Sometime in the fourth chapter, Mustadio’s father Besrodio builds a strange device. No one knows what it does, yet, it’s able to react to the Zodiac stones. Once we find the appropriate stone for it, Cloud Strife transports to Ivalice. Final Fantasy Tactics summons Cloud, Squaresoft’s most popular character, in a crossover event.
How does Cloud arrive in Ivalice? Even Cloud doesn’t know, but he gives us a hint:
What happened? Last thing I remember was getting caught in the current.
What is this current? Well, sometime in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud goes catatonic in Mideel. During an Earthquake, the town opens up and swallows Cloud (and Tifa) into the Lifestream.
So then, perhaps Cloud traveled to Ivalice through the Lifestream. But how is this possible? What is the Lifestream? Is it like an interdimensional wormhole? Besrodio calls it a “forwarding device” “to travel to other worlds, different space”.
Is that it? Can Besrodio’s device summon Final Fantasy characters from other worlds? Or is it that, unbeknownst to them, Final Fantasy VII takes place on the same world?
The Lifestream seems to occur only on one world: Gaia. Even the Pyreflies from Final Fantasy X, which Shinra takes as a prototype of the world, has no Lifestream.
In Final Fantasy Tactics, all we ever see is Ivalice. Same with Final Fantasy XII. Ivalice isn’t the world, it’s a giant land mass. Perhaps if we could see the rest of the world it might look like Gaia.
But this is a weird time shift. When is Final Fantasy VII in the Ivalice’s history? It could be either the past of the future of Final Fantasy Tactics. Consider that Final Fantasy XII preceded Final Fantasy Tactics. In it, Gilgamesh holds a Buster Sword. How did he get it? Did he jump through to Ivalice’s past, to Final Fantasy VII? It would appear that Gaia keeps devolving due to cataclysmic events until, finally, we reach Final Fantasy Tactic’s world. But Gilgamesh can jump through time portals to any time he can. Final Fantasy VII could take place in Ivalice’s future after Shinra and his descendants colonize Gaia.
Then again, what we’re watching may be a spin-off story. We see Final Fantasy Tactics as a spin-off of the mainline Final Fantasy series. Maybe the reverse is true in this world. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Final Fantasy is a story in their world. Ivalice is a popular book world. Perhaps Final Fantasy VII is actually a book series, and this is the crossover event?
Either way, Aerith appears in Ivalice as a reincarnation. A flower girl in this world, no less.