SPOILERS Why i'm no longer excited for future parts

Raspberry

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I've always felt the Final Fantasy brand has slowly lowered in quality. But Final Fantasy as a franchise still understood what it was. Despite the shortcomings of each individual FF game. I was so excited for FF7 Remake. One of the reasons why was because i thought this was SE saying "we F***d up every title we made since FF13. Let's go back to one of our best games we ever made, remake it, and relearn what it takes to make a good game without controversy".



But i was wrong. And i was so wrong, that it made me give up on the entire future of Final Fantasy. Because for the first time in FF history, we are now introducing alternate histories of Final Fantasy games we have. I could not be any less interested in the next parts. Final Fantasy has now become SUperhero Comicbook logic.

It not only ties to the ending but also the events leading up to it:

Problem #1) The idea that this is meta commentary

Final Fantasy in my eyes has never been about sending a message to the fans by directly using the story. Final Fantasy was always trying to tell a story, but also make the world feel real. Anything that was meta has always been optional side-quest or a small Easter egg. However, By trying to use a plot device like the arbiters of fate to highlight personify the attempt to keep things within continuity. To change the story for the sake of sending that message, i think makes the story less immersive.' Meta commentary is basically a way a developer can signal to the player that they (the developers) are speaking directly to the player by puasing any logic or reason and making sure that you can see them (the developers) look back at the player. And thats something i never want in a Final Fantasy.

Problem #2) The fates are completely separate from the mythos of FF7

Because of the choice of using the fates as meta commentary, the fates have no attachment to the mythos of Final Fantasy VII, nor do they add a new mythos that coincides with the current mythos. They are completely unknown and i don't think they were designed to actually have any lore purposes for FF7.

Problem #3) The fates are inconsistent in their logic
I'm not sure if this was because the idea was that it was meta commentary, but the fates just choose when they affect events. And they seem to make the littlest of efforts to make sure destiny plays out the way it is intended. It takes a swarm of them just to attack Jessie and ensuring Tifa replace her, and they push Wedge out the window of Shinra building when they realize he's alive. Everything suggests that these "Arbiters of Fate" have no real agency or power.

Also once the fates are defeated, it is highly suggested that the fates have altered the course of time to even the past. So do the fates transcend time? And if they do, does that mean every event the fates had a direct hand in has been undone? Meaning if the fates were responsible for the fate of Zack in his final hour, by removing them does it make them also undo Wedge's second death attempt? Or will it allow Barret's wound to be brought up?

Problem #4) This affects the pacing of progression
Prior to the last two final chapters, Cloud was pretty consistent in his power level. But by the end of the game facing Sephiroth, he reaches abilities he never should have had. And once again, by introducing the idea that Fates can be defeated (in Part 1), it makes things unclear how powerful Cloud really is. if fates make sure events go according to destiny, then shouldn't they be the most powerful thing of all the Planet? For example: do the fates also control or affect the WEAPONS? one of the most powerful bosses to face?

Is Cloud ready to face WEAPONS as of now?

Problem #5) All of the Zack theories do not make this story better, they make it worst.
A lot of people are suggesting that Zack is still alive after the ending and that it directly affects the story. If this is true, it ultimately changes the nature of cloud/Aerith/Tifa relationship.

Another theory people have is that Zack actually does die in the classic OG FF7 fashion. But since the whole meta-commentary on keeping continuity is figuratively being destroyed, and them directly tied to the Zack survival scene, i don't think that is the case. This will also please no one in the long run. It will disappoint those who were anticipating his survival, and it will disappoint those who knew he was going to die by showing such an important scene so early.

There is another theory.
By showing Zack survive, the removal of the Arbiters of Fate are the primary reason for it, but also showing the bag of chips with Stamp the dog being a completely different breed than we remember, fans have speculated that what we saw is an alternate timeline completely separate from the Part 1's current events. It can explain why some events of the fates remained in tact, despite their removal. But for what purpose? Why would Square Enix show an alternate timeline that may not be completely relevant to the current events?

The answer is this: More Spin-offs. You might actually get the Crisis Core remake you've been dreaming of but get the same treatment FF7 remake is getting now.

