A list of characters from Final Fantasy VII
and associated works.
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Click here to see Cloud in his Advent Children attire.
"I pity you. You just don't get it at all... there's not a thing I
A former top-ranking member of Shinra's elite paramilitary unit, SOLDIER. Now working as a mercenary-for-hire, Cloud takes a job with the anti-Shinra organization AVALANCHE to bring down his old employers. It's revealed during the game that he isn't what he seems: Cloud failed to qualify for SOLDIER and instead took a job as an infantryman. During a mission to Nibelheim with Sephiroth and his best friend and SOLDIER 1st Class Zack Fair, Sephiroth went berserk and injured Cloud and Zack, who were taken away as lab experiments for Professor Hojo. Zack broke them out years later but died in the escape, and Cloud, suffering from a great deal of physical and psychological trauma, impressed Zack's memories on his own, creating a false past and a false personality to match it. After the truth is revealed he suffers a Heroic BSOD
, but thanks to a Journey to the Center of the Mind
, he comes to terms with who he is and rebuilds his persona from the ground up.
- Adorkable: At times. He says things like "let's mosey" and has never been on a date before.
- Always Save the Girl: No matter the circumstance, Cloud drops everything to save Tifa and/or Aerith if they're in danger.
- Angst: Boatloads of it. Most of it's justified too — if you came to the realization that the life you thought you had lived was a lie and you had spent the last four-five years comatose due to lab experiments after your hero and idol burned your hometown to the ground and left you for dead, you'd probably have some issues to work through too.
- Animal Motifs: Wolves, specifically Fenrir, the name of the wolf that follows him in Advent Children and of his Cool Bike, which debuted in the same movie. However, this only applies to that movie.
- Anime Hair: Cloud's infamous hair in Final Fantasy VII consists of several sharp spikes jutting into the air. Advent Children and related Compilation materials toned down the spikes to something more realistic.
- Anti-Hero: Classical Anti-Hero who pretends to be a Pragmatic Hero. He arguably evolved into an actual hero by the end of the first game.
- Badass: Cloud is Sephiroth's only competition for the most powerful character in the setting, and considering every time they clash he overpowers him he may even be stronger.
- Badass Biker: In Advent Children he spends much of the film riding Fenrir looking cool, and in several fight scenes fights while riding it.
- Badass Normal: Even before Hojo's experiments.
- BFS: His Buster Sword is emblematic of this trope.
- Bifurcated Weapon: His Fusion Sword in Advent Children is six BFSs in one.
- Bishōnen: Cloud is quite pretty for a man. In the game's infamous Wall Market sequence, a cross-dressing Cloud can beat out Tifa and Aerith as Don Corneo's girl of choice for the night.
- Blade Spam: Omnislash, one of his Limit Breaks, in a series of fifteen sword attacks.
- Blow You Away: Finishing Touch, one of his Limit Breaks, launches a tornado at opponents.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Downplayed but present, Sephiroth is implied to be subtlety influencing him throughout the game to make Cloud do what he wants.
- Break the Haughty: As a child, Cloud avoided the other village children because he thought of himself as superior to them and like most boys his age, tried to become a hero like his idol Sephiroth by joining SOLDIER and was promptly rejected. However, it seemed like his claims of superiority was more a case of him trying to justify his own loneliness.
- Catch Phrase: "Not interested", repeated several times in the original game, usually as a choice in dialogue trees. In the expanded universe it's used much less often, but still pops up enough to count. Bartz lampshades it in Dissidia when he mimics Cloud's voice in a match with him.
- Chick Magnet: Tifa, Aerith, and Jessie have feelings for him. If you choose Yuffie as the Golden Saucer date, she kisses Cloud on the cheek on the gondola ride.
- Childhood Friend Romance: His relationship with Tifa, who also grew up in Nibelheim with him. Because both of them Cannot Spit It Out though, it's ambiguous how far the romantic angle goes.
- Classical Anti-Hero: Crippling self-doubt and insecurity, tons of angst and guilt, and as a kid he was a loser and a failure.
- Colony Drop: Meteorain, one of his Limit Breaks, shoots small meteors at opponents.
- Courier: His career after the events of the main game; he became a deliveryman that traveled the planet.
- Crash-Into Hello: Granted it was a roof, not a person, but it's how Cloud and Aerith got formally acquainted; he crashed through the roof of her church and woke up on the flowerbed with her standing over him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Cloud has a very dry wit and tends to make small quips completely straightfaced. Under his false persona in VII wasn't as deadpan as later, but more snarky.
Rufus: Cloud, you're an ex-SOLDIER, aren't you?
Cloud: In my head.
- Dead Person Conversation: With Aerith in Advent Children.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Cloud's essentially been copying an actual SOLDIER named Zack through most of Final Fantasy VII.
- Declaration of Protection:
- He promises such to Tifa, and later becomes Aerith's bodyguard.
- In Advent Children, he feels this way towards his entire family, which causes problems as his track record of success isn't very impressive.
- Depending on the Writer: Cloud ranges from self-doubting and insecure Anti-Hero to a cocky and confident Badass, sometimes in the same appearance. Justified due to the two or three personas he's adopted and come to terms with, an entirely consistent personality is probably not going to result from this.
- Determinator: Cloud never gives up, even when all the odds are against him. Take the Nibelheim Incident; even with no powers or procedures yet performed to make him stronger, Cloud charges Sephiroth, widely considered the most powerful man on the planet, head-on. And even when impaled on his sword and hoisted into the air, he finds the strength to overpower him and turn the tables. Badass indeed.
- Disappeared Dad: Was raised by his mother instead.
- Disguised in Drag: The infamous crossdressing quest in Wall Market.
- Doomed Hometown: In the backstory, Nibelheim was destroyed several years ago.
- Fake Memories: Though it's something of a journey to figure out how and why he has them.
- Flanderization: If you haven't played the original game, you'll be surprised at how non angsty Cloud was. He did angst and express hesitation and insecurities, but only at key points and for good reasons, and at the end of the game seemed perfectly fine. In his appearances since, he has been an angsty brooding loner. Square Enix states outright in The Reunion Files (basically the Ultimania for Advent Children) that they regressed his personality back to a mindset they thought fans would be more familiar with, making this a case of Pandering to the Base. In all fairness, it'd be downright absurd to think he'd just be emotionally fixed by the end of the game. Anyone who might go through what Cloud went through might need a few years to fully reconcile. Like 30 of them.
- Guest Fighter: In Ehrgeiz, an obscure fighting game made by Square in late 1990s.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: BFS's are preferred, although he does have a few katanas. As an infantryman, however, he favored an assault rifle and police baton.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He stood helpless and watched as Sephiroth killed Aerith. More in Advent Children than in the game.
- Ill Girl: Well, Ill Guy. In Advent Children, Cloud is suffering from Geostigma which also causes some ugly seizures. He was also afflicted with Mako Poisoning in the game.
- Jack of All Stats: Cloud has all around good stats and can fight with magic or weapons as needed.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted. Cloud isn't actually a jerk, his personality created after the events leading up to Zack's death is.
- Lightning Bruiser: Cloud moves fast and has enough HP and stamina to take a good hit, and when he hits back it hurts a lot. Spin-offs like Dissidia and Kingdom Hearts instead depict him as a Mighty Glacier, moving and attacking slowly but doing a lot of damage.
- Loners Are Freaks: As a child he was anti-social and constantly got into fights because other kids picked on him.
- Meaningful Name: Cloud Strife, reflecting his inner turmoil and troubled life.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Cloud's an emotionally fragile young man who remembers things that never happened, suffers from bouts of depression, has a history of shutting down when life becomes too much to handle, and has serious problems with acknowledging his own self-worth. In spite of this, he soldiers on, and manages to overcome or mitigate many of these issues.
- Momma's Boy: Her death at the hands of Sephiroth is one of his (many) grudges against him.
- Mook: In his backstory he was just another one of the Shinra guards the party guns down the entire game.
- Mr. Fanservice: Well-built, handsome, heroic, and very badass.
- Occult Blue Eyes: They also glow because of his Mako infusion; this is a mark of all members of SOLDIER.
- Only I Can Kill Him: Spin-offs seem to give him this role regarding Sephiroth, who shrugs off beatings from the Warrior of Light or Sora.
- Parental Substitute: To Denzel. In Advent Children, he even becomes a Disappeared Dad.
- Promotion to Parent: Raises Marlene and Denzel with Tifa after the events of original game.
- The Quiet One: On his own Cloud is a fairly shy and silent figure.
- Replacement Goldfish: Initially, what draws Aerith to Cloud is his resemblance to Zack.
- Right Handed Mirror: To Sephiroth. Both are the result of experimentation with Mako and Jenova cells, but while right-handed Cloud regains his sanity and becomes a hero, Sephiroth descends into an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Super Soldier: SOLDIER was comprised of humans who were exposed to large amounts of raw Mako (giving them their distinctive Glowing Eyes) and, in some cases, injected with Jenova cells, granting them superhuman strength, speed, and agility. While Cloud was never in SOLDIER, Hojo's experiments were similar, if not identical, to the process of creating a SOLDIER.
- Sword Beam: Blade Beam, one of his Limit Breaks, fires a blast of energy from his sword.
- Take Up My Sword: When Zack dies, Cloud takes his sword and keeps his dreams of honor and heroism alive in his own way.
- This Loser Is You: He was a Deconstruction of RPG protagonists at the time.
- Tomato in the Mirror: See Dead Person Impersonation. When he finds out the truth he does not take it well at all.
- Too Many Belts: In Advent Children. The retconned SOLDIER 1st Class costumes from Crisis Core that he wears has two.
- Troll: Through dialogue options, it's very possible to make Cloud give some pretty dickish responses purely for the lulz of it all. He even appears to be this canonically, as shown from his frequent teasing of Barret during the Midgar section of the game. It gets dropped for the most part after he undergoes his Heroic BSOD, which indicates that it may well have been another element he picked up from Zack.
- Troubled, but Cute: He wears all black and copes with a lot of mental issues, but is very good-looking and has a good heart.
- Unknown Rival: Hojo doesn't remember who he is when they have their last battle.
Cloud: At least remember my name!
- Weapon Twirling: As part of his victory animation, his spins his sword in the air before shoulder it over his back.
- What the Hell, Hero? He beats up Aerith in the Temple of the Ancients, causing her to leave the party. Granted, he was being controlled, but still...
- Wholesome Crossdresser: A certain, ahem, "noble incident"◊.
- Would Hit a Girl Twice with Aerith. Once in the Temple of the Ancients, second in Forgotten Capital, where she was praying. With a BFS. Neither time intentional, he was a puppet.
- Your Days Are Numbered: In Advent Children where he has contracted the fatal Geostigma.
"You gotta understand somethin'... I don't got an answer. I wanna be with Marlene... but I gotta fight. 'Cause if I don't... the planet's gonna die. So I'm gonna keep fightin'!"
The boisterous leader of AVALANCHE, a group of eco-terrorists trying to prevent Shinra from draining the planet's life energy in the name of profit. His cause is actually a cover for a personal vendetta against Shinra. He later comes to terms with his grudge and accepts responsibility for the damage AVALANCHE caused, vowing to save the planet the right way. He lost his right hand in a Shinra attack and had it replaced with a variable prosthetic
- Angry Black Man: Especially early in the game, he has a very short temper. It's justified later on in the game when Barret explains just why he's so angry to begin with.
- Anti-Hero: He's frequently angry and fighting for personal reasons, but deep down he's a good person.
- Arm Cannon: Although some of his weapons turn it into a Power Fist instead.
- Artificial Limbs: His gun arm is able to transform into a robotic hand in Advent Children.
- Badass: He's a muscular black man who walks around shirtless and fights with an Arm Cannon. His ultimate weapon can hit the damage cap the easiest out of the game's weapons.
- Big Good: From his perspective in the beginning of the game, given that he's leading AVALANCHE and giving orders to Cloud & co. He gradually comes to realize that maybe he wasn't quite as noble as he thought.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Character Development turns Barret into one of these later on. He's still emotional and outgoing, but no longer quite as trigger-happy.
- Captain Ersatz:
- He looks and acts very similar to Mr T. When he got a voice actor for later appearances he even talks like him.
- The audiobooks for On the Way to a Smile has him sound more like Chi McBride.
- Chainsaw Good: One of his gun-arms is a chainsaw attachment.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Not exactly an F-bomb, but Barret is very prone to cursing up a storm when he flies into a rage.
- Energy Ball: Big Shot and Mindblow fire orbs of energy. Big Shot is orange, Mindblow is blue.
- Handicapped Badass: He's missing his right arm, but he makes it work by replacing it with an Arm Cannon and kicking ass with it.
- Hot-Blooded: Barret is very open and eager in his desire to topple Shinra.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's angry and foul-mouthed, but is a good man deep down.
- Kill Sat: Satellite Beam brings down a laser strike from above.
- Mighty Glacier: He's slow and not very good with magic, but he can take a tremendous amount of punishment and is very good at blowing things up with his gun weapons.
- Morality Pet: His daughter, Marlene, is the only thing keeping him from going off the deep end. Barret is aware of this trope and notes if he didn't have Marlene motivating him to be a good dad for her, he may have become something worse a long time ago.
- Moral Myopia: Initially, he doesn't care about the lives of many people besides Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie (who all die really early on) and Marlene and Tifa. He fights Shinra primarily out of revenge and his self-righteous Saving the World claims are just his self-justification. This would count as Moral Dissonance, if Cait Sith didn't call him out for it later on, and later his acknowledgement that it was wrong.
- More Dakka: Angermax fires 18 attacks from his gun-arm at random enemies. Numerous strategies rely on maximizing his power for 18 hits of 9,999 damage, making it the most powerful attack in the game against single foes.
- One-Hit KO: Hammer Blow has a chance to instantly kill the target.
- Papa Wolf: You do not hurt Marlene, unless you want the full fury of his rage brought down on you.
- Parental Substitute: He's not really Marlene's dad, but acts as such.
- Perma Stubble: Has a very short beard to compliment his action-oriented occupation.
- Progressively Prettier: Advent Children prettied him up somewhat. And gave him a fishnet vest.
- Rocket Punch: His Joke Weapon replaces his gun-arm with a giant red fist.
- Scary Black Man: He's large and intimidating in addition to having a gun attached to his arm.
- Shoot the Television: An NPC mentions that he once did this using his gun arm with a Sector 7 television monitor that was displaying a broadcast by President Shinra. He didn't win any fans that day, as the only other television in Sector 7 was in AVALANCHE headquarters.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Alongside Cid, most of the cursing in the game comes from him.
- The Southpaw: Necessary, his right hand is an assault weapon.
- Swiss Army Weapon: His gun-arm has numerous different attachments besides guns.
- This Is a Drill: One of his gun-arms attaches a drill to his arm.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Grenade Bomb fires a grenade at opponents.
- Walking the Earth: Novellas set after the game say that he grew restless living in Edge and set out into the world to find a way to atone for his actions in AVALANCHE. He seems to have settled on "help fix the mess he created" as of Advent Children.
- Wave Motion Gun: His final Limit Break Catastrophe has him leap into the air and fire a massive laser at opponents.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At first. He later acknowledges that his actions might not have been best.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: His solution to most problems seems to involve More Dakka.
Click here to see Tifa in her Advent Children attire.
"Uniforms, soldiers, war. I hate 'em all. They take away the things and people you love... I wish they'd all disappear."
A member of AVALANCHE and Cloud's childhood friend. She also owns a bar called "7th Heaven" in Sector 7 of Midgar. Though she realizes something is wrong with Cloud's memories she doesn't speak up until it's too light. After helping reform Cloud's true self she tries to support him and encourage him to find his own path that he wants.
- Action Girl: Tifa's far better with her fists than with magic.
- Action Mom: Due to her Parental Substitute relationship with Denzel.
- Badass: She beats up enemies such as giant robots and mutated monsters with martial arts.
- Badass Adorable: Whenever she goes deredere to Cloud, which is... damn near the whole time.
- Badass Damsel: Despite being able to kick her fair share of ass, Tifa still needs to be saved by Cloud now and then.
- Badass Normal: Tifa doesn't have an ancient heritage, or Mako in her veins, but she can still keep up with the best of them.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Her combat style is based on this character class.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her in-game outfit bares a lot of midriff. Her Advent Children one only shows a sliver.
- The Bartender: Tifa tends bar at 7th Heaven.
- Boobs of Steel: Big boobs? Check. Strongest female? Check. The Trope picture? Check.
- Brown Eyes: One of the most level-headed and down to earth party members for it.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Does as much damage with her fists as others with actual weapons. Then there's her Limit Break which continually gets bigger and bigger until her fist causes an explosion.
- The Chick: By being The Heart of the team that keeps them together.
- Childhood Friend Romance: She and Cloud grew up together in Nibelheim and end up living together as a family after the game's events.
- Converse with the Unconscious: In Case of Tifa, she asks Cloud if he loves her while he's sleeping. Her voice wakes him up, and she quickly changes the question.
- Cute Bruiser: Possibly the cutest member of the team, and rivals Cloud as the physically strongest.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Tifa does a lot of flips and kicks wearing a very short black miniskirt. In Advent Children she switches to Modesty Shorts under a skirt-like apron.
- Desperation Attack: Two of her weapons have damage formulas that boost her attacking power when she's at low HP, has status ailments inflicted, and/or allies are KO'd.
- Distressed Damsel: On occasion, interestingly it is her romantic fantasy to be the damsel in distress that a dashing hero will save.
- Girl Next Door: Lived next door to Cloud pre-series.
- Girly Bruiser: She is feminine, yes, but she is the strongest of the female party members.
- Glass Cannon: Tifa can deal out a lot of punishment in a fight, but she has a harder time taking it.
- Guest Fighter: Cameos as a playable character in Ehrgeiz.
