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Retcon self-rant - Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
Retcon self-rant
Here I've been quietly grumping about Square-Enix retconning the heck out of FFVII with all the new material (Before Crisis, Dirge of Cerebus, and very possibly Crisis Core, anyone?), and now I've come to the sad, inescapable conclusion that I'm going to have to do the same to COI to make things work out better plotwise. -_-

Yes, after all the various plot epiphanies I've experienced in the last few weeks, I've decided that I'm going rework a few significant points of COI's plot.

@)!%*^%(%$&%&*^*$$&$#^%(!)%)!%!*##@%*@!!!!

Whew. That being said, fortunately, the changes are going to be pretty much limited to one character -- namely, Dr. Savois. And why, you might ask?

It's because I want to hurt Zack badly and I can't really do that with the current Savois setup.

Oh dear. That sounds terribly sadistic of me, doesn't it? O_o

Well, to be honest, I've been bugged by the... well, inequity... of suffering between Zack and Cloud in Nibelheim for a long time. Cloud's experiences make hell seem like a dream vacation but Zack pretty much just gets locked up like a zoo animal. Big friggin' whoop.

So making Zack's experience in Nibelheim much intense makes things a bit more 'fair', so to speak. Besides, it means more possibilities for Sephiroth-angst, which is generally a good thing, yes? After all, Sephiroth does a horrible thing to protect Zack from Shinra and Hojo, but ironically ends up serving Zack up to the tender mercies of Hojo and his ilk on a silver platter for five years.

I'm not saying that I'm going to make Zack's Nibelheim experience as bad as Cloud's. That would be pretty hard to do, actually. But Zack's time in Nibelheim will still be pretty damn ugly. After all, Hojo will want answers about the whole Sephiroth debacle and you can bet that Zack won't be cooperative. Can you say 'interrogation scenes'? Yes, I knew you could. :D Zack, being a mentally and emotionally stronger person, handles it extremely well, but there WILL be some long-term consequences of the more subtle sort.

How does the creative freedom to make Zack suffer more relate to Savois' character? Well, if you go by the original COI plot, she loves Zack, so it's damn hard to rationalize why she would just leave Zack at Nibelheim for five years if he was being seriously tortured, especially when she knows pretty much everything that's going on there. It's not impossible to explain, of course, but personally, I find it a very difficult sell.

However, if I remove her romantic interest in Zack and change her schemes/motivations so they center around researching the various dispersed Cetra genes floating around the human population, and how they interact with Jenova cells, that simplifies matters considerably. It also provides a plausible reason why she's so interested with Cloud and now with Rufus. ^_- It will also help make her more mysterious so it's not so obvious what her overall goals are. She can still be very helpful to Cloud and Company, but she's now a significantly more ambiguous character because of her secret agenda.

The Super-SOLDIER program and the Cetra genes are related because it's a specific set of Cetra genes (shared by Cloud and Rufus) that make the Super-SOLDIER program even feasible. Those Cetra genes are why Rufus can tolerate high intensity mako exposure without turning into a monster. And yes, Rufus can also be transformed into a 2nd Gen SOLDIER... theoretically speaking, of course. ::evil grin::

After thousands of years of interbreeding, most humans have at least an odd Cetra gene or two. Most of the time those Cetra genes don't have any noticable effect or are dormant. However, certain people who have especially potent complexes of Cetra genes (e.g., Cloud and Rufus). Sephiroth himself probably has a different set of Cetra genes which interact uniquely with mako and Jenova-CORE cells (otherwise, he wouldn't have survived to birth). Zack has yet another different set of Cetra genes. And so on.



::sigh:: Who knows, given how new COI-plotbunnies keep popping up, this might not be the last retcon I find myself doing.

But don't worry. I was already planning a major rewrite of COI (i.e., COI Redux). I'll incorporate the retcon stuff into the Redux version and leave the original COI chapters alone. However, be warned -- Chapter 8 and on will be based on the revised COI Redux version, so there WILL be some plot inconsistencies with Chapters 1-7.

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15 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
Comments
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: March 5th, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Nummy, Zack Torture, which ends up being Sephiroth torture as well! how Exciting, and of course...Rufus could only be one theoreticly....Righhhhttt....You don't bring in characters on a whim, everyone has a reason for being there! We know you too well, Madam. I don't think anyone will mind any inconsistencies if it involves Zack getting more screne time! I know I won't! Can't wait to see Savios in her new guise of evil genius.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm only trying to be fair to poor Cloud. ::shifty-eyed look::

A variety of people are going to after Rufus, and not just because of his fine ass. ^_-

Savois is not necessarily an evil genius per se, merely a mysteriously ambiguous genius. Which can be just as bad, I suppose.
gottis_chan From: gottis_chan Date: March 5th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
This all sounds like honey to my ears... eyes... whatever. 8D ♥ Zack!Torture~ Mmmm yummy~
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Zack-torture is fun! Let's make him work for it! ::evil grin::
gottis_chan From: gottis_chan Date: March 9th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
*gringrin* Yes~
aphelion_orion From: aphelion_orion Date: March 5th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that sounds like a major undertaking (not that COI isn't, already XD). I know from experience how hard it is to keep long plots together and make them work to their absolute best, so I wish you good luck, and stamina. Especially stamina. ^^
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the encouragement. I need all I can get. -_-
plotbunnydoom From: plotbunnydoom Date: March 6th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC) (Link)
And you know, you don't necessarily have to remove her romantic interest in Zack. (Dr. Savois, that is.) He's Hojo's lab rat--it'd be extremely difficult to get him out of there, especially since you've indicated that things were exactly rosy between Dr. Savois and Hojo. So she may have had feelings for him, but they get lost in between scientific aspirations and self-preservation (and career-preservation).