And for me, this removes all agency. Any fanfiction out there can be called canon or just another alternate untouched timeline. Comics have a name for this, its called "Elseworld" stories.

Problem #6) It's already diluting one of the major themes of FF7
One of the most important thing very very early in FF7 was that it was littered with death. Biggs, Wedge, Jessie, Barrets Wife, Village, and best friend who was also Marlene's biological father,. This painted a world that everyone has lost someone. And it was grim. But soon after Final Fantasy VII uses all those deaths to mean something more. When the biggest and most important death in FF7 happens, there is now a new shift in the story. That everyone who died isn't truly lost. They live on in the lifestream and can still play a role in the story. This is also solidified in the novel "The Girl Who Travelled the Planet" (now non-canon).

So when Part 1 undoes most of the deaths and also suggests that the most important death in FF7 can possibly be prevented. that already dilutes the themes FF7 achieved. it almost seems like it wants to replace that theme with "Fate can be changed"

Problem #7) It suggest the original FF7 was all controlled by Fate
I never felt that FF7 was being controlled by faith, or all the events that happened were just destined to happen. Instead it felt like every character has earned every moment in the game. But with the arbiters of fate, it now seems to suggest the original FF7 we've been playing was always manipulated behind shadows.

Problem #8) Doesn't matter how good future parts are.
No matter how good Part 2, 3, 4 are; it's all tied and connected to a terribly written ending of part 1. You have to understand, that this isn't Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 1, this is Final Fantasy VII Remake: the prep-up to what is really going to happen. The ending of FF7 Remake wasn't an ending, it was the beginning. And i understand why they can't follow directly the original FF7, but once again, by focusing on how meta commentary they chose to do this, there only two ways this can go:

1. FF7 remake future parts elaborate further on the Arbiters of Fate to the point that they barely make sense (but ultimately means less time to focus on the original themes)
2 FF7 remake stick with the same theme it always had in the Original, causing this ending of FF7 to be a huge distraction of an ending that was never truly earned.

in both cases, SE already lost me as a customer for future parts. At least an immediate supporting customer. I may end up buying or borrowing the game from a friend. But i wont invest in this like i originally did. I'm just no longer immersed in FF7. And i can never forgive Square Enix on this. The world of FF7 was one of my favorite worlds. and now it no longer feels real anymore. I can't immerse myself not even in the original and pretend the new content never existed.
 

Dionysos

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I love the game and it exceeded my expectations, but having seen the ending I am more nervous about the future of the project than I was thirty minutes before completing the game. That said, I still trust Square Enix on the whole as the vast majority of the Remake was fantastic, in my opinion. If they throw it all away now then it’ll be a great tragedy of our times and I doubt they really want that.

I would hope that they have eyes on message boards like this one in order to recognise that nobody really wants them to throw all of the original material aside completely.

But I also don’t think they want to anyway. The recent Ultimania release seems to suggest that they want to follow the same core beats of the original story. Someone called Audrey has been shared a lot lately as she has translated their comments as follows:


I think this is quite reassuring. We will see changes, certainly, but maybe not as drastic as many people have speculated based on the ending.



Problem #2) The fates are completely separate from the mythos of FF7

Because of the choice of using the fates as meta commentary, the fates have no attachment to the mythos of Final Fantasy VII, nor do they add a new mythos that coincides with the current mythos. They are completely unknown and i don't think they were designed to actually have any lore purposes for FF7.

Some are now believing that the colourful trio of Whispers are actually the trio from Advent Children (Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz). It has been noted that they share the same movesets, summon Bahamut, ‘advent’ is in name of title of song which plays during the battle, and in Japan Croceo has Velvet Nightmare as one of its moves (the name of Yazoo’s gun) - according to the recently released Ultimania.

I don’t know though... I don’t know why they would be helping the Whispers preserve a timeline where themselves and Sephiroth end up dead. Having said that, during the fight with Sephiroth he clearly throws some Whispers at the party and therefore seems to control at least some of them, or manipulate them at least. But at the same time Sephiroth is also opposed to them. He invites Cloud to join him to defy destiny together, etc.

