Jul. 27th, 2016

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
 [Original Tumblr Post]

Anonymous ask: What do you think Veld and Vincent's ages are in FF7. It says in Wiki Vincent was born around 50 years before ff7 But it also says he spends 30 of them in the coffin. And the opinion is that he was 27 when he went into the coffin....This hurts my brain. Nobody gives us any hint to velds age at all. Just that he's the TURK director and has been around awhile. So thoughts?


Answer:

I want to warn you of two things before we get into this. One, the Compilation contradicts itself often, not in the least because the OG dates are different from what every other part of canon says. Two, the Final Fantasy Wiki must be taken with a grain of salt because it’s trying to mesh inconsistent canon, and you have a lot of people who don’t cross-check editing things. It’s a good resource, just go into it with the understanding that it’s flawed material from the get-go.

Now.

Vincent’s birthday (as one of the members of the main party in the OG) was actually given in canon as October 13, 1950. So having that already, I can give you his chronological ages with the (as of this moment) “updated” dates of when things occur:

  • CC (2000/0000) - 50
  • OG (0007-0008) - 57/58
  • AC (0009) - 59
  • DoC (0010) - 60

Here’s where things start getting complicated, of course, because he died before any of that. I really don’t remember off the top of my head where the number 27 is, but that’s what I’ve always heard, yes. So we’ll go with that, that he’s lived 27 years… that’s 1977, 30 year nap until you meet him in OG, when he starts having life experience again. So mentally and emotionally, Vincent is the following ages:

  • OG - 27
  • AC - 29
  • DoC - 30

Which makes him “younger” than Barret (35 in OG) and Cid (33 in OG) out of the original party. Given he was a Turk, he’s an “old” 27, but still 27.

Another fun fact! Assuming that Vincent was born in 1950, as canon states, and died at age 27 - math then says it was sometime in 1977 - and Lucrecia was pregnant at that time… Sephiroth was born either in 1977 or 1978. Angeal and Genesis were born then or earlier. Genesis is said to be older than Angeal and I believe it’s heavily implied that Project G got going before S. (Edit: there is an Ultimania translation that confirms that Project G - and thus Angeal/Genesis - are older)

Now, back to our Turks, more specifically Veld. Fact is, there’s no date given for Veld as far as I know, and I’ve peered around some. So what we’re going off of is that he was a peer of Vincent’s, and that comes from translation of a word used in BC when Veld and Vincent meet up again that has implied they were partners. Not a lot to go on, but fandom has run with it and it makes sense.

That scene is what I’ve based my age of Veld on - I put him slightly younger than Vincent. Generally, I see Veld written as the older and definitely the senior Turk, but I think if Vincent had been used to following Veld’s lead, he would have gone with him. Remember, at the time Vincent was still very broken up and emotional for all that he emotes like a brick wall. If Veld had been his mentor or even an authority figure, I think he would have fallen back in step because it was comfortable, it would be the first hint of familiarity and safety that he’d had since things had started going wrong back then. (I doubt he knew how much time had passed until Veld came, looking much older, anyway.)

Mind you, a man who is content to sulk for 30 years in a coffin might just be stubborn enough to go back to it regardless, but Veld meant enough to him that he got out to help him so until presented with concrete fact, I’m going with Veld as a little younger. At most, two years, I don’t see a big gap between them and they were both presumably at least teenagers when they were hired on to ShinRa so there you go.

So, with those reasons based on dynamics alone - again, I can’t help you with canon there, I really can’t - and maybe also the fact that Veld is still running around as an operative himself despite considerable bodily trauma sustained in his younger years (re Kalm Bombing, plus whatever you want call that explosion that gave him the scar) I put him, at most, as two years younger than Vincent. Which would give you a birth year of 1952, and the following statistics:

  • CC (2000/0000) - 48
  • OG (0007-0008) - 55/56
  • AC (0009) - 57
  • DoC (0010) - 58

There’s also a benchmark that Veld’s daughter, Felicia/Elfe, is at least a teenager when you see her in BC, which is during Sephiroth’s time as a First Class - and Veld could definitely be old enough to have been the father of a kid that old, with this age set, so I continue to go with it.

