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Read this before posting for all story and DVD/UMD questions (Spoilers aplenty)
*****Table of contents*****
1) External links to be familiar with and answers regarding where to find information on the original Final Fantasy VII (001)
2) DVD and UMD questions (002)
3) Story and character questions (003)
*Geostigma and Sephiroth's plan* (003.1)
*Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo* (003.2)
*Other characters* (003.3)
4) Acknowledgements (004)
Note: You can do a ctrl+f search for the numbers beside each section in the table of contents to instantly go to the section of your choice
****External links to be familiar with and answers regarding where to find information on the original Final Fantasy VII**** (001)
Q: Can I get answers about the original game's story in here?
A: Yes. Or, rather, you can get a link to a place with the answers. On September 9, 2005, Square Enix released an official book that explains FFVII's story. It's called the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega and is only in Japanese, but I've translated the important parts. You can read it here:
Q: Is there a single FAQ that also answers lots of questions about Advent Children's plot?
A: Yes, there is. You can read it by following either of these links:
Q: Is there anything else I should read?
A: Yes. There was a prologue to Advent Children called "On the Way to a Smile." It explains who Denzel is and a lot of other things. Also, you should read Maiden who Travels the Planet -- a novella set from Aerith's point of view after she got killed -- and the director commentary from the Japanese Advent Children DVD. You can read translations of all of them here (they were only ever officially published in Japanese):
Furthermore, you should read the Advent Children Reunion Files book (published by SoftBank), and the Advent Children Prologue book (published by Shueisha) if you can get them. The Prologue book is only in Japanese, but the Reunion Files book includes both Japanese and English text. I've included notes on much of the information in the Reunion Files book in my Ultimania Omega translations FAQ linked to above, and information from the Prologue book can be found on the same site with the translations of On the Way to a Smile.
****DVD and UMD questions**** (002)
Q: Do the NTSC and PAL DVDs include a recap of FFVII's story?
A: Yep. It's called "Reminiscence of Final Fantsy VII." Can't miss it. It's on the first disc, the one that has the movie. It's interspersed with dialogue between Cloud and other members of Avalanche from after AC is over.
Q: Is Last Order (the anime short based on the Nibelheim slaughter) included in the NTSC or PAL versions of the film? If not, why not?
A: No, it isn't. It's not included because there were only 77,777 legal copies produced, and since it was part of Advent Pieces, the so-called "Ultimate Edition" of FFVII: AC released in Japan, the only people who got it had to pay a hell of a lot of money for it. Giving it to the rest of us for $25 or $30 would piss those 77,777 people off.
Q: What was in Advent Pieces?
A: It included the following items:
*AC Cloud action figure with motorcycle
*Making of documentary ("The Distance")
*Advent Children Special Edition (the Venice Film Festival presentation from 2004)
*Advent Children trailers
*Advent Children replica script
*Cap with Cloud's wolf emblem
*T-shirt with Cloud's wolf emblem
*Serial-numbered keychain with Cloud's wolf emblem
*Special edition of Final Fantasy VII: International
Q: Anything from the Japanese versions that the NTSC and PAL versions didn't get aside from Last Order and the memorabilia?
A: Yes. There was no director commentary audio track on the NTSC and PAL versions, which the Japanese versions did have. It actually offered quite a bit of important information concerning the story, including the name of Cloud's new sword set, how powerful Sephiroth's will is considered to be (greater than anyone else's, actually) and the meaning behind a few things that show up in the film. There's a link to a site with a translation of that commentary within this FAQ.
Q: What are the differences in the special features of the NTSC and PAL UMDs and the DVDs?
A: The UMD has no extra features. It's just the movie.
Q: My DVD freezes at the part right after Kadaj jumps off the building with Rufus and catches the box containing Jenova's cells. The box leaks on him a little bit and then the disc suddenly freezes for a second or two. Is there something wrong with my disc?
