Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII/Headscratchers

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  • Alright, lemme see if I got this. Hojo, while in his holographic form, says to Vincent that he was shocked when he saw him turn into Chaos, meaning that this hologram was created after the fight on the Sister Ray. Which means that Hojo injected himself with Jenovah cells, turned into two hideous monstrosities, was beaten up by the main characters including Chaos, seemingly died, laid there while the cast went to the Northen Crater or helped evacuate Midgar, turned back into a human, and struggled to the computer to upload his mind to the internet network and then finally died as his body disappeared in a lightning strike explosion. Honestly, Square? Honestly?
    • Nono, you haven't grasped it yet, Hojo specifically chalked his reason for injecting himself Jenova cells up to research he did, which he did because of Vincent Chaos form. In other word, Cloud, Vincent and the group confront Hojo, Hojo fights them, and as a human beats up Vincent enough for him to go Chaos on him, then while fending Cloud, Chaos & Co, he starts reviewing Lucretia's research and stuff, then decides to inject himself with Jenova cells, is somehow defeated after clearly proving himsef the superior fighter, reverts back to his seemingly Made of Iron human form and hold on until Vincents shows up again, then uploads himsef to the Internet.
      • You know, it's possible Vincent transformed into Chaos before fighting Hojo, and Hojo saw it.
  • Why the heck was Weiss dead, again? And how the hell did he come back to life? Was it the Protomateria?
    • Here's how it went: In the Online Mode, the Tsviets were ruled over by these very nasty dudes called The Restrictors. The Tsviets had chips implanted in them when they first came to Deepground which the Restrictors used to control their actions. Thus, the Tsviets were incapable of harming the Restrictors. Weiss had organized a rebellion that involved the one person who could harm the Restrictors (your player character). Your character unwittingly sacrifices herself so that Weiss can kill off the Restrictor. However, DG's computer system needs to register a signal every three days from the Restrictors or else Weiss will die. So that's why Weiss is dead.
    • Coming back to life was all Hojo. Seeing that Lucrecia re-animated Vincent's body using Chaos, he sought to become one with Omega and gain ultimate power. But Hojo couldn't use his own body for this because it was too weak. So he uploaded his mind into the internet and hacked Weiss' brain at some point (speculation says that Weiss was doing a Synaptic Net Dive to find a cure for the virus sometime during his last few days). So Hojo took over Weiss' body and gained Omega's power.
    • The protomateria was used so that Omega wouldn't take over Weiss/Hojo in the same way that it would have taken over Vincent's body.
      • Not quite all Hojo. Even though Hojo somehow gave orders, it was still very clear that Weiss was dead when you got to him. It was Omega that brought him back, just like Chaos brought Vincent back.
  • So Omega is the Planet's fail-safe measure just in case the Planet finally dies, taking all of the Lifestream and then seeding another planet. Okay, that makes a fair amount of sense. But apparently all it took to set Omega off was to kill a few thousand people. Despite the fact that thousands of people have died over the centuries (First Meteorfall, Jenovah killing the Centra, Wutai war, Corel/Nibelheim/Gongaga), not to mention how many people died in the game itself, including damage from the WEAPONS which the Planet itself created. So the Planet thinks that all those people dying and considering destroying the whole human race is no big deal, but a few thousand people makes it think that the end is at hand?
    • It reminds me of an analogy I heard long ago relating nuclear weapons and mouse trap. Adapting that analogy, there were numerous fail safes for the world. The other weapons, for example, were designed to counter a dangerous life form on the world. Likely they were also designed not to set off Omega. We also know what didn't set off Omega: The extinction of the original race, the colonization of Gaia from colonists from another world, Jenova crash landing on Gaia, Meteor approaching and nearly impacting. The only explanation is the antagonists figured out how to short circuit the failsafe in a way to that ONLY involved the deaths of those thousands. They didn't start the whole mouse trap contraption, they flicked the pole holding up the cage.
    • I didn't understand all of it, partly because a sound problem made it difficult to hear all of it, but something about a concentration of pure Lifestream had to be involved with Omega's awakening. Deepground killed those several thousand people in a specific way in order to create that effect. The planet would detect that concentration of Lifestream, realize it wasn't part of a healing process (like with Jenova's crash landing) or a defense mechanism (like when Holy tried to counter act Meteor). Thus it assumed the other possible reason for such an event and called Omega.
    • Also, I think Deepground's project was a deliberately placed straw meant to break the camel's back. The planet's still reeling from Shinra and the Mako reactors, and then from Sephiroth contaminating the lifestream, and then the people who died in the Weapon attacks, and from Meteorfall and the use of Holy to stop it, and then the Geostigma outbreak, which is still going on to some extent during Dirge of Cerberus. After so many blows against the lifestream in such quick succession, the planet was already one little push away from summoning Omega. Deepground realized it and gave it that push.
