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COI - the continuing evolution of the Great Nibelheim Plotbunny! (i.e., yet more retconning) - Convolutions of an Evil Mind — LiveJournal
madamhydra
madamhydra
COI - the continuing evolution of the Great Nibelheim Plotbunny! (i.e., yet more retconning)
30 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
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salmastryon From: salmastryon Date: April 14th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
*delurking* Your discussions of your universe just get to me. Part of what I love about stories and story telling is figuring out how everything and everyone fits together. I just eat up your brainstorm posts like candy. So I just couldn't resist commenting on this one.

First off:
Let's do some slight (or maybe not so slight ::sweatdrop::) retconning to the COI plot and say that trooper Cloud did know Zack prior to Nibelheim. They were not close, but casual friends/acquaintances. And while trooper Cloud was too emotionally damaged to be saved by this friendship, this "relationship meant a lot to him. Trooper Cloud is almost painfully grateful for Zack's little kindnesses, which naturally makes Strife even more embittered and envious.

Not that I don't like this idea I'm fine with it, but I thought I would point out that I don't think you really need to change them not being friends before hand if you don't want them to be. Obviously you'd still need to tweak it some, but with how much Cloud wants to be a Solider, he couldn't of not become aware of Zack. It is possible to deeply admire, respect someone and even want to protect someone with out really knowing them. Especially someone like the Zack in your stories. Let's face it Zack is very charismatic and a representation of what Cloud asperations and dreams.

One of the themes that really stuck out in FFVII is that Cloud wanted to be like Zack and handle things as good as he imagined Zack handling them. So it makes sense, that he clings to him as an anchor in the mental nightmare that was Nibelheim. So then you have Zack dying at Cloud's(Strifes's) own hands which pretty much put the final nail in the coffin of Cloud's hopes and dreams if he had any left.

Combine that with all that is left of Zack being in his head and Strife on one side with Sephiroth on the other side, I could see him easily doing any and everything to try to preserve Zack. With personality like Strife living in his head Cloud has got to have a lot of self hatred, so while he might of never faced up to or taken action on his own behalf due to self destructive tendencies, he could definitely step up to the plate for Zack. I can even see that in his mind he's protecting Zack from everything that's happened in his life.

The whole friend/acquaintances things works as well for me, but I thought I'd throw this twist on the problem out for you to chew on as well. Sorry if it seems a bit disjointed and wordy.

Second:
My mind hit me on the side of the head as I was typing this out with the whole question of spirit or personality. Are Cloud and Strife the splintered aspects of a single spirits personality? Or did they split into two separate spirits. When you throw Zack in is he his own Seperate spirit or is he absorbed into the whole spirit that inhabit Cloud's body so that he's another personality in Cloud's head. If there is in fact two spirits in Cloud Zack and Cloud/Strife then is it really Zack taking on aspects of Cloud?

Any rate, I do like where you are going with this with possessive!Sephiroth. I like that the characters have ugly splotches in their personalities that they have to deal with successfully or not so successfully. And that sanity is relative. Dunno if anything I said was useful and I hope I didn't offend, but if nothing else you can chalk this down as a "Yeah! You're cool and OMG I love your story!" comment. ;)

*goes back to lurking*
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 14th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your discussions of your universe just get to me. Part of what I love about stories and story telling is figuring out how everything and everyone fits together. I just eat up your brainstorm posts like candy. So I just couldn't resist commenting on this one.

Thanks for saying something. Although it's a bit scary how obsessive I get about COIverse world-building. ::massive sweatdrop::

I mean, here I'm doing research on inheritance law because COI-Cloud's situation as President Shinra's bastard child, especially since Rufus is presumed dead. Depending on how Present Shinra wrote his will, Cloud actually could get a substantial portion of President Shinra's personal wealth (even if he doesn't get the corporation-related assets).

Not that I don't like this idea I'm fine with it, but I thought I would point out that I don't think you really need to change them not being friends before hand if you don't want them to be. Obviously you'd still need to tweak it some, but with how much Cloud wants to be a Solider, he couldn't of not become aware of Zack. It is possible to deeply admire, respect someone and even want to protect someone with out really knowing them. Especially someone like the Zack in your stories. Let's face it Zack is very charismatic and a representation of what Cloud asperations and dreams.

