Searching for a Former Clarity – FFVII Ep. 38

Welcome back to Save File plays Final Fantasy VII! Last episode, we finished off Fort Condor. Now, the party is taking a break from pestering Shinra to go and check on Cloud and Tifa. Let’s hop to it! Also, as a fair warning, this episode has a LOT of words. So.. just be prepared for that.

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Back to Mideel we go!

MUSIC: Parochial Town

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Old Man: Lately the sea’s been in a tizzy. Lifestream has been mixin’ things up at the bottom of the ocean. I think the Planet’s pretty angry, too. We’ve pretty much done whatever we’ve wanted to the Planet up till now.

Oh hey, people might be starting to think about the consequences of their actions???

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Gossip: That boy must have one powerful guardian angel watchin’ over him.

Well, let’s see how it’s going, I guess.

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MUSIC: Off the Edge of Despair

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Nurse: No change in his condition, yet she stays right by his side. It must be tough on her. If she keeps this up, she’s going to get sick.Well anyhow… hey, you all look terrible. Why don’t you get some rest?

Geez, that’s kind of a rude way of saying that, isn’t it? “HEY, YOU LOOK LIKE SHIT. GET SOME SLEEP.”

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Doctor: You’ll have to be patient and wait this out. These things take time. Just like fine wine, time is of the essence.

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tifa: What should I do? What if you never recover for the rest of your life?

*RUMBLE RUMBLE RUMBLE*

MUSIC: Hurry Faster!!

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cid: What did you say, Cloud?!
cloud: Uh… ahhh?
cid: Damn. What the hell’s goin’ on?

We’d better go check it out!

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cid: Damn, that’s… This is bad!!
tifa: Cid?! What’s wrong?
cid: N-nothin’!! You and Cloud get inside, quick!
tifa: But, I…
cid: Hey, don’t worry about a thing. I ain’t about to die that easily.
tifa: Be careful!
cid: Okay, here I go! Watch this!!

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cid: Of all the times to show up! Okay then, come on, you bitch!

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The team is then forced into a fight against Ultima Weapon. It’s impossible to defeat him here, but he’ll fly off after you cause enough damage to him.

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He’s also no slouch. He has several attacks that can hit the entire party pretty hard. The first order of business is to buff up the party.

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After an application of Haste, Regen and MBarrier, I feel much better about my situation.

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So we can start laying on the hurt.

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He’s not going to like that very much.

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Ouch.

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After one last Ultima Beam, Ultima Weapon takes flight. We don’t get any experience or AP from this fight, since we technically didn’t win.

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barret: Damn, man. Just a little bit more and I would have smashed him.
yuffie: Well, at least the Lifestream is back to normal.

*RUMBLE RUMBLE RUUUUMBLE*

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cid: Th… This is bad! The main stream is kickin’ up! Somethin’ way bigger than that last one is on its way! No good! Get outta here!
yuffie: But what about Tifa and Cloud?!
cid: Goddammit! Don’t have time to worry about anyone other than yourself! Don’t know when that stream’ll blow… Whoa!! There’s no time! Hurry!!

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tifa: Wait a minute, Cloud. Doctor! Shouldn’t we move him somewhere?
Doctor: Hmm… It might be safer to move to an open area.
tifa: Don’t worry about a thing, Cloud. I’ll see to it that you get somewhere safe!
Doctor: No! The structure can’t take it!! Hurry!
tifa: Yes!

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I’m sure this is going to turn out just fine.

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Everything is cool…

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How are things with you?

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Everything is cool…

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OHGODOHGODOHGODOHGOD

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RUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUNRUN

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FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFffffffffffff…

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…welp.

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This is fine.

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tifa: Where’s Cloud? Cloud, where are you?! Huh… what? Who…? Who is it? I can’t hear… Wait a minute! I know nothing about that! No, it’s not me! I’d never do anything like that!! No! Stop it!! Stay back! Somebody… help! Please!! Cloud, help me!