- Hair Color Dissonance: In some depictions her hair is light brown, while other times it's such a dark brown it looks black.
- Mama Bear: To Marlene and Denzel. Threatening either of them will result in a brutal pounding into the floor boards.
- Meaningful Name: Tifa Lockhart has a habit of keeping secrets locked away inside her heart.
- Meteor Move: Her Meteor Strike Limit Break has her lift a foe into the air and hurl them to the ground.
- Missing Mom: Her mother died when Tifa was eight years old.
- Ms. Fanservice: Short skirt, big boobs, long legs, Tifa ticks all the boxes.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Her arms are thin but her punches are powerful!
- No Pronunciation Guide: Some fans are unclear on whether to pronounce her name with a short "I" or a long "E". Officially, the latter is correct.
- Power Fist: Some of her gloves add claws or other attachments to make her blows stronger.
- Promotion to Parent: To Marlene and Denzel, although she could be viewed as more of a Parental Substitute to the former.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Beat Rush is a quick punch combo.
- Rapunzel Hair: It even had to be cut to help the animation along in Advent Children.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Dark haired and very pale skin, likely to show her status as a Yamato Nadeshiko.
- She's Got Legs: Her miniskirt shows off a lot of leg.
- Shoryuken: Dolphin Blow is an uppercut with a blast of water.
- Shrinking Violet: Can be very shy in regards to her feelings.
- Silk Hiding Steel: More like 'Steel Hiding Silk' as she looks like a Biker Babe, runs a bar, and fights with her bare hands, but inside she's more feminine than Aerith with her Distressed Damsel fantasy with Cloud, her domestic skills, and role as Team Mom in the main group and AVALANCHE.
- Smurfette Principle: If you don't get Yuffie, after Aerith dies Tifa is your only girl.
- Supreme Chef: Although it is an Informed Attribute since you never see her cook, characters comment that she's good at it.
- Team Mom: To AVALANCHE. The home base chef who worries about them.
- Third-Person Seductress: Very curvy and shapely, wears skimpy clothing, and beats up enemies with her bare hands.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Seems to be a Tomboy yet plays the Girly Girl to Aerith's Tomboy. Rare spin of traditional character design. The two have since swapped roles for the expanded universe and spin-offs — Tifa isn't a traditional tomboy, but is still depicted as much more of one than Aerith is now, who in turn is more girly.
- Unwanted Harem: Gender inverted version. Tifa was very popular with the guys, Cloud included, in Nibelheim, but she wasn't romantically interested in any of them.
- Wolverine Claws: Several of her weapons have three claws attached to the back.
- Woman in Black: She's got the outfit in Advent Children, but (as with everything involving Tifa and appearance-based personality cues) subverted to hell and back. She's not scary and menacing, she's kindhearted and sweet.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Let's see here, devotion to the man she loves, check. Good domestic skill, check. Team Mom, check. Iron heart that is strong enough to snap The Hero out of his Heroic BSOD, check please. She has everything except a connection to Wutai/Japan and the attached cultural trappings.
Aerith (Aeris) Gainsborough
"Just hang in there. Someday we'll look back at these hard times and laugh."
Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto
(Japanese), Mandy Moore/Mena Suvari/Andrea Bowen(English)
A young woman who sells flowers for a living in the slums of Midgar. Her years on the streets have given her a outgoing, street-smart but caring attitude. She is the last living Cetra, a precursor race who were driven to extinction by JENOVA. Having dated Zack Fair for a number of months, she finds herself attracted to his shadow in Cloud. Her independent nature leads to disaster when she decides to take the burden of defeating Sephiroth all by herself, abandoning the party and traveling to the Forgotten Capital alone. This leaves her vulnerable to attack, and she is killed by Sephiroth
Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Kingdom Hearts
. "Dissidia 012"
- Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: After Zack has been missing for four years, Aerith has mostly moved on from him; however there are some hints that she was never as over her First Love as she would like.
- Action Girl: She's pretty hands on for a White Magician Girl.
- Ancient Artifact: The White Materia her mother gave her, which makes her the only person able to cast Holy.
- Big Damn Heroine: And after her own death. Repeatedly.
- Big Good: She arguably evolves into this role posthumously near the end of the original game, and definitely plays this in Advent Children. Being so powerful she can command the Lifestream to help protect the planet, the other heroes view her as watching over them and helping them from afar.
- Braids of Action: Bouts of being the Distressed Damsel aside, Aerith lives by the Big Damn Heroes trope and is no stranger to combat.
- The Cameo: An alternate version of her appears in Final Fantasy Tactics.
- The Chick: Shares this role with Tifa, she's similarly kind and caring and at times gives the party the strength to keep fighting.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: The game's somewhat infamous love triangle comes to a crashing close when one of the two ladies involved gets a sword through the gut.
- Distressed Damsel: A bit pluckier than the norm, although there's still a whole level dedicated to rescuing her. Not to mention at the beginning of the game, when you have to save her from Shinra soldiers by crushing them with barrels (although you do have the option of making her fight them herself).
- Doomed by Canon: Contrary to all rumors of ways to save her or revive her, when the credits roll at the original game's end, Aerith will not be there to see it.
- Doomed Moral Victor: She succeeded in calling Holy and giving the planet the chance to save itself from Meteor, but it attracted Sephiroth's notice and cost her her life.
- Flanderization: In her original game, Aerith was pure hearted, spiritual and caring, but was also stubborn, flirty, independent and witty. However, SE has ramped up the Incorruptible Pure Pureness, emphasizing her connection to the planet and de-emphasizing her more headstrong character traits in favor of generic sweetness and innocence. Her Dissidia 012 Ultimania profile describes her as having "the innocence of a little girl". This is the same woman that threatened to rip off a mafia don's balls.
- Green Eyes: Emphasizing her spiritual nature and powerful bond with the planet.
- Hair Decorations: Her famous hair ribbon adds a lot to her cuteness.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Her father was a normal human while her mother was a Cetra, but this has little bearing on her status as an Ancient.
- Happily Adopted: By Elmyra, who actually finds little!Aerith by the side of her dying mother Ifalna in the local train sation, and takes her in to fulfill Ifalna's dying wish.
- Hartman Hips: Her bust is nowhere near as large as Tifa's, and it's hard to tell if She's Got Legs because she wears full-length dresses. However, Aerith still has her◊ womanly◊ attributes◊.
- Healing Hands: Her Healing Wind, Pulse of Life and Great Gospel Limit Breaks all restore HP to the party.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Following Zack's disappearance she remained loyal to his memory for a time, but eventually moved on with her life.
- Iconic Item: In every appearance, even in concept art, Aerith has her hair ribbon. Crisis Core takes time to specifically show where she got it and why she continues to wear one years later. The White Materia also serves as one to a lesser degree.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: She meets her end when Sephiroth stabs the Masamune through her stomach.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Compared to other party members, Aerith doesn't have many character flaws, being good-hearted and noble from start to finish. All that change is she comes to terms with her heritage and embraces the legacy she's been left.
- Innocent Flower Girl: But not too innocent. In the Wall Market section, she selects what is implied to be an incredibly provocative red dress for herself, and it's her idea in the first place to have Cloud dress in drag to get into Don Corneo's mansion. She seems to actually want Don Corneo to pick her as his girl, complimenting him on his taste if he does. In contrast to Tifa and Cloud who are just doing it for the mission, Aerith has no qualms at all and evidently finds the whole thing fun, irrespective of the threat.
- I Will Wait for You: Subverted, she told this to Zack in their last phone conversation, but not knowing what happened to him after four years with no word, she said she was moving on in her last letter.
- Kill the Cutie: The sweetest and most loving party member is the one among them who dies.
- The Lancer: Early on, her selfless and spiritual nature contrasts Cloud's Jerk with a Heart of Gold ex-SOLDIER. Later on her growing acceptance of her Cetra heritage make her a foil to Cloud's rising doubts over his identity.
- Last of His Kind: Aerith is the last known Ancient in the entire world.
- Little Dead Riding Hood: She's the only party member aside from Cait Sith to wear red, marking her for death.
- Loving a Shadow: Initially interested in Cloud because of his resemblance to Zack, her first boyfriend. And that they both fell through the church roof while she was tending the flowers and wearing the same uniform. However, getting her on the date scene will have her admit that she would like for Cloud to open up to her so she can know the real him.
- Magical Native American/Space Jews: A fantasy themed combination of the two. For the former, her Cetra heritage gives her an innate connection to the planet and makes her more inclined to use magic than normal humans. For the latter, the Cetra were wandering nomads seeking "the Promised Land". Note also Aerith's curly hair.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The spin-offs almost turn her into a Cloudcuckoolander, what with her comments that she's afraid of the open sky and she can hear the wind calling her name. And let's not forget that she was the one who suggested Cloud cross-dress to save Tifa...
- Meaningful Name: Aerith's name was created to resemble and sound like the English word Earth referencing her connection to the planet as well as adding contrast to the sky based name Cloud.
- Messianic Archetype: The last of her kind, born of a union between a human and another race, spiritually enlightened, becomes a willing martyr and dies to save the planet.
- My Girl Back Home: She's the only reason Zack decided to return to Midgar.
- Mystical Waif: This young girl is the guardian of Holy, the ultimate protective magic that can save the planet.
- The Paralyzer: Seal Evil paralyzes enemies.
- Pink Means Feminine: Her pink dress, and many of her outfits in spin-offs, are pink.
- Plotline Death: The infamous FMV sequence of Sephiroth stabbing her. In turn has led to jokes asking why Cloud didn't try a Phoenix Down.
- Plucky Girl: She's spirited and playful and never backs down from anyone.
- The Pollyanna: Despite how awful and traumatic her life has been, Aerith remains happy and well-adjusted.
- Red Herring: Aerith is presented as a possible love interest on the first disk to make the Player Punch that much harder.
- Sacrificial Lioness: Her death sends shockwaves through the party and the fanbase alike, and is a warning Sephiroth is done playing around with you.
- Second Love: Cloud, as her first love was Zack.
- Summoning Artifact: It's emphasized that with how humanity has turned out, Holy might save the planet but kill off mankind too.
- Simple Staff/Magic Staff: She fights with various rods and staves.
- Silk Hiding Steel: A sweet and lovely lady who recruits Cloud to be her body guard. Her Holy spell is the only threat to the Big Bad's Evil Plan
- Sneaky Departure: She leaves the party to head to the Forgotten City while Cloud is unconscious. Early in the game she defies it; when Cloud tries to pull this trope on her while staying at her home, she slips out herself and intercepts him, demanding to come along.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The original English translation had her name as "Aeris."
- Spirit Advisor: To Cloud in Advent Children.
- Squishy Wizard: The most powerful magically but can't take a hit well.
- Status Buff: Her Limit Break Fury Brand inflicts Fury status on her allies and and fills their Limit Bars.
- Street Smart: "I was raised in the slums. I'm used to danger."
- The Tease: She's rather flirtatious and open with her interest in Cloud.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Has the definitive attitude of a tomboy, sharply contrasting her appearance, personality, hobbies, weapon, and limits.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Cheerful and loving, all the party adores her, and she's the only one of them who isn't some shade of Anti-Hero. Yeah, she was doomed from the start.
- White Magician Girl: Although with the Materia system, she easily becomes a Red Mage.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Looks the part well, but is more rebellious and flirty than the standard. Nor does she have the cultural baggage assiociated with Wutai/Japan. OTOH, she plays the trope straighter in Advent Children.
Red XIII (real name: Nanaki)
"What a fascinating story..."
Voiced by: Masachika Ichimura (Japanese), Liam O Brien
A strange creature who joins Cloud's group after being rescued from the Shinra HQ. Red XIII was the name he received as a specimen designation while held captive and experimented upon by Professor Hojo. Even though he is 48 in human years, his age is comparable to around 15 to 16 years old by his own species' standards and is very wise. He fights alongside Cloud and his allies to fulfill his duty to the Planet to defend it as a warrior.
- Cartoon Creature: The series never assigns a name to Red's species, which combines various feline and canine traits. Characters occasionally refer to him as lion-like, but his association with the moon and howling to express himself is more like a wolf.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Although he obviously wasn't meant to look like him, Tetsuya Nomura imagined that Red XIII would be voiced by Sean Connery. When he had a spoken line in Advent Children, it was done as an imitation of Sean Connery.
- Demoted to Extra: He appears considerably less in Advent Children than the other characters, and is only seen at the very last cutscene in Dirge of Cerberus. According to the makers, this is because his fur is a pain to animate well.
- Happily Adopted: He views Bugenhagen as his grandfather, since he raised him after Red's real parents were gone.
- Incendiary Exponent: His tail is constantly alight with a flame on the tip.
- Intellectual Animal: He is very wise and intelligent, more than most of the human characters in the game actually.
- Jack of All Stats: He's fast and good with both physical and magical attacks, and has decent HP.
- Life Drain: Blood Fang absorbs HP and MP from enemies.
- Light 'em Up: Stardust Ray bombards enemies with stars of light.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Advent Children, he was meant to sound like Sean Connery.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother died protecting Cosmo Canyon, and he believed his father left her alone to die because he was afraid of fighting. Turns out he didn't run away but went fighting the monsters that were attacking from behind; he won but was petrified. And he is still alive and conscious.
- Red Herring: When the group notes the Sephiroth Clones have numbers tattooed on them, Red begins to worry if his number "XIII" means he's one as well and if he'll also begin to lose his mind. But he doesn't, and Word of God says he wasn't a member of the Sephiroth Clone project, the number was assigned to him for a different reason.
- Status Buff: Lunatic High and Howling Moon grant status buffs on him and/or his allies.
- Talking Animal: His ability to talk stands out to the party and freaks them out when he reveals it.
- Teen Genius: Despite being a teenager by his species' standards, he's the wisest and most intelligent member of the party.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Until he befriends Cloud and the others, his life is one of misery. The branding of "XIII" marked his capture by Shinra when things got even worse.
- Wave Motion Gun: His ultimate Limit Break, Cosmos Memory, blasts enemies with a giant beam of orange energy.
- You Are in Command Now: He becomes the leader of Cosmo Canyon after his grandfather's death.
- You Are Number Six: Hojo tattooed "XIII" on his leg to mark him as one of his experiments. Red tells the party when he joins them that "Red XIII" is a name that holds no meaning to him, and they can call him that or anything else as they wish.
"There's plenty of stuffed toys like my body around, but there's only one me!"
A cat riding a giant stuffed toy Moogle, working as a fortune-teller in the Gold Saucer. He is really a puppet controlled from far away by Reeve, Shinra's head of Urban Development. Even though Reeve works with the evil Shinra, he develops a keen interest in saving the planet. He is useful to the party, as he knows all about the Shinra's plans. Despite his playful and carefree persona in the form of Cait Sith, Reeve is actually a sombre and serious man, though he does harbor a good heart with a natural worry for others.
- Ambiguous Robots: The series flip-flops between Cait Sith being a stuffed toy, a robot with fur, or a combination of both. It's likewise not clear how much autonomy he has, if any.
- Cat Girl: The "Lucky Girl" limit break is a picture of a cat girl in a Fur Bikini.
- Cats Are Mean: Double subverted. He has a very cheery personality but is an extreme Jerk Ass in the beginning. Later, it's completely subverted.
- Death from Above: His Toy Box Limit Break drops a random object on enemies to crush them, including meteors.
- Expendable Clone: Reeve is implied to have several Cait Sith robots on standby for usage if one is lost or damaged. We see two in VII, and in Dirge of Cerberus one introduces itself as "Number 6".
- The Gambler: His Limit Breaks are themed after dice and slot machines, and you recruit him in the Gold Saucer, a hot tourist spot.
- Head Pet: He rides on the head of his Moogle toy.
- Heel-Face Turn: Goes from being a mouthy Shinra-supporting Jerk Ass to a good guy who pulls his weight to save the planet.
- Healing Hands: Mog Dance.
- Jerkass: He eventually gets his heart of gold. And then loses the Jerkass part almost entirely.
- Luck-Based Mission: His Slots and Dice both do random things.
- Make My Monster Grow: Transform
- The Mole: Cait Sith is actually controlled by Reeve of Shinra, but still decides to remain with you once discovered. The trope is later inverted when he essentially becomes a spy for AVALANCHE within Shinra, despite starting the other way around.
- No Pronunciation Guide: His name seems easy to pronounce, but it's actually the name of a Gaellic mythological creature pronounced 'Kett Shee'.
- One-Hit KO: Game Over kills all enemies, bypassing death protection.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: This was how Reeve is exposed in the Japanese version of the game. Reeve speaks with a Kanto dialect and Cait Sith with a Kansai dialect. When stressed due to Hojo taking over the Mako Cannon, Reeve inadvertently speaks to Scarlet and Heidegger in Kansai, then Cait Sith speaks to Cloud and the others in Kanto. Thus they realize that he's Reeve.
- Randomized Damage Attack: Cait Sith's Dice Limit Break, which rolls several dice and then inflicts damage equal to the result multiplied by 20 to one enemy.
- Reverse Mole: He spies on AVALANCHE for Shinra, but comes to sympathize them and then starts feeding them Shinra info instead.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's an anthropomorphic cat that rides on a Moogle. It's hard to get cuter than that.
- Squishy Wizard: He has high magic stats, but his defenses and HP are poor.
- Status Buff: Lucky Girl makes all the party's attacks critical hits.
- Team Pet: Probably the only one who has their own Team Pet (his giant moogle).
- Token Good Teammate: Prior to his Heel-Face Turn was the only executive who actually gave a rats ass about the common people.
- Total Party Kill: Death Joker, often the result of a failed attempt at Game Over. Bypasses death protection too.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: When they initially find out what he really is, they initially keep him around because Reeve is holding Marlene hostage. Shortly after he performs a Heroic Sacrifice at the Temple of the Ancients to get them the Black Materia, earning their trust for real.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Barret for his bombing missions from earlier in the game. It comes off as somewhat hypocritical, however, since he's... y'know, with the Shinra, but Reeve was never crazy about the killing of innocents to begin with.