Sorry if I confused you when I mentioned revamping Zack and Cloud's relationship. You see, in the original version of COI, Zack didn't know Cloud at all prior to Nibelheim. The retconning comes in by having Zack and Cloud run into each other on several occasions prior to Nibelheim.

I'm probably going to make them into casual acquaintances and not really friends. However, even the relatively trival consideration of being recognized and greeted, of being thanked, etc. on Zack's part makes a tremendous impression on Cloud, given the pretty horrible way he's been treated up to this point.

So then you have Zack dying at Cloud's(Strifes's) own hands which pretty much put the final nail in the coffin of Cloud's hopes and dreams if he had any left.

So true. Cloud failed once with Tifa when they were children. But this time is infinitely worse because he's the threat and causing the harm.

he could definitely step up to the plate for Zack. I can even see that in his mind he's protecting Zack from everything that's happened in his life.

That's quite true. At this point, Cloud is really not capable of coherent thought so he's operating on pure instinct. Deeply buried under all those emotional scars is a person with very strong protective instincts. Growing up, Cloud probably desperately wanted to be a hero who protects, but those dreams were brutally crushed.

So now he's trying to find redemption by protecting Zack from insane!Sephiroth, regardless of the cost to himself. ::sniffle::

The whole friend/acquaintances things works as well for me, but I thought I'd throw this twist on the problem out for you to chew on as well. Sorry if it seems a bit disjointed and wordy.

No, it makes perfect sense. As I mentioned before, Cloud is so emotionally deprived and socially harassed, just being treated with mere common courtesy has a huge impact on Cloud. As for Zack, he's just being Zack -- friendly, outgoing, and personable. Unfortunately, Cloud's past makes him almost impossibly skittish, insecure, and difficult to befriend. And Zack has his hands full with other concerns (i.e., Sephiroth, the SOLDIERs, Hojo, and possibly even Aeris).
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: April 14th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn character limit! -_-

My mind hit me on the side of the head as I was typing this out with the whole question of spirit or personality. Are Cloud and Strife the splintered aspects of a single spirits personality? Or did they split into two separate spirits. When you throw Zack in is he his own Seperate spirit or is he absorbed into the whole spirit that inhabit Cloud's body so that he's another personality in Cloud's head. If there is in fact two spirits in Cloud Zack and Cloud/Strife then is it really Zack taking on aspects of Cloud?

Hmmm... Let me see if I can explain this a little more clearly. Strife was originally a splinter persona created by the original-Cloud as a way of dealing with the abuse in his young life. So Strife started out pretty much as a psychological coping mechanism for Cloud. However, as the abuse continues and escalates, the separation between the two aspects of Cloud's personality (Cloud and Strife) becomes more and more severe, until Strife starts to take on an identity and will of his own. That split becomes even more drastic and nearly complete as Cloud is experimented in the Shinra Mansion, due to the interaction of excessive mako and Jenova cell exposure. So at this point, Cloud and Strife are nearly two separate mental entities sharing and fighting over the same physical body.

The situation with Zack is much more complicated. The secret experiments performed on Cloud resulted in a complete copy of Zack's mind (including emotions, personality, memories, etc.) within Cloud. So now there's THREE distinct mental entities in Cloud's body -- Cloud, Strife, and Zack.

When Zack is killed, Strife was nearly but not quite destroyed by Cloud in a blaze of mutual destruction. At this point, there is essentially only one remotely intact and coherent entity in Cloud's body -- Zack. Cloud's mind is in tatters and Strife is badly damaged and hiding. As Cloud attempts to hide Zack's presence from Sephiroth, Zack and what's left of Cloud begin to fuse.

So in the present-day COI storyline, there are technically 2 1/2 personalities in Cloud's body -- Zack (1); Strife (1); and the remnants of Cloud (1/2). However, because Zack's personality is the most intact (and the strongest), Zack basically becomes the core personality in Cloud's body, although heavily overlaid and camouflaged by the the fragments of Cloud's broken mind. So yes, you could say that it's Zack that's taking on aspects of Cloud, while Strife still remains separate and distinct. ^_^

Hope this helps clarify things a bit. ::sweatdrop::

30 hisses or Hiss in my ear....