A Story of A Love... A CloudxAerith Club

JivelyGames

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daredevil I'm truly impressed with the amount of effort and detail you go into when talking about Clerith. It's a joy to read. So many nuances I don't pick up on my own but are very interesting and telling things once you notice them.

With the Clerith headcanon in mind, I wonder what your thoughts are then on the Cloud and Tifa "love" (sex) scene under the airship. It seems unlikely that Cloud moved on and accepted Tifa's feelings. Is this Tifa's feelings for Cloud giving her the motivation to "take advantage" of the loss?
 

daredevil

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Well, it doesn't exist. Never has. The man who suggested that scene was a man named Masato Kato and as soon as he told Kitase and Nojima his idea, they rejected it. Kato later on did interviews saying that he wrote scenes his way and refused to listen to what the other writers were wanting. He even spoke about them being displeased with his work. Here's the interview:

PlayStation: Final Fantasy 7 (planner, script writer - I was unexpectedly called upon to help out) The way that SQUARE creates their events is that they first discuss the story thoroughly with the entire project team, and then let each of the individual scenario writers freely (I say freely here, but of course, if it's not up to our standards; it's rejected) fill in the little details on the sub-events; so the people credited for writing the scenarios aren't necessarily the people who write the stories.

For example, in Chrono Trigger, Mr. Yuji Horii wrote the basic plot line first; following that, it was edited and rewritten by me, and even further on after that, the sub-scenarios were created by Mr. Tokita and Mr. Kitase. So it all gets kinda' mixed up at the end. But the 12,000 B.C. part was 100% my original idea. After writing the story for this part, I also did the events for Zeal Palace, the dungeons, and everything else by myself (laughs).

In "Radical" I wrote most of the main story and after drafting out the concepts for the sub-stories, (e.g. the elopement episode and the space-detective episode) I left them to the staff to take care of. Oh, wait... everything except for the sunflower episode. That one, I didn't touch. I let Mr. Shimamoto do whatever he wanted on that one. I sorta' avoided having any part in that episode (laughs). Xeno - Lahan Village, Citan's house, Shevato, etc. FF7, the village where Cloud becomes a vegetable, when he falls into the lifestream, the episode of Cloud and Tifa on the dawn before the final battle, on all of those I wrote them to my own personal tastes... er... maybe I should learn to listen more to what other people tell me (laughs).

PlayStation: Chrono Cross (director, script writer)
On Cross, I also let each of the individual staff members work on the sub-quests. No... well, to tell you the truth, I was too busy taking care of my own duties as a director that I couldn't possibly take part in them... This is a secret, OK?... well, this sorta' thing happens all the time (laughs).



Like I said, Kitase and Nojima rejected this idea by Kato.

Kitase: "The event on the airship the night before the final battle was done by Kato as well, wasn't it."
Nojima: "Oh, the bit with that risqué/suggestive dialogue? I wasn't the one who wrote that, that was Kato too."
Interviewer: “Words aren't the only way to tell someone how you feel", that line, right? That's a rather mature conversation for a FF game.
Kitase: "Although I remember we had to tone down a version that was too strong."
Nojima: "The original idea was more extreme. The plan was for Cloud to walk out of the chocobo stable in the airship, followed by Tifa leaving while she kept looking around, but Kitase rejected it. But I think perhaps no one expected that line to be so important [laughs]" (10th Anniversary Ultimania)




This interview is pretty important in the discussion because of the way Nojima and Kitase are playing "not mine" with the scene in question, but also because they go on to say that nobody expected that line to be "important". I think a love scene between Cloud and Tifa would be pretty important and I don't think either would be distancing themselves from it if it was as important as people make it out to be. It's always struck me as odd that they said that. That said, while the High Affection Highwind scene is arguably more affectionate, there's no evidence in the game that suggests any love (let alone sex) happened. Fans pretty much got that idea after the Ultimania Omega was published in 2005. The physical details of the scene, the things the characters say afterwards, it all proves that there was no sex between Cloud and Tifa. In fact, I even got a well known Cloti debater and translator known as Ryushikaze to agree with me about it on gamefaqs. I think the fact that he even agreed that nothing physical happened, says a lot.

