08-26-2009, 04:24 AM
My question here is: how on earth does one write combat scenes or depict Jenova in writing? In the game, when the party faces Jenova, it appears to be a gigantic triangular fleshy mass, which is very "Final Fantasy-esque" in its total devotion to randomness, but very confusing when trying to write a novelization including it. And it is undoubtedly necessary to write given the importance of Jenova within the story. I've been trying to think of ways to depict it, but have largely been unable to decide. Here are the options I've been weighing:

- The Thing - Basically, I would depict it as a large fleshy tentacle monster, somewhat akin to The Thing from the Carpenter movie of the late 80s (I think it was 80s). It would be reasonably akin to the Jenova of the game, but it would still be really freaking random, which is why I hesitate to embrace this approach. It would also make no sense when they are talking to Sephiroth and this fleshy tentacle creature all of a sudden materializes into thin air to fight them.

- Sephiroth - In this scenario, I would have every fight with Jenova be replaced with a fight with Sephiroth, except the reader would have no idea that it isn't Sephiroth they are truly facing, but instead it is really Jenova taking on Sephiroth's form (which it does very often in the game). I like this approach and it would make the fights even more exciting and epic, but I worry about it because it would make the party fight Sephiroth somewhere around 4-6 times throughout the book, which would water down his capacity to be portrayed as a badass when it appears that they are able to beat Sephiroth. However, it could make for an interesting scene at the end where Sephiroth can make the party shake in their collective boots by stating that they've never actually fought the real Sephiroth. Cue One-Winged Angel.

- Try to stay true to the game - This method I am most against, ironically, because I can't fathom how to recreate the triangular strange Jenova on paper, and I don't know how I would depict a fight with such a thing without resorting to hit spraying materia powered magic at everyone (which could get annoying). After all, how does that thing physically hit someone? It doesn't look rationally possible. But the benefit with this choice is total devotion to the game's depiction, which is always nice.

What do you guys think? If you had to see Jenova in combat in a novel, what would you want it to look like?

Along with all the other threads I created, thank you all very much ahead of time for helping me with this. It is invaluable.

08-28-2009, 09:01 PM
Maybe a mutated sort of Sephiroth (like Hojo was) with their respective abilities of course.

08-29-2009, 05:26 AM
That would definitely be freaky, although completely random from the reader's point of view. I am trying to make the novel appealing to readers who have never heard of or played FF7 before, making portraying Jenova rather hard. After all, Jenova is basically the characters fighting an alien, which is quite a jump in the questionable plausibility factor. My efforts to make the story more realistic consequently runs into a difficult problem here. Suspending the reader's disbelief is the tricky part.

08-31-2009, 05:09 AM
Dude, this is a world in which giant chickens are used for transport, magic exists (not to mention comes out of glowing marbles), and a power company used the Planet's life to make supersoldiers. Plausibility kinda flew out the airship's window. :)
Staying true to the game makes the most sense to me.

08-31-2009, 07:56 AM
Hehe, that is true... I've definitely been trying to tone those aspects of the game down for the novelized format, though, as more realism tends to be more interesting. However, you are right, and I'm probably going to remain mostly true with some aesthetic differences for more (limited) plausibility.

08-31-2009, 10:51 AM
Just to be clear, by 'novelized' are we talking entirely words book, or graphic novel?

08-31-2009, 06:35 PM
Entirely words; a standard "novel" as you know of them. I've posted the first two chapters on fanfiction.net to garner reviews (see my sig or the original fiction section for details), and feel free to check it out if you are interested. I have been starving for a honest to goodness helpful critical review! =)

09-02-2009, 04:13 AM
If you really would do jenova in a novel, depending if its jenova absolute or just jenova. It isn't really that hard if you look at the story as it was done in FFVII.
Who is it you constantly fight and chase throughout the game?
Your led to believe its Sephiroth, but Sephiroth is within the northern crator, some would argue that it is infact a reminant your chasing, if thats true then why is it all the reminants of Sephiroth are in black hoods and long dark clothing when they are cut down at the crator.
Pieces of Jenova (like on the ship) fall from her after a fight, like tentacles which is also another way you could portray her, much like a Yunalesca sort of figure but tentacles more like an octopus not a marlboro.