"Sit your ass down in that chair and drink your goddamn TEA!"
Voiced by: Kazuyuki Yama (Japanese), Chris Edgerly (English)
A gruff airship pilot with dreams of going into space. He is the most uncouth of the protagonists; he constantly swears and loses his temper, and chain-smokes cigarettes. Despite this, he has a good heart, and is even voted temporary leader of the party at one point. He fits into the archetype of a father type character.
Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Kingdom Hearts,
minus the swearing.
- Ace Pilot: His backyard is fully of flying ships he's piloted, and he commands the party's airships.
- Artistic Age: He is really 32 years old. You wouldn't think so considering his appearance in the game. In Advent Children, he looked more his age.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite the fact that he verbally abuses his girlfriend, Shera, constantly throughout the game, he really does deeply care for her. He even names his new airship after her, and finally marries her throughout Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus.
- Badass: He's the game's Dragoon character, so it comes with the territory. In Advent Children, he made Bahamut SIN flinch by stabbing it on the head!
- Badass Bookworm: He doesn't show too much of it, but it requires a lot of patience, technical knowledge, and general intelligence to fly and maintain any aircraft. Cid's seen to be competent with light aircraft, a zepellin-like airship, and a jet-type one, and was he hand picked to be the world's first astronaut and man in space.
- Badass Normal: One of the most prominent examples. He doesn't have innate magical powers, an assault weapon for a hand, combat training, or genetic enhancements. He's got a home made spear and dynamite.
- Berserk Button: Cid's pretty protective of his toys, such as the Tiny Bronco and the Highwind. He's also extremely upset about Shinra's decision to cancel its space program.
- Blade on a Stick: Fights with various types of spears and lances.
- Boisterous Bruiser: One of his reasons for joining the party is because he likes the idea of "numbskulls" fighting Shinra. Plus, he can back every word of his boasts up.
- Cluster F-Bomb: He's much worse about this than Barret.
- Death from Above/Jump Physics: His Boost Jump, Hyper Jump and Dragon Dive Limit Breaks, where he leaps and descends to attack enemies.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Despite wearing a pair of goggles on his head, Cid never pulls them down. Likely they're there to tie into his pilot theme.
- Grumpy Old Man: Well, he's only 32, but that's old by Japanese anime/video game standards.
- Improbable Piloting Skills: He can pilot almost everything.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He swears, smokes, is verbally abusive to pretty much everybody, but he gave up his dream to save Shera, genuinely tries to make amends to her, fights tooth and nail for the planet, joins the WRO, and gives a passionate speech about the need to protect the planet.
- Leeroy Jenkins: He certainly has this attitude, even if he doesn't actually ruin any plans for the party, as shown by his gung-ho attitude about fighting Shinra.
- Life Drain: Dragon drains HP from enemies to heal him.
- Macross Missile Massacre: His ultimate Limit Break Highwind has him call in his airship of the same name to fire missiles at the enemy party.
- Mythology Gag: He is pretty much a meta-reference to Final Fantasy IV, from appearance to moves.
- Science Hero: Openly puts his faith in science, and his piloting skills are vital to the party.
- Senior Sleep Cycle: Depicted as having one in-game, apparently as part of his grumpy old man portrayal. When the party is forced to stay at the Ghost Hotel in the Gold Saucer, Cloud's speech apparently puts him to sleep. Later, he is seen napping on the bridge of the Highwind just before Barret declares him to be the new leader. Finally, if the player chooses him to accompany Cloud on a gondola ride at Gold Saucer's Round Square, he will doze throughout the entire ride.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Whatever cussing doesn't come from Barret likely comes from Cid.
- Spam Attack: Big Brawl is a series of rapid slash attacks.
- Smoking Is Cool: Except when it's censored out... and yet still clearly visible.
- Team Dad: He's the oldest of the party and is gruff and rude, but cares for them in his own way.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Dynamite has him throw a stick of dynamite at enemies.
- You Are in Command Now: His brief stint as team leader in Disc 2.
"Cool, huh? I guess that's just the way I am... sorry."
Voiced by: Shougo Suzuki (Japanese), Steve Blum
Main character of Dirge of Cerberus
. He is a former member of the Turks with a mysterious past that ties him to Cloud and his group.
Spinoff/other game appearances: Ehrgeiz
- Alliterative Name: Vincent Valentine.
- Always V Sexy: Vincent is one of the more alluring and mysterious characters.
- Anti-Hero: He's shouldering a lot of guilt and is cold and stoic, but he's a good person beneath it and fights for what's right.
- The Atoner: He fights to redeem himself for his failure to stop Hojo's experiments.
- Badass: Immensely so. He fights by invoking mutations on himself to turn into hulking monsters.
- Badass Cape: His iconic red mantle that he wears over his shoulders.
- Be My Valentine: His name hints to his tragic past and unrequited romance.
- The Berserker: When he enters his transformations as his Limit Breaks, he becomes uncontrollable for the rest of the battle and attacks until all enemies are dead.
- Bishōnen: Long-haired and fair-skinned.
- Breakout Character: Despite having some of the lowest stats in the game, he has become one of the most popular characters in the series. He was even popular enough to star in his own spinoff title.
- Cool Gun: His main weapon and most notably his "Cerberus", a massive Tri-barelled revolver.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: In Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent pulls off amazing feats of Gun Fu, Supernatural Martial Arts, and gravity-defying superhuman agility that would make Dante jealous. But only in cutscenes; when you're controlling him, he can't do any of these things, and in fact, he can barely jump.
- Dark and Troubled Past: To put it mildly. Vincent's past directly connects him to the creation of Sephiroth, something he blames himself for letting happen at Hojo's hands.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Vincent is very quiet and mysterious, and looks plain unsettling.
- Firing One-Handed: All of his weapons work this way, even the rifles!
- Frankenstein's Monster: His Hell Gigas Limit Break, which attacks with Livewire and Gigadunk.
- Guest Fighter: Cameos as a fighter in Ehrgeiz.
- Gun Fu: The spin-offs have established him utilizing this with his handguns.
- Guns Are Worthless: Subverted in the original game. His guns aren't very useful when he uses them to shoot enemies thanks to his low attack, but when he uses them to focus his magic they're very handy indeed, since his magic stat is much better.
- The Gunslinger: In Dirge Of Cerberus, he fights with a variety of firearms and is a crack shot with all of them.
- Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: His Limit Break Hell Masker, with the attacks Splattercombo and Nightmare.
- Ineffectual Loner: As cool as Vincent is, he keeps to himself thanks to his troubled past and naturally quiet nature.
- Loners Are Freaks: He's naturally antisocial and keeps to himself.
- Love Hurts: He fell in love with Lucrecia, who happened to be in a relationship with Hojo. When Vincent protested Hojo using their child in his experiments, it got him a bullet in the gut for his trouble, and he became an experiment himself.
- Master of None: He had fairly lackluster stats in the original game.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: He looks and acts like a ninja vampire, and can shapeshift into Captain Ersatz forms of famous movie monsters, namely Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolfman, and Jason Vorheez.
- Odd Friendship: With Yuffie. Despite polar-opposite personalities, they get along well.
- Older Than They Look: Physically, he looks about 27, but he's chronologically in his early to mid 50s after sealing himself in a coffin.
- One-Winged Angel: In Dirge of Cerberus, he gains control over his transformations and becomes Chaos for the final battle.
- Optional Party Member: You can skip recruiting him in VII, but official canon establishes he did join the party.
- Our Demons Are Different: His Chaos form is a giant black and red winged demon. In VII it's his ultimate Limit Break and attacks with Chaos Saber and Satan Slam. Dirge of Cerberus expanded it into Vincent's Superpowered Evil Side that Lucrecia had forced upon him to save his life.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Invoked by his bestial Galian Beast form, which attacks with Berserk Dance and Beast Flare.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has crimson eyes. His human model for Dirge of Cerberus reveals it's their natural color.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Some of his weapons, most notably the Peacemaker.
- Sealed Good in a Coffin: After Hojo was done experimenting on him, Vincent was horrified by what he had become and went to sleep in a coffin in Shinra Manor for years.
- Secret Character: Finding him requires a short sidequest to reveal him.
- Shadow Archetype: A heroic version but nonetheless he fits. A brooding loner haunted by the loss of a woman he loved at the hands of his arch-enemy? Vincent is what Cloud might become if he doesn't learn to cope with his issues. Word of God shares this viewpoint.
- Shape Shifter: Can change into a wolf, a Frankenstein's Monster, a Hockey Mask and Chainsaw style slasher, or the bat-winged and positively demonic Chaos during his Limit Breaks.
- Squishy Wizard: He's the most magic-inclined character after Aerith, but his other stats are poor.
- The Stoic: Very calm and not prone to a lot of emotion.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Chaos, a demonic entity sealed inside of him.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Despite being cold and antisocial, Vincent has a wit about him.
- The Undead: Vincent is, to all intents and purposes, a walking corpse animated only by Chaos. The resemblance to a vampire is purely intentional (although he's actually closer to a zombie when you get right down to it).
- Voluntary Shape Shifting: Zigzagged. He changes form at will, but can't change back until battle ends.
Click here to see Yuffie in her Advent Children attire.
"I am the champion of the earth and the sky. I am the conqueror of evil. The single white rose of Wutai... Yuffie Kisaragi!"
An outlandishly-dressed ninja girl from the Japanese-lookalike town of Wutai
. As a rebellious and cocky tomboy, Yuffie desires to restore her homeland Wutai to the glorious nation it was before being conquered by Shinra. Despite her sometimes obnoxious personality, she is friendly, helpful, and willingly helps the party in their battles.
- Action Girl: Not quite as much as Tifa, but she can still kick some serious ass.
- Anti-Hero: She's cheerful and helps the party save the world, but initially joins them for selfish reasons and is overall can be quite a brat at times.
- Badass: She may not look the traditional part, but she is indeed a ninja and as powerful as demanded. Her personal sidequest has her taking on five Duel Bosses, ending with her own father, the ruler of Wutai and implied to be one of their strongest ninja. She kicks his ass.
- Badass Adorable: She's a skilled ninja and can fight monsters many times her sizes, and looks so cute while doing it.
- Bare Your Midriff: All her outfits across her many appearances show off her naval.
- Bratty Half-Pint: In the original game, she can be very loud-mouthed and rude.
- Diagonal Cut: Greased Lightning slashes the enemy diagonally and it takes a few seconds before they notice and take damage. They don't actually slide apart though, since it may not always be a fatal attack.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Landscaper manifests as her sending a shockwave through the dirt to make the ground underneath the enemy party erupt.
- Fragile Speedster: Yuffie's very fast, but when she gets hit, it hurts.
- Fuuma Shuriken: Her weapon is a giant shuriken.
- Genki Girl: Is almost eternally energetic, cheerful, and upbeat.
- Glass Cannon: Whether throwing her boomerangs or using materia, Yuffie's very good at damaging the enemies. It's when they hit her back that she has problems.
- Guest Fighter: In Ehrgeiz.
- Healing Hands: Clear Tranquil heats the party's HP.
- Heir to the Dojo: She's the daughter of the leader of Wutai and his heir to the legacy of ninja the nation prides itself on.
- Hidden Depths:
- She is one of the characters who Cloud can date on the Romance Sidequest, and while not as tender as Tifa or Aerith is rather sweet, and is the only one of the three to kiss him. She also lays into Cait Sith a lot more than the other women when she finds out he's holding Marlene hostage.
- The reason she's obsessed with Materia? She wants the power it holds because she's disgusted with how Wutai went from a respected ninja civilization to a tourist attraction after Shinra conquered it, and wants Materia in the hopes of changing things and maybe restoring some dignity to the town.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As bratty as Yuffie acts, she has a good sense of morals deep down and wants to do the right thing.
- Light 'em Up: Gauntlet blasts enemies with a column of light from below.
- Loveable Rogue: She's out to steal the party's Materia, but has sympathetic reasons for it and manages to be likable in the meantime.
- Ninja: Raised in a society of them and is one herself.
- Ninja Brat: She's only 16 during the original game.
- Odd Friendship: With Vincent.
- Optional Party Member: You can skip recruiting her, but she still has a lot to do in the storyline. This is because the character designers liked her and salvaged a lot of the planned content for her when she and Vincent were moved from mandatory to optional due to time constraints.
- Plucky Girl: Energetic and spirited and always ready to fight for Wutai.
- The Prankster: She's constantly scheming ways to trick the party out of their Materia, and then to evade them when they chase her to Wutai.
- Rebellious Princess: Her dad's the lord of Wutai, and he's not at all happy that she ran away from home.
- Running Gag: Her motion sickness is brought up whenever you're on a vehicle.
- Ship Tease:
- Out of all the characters you can choose to take on a date to the Gold Saucer, she is the only character who kisses Cloud.
- With Vincent in Dirge of Cerberus, especially when Vincent seemingly dies taking out Omega. Whether it's because she likes him or is simply concerned because he's a comrade is still open to debate.
- Small Name, Big Ego: She's prone to giving herself grandiose titles and treating herself like a legendary ninja hero. She may be skilled but she's not as great or famed as she pretends.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: "Wutai Theft" is the former Trope Namer, though she doesn't fit the actual trope definition. At one point Yuffie swipes all the party's Materia and takes off with it, and you have to track her down and get it back.
- Spam Attack: Bloodfest and Doom of the Living consist of her rapidly hitting enemies with her weapon over and over.
- Sticky Fingers: She is absolutely obsessed with getting her hands on Materia, no matter the cost.
- Tomboy: Described as such in the FF7 Ultimania.
- The Trickster: She's rebellious to her father, treacherous to the party, and does it all with a grin and a wink.
- Wave Motion Gun: Her ultimate Limit Break All Creation is a giant purple ray of energy.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: After the team talks her down and finds out why she stole their Materia, they let her back in the group.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: All of her outfits include shorts.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Averted. She's the only one who has a connection to Wutai, yet she is neither polite, domestic, interested in its culture, nor family oriented.
- Zettai Ryouiki: In most of her spin-off appearances, exact grade varies.
"Boy oh boy... the price of freedom is steep."
An energetic SOLDIER that was Cloud's best friend, he accompanied Sephiroth on the Nibelheim mission, where he was critically wounded and turned into a lab experiment for Hojo. Though he escaped several years later and took Cloud with him, he was caught and gunned down by Shinra. The dying Zack entrusted his Buster Sword to Cloud, who inadvertently also assumed a fake identity based on Zack's life and personality. Crisis Core
explores his adventures prior to Nibelheim as he deals with the conspiracies that infested SOLDIER during its glory days.
Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
as the most adorable hero-in-training ever, Ehrgeiz
- The Ace: He's handsome, friendly, and a flirty ladies man, in addition to being a powerful and respected SOLDIER. Justified, in that this was intentional to have him contrast sharply with Cloud's Classical Anti-Hero.
- Adorkable: Zack can be very endearingly awkward at times.
- All Your Powers Combined/Mega Manning: According to the Ultimania guide, this is how Zack learns his Limit Breaks — he meets someone, and upon doing so, learns how to copy their Limit Break and modify it to create his own, such as Meteorain->Meteor Shots and Healing Wind->Healing Wave.
- Anime Hair: Zack has a lock of sharply spiked black hair. It changes styles during Crisis Core to show his growing maturity and aging, but it's still spiky.
- Anti-Villain Protagonist: He works for Shinra, and helped to end the Wutai War leaving the place in the condition is seen in FF7, but his interests were starting a new life and protecting Cloud. It wasn't until after it became clear that Shinra wasn't going to stop hunting them down that Zack opposed them.
- Badass: The beginning of Crisis Core firmly establishes him as this, and it only gets better from there... up until, well, you know.
- Been There, Shaped History: Besides his influence on Cloud's past, Zack was the guy who named the 7th Heaven bar, bought Aerith her iconic hair ribbon and suggested she sell flowers, and is partly responsible for sparking Yuffie's obsession with Materia.
- BFS: He fights using the Buster Sword. He wields a standard Cool Sword before he inherits it.
- Bishōnen: Of course◊, after all, he's a Square Enix protagonist.
- Blade Spam: His Chain Slash and Octaslash DMW attacks are rapid slash combos.
- Breakout Character: Arguably bigger than Vincent. Both got their own spinoff, but not only is Zack's better received, but Zack got the honor even though he only appeared in an optional flashback, as opposed to being a former playable character.
- Chick Magnet: Almost as much as Cloud. Case in point: Aerith and Cissnei in the same game. Way to go Zack.
- Colony Drop: Meteor Shots fires meteors at enemies.
- Doomed by Canon: Final Fantasy VII spoiled his eventual death long before Crisis Core came out. With Zack's death a pivotal piece of backstory, there was no way he could survive.
- Doomed Moral Victor: Though he defeats Genesis and keeps the pride and honor of SOLDIER alive, he dies defending Cloud from impossible numbers of Shinra forces.
- Foregone Conclusion: Since Crisis Core is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII, and Zack's the hero in the game, it's fairly expected when he dies at the end.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Of Cloud. He remembers him again later in the story, causing him to have a Heroic BSOD, but he gets better.
- Genki Guy: He's very energetic and excitable; Angeal has nicknamed him "the puppy" for it. His Character Development has him temper it into a more mature and focused type of character without losing his lightheartedness.
- Guest Fighter: In Ehrgeiz, he makes a cameo.
- Gunship Rescue: His Air Strike DMW attack has Zack call Tseng to bring in a Turk helicopter to unleash machine gun and missiles on enemies.
- Healing Hands: Healing Wave fully restores his stats.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: He fights exclusively with swords, as with all SOLDIER members.
