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Videogame: Dirge of Cerberus

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII is a sequel and spinoff of the whiplash-inducingly popular Final Fantasy VII, and was released for the Sony PlayStation 2. Unlike other games in the series, Dirge is a Third-Person Shooter with RPG Elements, starring broody ally Vincent Valentine as he fights to come to terms with his past. Although nearly all of the Final Fantasy VII characters make some appearance, focus is off the main characters and onto ones who didn't get much screentime in the original. It includes a Retcon of a scene late in the game which assumed that Vincent and Yuffie, who were optional Secret Characters, were not in your party.

Generally considered the weakest of the Compilation Of Final Fantasy VII, and has been criticized for camera, control and targeting issues and lack of difficulty. Its story has garnered mixed reviews.

DOC takes place one year after Advent Children and infamously creates a tie-in with Crisis Core, released afterwards but canonically taking place before the original game. Said tie-in involves J-Pop star Gackt in a rare (for video games) live-action cameo.

This game contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Doing all the missions and shooting all the little tubes to unlock everything.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Shinra Mansion sure got a lot bigger. While we're at it, just how many caverns are there under Midgar?
  • Aesop Amnesia: If you had Vincent in your party when fighting Hojo in the original game, he's shown to realize that Hojo was at fault for everything and that he doesn't need to "repent for his sins" any longer. Not only does he forget about that in this game, he angsts over it nonstop!
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Or, in this case, Cactuars.
  • All There in the Manual: The online game reveals a lot more history about Deepground and the Tsviets, including the reason Weiss died and later got possessed by Hojo. Unfortunately this was Japan-only.
  • Ambiguously Gay or Depraved Homosexual: Probably Nero. Not only he has a deep love for his brother which is beyond obsession, but his few interactions with Vincent can count too. And in the Lost Episode, he is shown stalking Vincent and "wanting to take a taste of his darkness"
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Arguably the whole point of the game, but there's also a segment where you control Cait Sith.
  • Anti-Hero: Vincent possibly type II.
    • In the online mode, if not being directly Type V, Weiss could be viewed as a Type IV. He killed Restrictor yes, but he committed very morally ambiguous actions to do such as using another Tsviet, the player by faking her/his memories and making it believing that Restrictor killed its sister. And when it died, Weiss doesn't even care about it.
  • Anime Hair: Weiss, hands down.
  • Anime Theme Song: Two, both by Gackt. "Longing" plays during the very last part of the final level on your way to fight the final boss, and "Redemption" is basically the game's theme song.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: See Death Is a Slap on the Wrist below.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Lucrecia.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: No matter what, you will never fight alongside any other main character. They will always just happen to be knocked out or somewhere else. The CG sequence that shows the WRO's assault on Midgar includes practically all the characters you'd want to fight alongside, along with Vincent. Of course, Vincent goes his own, separate route while the rest of the cast go elsewhere (Shelke even complains about it afterward, asking Vincent why he landed "several clicks off (his) target destination.").
  • Ascended Extra: Vincent, Lucrecia and Chaos were respectively an optional party member, a minor character and a Limit Break in the original game. In this game, Vincent is the protagonist, and Lucrecia and Chaos have major roles in the story.
  • Author Appeal: The reason why Gackt is the most powerful being on the planet.
  • Ax-Crazy: Rosso.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Rosso. When you beat her, she stumbles to the edge of the building you're fighting on, declares "No one will stand above me!", cuts her chunk of floor away from the rest of the building, and laughs all the way down.
    • And yet, hilariously if you take her words at face value, the very way she kills herself leaves Vincent standing above her. As in, he's standing above her as she plummets to her death.
  • Badass Army: Deepground and World Regenesis Organization, once they decided to go offensive.
  • Badass Cape: Vincent, of course. One could make a case for Rosso and Azul as well.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Shalua, Yuffie, Rosso, Lucrecia, Tifa...
  • Berserk Button: For Vincent, only being Hojo is enough to push him off the edge.
    • That's rare that the Tsviets genuinely care for someone when that isn't to use them. But if they ever do, pray God to have mercy on you because they won't.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Inverted: Nero, the younger brother, is obsessed with protecting Weiss.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While she herself is not overtly malicious, the amount of horrible things that have happened in Vincent's life on account of Lucrecia is positively maddening. At least she's apologetic.
  • Blood Knight: Azul.
