Final Fantasy VII
Director : Yoshinori Kitanase
Producer : Hironobu Sakaguchi
Final Fantasy VII is the second RPG I’ve played and I barely remember the story beside meteor fall, Shinra goes nuts and Cloud must save the day after his mental breakdown. After rewatching it, I now understand why so many fans tend to hype this series.
The setting of the story take hold in Planet, may called Gaia at some point and kinda like earth, which just get ‘industrialized’ by the biggest company in the Planet, Shinra is it’s name, by exploiting the Planet Energy called Mako. The civilization in the Planet shifting to modern life, most of it, because of the using Mako as new source of energy, even there’s some part of the Planet who still live with it’s traditional pace.
Shinra created Shinra’s Reactor all over the planet to exploit all Mako in every side of the planet, which is dangerous for the planet itself, but Shinra didn’t care. They dare to fight back, even kill, anyone who won’t obey. There’s history that Shinra killed or take as experiment every Ancient, a kind of human who can ‘speak’ with ‘Planet’ to find Promised Land, some Land that they believe full of Mako energy so they can rule the world. One of the Ancient experiment is Sephiroth, the best elite soldier of Shinra.
Sephiroth ‘born’ from human, which is Hojo, and Ancients, which is Jenova. But as the story goes on, it was explained that Jenova is not Ancient. ‘She’ is a somewhat same as Ancient, but had destructive instinct to engulf the Planet. This evil Ancient trying to destroy the planet in the past by wounding it badly but get halt by Ancient and human who work together. That’s why there’s Weapon, a monstrously fiend who created by Planet to protect from the same threat.
Back to Sephiroth, he had vague memories about his past and his origin. But then when he goes to Nibleheim on mission, where people experimented by Jenova cell in there, he realizes his origin, which make him driving insane and choose to fight Shinra and the Planet by saving Jenova to restore his mother pride and his race (evil Ancient). In that mission, Sephiroth fight with Zack, the first elite soldier, and Cloud, the normal soldier. Sephiroth still win the fight with mortal wound after the fight. Zack and Cloud didn’t survive but later on took and get experimented by Hojo. Both of them injected by Jenova and Sephiroth cell and, somehow, back to life and escaped from there. Zack killed when chased by Shinra, but Cloud survive, with his broken memories that always exchanged by Zack memories.
Go to present time, Cloud. as mercenaries, joined Avalanche, a rebel group who fight Shinra, lead by Barret and Tifa. They managed to destroy one of Shinra’s reactor but Cloud getting separated in middle of mission, which lead him to Aerith, the young woman who are the last Ancient who still survive and also Zack’s girlfriend. Shinra who still believe that Ancient will lead them to Promises Land kidnap Aerith so Cloud, together with Tifa and Barret, infiltrate Shinra Headquarter to save her. Cloud failed and jailed by Shinra, but then supprisingly Sephiroth come and murder lot of Shinra soldier, including the president itself. Fortunately, by that chance, Cloud and others managed take Aerith to safety. From there, they realized the Sephiroth ambition to destroy the Planet so they want to stop him, which is initial move to find Sephiroth.
Sephiroth objective is shifting from revenge to become a god-like by creating big meteor fall to Planet using Black Materia, which is not destroying but give a deadly wound to the planet which will force the planet to make an large amount of Mako to restore it. When that happen, Sephiroth will take that Mako to made him and Jenova become new god in the planet. Black Materia is taken in last Ancient Temple, which initially taken by Cloud but by Sephiroth mind hypnosis, Cloud forced to give the Black materia to him.
Cloud who still guilt and feel lost because Sephirot Mind Hypnosis made Aerith to stop Sephiroth by herself in ruined city of Cetra. She praying to the planet to using holy materia, which is somewhat anti-weapon of black materia. Cloud get hypnotized again by Sephiroth to kill Aerith but he resist, so Sephiroth kill Aerith by his own hand. Sephiroth succeed.
Still confused about his mind and memory, Cloud force himself goes with the party to Northen Crater, a place where Sephiroth real body and Jenova in there. Shinra, who lead by Rufus, the President Son’s, go to the same place because they also hunt Sephiroth. Lots of revealing in there, about Planet, Ancients, Jenova, Evil Ancients, and many other things, which lead to Cloud who get controlled again to give black materia by Sephiroth because he is the Sephiroth clone after Hojo experiment. Sephiroth and Jenova resurrected because of black materia, which at the same time make Weapons awoke to eliminate everything that they ‘think’ made threat to the Planet, including Shinra, Cloud party and other innocent human.
After that chaos, Cloud get broken because flooded by Mako poison. Tifa stay with Cloud, help him to restore his memories which kinda mess because Hojo experiment. They both succeed and reveal the truth abouth Cloud’s real identitiy and his reason to ‘lie’ as Zack so he can get his confidence to fight Sephiroth again without getting hypnotized. Realized the Planet in ultimate danger between Sephiroth awake, meteor falling, and arise of Weapons, Cloud, Tifa, and the party start the battle again to save the planet.
Shinra also want ‘save’ the Planet with their own way. They use canon, even rocket, fueled by special materia to ram the big meteor but failed. There’s also big battle between Shinra and Weapons who attack Midgard and other city. They both get destroyed because Hojo making mess between their war. Why? Because Hojo want protect Sephiroth, his ‘son’. Thankfully, Cloud and the party managed to stop that crazy scientist.
After that, Cloud and the party getting back Holy Materia from Centra Ruins and go to Northen Crater to rematch with Sephiroth and Jenova, which is basically the final battle from there. They succeed defeat both of Sephiroth and Jenova and activate Holy materia to hold the meteor that come falling. It seems failed at first because Holy Materia can’t hold the huge destructive power of the meteor, but, conveniently, the Planet comes with it’s Mako energy to help Holy Materia so they can fully destroyed the meteor. The Planet saved once again by our heroes and Shinra ‘industrialization’ somehow replaced by the nature power of the Planet after their destruction.
I found this series is engaging in some way because the creator, atleast to me, seems care to enrich this story, make each character had their own arc and related with main plot and solid world building (mostly they all get their live fucked by Shinra at first). Cloud may ‘odd’ to me as main character when I see it in first half, but as story goes on, I can understand the mess he had, which somewhat convoluted in certain degree. As ‘evil’ as Shinra looks, I don’t know why I can’t hate them as villain when they try to protect the Planet from Weapons and Meteor with their own way. There’s some part of my thinking that Shinra will get ‘tolerated’ when the bigger threat (Sephiroth and Jenova) comes, but I guess the creator seems take favor to Cloud and the party, obviously. Can’t blame it because Shinra is taking every consequences they make because their villainous way. The theme may seems ‘traditional’ to me, which is nature versus industrialized, but the execution remains consistent and somehow predictable because the nature always ‘right’ and win at the end.