But another interesting thing is that the oldest Ultimania we have is Dismantled, from 1997, and in it it says this:

1524991465530.png


As you can see, this quote says that Cloud and Tifa talked from dusk till dawn. Again, it says "talk" (会話/kaiwa). It doesn't say talk and kiss, or talk and hug, or talk and have sex. It just says that they talk the entire night. Again, all we know is that in both versions it is said that Cloud and Tifa TALK from dusk till dawn and that the conversation that takes place determines if Tifa says "Were you watching?" or "Were you listening?". Again, Tifa will say "Were you watching?" because of the conversation she has with Cloud. It doesn't say because they share physical intimacy she gets embarrassed. So this quote proves that Tifa becomes embarrassed not because she's worried they saw Cloud and her have sex/kiss, but because of the conversation that they have all night long, which could be anything.
 

daredevil

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Even if it was romantic, I have to wonder why Nomura said a few months after that Ultimania Omega that he had no idea if Cloud/Tifa ever got together.

Tetsuya Nomura: What kind of question is that? I’ve never thought about it. Honestly, I don’t care who loves whom. I think you could imagine the scenarios that we don’t mention however you want to. You could enjoy talking about that with friends. For example, I was frequently asked if there had been a romantic relationship between Tifa and Cloud for two years, after FF7 ended, but I don’t have any clue.

This interview came out only two months after the Ultimania Omega, the very book that birthed this "sex" theory, so if the writers of that Ultimania consulted with Nojima, Kitase, and Nomura... then how could Nomura not know? This suggests three things to me. 1) That the ultimanias aren't fact-checked by the writers, 2) that the lead developers don't even read these books, and 3) Nomura saw nothing in the original game to indicate that Cloud and Tifa "got together".

Why should anyone take these Ultimanias seriously when their version of the lore isn't even known by the creators? IF sex/love happened in that scene, then Nomura would be aware of that. He's clearly not.

Now, let's say the books are "canon", there's still one more piece of evidence that complicates this theory. Even the Ultimanias give contradicting comments regarding Cloud and Tifa:

Before leaving for Midgar, Cloud declared “I’m going to become a SOLDIER” to Tifa, a village girl for whom he had had slight feelings [for], and promised to protect her. (Pg. 24, Crisis Core Ultimania)

The Japanese of the above quote says ほのかに想いを寄せていた村の少女ティファに a Japanese expert explained it to another known Cloti fan:
1524993365703.png

1524993377260.png


And what does "slight" mean?
1524993393448.png




Another quote:

"Tifa did not realize that Cloud had once had feelings for heruntil he mentioned it while [they were] in the Lifestream. " (Pg. 25, Ultimania Omega)

When that same cloti asked this same expert about the Japanese of this quote they said this:

1524993411975.png


So this quote says that Cloud's feelings were past tense and that Cloud no longer feels romantic feelings for Tifa by the time she goes into the Lifestream and discovers that he used to like her as a child.

Even the latest Ultimania (the 25th anniversary) says the same thing.

1524993426851.png


To keep this short, the above quote is from the 25th Anniversary Ultimania and it says Cloud’s crush on Tifa is “ 淡く (“fleeting”) and “幼い (“immature/childish”). Some people debated our translation and insisted that it just meant “childhood awakening of love “ (omitting at least one word, “awaku”). But instead of breaking down the Japanese again (I’ve honestly done it too much already so I hope you'll forgive me for being lazy) let’s look at the French translation for some clarity:

1524993445062.png


The French words we’re focusing on in this quote are “romance éphémère”. The word “ephemeral” means “lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory“. Synonyms of “ephemeral” are fleeting, evanescent, transient, momentary, brief. “

The scene this quote goes to is the non-optional Lifestream scene. The reason this is so important is because regardless of how a player chooses to play the game or how people interpret either version of the Highwind scene, this quote says that when Cloud regains his true memories, his childhood crush on Tifa was “fleeting” or “short-lived”.

What does this mean for the LTD? Well, this makes it very very unlikely that Cloud and Tifa “admitted love” at any point during the game, let alone the compilation, or ever will for that matter (at least under current canon). And the reason I say this is because since the Japanese and French quotes say Cloud’s crush was “short-lived”, that means his feelings for her died at some point in his life.

These quotes are why I’ve said for years that no matter what a person thinks about the optional Highwind scenes, Cloud -canonly- does not have romantic feelings for Tifa. If he did still love her, then at no point would Cloud’s childhood crush ever be described as “fleeting”.

The most I can buy is that the HAHW scene is optionally romantic, but it's not canon to the story. I hope I made some sense, I'm hungry and tired and wrote this in a short time.
 
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