::collapses into limp heap from exhaustion::
But on a much happier note, I got a new DVD player that plays divx (i.e., AVI) files! Now I can watch my fansubs on my sofa (thereby sparing my poor butt) and on my 25" TV (versus my archaic 17" CRT monitor). It cost about $70 more than an ordinary DVD player, but my poor aging eyes say that it was worth every penny. ::pets her new DVD player::
I decided to take a few days off to recover from my recent labors so I settled down to watch "Last Order" (again!) and more of "Advent Children". Ah, watching the duel between Cloud and Sephiroth in slo-mo was a revelation -- I saw some things that I totally missed at regular speed. Understandable, given how damn fast some of the fighting went. It reminds me of the famous fight between Kenshin and Saitoh in the Kamiya dojo -- things move so fast that it's easy to miss the subtler details.
But the thing that absolutely fascinates me about Cloud's fight with Sephiroth is....
....is how wonderfully ambigous Sephiroth's words are.
On a superficial level, he seems to be merely taunting Cloud by threatening what Cloud cherishes like your stereotypical uber-villain. Now, maybe it's just the Sephiroth fangirl in me, but it seems to me that Sephiroth's words and actions can be interpreted in an entirely different way -- he almost seems to be encouraging Cloud to fight with all he's got. It's not so much "I'm going to make you suffer and die", but more on the lines of "Show me what you can do" and "Do you care enough to stop me?" It's as if Sephiroth really wants Cloud to defeat him.
Yes, the two of them go sword-to-sword in the most ferocious way imaginable. But on the flip side, I pretty sure I saw two instances when one of them prevented the other from being hit by rubble. Sephiroth did it when the front of the Shinra building was sliding down on Cloud. Cloud returned the favor later in the fight when he suddenly jumps over Sephiroth's head to slice apart a huge hunk of rubble that was headed straight for Sephiroth's back.
Interesting, isn't it? It's quite possible that they each did it for purely tactical reason (to give themselves a fighting advantage). On the other hand.... ::suggestive eyebrow waggle::
And there are at least TWO instances when Sephiroth could have killed Cloud outright and didn't. The first was when Cloud wavers from exhaustion (he's been fighting Bahamut, and Kadaj and crew, not to mention suffering from Geostigma) and leaves himself open. However, Sephiroth doesn't cut him down with his sword, but instead grabs Cloud by the throat and flings him back. The second is when Cloud's up against a wall and Sephiroth stabs him... through the shoulder. Now come on. You can't tell me that Sephiroth, of all people, managed to miss a motionless, sitting target THAT badly.
Now this is pure fanfic writer speculation, but... what if Sephiroth didn't want to be resurrected at all? What if Sephiroth wanted to rest in peace and/or oblivion, but once awakened (e.g., by Kadaj's summoning), he is unable to return to 'sleep' on his own (e.g., due to his own insanity or some JENOVA-related biological imperative)? So who is the one person who has definitively shown the ability to put Sephiroth 'to rest', so to speak? So all (or nearly all) of Sephiroth's dialogue can be viewd as a deliberate attempt to provoke Cloud into defeating/killing him again.
And is Sephiroth's last line just a threat, or perhaps also a warning to Cloud?
::rubbing hands with glee::
And on the COI front....
Watching "Advent Children" and especially "Last Order" has given me evil, EVIL thoughts.
In the COI side-story "Hollow", President Shinra learns about and approves Dr. Roissy's proposal for the Super-SOLDIER program, using Zack and 'the other survivor' of Nibelheim as subjects.
What if... President Shinra knows that Cloud Strife is his son? If the project works and the scientists succeed in their quest to 'imprint' another man's personality (Zack) into a super-enhanced host body (Cloud), think of the wonderfully diabolical possibilities that suddenly open up for President Shinra with respect to his other son Rufus -- Rufus, who shares an extremely similar genetic makeup as Cloud. What wouldn't a person like President Shinra do for the chance to take over and live in a young, healthy, superhumanly enhanced body? Couldn't you just picture President Shinra 'volunteering' Rufus as the next candidate for Dr. Roissy's research project? ::evil laugh::
This could explain President Shinra's apparent lack of recognition when Cloud and AVALANCHE run into him at the beginning of the game -- he's basically lying and feigning ignorance about Cloud for his own purposes.
In which case, it's lucky for Rufus that Sephiroth killed off his father when he did, eh? But who's to say what happened to Rufus after Diamond WEAPON's attack on Midgar and the Shinra Building. ^_-
::scampers off giddily to work on COI::
BTW, I ended up having to get a brand new computer - a Mac Mini. Awww, it's cute! ^_^