    • How did they kill those thousands? They threw them into a Mako pit. That is nothing resembling natural, and it's bound to have a much greater impact than meets the eye.
  • I know that Vincent's whole character trait is mournfully pining for a woman he loved, but honestly, what could he possibly still see in Lucrecia after all the things she did? This game makes it perfectly clear that she knowingly consented to experimenting on her own child, which is a Moral Event Horizon right there. But to Vincent personally, she had sort of more-than-just-professional relationship with him (the picnic scene was pretty flirty) until she pushed him away because of her guilt, went on the rebound with Hojo, brought him back to life by turning him into an uncontrollable beast that needed a materia in his chest to stay sane, and then just ... left him there in his capsule while she vanished. And yet the game clads her in glowing white and tries to make her sympathetic and almost Madonna-like and Hojo is the only one who even remotely tries to call her out on her actions.
    • The Dark Id's Let's Play of this game has Vincent pretty much start reviling her at the end, even having Cid bomb the cave entrance. Other than that, probably because Love Makes You Crazy only in this case replace "crazy" with "stupid/naive/any other word pertaining to lack of intelligence or common sense".
      • Well, by the time Dirge's first level actually starts, Vincent's IQ is in the single digits.
    • Vincent probably thought she was less willing in the experiment on her son than she claimed. Considering that she was nearly in tears when she told him that it was her own choice I can believe it. Which really starts to justify a lot of Vincent's guilt over not stopping her.
      • I dunno. She's already a high-ranking Shinra scientist, who all seem to be pretty unethical, and she already knew she was going to experiment on people. And while Even Evil Has Standards, she's not exactly a paragon of virtue at that point. (Granted, neither is Vincent, being a Turk.)
    • Remember, these events are happening more than 25 years prior to FFVII's timeline. The flashback shown in Final Fantasy VII (not Dirge of Cerberus), when Vincent visits the cave, implies that experiments on a person weren't as common at that point in history. It's quite possible that Lucrecia hadn't experimented on a human before. Vincent even says to Hojo "I'm against it! Why experiment on humans?!" I'm not sure that Lucrecia's actions count as a Moral Event Horizon. The experiment on herself and Sephiroth seems pretty outrageous to us, but FFVII world is more technologically/scientifically advanced, and the experiment was successful. Blaming her for anything other than that seems ridiculous; it's made pretty clear that she never anticipated what Hojo planned to do after the experiment. As for experimenting on Vincent, Lucrecia brought Vincent back to life, and blamed herself for him dying. She was clearly suicidal at the time, and did the only thing she could think of to bring Vincent back. After stabilizing him, she went to kill herself. By the time we see her in FFVII, she's already spent at least 25 years repenting in a crystal. Her dialogue and general characterization in that scene make her very [1]She clearly regrets her actions, and constantly apologizes for them. Honestly, people are harder on Lucrecia because she's female and a love interest to Vincent. Hell, Rufus Shinra and the Turks get less hate; they even have a legion of fangirls.
      • Oh, trust me, I also hate Rufus and the Turks for their actions; one of the biggest reasons why I dislike the FF 7 sequels is how they smooth over and ignore the horrible things they did just to appeal to those fangirls. But to your points - even if their world is more advanced than ours, experimenting on unconsenting subjects is immoral, and this goes double for children and especially babies. Not only that, but they were injecting him with JENOVAH cells; even if they thought she was an Ancient, they were injecting foreign cells into a baby to see if that child would have special powers. They had no idea what they were doing was safe or not. And even though Sephiroth was 'successful' in the fact that he was a powerful being, they could just have easily doomed him to insanity later in life. That, right there, is an immoral and unethical thing to do, period.
        But let's say that Vincent has no reason to really judge her for that since he's a Turk, who has no real higher ground. So what else did she do? She started a romantic-esque relationship with Vincent until he found out that she knew his father, and then broke his heart to shove him away. Kinda cruel, but understandable. But she then ran off to Hojo, who is a complete monster and does nothing to hide this from anyone. Even if she was hurting emotionally, having a relationship with a man as evil as Hojo is another immoral thing to do (since you are more or less condoning or ignoring what they do).
        Finally, what she did to Vincent. She genuinely feels sorry for what she did and wants to help Vincent. But the way she did it was experimenting her thesis on him with full knowledge of what would happen to him if she succeeded - that he's turn into the harbringer of the apocolypse fated to cleanse the earth. Even if you were desperate, how is that a moral thing to do to someone, even if you were saving their life? And when she finally gives up, she leaves him there in that lab, knowing the likelihood that Shinra would dissect him or experiment on him more. Why not just put him out of his misery then?