So that’s my take on Vincent and headcanon into Veld.

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
 [Original Tumblr post]


Looking at the scene in Crisis Core, at the very end when Cloud manages to army crawl up to the dying Zack, and Zack hands over his sword with his brief, heartbreaking "living legacy"
 speech:

This is not the first time that the Buster has been passed on, especially in this fashion. When Angeal dies - at Zack’s hand, and let’s not get into that mess beyond the painful parallel of how Cloud also feels he’s responsible for Zack’s death even though he had even less choice than Zack did - he passes on the Buster to Zack.

 

Now, in the English dub (which was the version I played through) Angeal says “Zack, you have my thanks. This is for you. *hands over the sword* Protect your honor, always.” And then Zack has an audio memory of Angeal’s comment at the beginning of the game - Embrace your dreams. If you want to be a hero, you need to have dreams and honor.

 

Now, let’s compare the English sub (which I’ve watched and found very interesting because it carries a different vibe most of the time):

 

“You did well Zack. I’m counting on you for the rest. *hands over sword* Never forget your pride.” This is then followed by the same audio memory, but again, with a slightly different vibe - Hold onto your dreams. If you want to be a hero you have to hold onto your dreams and also your pride.


I’m not going to pretend I understand the full significance of the changes between pride/dreams to fit the better cultural perception of the words, but I know enough to say that I do think that moment absolutely influenced how Zack handled that moment with Cloud. Another scene I would say had an effect was the time in Nibelheim (before everything goes wrong) when Zack thanks Cloud for reminding him what the Buster Sword means to him.

 

I think Zack took the burden of Angeal’s words very seriously (and I say “burden” absolutely referencing when Angeal says that honor can be quite the burden early on plus Gillian’s words on the sword representing the honor of the family.) And I think, as much as he loved Angeal (take that at whatever angle you like, but he did love him in some way,) he probably resented that. I think that was absolutely one of the things he meant when he asked “why is everyone always pushing things on me?” before the last fight with Genesis.

 

In light of that feeling, I think the last thing Zack intended was to give Cloud the same burden. Looking at Crisis Core only, I would say that I think it was definitely part of what vorpalgirl said: you’re gonna live/you’ll be my living legacy (alternatively, the proof that I existed) is a statement of fact, of the significance of the fact that Cloud is going to live on even though Zack died, that Zack managed to save at least one person he cares about when the others died well before this and even forced him to have a hand in it.

 

But it’s also motivation for Cloud, because he’s been with Cloud this whole time. He knows that Cloud is struggling (he hasn’t even been conscious until right before Zack left to make his last stand), he knows that Cloud struggled with his self-esteem anyway before all this, and he probably knows that a standard thing that keeps people out of SOLDIER is if they don’t have the willpower/sense of self to make it through the process. That’s a really big thing to ask of a teenager, I remember that much of those years personally. A teenager is still figuring out who the hell they are in that weird not a kid/not an adult half state, this is a big deal and it’s no shock that Cloud “fell short” there - most people probably did.

 

But Zack is giving Cloud something here, he’s giving him something to focus on because he won’t be able to talk to Cloud all the time or carry him on anymore. All he has left to give are his sword to protect himself, his words to remember and his life so Cloud has a chance at all, and the last one is running out fast.

 

He never wanted to pass on the burden that Angeal did. He never wanted to push things on Cloud the way they were always pushed on him. But he knew Cloud needed an anchor still, and he couldn’t physically be there to hold his hand anymore, he could barely lift his own blade.

 

I don’t think he ever imagined it would have ended up that way, that Cloud could even do that, but he did succeed in one thing at least - he gave Cloud a way to hide behind him, until he was ready to stand on his own. And in Advent Children, even though there’s tears in his eyes to have to choose between Sephiroth and Cloud (and he’s lost Sephiroth, don’t get me started on my theories about what Zack was up to in AC) he manages a smile in his voice as he offers Cloud that same bit of strength, that quiet vote of confidence when he’s nearly destroyed again, and helps him back up before he goes.

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