- Instant Runes: Apocalypse creates a red rune of energy below enemies that shocks them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold / Troll: Implied in the original game and then retconned with Crisis Core. Cloud in the original game could give some pretty dickish responses in the dialogue trees. The game's Reveal, where it's learned that he based his Badass persona on Zack's, seems to indicate that he picked this up from Mr. Fair. Crisis Core, however does away with all of this and writes Zack as a heroic and energetic Nice Guy. Word of God and creation materials have given a Hand Wave that Cloud's fake persona was based on his image of a SOLDIER rather than specifically Zack.
- Jumped at the Call: Zack is always eager to prove himself and fight to do the right thing.
- Last Stand: At the end of Crisis Core he finds himself standing alone against dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Shinra infantry. He recites Angeal's Arc Words and charges in swinging, bringing down all but three before he's too weak to keep standing.
- Limit Break: His DMW attacks.
- Love Makes You Dumb/Love Makes You Crazy: Despite knowing that Shinra is hunting him with orders to kill, he still attempts to return to Midgar, Shinra's headquarters, to see Aerith again.
- Manly Tears: After Angeal's death, he breaks down in the church and sobs while Aerith holds him.
- Meaningful Name: He didn't have a last name until Crisis Core, when he was given the last name "Fair" to invoke the imagery of "fair weather", contrasting Cloud's name.
- Mr. Fanservice: He's handsome and well-built, and has a scene where he walks around on the beach in swim trunks.
- Nice Guy: Zack is everyone's friend and this trope is the reason why, he's just very pleasant and friendly.
- One-Man Army: Being the sole playable character in an Action RPG, Zack racks up a body count in the multiple thousands. Highlighted at the very first mission of the game, where Zack's objective is to storm and capture a Wutai fort by himself. He does it with ease; keep in mind he's still "just" Second Class at this time. A series of missions pits Zack against swarms of Shinra infantryman, culminating in a battle with 1000 soldiers.
- Posthumous Character: In VII and beyond, he's long dead.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Rush Assault is a barrage of lightning-fast punches ending with an explosive diving tackle.
- Right Handed Mirror: As Cloud is, he is this to Sephiroth. Their backstories and origins are even more similar, but Zack becomes a hero while Sephiroth descends further and further into madness and villainy.
- Scars Are Forever: The X-shaped scar on the lower part of his cheek. Angeal gave it to him in pushing Zack to kill him.
- Shirtless Scene/Swimsuit Scene: The Costa del Sol scene in Crisis Core features Zack in his swim trunks hanging out at the beach.
- Status Buff: Lucky Stars makes all his attacks Critical Hits for a time.
- Super Soldier: As a SOLDIER, he has superior strength, reflexes, healing, stamina, and magic proficiency.
- Take Up My Sword: The Retconned ending to Crisis Core, and his inheritance of said sword from his mentor.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: He's six-feet tall, dark-haired and wears dark outfits, and is very good-looking.
- Together in Death: Him and Aerith, but it's more like Together In The Lifestream. Interesting because most people's consciousness will dissolve into the Lifestream after death.
"I'll control the world with fear. It takes too much to do it like my old man. A little fear will control the minds of the common people. There's no reason to waste money on them."
Son of the president of the Shinra Corporation, he seizes control of the company when his father is killed by Sephiroth and uses its resources to try and track down the rogue soldier. He's apparently killed by Diamond Weapon near the end of VII
, but is revealed in Advent Children
to have survived.
Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children.
- Affably Evil: He's quite polite and well-spoken for a villain.
- All In The Manual: How he survived is left up to the "On The Way To A Smile" novellas to explain. He attempts to tell Cloud directly in Advent Children, but an annoyed Cloud cuts him off and doesn't care.
- The Atoner: A comparatively selfish version. After VII he wants to help rebuild the world, but only because he still wants Shinra to be on top and recognizes that the company's reputation needs to rebuild its image, so diverting the company's resources to helping others is a win-win. Dirge of Cerberus implies he's backing Reeve and the World Regenesis Organization to help rebuild the planet.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Defied, he's fought as a boss but isn't that tough and has no real power.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He's always seen wearing his iconic white suit.
- Badass Longcoat: His artwork implies he wears one under the jacket of his suit. His Compilation redesigns retcon it to just a normal suit.
- Bastardly Speech: His introduction, where he states that his plans are to turn the Planet into a police state. Thankfully, he's not that serious about it.
- Bastard Understudy: To his father; he's content being the vice-president for now and is loyal as such, but is scheming to make his own plays for power.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He gives a grandiose speech about how he's going to rule the world through fear moments after Sephiroth has murdered every last person in his building. Rufus' ambitions have to be put on hold since the world being destroyed is not in his business plans, and once Sephiroth is stopped being a villain just isn't pragmatic for him anyway.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: He's a secondary antagonist in VII and throughout the series demonstrates himself as an ambitious schemer.
- The Chessmaster: In Advent Children. He manages to spend a great deal of time manipulating Kadaj and his brothers, and possibly Cloud as well.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Let's put it this way: His dad didn't want him taking over the company because Rufus was even more corrupt than he was. As his page quote demonstrates, he thinks his father's practice to manipulate public opinion to make people like Shinra is too wasteful; he finds fear will do the job just as well.
- Duel Boss: Played with. Cloud stays behind alone to fight him one-on-one, but Rufus' dog Dark Nation accompanies him into battle. However Dark Nation dies easily, so it does boil down to just Cloud vs Rufus.
- Five-Bad Band: The expanded Compilation turns the Turks into one with Rufus as their benefactor and leader. In this dynamic, Rufus is the Big Bad, Tseng is The Dragon as their leader that answers to Rufus, Reno is The Smart Guy as the one who handles technological matters, Rude is The Brute that acts as the physical muscle, and Elena is the Dark Chick as their sole female member.
- Heel-Face Turn: He toys with it in the first game but remains a firm heel. It takes being blown up by Diamond Weapon to make him do it right.
- Man in White: Representing his power, influence, and morally unscrupulous nature.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: He's a main antagonist and wears an immaculate white suit at all times with well-groomed hair to boot.
- Nominal Hero: He's a good guy post-VII, but only insomuch that he helps the heroes because the destruction of the world is something he's not keen on letting happen. In the meantime he's still shifty and untrustworthy, and sat back and let Kadaj summon Bahamut SIN to attack Edge while the item Kadaj is looking for in the city is sitting in his lap.
- No One Could Survive That: His apparent demise in VII — his office is bombarded by energy blasts from Diamond Weapon and blown up.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: He is put on an "extended assignment overseas" at Junon (in actuality, put under house arrest in Junon) after it became apparent that he aided AVALANCHE in their efforts to eliminate Shinra so as to remove his father from power. Considering the alternatives (ie, being sacked or executed), this punishment was actually very light.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: His Weapon of Choice in VII and Advent Children.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: His white business suit and jacket.
- The Sociopath: Set up as one in the original game, feeling little empathy and wanting to control people using fear to keep them in line. The expanded universe considerably tones it down.
- Troll: To Kadaj in Advent Children. He spends the entire film feigning like he has no idea what Kadaj is doing and who he is, when he knows exactly what's going on. He further keeps the box with Jenova's remains concealed under his cloak the entire film knowing it's what Kadaj is looking for, and when he stands up and casts the cloak off to reveal the box he takes a moment to let Kadaj realize what it is before taunting him and tossing it over the side of a building. When Rufus says "I've never had this much fun", he's being serious; this is all a big joke to him.
- The Unfettered: Nobody has ever seen him cry and he is never shown to have much fear for his own safety, much less those of his subordinates or anyone else. Case of Shinra shows his Heel-Face Turn as a calculated method of patiently getting back on top of the world and rebuilding the corporation (which he had done, by the time of Advent Children) after Mako ceased to be a viable power source. Word of God laughs about his scene in Advent Children, "Only someone like Rufus, a big shot president, would be able to jump off a building without hesitation and expect his Turks to take care of everything".
- The Unreveal: When he and Cloud meet in Advent Children, Rufus begins to explain how he escaped his office before Diamond Weapon killed him but Cloud doesn't care and interrupts him before he finishes. The side novellas later explain it.
Left to right: Rude, Reno, Tseng, and Elena.
"A pro isn't someone who sacrifices themselves for a job. That's just a fool."
The Department of Administrative Research, unofficially known as the Turks, are Shinra's Black Ops unit. They carry out assassinations, blackmail, and the forced recruiting of potential SOLDIER candidates. The group acts as general information experts in the expanded universe, and Before Crisis
focuses on the history of their group, introducing more members that serve as the playable cast.
All of them appear in: Before Crisis, Crisis Core, FFVII, Advent Children.
- Affably Evil: Collectively they seem a decent bunch to hang out with, unless you're their target.
- Ambiguously Brown: Rude, though described by Word of God as somewhat resembling a person of South American descent rather than African descent.
- Ascended Extra: The Before Crisis Turks were interchangeable aside from small background details. Crisis Core took one of them, "Shuriken", and made her a supporting character under the name Cissnei.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: The iconic Turk uniform is a dark blue/black suit that they all wear. There's a partial exception in Reno, who wears his messily with his jacket unbuttoned and shirt untucked.
- Bald of Evil: Rude hasn't got a hair on his head.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Rude and the two "Martial Arts" Turks fight hand-to-hand.
- Blondes Are Evil: Elena, even though she's not very evil...at all.
- Characterization Marches On: Reno was a competent Deadpan Snarker in the original game. In Advent Children, he became the Plucky Comic Relief. There have been reports, though, that the Deadpan Snarker version of him was an alteration of the translation and that he was supposed to have been comical in the original Japanese.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Tseng for Aerith, sort of. They were never friends and he's older than her by several years, but he was one of the few people Aerith knew when she was a child, and he's had an unrequited thing for her all the time since.
- Cool Shades: Rude is always shown with his sunglasses. In Advent Children we briefly see his eyes when they fall off and Reno steps on them; after a look of horror from Rude, he stands up and pulls a spare pair from his pocket.
- Dark Chick: Elena is the female of the four. Adverted with the Compilation establishing there were more female Turks in the past.
- Deadpan Snarker: Reno is very sarcastic and snarky.
- Determinator: In Advent Children, Rude and Reno are clearly out of their league against Kadaj's gang. They don't care. They just keep fighting.
- The Dragon: Collectively the entire group is this trope to Rufus, acting as his personal enforcers. Before Crisis establishes backstory that while the Turks are part of the larger Shinra hierarchy, their final loyalty is to Rufus.
- Evil Redhead: Reno, but only in the original game. In other appearances he's more an Anti-Villain than straight evil.
- Fiery Redhead: Reno could be considered a male example, being very spry and talkative.
- Fighting with Chucks: Nunchaku (Male) fights with a red pair of nunchaku.
- Four Is Death: Played straight in the first game, where they're something of a legitimate threat (until Sephiroth shows up, at least). Subverted in the film, given their Heel-Face Turn.
- Fuuma Shuriken: Cissnei fights with an oversized red shuriken.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: Reno and Rude quickly devolve into this in the original game, showing up repeatedly to get their butts handed to them and then running off. They only become dangerous again in their last battle when accompanied by (previously thought to be incompetent) Elena.
- The Gunslinger: Tseng and Gun (Female) fight with handguns.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: The Before Crisis Turks all have names assigned by the player and have no canon names. The exception is "Shuriken (Female)", who was named Cissnei for her Before Crisis role.
- Hero of Another Story: Before Crisis serves to reveal the Turks saved the world from a threat never before spoken of — Zirconiade.
- I Owe You My Life: Before Crisis reveals that after Veld and the player Turks betrayed the company and went rogue, Scarlet ordered the last three members loyal to Shinra — Tseng, Reno and Rude — exterminated and the Turks shut down. Rufus intervened to keep the group alive, demanding their absolute loyalty to him in exchange.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Katana (Male) fights with katana.
- Knife Nut: Knife (Female) fights with small throwing knives.
- Leitmotif: The iconic Turk theme accompanies them in all their appearances.
- A Million Is a Statistic: The effect of Reno and the Turks following through with the command to drop the Sector 7 plate, killing hundreds or perhaps thousands of people, has noticeably less impact on the characters (and the fans) than Sephiroth impaling Aerith.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Elena. Even if she manages to punch Cloud unconscious in Icicle Inn, her immediate response is feeling regretful about it and just leaving him behind to recover rather than apprehending him.
- No Pronunciation Guide:
- Tseng. Its proper pronunciation rhymes with "sung", but that's not how you're likely to say the first time. Lampshaded in Crisis Core when Zack finds a camera with Tseng's name on it, and thanks to the odd spelling doesn't realize who it belongs to; he then wonders how one pronounces the name.
- "Reno" is derived from the romaji "Reno," and should therefore rhyme with Leno, rather than the city in Nevada.
- Punch Clock Villains: To the point that they even agree to help the heroes when they are found off-duty in Wutai. They'll still commit atrocities when ordered to by their boss, but hey.
- Put on a Bus: The Before Crisis Turks including former commander Veld all leave the company and go their separate ways after the game's end. The group returns for a brief cameo in On The Way to a Smile, with Veld getting a supporting role, but otherwise they've not been heard from again.
- Quirky Mini Boss Squad: They're comic relief, usually too silly to be a real threat, all wear the same uniform, and are lower-ranking members of Shinra.
- Ship Tease: Between Tseng and Elena, Zack and Cissnei. You could also mention how Tseng likes Aerith and Rude likes Tifa, but in that case it's kind of one-sided.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Shotgun (Female) fights with shotguns.
- Sibling Rivalry: Before Crisis reveals that Elena's older sister was a Turk, and Elena resented her for outperforming her; she refused to join the Turks while her sister was a member. She joined after her sister retired along with many other Turks from that game, following their defeat of Zirconiade and decision to follow Veld's lead.
- Simple Staff: Reno and Rod (Male) fight with short metal rods.
- Skippable Boss: The only times they have to be fought is the first Reno fight and the fight with Rude at Rocket Town. All others can be skipped or those areas passed over. Even the final confrontation is skippable, if you've completed the Wutai quest.
- The Southpaw: Reno is always seen wielding his weapon in his left hand, and rarely uses his right hand in any depictions of him.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The official Romanizations [in Japan] of Elena's and Reno's names were, once upon a time, "Yrena" and "Leno" [specifically in the Official Establishment File artbook].
- Stalker with a Crush: Rude towards Tifa, so much that Rude will refuse to attack Tifa during boss fights.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Elena and the Legendary Turk fight with thrown explosives.
- The Unfought: At no point does the party ever actually engage Tseng, the leader of the Turks, in combat. He can, however, be fought in the Training Mode in Before Crisis.
- Weapon of Choice: Each Turk has a particular weapon they specialize in.
"Once a scientist, always a scientist, I must say."
The head of Shinra's science department, he leaves the company early in the game to pursue his own motives. He is actually the mastermind of the Jenova Project, and by proxy Sephiroth and SOLDIER.
"These days, all it takes for your dreams to come true is money and power."
Previously the president of the Shinra Arms Manufacturing Company. The discovery of Mako energy catapulted him to the position of de-facto world dictator. However, once Sephiroth appeared on the scene, he was killed to be replaced by Rufus.
- Asshole Victim: Is murdered by Sephiroth to the despair of no one. Even his own son Rufus, who appears on the scene shortly after the fact, cares more about taking his father's place than his actual death, and no one else in Shinra seems to miss him either.
- Bad Boss: Implied in Denzel's segment in the OVA On the Way to a Smile, since Denzel's parents, both of whom worked in Shinra, were killed when he dropped Sector 7 onto the Slums.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's constantly using military force and media manipulation to control people and lead Shinra to domination of the world.
- Fat Bastard: He's portly and very unpleasant.
- Faux Affably Evil: He feigns politeness while obviously talking down to the members of AVALANCHE.
- Manipulative Bastard: To the citizens of Midgar. Drop part of upper Midgar onto the Sector 7 slums, blame it on AVALANCHE terrorists, and then send in Shinra to clean up and help the survivors. He always preferred to take the route that would get him what he wanted and would make Shinra look good to the general public.
- One Nation Under Copyright: Midgar was built and financed with Shinra resources, and their monopoly of the Mako the city needs to run makes him the ruler in all but name.
- President Evil: In practice, he's the real ruler of Midgar. You meet the actual Mayor in VII, and he readily admits to this.
- Starter Villain: He's the Big Bad up until the real Big Bad puts a sword in his back.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He aspires to this, but it gets zigzagged. It seems those living below the plate know better, and those above the plate fall for it because they don't realize how awful conditions in the slums are, or don't think Shinra is at fault.
- Wicked Cultured: Listens to classical music while watching Sector 7's plate collapse and kill off most of the inhabitants of the sector.
"Ghaa haah hah hah!"
Heidegger manages the Shinra Public Safety department, and bungles it up nicely too. Contrary to the name of his department, in practice Heidegger commands Shinra's military forces.
- Annoying Laugh: At least Rufus thinks so.
- Bad Boss: He takes his anger out on his employees in a very physical manner.
- The Dragon: Was this to President Shinra, before Sephiroth showed up and caused Rufus to take over. Afterward he serves as this to Rufus.
- Evil Laugh: A rather annoying one, as his colleagues (mostly Rufus) frequently tell him.
- Fat Bastard: He's very large and very cruel.
- Irony: He's the head of the Public Safety division, yet as the de facto head of Shinra's infantry and SOLDIER, his department causes rampant death and destruction.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Despite his normally buffoonish nature, during the Sapphire Weapon attacks Heidegger performs his duties with an unwonted cool professionalism.
- You Are in Command Now: Spin-offs establish he took over SOLDIER when Director Lazard went AWOL. Before Crisis toys with the idea of him taking over the Turks as Veld's leadership comes into question, but ultimately it's Tseng to takes the reins.
"Kya ha ha!"