It’s all a bit confusing, and I’m not sure if this theory about the trio really clarifies anything.

Also once the fates are defeated, it is highly suggested that the fates have altered the course of time to even the past. So do the fates transcend time? And if they do, does that mean every event the fates had a direct hand in has been undone? Meaning if the fates were responsible for the fate of Zack in his final hour, by removing them does it make them also undo Wedge's second death attempt? Or will it allow Barret's wound to be brought up?

I think the Whispers were likely omnipresent across all periods of history (or those relevant to what they wanted to preserve) until the party defeated them. But I also think that they were acting in a reactionary manner to something else which had been altering history ahead of them. Something which we aren’t completely aware of. Maybe to do with Sephiroth if he learned the future, and the Whispers were activated to try and prevent that.

Most people can’t see them. It is unclear if Zack can truly see them himself. We can see that Rufus can see them as he comments on them, but Tseng cannot as he asks Rufus if something is the matter. For most people they will have zero interaction with the Whispers and they will be continuing as they would have in the original timeline. They only seem to be making themselves known to people if they sense that people are beginning to contradict the original timeline (such as Hojo almost revealing to Cloud that he isn't really a Soldier - so they carry him off before he can finish his sentence).

Once they were defeated then all of the things they were attempting to affect were prevented, and some weird yellow healing matter sprinkled from where they had been. I think it is this which appears to heal Biggs at the end (who is no longer bound by fate to die). Zack is no longer prevented from entering Midgar, and so on.

I don’t know though…


Problem #4) This affects the pacing of progression
Prior to the last two final chapters, Cloud was pretty consistent in his power level. But by the end of the game facing Sephiroth, he reaches abilities he never should have had. And once again, by introducing the idea that Fates can be defeated (in Part 1), it makes things unclear how powerful Cloud really is. if fates make sure events go according to destiny, then shouldn't they be the most powerful thing of all the Planet? For example: do the fates also control or affect the WEAPONS? one of the most powerful bosses to face?

Is Cloud ready to face WEAPONS as of now?

Yeah, this part of the game is a bit silly with regards to power levels, etc. I couldn’t even fully embrace this sort of behaviour whilst watching Advent Children (I prefer my action scenes to be more grounded unless they involve actual gods or the plot allows for it or something), and I certainly can’t get behind it now imagining a less experienced Cloud casually behaving as he did in Advent Children. However, I guess we are meant to imagine that they are in a small pocket universe at the time where the usual laws of physics do not apply. Maybe that is what is happening.

That doesn’t really explain the strength of the Whispers though. I would have thought that entities embodying Fate or Destiny itself should have put up more of a fight. Unless they were holding back because they didn’t actually want to kill Cloud and the party (since that would ruin the history they wanted to protect). Maybe they’d hoped we’d give up fighting them and go back through the portal, but instead we backed them into a corner and in the end they had to let us destroy them.

That’s the only explanation I have for that at the moment.


One of the most important thing very very early in FF7 was that it was littered with death. Biggs, Wedge, Jessie, Barrets Wife, Village, and best friend who was also Marlene's biological father,. This painted a world that everyone has lost someone. And it was grim. But soon after Final Fantasy VII uses all those deaths to mean something more. When the biggest and most important death in FF7 happens, there is now a new shift in the story. That everyone who died isn't truly lost. They live on in the lifestream and can still play a role in the story. This is also solidified in the novel "The Girl Who Travelled the Planet" (now non-canon).

So when Part 1 undoes most of the deaths and also suggests that the most important death in FF7 can possibly be prevented. that already dilutes the themes FF7 achieved. it almost seems like it wants to replace that theme with "Fate can be changed"

This is the part which concerns me after finishing the Remake. I'm even okay with Zack being alive in an alternate universe which might interconnect somehow, etc. But the survival of the Avalanche members means that the tragedy of the plate collapse now feels less emotive. All people have left of the tragedy are figures, but we need the story behind those figures and the personal connection. That aspect has been undermined quite a bit.

I do hope that part 2 includes serious stakes and that they commit to deaths. Deaths should mean something.