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MUSIC: Who Am I?

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tifa: What is it, Cloud? What is this? Is this the inside of your dreams? Or is it… your… subconscious? You’re searching, aren’t you, Cloud? Searching… for yourself. I can help, too. We’ll work together to try and get the real you back! But… where do we start?

Tifa is now tasked with piecing together Cloud’s shattered psyche and his memories, some of which are real, and some of which are fake. I’m sure it’ll be a good time.

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cloud: And… that’s how it all started…
tifa: It connects… to Nibelheim? That’s right… It’s probably best to start from there. Let’s got have look, Cloud. I know it’s not easy… I’ll be here for you…

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tifa: Here’s the well… And that’s Gramps’ Inn, too. The only truck in town. It’s been here since we were little kids, right? This is the Nibelheim you remember, right? It’s the same as my Nibelheim. That’s why this is… our Nibelheim.

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tifa: Sephiroth and… a young and vibrant soldier. Can you tell me again what happened?

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sephiroth: So how does it feel? I wouldn’t know because I don’t have a hometown…
cloud: Umm… how about your parents?

There’s a weird thing going on where Tifa and Cloud are experiencing the memory as it happens.

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tifa: But to tell the truth, I thought he was very cold.
sephiroth: What does it matter? All right, let’s go.
tifa: I remember a foreboding about him.

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tifa: I’ve been hiding it for some time, afraid that if I told you… something terrible might happen. But, I’m not going to hide anything anymore. You weren’t here. Cloud did not come to Nibelheim five years ago. I waited, but Cloud… never came. The two that were ordered here were Sephiroth and another person.

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tifa: There’s nothing… I can say. You must find the answer yourself. If you can’t, then… Take your time, Cloud. Slowly… little by little, Okay?

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tifa: Don’t hurry, Cloud… Don’t answer too quickly. Just keep checking all those small emotions and it’ll come back… slowly… little by little… Right… like the sky that night… the heavens were filled with stars.

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tifa: That’s you, too. You were so small then… and cute. Sephiroth once said… Cloud made up his memories by listening to my stories… Did you imagine this sky? No, you remembered it. That night the stars were gorgeous. It was just Cloud and I. We talked at the well… That’s why I kept thinking you were the real Cloud. I still believe you’re the Cloud from Nibelheim. But you don’t believe in yourself…

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tifa: No, not memories. A memory is something that is consciously recalled, right? That’s why sometimes it can be mistaken or wrong. It’s different from a memory locked deep within your heart. That’s why it must be fake. If he could recall up that memory.

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tifa: If I say something, you can’t remember it. But if you say something and I remember it too… Then we’ll know that’s a memory. Talk to me. About anything, some important memory to you… Now that you mention it, why  did you want to join SOLDIER in the first place? I always thought it was a sudden decision.

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cloud: I thought if I got stronger, someone would notice.
tifa: Who?

…you can’t be serious…

98% of the time, any time a guy wants “someone” to notice him, it is someone he’s attracted to.

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tifa: Me? Why?!
cloud: Tifa… did you forget… about those days?

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tifa: I’m sorry… but what are you talking about?
young-cloud: No… it’s all  right. You were having a hard time back then. You were so busy with your own things, it’s only natural you don’t remember me then.
tifa: “Then?”
young-cloud: It’s important to me… I hate to say it, but it’s a very important memory. Do you want to see it?

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cloud: Tender memories… no one can ever know.

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young-cloud: It was my first time there.
tifa: Was it?
young-cloud: I only used to look up at it from outside.

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Kid: You think he wants to come in?
tifa: Was that the first day you came into my room? …that’s right. We lived next to each other. But I really didn’t know you that well. I’ve known you since we were children and always thought we were close…

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young-cloud: Tifa always used to have her own group.
tifa: …that’s right.
young-cloud: I thought they were all… stupid.
tifa: What?!
young-cloud: You were all childish, laughing at every stupid little thing.
tifa: But we were children then.
young-cloud: …I know. I was the stupid me. I really wanted to play with everyone, but you never let me in the group.

