One of the more baffling oddities in Final Fantasy VII is a mysterious yellow orb displayed towards the end. When Cloud defeats god-like Safer Sephiroth, he believes the war has finally been won. Alas, Sephiroth still lives... in the Lifestream. As Cloud and Tifa prepare to leave the Northern Crater, Cloud's spirit is summoned into the Lifestream, where he must face Sephiroth one final time.
Cloud leaves his body and proceeds to hurtle through a number of 'tunnels'. Halfway towards Sephiroth, Cloud mysteriously stops and emerges in the Lifestream. During this scene, a yellow orb appears and is focused on for a few seconds, suggesting its importance. Cloud then abruptly continues his journey where he defeats Sephiroth for good.
Now, what is this yellow orb? Take a peek below.
The orb is Holy
There is a strong possibility this orb may be Holy. Before the battle with Bizarro-Sephiroth, Cloud and the party are floating in a black room, paralysed by Sephiroth. Towards the centre of the room is a red, earthy structure. A glowing sphere is shining in the centre. During this situation, Cloud utters the following sentences:
"Light... A light... Is this... Is this light... Holy?"
"...Holy... Holy... is there... The Holy is shining... Aeris's prayer is shining......!"
From this, we can gather Holy is located in the Northern Crater. Perhaps this yellow orb is Holy, floating in the Lifestream. However, there are two faults to this argument:
-Holy is green, as we have seen during Aeris' death.
-Holy was originally located at Aeris' place of death, the Ancient City.
How can Holy change colour, AND relocate itself? The only logical theory is that Holy is now yellow as it has been activated. And how did it get to the Northern Crater by itself? Simple, when Holy fell into the water of the Ancient City, it somehow found a way into the Lifestream and floated to the Northern Crater with the Planet's (and Aeris'?) help.
However, there is an error in this theory. It is impossible for Holy to be activated at this stage. For Holy to be activated, Aeris must enter the Lifestream. The only thing standing in her way is Sephiroth, who still exists at this stage. Hence, this theory is fundamentally flawed, but it is the best one in explaining the orb as Holy.
The orb is a vision of the Promised Land
There has been speculation the orb may be a vision of the Promised Land. When observed closely, the orb actually looks cloudy. Materia, however, are clear . The orb
thus bears an uncanny resemblance to a planet. Perhaps this vision is showing the Promised Land as a planet. There is a peculiar hint in the game suggesting that Ancients actually travelled in space before settling Earth. During Cloud's flashback of Nibelheim, Sephiroth discovers his 'heritage' and hisses towards Cloud,
"This Planet originally belonged to the Cetra. Cetra was an itinerant race. They would migrate in, settle the Planet, then move on...
"At the end of their harsh, hard journey, they would find the Promised Land and supreme happiness."
Pay particular attention to the phrase "They would migrate in, settle the Planet, then move on..." This sentence is rather ambiguous in meaning. Sephiroth was either suggesting the Ancients would migrate and settle across different areas of the Earth's surface, or they would migrate and settle entire planets. If Sephiroth was suggesting the Ancients migrated and settled across Earth's surface, he should have said, "They would migrate and settle parts of the Planet, then move on to other areas..."
However, Sephiroth is suggesting the Ancients would migrate and settle the entire Planet itself. Once achieving this, they would move on to another planet until they find the Promised Land, a planet itself. This lends support to the theory the orb is a vision of the Promised Land.
Upholding this claim is the sentence Cloud utters during the ending, "...the Promised Land... I think I can meet her... there." Somehow, somewhere, Cloud saw the Promised Land. If the Promised Land is anywhere to be seen in the ending, it must be the orb.
Additionally, look at the white bubbles surrounding the orb. Mako is meant to be green, but these bubbles are white. The bubbles and black background make an uncanny resemblance to space. Recall the introducing FMV of the game. We are shown the night sky with mysterious wailing in the background. The wailing sounds as if it is calling out for us. Our eyes wonder the stars as we try to find the source of the wailing -
Notice the similarity between the two screenshots. The introduction was foreshadowing the existence of something mysterious up there in space, calling out to us. Towards the ending, with the vision Cloud sees, we finally discover what that something is - the Promised Land.
The orb is a backdrop
And of course, the orb may be nothing more than a tantalising backdrop. However, because it is focused on for a few seconds as a centrepiece, this is quite unlikely.
By looking at all the evidence, the orb is probably just Holy. There are fundamental faults to this theory, but it is the strongest one. The argument the orb is a vision of the Promised Land can't be dismissed, though.
What follows is a collection of theories about the Yellow Orb that have been contributed to the Citadel over the years:
- C. Basnett
- Nectar Head
- B. Bacc
- Thirteenth Dark Knight
- Joe (contains Advent Children spoiler)
If, after reading these theories, you have additional thoughts about the Yellow Orb, feel free to post them here. Please try and refrain from restating already posted theories.
Credits: M. da Silva, for making the connection between Cloud's phrase "I think I can meet her there," and the vision of the Promised Land.