Problem #7) It suggest the original FF7 was all controlled by Fate
I never felt that FF7 was being controlled by faith, or all the events that happened were just destined to happen. Instead it felt like every character has earned every moment in the game. But with the arbiters of fate, it now seems to suggest the original FF7 we've been playing was always manipulated behind shadows.

This depends on the nature of the Whispers and we might need more info on them. May they were themselves reactionary (reacting to a terrible event in their future, or some meddling with the timeline and they were forced to attempt to course-correct and get things on the right track). In this case they only manipulated things because they wanted to correct history rather than allow unknown (or Sephiroth-shaped) forces to alter things.

The world of FF7 was one of my favorite worlds. and now it no longer feels real anymore. I can't immerse myself not even in the original and pretend the new content never existed.

I do hope you are able to allow yourself to enjoy the original again at some point. That is going nowhere and remains unaffected by any of this. Whatever the Remake does, good or bad, it is its own canon. Even the idea that the Whispers tried to maintain the original order of events doesn’t mean that we need to imagine them being there during the original game. In my interpretation, the Whispers only appear to particular characters and actively interfered only because history had already been altered for some currently unknown reason. I don’t think we are meant to be imagining them being silent and invisibly present during the original game.
 

Raspberry

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But I also don’t think they want to anyway. The recent Ultimania release seems to suggest that they want to follow the same core beats of the original story. Someone called Audrey has been shared a lot lately as she has translated their comments as follows:


I think this is quite reassuring. We will see changes, certainly, but maybe not as drastic as many people have speculated based on the ending.
SO what was the point of showing off some of the most biggest changes in FF7 history so early in part 1?[/quote]

Keep in mind that Square Enix has flat-out lied in the past. and i don't doubt that this is a lie as well. First of all, there is still plenty of room to re-interpret what he is saying. It also seems completely unnecessary to make a whole plot point about the fates and ending it with "The Unknown Journey Will Continue"


Some are now believing that the colourful trio of Whispers are actually the trio from Advent Children (Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz). It has been noted that they share the same movesets, summon Bahamut, ‘advent’ is in name of title of song which plays during the battle, and in Japan Croceo has Velvet Nightmare as one of its moves (the name of Yazoo’s gun) - according to the recently released Ultimania.
It also seems like they are just Fates reflecting Barret, Tifa, and Cloud.

I don’t know though... I don’t know why they would be helping the Whispers preserve a timeline where themselves and Sephiroth end up dead. Having said that, during the fight with Sephiroth he clearly throws some Whispers at the party and therefore seems to control at least some of them, or manipulate them at least. But at the same time Sephiroth is also opposed to them. He invites Cloud to join him to defy destiny together, etc.

It’s all a bit confusing, and I’m not sure if this theory about the trio really clarifies anything.
which is why i'm really turned off by it.


I think the Whispers were likely omnipresent across all periods of history (or those relevant to what they wanted to preserve) until the party defeated them. But I also think that they were acting in a reactionary manner to something else which had been altering history ahead of them. Something which we aren’t completely aware of. Maybe to do with Sephiroth if he learned the future, and the Whispers were activated to try and prevent that.

Most people can’t see them. It is unclear if Zack can truly see them himself. We can see that Rufus can see them as he comments on them, but Tseng cannot as he asks Rufus if something is the matter. For most people they will have zero interaction with the Whispers and they will be continuing as they would have in the original timeline. They only seem to be making themselves known to people if they sense that people are beginning to contradict the original timeline (such as Hojo almost revealing to Cloud that he isn't really a Soldier - so they carry him off before he can finish his sentence).

Once they were defeated then all of the things they were attempting to affect were prevented, and some weird yellow healing matter sprinkled from where they had been. I think it is this which appears to heal Biggs at the end (who is no longer bound by fate to die). Zack is no longer prevented from entering Midgar, and so on.

I don’t know though…
The problem is that if they are what the game tells us they are designed to be, they are terrible at their job. and what force was keeping things to go a different way?