  • Blood Lust: Rosso. After she snapped, Rosso became obsessed with drawing blood from her foes, hence her title, "the Crimson".
  • Boom, Headshot: Headshots do twice as much damage as any other shot.
    • Not always. Very few enemies have no weak points. And certain non-human enemies have their weak point on another spot, such as a fuel tank or the stomach.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Tsviets and Deepground, as a result of the Super Soldier program. The heroes go through some mild angsting over whether Deepground can really be blamed for their actions.
  • Call Back: Vincent got a new phone...
  • Character Filibuster: Weiss... er... Hojo loves to do these. They make no sense whatsoever, but he loves 'em.
  • Child Soldiers: Shelke was kidnapped and turned into a Tsviet at age 9.
    • In the export, it's implied that many of the other Deepground soldiers were also children when they were first experimented on. Weiss, Nero and Rosso were all born in Deepground.
  • Colorful Theme Naming: The Tsviets. Nero means black, Azul means blue, Rosso means red, Shelke means amber, Weiss means white, and Argento means silver. Most of them even wear the appropriate colors.
    • Bilingual Bonus: "Tsviet" means "flower" or "color" in Russian.
      • But the accent is so bad that even native Russian speaker can miss it.
  • Combos: Vincent can do kicks and punches in close quarters.
  • Continuity Cameo: Rufus is seen being loaded into an ambulance during the evacuation of Midgar as Meteor is starting to fall. It's explained in the novellas as having something to do with a trap door.
  • Continuity Snarl: Oh where to start... If the confusing as hell timeline wasn't bad enough, there's the fact that apparently Hojo decided to fuse with Omega after seeing Vincent in Chaos form during his boss battle during the original game, leading to him injecting Jenova cells in himself to help the process. Only... he injected Jenova cells into him before his boss battle (and thus before he saw Chaos) so he can even fight Cloud and co. And apparently after doing Cloud and co left, he changed back to his original form, uploaded himself on the Internet, and then died in a lightning strike during the final battle with Sephiroth. And there's much more than that.
  • Critical Hit: The aforementioned headshots, though it can happen other times too.
  • Crystal Prison: Lucrecia is revealed to be in one, apparently of her own free will.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: And how! In fact, a large complaint with the game was how Vincent could pull off incredible acrobatics in cutscenes, but during gameplay could do no more than double jump, and even that was something that was added to the US/PAL version of the game.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Shalua's tiny skirt fails to protect her modesty during her only fight scene.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Everyone.
  • Dark Is Not Evil/Light Is Not Good: Contrast vampiric Anti-Hero Vincent with crazed mass-murderer Weiss ("white") the Immaculate.
  • Dead to Begin With: Weiss, in a manner of speaking. But "not for long", according to Nero. It turns out that he succumbed to a virus implanted in his body that would be activated if he killed his superiors, which he did.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Due to auto-saving, you have infinite continues and rarely have to redo more than a few minutes of exploration.
    • Since you get to keep all of the experience you earned and convert it to levels or Gil after you die, essentially restarting before the problem point with more resources at your disposal, death can be downright beneficial.
  • Defusing The Tykebomb: Shalua to Shelke, once Shelke's been captured by the WRO.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: As the Let's Play was fond of pointing out, "Nero the Sable", "Azul the Cerulean", and "Rosso the Crimson" literally translate to "Black the Black", "Blue the Blue", and "Red the Red", respectively.
    • Weiss the Immaculate might count, as immaculate deals with purity, a theme commonly represented by the color white in Western cultures. Only Argento and Shelke avoid this (Argento doesn't have a title as far as we know and amber is a translucent fossil resin, usually a deep yellowish-orange in color, not clear and transparent).
  • Design It Yourself Equipment: Sort of; you customize your weapon's base, barrel, and attachment.
  • Difficulty By Region: The US release removed the Easy setting, changed the Limit Breaks to items, reduced the number of max slots per item and the money that can be obtained by selling them, and tweaked the enemy AI. On the other hand, it did improve the camera controls, lets Vincent double-jump, and increased Vincent's speed by 20% (American audiences can only boggle at how the original version must have played).
  • Difficulty Levels: On Extra Hard, opening the menu doesn't stop the action. Yet, you're allowed to keep all your weapons and items from a previous Normal or Hard mode game.
  • Disney Death: Implied to be what Weiss received in the Genesis ending.
