I'm giving it a shot

I decided to TRY and get through the bad graphics, even though it actually kinda gives me a headache.

I've gotten as far as Tifa trying to make Cloud remember his promise, and the flashback to when he made it, and man, so far, I'm totally with him when he goes, "Haa?" (Hunh?) to everything she's saying. *dies* I actually went "Haaa?" when she busted out of the blue with the whole "Promise to come help me when you're famous!" at the same time, unintentionally, as Cloud's first "Haa?" popped up on the screen. So yeah. Right there with him.

...why are all the women in this game flakes?

I'm hoping Aerith is way better in this than she was in Crisis Core.


Further to this: Why Tifa doesn't appear to be sane

When Tifa Lockheart was fifteen, her home village was destroyed, her father was murdered, and she was nearly killed by her father's murderer. We don't see what happened in the intervening five years, but between this event and the beginning of the game, she's moved to Midgar and become a bartender who secretly moonlights as a terrorist.

What I think may have happened in between is that she effectively had a massive breakdown. It's likely she was given a phoenix down in the Nibelheim reactor (either by Zack or Cloud - probably Cloud), but any subsequent healing magic would probably have been done by her sensei, Zangan. It is likely Zangan was also responsible for her vanishing from the Nibelheim reactor prior to the arrival of Hojo and his assistant Turks (when Zack, Cloud and the remaining population of Nibelheim were moved into experimental facilities below the Shinra mansion).

The actions of the Shinra company in replacing the people of Nibelheim with actors (probably carefully chosen for their resemblance to the original population, and briefed with every scrap of information available) and rebuilding the town to cover up Sephiroth's actions before his disappearance means they wanted the story hidden. They didn't want people asking questions about why Nibelheim burned, so it's likely traders (along the route between Nibelheim and Rocket Town) would have had any evidence of damage blamed on dragons (which were known to be endemic to the district). That a dragon tried to burn the town would be understandable enough; so would the deaths of a number of people in the resulting fire, and if there were any questions about the SOLDIERs who'd been dispatched there, well, they died fighting the dragon.

The end result of this is that there would have been absolutely no external validation for Tifa of what she'd experienced. Zangan probably would have encouraged her to remain silent about the entire matter as well (purely for her own safety) before he journeyed on to one of his other pupils. So, there's an event which Tifa thinks has occurred, but which she doesn't remember too clearly (an artifact of trauma, and probably an aftereffect of having landed head-first from Sephiroth's blow). There's no record of this event having occurred in the media - possibly a mention of General Sephiroth having died in the course of his duties. Maybe she just dreamed it up after the bridge snapped on the way to the reactor the first time?

I suspect by the time the game had started, she'd halfway convinced herself that what she could remember of the Nibelheim incident was all a dream, or a hallucination induced by a near-death experience after the bridge collapsed. This would have received a minor blow when she found Cloud at the station (but it would be explainable as Cloud having been elsewhere). The whole thing doesn't come to a head until she's confronted with Cloud's story in Kalm, where she receives confirmation that the main injury she received was from a sword stroke, and that what she remembers is apparently the truth. But then again, Cloud's been having memory issues as well... so maybe they're both crazy?

I don't think she gets any real resolution to the entire business until she and Cloud are both exposed to the Lifestream in Mideel (and I strongly suspect a certain green-eyed Cetra was involved in nudging things along there) and they both get to fill in gaps in their collective memories.
...You know, that's an idea. That's a GOOD idea, and it would explain a lot, especially Tifa's penchant for sticking her fingers and her ears and going LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALA when reality doesn't match up how she sees thing in her head. And I might be a lot more sympathetic to her, thinking of her as someone who snapped. That could make things interesting.

...she says as her fic brain begins spinning like whoa.
It works even better when you factor in the normal human rejection of the notion that bad things can and do happen to good people. After all, what happened at Nibelheim was a tragic example of just that: something terrible happened which nobody in the town could have prevented. They died needlessly, and they probably, by and large, didn't deserve to.
My fic brain has been working on this all day, I think. So I've posted something up about it here:


If it's okay by you, I'll chuck the original on to [info]overthinkers as well.
Oh, please do chuck it over there! :D I was thinking this as prime Overthinkers Club material.