The long awaited Final Fantasy VII Remake was finally released in 2020. This has been a game that fans have wanted for decades, and I’m so glad it was completed. I had the privilege of playing through it all and I have to say, it’s my game of the year for 2020! It reminded me why I love RPGs so much, especially JRPGs. It has everything I want in a game, from beautiful graphics, professional voice overs, a captivating story and gameplay that didn’t let up. You can tell that I am a big fan of this game, and I was hoping I could find some moral or spiritual topics to touch on while I played.
The main character, Cloud Strife, stood out to me for several reasons. In the original Final Fantasy VII game, he never spoke so it’s hard to get his full personality out of just decisions or gestures. The first time I saw Cloud speak was in the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which was excellent and a continuation of the original story. It showed a burdened man who was struggling internally with the events that happened in the game (FFVII). In Final Fantasy VII: Remake we see some of that, but not to the extent of the movie yet. I believe the remake will go into more detail of his mental health than previously.0
The remake does not, at first, give any backstory of who our main character is, all we know about Cloud is that he’s a mercenary hired to protect Avalanche from any security or other threats to their mission. I thought his story would slowly be fleshed out as the gameplay hours passed, but that was not the case. Even after beating the game, there is still much to learn about our hero. Some hints are given, but for those who have never played through the entire original game (myself!), I found his past to be of interest.
Stuck In The Past
Cloud Strife is still dealing with the fact that he was experimented on in the SOLDIER project, which reminded me of Captain America from the MCU. Several times in different scenes, Cloud either here’s the voice of Sephiroth or sees him face to face but he isn’t there. Sephiroth is someone from his past who caused him great pain, by destroying what seems to be his mom and killing his mother. The video below will spoil some of the game since it’s a pivotal scene, but it will flesh out the points I’m making in this article.
We all have a past, unless your very young but you will have one eventually. Good or bad, boring or exciting, life is an experience full of ups and downs. Some of us have it worse than others, and I don’t have an answer for that except that God is in control and turns all things for good to those who love Him.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
As the game progresses, we see that Sephiroth seems to be leading Cloud on to some kind of path, which isn’t revealed even by the end of the game. Sephiroth seems to know events that haven’t happened yet, or at least the journey the characters are on he is aware of. For what reason or purpose, it’s not clear, but Cloud’s mental trauma leads him to continually see Sephiroth in visions or even in his friends. It happens in very well placed sections of the game, and we are led to believe that he is hallucinating somehow.
This occurance in the game had me remember how many of us deal with our past differently, especially if it wasn’t a pleasant one. I didn’t have the greatest childhood, being raised by my single mom and an only child. My mother had emotional and verbal abuse growing up from my grandmother, so she would pass that onto me when she would get angry. Basically, the typical hispanic parent who would smack you with a sandal or belt, but my mom had a lot of extra internal baggage she was dealing with so it made it worse for me.
As I grew up, I had to ask God many times to forgive my mother for how she raised me and to help me forgive her as well since I was (and still am) the only Christian in my family. It wasn’t easy seeing how any good could come of the verbal and emotional abuse I had to struggle through as a child and young adult, but God was able to mold me into who I am today through some of those experiences.
Cloud also has become a stronger person through the trauma he went through because of Sephiroth. Negative or abusive events in our past are harmful to us in many ways, whether emotional, mental, physical, etc. Some are worse than others, I am not trying to lump all of them into one category. I am only comparing my own younger years and what I’ve had to go through in life with Cloud’s, as of part one of the FF VII Remake. He hides his emotions and puts up a strong front, but Cloud cares for his friends and wants to help them. As he fights through his pain, his friends are there with him when he’s at his worst moments.
We need someone to help us when we are down. When your alone, there’s no one there when life hits you hard. Never be alone, nor try to be a “lone wolf”, because the battles we face in life will always hit harder than we can. Whether it’s past trauma, or present trouble, God is with us, and He puts people around us to mature us, learn from, and pick us up when we fall.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Let’s not live life alone, regardless how bad your past life was or what your going through now. This life can be difficult, whether it has been already or it will for you in the future, God is with you through it all.
Let me know how you’ve overcome obstacles in your life, and how your life has changed since.