A: No. That's just the DVD switching layers. Everyone's DVD will do that on some DVD players. On some newer players that won't happen. There's nothing to worry about it.
Q: Is my DVD freezing at the part where Cloud drives past Rude and Reno just before they set off their bombs? It's like two still-frames, one with Cloud and Rude and another with Cloud and Reno.
A: That's intentional. The film was edited like that for dramatic effect.
****Story and character questions**** (003)
***Geostigma and Sephiroth's plan*** (003.1)
Q: What is Geostigma?
A: Geostigma is a symptom of people being infected with Jenova's cells. The cause is the body's immune system trying too hard to force the infection out, and in so doing, it makes people exhausted, wearing them down until they die. It also causes sores to open on their skin from where pus comes out.
Q: How did all those people get Jenova cells in them?
A: Cloud had them because of the experiments Hojo conducted on him five years before FFVII. All those kids and other people got them when the Lifestream covered the surface at the end of FFVII. Rufus might have gotten them then too.
Q: Why were there Jenova cells in the Lifestream?
A: When Cloud and the others defeated Jenova and Sephiroth inside the planet at the end of Final Fantasy VII, the pieces of their bodies fell into the Lifestream.
Q: Why didn't Cloud or any SOLDIERs have Geostigma during the original game?
A: Sephiroth wasn't exerting his will through the Jenova cells as though he were trying to take over their bodies back then. There were too few people who had Jenova cells at that time for Sephiroth's new plan to have even worked if he'd tried it. Once lots of people did get Jenova cells, though, he was able to constantly exert his will and trick people's bodies into weakening themselves until they died.
Q: What is Sephiroth's new plan?
A: Once a lot of people had Jenova cells, Sephiroth realized he could cause Geostigma, which would eventually cause its victims' own bodies to kill themselves from exhaustion. When these people died, their spiritual energy would become tainted with Sephiroth's will through the Jenova cells. From there, he could gradually taint more and more life energy until he was able to infect the rest of the Lifestream. Once he'd done this, he would be able to bend the entire Planet to his will and use it as a ship to sail through space.
***Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo*** (003.2)
Q: What were Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz?
A: The Japanese version called them "shinentai" of Sephiroth, which means "will bodies." They're manifestations of Sephiroth's will through energy from the Lifestream, created after he died and was unwilling to let himself be dissolved into the sea of souls. In the director commentary on the Japanese DVD, Nomura said that Sephiroth has the strongest will of any human, and in the Advent Children Reunion Files book, it identifies the silver-haired trio as "manifestations of Sephiroth's spirit and will."
Q: Why does Kadaj turn into Sephiroth?
A: As said, Kadaj is a manifestation of Sephiroth's spirit and will. Combining Sephiroth's spirit with Jenova cells (which are basically Sephiroth's body) brought him back to life.
Q: Can Sephiroth ever come back again?
A: Maybe. Depends on whether or not it's profitable to Square Enix probably. As things stand, though, it doesn't look good for him. His will/spirit got cleansed of his influence (watch as KYL turn from black Lifestream to green) and sent back into the Lifestream several minutes apart.
Q: Why did Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz need the kids infected with Geostigma?
A: Because they don't have Jenova cells in them theirselves. They needed the kids who did in order to lead them to Jenova's remains. The Reunion instinct of the cells took over the kids when Kadaj had them drink that water tainted with his will.
***Other characters*** (003.3)
Q: Who is Denzel?
A: He's an orphan that Cloud and Tifa adopted. Read On the Way to a Smile to learn more about him.
Q: Is Tifa Denzel's mom and Cloud his dad?
A: Again, he's an orphan that Cloud and Tifa adopted.
Q: Why does Barret tell Denzel to protect his mom in reference to Tifa?
A: Again, he's an orphan that Cloud and Tifa adopted.
Q: Didn't Tseng die in the original FFVII?