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young-cloud: That I was different from those immature kids. That then… maybe…

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cloud2: I thought that might happen, so I hung around.
young-cloud: I was so prejudiced… and weak.
cloud2: That night I asked Tifa to come out to the well… I thought to myself Tifa would never come… that she hated me.
tifa: …It was so sudden. I was a bit… surprised. It’s true weren’t THAT close, but… After you left town, I really thought about you a lot. I used to wonder how Cloud was doing. I wondered if you were able to get into SOLDIER? I started reading the newspapers, thinking I might see an article about you.

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, eh? After he left, you started thinking about him. But you grew up with him, he was there the entire time!

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young-cloud: Tell him what you told me, later. He’ll probably be so happy.
tifa: Okay! Huh? What happened on this day? Was it a special day?
young-cloud: This was the day…
cloud2: Tifa’s mother…
tifa: The day mom died…

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MUSIC: On The Other Side of the Mountain

This might be the only time in the entire this song plays. You should give it a listen.

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Kid:
No one crosses that mountain alive…
young-tifa: How ’bout those that died? Did Mama pass through the mountains? I’m going!

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Tifa starts to cross the mountain. One of her friends follows her immediately, while the other two hesitate.

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As the wimp runs away, he comes across Cloud, who is attempting to follow.

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Once Tifa begins to cross the bridge, her friends turn tail and run. Cloud, however, soldiers on, until…

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Ya know, this bridge seems to have a history of collapsing. It’s a good thing they check into this so much.

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young-cloud: We both fell off the cliff. Back then, I only scarred my knees, but…

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Inconsiderate Jerk: What the hell’s the matter with you?! What if she dies?!
young-cloud: Tifa was in a coma for seven days. We all thought she wouldn’t make it. If only I could have saved her. I was so angry… at myself for my weakness.  Ever since then, I felt Tifa blamed me. I went out of control… I’d get into fights with anyone.

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young-cloud: I thought if I were strong like Sephiroth, then…

MUSIC: Who Am I?

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tifa: So that was it? Sorry, Cloud. If I had only remembered more clearly what happened, I could have done something sooner.
cloud2: It’s not your fault, Tifa.
tifa: But, I remember back when we were eight! That’s it! Now I know! You weren’t created five years ago! My childhood memories weren’t all made up. Hang in there Cloud! Just a little longer! You’ve almost found the real you! Let’s go back to Nibelheim again!

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tifa: Where are you going?
cloud: …the Reactor?
tifa: To the reactor! The Mako reactor of five years ago!

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Eesh, we’ve seen this before.

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That is most certainly NOT Cloud!

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tifa: Then… where were you, Cloud?

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Zack, meanwhile, gets literally LAUNCHED out of Jenova’s chamber.

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Awwwww, shit…. (I actually LOVE this reveal)

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Daaaaaaaaaaamn!

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Here, the music busts out into the Main Theme. It’s actually really awesome.

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tifa: You were watching me.
(okay, that sounds a little creepy)

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tifa: Hmm… so it was you?

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cloud: Yeah…

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cloud: I… never made it as a member of SOLDIER. I even left my hometown telling everyone I was going to join, but… I was so embarrassed. I didn’t want to see anybody.

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sephiroth: It’s your first time back to your hometown in a long time, right?

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tifa: So you really did come when I was in trouble!
cloud: Sorry… I didn’t get there sooner.
tifa: It’s all right, Cloud.

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I mean, as badass as that would be, this is a memory. We all know that’s not what’s going to happen.

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sephiroth: Don’t… push it.

Oooooo… yeah. Not the optimal outcome.

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Uhhh… holy shit.