It all depends how you perceive the story.

09-02-2009, 04:26 AM
I'm just worrying about Jenova at the moment, as Jenova Absolute is far far away from where I'm at currently in the story. My current plan is to have battles with her be very fast paced, allowing for some fudge room as the characters are almost too busy to see what exactly they are fighting given the constant and relentless assault. I think that would also be an excellent portrayal given the fast and epic feel of the music that plays in the game whenever you fight Jenova. I'm planning on depicting her as this monstrous and amorphous fleshy blob with tentacles that will whip around generally messing people up, shooting crazily around the room and keeping an enormous amount of pressure on the party with a mixture of physical attacks and magical interference. It should be good.
At least that is my impression of the first fight at the moment. I plan on writing the second battle (Jenova-LIFE) with everyone in the party getting their asses kicked, and then an enraged Cloud steps in and beats the holy hell out of it, given how just moments before Aeris was killed. It is going to be such a good feeling...

09-02-2009, 04:51 AM
Erm, honestly. You dont fight jenova. infact, you never fight jenova until the end. Jenova always flys off, leaving a piece of herself behind, it is THAT piece that becomes the Jenova you fight, not the literal thing.

Also, i think sorrow is your best approach to that one, if you dont remember, Cloud was about to kill Aerith and Aerith smiles at his reaction when he regains control. Confusion and sorrow is probably your best bet, but its your story. It cant be any worse than the "transformers sword finale" of advent children.

09-02-2009, 05:02 AM
I plan for that confusion and sorrow to run through his mind as the others fight Jenova (or the piece of it). I will switch viewpoints from the others fighting then back to Cloud as he has to face the ramifications of what just happened and what she meant to him. Then I plan for that sorrow and confusion to be placed with a white hot rage that allows him to face Jenova by himself and to defeat it, proving that, despite his feeling of inadequacy, he is able to drive himself to impossible lengths when he has the resolve. However, the tragic end to all of this is that, even though he will be able to defeat Jenova alone, his inability thereafter to reconcile Aeris' death will weaken him and weaken him to the point where he gives up, gives Sephiroth the black materia, believes he is Sephiroth's puppet and is launched into the lifestream, where he must be guided to sanity through Tifa's help. Cloud is simply too conflicted at this point to grasp the fact that he is stronger than he realizes. Aeris knew it. Everyone but him knows it. But he is so messed up by his dual personality with Zack and Sephiroth's manipulation of his Jenova cells that he just can't understand that until it is almost too late.

That is a more specific depiction of how I want it to play out. It is the only way I could think of to give the fight with Jenova immediately after her death some extra emotional impact because, when it comes down to it, the fight with Jenova at that point distracts from her death if it treated like any other.

As for them fighting pieces of Jenova, or whatever it is that goes on... to be honest, it kind of doesn't matter. Like the voices in Cloud's head, I'm treating it just like the game does. I'll drop hints and point out that only a limb drops down and manifests into a monster, but I'll leave the reader to solve the puzzle themselves and take what they want out of it. That is part of what made FF7 so interesting to me, and I plan on keeping it that way in the novel. I simply call these battles with the limbs "Jenova" as that is an easier way to describe it and, when it comes down to it, that is what the game calls it for each fight.

09-02-2009, 05:45 AM
ermmmm....Zacks manipulation of his cells? think your a bit mixed up.
None of Zacks genetic traits passed onto Cloud, cloud fights with himself about his past, thats why he doesnt remember Aerith or anything to do with her in FFVII.

Infact, i cant really say if thats true or not, the time after nibelheim isnt elaborated on, zack and cloud were both specimens in the same experiments, but Zack already had Jenova cells (possibly already with S cells) implanted into him when he joined Soldier (hence the "special surgery" Aerith speaks of in Crisis Core)
However, Cloud was probably more than likely infused with S cells, hence why he became a puppet.

