Final Fantasy Advent Children

SPOILER ALERT:

Minor correction to Kitsune’s post/my take on FF7:

The FF7 crew could not use Holy because the only materia for it was lost when Aeris died. The FF7 crew fought Sephiroth despite thinking its futile and that they cannot stop the Meteor, because they thought it was the right thing to do (Hence the soul-searching visits to their homes that so many bad bad fanfics made famous, the day before they assaulted the crater).

However, when the crew beat Sephiroth despite everything, the planet itself uses holy to stop the Meteor. The last, controversial scene of Red XIII standing over Midgard’s ruins is contested because it is not explained whether the planet saved itself from the meteor and mankind both, or if Mankind merely learned to give the planet its due and abandoned Midgard.

AC:

Saved from the face of certain annilation leads to both the ‘feeling of two years ago’ that Tifa mentions wistfully, and compounds Cloud’s survivor’s guilt (he doesn’t think he is worthy of being saved because he failed so spectacularly in the beginning).

The movie proceeds apace, but my take on the ending is a bit different. Remember when Tifa said that Cloud was “A crysalis, like Sephiroth’s body of thought”? I think that Aeris through the lifestream, healed Cloud’s stigma so that he could both save the world and proove himself. By beating Kadaj and Sephiroth alone, he prooved that not all Jenova enhanced/affected/afflicted people were evil. I don’t think he was removing the tainted jenova bits that made people sick, I think he was merely bringing them intune with the Lifestream. Else why did the planet/Aeris wait two years?

In essence I think he was saved mankind twice, once from Sephi and once from the planet’s vengence, preventing the more depressing reading of FFVII’s ending from coming to pass.

EDIT: Beer makes me write poorly in the present tense.

Awesine post, Kitsune (and Daydreamer). Thanks! Things make a bit more sense now, and it just wouldn’t be a FF story if it were completely clear.

[Spoiler!]

As if the story weren’t already confusing enough, I remember something about Cloud not actually ever having been a member of SOLDIER, and that he had assumed Zack’s identity after Zack was killed.

  • Alan

Yea, that part never made much sense to me. What I think happened was that Zach got the treatment and became a soldier and Aeris’ boyfriend. Cloud got the treatment to become more like his idol Zach, but it didn’t take and so he never got into the SOLDIER program (Hence why the mad doctor refers to Cloud as ‘Failure’. And yet Cloud was the only person capable of standing up to Sephi 1-on-1, so the question is whether it was hidden talent and emotional drive, or whether the treatment just didn’t kick in immediately.

Then when Zach dies protecting Tifa and Nibelheim, Cloud resolves to assume his responsibilities protecting his friends, and for some reason takes up his weapon and dress habit too. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it dovetails nicely with Cloud’s mental instability/survivor’s guilt in AC.

There’s a single-episode OVA out right now that completely explains the Zack/Cloud situation. I believe this OVA was included on the AC DVD since it was released about the same time. It never made much sense to me before either, but I’m happy to say that it does now. Zack rules.

Oh, and Zack wasn’t killed at Nibelheim. The OVA explains his death as well. Interesting, considering the identity of the killers and their later role in AC.

Anyone have any tips on getting this to run with subtitles with Windows Media Player? I can only get it working with subtitles using BSPlayer, but for some reason that crashes on my system every half hour or so.

Oh, and I read some stuff on using VobSub and a whole mess of other DivX/DVD editing software, but it really seemed to be more trouble than I feel like dealing with to get it to work.

Don’t know about WMP, but I use VideoLAN for this kind of stuff.

Yes. Use ffdshow and its built-in subtitle support; it works extremely well. Make sure you use the built-in configuration utility to set it up correctly. I’d strongly advise against using the post-processing effects, though, because they can result in visual oddities and overbrightening of the picture. ffdshow is a vastly superior replacement for divx/xvid and a host of other codecs. The audio codec is also top notch.

http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/ffdshow/ffdshow-20041012.exe?download

There’s a version floating around that has the subtitles already included.

  • Alan

In winamp you just need to make sure you have the subtitle file named the same as the movie.

Well, I can’t seem to figure out how to get WinAMP to display the .srt subtitle file; same thing with FFDShow. Is there basically no simple way to play an .avi file with a separate .srt subtitle file? Am I now forced to redownload a different version of FF7 Advent Children with English Subtitles and just HOPE that it’s a version with the subtitles embedded and not in a separate file? Cause it already took a good 12 hours in BitLord just to get one copy of this thing, and I don’t know whether I should just play it a half-hour at a time between crashes with BSPlayer or wait every day for a new download version of it.

In ffdshow, did you check the box next to “Subtitles” in the configuration?

Like I said it played fine in Winamp for me with the srt file named the exact same as the movie file.

Yeah, but as far as I know you still need a subtitle codec like vobsub or ffdshow to display them. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Winamp’s video player is just a frontend to the Media Player interface.

Still can’t get WinAMP to show the subtitles, but FFDShow worked when I specified the exact .srt subtitle file instead of telling it to search the directory where the .srt file was located. Thanks for the advice!

Oh, and I found a torrent with embedded subtitles, but it’s split into a 2-cd VCD version where each half of the movie is 700 megs. I don’t feel like waiting through a 1.4gb torrent download.

Anyone know where I can find the OVA online? All I see in AC itself.

This is it. Its titled Last Order.

I was hoping someone would have done a proper DVD ISO and post the whole thing, but it seems the only one that’s untouched has no english subtitles on them.

Ah, I thought it was labeled Advent Children as well, no wonder I couldn’t find it. Thanks much.

Got it, saw it. Fleshes out Zach and Tifa and the Nibelheim event well, but it fails to explain why Cloud went catatonic and how he got better. And it appears Cloud’s whole memory thing was just Post-Traumatic Stress, which is a whole lot less interesting than most of the fanboy theories, but makes more sense.

EDIT: And now I want to play FF7 again, damn it.

Yes, but if I recall correctly there are flashbacks in FF7 where Cloud remembers being experimented on by Shinra. That pretty much explains his catatonia. As for how he got better, yeah, I’d agree there’s no explanation for that, so all we have are theories. Zack’s death triggered it? Dunno. Judging from the end of the OVA, I’m guessing Zack’s death did play a big part there. They had a sniper rifle, they had the ability to kill both of them… how did Cloud escape? One can only guess that he snapped out of it and got away.