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You ever read or hear about those stories where parents get bursts of superhuman speed or strength when they see their children are in danger? Like… lifting cars and stuff like that? I think that’s what just happened to Cloud. He just got stabbed in the abdomen and lifted up into the air. He then forced himself back to the ground, and using the very sword he was stabbed with, lifted his assailant into the air and pitched him off the walkway.

DAAAAAAAMMMNNNNN

MUSIC: Who Am I?

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young-cloud: Then… this is goodbye, Tifa. Until we meet again.

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All of the “shadow” clouds then pull into the child-like Cloud in the center.

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cloud: Uh… Tifa?
tifa: Oh, Cloud! It’s really you, isn’t it?
cloud: Yeah… Tifa… We finally meet again.
tifa: You had us so worried, you jerk!

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cloud: V, voice… their…
tifa: I see. We’re… in the Lifestream, aren’t we? Everyone’s waiting. Let’s go back, Cloud. Back to everyone…
cloud: Yeah, I guess so… Come on, Tifa. Let’s go home.

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Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!

MUSIC: None!

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tifa: u…unn…? Barret… You came back. I… Cloud?! Where’s Cloud?
barret: Don’t worry about him. He’s a tough one.
tifa: Barret… I… When I was in the Lifestream, I saw the real Cloud. I mean, I didn’t really find him. Cloud… he found himself…

This update may hold the record for most ellipses. Holy crap. I’m not adding those, I’m directly transcribing.

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barret: But I can’t win against you. You’re some kinda lady.
tifa: People have so many things pent up inside of themselves. So many things they can never forget. Strange… isn’t it?
barret: Yo, Tifa! Snap outta it!

(Okay, I added that one)

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red-xiii: Don’t say anything, Cloud. All you’ve been doing is apologizing.
cloud: I never was in SOLDIER. I made up the story about what happened five years ago and my being in SOLDIER. I left my village looking for glory, but never made it into SOLDIER… I was so ashamed of being so weak. Then I heard this story from my friend Zack… and I created an illusion of myself made up of what I had seen in my life… And I continued to play the charade as if it were true.

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cloud: Physically, I’m built like someone in SOLDIER. Hojo’s plan to close Sephiroth wasn’t that difficult. It was just the same procedure they use when creating members of SOLDIER. You see, someone in SOLDIER isn’t simply exposed to Mako energy. Their bodies are actually injected with Jenova cells.

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cloud: It has nothing to do with the Jenova Reunion. But weak people… like me, get lost in the whole thing. The combination of Jenova cells, Sephiroth’s strong will, and my own weakness are what created me. Everyone knew that. I’m… Cloud. …the master of my own illusionary world. But I can’t remain trapped in an illusion anymore… I’m going to live my life without pretending.

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Okay, I know you’re just joking around, but that’s kind of a fucked up thing to say to someone that just worked their way through an identity crisis that’s been going on for at least 5 years.

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cait-sith: By the way, Cloud. What are you going to do now? Don’t tell me you’re going to leave the ship?
cloud: …I’m the reason why Meteor is falling towards us. That’s why I have to do everything in my power to fight this thing.
barret: Good!! Then you’re gonna keep fightin’ to save the Planet?!
cloud: It’s like you always told me, Barret.
barret: Oh, uh, you mean that!
red-xiii: What? I don’t understand!

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Oh ho ho ho ho ho hoooooo!!

MUSIC: Highwind Takes to the Skies

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The Operations Room attendant is a little choked up after that confession and display of camaraderie.

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Attendant: No one knows when fighting will begin. But let’s get ready!!

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cait-sith: We’re right in the middle of the mission for the Huge Materia, right? I know this is kinda out of the blue, but Junon has an Underwater Reactor. As far as I can see, that’s the only one left. That’s that. Let’s go!

HOORAY! We’ve got Cloud back! And now he knows who he really is! Next time on Final Fantasy VII, we’ll go see about that Underwater Reactor!

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