Honestly, if i was writing that, i think i'd highlight his seriously fragile state by having Zack appear. Zack was driven by honor and dreams of being a hero, Cloud is driven by hatred and Revenge.

"You'll be my living legacy" Not much of a legacy to leave.

09-02-2009, 07:41 AM
I'm sorry, not to be a dick, but could you please stop referencing Crisis Core when you post in response to me? I haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about.

Also, you misunderstand what I said. Have you played Final Fantasy VII? The original, not crisis core. I ask because you keep bringing Zack into it, which confuses me. In the events of Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth is able to manipulate Cloud and, to a certain extent, force Cloud to do what he wants because of the presence of Jenova cells within Cloud. These same Jenova cells are what allow Sephiroth to control his remnants, bringing them to him in the Northern Crater.

As for Zack, throughout most of the game Cloud's personality mirrors that of Zack. For the first half of the game, Cloud thinks he IS Zack. This is because of his traumatic experience after Nibelheim, the result of him getting infused with Mako and Jenova cells, and the fact that he became mentally unstable as a consequence of all this. He is considered a failure whereas Zack is considered a success because Zack manages to remain sane and in control of his mind, and Cloud does not. It is only when we get to the scene where Cloud falls into the lifestream and Tifa helps him confront this confusion that we, as the gamer, fully comprehend this. Thus, I mentioned this dual personality mess because it shows how unbalanced and confused Cloud is, which contributes in eliminating his sense of self and who he is as a person. Which then leads to his giving the Black Materia to Sephiroth and effectively giving up on life.

I could have Cloud hallucinate and see Zack, but this does not happen in the game at this point. If I did, I think it would only have emotional impact for those who have played Crisis Core in particular. To everyone else it would seem completely out of the blue, especially considering the fact that I don't think the gamer even knows Zack exists at this point.

09-11-2009, 12:37 AM
Okay, to put it simply. do NOT ever assume i haven't played FFVII thoroughly. i know the story back to front.
2nd. You get lots of hints that Zack existed, Aerith mentions him alot of times.
3rd. The presence of jenova cells are not enough for anyone to be controlled, hence the infamous S cells and Angeal's Cells. Hence again, why is it that Sephiroth doesn't control every monster? It's only puppets and monsters infused with those cells they control, such as Zack, Zack was infused with jenova cells but not with S cells originally, before Nibelheim i mean. Think of it like advent children, Kadaj says the stigma isn't enough, they need jenova cells too, Geostigma is just S cells. So With jenova cells inside them alone, Sephiroth can't truly control them, kind of like Genesis, he had Jenova cells, but no S cells, hence why he appeared in dirge of cerberus, and Nero and all of the people in the world with jenova cells but no S cells. Do you see my point yet?
Infact, honestly, theirs still more interpretation. you see, they say Sephiroth is the perfect monster because he can't copy his traits onto another, so he doesn't degrade. However, does that mean he cant absorb the traits of others? like Angeal can. It was never mentioned.
4th. I WILL mention crisis core and last order and any other reference that is credible.
5th. How can you say Zack is a success, not even Hojo mentioned that in ANY of the games and you haven't played crisis core as you said. I'm all for you writing a novel on it, but don't put words in characters mouths that doesnt closely mimic what they said.
6th. I think anyone who knows the FFVII story and appreciates it, knows the crisis core story even if they haven't played it. It's the beauty of fan sites and youtube. Knowledge.
7th. Everyone knew something wasn't right with Cloud from the moment he seen a mental projection of himself in the honeybee manor.

09-11-2009, 04:18 AM
1. I only asked because your continual referencing of Zack into the story confused me, given his relatively minor role in the game. You seemed to be giving him far more of a presence than he deserves.

2. You get maybe a vague hint or two from Aeris that he exists, but the gamer doesn't know of any connection to Cloud, his name, or anything outside of the fact that this random fellow (Zack) was Aeris' old boyfriend. The gamer knows nothing of Zack really until Cloud falls into the lifestream, and then all the pieces are fit together in a giant WTF moment that is as enlightening as it is unexpected.