  • Double Jump: Hilariously, it's the "exclusive bonus feature" for the US/PAL version. And it's near useless, because the level design hasn't changed one bit from the Japanese version. But if you like to show off while gunning down Mooks and monsters, then you're luck!
  • Double Weapon: Rosso's sword is a dual bladed red... thing with a small machinegun built in the handle.
  • Dual Wielding: Shelke, Weiss, and Nero, thought it's more along the lines of Quadruple Wielding in his case; one gun in each hand, including his wings' hands.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Nero the Sable.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Chaos and Death Penalty.
  • Emotionless Girl: Shelke.
  • Escort Mission: Several of them, involving you trying your darndest not to get your allies killed. Fortunately if they do get killed, you just lose points.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The best trope is Nero. Despite his dark and creepy nature at times, he really does love Weiss and would do anything to protect him or being with him. Weiss also seems to feel the same toward him.
    • Even though Shelke was with Deepground, Shalua still cared for her and always tried to search for her.
  • Everything Fades
  • Evil Brit: Nero the Sable, despite the fantasy setting.
  • Evil Laugh: Weiss and Hojo. At first, you might think that Hojo is affecting the way that Weiss laughs, but the group laughter at the end of the Online Mode reveals that no, he just laughs like that naturally. Most of the Tsviets are also guilty of this — they may be evil, but they have a very healthy sense of humor.
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment
  • Extended Gameplay: A whole bunch of missions, which unlock neat stuff like galleries.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Argento.
  • Faceless Mooks
  • Fate Worse Than Death: When Weiss and Nero merge into one, Hojo lost control of it and he's erased from existence as Weiss walks into Omega.
  • Femme Fatale: Rosso the Crimson.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Materia. Nothing has elemental weaknesses, the only difference is how the spell acts.
  • Full-Name Basis: Shelke always calls Vincent by his full name.
  • Gag Sub: This trailer.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Cutscene Vincent is an agile and athletic superhuman killing machine. Gameplay Vincent is befuddled by anything taller than a garbage can that's on its side.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Not intentionally, but seeing as Rosso and Argento are women, their names should really be Rossa and Argentea (the feminine Italian equivalents).
  • Guns Are Worthless: Pretty much, given how much ammunition you'll be pumping into the average mook, to say nothing of how many rounds said mooks will put into you.
  • Hammerspace
  • Hand Cannon: Customizing Cerberus with the Long Barrel can have this effect.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Shelke.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: The tutorial, featuring Vincent the Turk in a training hall.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shalua. A bit pointless, but heroic all the same.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted with the moogle doll.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Yuffie, hoo boy.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Hojo, by way of possessing Weiss's body.
  • Hot Scientist: Shalua and Lucrecia.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Azul, by his own cannon.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Depends on what your definition of "cool" is. Genesis's jacket could be argued into the "cool" category... Nero's straitjacket and face jockstrap? Not in a million years.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Shelke, who uses two lightsabe... energy rods attached by... er, more energy.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Ultima Weapon, as usual. Technically, Death Penalty is stronger, but it's only available when the Chaos Limit Break is.
  • Invisible Wall: Combined with Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence. While Vincent has to find keycards for the energy fences, he cannot, at any point, simply jump over or around them. Even in the US/PAL release, where he can jump higher than these energy fences.
    • Even more ridiculously, there is a point near the end of the game where Vincent has to crawl under a pipe. The problem is, there is nothing above the pipe. By all logic, Vincent should just be able to jump over it. But no, he has to use the pretty much useless crawl function.
    • This is also really confusing, because the opening FMV scene showed Vincent jumping from roof to roof, over helicopters, in ways that pretty much defy physics and would make any Olympic gymnast go, "Shit."
  • Invulnerable Civilians: Averted.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Vincent gets one after Omega's born and he turns into Chaos, and Shelke is the one who has to dive in after him to bring him back.
  • Just Between You and Me: Weiss/Hojo really can't resist explaining every last detail of his evil plan, even after Vincent interrupts him twice to say he's heard enough.
  • Large Ham: Hojo.
    • Also Yuffie. She goes all-out on her introduction when Vincent asks who she is, as she's wearing a cloak, for some unknown reason.
  • Left Hanging: The secret ending of Dirgeof Cerberus has not been picked up by any Final Fantasy media since. Genesis flies away with Weiss promising some mysterious new plan... which has never been followed up.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: After Weiss combines with Omega, his gun-swords are upgraded to a pair of katanas.