Yeah, this part of the game is a bit silly with regards to power levels, etc. I couldn’t even fully embrace this sort of behaviour whilst watching Advent Children (I prefer my action scenes to be more grounded unless they involve actual gods or the plot allows for it or something), and I certainly can’t get behind it now imagining a less experienced Cloud casually behaving as he did in Advent Children. However, I guess we are meant to imagine that they are in a small pocket universe at the time where the usual laws of physics do not apply. Maybe that is what is happening.

That doesn’t really explain the strength of the Whispers though. I would have thought that entities embodying Fate or Destiny itself should have put up more of a fight. Unless they were holding back because they didn’t actually want to kill Cloud and the party (since that would ruin the history they wanted to protect). Maybe they’d hoped we’d give up fighting them and go back through the portal, but instead we backed them into a corner and in the end they had to let us destroy them.

That’s the only explanation I have for that at the moment.
I'm not sure why even fight them in such a literal way if they had the ability to manipulate fate in more direct and indirect ways. how they intervene seems to be a cop-out.




This depends on the nature of the Whispers and we might need more info on them. May they were themselves reactionary (reacting to a terrible event in their future, or some meddling with the timeline and they were forced to attempt to course-correct and get things on the right track). In this case they only manipulated things because they wanted to correct history rather than allow unknown (or Sephiroth-shaped) forces to alter things.
but once again, Sephiroth had also the ability to command the fates.


I do hope you are able to allow yourself to enjoy the original again at some point. That is going nowhere and remains unaffected by any of this. Whatever the Remake does, good or bad, it is its own canon. Even the idea that the Whispers tried to maintain the original order of events doesn’t mean that we need to imagine them being there during the original game. In my interpretation, the Whispers only appear to particular characters and actively interfered only because history had already been altered for some currently unknown reason. I don’t think we are meant to be imagining them being silent and invisibly present during the original game.
The problem is in order to believe faiths exist, i need to believe that there is a force going against it. especially if they "transcend" to a different time. if you see my problem with #8, they just throw FF7 at an imbalance. You can't say Whispers are canon in one FF7, and not in the remake if the remake is heavily implying that its the reason why FF7 is the way it is because of these fates.
 

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It also seems like they are just Fates reflecting Barret, Tifa, and Cloud.
I've seen this theory too. If that's true instead then that confuses me as well.

I guess time will tell.

I'm not sure why even fight them in such a literal way if they had the ability to manipulate fate in more direct and indirect ways. how they intervene seems to be a cop-out.

but once again, Sephiroth had also the ability to command the fates.

The problem is in order to believe faiths exist, i need to believe that there is a force going against it. especially if they "transcend" to a different time. if you see my problem with #8, they just throw FF7 at an imbalance. You can't say Whispers are canon in one FF7, and not in the remake if the remake is heavily implying that its the reason why FF7 is the way it is because of these fates.

I've recently watched a video which comments on the rather peculiar behaviour of Aerith. I picked up on her odd behaviour during my playthrough but I hadn't yet processed what it could mean.

It might end up being that Aerith's consciousness transferred from the original FFVII timeline (probably from the Lifestream) into the past. That would mean that Aerith (and maybe Sephiroth too) are the factors which have changed, forcing the Whispers to follow them to course correct and preserve the timeline.


And then this tweet details all the different forms of Sephiroth we encountered in the game. One is an 'Unknown' Sephiroth, which some speculate might be a Sephiroth from the future.

The point I'm making is that it should only affect your view of the original game if you imagine the FFVII Remake to be the same timeline before we're told things have diverged. I believe the timeline had already shifted in a minor way before the party entered through the portal. Things started to change much earlier on, likely before the events the player saw, and part of it has been the behaviour of Aerith and Sephiroth.

But you are right, once you bring Fate into a plot it does open up a lot of philosophical questions and makes you wonder if anybody ever had a choice. Maybe we're meant to imagine that they did the first time round. That these Fates / Whispers appear to be from the future (according to the Assess scan data) implies that they are only 'Fates' because they know what has already happened once before and want to ensure that it happens in the past. It is not yet clear to me whether they had always been present throughout all of history until they put themselves there to restore what was being altered.
 
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