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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
COI - Random COI drabble
41 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
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From: (Anonymous) Date: February 24th, 2007 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Squaresoft comparisons

There's also a relatively easy comparison between COI-young Cloud, and Fei from Xenogears, another game by Squaresoft from around the same time.

Or more specifically, between their alter-egos, Strife and Id. Cloud/Fei, abused physically, mentally, and spiritually as a child, develops a schizophrenic second personality in order to cope with that abuse. Or more accurately, that second personality is created as their scapegoat, so that the original persona can retreat into themselves to hide away from the pain.

It's a common human survival mechanism, unfortunately, and as we can all see, one with sometimes rather... severe... side-effects. The main personality is only around during the "good" parts, and the scapegoat during the "bad". Without a frame of reference, the negative side (Strife/Id) is only capable of perceiving or understanding the darker emotions – hate, anger, jealousy, rage, etc. – and as a direct result, slips into violent dementia or sociopathy. However, this also has the effect of stunting the main persona's mental/spiritual growth, as they do not face the sorts of challenges and unpleasantries that cause us to mature, instead automatically opting to shove such things onto the scapegoat.

Hence, COI-Cloud is a "momma's boy" and a "spineless wimp", as Strife so bluntly put him, and Strife is a sadistic, violent psychopath.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 24th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Squaresoft comparisons

Oops! I forgot all about Fei. I remember reading about Xenogears around the same time I got interested in FF7, which was several years after both games first came out. And yes, now that you've reminded me, Id is very similar to Strife and probably served as a big part of my inspiration.

But mostly I got the idea of the split personality simply by thinking about Cloud's last name and its... negative... connotations. ^_^
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 26th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Squaresoft comparisons

Strife more than likely chose to use that name for himself, specifically BECAUSE of those negative connotations.

Usually when people like those two (Strife & Id) choose a "nickname" for themselves like that, they not only take one to most closely describe themselves, but they unconsciously also remake themselves, so that they even more closely fit that namesake.

Just like "Id" fits Fei's alter-ego so well. The id, after all, is the portion of the human psyche that represents all of its most base desires, unaffected and unhindered by such things as intelligence or morals. (Ah, Freud. Gotta love it.) Id was an assassin. Laws did not matter to him, lives did not matter. He did what he wanted, when he wanted to. Fits him rather well, ne?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: February 26th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Squaresoft comparisons

Strife more than likely chose to use that name for himself, specifically BECAUSE of those negative connotations.

I'm not sure about the game canon, but at least for COI, Strife is Cloud's real last name. His mother picked that name because it was as close to 'Shinra' as she dared get.

But you're right -- Cloud's negative persona picks that name, not only because of the negative connotations, but it sounds much stronger, violent, aggressive, and macho than 'Cloud'."

There are several instances throughout the COI works when various people comment that the pre-Nibelheim Cloud made a big deal about people using his last name -- partially because it made him feel more macho (and feeding his Strife persona) and partially because it was too easy for others to make humiliating jokes about his first name (e.g., 'clod', etc.)

But the present COI-Cloud is the reverse -- he's CLEARLY adverse to being called 'Strife', to the point of sharply correcting people. And there's several very good reasons why he has an unconscious and instinctive abhorrance for that name.
41 hisses or Hiss in my ear....