Am I making any sense here?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I see what you mean. Unfortunately, in the original COI version, it's not merely romantic interest, but serious love (perhaps of a vaguely twisted sort). And given Savois' personality (i.e., ruthless and driven), she wouldn't stand by letting various issues of self-preservation deter her from achieving her goals, whatever they might be. And while she's very aware of Hojo's power and his capability to cause trouble, she's not afraid of him.

So while Savois is technically barred from Nibelheim, if she really cared about Zack and wanted to rescue him, she almost certainly could've come up with a feasible plan, especially over a period of 5 years. Probably something involving a faked death, etc. Hojo, if you haven't noticed, is a rather sloppy sort of researcher -- brilliant in his own whacked out way, but careless in the details.

Also, having been around as a senior researcher for nearly 30 years, Savois is not without considerable influence and connections, both scientific and military, (although she doesn't flaunt it). Remember, she's the person primarily responsible for overseeing the regular SOLDIER program and their day-to-day maintenance and medical needs. She's not friendly and she's very demanding, but she's also practical and competent, so most people (e.g., Shinra management, SOLDIERs, and scientific staff) probably have a fairly good working respect for her, even if they don't like her personally.

Compare that to Hojo, who the SOLDIERs (and probably most everyone else) thinks as a wierdo mad scientist creep. Hojo is too obsessed with more esoteric research projects to deal with 'boring' and 'mundane' stuff like making new SOLDIERs, etc. He's also erratic, constantly makes unreasonable demands of his staff, and extremely difficult to work with or for.

I'm not saying that I'm planning on removing all of Savois' romantic interest in Zack -- hey, what woman wouldn't be at least interested in that guy -- but it's definitely going to be toned down a lot.
icedark_elf From: icedark_elf Date: March 6th, 2007 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I like Cetra-celled Zack. >.> I have one. Well, two. They're fun.

Some of your ideas are so interesting sounding, specially the Zack torture one. *looks at her Demon-Zack muse*

Course, I have my theory that Sephiroth is part Cetra, simply because I think Jenova is a virus, and the body we see for her is actually a infected Cetra that she took over.

*paws* More fic is good, though. And I do find what CC might add to the fandom will be interesting. Zack still looks like a dork, though.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I like Cetra-celled Zack. >.> I have one. Well, two. They're fun.

Really? Where? Did I miss them in your fics? O_o

Course, I have my theory that Sephiroth is part Cetra, simply because I think Jenova is a virus, and the body we see for her is actually a infected Cetra that she took over.

In COI, Jenova is a parasite and the host body was probably from some survivor from some previous planet she devoured. ^_^

*paws* More fic is good, though. And I do find what CC might add to the fandom will be interesting. Zack still looks like a dork, though.

::patpat:: But I'm still 'meh' about his new last name. Meh.
keji_eternal From: keji_eternal Date: March 6th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG Lady!

You just get eviler and eviler every time... I was speechless with your latest snippet, that I found myself unable to leave a comment. But mostly it was out of excitement too... but that was a cruel twist. I wonder how Zack would react if he knew what exactly he was forced to do. I hope he'll never get to know. But of course, secrets down stay hidden forever as we know too well of COI.

And this whole Savois secret mission is just the bombs! I mean, I love your new twists, though I feel bad that you will have to like, re write a lot of things, but that's even better, cause we'll have more to read! And I can't wait to read more about Cetra genes and so forth. I just can't wait for more as a matter of fact... but I'm sure you knew that.

Evil, cruel woman you!

I'm still shocked about your latest snippet though lol. Who would have even imagined this beside you?! You're so dark, I love it!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
You just get eviler and eviler every time...

Thank you, thank you. ::flamboyant bow::

I wonder how Zack would react if he knew what exactly he was forced to do. I hope he'll never get to know. But of course, secrets down stay hidden forever as we know too well of COI.

Actually, Zack's reactions are not as clearcut as they might first seem. Zack would naturally be upset, of course. But I think that the pointless loss of life would be almost secondary compared to other issues. Remember, COI-Zack can be pretty damn ruthless when he feels it's necesary -- after all, he cold-bloodedly assassinated Yuffie's pregnant mother in order to shorten the Wutai War. What those other issues might be, I haven't quite figured out myself, but possibly issues of trust, etc. -_-;;

And this whole Savois secret mission is just the bombs! I mean, I love your new twists, though I feel bad that you will have to like, re write a lot of things, but that's even better, cause we'll have more to read! And I can't wait to read more about Cetra genes and so forth. I just can't wait for more as a matter of fact... but I'm sure you knew that.

Well, I'm hoping revising Savois won't require that much rewriting. I'm keeping my heads crossed.

Evil, cruel woman you!

I'm still shocked about your latest snippet though lol. Who would have even imagined this beside you?! You're so dark, I love it!


Again, I thank you. ::presents plate of Seph and Zack cookies::
keji_eternal From: keji_eternal Date: March 6th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and as a second note... even though I would love some new games to come out ATM, I'm happy that they are not... since they won't take you away from your writing anytime soon!!! YAY for non-new-games!!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm still resisting the urge to get Dirge of Cerberus, just for the cutscenes and story fodder. ^_^;;;
15 hisses or Hiss in my ear....