A: No. There was a mistranslation in the PlayStation English version when Elena said "But you really got guts doin' my boss in like that!" The translators just assumed he was dead. What she actually said there was "How dare you do that to my boss!" Also, if you speak to Tseng in the Temple after he sits down near the entrance, he'll say that he's still alive. Apparently, Elena found him before the Temple collapsed and he survived.
Q: Didn't Rufus die in the original FFVII?
A: It sure looked like it, didn't it? Anyway, nope, he survived. "How?" you ask? He ducked. No, but seriously, nobody but the guys who made FFVII know. Rufus tries to explain to Cloud how he survived, but Cloud interrupts him. At one point, some of us thought that he might have been infused with mako because he has a green glow around his pupils like Cloud, Sephiroth, Kadaj, Yazoo, Zack, and Loz, but both Denzel and Cid also have this glow. While we might have been able to make a case for Denzel being infused with mako because his father worked for Shin-Ra, no such case can be reasonably made for Cid, especially since the only people who have this glow are blue-eyed people. A bit much of a coincedence, no? We're not ruling out the possibility, but we really don't know how Rufus survived right now. Maybe Square Enix will explain it later.
Q: Didn't Tseng and Elena die during Advent Children? I see them near the end of the movie, but I thought Vincent said they died.
A: No. Listen carefully to what Vincent says: "I did what I could to save them, but... well, we'll see." The two were captured by Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz, tortured, and then Vincent rescued them and tried to heal them. He said he wasn't sure if they'd make it, though. Clearly they did.
Q: Did Reno and Rude die when those bombs went off on the highway?
A: No. Pay attention toward the end of the film. We see them standing around Rufus with Elena and Tseng near the end when the rain comes down on the city.
Q: Why's Marlene living with Cloud and Tifa instead of Barret?
A: Read On the Way to a Smile for a full explanation of this. The short version is that Barret, Marlene, Cloud and Tifa were living together for a while, but then Barret went away to settle his past and find a new energy source (oil). While he was gone, he left Marlene in Cloud and Tifa's care.
Q: Was that Bahamut that Kadaj summoned?
A: Yes. Bahamut SIN to be exact.
Q: Who is that guy talking with Aerith after Cloud gets shot in the back?
A: It's Zack. You see him with her a few minutes later.
Q: Who's Zack?
A: He was a 1st Class SOLDIER and Cloud's best friend. Refer to the story-related links at the beginning of this thread for more on him.
Q: Who's Mother?
Q: Why does Cait Sith sound Scottish in the English version of the film?
A: "Cait Sith" is Gaelic for "Fairy Cat," so they gave him that accent in this version.
Q: What do those pink ribbons that all the members of Avalanche wear symbolize?
A: They symbolize remembrance of Aerith, as confirmed in the Advent Children Reunion Files book.
Q: What is that wolf that appears several times during the film?
A: On the Japanese DVD's director commentary, and in the Advent Children Reunion Files book, Nomura said it's a symbol of Cloud's guilt. He blames himself for lots of things that aren't his fault. For instance: Zack's death, Aerith's death, and Tifa getting beat up while Marlene was kidnapped. Therefore, the wolf appears in places associated with these things.
It's also part of Cloud's theme in the film. There's lots of wolf trinkets on his clothing, and his motorcycle, Fenrir, is named after a wolf from Norse Mythology. The symbolism there is that Cloud's acting like a lone wolf by isolating himself.
Q: So Cloud's motorcycle is named "Fenrir"?
Q: Does Cloud's new sword have a name?
A: Yes. It's called the First Tsurugi/First Sword. The creators also called them "the fusion swords" during production, according to the Advent Children Reunion Files book.
Q: Is "First Tsurugi" the name of the main sword, the completed sword, or the whole set?
A: Probably the whole set, since all of the weapons combine into one.
Q: I heard that the six swords that comrpise the First Tsurugi are named Ascalon, Avenger, Vendetta, Vigilante, Merciless and Sidewinder. Is that true?
