Final Fantasy VII Remake is truly unhinged. The role-playing game delivers more left-turns than a roundabout, and that’s sent many fans' imaginations into overdrive. There’s no shortage of elaborate fan theories out there, but one particularly wild one suggests that the game heroes might actually be an iconic villain.
In order to break this down, we’ll be diving into some spoiler territory for both the original game and its remake. If you’ve played the PlayStation classic, but not the new version, please know before reading on that the remake is … very different.
On December 25, Reddit user IronKnucklesSX posted a theory about the game’s main villain Sephiroth and it sounds out-there on paper: the Sephiroth we see in Final Fantasy VII Remake is actually Cloud or one of the game’s other protagonists.
The full theory is much more complex and offers a firm grasp of the game’s deepest lore. For starters, the theory hinges on the idea that the remake’s villain, referred to in the post as “Whisper Sephiroth,” isn’t necessarily the same one-winged angel that we see in the original. Common fan theories say that the villain is some kind of alternate reality version of Sephiroth who’s trying to gain an upper hand by messing with timelines. Many even believe that the Sephiroth in Remake is actually the same one from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. It’s already a lot.
The IronKnucklesSX theory dares to go one step further by saying that Whisper Sephiroth isn’t Sephiroth at all. Instead, he outlines three scenarios where he’s actually Cloud, Aerith, or Zack from the future.
In the scenario where Cloud is Whisper Sephiroth, the theory posits that Cloud is in love with Aerith and thus devastated by her loss in the original timeline. As a result, he becomes Whisper Sephiroth and travels back in time to save her. The theory cites a few choice moments from the game, such as Aerith trying to stop Cloud from entering Sephiroth’s portal.
“She grabs Cloud's wrist to stop him from running into Sephiroth's portal so that the timeline will not repeat, and so Cloud does not see what he becomes in the future,” the post reads.
Another variation of the theory posits that Zack, who makes a surprise appearance in the game’s final chapter, is actually Sephiroth. Once again, this very complicated theory hinges on fans shipping (when fans want to see two fictional characters romantically involved), stating that Aerith is in love with Zack. In this scenario, Aerith is responsible for saving Zack’s life in the game’s finale because she fears that he’ll become Sephiroth once he enters the life stream. Though through some convoluted twist of fate, he’ll become the villain anyway after he witnesses Aerith’s death.
The wildest variation theorizes that Aerith herself becomes Sephiroth as an elaborate way to alter Zack’s destiny out of love.
Phew. I need to catch my breath here.
While the theory is absolutely bonkers, it at the very least illustrates how passionate the community is about this game decades after its original release. Theories like this show a genuinely entertaining intersection between fact and fan fiction that tries to fill in every detail.
Final Fantasy VII Remake makes this especially possible because there’s no telling when the next chapter will come. Imagine if seasons of Lost were released five years apart. Square Enix has crafted a rich mystery with its ambitious remake, and these theories are a testament to its effectiveness. We’ve got nothing else to do while we wait, so we might as well play backseat writer and theorize.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 is currently in development.