I have the right version. For whatever reason I havenít heard any sound during the FMVs which Iím pretty certain there were. In any case somewhere near my PS2 thereís a PS1 memory card with all of my saved files of FFVII at different points of the game because Iím insane like that it seems. I can never bring myself to throw it out, but end up playing FFVII or CC over and over and over and over....