A: No. A fan made those names up and later admitted that it wasn't true. The names aren't official. In fact, Takeyuki Takeya (the man who designed the monsters and vehicles for the film, as well as Cloud's new swords) said in the Advent Children Reunion Files book that the individual swords have no names.
Q: What's that Limit Break Cloud used on Sephiroth at the end? Was it Omnislash?
A: Omnislash Version 5, actually. It's "Ultimate Destruction War God Version 5" in Japanese, but since "Ultimate Destruction War God" became "Omnislash" for the English versions of the original game, this is Omnislash Version 5. So there you go.
Q: Was that thing in the box Rufus had really Jenova's head? Seems kind of small for a whole head.
A: In an interview in the Advent Children Prologue book, the co-director, Takeshi Nozue, said that it's actually just random remains of Jenova. They apparently called it "the head" because it's more simple.
Q: Why did Kadaj scream in the church when he looked in the box?
A: The box had been shot by Rufus and then struck by Cloud's sword (according to the Advent Pieces script). Kadaj thought Jenova had been hurt. If you look close, you can easily see that the gash in the box is a lot larger when Kadaj looks at it than it was after Rufus had shot it.
Q: Are those guns that Yazoo and Loz use gunblades, like in FFVIII?
A: No. They're called Velvet Nightmares. They're just designed to look like swords. According to the official Japanese, North American, and European Advent Children sites, they don't actually have blades and just fire bullets. On the other hand, gunblaes in VIII only work as swords and don't fire bullets (according to the FFVIII Ultimania), so there you go. They aren't gunblades.
That said, the Advent Children Reunion Files book calls them "gunblades" on Yazoo's profile page, but it only does this in the English text. The Japanese version of the same text (which was then translated into English) does not include any such designation, so it probably shouldn't be taken to heart, seeing as how they've never been officially referred to as gunblades anywhere else, and seeing as how the original Japanese text in this profile doesn't do so.
Q: Why does Kadaj call Aerith "Mother"? Does Jenova have Aerith's voice?
A: Jenova doesn't even have a voice actor in the film. For that matter, Jenova's braindead. There is no Jenova but Sephiroth. Kadaj's just never had a woman talk to him before, so when one finally did, he automatically assumed that she must be his mother.
Q: Why isn't Cait Sith's Moogle steed in the film?
A: On the director commentary of the Japanese DVD, it was said that animating the furred characters in the film (Red XIII, Cait Sith and the guilt wolf) was quite a demanding process, and to save time, they simply left Cait Sith's moogle steed out instead of rendering a fourth furred character.
If you have any other questions related to the storyline or the content of the various versions of the film not covered by this thread or by any of the links, feel free to ask them in this thread.
This is the fourth incarnation of this thread. The previous three were locked and replaced after it was decided that new information should be added or other information removed. In the future, another version of this thread may be added if it's considered necessary.
Special thanks to those who have bumped the four previous versions of this thread or offered constructive criticism:
(If I have forgotten anyone, my apologies, for thanks go to you, as well)
I'm on the list! ^_^
Anyway, do you think we'll be able to get this one stickied? They've taken long enough to look at it...
==FFVII Ultimania Omega translations==
http://db.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/file/final_fantasy_vii_ultramania_omega.txt - My sig until Ryu gets back.
I'm sure they've got enough marked posts alone to keep them busy most of the time. But, yeah, I really think this will get stickied as long as it stays bumped until they get a chance to review it. Thanks to you and everyone else for the bumps you've given in the past versions of the thread.
==FFVII Ultimania Omega translations==
This also deserves a bump.
There's a difference between the fire of hope and the inferno of delusion... and right now many people are standing in the inferno. -Shino_Ryuu on FFVII remake
I don't remember bumping one of these.
*wonders if the internet is turning him into an amnesiac*
Please help - I cannot find myself. I lack the necessary top-heavy martial artist girlfriend.