        Trust me, I like the fact that they tried to flesh Lucrecia out of the rose-tinted vision that Vincent had of her into a more flawed human being. But they did the exact same thing to her that they did with the Turks; ignore the horrible things they did so they can idealize them. Not once does Vincent ever criticise his love for her or even re-evaluate his opinion of her. She's a pure crystalized madonna from beginning to end, like a martyr, despite the fact that her fate is entirely the result of her own flaws. Sorry for the massive TL;DR, but I wanted to explain my criticisms of her character because I really do understand the unfair hate that female characters get.
      • I'm just going to get this out of the way before I type my equally big paragraph on Lucrecia (not a bad thing by the way, so you really shouldn't apologize; it's always best to make your point clear, even if it takes a huge block of text): I don't think the Turks' characterization was catering to fangirls. The first big appearance they have outside of FFVII was in FFVII:AC, which is where everyone seems to claim that they had new characterization. AC made them popular to this new generation, and set off the fangirls. But here's the thing, the way they act in AC isn't much different from the original [2]. The original and AC approach to the characters are basically the same, and it's shown that they genuinely do have some sort of regret for what they did. Keep in mind, most of the fangirls these days are younger, and have never played the original game, which is why the popular depiction in fanon has them wearing leather pants. Also, take a look at On the Way to a Smile[3]. Now regarding Lucrecia. I look at it from a psychological standpoint. She's having anervous breakdown. If one lasts long enough, it can lead to impaired judgement, depression, severe anxiety, panic attacks, etc. On top of appearing to be in anguish, she attempted suicide. She's clearly unstable, and needs a doctor. Something many people don't know is that depression isn't something you can pull yourself out of; it's an actual chemical unbalance in the brain that takes medication (sometimes in conjuction with therapy) to correct. No, this doesn't make what she did right, but it makes her licentious behavior understandable. I don't think the game attempts to make what she did seem okay. Lucrecia herself says that she was wrong and, again, spent 25+ years in a crystal for it. But yes, you are right about experimenting on a child. I was under the impression they were going about this similar to how people give their children flue shots[3]. Now, her design. The white outfit she wears in the crystal (in both FFVII and Do C) is a stark contrast to her original attire pre-Do C. She wears black, red and yellow, with an almost goth design, oddly enough[4]. For some reason, it was retconned in Do C to her new look[5]. Personally, I like the old look better, because I think it shows a sort of visual character development. Her choices were the catalyst for many negative events, and she's painfully aware of that. And this brings me to something else I kind of want to point out/emphasize more: Time. I can't stress how important that really is. 25+ years is a lot of time, and being stuck alone for that long gives one so many opportunities to reflect on their life and the choices they've made.
      • Something else to consider is symbolism. Lucrecia put herself in the cave where Grimoire Valentine died, and the color white represents death and mourning [4], a running theme in the game along with sin[5]. The title of the game itself invokes the many themes found in it: Dirge of Cerberus[6]. The concept of Crystallization[7] is possibly invoked by Vincent towards Lucrecia, and Lucrecia towards Hojo, then visually invoked by Lucrecia being incased in an actual crystal.
        • The amount of Lucretia hate is absolutely stunning. Can I quote Vincent? I think I'll quote Vincent. "You are the reason I survived." And...people think that procedure was immoral? In modern medicine, unless you have a Do Not Resuscitate order, your consent to a life-saving procedure is considered to be implied. As far as Sephiroth goes, if that experiment was going to be harmful, she probably would have just miscarried. Which, while tragic, you can't really hold the mother accountable for it, because it's not as thought she has some sort of instinctive knowledge of how to prevent one.
      • Agreed with the above post, regarding Vincent. It's never implied that he's stupid or blinded by love; he's just wise enough to look at her motives and know that she didn't want to hurt him.[8]Being able to understand the feelings of others is a sign of being mature. Holding a thirty year grudge against someone for breaking up with you and trying to save your life is anything but that.
    • It's the same thing for Shelke. In the Online Mode, she very gleefully tells the dying player character that everything they had been working for was a lie, and that Deepground had implanted false memories of a younger sister that needed to be found/rescued into his/her head to get him/her to do their bidding. And she shows no remorse or pain over the fact that she pretty much implanted her own backstory, pretty much mocking everything Shalua's been going through, into someone else's head to further the goals of a corrupt organization. She's never called out on this, and the only time anyone in Do C has anything bad to say about her is when Yuffie very justifiably slaps her for calling Shalua a fool for sacrificing herself to save her. This could be justified by saying that the Online Mode came out after Do C and happened before she had her Heel Face Turn, but still.
