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Cloud's Subconscious

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The following article is based on a subject that has not been officially named in any official Square Enix material; the current title is merely a placeholder.
Clouds subconscious

Cloud's inner mind.

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!
—Tifa Lockhart

Cloud's Subconscious is a surreal location inside the mind of Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII. It is visited once by Tifa Lockhart following Cloud and her falling into the Lifestream after Ultimate Weapon's attack on Mideel. Cloud was mentally unstable following the experiments of the Jenova Project, and so has to descend into his own mind to find himself. Tifa manages to enter his mind thanks to the Lifestream's effects. Since it is Cloud's inner mind, various versions of himself exist as memories from the past.

Masato Katou, an event planner for Final Fantasy VII, made the events for Cloud's subconsciousness. The movies were made by Kazuyuki Ikumori, a Final Fantasy VII movie designer who was originally a graphic designer for the maps. This was the first time he'd tried his hand at movies.[1]

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

As Tifa helps Cloud to unravel the mysteries inside himself, she visits several versions of Cloud during various stages of his life.

North CloudEdit

This is Cloud's memory of the Nibelheim Incident, and shows Nibelheim exactly as it was just before Sephiroth destroyed the town. Cloud begins to play what occurred in his mind five years ago, but Tifa tells him he was not one of the two SOLDIERs who came into the town. Instead, it was a black-haired man carrying the Buster Sword.

West CloudEdit

Well memories

Tifa and Cloud on the well.

This is Cloud's memory of his promise to Tifa just before he left Nibelheim to join SOLDIER. Since Cloud does not even know if he is the real Cloud, or a Sephiroth Clone created by Professor Hojo as Sephiroth claims, he wonders if this memory is false, just like his memories of the Nibelheim Incident. Tifa concludes by viewing this memory the Cloud of Final Fantasy VII must be the real Cloud; there was no way he could have made up the details so clearly by just listening to Tifa's stories. Cloud himself still has doubts.

Tifa suggests Cloud mention a memory of her she had never talked about. Cloud reveals he wanted to join SOLDIER to make Tifa notice him; they were not nearly as close as Tifa remembers.

South CloudEdit

Tifa's room in the past

Tifa mourns for her mother with her friends while Cloud stands outside.

This is a memory of Cloud as a young boy looking through Tifa's window before being allowed inside to join the group. The memory is around the time Tifa's mother died and she was so distraught she tried to climb Mt. Nibel to find her, imagining her mother would be on the other side. Tifa's three friends followed, but deserted her. Cloud followed and was the only one present when Tifa injured herself in a fall. The townsfolk blamed Cloud for the accident, and Tifa's father forbade him to come near Tifa. While in this memory, Cloud breaks into two parts, a normal Cloud, and a black shadow of himself.

Cloud and Tifa were not particularly close as children; she played with three other kids whom Cloud was jealous of. He thought they were stupid and immature, though this was a cover for his own loneliness, and admits it was his fault he was not part of the group. When Cloud called Tifa to meet him at the well, she was surprised to be called out to such a well-known date spot, apparently unaware of Cloud's crush on her. Cloud was unsure whether or not she would even come, though was glad when she did. Tifa admits after Cloud left town she thought of him and looked for word of his deeds in the newspapers.

The TruthEdit

Cloud remembers zack

Cloud remembers Zack's name.

Cloud rejoins into a single form and moves back into his memory of Nibelheim. Tifa follows him past the town and into the Mako Reactor to his memories of confronting Sephiroth. Tifa is injured and the black-haired SOLDIER runs up to fight Sephiroth. Cloud remembers the SOLDIER's name is Zack. Sephiroth easily defeats Zack, but a character appears, runs up and stabs Sephiroth from behind with the Buster Sword. When the person removes his mask, it is revealed to be Cloud. He was there during the Nibelheim Incident the entire time, only hiding under his helmet. Cloud did not wish to be seen because he failed to become a SOLDIER as he promised Tifa he would.

Cloud merges

Cloud's different "selves" merge into one.

After wounding Sephiroth, Cloud went down to move Tifa to a safer place. Sephiroth staggered by and Cloud fought him, only to be impaled by Sephiroth's Masamune. Grabbing the sword, Cloud threw Sephiroth into the Lifestream and defeated him.

After Cloud remembers who he is and what really happened in Nibelheim, his mind is cured. All the versions of himself come together and Cloud is again a whole person. Cloud and Tifa leave the Lifestream and return to their party at Mideel, with Cloud again as its leader.

Deleted ScenesEdit

According to Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega[2], Cloud's rescue scene was originally planned to be even longer; after washing up on the shore of Mideel with Tifa, Cloud would have been unconscious and Tifa would have had to revive him with CPR. During this stage Cloud would have a vision of being experimented by Professor Hojo in Nibelheim, and of his escape with Zack. The scene was moved to be viewed in the Shinra Mansion Basement in the game's final version.

One of the story scenes in Cloud's Subconscious happens on a white background, and retells the events where young Cloud and Tifa have fallen off a bridge and the adult Tifa, Cloud and a black shadow Cloud watch the events unfold when the villagers, including Tifa's father, find the two kids. An earlier build of this scene exists in the first Japanese release of the game. If this earlier version is unearthed from the game data, the scene plays out and it appears Tifa has fallen atop of Cloud, so he may have cushioned her fall. There are two Clouds on the scene like in the final version, but they are both the normal fully colored model, rather than one of them being a black silhouette. The player's mobility is not disabled, and the player can move Tifa around in this scene. The text reads as gibberish. The text boxes are not transparent like in the final version, and the scene doesn't fade to black when Cloud begins reminiscing about the first time he heard of Sephiroth. As there exists no jump to the Cloud's Subconscious field, the player is stuck in the white field if they manage to trigger this scene.[3]

MusicEdit

{{{image}}}
"Who Am I?"
Music-harp
FFVII - Who am I
Trouble with the audio sample?

The music that plays in most scenes in Cloud's Subconscious is "Who Am I?". After Cloud has discovered his true persona the music changes to the "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII". In the scene when Tifa's mother died the theme "On the Other Side of the Mountain" is played.

TriviaEdit

  • Both director Yoshinori Kitase and character and monster designer Tetsuya Nomura consider the scenes within Cloud's subconsciousness to be the most striking in the game.[4]

ReferencesEdit

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