  • Kudzu Plot: Possibly the biggest offender in the Compilation.
  • Kung-Fu Proof Mook : Weiss' Elites in Deepground are invulnerable to normal bullets thanks to a Beehive Barrier. You can still dispose of them with elemental attacks or kick their ass manually in hand-to-hand combat.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: In the online mode. It is very difficult to guess who is the nicest between Restrictor and Weiss as the two of them committed very horrible and amoral actions to reach their goals, and in any case there would be victims because of them. Nevertheless, the online mode made the Tsviets as somehow the "good guys" because of their background which makes them somewhat sympathetic. Furthermore, Weiss's care for his brother is his only one redeemable trait
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Toy Gun is completely useless, but if you upgrade it to its final version, you get the Infinity Plus One Gun, Ultima Weapon.
  • Limit Break: Available as an item this time round.
  • Little Miss Badass: Double subverted by Shelke. She really is a nineteen-year old teenager, but given that she is Not Allowed to Grow Up, she has the body of a nine-year old, yet is more than capable of kicking ass.
  • Lost Technology: Cid reveals he found the Shera buried in a cave underground, already constructed and more-or-less operational. This may be a Shout-Out to Final Fantasy VI and how Setzer recovers the Falcon, as well as the Final Fantasy tradition of having the heroes find relic airships from another age.
    • As mentioned in the game's intro, the big celebration taking place in Kalm is in recognition of the "Worldwide Network" being brought back online. Yes, they're celebrating getting the internet back for the first time in three years. At least Square knows its fanbase.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Two cases actually happened. The first one is definitely Lucrecia. Even though her and Hojo's relationship could be viewed whether as love or not, that's because she followed Hojo that she used her own child Sephiroth as an experiment to the point she doesn't even care about Vincent's warnings, while this latter was genuinely in love with her. She is remorseful but unfortunately that is too late. The second example is Nero who is ready to commit genocide and awakening Omega only out of love for his brother who was actually Hojo. In this case it comes out as a Love Makes You Evil trope too.
  • Mad Scientist: Hojo, of course, and Lucrecia, to some extent.
  • Mana Meter
  • Masashi Hamauzu: Composed part of the music.
  • Muggles: Reeve and the WRO mooks. Every other character is some sort of special... Well, they're special, let's just leave it at that.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The 100-enemy room.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: No matter how much damage he takes or how many times he uses a Limit Breaker, Vincent's cape will never suffer Clothing Damage.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Anyone wondering what Lucrecia ever saw in Hojo will still be left wondering after playing this game. If anything, he seems even more Obviously Evil than ever before.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Vincent is restricted to the Vanilla pistol in cutscenes, no matter how pimped out the player has it, or if you were using an SMG or Rifle a second ago.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Tsviets — sort of.
  • Oddball in the Series: Out of all the Compilation games, this is by far the most divisive.
  • Oh, Crap: Hojo/Weiss got a huge one when Vincent-Chaos parried his Razor Wind with a finger.
  • Older Than They Look: Shelke, a nineteen-year-old woman with the body of a nine-year-old girl.
  • 1-Up: The Phoenix Down arguably acts as this. Why in the world this did not happen to Aerith is beyond anyone's guess.
  • One-Winged Angel: All of the Tsviets aside from Rosso (who fittingly Turns Red instead) and Shelke, as well as Vincent.
    • Bishounen Line: Gorgonero is virtually physically indistinguishable from his regular ol' Nero, unlike Arachnero.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite everything she did and mostly is the cause of Vincent's sorrow, Lucrecia seemed to really care about him. There is even a moment where the two shared a picnic together even though Vincent's duty was to protect her. She also seems very remorseful for having made him suffer.
    • Tsviets are monsters, however Weiss's and Nero's relationship are the few moments of humanity between them. Some of interactions with the player in Online eventually turned to be a Bait the Dog, as they even didn't care if the player died.
  • Playing with Syringes: Deepground.
  • Psycho for Hire: Definitely Rosso.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Weiss and Argento. Nero comes close, but not quite.
  • Razor Wind: Rosso again, who can cut through solid concrete just by swinging her hand.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Azul delivered one to Shelke while preparing to grind her bones.
  • Redshirt Army: They even wear red uniforms.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Cerberus is a triple-barreled one.
  • Retcon: Some intended to explain why Vincent and Yuffie weren't shown in the original Final Fantasy VII ending, others just to make this game work a little better, such as the new form of Chaos.