      • Kind of hard to call someone out on something you have no idea happened. Besides, what do people expect from her? The Restrictors had gone mad with power, any day you could be killed if they thought it was funny. The Tsviets are arguably the lesser of the two evils, because at least it seems like they at least did away with the "killing other soldiers as training" thing. At that point, siding with Weiss was the only way Shelke could guarantee her survival, later events notwithstanding. Plus, you know, there's this whole point about how she repressed her emotions. What do you want for the heroes to do? Shoot her for being a child soldier, with all of the psychological damage that comes with it?
  • Why did they make Shaula's sacrifice so ridiculous and unnecessary? She's almost completely meaningless to the plot anyway, but the only scene she had where she could have made some impact is ruined because a) the button to the door is right there and b) Shelke is still holding the barrier materia.
  • Why in the hell do they call it the Jenovah War? It's a conflict of some sort, certainly, but a Super Soldier with a mother complex, a band of misfits, and a paramilitary corporation running all over the Planet is not a war.
    • But giant monsters rampaging all over the world and attacking towns while Rufus Shinra's rallying the people and personally leading troops into battle is. There was a lot more going on in that last week before Meteorfall than what we saw onscreen through Cloud's eyes; Barret talks about some of it while they're waiting for Rufus's arrival.
      • I'd still say that wouldn't be a war per se. I could see Shinra trying to spin it as a war for propaganda purposes, but they wouldn't call it the Jenovah War since the populace would have no idea what Jenovah was (nor would Shinra want them to know). Why not call it something like the Great Crisis or something a bit more fitting?
        • From most of the FF7 world's perspective, the events are a pretty close match for Independence Day: same amount of collateral destruction by the WEAPON's, roughly the same time frame and the same level of mobilized military response. So the question's whether the events in that movie would be called a "war" by future history books. I'd imagine so, and by the same logic, I'd see "Jenova War" working too. As for the name, it's either that or the "Sephiroth War" and Shinra would probably much rather blame the prehistoric alien parasite than their own poster-boy turned genocidal monster by said parasite (on another note, I practically cheered at the phrase "Jenova War", since it at least takes some of the Compilation's in-universe focus off the increasingly Villain Sue'ish Sephiroth).
          • My take on that is that the people didn't really have a word for it other than "war." What would you call it if a supersoldier went AWOL and tried to destroy the world? There's no word for that because it's never HAPPENED. But, it's a major confrontation, so why not just call it a war? As for the "Jenova" part, it's unclear how much the general populace knows about Jenova post-FFVII. However, only WRO personnel refer to the "Jenova War," so at this point, that's irrelevent.
  • How could anything in the Network survive after Midgar was destroyed? Shinra would definately have backup servers, but I don't think they have backups just in case an entire city got destroyed. That's like Chicago having back-ups for New York in case it was destroyed.
    • Not so far-fetched, really. Midgar is like Chigago-meets-Washington DC. It's not JUST a big city, it's the seat of the government. It is highly probable that Shinra has all of this secret information backed up in some bunker. And then, actually restoring the internet is easier than you might think. Almost all of the real world's international internet transmissions are delivered by approximately 14 large cables.
  • So Deepground kidnapped thousands of people by transporting them in giant crates via helicopter (in one case taking 1200 at once), to a city that is supposed to be completely abandoned, and you can hear people's screams on the wind, but no one can figure out where these people have gone? Honestly?
    • To make matters worse, the city where the 1200 people vanished is the same where Cloud and Tifa live and they didn't really do anything in this game.
      • The 1200-person disappearance was actually from Junon, if I remember correctly. The attack that begins the game would seem to be Deepground's first overt action, and it was in Kalm. This does not explain where the hell Cloud and Tifa were when Rosso made her attack on Edge itself, but it does provide a reason for them not intervening in the really big disappearance.
        • You can only hear the screams from Edge, and it might be easy to mistake them for the wind, if you only hear them once or twice. It's not as though Reeve has Scream Radar. However, the offensive against Deepground occupies most of the game, and takes place shortly after the Edge mission. It's probable that they DID figure it out, from the intelligence they gained while Shalua and Vincent were there.
  • So now that the Omega, the Planet's failsafe, is gone, what the hell is going to happen when the Planet reaches the situation that it originally created Omega for?
    • Presumably this will be covered in whatever future game the secret ending foreshadow.
    • I was under the impression that the planet would just grow a new Omega as needed. As long as the planet is still alive, it should still have the ability to create another.