Responsible for the Shinra Corporation's Weapons Development department, Scarlet specializes in creating Glass Cannons
. She's also the one who carried out the Corel Massacre, badly injuring Barret in the process and leading him to hate Shinra.
- A-Team Firing: Lampshades it when her guards open fire on Barret and Dyne and can't hit anything. Scarlet mocks their poor aim, then knocks one of them aside and takes his gun to show them how it's done.
- Blondes Are Evil: She's very sadistic and cruel.
- Dark Chick: She stands out from the male executives for her pride in her destructive weapons and willingness to take care of business personally.
- Designated Girl Fight: During the attempted execution of AVALANCHE on Disc 2, she suddenly hates Tifa, referring to her as stuck-up and pursuing her when she flees, leading to a minigame where the two have a slapfight.
- Evil Laugh: As annoying as Heidegger's.
- Lack of Empathy: She rejoices in murdering AVALANCHE on live television via gas chamber, and takes a moment to slap Tifa and insult her while she's trapped in the chamber.
- Lady in Red: Her dress betrays her nature as a dangerous and violent woman.
- The Smurfette Principle: Shinra's lone female executive.
"Rate hike! Rate hike! Tra, la, la! And please include our Space Program in the budget!"
The director of the Shinra Space Program. Unlike the other executives, he is almost totally useless, since his department has long been abandoned and Palmer himself is a total buffoon.
- Butt Monkey: He seems to be this for Shinra; he gets no respect at all from anyone. Not that he deserves it.
- Demoted to Extra: He was the least important of the Shinra executives in the original game and is the only one not to appear in the Compilation. This also means it's entirely unknown what happened to him after the original game; he's still alive out there somewhere but no one even mentions him.
- Disney Death: Apparently being hit by a truck was not enough to actually kill him.
- Fat Bastard: The man likes lard in his tea.
- Fat Idiot: He's so pathetic that he's left alive by the end of the game; not even worth killing. He's the only Shinra executive to survive, other than Reeve, who turned good, and Rufus, who got caught in a massive explosion and was thought to have died.
- Harmless Villain: Palmer is a joke and everyone knows it. He's ironically the only Shinra executive who fights you directly, and all he has is a weak mako gun.
- Hot-Blooded: He's extremely hyper, to the point where his idle combat pose looks like he's tap dancing.
- Shout-Out: You know how he narrowly managed to avoid being chopped to bits by the Tiny Bronco after the party's fight against him? Well, aside from the aftermath, that was taken word for word from the demise of that German Mechanic that Indiana Jones was fighting in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Stupid Evil: Played for Laughs, he's comical and harmless and barely even qualifies as "evil" for how inept he is.
Voiced by: Banjou Ginga (Japanese), Jamieson Price (English)
The head of Shinra's Urban Development bureau, Reeve is the one who discovered how to refine Mako from the Lifestream and designed the Mako Reactors. He is also the pilot of Cait Sith. Following the events of VII
, Reeve founds the World Regenesis Organization, dedicated to helping rebuild the planet.
- Anti-Villain: He's the only Shinra executive with a sense of morals or righteousness. The only truly villainous thing he does is kidnap Marlene to use as leverage so AVALANCHE will let Cait Sith tag along after being outed as The Mole; considering what we know of Reeve already and looking at his role in the expanded universe though, she was really in no danger at all.
- The Atoner: Late into VII and into the Compilation, he's trying to make up for the harm he did to the world helping to build Shinra's power base.
- Big Good: After VII, Reeve is the head of the World Renegsis Organization that's rebuilding the planet after Meteorfall.
- Heel-Face Turn: After playing as a triple agent between AVALANCHE and Shinra for much of the game, he eventually settles on AVALANCHE.
- Honest Corporate Executive: From what we see of him he was competent and effective at his job.
- Non-Action Guy: He prefers to operate things behind the scenes and send Cait Sith in to do field operations.
- Redemption Earns Life: The only Shinra executive to repent, and the only good one among them in the first place, is the only one to survive the events of VII.
- Token Good Teammate: Among Shinra's executives, even before he defected to AVALANCHE he was pretty much the only one of them with a conscience.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Reeve is the one who designed the Mako Reactors and the Mako refining process, making him the Bigger Bad to the entire franchise. If he had never made his discovery then Shinra wouldn't have risen to power, probably wouldn't have found Jenova, and the many world-ending events the planet experiences over the next two decades wouldn't have happened.
Voiced by: Shinya Ohwada (Japanese), Sterling Young (English)
A Shinra scientist working on the Jenova Project years ago, he and Hojo competed to have the superior specimen in order to receive funding to continue their respective research. When Hojo's results were superior, Hollander was quietly forgotten by Shinra's executives and faded into the background, until Genesis was wounded and he seized a change for vengeance against Hojo.
Appears in: Crisis Core
- Always Someone Better: Hojo is this to him.
- Beard of Evil: Has a full bushy beard with matching mustache and sideburns.
- Best Served Cold: The official series timeline places the Jenova Project as occurring 20 years before Crisis Core. Hollander's been waiting a long time to get back at Hojo for outdoing him
- Breath Weapon: Deadly Breath.
- Dirty Coward: He always flees from danger and is visibly intimidated by Shinra's forces. He only fights Zack near the end of the game because he's cornered, and is so degraded that he has no choice but to fight for the one hope he has of saving his own life.
- Evil Genius: Though outdone by Hojo in both regards, he's still a brilliant scientist and is absolutely devoid of morals. His one advantage is that he's relatively sane compared to Hojo.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: His attempts to make Genesis his Unwitting Pawn backfire when Genesis gets tired of his failure to produce a cure and attempts to kill him. He later does so again off-screen, forcing Hollander to inject himself with Genesis's cells to save his own life, and he experiences the same debilitating health as Genesis does for it.
- Evil Is Petty: He convinces Genesis to rebel against Shinra and take a large part of SOLDIER with them, and has Genesis wage war on Shinra by promising him a cure for his genetic degradation. Why? To show up Hojo and SOLDIER and prove his specimens are superior.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Compared to Hojo's high-pitched voice, Hollander is deep and gravelly.
- Expy: Of Hojo. Like Hojo, Hollander is the mastermind behind the genetic experiments that created the main antagonist, is a Shinra scientist that worked on the Jenova Project, and eventually turns himself into a test subject by injecting himself with Genesis's cells. He's also just as amoral and proud of his unethical experiments as Hojo is of his own.
- For Science!: See Evil Is Petty. He particularly wants to prove his science is better than Hojo's.
- Humanoid Abomination: He transforms into a more monstrous humanoid form thanks to the Genesis cells he's injected himself with.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: His "Dimension Missile" cinematic attack has him pull a missile larger than he is out of his satchel and hurl it at Zack.
- The Man Behind the Man: He's the real force behind Genesis's army, and the one who convinced Genesis to go against Shinra.
- The Man Behind The Monsters: The Genesis Copies are his work, as are Genesis and Angeal.
- Mook Maker: Can spawn monsters to aid him in battle.
- Only One Name: As with Hojo, it's hard to even say if it's his first or last name.
- Poisonous Person: Infects Zack with poison and other status ailments.
- Power Gives You Wings: He sprouts a small black wing over his shoulder when he becomes a Genesis Copy.
- Trademark Favorite Food: He's a fan of Banora White juice, even wearing a shirt depicting the logo under his lab coat.
The former head of Shinra's science department, he led the expedition that unearthed Jenova. Believing her to be the remains of a Cetra, he began the Jenova Project to try and imbue a normal human with her abilities. When he realized what Jenova really
was though, he left Shinra to continue studying the Cetra with Ifalna.
- Always Someone Better: He's this to Hojo; most in Shinra are open in their consideration that as brilliant as Hojo is, he's nothing compared to Gast.
- For Science!: His goal seemed to be genuine understanding of the Cetra.
- Mad Scientist: Edged towards it studying Jenova; when he realized what she was he backed off.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When he found out from Ifalna that Jenova was an Eldritch Abomination, Gast left Shinra.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His discovery of Jenova would lead to the creation of SOLDIER, Sephiroth, and Genesis. Though Gast left the company, it was too late to undo his discoveries.
A Shinra scientist working on the Jenova Project, she was Hojo's lover and consented to use their unborn child as an experiment for the Project. Horrified by visions of what her child would become, she sealed herself in a cave, ashamed of her role in Shinra's rise to power.
- Abusive Parents: Dirge of Cerberus makes it completely clear that she fully consented to injecting Jenova cells into her unborn child. However, she did at least regret the action afterwards.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Played with. Vincent fell in love with her and she cared for him too, but Lucrecia was guilty over being involved with the experiment that killed his father and pushed herself away from him and into Hojo's arms.
- And I Must Scream: She's currently sealed in a cocoon of crystallized Mako, and is unable to die.
- Apologises a Lot: In Dirge of Cerberus, nearly every flashback Vincent has of her involves her apologizing for for something. Considering what she's done it's not hard to understand why.
- Death Seeker: She wants to die, but thanks to Hojo's experiments cannot.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Everyone who knew Hojo knew he was a scumbag of the highest order, yet Lucrecia was his lover.
- Hot Scientist: She's in the ranking for one of the most beautiful scientists Final Fantasy has produced.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Her justification for implanting the Protomateria into Vincent; it was the only way to save his life.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She was horrified when a vision showed her what her child with Hojo would become.
- No Accounting for Taste: Seriously, what did she ever see in Hojo? It's not as though he was a nice person who later went nuts, flashbacks in Dirge of Cerberus show he was always this way, and the times we see the two of them interact he shows no hint of actually caring for her.
- Strong Family Resemblance: She has very similar hair and facial features to her child with Hojo.
- They Called Me Mad!: A more benign version. Her theories about Omega and Chaos were ridiculed and seen as myth, but they turned out to be right.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Though it's ambiguous if they actually wed, she fits this trope with Hojo; he looks rather unpleasant, Lucrecia is gorgeous.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Hojo's experiments made her immortal, but having to live with the guilt of what she's done put a damper on the idea.
- Woman in White: Her white labcoat.
"Ha, ha, ha…my sadness? What do I have to be sad about? I am the chosen one. I have been chosen to be the leader of this Planet."
A famous war hero and SOLDIER 1st Class, Sephiroth is a living legend within Shinra, and considered the strongest SOLDIER ever produced. Years ago on an infamous assignment to Nibelheim, he discovered the truth of his origins; he was a Super Prototype
created by infusing a fetus in the womb with Jenova's cells. Misinterpreting the scientist's own misinformed research, he believed he was Jenova's biological son and that Jenova was the last of the Cetra, the precursor race that ruled the world before humans rose to power. Sephiroth put Nibelheim to the torch and set out to reclaim his legacy, but was defeated by Cloud and thrown into the Lifestream. There his spirit endured, and years later he took control of Jenova's body in the physical world to enact a plan: he would claim the Black Materia and use it to summon Meteor to strike the planet. He would place himself in the impact crater when the Lifestream emerged to heal the planet, absorbing it to become a god and reign over mankind.
See also his Self-Demonstrating page
- A God Am I: His original goal, according to the first game, was to become a god by absorbing the lifestream and conquering "the Promised Land". As for what it is in the Compilation, well... it varies but is generally this but with the twist of finding a new planet to build a utopia in his image on.
- All There in the Manual: You really do need to get into the side materials if you want to fill in the blanks this guy's story has.
- And Then What?: Until the Compilation, it wasn't explicit as to what Sephiroth was actually going to do with his godlike power after obtaining it, with interpretations ranging from Take Over the World to Omnicidal Maniac. According to Advent Children, the ultimate result was the Planet's destruction, it's hinted that he intended to use the Planet as a vessel similar to Jenova, and basically lead him towards a new planet (his "Promised Land") and rule it as a god.
- Audience Surrogate: In a comedic way during Crisis Core, for those who don't like Genesis or LOVELESS. After Genesis recites a verse and is impressed Sephiroth knows which act it's from, Sephiroth snarks he can't help but recognize it "after [you've] beaten it into my head".
- Back from the Dead: Technically speaking, Cloud killed him before the game began, but he persisted within the Lifestream. Then he came back again in Advent Children.
- Badass: He's consistently referred to as the most powerful man on the planet even before he entered the Lifestream and absorbed Jenova, and he lives up to that reputation. Aside from Cloud few are able to fight him without being overwhelmed, and none aside from Cloud have won.
- Badass Longcoat: Sephiroth's iconic attire is a long black coat. While most other characters get a change of outfit sometime in the series, Sephiroth's outfit is consistent, only featuring minor changes due to Art Evolution.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: After being destroyed in his Safer Sephiroth form, he returned to the Lifestream for a final mental confrontation with Cloud.
- BFS: His Masamune is depicted from anywhere between six and twelve feet long. You'd think something that long would be impossible to wield, but he somehow manages.
- Big Bad: Of the original game and Advent Children.
- Big Damn Heroes: In Crisis Core he arrives out of nowhere and saves Zack from Ifrit.
- Bishōnen: Sephiroth is fair-skinned with soft features and long, flowing silver hair.
- Bishonen Line: His Bizarro Sephiroth form is a mutated mash-up of wings, horns and Sephiroth's face over a deformed body. His Safer Sephiroth form on the other hand is essentially Sephiroth himself with his limbs replaced by wings. The battle afterward restores him to full human form, but is a mental battle and not his actual body.
- Blade Spam: Spin-offs establish him as so fast he's able to swing faster than the human eye can see, letting him hit you multiple times while you only see him swing once or twice. His signature technique Octaslash is a quick barrage of eight sword blows, usually only taking two or three seconds to land all eight hits.
- Bootstrapped Leitmotif: His theme in the original game was "Those Chosen By The Planet", while the final two battles with him used "Birth of a God" and "One-Winged Angel". The latter track became an iconic song of the series and a huge fan favorite, so in all subsequent appearances, "One-Winged Angel" has been used as Sephiroth's theme in various remixes, while "Those Chosen By The Planet" has practically been forgotten.
- The Chessmaster/The Pawn: There are conflicting statements over the nature of his relationship with Jenova. Mostly it's implied Sephiroth assumed complete control of her, but it's also heavily implied that some of her nature and instincts began influencing him too, and some creation materials say that it was Jenova controlling him and not the other way around.
- Cold Ham: He always keeps his voice calm and controlled, even when delivering hammy threats such as "on your knees, I want you to beg for forgiveness".
- Colony Drop: His plan is to summon Meteor to impact the planet.
- Defector from Decadence: He was considering leaving from Shinra due to growing distrust from the organization. Unfortunately, he ended up doing more than that.
- Depending on the Artist: The Masamune was originally◊ about as long as Sephiroth was tall, maybe slightly longer (six-seven feet long). In other games, like Kingdom Hearts◊ and Dissidia◊, it reaches lengths twice that length.
- Depending on the Writer: His characterization varies wildly after his initial appearance. Advent Children has invoked Flanderization as described below, Crisis Core explores his pre-madness Sugar and Ice personality, Kingdom Hearts retools him as Cloud's Enemy Without existing only to Troll him, and Dissidia sees him as a Punch Clock Villain interested only in recovering his memories. Also subject to this trope are his power levels, ranging from just a master swordsman to a Flash Stepping Magic Knight, and his relationship with Jenova regarding which of them is really in control of the other.
- Disney Villain Death: His first defeat at Cloud's hands involved Cloud lifting him into the air with the Masamune and hurling him off the reactor catwalk into the mako pool below.
- Dissonant Serenity: With the notable exception of the Nibelheim incident, Sephiroth is eternally calm and collected even when chaos is sprouting around him by his own doing.
- Evil Counterpart: He's initially presented as one to Cloud, being his former partner and an ex-SOLDIER who went rogue. However he's actually this trope to Aerith, once Cloud's real history is revealed and more of Aerith's comes to light. Both Sephiroth and Aerith are children of Shinra scientists involved in the Jenova Project, both use angelic symbolism, both survive dissolution in the Lifestream, and both are linked to one of the Ultimate Magics, the Black and White Materia. Sephiroth believed that his mother was an Ancient whereas Aerith's mother actually was one. The novella "Case of the Lifestream" notes that in the events leading up to Advent Children, Aerith considered creating her own avatars on the surface to help fight Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, but decided it was more important to contact Cloud herself and let him handle it. During development of VII, the developers even considered making them siblings or lovers, driving their connection deeper.
- Evil Wears Black: He wears an all-black outfit with silver steel shoulders.
- Fallen Angel: Invoked by his Safer Sephiroth form, where he has six white wings and one black wing. The black wing has become another iconic trait of his to tie into this symbolism.
- Fallen Hero: He was once a decorated war veteran and the most respected man on the planet. Then came the Nibelheim mission, and he transformed into the greatest threat the planet has known since Jenova.
- Fantastic Racism: For the entire Nibelheim burning scene, he preaches about how he will retake the world from the inferior race for the sake of the Cetra, and boasts he is the chosen one. After Nibelheim this trait is dropped for general hatred/contempt of everyone with no racism attached.
- Faux Affably Evil: Sephiroth is very well-spoken and polite, even as he tells Cloud he's going to conquer the planet and destroy everything and everyone he holds dear. He clearly does this because he enjoys taunting him.
- Final Boss: He's the last battle in VII
- Flanderization: Invoked in-universe. After his second death at the end of VII, he survives dissolution in the Lifestream by focusing on his hatred of Cloud and his desire for vengeance, giving him a strong enough emotional core to maintain his sense of self at the cost of letting less-focused traits be stripped away. This is why come Advent Children he's completely absorbed in rubbing his revival in Cloud's face.
- Flash Step: One of his trademark techniques is to rapidly dash past or teleport behind an opponent, either striking them on the way or swinging at their back once he's passed.
- Fountain of Expies: He's one of the Trope Codifiers of the White Hair, Black Heart character type, and has numerous Expies in Square-Enix titles alone.