  • Satellite Character: Nero to Weiss.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Deepground, again.
  • See You in Hell: Azul works it into his Final Speech, though they're not his last words.
  • Ship Tease: Between Vincent and Yuffie, especially counting every time they saved each other during the story, and how Yuffie was worried when she thought that Vincent was hurt during the final battle against Omega. In the online mode, that is very subtle but there are some little between Weiss and Rosso during their fight.
  • Shout-Out: "Number Five is alive!"
    • In chapter 10, a Mook can be found hidden inside a box.
    • The chapter featuring Cait Sith sneaking into a mako reactor's named "Solid Cait".
    • The Tsviets themselves may be another Metal Gear Shout-Out, this time to the Foxhound antagonists from Metal Gear Solid.
      • Rosso has a Sniper Wolf-esque inappropriate Lzherusskie accent.
      • Azul is a pretty clear Vulcan Raven, Genius Brute with a BFG.
      • Nero has a Psycho Mantis bondage look.
      • Weiss is similar to Liquid Snake, though Nero has the accent. Really, he's more like Revolver Ocelot and Hojo is Liquid Snake.
  • Slasher Smile: Weiss pulls off a couple in the main game, as well as in the Online Mode.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Weiss.
  • Social Darwinist: Weiss, except the ones he deems worthy are the ones that will die.
  • The Spartan Way: Shelke describes Deepground as "a hell far deeper than any you could imagine". The backstory is pretty hellish for many of the characters.
  • Stripperiffic: Shalua, Rosso, and Yuffie.
  • Super Soldier: The Tsviets.
  • Talk to Everyone: A requirement when aboard the Shera.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Shelke. The creators tried to justify it by having her physically stop aging at nine, but that doesn't explain why they had to make her so disturbingly sexy for a pre-adolescent or one of the closest things to a love interest Vincent has.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Tsviets, in the backstory.
  • Two Shots from Behind the Bar: Vincent can retrieve the Hydra rifle in Edge from behind a bar inside a deserted building.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The final levels, which turn into a Rail Shooter.
  • Unexplained Accent: Nero has a British accent, Rosso has a Russian accent and Cait Sith has a Scottish one.
    • Cait Sith is justified at least, supplementary material states that Reeve got the accent from the way his parents spoke. Also Cait Sith (pronounced "Kett Shee") is a mythological Gaelic creature whose name pretty much means "Cat Fairy".
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: The game auto-saves before and after most boss fights. It is possible to enter a boss fight without sufficient ammo and healing items to win.
    • However, the game averts the usual problem with autosaving by making separate save files for each checkpoint. Therefore, you can simply go back to the last checkpoint and replay up to that point. It's annoying, but at least you don't have to restart the entire game. Plus, there's usually a shop and some kind of sealed door just before it's about to hit the fan.
  • Villain Decay: Hojo. Even though he appears to be just as evil as he was in the original game, he is robbed of most of his actual character traits and becomes far more stereotypical, making it difficult for players to take him seriously. However, it is heavily implied that the reason for his more-stereotypical behavior was because he lost his sanity after his botched attempt at injecting himself with Jenova's cells.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rosso and later Nero. Hojo had a gargantuan one when Weiss and Nero merged together, causing him to be slowly erased from existance.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Weiss. Oh my, Weiss.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Argento factors heavily in the backstory of the remaining Tsviets, but is only seen in the online multiplayer mode, leaving her fate and actions unknown.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Weiss.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Yuffie's already scanty legwear has shrunk since Final Fantasy VII.
  • Woman in White: Lucrecia, after she goes The Atoner route and seals herself away for all of the horrible things that happened to Vincent because of her, ditches her Hot Scientist garb for a white Pimped-Out Dress.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Tsviets easily qualify. They had essentially been raised to be weapons by Shinra, so while they did do atrocious actions, the main characters also at the same time have some pity over them because of how they were raised.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shelke.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Yuffie and the female WRO soldiers wear Grade B with shorts.

Crisis CoreEastern RPGFinal Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VII: Advent ChildrenFranchise/Final FantasyLast Order Final Fantasy VII
Before CrisisMobile Phone GameFinal Fantasy Adventure
Red FactionRail ShooterTin Star
Deer HunterTeen RatingDisgaea
Dino CrisisUsefulNotes/Play Station 2 Disaster Report

alternative title(s): Dirge Of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII; Dirge Of Cerberus
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