Cloud: Of course! Who do you think I am!?
Sephiroth: Ha, ha, ha…… Stop acting as if you were sad. There’s no need to act as though you’re angry either. Because, Cloud. You are…
Beacause, you are……a puppet.
Jenova: You are…
Cloud: I’m……a puppet?
It’s interesting Sephiroth called Cloud a puppet. Most villains say this when the hero inadvertently carries out their plan. But Sephiroth means this literally.
Sephiroth is manipulating Cloud directly, through sheer will and the power of his mind. Cloud’s memories of him as SOLDIER are actually Sephiroth’s memories of Zack and himself as SOLDIER. So when Cloud states he’s SOLDIER, this is Sephiroth talking.
Jenova, in this sense, is just the conduit for mind control. This alien lifeform makes mind control possible. Otherwise, Jenova has no personality either. Jenova is also the puppet of Sephiroth.
Notice when Cloud’s “Ha, ha, ha” when Sephiroth takes over his mind. This is how Sephiroth laughs. A good remake might have Cloud mimic best Sephiroth speech pattern, and we’ll see it eventually.
Interesting too as you the player can input your name in place of Cloud. You can project yourself onto Cloud, but Sephiroth will wipe it away in the narrative. I knew “Gary” wasn’t really ex-SOLDIER, but geez…
But what’s scary is when Sephiroth decides Cloud’s discarded. Imagine yourself reading this, noticing you’re losing consciousness and then blacking out. That’s terrifying. Who Cloud was, his memories, the memories of him…gone.
And why? Beacause Cloud humiliated the great Sephiroth that day five years ago. So Sephiroth set out to destroy Cloud bit by bit. First by taking over his mind. Then, by having Cloud attack his friends. And finally, by leaving him a vegetable. Sephiroth is more than just a “man in black”. He’s truly heartless.
Once Cloud takes over his mind again, Cloud is a broken shell trying to put himself back together again. Imagine you wake up tomorrow, and you can’t remember what you did yesterday. Now, what if you didn’t have a general idea of the last five years of your life. You have not just amnesia, but a sickly body. All beacause you made the wrong person mad.