- Freudian Excuse: He was raised as Shinra's greatest hero and served them loyally, then they tried to pressure him into hunting down and killing the two closest friends he ever had. Then he discovers the company has been lying to him all his life and that he's a genetic experiment created by them.
- Freudian Trio: Forms one with Angeal and Genesis in Crisis Core, as the Superego; collected, calm, and rational.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He's a poster boy for the trope. The discovery of his origins drove him insane and sparked his Face-Heel Turn.
- Green Eyes: His eyes symbolized his power over Jenova and the Lifestream and his otherworldly nature.
- Guest Fighter: He cameos as a playable character in Ehrgeiz.
- Guinea Pig Family: He was conceived and born solely to serve as a test subject for the Jenova Project, which both of his parents worked on.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: His leather coat and leather pants.
- Hellish Pupils: Sephiroth's eyes are distinctly cat-like with slitted pupils. In Advent Children the children gain this trait as a sign of his influence over them.
- Hijacking Cthulhu: After being thrown in the Lifestream with Jenova's head, he comes to dominate her body and control it like his own, even beyond death.
- Human Popsicle: When Cloud and the others discover his body at the Northern Crater, he's in stasis in a cocoon of crystallized mako.
- Insane Equals Violent: The reason why his Go Mad from the Revelation moment resulted in his becoming an Omnicidal Maniac.
- In-Series Nickname: Throughout the series he's variably known as The Nightmare, The Abomination, and The Man in the Black Cape.
- It's All About Me: His goal to absorb the Lifestream to control the planet would more than likely kill off every living thing on the planet, and for sure would destroy a lot of the planet's spiritual energy that it uses to heal itself and grow its planets. If this is a concern to him he hides it well.
- Japanese Pronouns: Before Sephiroth went insane, he used the arrogant term of "Ore", but after after the Niebelheim Incident, he always uses the formal and polite term "Watashi," alluding to the fact that he has devoted himself to his "mother's" cause.
- Lack of Empathy: Averted pre-madness, though he appeared cold and impersonal to outsiders, those that got to know him found Sephiroth to be personable and considerate. After his madness this is in full effect, he cares for nothing and no-one but himself and Jenova.
- Large Ham: Sure, he's The Stoic most of the time, but when he goes crazy and decides to burn down Nibelheim? His grandiose speeches and Evil Laugh are just pure ham. However, it doesn't last.
- Laughing Mad: In Cloud's flashback, Cloud/Zack goes down to the basement of Shinra's mansion at Nibelheim and locates Sephiroth a few days after the incident at the reactor, only to hear Sephiroth chuckling dementedly. This is the first sign that Sephiroth is not handling what he's read well.
- Left-Handed Mirror: To both Cloud and Zack. While they are all three the result of inhumane experimentation, Cloud and Zack become more and more heroic, while Sephiroth becomes more and more villainous and insane.
- Lightning Bruiser: He moves faster than can be seen even when he isn't teleporting, has inhuman endurance and reflexes, and can swing his sword fast and had enough to cut apart buildings.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: His long silver hair reaches his waist, and he has very delicate features.
- Manipulative Bastard: He strings Cloud along to the Temple of the Ancients and lets him retrieve the Black Materia for him just to screw with his mind. In spin-offs he repeatedly demonstrates he knows precisely how to push Cloud's buttons to make him do what he wants; it helps that Cloud's biggest button is Sephiroth's very existence.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: It's implied that when he took over Jenova's body, even if he was the one controlling her, he remained influenced by her instincts. Advent Children has him state outright his new plan is to repeat Jenova's behavior of using the planet as a vessel to travel the cosmos looking for a new planet to conquer.
- Mr. Fanservice: He wears all leather, his outfit bears his chest, he's very tall, very handsome, and has a smooth voice.
- My Death Is Only The Beginning: After falling into the mako reactor, he ends up becoming far more dangerous than before. His statement in Advent Children, "I will never be a memory" is confirmed by Word of God to imply that Sephiroth will always return no matter how often he dies.
- The Needless: In Advent Children Sephiroth neither breathes nor blinks, deliberately invoked by Kazushige Nojima to emphasize how inhuman and otherworldly he had become.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: Under his black coat he's shirtless.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Though it isn't his main goal, his plan to seize control of the Lifestream would kill most everything else on the planet.
- One-Winged Angel: Trope Namer. He goes through Bizarro Sephiroth and Safer Sephiroth before reverting to his own body. In later appearances, he has become a literal one-winged angel.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Sephiroth was The Stoic to the nth degree even before burning down Nibelheim. That's why it's so surprising to see him getting his ham on while burning down the place.
- Our Angels Are Different: His Safer Sephiroth form is clearly intended to resemble one of the Seraphim, with a single black wing in place of one of his arms. Later appearances feature him with that same wing on one of his shoulders, channelling Fallen Angel for all it's worth.
- Out of the Inferno: His iconic scene from the Nibelheim Incident inverts it; Sephiroth stands before the fires of the destroyed town and turns to walk into the flames unfazed.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: He was Shinra's greatest warrior, the planet's greatest hero, and one of the most powerful and respected men in the world. He fell to the dark side with the force of a meteor.
- Posthumous Character: Strictly speaking, he died at Nibelheim, in that his physical body was destroyed. But thanks to the way the Lifestream works, his spirit can exert control over Jenova's cells and form a new body to act through like his own. This is why his plan in Advent Children is to get his hands on genuine Jenova cells, so he can complete his revival.
- Post Mortem Comeback: Though he was destroyed again in VII, he was able to use the Lifestream's emergence in the world to his advantage by spreading Jenova's cells through it to infect humanity, creating the plague Geostigma. Advent Children reveals that some actual fragments of Jenova's cells would let him create a new body for himself, which is his plan in the film.
- The Power of Hate: How he survives between VII and Advent Children; he concentrates on maintaining and building up his hatred of Cloud so he can maintain his own identity in the Lifestream and resist being absorbed into the collective.
- Psychotic Smirk: Gives a very nasty one after he's killed Aerith. And after the Nibelheim incident, though Crisis Core retcons this to a slightly sorrowful/rageful expression).
- Retirony: Acording to Crisis Core, he was considering retiring from Shinra and SOLDIER after the Nibelheim mission due to growing distrust of the organization and guilt from his friends' deaths. Instead he gets his Start of Darkness while there and goes totally off the deep end.
- A Sinister Clue: He's left handed, and is the first Final Fantasy villain to be such. (Golbez was established as one retroactively by Final Fantasy IV The After Years, but Sephiroth came long before that game.)
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation:
- In Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth leaves the Masamune impaled in President Shinra's back, but later uses it to impale Aerith, and later still to mow down the remaining Sephiroth-clones at the Reunion. This is justified in that these are neither the real Sephiroth nor the real Masamune, but replicas created by Sephiroth using parts of Jenova's body.
- In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the newly resurrected Sephiroth forms the Masamune out of tainted Lifestream just in time to effortlessly block Cloud's attack.
- Start of Darkness: Sephiroth was once a relatively normal man. Then he went to Nibelheim.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Crisis Core gives him this personality pre-madness — he's composed, aloof, and professional, but he's also capable of being loyal and worried about his friends. He can also be pretty considerate, as evidenced by Zack once the two start to become friends. Comes complete with several Pet the Dog moments, such as the end of Chapter 7, when Sephiroth informs Zack that Genesis copies have been sighted in Midgar, particularly noting their presence in the slums, and gives him permission to return to the city because he knows Zack is worried about Aerith and wants to see her.
- Super Prototype: As the very first SOLDIER, Sephiroth was created with a different procedure than the rest: he wasn't just injected with Jenova cells, he was injected while in the womb and grew and merged with them as he developed.
- Trauma Conga Line: Crisis Core explains his Start of Darkness was the result of this. His two closest friends go rogue and rebel against the company, he's the one usually sent out to fight their forces, he finds out about the genetic experiments that created the two as Super Soldier Humanoid Abominations, and Shinra is implied to never show any concern for his feelings about the chaos unfolding around him. Before Nibleheim it's so bad he's planning to retire after that mission... and then one of those rogue friends appears and pushes him to discovering he's a genetic experiment just like them.
- Tykebomb: He was genetically altered in the womb and raised pretty much from birth to be Shinra's perfect warrior.
- Unwitting Pawn: It is heavily implied in both the original Final Fantasy VII and the novellas that Sephiroth was this to Professor Hojo for the sake of research in the main plot. Although not even Hojo realized what Sephiroth was capable of. In fact, he reluctantly admits that science was meaningless before him.
- The Virus: Is the cause of Geostigma in Advent Children; the virus was created through his tainting of the Lifestream from within. After he first noticed he could do it, he kept doing it for the sheer enjoyment of tarnishing everything. There are even hints he had been further breaking Cloud's psyche via Cloud's Geostigma infection. Once he was infected, he let Sephiroth into his mind again.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: The front of his jacket is always open, exposing his chest. During his Final Boss battle with Cloud he sheds the trenchcoat, and attacks him wearing only his pants and boots. Heads straight into Fan Disservice when Cloud beats him and we see him like this again now covered in blood.
- Where I Was Born and Razed: Although Sephiroth himself doesn't seem to realize it (he mentions that he "has no hometown"), it is implied in the games, and confirmed via Word of God and creation materials, that Sephiroth was born in Nibelheim, the very same place he ended up burning to the ground.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Despite being one of the most famous examples, Sephiroth was actually a subversion when he first appeared. He was not effeminate in his original appearance (one of his defining traits being his incredibly badass combat prowess), was not a Trickster (despite being a Manipulative Bastard) and, before going mad, his stoicism outweighed any Sugar and Ice Personality traits. The later games tend to play the trope straighter.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: See Freudian Excuse. In-universe he actually averted this as Cloud and co. refused to give him any sympathy whatsoever on account of all his various atrocities. Come Advent Children, Cloud changed his tune and decided he pitied Sephiroth due to Evil Cannot Comprehend Good.
- Would Hit a Girl: At Nibelheim he doesn't hesitate to disarm Tifa and slash aside. There's also the whole "impaling Aerith" thing.
- Zero-Effort Boss: The Sephiroth vs. Cloud final boss fight was infamous as impossible to lose. However, it's essentially an interactive cinematic to demonstrate Cloud's mind is too strong for Sephiroth to overpower now.
"My soul, corrupted by vengeance, hath endured torment to find the end of the journey, in my own salvation and your eternal slumber."
A former SOLDIER 1st Class who had a friendly rivalry with Angeal and Sephiroth and is slightly
obsessed with LOVELESS
, a mysterious book of poems. When he's wounded by Sephiroth and falls mysteriously ill as a result, he defects from Shinra to wage war on them seeking a cure for his conditions.
- Author Appeal: He was heavily based on Gackt, a Japanese pop star that Tetsuya Nomura was a fan of at the time.
- Awesome McCoolname: "Genesis Rhapsodos" is up there with Sephiroth as one of the coolest names you could come up with for your bad guy.
- Badass Longcoat: He wears a long red coat. One of his fanclubs even calls themselves "Red Leather".
- Beta Test Baddie: To Sephiroth. Interestingly, they both go mad.
- BFS: His weapon is a massive red rapier, to parallel Sephiroth's Masamune.
- Big Bad: For Crisis Core. Subverted when it becomes apparent Hollander is using him for his own ends and Genesis is more desperate than evil.
- Bishōnen: He's got soft features and bright red hair.
- Clipped Wing Angel: After Genesis Avatar is defeated, Zack must fight Genesis again in human form.
- Cool Sword: His rapier is a giant red blade that he can imbue with magic to fight.
- Disney Death: Genesis fell into a reactor, yet it becomes apparent later on that he survived.
- Easily Forgiven: Zack feels sorry for him and lets him live.
- Evil Redhead: Subverted; he isn't so much evil as he is a pretentious Jerkass.
- Expy: Of Sephiroth. Besides the obvious similarities in appearance as seen in the accompanying image, Genesis is also a 1st Class SOLDIER and a spawn of the Jenova Project, he eventually sprouts a black wing over his shoulder, he was seemingly killed via Disney Villain Death in a Mako Reactor but turned out to be Not Quite Dead... you get the picture. It's likely an Invoked Trope in-universe; Genesis idolized Sephiroth as a child and wanted to be a hero just like him. Emulating Sephiroth's appearance and giving it his own personal flair was likely a conscious decision.
- Final Boss: Of Crisis Core. Not counting the scripted Hopeless Boss Fight that follows.
- Freudian Trio: Forms one with Angeal and Sephiroth in Crisis Core, as the Id; driven by emotion and personal ambition.
- The Heavy: In Crisis Core, he's the character that the game's events revolve around.
- How Do You Like Them Apples?: He's constantly carrying around a Banora White apple. Considering his name and LOVELESS rantings, he's likely doing it for the Faux Symbolism it invokes.
- Idiosyncrazy: As far as Genesis is concerned, everything can be drawn back to LOVELESS. At first he just quotes it as a Madness Mantra and to draw parallels to its plot and what's happening in the game. Later he becomes convinced it is some sort of holy prophecy or legend that he must fulfill.
- Ink-Suit Actor: His appearance is heavily based on his voice actor, Gackt. In Dirge of Cerberus, they didn't even bother with the ink suit; Gackt got into costume and performed in front of a green screen to be put into the game's secret ending.
- Karma Houdini: He instigated a war, killed his own parents, basically wiped out his hometown's population, subjected an immense amount of innocent people to Hollander's experments, and his presence helped drive Sephiroth over the edge at Nibelheim. Yet he not only survives, he got exactly what he wanted from it all.
- Large Ham: He tends to be pretty even-toned and doesn't raise his voice a lot, but he still puts a lot of weight and drama into his sentences, especially if he's quoting LOVELESS.
- Magic Knight: He fights with sword combos and magic in equal turn, and powers magic into his sword to strengthen it.
- Meaningful Name: "Genesis" of course parallels Sephiroth's name in Biblical symbolism, but it also means "birth" or "origin". Combined with the origin of his last name, he is "the original epic poem", referring both to his obsession with LOVELESS, and the idea that in-universe he was the original rebel SOLDIER and committed acts that Sephiroth would later repeat.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His appearance is based on Gackt Camui; he's also voiced by Gackt, Gackt had a hand in the design of his outfit, and Gackt portrayed him live action in the secret ending for Dirge of Cerberus.
- One-Winged Angel: Empowers himself with the Goddess Materia to transform into Genesis Avatar.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: While not as revered or powerful as Sephiroth, Genesis was still one of Shinra's greatest warriors before he turns on them, and when he defects he takes a large number of other SOLDIER members with him.
- Playing with Fire: He prefers fire and fire-like attacks, such as Flash, Homing, and Dark Energy.
- Power Degeneration: The procedure that granted him his powers is also what's going to kill him if he doesn't find a cure.
- Psycho Prototype: He's the original Project G SOLDIER. Finding out about it is what helped drive him to evil.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Wears black pants and a top under his red coat.
- Remember the New Guy: Played with. No other version of the Nibelheim Incident has any mention or appearance by Genesis. However, the way he appears in Crisis Core allows him to be there without actually retconning the event's other depictions — he appears when Zack and Sephiroth enter the reactor, and the only version of that specific scene that has been shown across the series is the one where Cloud is in Zack's place, so Genesis's absence could be given a Hand Wave as one of many inconsistencies in Cloud's memories.
- Self-Made Orphan: He killed his own parents. Played with in that they were his step-parents; we never find out who his biological parents are.
- Sissy Villain: His English voice actor goes down this route, and the Bishoneny appearance, flamboyant hand gestures and constant recital of LOVELESS just add to it.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Angeal's mother, he was a nice guy growing up.
- Wicked Cultured: More like Wicked Pretentious, but he still qualifies. He's one of the world's leading scholars on LOVELESS and is implied to have published writings about his theories to its meaning.
"Embrace your dreams. If you want to be a hero you need to have dreams... and honor."
Zack's superior in SOLDIER, he's a First Class member and is respected and admired as a symbol of heroism and strength in the company. When Genesis declares war on Shinra, Angeal goes rogue, torn between loyalties to his friends and his career.
- Anti-Villain: He's not a villain at all, he's just trying to do the right thing and sometimes is on the side of Shinra's enemies. The few times Angeal acts outright antagonistic to Zack is when he's in a Then Let Me Be Evil mood.
- Artistic Age: He's 25, but acts much older.
- BFS: The original wielder of the Buster Sword.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Zack.
- Eldritch Abomination: As Angeal Penance, he's a bipedal chimera-entity formed from several Angeal Copies, with Angeal's face and chest on the torso.
- Foil: To Genesis. While Genesis rebels against Shinra to heal himself, Angeal does it because he's torn between loyalty to Shinra and loyalty to his oldest and best friend. As well, while they're both experiments of Project G, Angeal is the "perfect" result of Hollander's efforts and has a different set of abilities than Genesis does.
- Freudian Trio: Forms one with Sephiroth and Genesis in Crisis Core, as the Ego; the level-headed mediator between the two. Fully demonstrated in the duel between the two when Angeal has to intervene to stop them from taking it too far.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: In contrast to Genesis and Sephiroth's black wings, Angeal's wings are white and pure.
- Humanoid Abomination: He's a SOLDIER, so he's been infused with Jenova cells and Mako energy to create this. As a Project G experiment though he's even more on the "abomination" side than normal SOLDIER members.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Pretty much the reason why he transformed and fought Zack to the death.
- Meaningful Name: Angeal = Angel. Lampshaded when Zack says his wings are those of an angel, not a monster. Also Angeal Penance, representing Angeal's desire to invoke Death Equals Redemption by forcing Zack to kill him and take up his legacy.
- Meaningless Meaningful Words: He uses the words "dream" and "honor" a lot. As in pretty much every other sentence. Usually when they're in improper context. Sephiroth lampshades it when he tells Zack about receiving "one of Angeal's famous lectures".
