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LostZone: Are Lost and Final Fantasy VII Unofficially Connected?

February 1, 2010

LostZone: Are Lost and Final Fantasy VII Unofficially Connected?
By Louis Bedigian

My love and obsession with TV’s greatest drama finally makes sense.

Starting Thursday, February 4, GameZone will launch a new weekly feature – LostZone – aimed at discussing Lost’s most breathtaking moments (and, if necessary, its most depressing bombs) while dissecting the show’s most intriguing mysteries. Today, we bring you a sneak preview of things to come by examining the unexpected similarities between the hit series and the most successful RPG ever made.

It’s a strange thought, isn’t it? How could a video game have anything to do with a fantasy (some would say sci-fi) drama like Lost?

Crazy or not, it seems that the hit show is unofficially (but almost spiritually) connected to Final Fantasy VII.

 
These guys aren’t lost, but they are in search of the Promised Land…

I was practically oblivious to the various connections until I played through FFVII again this year (for about the 15th time) for GameZone’s weekly retrospective feature. During that time, the eerie similarities became apparent, and a new reason for my love of Lost became very clear.

Let’s investigate some of their most interesting similarities.

  1. (FFVII): Shinra conducted tests and experiments on the Cetra, a group of people who were believed to be special.
    (Lost): Using the Dharma Initiative as somewhat of a cover, Ben and his “people” conducted tests and experiments on those who were believed to be special – including Walt.

  2. (FFVII): Hints about the game's conclusion – and its characters' pasts – were revealed in video tapes (recorded by Professor Gast) that can be found in a home near the Icicle Inn.
    (Lost): Potential hints about the show's conclusion – and definitely hints about the island's past – were revealed in video tapes found all over the island.

  3. (FFVII): Someone or something deceived the Cetra, causing them to see their dead relatives. We later discover that Jenova was behind the deception.
    (Lost): The same thing happened to the castaways on Lost. Could Jacob or his unnamed nemesis be the cause?

  4. (FFVII): The Cetra believed they could communicate with the planet, and that the planet was sending them messages.
    (Lost): Locke believed the island was trying to communicate with him.

  5. (FFVII): The planet created a Weapon to protect itself…
    (Lost): Likewise, the Smoke Monster on Lost supposedly exists to protect the island. 

  6. (FFVII): Weapon ultimately killed the one who awakened it – Rufus. (If going by the original FFVII story, which I am; let's ignore the "he's alive after all" soap opera crap of the FFVII movie.) Rufus was also the planet's greatest threat, even more so than Sephiroth, if you count all of the Mako energy he was stealing.
    (Lost): Thus, you have to wonder: is the Smoke Monster doing the same, in a way? Is it attacking – and at times killing – those who awaken it? And does the monster believe that those same people are the island's greatest threat? If that's the case, could it be that Ben and Charles – the apparent villains on Lost – are in fact a necessary component of the island's survival? If nothing else, that would surely explain why the monster hasn't killed either of them.


When Lost ends, I don’t expect Jacob to sprout wings and start casting spells, but who knows?

These similarities do not include the themes of manipulation and the unrelenting power/control by a major organization (both of which are a huge part of Lost and FFVII), or how flashbacks were used to advance their stories. Furthermore, in FFVII, significant events temporarily block the memories of Cloud and Tifa – memories that were from the previous five years of their lives. On Lost, our castaways are faced with a time-shifting scenario that threatens to erase the past five years of their lives – and, presumably, the memories of that existence. (Using the time-altering, memory-keeping elements of the movie Frequency would give Lost a much more interesting outcome, don’t you think?)

Despite being a beautiful game, FFVII didn’t have the most solid conclusion. We know that Sephiroth was defeated, that the planet was saved, and that life went on. But that is as far as the developers were willing – or perhaps able – to take it.


I think I understand Jack’s problem: forget the whole addiction theory, someone must have cast Confuse on him!

A part of me worries that Lost may be on a similar path – that no matter how brilliant the final episode is, it will ultimately miss a key story element, or purposely exclude certain elements because the writers couldn’t think of a way to properly conclude them.

But if nothing else, something tells me that Lost’s ending will be powerful, emotional, and an experience we will discuss for years to come – just like FFVII, a game that we’re still talking about nearly 13 years after its release.

Gw
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