Who is Zack Fair?Edit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__qhOTnFwUY (Original scene from FFVII)
First of all, if you haven't watched the ending to Crisis Core, you need to do so before you read this writeup! I've kindly provided the links for you! Even if you haven't played it, I'm assuming you all know what happens anyway (Spoilers Zack dies). I was a big fan of Zack before Crisis Core, but I don't know that I would've ranked him top ten before that. I also included the original scene from Final Fantasy VII. The Shinra Mansion bonus scene is one of my favorite optional/bonus scenes ever. I absolutely love the very end of the scene where Cloud slowly crawls up to Zack, takes hold of the Buster Sword, and slowly stretches his arms upward as if screaming as the camera pans back to show Midgar. It was an absolutely wonderful scene, at least to me. A very emotional moment, and one that put the final cap on Cloud's past because I know I was wondering what the heck happened to Zack and how Cloud ended up with his Buster Sword. I don't know what it is, but this scene was just so...alluring to me. It was pretty tragic what happened to Zack. He had dreams, he had ambitions, he had all the talent in the world, and he was just so coldly gunned down by the company that he had worked so hard for.
But, you say, that's an awful lot to get out of a five minute optional scene with a minor FFVII character, isn't it? Apparently not, since Square decided that scene was so awesome that it deserved its own game! Make no mistake: Crisis Core was made just so Square could remake that one famous scene and do it even better, which I didn't think was possible, especially considering we all already knew what was going to happen. I mean, how could they possibly somehow still manage to recreate the pathos of that scene?
But they did. One of the really nice touches is how they show Zack walking away from Cloud's point-of-view while he slowly stretches out his hand toward him. Zack's speech at the end right before he dies...I love it. It's almost ironic how Cloud essentially ended up taking it literally. I was kinda surprised that Square made it such a violent scene, too. I didn't think they'd go that route. By the way, Zack is a pretty hardcore dude. He's on the verge of death, and he casually hands Cloud the Buster Sword with one hand, while Cloud can't even lift it off of the ground.
By the way, I love Zack's "I want to be a hero" mentality, because I sort of have the same dream. I always imagined myself being some great hero and all that, too. And yes, I would say Zack became a hero! It was cool to see another main character who wasn't an introvert, too. I like Zack's upbeat attitude. Even when everything seems to go wrong for him, he remains optimistic. He manages to take everything in stride, and he doesn't let it break him. I don't particularly mind the introverted type, but it is nice to have a change of peace, too. Plus, I really like his kinda cocky and cool demeanor. It makes him very likable.
Another thing I always liked and respected about Zack was how he befriended Cloud. Zack was SOLDIER First Class, and Cloud was just a regular guard and a SOLDIER reject. Yet Zack never acted like he was better than Cloud or that he was too good to be associated with him. He essentially treated Cloud as an equal and as a friend. I love that scene in Advent Children Complete when Sephiroth has Cloud on the verge of defeat, and Zack shows up in his mind, reminding him to protect his honor as SOLDIER above all else. Then he was like, "Well, you never were in SOLDIER, but it's what's in here [tapping his chest with his fist, obviously] that counts." That was one of those nice bonus additions they put in the Complete version of the movie.
Overall, Zack is primarily awesome because of his great death scene, but his personality is almost impossible to dislike, in my opinion. I can't really do this writeup the justice it deserves because I haven't played Crisis Core, but Zack is the only thing I remember from watching those cutscenes (other than Genesis constantly reciting bad poetry, that is). The dude's just the star of the show. I liked the neat touches they threw in there and how they gave Zack some retroactive influence over the FFVII world (like him being the one to name Seventh Heaven, giving Aerith the idea to sell flowers, etc., although they went a bit overboard with him doing the exact same falling through the roof of Aerith's church thing as Cloud).
You'll be...my living legacy...My honor, my dreams, they're yours now." - Zack Fair
Win-Loss Record: 4-3
Summer 2008 Contest - Division 1 - First Group
- Division 1 Round 1 --- 1st place, 60472 [44.64%] - Wario, 44824 [33.09%] - Cecil Harvey, 22142 [16.35%] - Jade Curtiss, 8023 [5.92%]
- Division 1 Round 2 --- 2nd place, 33069 [23.90%] - Link, 73802 [53.34%] - Zidane Tribal, 16819 [12.16%] - Wario, 14665 [10.60%]
- Division 1 Final --- 2nd place, 31794 [22.09%] - Link, 74138 [51.52%] - Duke Nukem, 20797 [14.45%] - Altair, 17184 [11.94%]
- Contest Quarterfinal --- 3rd place, 28099 [20.82%] - Link, 54357 [40.28%] - Mario, 29244 [21.67%] - Mega Man X, 23237 [17.22%]
Zack was one of the most talked about newcomers in a long time, so much so that the phrase "ZackFAQs" was coined as a result. Zack was placed in a division that was a total crapshoot. Everyone knew Link was getting out of there without a problem, but who was going to escape the division with him? Zack was considered a contender, but he was a total wildcard. He had just starred in Crisis Core, but that was just for the PSP, and he was barely in Final Fantasy VII at all. How far could that possibly carry him? Apparently, all the way to the contest quarterfinals. After destroying his first round fourpack (and why anyone thought this guy was going to lose to Wario, I'll never know), he performed respectably on Link on three different occasions. In his final match, Zack took advantage of Link's SFF power to make "It's freakin'" Mario sweat for a long time and finish less than 1200 votes behind at the end of the match. For all the hype, Zack managed to live up to it.
Winter 2010 Contest - Mushroom Division - 6 Seed
- Mushroom Round 1 --- Defeated (11) Yuna, 43134 [58.61%] - 30465 [41.39%]
- Mushroom Round 2 --- Lost to (3) Mega Man, 20086 [38.34%] - 32305 [61.66%]
- Extrapolated Ranking --- 65th place [22.61%]
Zack's contest debut was a tough act to follow. While he beat Yuna without any trouble in the first round, he ran into the Mega Man buzzsaw in round two. Many people (myself included) thought Zack had the potential to impress and that he had the chance to even break 45% here. He couldn't even manage 40%, but in retrospect, after it was confirmed that the Mega Man of old was back, this wasn't such a bad performance. He did manage to outperform Cid Highwind at least. With this contest, Zack proved that his 4-way strength was no joke and that he's a legitimately strong character in these contests.
Summer 2013 Contest - Division 4 - 12 Seed
- Division 4 Round 1 --- 2nd place, 9862 [32.59%] - (7) Kefka, 11443 [37.82%] - (21) Ryu Hayabusa, 8955 [29.59%]
Zack's first round match had a lot of debate because the winner of this match would likely win the next round. The debates were between Zack and Hayabusa, both with reasons as to why they could win. In the end Zack did win over Hayabusa, but it was Kefka who unexpected won the match. It is likely Zack is weaker now due to the Final Fantasy VII deboost. He still has strength as he still would have won over Altair and Lara Croft in the next round had Kefka not stole the show.