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Shockingly, this mentor to Zack and hero of Shinra you've never heard of does not survive the game.
- No Cure for Evil: Averted, End of Gluttony restores his HP.
- The Obi-Wan: To Zack, instilling with him what it means to be a true SOLDIER and why those values are important.
- One-Winged Angel: He merges with other Angeal Copies to become Angeal Penance.
- Ornamental Weapon: The Buster Sword cost so much for his parents to have custom made for him that he dislikes using it to avoid damaging it.
- The Paragon: Along with Sephiroth and Genesis, he's one of Shinra's most famous and respected SOLDIERs, and many aspire to his example.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: And he ends up siding with Genesis.
- Power Gives You Wings: Just like Genesis and Sephiroth, though he gets two and his are white.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: The DMW attack associated with him, Rush Assault, is a flurry of punches and kicks.
- Real Men Wear Pink: An in-game email from his fan club states that he loves dogs and gardening.
- Team Dad: To Zack, and most of SOLDIER.
- Theme Naming: As Angeal Penance, all his special attacks are named after the Seven Deadly Sins.
- What Have I Become?: He does not take the revelation of what he really is well.
"Impossible dreams are the best kind."
Voiced by: Junpei Morita (Japanese), Stefan Marks (English)
The director of SOLDIER, he was born in the slums and has worked his way up through Shinra's ranks through hard work and determination. He advises Zack on furthering his dreams in the company and provides him missions and assignments. However, he acts behind the scenes on a secret agenda.
Appears in: Crisis Core
- Affably Evil: He's very friendly and polite, but he's working with Hollander and Genesis.
- Anti-Villain: He's aiding Hollander and Genesis, but his motivations are much more sympathetic, and he eventually realizes the error of his ways and aids Zack.
- The Atoner: Post-time skip.
- Big Good: Inasmuch as he can be considering the Grey and Gray Morality of Shinra, but he is the director of SOLDIER and is known and respected among the company's military branch for being a good leader.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Downplayed; he's an antagonist but is comparatively moral and noble.
- To Hollander. They both have been snubbed by Shinra and are using Genesis for revenge, but Lazard undergoes a Heel-Face Turn to help Zack while Hollander continues to aid Genesis. And while Hollander becomes a Genesis Copy, Lazard becomes an Angeal Copy.
- Also one to Rufus Shinra once you find out his full backstory. While Rufus was born into his power and position, Lazard had to work his way up from the slums, and is a much better person than Rufus.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He is mortally wounded protecting Cloud from Shinra forces while Zack is fighting Genesis beneath Banora.
- Humanoid Abomination: He eventually becomes an Angeal Copy. By the time he finds Zack at the end of the game, he's fully taken on Angeal's face and hairstyle, save for his hair going white due to his degradation.
- Informed Attribute: He's said to have not forgotten his roots and has sympathy for others living in the slums, but it doesn't come into play much.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: He is President Shinra's illegitimate son with a slum woman. This also makes him Rufus's older brother and thus rightful heir to the company if his lineage were to be revealed. His discovery of this is why he helps Hollander and Genesis wage war on the company.
- The Man Behind the Man: He's the one funding Hollander and Genesis.
- Meaningful Name: "Deusericus" is Latin for "silken god", a potential alternate reading of the kanji for "Shinra".
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: As an Angeal Copy, he wishes to help Zack stop Genesis and save the world. Zack speculates that it's Angeal's cells influencing his mind.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: While Zack is fighting Genesis in the caverns beneath Banora, Lazard sacrifices his life to protect Cloud from being captured by Shinra.
- Power Gives You Wings: He sprouts a pair of white wings due to being an Angeal Copy.
- Put on a Bus: He goes missing sometime between Chapter 6 and Chapter 7, presumably because Cissnei tells Zack in Chapter 7 that Shinra was beginning to suspect he was the one funding Hollander and Genesis. He reappears near the end of the game to aid Zack in the final chapter.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's polite, friendly and sociable with his subordinates, and recognizes Zack's exceptional performance for a Second Class and decides to call on him more often for future assignments.
- Self-Made Man: He came from a single mother in the slums and has worked his way through Shinra to become one of the most powerful men in the company.
- Walking Spoiler: His true hand in the game's events is a major reveal.
Voiced by: Crispin Freeman
Another aspiring Second Class SOLDIER, he's one of Zack's closest friends in the organization and has a knack for learning things going on in the company that he relays to Zack.
Appears in: Crisis Core
- The Faceless: He never takes off his helmet so we have no idea what he looks like beneath it.
- Genre Savvy: He knows enough about Shinra than to believe anything they put out as news, which is why he makes it his business to find out the truth from other sources.
- Mauve Shirt: He has enough screentime to be more than just an anonymous SOLDIER, but not enough to really be considered part of the core cast, even within the single title he appears in.
- Mr. Exposition: He knows a lot about what goes on in Shinra that he explains to Zack.
- Undying Loyalty: To Zack, to the point he says in his last emails after Zack awakens at Nibelheim that he's gonna leave Shinra to find him and help him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His final email says he's going to come look for Zack, but we never find out his fate.
Weiss the Immaculate
"The pure will be "spared" for the cause, while the tainted will be hunted down and exterminated. They shall be slashed, strangled, and slaughtered. Beaten, stabbed, and crushed. Garroted and impaled. Shot and executed without mercy. The time has come to cleanse this world."
The main antagonist of Crisis Core
. He's the leader of the Deepground, the secret special forces of the Shinra Company. He plans to summon Omega, the ultimate weapon, to cleanse the planet.
- Anime Hair: He outdoes even Cloud with his massive sea of silver spikes.
- Badass: In the online mode of Dirge of Cerberus, he fights Rosso and Azul two-on-one, and the two invoke their One-Winged Angel forms for the fight. Weiss still wins.
- Bad Boss: He has no problem invoking You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on his suboordinates.
- Big Bad: In Dirge of Cerberus. It's revealed that he was just a host to Hojo, the true Big Bad.
- Big Brother Instinct: He's very close to his little brother Nero.
- Computer Virus: It's how Hojo infected him and killed him.
- Dead to Begin With: He's dead at the beginning of the game; the goal of the other Tsviets is to revive him as the vessel for Omega.
- Disney Death: He may not be dead at the end of the game. The secret ending has us Left Hanging.
- Dual Wielding: Wields two gunblades, Heaven and Earth.
- Evil Laugh: He does it a lot. Being possessed by Hojo had little impact on it, the online mode shows it's just him.
- Grand Theft Me: He seizes control of Omega's body to fight Vincent. Also a victim of it himself, losing his body to Hojo.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: The first one. Vincent, however, gets the help of Shelke/Lucrecia to match him.
- Lightning Bruiser: Both muscular and very fast.
- Meaningful Name: "Weiss" means "white" in German, and his subtitle, Immaculate, refers to the Roman Catholic belief of the Immaculate Conception where someone is born completely without the stain of original sin. This both reflects his outfit and that Hojo needs a "pure" body to serve as Omega's vessel.
- Omnicidal Maniac: His plan is to take control of Omega and use it to gather all the Lifestream to him. Making sure the Lifestream is as potent and pure as possible demands the death of the planet's citizens.
- One-Winged Angel: Merges with Omega to become Omega Weiss for the final boss battle.
- Pure Is Not Good: He was originally created to not be made of tainted Lifestream, which is why Hojo possessed him and planned to use him to fuse with Omega. Even when he regained control of himself, he was still not a nice guy.
- Slasher Smile: Pulls these off with gusto.
- Slouch of Villainy: Vincent finds him slumped over on his throne.
- Super Soldier: As a member of Deepground, he's even stronger than your rank and file SOLDIER members.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He has no problem walking around in only pants.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Though he's no relation to Sephiroth, he's another silver-haired antagonist.
- Wild Hair: It's even bigger and spikier than Cloud's!
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He does this a lot to people.
- Does it to Nero after he revived and Hojo took control of him.
- Orders Azul to invoke it on Shelke once the plan needing her is done.
- In the online mode, he decides to let the player's character die since they're of no use to his plans.
Nero the Sable
"Dear Weiss, powerful Weiss. The only person who ever loved me, and the only person I will ever love."
Second-in-command of the Tsviets, and Weiss's biological half-brother. Commands power over darkness.
- Casting a Shadow: He was made with Mako tainted with Chaos, giving him power over darkness.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Nero is Italian for black. Sable is an archaic English word for black (commonly used in heraldry). Therefore, his name means "Black the Black." QED.
- Dragon-in-Chief: He's the active leader of Deepground while Weiss is incapacitated.
- Dual Wielding: Takes this Up to Eleven by having four functioning hands (one per wing) and using all four to shoot at you.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He has black hair, pale skin, and is plain freaky.
- Matricide: According to records he sent his own mother into another dimension when she was giving birth to him.
- Meaningful Name: Nero is the Italian word for "Black," which in itself is a derivation of a rather infamous Roman Emperor. This reflects his outfit and his powers.
- One-Winged Angel: Transforms into the spider-like Arachnero for an end-game fight.
- Villainous Friendship: Nero really, really cares about his brother. He's willing to go through hell and back to revive him.
- Winged Humanoid: Granted, they are artificial wings, but still.
Azul the Cerulean
One of the Tsviets, the commanders of Deepground. He's their field commander and rejoices in being abale to fight.
- BFG: He carries a massive cannon big enough to blow up Cid's airship.
- Blood Knight: Literally the only reason he willingly joined the group; he wanted to join SOLDIER to fight, and got a better offer in Deepground,
- The Brute: He's the muscle of the group.
- Catchphrase: "Hail Weiss" in a way. All of Deepground says this, but Azul says it the most, even acting as his final words.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Azul is Spanish for "blue." Cerulean is a specific shade of blue. Therefore, his name means "Blue the blue." QED.
- Disney Villain Death: After he was impaled.
- Genius Bruiser: He ain't just all muscles, he's also a competent field officer.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Vincent impales him with his own cannon when Chaos takes over his body.
- Laughing Mad: He does that, an memorable one right before he died.
- One-Winged Angel: Transforms into the bestial Arch Azul.
- Playing Possum: After he was "beaten" by Vincent, he pretended to have died in order to destroy the WRO's headquarters from inside before the second Deepground force attacked.
- See You in Hell: He tells Vincent that before he died.
- The Stoic: He usually speaks some few words, and acts rather "stonely". It's only when he fights Vincent that he shows how much Hot-Blooded he is for fighting.
- Super Soldier: As with all of Deepground.
Rosso the Crimson
"I shall not give you the pleasure of killing Rosso the Crimson!"
Another Tsviet. Due to experimentation done on her when she was a child, she's quite mentally unbalanced. The only pleasure she gets out of life is killing her enemies.
- Ax-Crazy: She doesn't care about Weiss' plan to summon Omega; she just goes along with it because she loves the idea of killing all life in the world.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: She committed suicide when she was defeated by Vincent, by throwing herself out from the Shinra tower.
- Curtains Match the Window: Has both red hair and red eyes.
- Dark Chick: Her vicious and bloodthirsty nature is at odds with most of Deepground's members being more reserved.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Rosso is Italian for "red." Crimson is a specific shade of red. Therefore, her name means "Red the Red."
- Double Weapon: She wields a large dual-bladed sword.
- Evil Redhead: Her red hair ties into the red of her color scheme.
- Freudian Excuse: It is heavily implied that the very reason why she even takes enjoyment in doing her assignments in similar ways to a psychopath is because she was raised that way by Shinra.
- Happy Rain: In a twisted way. Rosso, while standing in the rain in Edge, muses that it was the first time she had ever felt rain on her skin. She seemed happy, but she's a Tsviet, so happy could just as easily mean "on the brink of murder."
- Laughing Mad: Rivals the trope namer for how insane and cackling she is.
- Meaningful Name: Her eyes, hair, and outfit are red, and she's very bloodthirsty. She lampshades it in-game.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: Her sword has a gun built into the handle.
- Mundane Luxury: In the online mode, Rosso desperately wanted to see the sky and would embark on mass murders of her fellow soldiers in response.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Not powerful enough to pull this off single-handedly, but it's on her Dreamboard.
- Psycho for Hire: She has no interest in Deepground's plans or goals, she just wants to kill things.
- Terms of Endangerment: Constantly refers to Vincent as "darling".
Shelke the Transparent / Shelke Rui
"I have no acquaintances in the W.R.O."
Another Tsviet, with the power to enter the World Wide Network mentally. Captured by Shinra as a child, the experiments she was subjected to stalled her physical aging.
"The ones who are strong disguise themselves as the weakest, and in effect we are too weak for you to battle with."A character found only in the online mode.
Acts as a mentor in Deepground.
- The Blacksmith: Argent made all of the Tsviets' Named Weapons.
- Cool Sword: She wields an ornate sword, seemingly a reinforced version of the standard-issue SOLDIER blade.
- Eyepatchof Power: She wears an eyepatch and part of her dialogue indicates that she is exceedingly strong.
- Meaningful Name: Her name means "Silver" in Italian, for her outfit. However, she's not given a matching colored title like the other Tsviets.
- The Philosopher: Her speech, full of idioms, indicates this.
- Sequel Non-Entity: She shows up in the online Mode for all of five minutes, then we never see her again. Presumably she was killed in the fight with the Restrictors.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Argent or Argento? It's pronounced the same either way.
- Zen Survivor: Easily the most chill of all the Tsviets.
Jenova descended on Gaia 2,000 years before the events of FFVII. She single-handedly devastated the Cetra, and nearly destroyed the planet, before being sealed in a geological stratum in the Northern Crater. Unearthed by Shinra scientist Gast Faremis, she indirectly played a huge role in Shinra's rise to power as the source of the genetic material they use to create members of SOLDIER, their elite super-soldiers with which they conquered the world.
- Above Good and Evil / Blue and Orange Morality: The only antagonist whose reasons for being an Omnicidal Maniac are completely unknown and unknowable, mostly due to being a cosmic horror.
- Bigger Bad: Jenova's not completely in charge of Sephiroth or his actions, and due to the nature of her being cannot be directly confronted. In fact, whether she's even alive is up for debate. But the facts remain that if she hadn't come down to earth two thousand years ago, most of the events of the game wouldn't have happened.
- Body Horror: Among other things. She has an eyeball on her breast, and her innards float in the tank outside her body.
- Dead All Along: Died well before the events of the game. May have been resurrected by Sephiroth. It's hard to tell.
- Death from Above: Personified; she struck the planet in a meteor and caused massive death. In the Cetra language, her name literally translates as "Calamity From The Sky".
- Diabolus Ex Nihilo: Fell from the sky two thousand years before the game began. No one knows where it came from, but it's speculated that it may have landed on & devastated other worlds in the past.
- Eldritch Abomination: She came from the heavens in a meteor to destroy humanity, can shapeshift, bestows a variety of incredible powers on those exposed to her cells, and is stated to have no gender.
- Evil Matriarch: In a way. Kadaj, Yazoo, Loz, and Sephiroth all address her as "Mother" anyway.
- Expy: Jenova is basically Lavos as a woman, and eating the world from the outside in rather than the other way around.
- From a Single Cell: Jenova has powerful regenerative and shapeshifting abilities, making it difficult to permanently destroy her.
- Fusion Dance: With Sephiroth, to the point that he's taken her originaly instinctive destructive goals Up to Eleven and infused them with his own conscious intelligence.
- Humanoid Abomination: Resembles a deathly pale woman with eyes and veins in places where they should not be.
- In-Series Nickname: "Heaven's Dark Harbinger" and "The Calamity from the Sky" to the Cetra, "Mother" to Sephiroth.
- Obliviously Evil: It's been suggested that Jenova, while wicked and cruel, was originally just a creature that instinctively sought to destroy. Her fusion with Sephiroth combined her instincts with his powerful will and intelligence.
- The Plague: The Geostigma of Advent's Children is the result of the human body's immune system trying to cure itself of her cells and overcompensating, causing pain and weakness.
- Rule of Symbolism: Her name is a combination of "nova" and "Jehovah", and thus approximately means "New God".
- Shapeshifting: Jenova would shapeshift into the loved ones of her victims to get close to them. In the modern day Sephiroth uses this power of hers to form new bodies in his own image to act through.
- Silent Antagonist: She has exactly one line of dialogue attributed to her, providing her quote above. All other times it's Sephiroth speaking through her.
- Tainted Veins: Her veins pulse blue.
- The Virus: People and animals who are injected with Jenova's cells become victims of numerous side effects, including mutation and susceptibility to Mind Control. She's The Virus incarnate.
A mafia don in the slums of Midgar, he abducts Tifa as a candidate for his "special lady" for the evening. Cloud and Aerith infiltrate his mansion to rescue Tifa and find out what the Don knows about Shinra's schemes.
Appears in: VII
- All Men Are Perverted: The Don and his cronies are all lustful for Cloud and his companions.
- Asshole Victim: The novella "Lateral Biography Turks -The Kids Are Alright-" reveals he survived his fall in Wutai, but is now confined to a wheelchair due to the injuries he sustained. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
- Bald of Evil: Aside from a wisp of blond hair, he's entirely bald.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He returns during the Wutai subquest.
- Dirty Old Man: He's an aging crime boss who kidnaps women looking for someone to spend the night with. When presented with Aerith, Tifa, and the crossdressed Cloud, he's ecstatic at the idea of having a choice, and gives the two he doesn't choose to his men to enjoy.
- Disney Death: Though Reno drops him off a mountain in Wutai, "Lateral Biography Turks -The Kids Are Alright-" reveal he's still alive by the time of Advent Children.
- Disney Villain Death: He meets his apparent end falling off Wutai's mountain.
- The Don: His title and position.
- Fat Bastard: He's overweight and a perverted crime boss.
- Harmless Villain: He's just this side of Palmer as the most pathetic villain in the series. He's cowed into submission by one SOLDIER and two women.