3. The presence of Jenova cells is quite enough for Sephiroth to exert a significant measure of control over a person or thing. This control is not 100% guaranteed, but it is certainly enough to bring all of the remnants and Sephiroth clones to him, and allows him to control Jenova (or her various independent body parts... whichever). Without this control, the plot makes no sense, as Sephiroth is actually encased in ice for almost the entire game. The ONLY way Sephiroth exerts influence over Cloud and the plot up until this point is through his control of those Jenova cells.

I'm not even going to address these S cells and Angeal cells because they are completely irrelevant, which is what I've been trying to say all along. I am making a novelization of the FF7 game by itself. I want it to be for those people who played it when it first came out and loved it. I am not going to include games or the movie since then because it introduces too much complicated shit into it, and the only people who would understand it would be those who play all the games. Original fans would be saying 'WTF?' for every inclusion of facts or events from those games.

4. This is why I asked you to kindly stop bringing in information from Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, and Advent Children. I am not going to include them. Thus, providing info from those games is a waste of your time. I am tackling it using FF7 as a stand-alone game.

5. I consider Zack a success because he isn't completely fucked up by the years of Mako experimentation whereas Cloud is a vegetable. He isn't a scientific success, per se, as we don't really know what the goals were of those experimenting upon them. Undoubtedly, Zack escaping from the experiment would label him as a failure from the perspective of the scientists. I'm speaking from the perspective of an observer.

6. See the answer to 4.

7. Everyone knows Cloud has issues from the very first reactor mission in the game. He spazzes, blacks out, and has a voice talk to him inside his head. This also happens in the second reactor, even more severely. I definitely am portraying him as having these issues, but I need to continue to flesh them out so that the reader gets more and more detail behind why he is fucked up. If I do that well enough, they will be able to piece together all the details and completely understand. This will be a bit tricky, considering how convoluted FF7's story can get. But it is definitely my goal.

EDIT - I appreciate your criticism, by the way. If you are so inclined, you could always check out the first two chapters, which I have submitted to Fan Fiction.net as a sample. And then give me your opinion. I think it could be constructive. The link is in my sig.

Darth Revan
10-08-2009, 01:36 AM
I'm not even going to address these S cells and Angeal cells because they are completely irrelevant, which is what I've been trying to say all along. I am making a novelization of the FF7 game by itself. I want it to be for those people who played it when it first came out and loved it. I am not going to include games or the movie since then because it introduces too much complicated shit into it, and the only people who would understand it would be those who play all the games. Original fans would be saying 'WTF?' for every inclusion of facts or events from those games.

4. This is why I asked you to kindly stop bringing in information from Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, and Advent Children. I am not going to include them. Thus, providing info from those games is a waste of your time. I am tackling it using FF7 as a stand-alone game.

I wasn't going to respond to this thread until I read the above. Crisis Core, Last Order, Dirge of Cerberus and Advent Children have become part of the FFVII story (as much as I detest), and they do have links to the main game (Though imo Dirge of Cerberus was a abomination.) and to write a novelization of FFVII without looking at the information held in the prequels/sequels may not be a wise move.

Onto the topic at hand, iirc you do fight Jenova at least once, maybe twice (I honestly can't remember as I haven't played FFVII since 1999, then FFVIII came out and I kinda forgot about FFVII... til the sequels/prequels came out), and she was kinda weird, fruity looking.

10-08-2009, 06:41 AM
Oh I'm definitely looking at information from these other games and movies, but I have no desire or intention to include them. The stories and takes on the series' characters have certainly influenced what I've done with the events and characters thus far in the story I have written.

But the most I'm going to do is vaguely allude to such events, as what I'm trying to do concerns FF7 as a stand-alone game. I personally believe that the story of FF7 (by itself) is complicated and convoluted enough without the addition of people and events like Genesis, Angeal, etc. Don't you think that including all that stuff would be both a little bit off topic and dense? All those other games and movies take place in the FF7 universe, but that doesn't mean I should necessarily include them into a novelization of what happens in FF7.

But, if Squaresoft were to accept my novelization on the condition of me including all that extra story and characters, then I would probably do it.