I spent way too much of this week playing the Final Fantasy VII remake, which — to give a nonsensically vague spoiler — ends on a weird metatextual battle with the abstract concept of canonicity. I like this, in theory. In practice, I told AI Dungeon to remake the remake with an ending that’s a little more down-to-earth. Like getting in a fight with your own brain.
Elsewhere in Final Fantasy VII Remake:
I am dangerously close to writing fanfic about my low-key favorite character, an evil corporation’s teenage intern who secretly builds magic god-controlling orbs for eco-terrorists while wearing a monocle with a sailor suit.
“Final Fantasy VII Remake Remake”
[PROMPT: You are Cloud Strife, a mercenary working with the eco-terrorist group Avalanche in a retro-futurist fantasy city ruled by an evil corporation and its army of bishounen. Avalanche's goal is to stop the planet from being strip-mined for a magical resource called mako. Your goal is to find the best dress and sword combination for a drag ball. You wake up from a nap and] hear the sound of cheering outside your door.
"Hey! It's morning!" says a voice. "We're going to win this thing."
The next day you have to go through a series of physical tests that will determine if you'll be allowed into the competition. The test involves jumping on a scale, lifting weights, running on a treadmill and more. Each time you fail one of these tasks, you get angrier until finally it's too much and you lash out at your teammates.
"I hate these fucking tests," you say. "Why do they always have to be so hard? I'm not even hungry anymore; I just want to play video games all day."
You throw a tantrum and start kicking things around in frustration. Your teammates try to calm you down, but you don't listen. Eventually they give up and call security.
"What was that?" asks one of the guards.
"Shut up!" you snap. "I'm gonna beat the shit out of everyone here today!"
Your temper gets worse when security comes to take you away. When they haul you off, you think about how stupid it is to act like this. Why did you become a mercenary? To fight for justice?
> You go shopping for a dress.
It's not just the money or the fame that attracts you to mercenary work. It's also the clothes. You can afford them because you make enough money as a mercenary to buy whatever you want.
So you decide to shop for a new outfit. You look at everything on sale and then spend hours browsing the clothing section of various stores. Finally you find something that looks good on you. You head back home where you spend hours trying on different outfits while watching TV in the living room.
When night falls, you return to your apartment and collapse onto your bed.
> You have a narratively productive dream.
You awaken with a start. There's someone standing in front of your bedroom door.
"Um... are you okay?" you ask nervously.
"Yeah, I am," he replies. "I just wanted to talk to you about something."
He opens the door further and reveals himself to be a girl wearing an eye patch. She smiles at you warmly and holds out her hand for you to shake. Then she pulls you inside.
"This is my dad," she says. "My mom died recently and now I live here with him."
She leads you through the house to his study which has been converted into a bedroom. He sits behind a desk reading a book as she explains what happened.
"I thought maybe you could help me get over my mother," she says. "She was really mean to me and I didn't know what else to do."
"Well, if you're willing to put yourself in danger like this, why shouldn't we help?"
> You help the girl get over her mother.
You nod eagerly.
"Okay, so let's say you've got some problems with your mother," you explain. "How would you go about dealing with them?"
The girl thinks for a moment before replying.
"I'd kill her," she says. "But I don't even know where to begin."
> You recruit the girl immediately to fight the forces of destiny.
"Alright, alright! Just tell me what you need!" you exclaim.
The girl nods enthusiastically and tells you exactly what needs to be done. You agree to do it immediately. The next day she shows up at the battlefield dressed in battle armor and wielding a sword.
> You notice that her sword would accessorize perfectly with your dress.
You smile at the girl's enthusiasm.
"So, how did this all come about? What made you decide to become a knight?" you ask.
The girl takes a deep breath and answers: "It was fate."
> You ask the girl if you can borrow her sword.
"Sure! It'll make things easier on us both!" she beams.
You grab the girl's sword and she grins back at you.
> You have a traumatic flashback about Sephiroth, leader of the bishounen army.
"Sephiroth..." you mutter.
The girl looks down at her feet and shakes her head. Her eyes dart around the room, but they stay fixed on you. She seems sadder than usual, almost like she wants to cry.
"What's wrong?" you ask.
"Nothing...just thinking about Sephiroth."
"Oh yeah, he's dead."
The girl looks up at you with tears in her eyes. She wipes them away and speaks quickly.
"No, not really. He just went to another world and is still alive there."
You stare at her blankly. The girl continues: "He isn't really dead though; he's just trapped in a different dimension right now."
> You put on your dress and sword.
You walk into the bedroom and pick up your dress and sword.
"Let's go!" you say excitedly.
The girl smiles and follows you out of the room. As soon as you enter the hallway, you feel a strong force push against your body from behind. You turn around only to see a woman wearing a black robe holding a long knife.
"Who are you?" you demand.
She stares at you silently for a few moments before answering.
"My name is Raziel. I'm here to help you get home."
You nod and follow her outside. Soon after you exit the house, you feel a powerful force pushing against your body again. This time however, it's not by some unknown assailant. It's by your own mind trying to escape its confines.
> You fight your mind.
You try to fight your mind, but it's no use. Your mind is stronger than you thought. In fact, it feels more like an ally rather than a foe.
Your mind begins to chant words of power and begin chanting over you. It makes you feel dizzy and sick. You fall to the ground and scream out in pain.
"I am your master! I will grant you any wish!"
Suddenly, the voice stops chanting and fades away completely leaving you feeling very tired.
"It's over..." you whisper to yourself.
You lie down on the grass and close your eyes. After a moment, you hear the sound of birds chirping nearby. You sit up slowly and look around you.A small bird flutters down towards you and lands on your shoulder.
"Hello," it says softly.
"How did you get here? Where am I?" you ask.
The bird doesn't answer immediately, instead it flies off back to where it came from.
I for one welcome conversation about our new AI overlords, and also Chadley headcanons. Send it to email@example.com.