  • How come Shinra never used the Deepground soldiers back when they needed them? I know that only Scarlet, the elder Shinra, and I think Heidegger even knew about their existence, but still I think Sephiroth's war upon the Planet might have been a good time to break out the secret army of Even-More-Super-Supersoliders. Yeah, they couldn't break Sephy's shield, until the Sister Ray fired, but what were they planning to do once the shield was down? That's where a Deepground army comes in handy: storming the ultimate fortress of a Final Boss. All your normal forces, including quite a few SOLDIERs couldn't even beat a bunch of plucky teenagers, don't you think your regular forces might need some back-up? Not to mention that late in the game Scarlet and Heidegger were working together to take control of Midgar during the chaos after Rufus "died". That's another great time to break out the big guns you've got hidden under the city.
    • You answered your own question, I think. If they were planning to use them once the shield was down, recall what happens very shortly after the shield is down: You personally kill Scarlett and Heidegger, and Rufus is gravely injured; for the immediate future, Shinra is in complete disarray. Even if they had been planning to use the Deepground soldiers, there's possibly nobody left with the knowledge and authority to order them in.
      Plus, wasn't Deepground shelved because they were lunatics?
      • Lunatics or no you can still load them up and POINT them at the crater. Seems to me that's about all it would take.
      • Not only were they Ax Crazy, the Restrictors were only loyal to the elder Shinra, him and only him. Rufus not wanting to have anything to do with it makes sense.
      • More: I don't think Rufus knew about Deepground. I seem to remember Reeve stating that with the chaos after Old Man Shinra bought it, Rufus was probably never even briefed in. The only people left who did know about it were Heidegger, Scarlet, and Hojo; and come to think of it, even without the chaotic situation I wouldn't put it past those three not to say anything about it to Rufus.
        • Yeah, Reeve definitely said near the beginning that Rufus wasn't briefed about Deepground, since the transfer of power happened so quickly; Heidegger, Scarlet and Hojo were the only ones who knew about it after President Shinra died. Besides that, I wouldn't put it past the three of them to deliberately keep it hidden from Rufus, so they could try to use Deepground to their own advantage later.
  • Okay, how much Neon Genesis Evangelion were there? So Vincent, with the Chaos, is some sort of Rei-like figure? And the Lifestream is akin to Sea of LCL?
    • This kind of applies to all of Final Fantasy VII, really. A bit of a cultural side-effect of being released so closely to Evangelion, similar to how FF8's plot was somewhat obviously touched by the popularity of Titanic. That said, most of FF7's plot will make sense if read closely, the main title and Crisis Core are pretty easy to understand, while the parts of Evangelion you're talking about (instrumentality and everything onwards) is largely guesswork on what the creators were getting at.
    • Not to mention that the Omega designs at the end (mostly the "faces") look similar to Eva 01.
  • Why, oh why, can Vincent not jump over the simplest of heights? Did Hojo create the invisible walls or somebody else making sure we stuck to the darn route?
    • The meta reason is that the U.S. release increased his jumping height, but they didn't adjust the invisble boundaries to match. Hence, objects that the original low-jumping Vincent couldn't surmount are just as insurmountable for high-jumping Vincent, even though it defies all visual logic. As for an in-story reason, um... special Shinra anti-jumping security force fields! You never can be too careful...
  1. "I wanted to disappear... I couldn't be with anyone... I wanted to die... But the Jenova inside me wouldn't let me die... Lately I dream a lot of Sephiroth... My dear, dear child. Ever since he was born, I never got to hold him, even once. Not even once. You can't call me his mother. That... is my sin...
  2. (where they discuss their romantic crushes, opt to not fight Cloud due to being on vacation (and slightly drunk), and then there's Reno's "Don't step on the flowers" to the soldiers while he himself is stepping on the flowers, just to name a few)
  3. they have been shown to come with severe risks (though rare)but people give them to their children anyway due to the evidence that, more likely than not, it is actually beneficial.(yes, this is a wierd comparison, but it's the best way I can explain it at the moment. And just so we're clear, I'm not advocating child experimentation)
  4. i.e. that's why she's clad in white[1]. The outfit itself leaves her middriff bare, emphasizing motherhood and her sin.
  5. There are strong parallels drawn between Lucrecia and Vincent, who both sanction themselves for their sins
  6. Cerberus being the name of Vincent's gun
  7. [2]developed in 1822 by the French writer Stendhal, which describes the process, or mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty
  8. Also note that we only get glimpses of her in the game, compared to what Vincent had. He would know her better than we do; after all, he asked for her hand in marraige.