- He Knows Too Much: After spilling the beans to the party about Shinra's plans, he flees the city pursued by the Turks who plan to silence him.
- Shout-Out: Is obviously named after Don Corleone.
- Took a Level in Kindness: The novella "Lateral Biography Turks -The Kids Are Alright-" portrays him as a fuel supplier managing things between Shinra and the WRO and helping them restore the planet.
Remnants of Sephiroth
The Remnants of Sephiroth
"So what if I'm a puppet? Once upon a time, you were too!"
Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo are physical manifestations of Sephiroth's will. Each of them represents a different aspect of Sephiroth's personality, but they share a fanatical obsession with Jenova.All three
- Artificial Human: They're formed out of pure tainted Lifestream energy by Sephiroth's will.
- Berserk Button: Some handle it better than others, but they all get annoyed whenever someone brings up Jenova in a flippant manner.
- Beta Test Baddie: They're each incomplete copies of Sephiroth, and their drive to find Jenova is out of a need to reunite with her so Sephiroth can be reborn properly.
- Cain and Abel: They consider Cloud their "brother" through Jenova, and fight and try to kill him several times since they view him as a traitor to her.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In a very twisted way. They actually think Jenova is their mother and want to find her and be with her again. Kadaj goes so far as to consider children infected with Geostigma, which is a result of them being infected with Jenova cells, as his "brothers", which makes them all a family.
- Expy: They're designed to invoke the idea of Sephiroth in their behavior and appearance. This is entirely the point in-universe since Sephiroth created them in his own image but had to do it with fragmented memories of how other people saw him in life.
- Flanderization: They're the result of Sephiroth undergoing in-universe Flanderization as described under his profile. Allowing his own memories to fragment and be stripped away, Sephiroth had to rely on memories how other people saw him to create the remnants, resulting in each of them being an exaggerated depiction of a different aspect of his true character.
- Freudian Trio: Loz is the Id, being a Man Child with simplistic emotions, Kadaj is the Ego, being the comparatively level-headed leader but prone to fits of rage and anger, and Yazoo is the Superego, being always calm and collected.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Each wears a black leather outfit that, in different ways, mimic Sephiroth's iconic attire.
- Literal Split Personality: They each embody a different aspect of Sephiroth. Kadaj has his cruelty and insanity, as well as his preference for katanas, Loz has his physical strength and obsession with Jenova, and Yazoo has his charisma and aloofness.
- Oedipus Complex: They practically worship Jenova, speaking of "mother" in almost reverence and devoting their entire existence to finding and reuniting with her.
- Psychopathic Manchild: While Kadaj is the most blatant example, all three are fiercely devoted to their "mother" and are more than a bit unstable and destructive in their search to find her.
- Siblings in Crime: They're all brothers, and occasionally bicker or banter with each other during the film.
- Summon Magic: They can summon monsters from tainted Lifestream called "Shadow Creepers".
- Terrible Trio: Kadaj is the leader and the one with the most knowledge of Sephiroth's plans, while Loz and Yazoo carry out efforts to find Jenova and do most of the fighting as Kadaj watches.
- Unwitting Pawn/The Pawn: They're just incarnations of Sephiroth's will meant to find Jenova so he can be reborn. Loz and Yazoo have no idea of this while Kadaj has some measure of understanding but is still unaware of his true purpose.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Being they're each embodiments of Sephiroth, they share this key design trait.
- The Brute: The most physically dominating of the remnants and easily the most powerful.
- Dumb Muscle: He's very stupid and childish, making sound effects when he rides his motorcycle and crying over Jenova at times. Word of God says they intended him more as a Man Child rather than plain stupid, but admit he ended up being this trope too.
- Lightning Bruiser: His physical strength is immense, allowing him to punch apart trees, and he moves so fast he appears to Flash Step in a blur of white light.
- Man Child: His defining trait is his childish behavior. His movements and emotional states are deliberately exaggerated to emphasize this.
- Power Fist: His weapon is the Dual Hound, a spiked taser-like gauntlet that adds electric shocks to his punches.
- Super Speed: Can move so fast his body is covered in white energy. A special animation tool was even designed by the staff that let them slow down the movie for the other characters while Loz moved normally, resulting in this trope when the film played normally.
- Gun Fu: While they're used much more often for shooting, the Velvet Nightmares have blades running along their length and are study in design, and they're used as melee weapons when needed.
- Guns Akimbo: Occasionally uses both his own and Loz's Velvet Nightmares at once.
- The Gunslinger: Wields a gunblade called Velvet Nightmare. Loz has one as well, but Yazoo uses his much more often while Loz relies on his fists.
- The Stoic: Calm, collected and cool.
"You found me when I was wandering all alone, without my memories. I was raised by AVALANCHE. You're all like my family. That's why I'm going to fight with everyone and repay my debt."
The leader of the original incarnation of AVALANCHE in Before Crisis
, she's a swordswoman with a fierce devotion to her warriors and is driven to save the planet from Shinra by any means necessary.
- Action Girl: Sephiroth of all people is impressed with her skill when she manages to endure his attacks.
- Anti-Villain: She really does want to protect the planet from Shinra. She's just willing to go to extremes to do it.
- Badass Cape: Wears a dull grey cloak.
- Big Bad: As the leader of AVALANCHE, she's the primarily antagonist of Before Crisis. At first.
- A Father to His Men: She cares for AVALANCHE as her own family and fights alongside them on the front lines, unwilling to sit back and let them fight for her.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: The first encounter with her is impossible to win.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Her weapon of choice is a katana, though of a more practical size than Sephiroth's.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Her real name is Felicia.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: She has no memories from before she joined AVALANCHE.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: She's Veld's daughter, presumed dead.
- Not Quite Dead: Three times in fact. Veld assumes Felicia dead when their hometown is attacked, but she's retrieved and used as an experiment by Hojo. He decides she's a failure and orders her disposed of, but Fuhito takes her to safety. And then at the end of Before Crisis, she's assumed dead due to the Zirconiade Materia finally taking its toll, but she and Veld are taken care of in secret and eventually go into hiding together.
- Power Degeneration: Has Stock Superpowers due to the Zirconiade Materia imbedded in her arm. It also happens to be draining her life force and will eventually kill her.
- Stock Superpowers: Super Reflexes, Super Senses, Super Speed, Super Strength.
- The Stoic: She doesn't show a lot of emotion.
- Unwitting Pawn: Fuhito was just using her and AVALANCHE for his own schemes.
Elfé's right-hand man in AVALANCHE, he led an anti-Shinra group of his own until Elfé defeated him and compressed his group into AVALANCHE. He's in love with her and entirely devoted to her and her cause.
- Amazon Chaser: Thinks so of Elfé.
- Barefisted Monk: He fights with his bare hands.
- Co-Dragons: With Fuhito, he's Elfé's second-in-command.
- Defeat Means Friendship: He used to lead his own rebellion on Shinra, until he ran into Elfé. She kicked his ass, and he and his men joined AVALANCHE.
- Heel-Face Turn: After Veld abandons the Turks to try and help Elfé, Shears leaves AVALANCHE to try and help him and the Turks.
- Recurring Boss: He's fought several times throughout the game.
A scientist in the employ of AVALANCHE, he's the mastermind of their elite shock troops the Ravens, Evil Counterparts
- Co-Dragons: With Shears, he's Elfé's second-in-command.
- Dragon Ascendant: After Shears leaves the group and Elfé is too weak to do it herself, Fuhito takes over command of AVALANCHE.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Like Hojo, he wears glasses. He's also just as evil and amoral.
- The Heavy: He's behind most of AVALANCHE's plans in the game.
- Mad Scientist: He idolizes Hojo, and orders an AVALANCHE attack on Shinra's headquarters in the hopes of being able to meet him and show off his Ravens.
- The Man Behind the Man: He's the real force controlling AVALANCHE.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Believes that the Planet is too weakened thanks to Shinra's actions and wants to kill all human life so their energy will return to the Lifestream and the Planet can heal without their interference. This is why he wants to summon Zirconiade, because it will be his tool to do the job.
- One-Winged Angel: He merges with Zirconiade to fight you in the final chapter.
- Recurring Boss: You fight him over and over during the game.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He tries to pull this on AVALANCHE's benefactor. This is also his eventual goal for all of AVALANCHE, Elfé and Shears included.
A legendary "Ultimate Summon" also known as "The World Burner". Zirconiade is said to be strong enough to destroy all life on the planet, but the energy needed to summon it is so great that the base Summon Materia cannot muster the energy, four support Materia are also needed.
- Artifact of Doom: The Materia to summon it can end the world in the wrong hands.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: A variant; the Zirconiade Materia itself is intact, but its support Materia are scattered around the planet.
- Eldritch Abomination: Its a giant mass of spikes, blades, and wings.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Weapons. While Zirconiade is a Summon Materia that will destroy the planet, the Weapons exist to protect it. Zirconiade's name parallels the Weapons; while they're named after precious stones, Zirconiade takes its name from Zirconia, as in "cubic zirconia", fake diamonds.
- Final Boss: Of Before Crisis.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: It'll destroy the world if unleashed.
- Spikes of Villainy: It's very, shall we say, "pointy".
"Sadness was the price to see it end. It's been two years since they told me that."
Voiced by: Miyu Tsuzurahara, Sumire Morohoshi (Japanese), Grace Rolek, Ariel Winter (English)
Barret's young daughter. Her biological father was his old friend Dyne, who supposedly died when their hometown Corel was massacred by Shinra. Barret found Marlene in the rubble and took her in as his own. After the events of the game, Barret leaves her in the care of Cloud and Tifa in Edge.
"He'll come back. He said that he would."
Voiced by: Kyousuke Ikeda, Kazumu Izawa (Japanese), Benjamin Bryan, Aaron Refvem (English)
A young boy living with Cloud and Tifa in Advent Children
, he's an orphan from Midgar that Cloud found in the Sector 5 Church and took in. When he caught Geostigma, Cloud left to try and find a cure to save him.
Appears in: Advent Children
- Action Survivor: Living in the ruins of Midgar turned him from a normal kid to a resourceful scavenger.
- Adult Fear: He and other children with Geostigma are kidnapped by the Silver Haired Men and brainwashed by them.
- Flat Character: He doesn't get a lot of personality to build on in Advent Children; justified since he's fatally ill for much of it and not fully coherent for it. His novella expands on his character more.
- Happily Adopted: By Cloud and Tifa.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Despite living in absolute misery, he eventually found a loving family.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: He has Geostigma and curing him is an important subplot.
- Lower Deck Episode: His novella serves to demonstrate how Midgar's civilian population handled the events of VII.
- Parental Substitute: After his biological parents died, Denzel went through two or three caretakers before winding up under Cloud and Tifa's care.
- Simple Staff: He uses a metal pole to defend himself living in the ruins of Midgar. In Advent Children Complete he gets a brief moment to do it again.
- Street Urchin: Before he met Cloud, he lived alone in the ruins of Midgar.
- Upper-Class Twit: Has shades of this since his parents were too; he thinks slum people eat rats for instance.
The leader of Cosmo Canyon and Red XIII's adopted "grandfather". He knows much about the nature of the Lifestream and the planet and helps guide the party on their journey.
Appears in: VII, Before Crisis
- Mr. Exposition: He exists largely to give info dumps on topics most other characters in the game are ignorant of, primarily the Lifestream and the Cetra.
- Parental Substitute: He's taken care of Red XIII for decades since his parents are gone.
- Power Floats: He inexplicably floats on a large green orb at all times.
- Shout-Out: He's named after the archeologist in The Omen who tells the hero the lore of the anti-christ.
The last pureblood Cetra, she was studied by Shinra as part of their research on the group until she escaped with Professor Gast. She fathered a child with him, Aerith, but days after the birth Hojo tracked them down, killed Gast, and took the two captive. Ifalna and Aerith escaped Shinra years later, but Ifalna was injured in the attack and entrusted the care of her daughter to the passing Elmyra Gainsborough.
Voiced by: Yuu Asakawa (Japanese), Kim Mai Guest (English)
A scientist working with the WRO, she is searching for a reason to live after her sister was captured by Shinra years ago.
Appears in: Dirge of Cerberus
- Artificial Limbs: She has a robotic left arm as a prosthetic. Backstory also establishes she was the one who gave Barret his gun-arm.
- Coat Cape: She wears a lap coat slung over shoulders like a cloak.
- Disney Death: Possibly. Her body is recovered and put in a medical capsule, but Yuffie says she has too much head trauma and will never wake up, and come the end of the game her broken capsule is left in Midgar's ruins as Omega is destroyed and the Lifestream rains down on her, so there's a chance she'll return. Word of God says they purposefully left her survival open to interpretation to look at in future games.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see precisely what Azul does to her behind the door, but when she's being cared for afterwards it's mentioned she has head trauma.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Apparently dies helping Vincent and Shelke escape Azul.
- Hot Scientist: Outfit aside, she is very nice to look at.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: He sister turns out to be Shelke.
- Stripperiffic: It's a mystery where she buys clothes that look like that.
Appears in: Final Fantasy VII, Before Crisis, Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core
Ancient bio-mechanical superweapons created by the planet 2000 years ago to fight Jenova, they were put to rest in the North Crater after she was sealed. The events of the series that throw the planet into crisis again cause them to awaken. Five Weapons appeared in the original game, the expanded Compilation
added two more.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Weapons are massive, towering over skyscrapers.
- Beam Spam: Most of them attack with an assortment of rays and lasers. Emerald Weapon's four Eyes that accompany it only have one attack, Emerald Laser, so you'll be seeing a lot of it.
- Bonus Boss: All of them except Diamond Weapon are optional encounters. Ultimate Weapon has to be fought once but survives, and can be fought and killed at the player's choosing.
- Boom, Headshot: Sapphire Weapon gets a point-blank blast from Junon's Mako Cannon, obliterating its head.
- Bragging Rights Reward: The rewards for defeating Ruby and Emerald are rewards that can be traded for a set of unique Master Materia, and a Gold Chocobo. But if you're strong enough to beat them, you've defeated the game's most powerful enemies, so you don't need those items now.
- Breath Weapon: Sapphire Weapon's attack is a blast of energy from its mouth. Ruby Weapon and Ultimate Weapon also fire projectiles from their mouths.
- Casting a Shadow: Ruby Weapon and Ultimate Weapon can cast Shadow Flare.
- Chest Blaster: Ultimate Weapon and Ruby Weapon fire attacks from orbs on their chests.
- Color-Coded Characters: One is red, one is green, one is blue, one is white, and one is black and purple. The additional weapons added in later games are dark green, and silver.
- Combat Tentacles: Ruby Weapon's arms.
- Duel Boss: Ruby Weapon kills off two party members to make the fight one-on-one.
- Get Back Here Boss: Ultimate Weapon fights a few rounds, then flies away to be chased down and fought again until you whittle it down to nothing.
- Godzilla Threshold: They are the Godzilla in the trope name — when the planet is in dire danger or some threat appears that could cause mass destruction, the Weapons awaken to fight it off. Omega is the final one of these — when the other Weapons are gone and the planet is in danger still, it awakens to gather the Lifestream and take it to another planet to escape the threat, leaving the old planet to wither and die.
- Knight Templar: They exist to protect the planet from threats, but their only method for doing so is to destroy those threats.
- Organic Technology: They're 2000-year old bio-mechanical weapons spawned by The Lifestream that appear to have mechanical workings and weapons.
- Playing with Fire: Ruby Weapon's Ruby Flame.
- Purple Is The New Black: Ultimate Weapon is referred to as the black Weapon, but is mostly purple with some black coloring.
- Shock and Awe: Aside from Ultima Beam, Ultimate Weapon attacks by shooting orbs of lightning at party members.
- Shoulder Cannon: Emerald Weapon is armed with four, while Diamond Weapon has a series of flare launchers in its shoulders.
- Theme Naming:
- The Weapons are Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, and Ultimate. Jade continues the trend, but not Omega, but then Omega is a special member of the group.
- Also carries into their attacks, which are named after them. Diamond Weapon for example uses Diamond Fire and Diamond Flash.
- The Unfought: Sapphire Weapon is destroyed by Shinra before the party ever gets to fight it.
The goddess of the planet and the embodiment of the Lifestream's will. She's the goddess spoken of in LOVELESS and can be fought in Crisis Core's
final mission as the game's Bonus Boss
- Action Girl: Easily the most powerful enemy in Crisis Core.
- Badass Cape: Wears a pair of large white cloaks that hang from her armor.
- Big Good: Guardian of the Lifestream, goddess of LOVELESS, and protector of the planet.
- Blade on a Stick/Magic Staff: Her weapon is a bit of both; it's designed like a staff but comes to a point with bladed protrusions.
- Bonus Boss: The game's strongest enemy, fought at the end of a long chain of difficult Missions.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Zack will probably do this literally, since Costly Punch is what you're likely going to be spamming against her.
- Evil Counterpart: Inverted, as a goddess who embodies the will of the Lifestream, she's a Good Counterpart to Jenova and Sephiroth, false gods who try to corrupt the Lifestream.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Crimson Flare, Krysta and Thor's Hammer.
- Gold and White Are Divine: Wears gold and white armor and has blond hair.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: As part of her appearance of a noble goddess and the good embodiment of the Lifestream.
- Hot Goddess: She is very lovely to look at and happens to be a deity.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Wields a shield on her left armor.
- Morph Weapon: Her shield, spear/staff, and armor and cape, come apart and combine to form a giant bow and arrow for Judgement Arrow.
- No Cure for Evil: Unfortunately she isn't evil, hence Blessing Light.
- Sacred Bow and Arrows: Her ultimate attack, Judgment Arrow, has her form a giant bow from her armor and fire her staff at Zack like an arrow.
- Valkyrie: Her armor and general appearance have this vibe.