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Characters / Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth

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"I will... never be a memory."

Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese), Lance Bass (Kingdom Hearts, English), George Newbern (all other appearances, English), Tyler Hoechlin (Crisis Core Reunion, English)

Appears in: Final Fantasy VII | Crisis Core | Advent Children | Before Crisis

Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Ehrgeiz | Dissidia Final Fantasy | Kingdom Hearts | Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

"Ha, ha, sadness? What do I have to be sad about? I'm the chosen one. And I have been chosen to be the leader of this Planet."

The Son of Jenova. The Legendary SOLDIER. The Giver of Despair.

The Dreaded One-Winged Angel.

Estuans interius, ira vehementi, SEPHIROTH!

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.

Also has a self-demonstrating page.

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  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: His Masamune. Not so much in the original game, but displayed in Crisis Core: During his fight with Angeal and Genesis, he ends up tearing apart a giant cannon by slicing it through the barrel.
  • The Ace: He was known as the absolute best of the elite group SOLDIER and admired as a hero. He was actually so good that, according to Cloud, the stories people told about him were understating how strong he was — rather than the other way around as usual.
  • Actually a Doombot: The "Sephiroth" the heroes face through most of the game is actually a Jenova construct bearing his appearance, though it was being directly controlled by the real deal. The real one fell down the Nibelheim Reactor in his battle with Cloud, had his remains crystallized in Mako at the Northern Crater and is fought as the final boss.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: While Sephiroth doesn't receive any outright sympathy, quite a few characters hint that his cold exterior is a result of a deep despair.
  • 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.
  • Animal Motif: Between his cold, dead eyes, his tendency to backstab people both figuratively and literally, the fang-like portrusions from his hair, and his choice of a first monster to show Cloud he's killed, you could say that Sephiroth is a bit of a snake.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Cloud. Sephiroth was responsible for destroying Nibelheim and killed Cloud’s mother, making him hate Sephiroth for what he did. In Advent Children, when he comes back, it becomes even more personal as Sephiroth plans to cause as much misery for Cloud as he possibly can.
      Sephiroth: (to Cloud) Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away.
    • To Tifa. Sephiroth destroyed her home town, killed her father in cold blood and what he did to Cloud, though Sephiroth could care less of Tifa as he only saw her as being lesser than Cloud.
  • Audible Sharpness: In his fight with Cloud in Advent Children Complete, his Masamune produces several sounds when he swings it around. Not even Cloud's swords have this property.
  • 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".
  • Ax-Crazy: Don't let the composed, calm exterior fool you; following his descent into villainy, Sephiroth is a vicious mass-murderer who doesn't care who he has to slaughter or how many of them to complete his goals. In fact, directly following his Face–Heel Turn during the Nibelheim Incident, killing lots of innocent people in a vengeful rage was his goal. After that he developed higher aspirations that also involved killing a lot of people.
  • Back from the Dead: Technically speaking, Cloud killed him back in Nibelheim, several years before the start of the original game. His "resurrection" is that Sephiroth can manipulate Jenova's cells from within the Lifestream to create a new body for himself as his own. In Advent Children he does this again.
  • 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.
  • Baritone of Strength: Both Toshiyuki Morikawa and George Newbern make him sound smooth, yet downright menacing at the same time, further cementing his status as an unstoppable force of nature. His voice alone conveys power with superiority all in one, further backing up his immense skill with a sword and immense magical power.
  • 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. Sephiroth lost, seemingly vanishing from existence.
  • 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: Sephiroth is the main antagonist of the original game and Advent Children.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Both Sephiroth and Shinra Inc share the Big Bad role and they’re both searching for the "Promised Land", but Sephiroth is searching for it for far more dangerous reasons and is the larger threat of the two.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Crisis Core he arrives out of nowhere and saves Zack from Ifrit.
  • Bishōnen 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. His later appearances in Advent Children and (metatextually) Kingdom Hearts retain a mostly humanoid form, with a single black angel wing to evoke the title of his battle theme.
  • 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 Limit Break Octaslash is a quick barrage of eight sword blows, usually only taking two or three seconds to land all eight hits.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: He's the Blonde to Genesis's Redhead and Angeal's Brunette.
  • 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 game, the entire series, and a huge fan favorite, so in all subsequent appearances, "One-Winged Angel" has been used as Sephiroth's theme in various remixes.
  • Breakout Villain: Sephiroth started out as but one in a long line of Final Fantasy antagonists, but due to the overwhelming popularity of FFVII, he became one of the most popular villains in video game history. His appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate certainly attests to that.
  • Broken Ace: He was universally admired in SOLDIER, but his professional calmness hid an emotionally insecure child.
  • Broken Pedestal: Cloud idolized him during their days with Shinra and dreamed of fighting alongside him in SOLDIER but, after his destruction of Nibelheim and killing of Aerith, he firmly became his Arch-Enemy.
  • Came Back Strong: Post-resurrection in Advent Children he's even more powerful than he was at the end of VII. Unfortunately for him, so is Cloud. And seeing as how Sephiroth has a tendency to die, he Can't Catch Up.
  • Came Back Wrong: A side effect of his resurrection in Advent Children due to him focusing entirely on his hatred of Cloud and desire for revenge to avoid becoming one with the Lifestream at the cost of a hefty chunk of the rest of his personality.
  • The Cameo: A rather odd case: during the duel between Cloud and Sephiroth at the Edge of Creation in the remake, a familiar-looking celestial body can be seen in the distance. According to the guidebook Material Ultimania, it is indeed Safer∙Sephiroth, or at least some kind of image of him. How he can appear in this timeline despite the deaths of the Arbiters of Fate changing the future is unknown, but Sephiroth's dialogue during the scene imply that, from the Edge of Creation, one can see the other timeline, though Cloud never mentions anything of the sort himself.
  • Canon Immigrant: Not Sephiroth himself, but his one wing. Sephiroth only had wings in his Safer form in VII, but in his Kingdom Hearts appearance he was given a single black wing. The black wing became a feature in Advent Children and Dissidia Final Fantasy after that.
  • Casting a Shadow: One of his attacks as Safer-Sepiroth at the end of the game is the Enemy Skill "Shadow Flare", which is a Palette Swap of the standard Flare from the Contain Materia. ULTIMATE Weapon also uses it, but as a final attack, and the Dragon Zombie enemies that can be encountered shortly before Sephiroth also carry this ability.
  • Character Development: First in reverse, then forwards. In Crisis Core and supplementary material it's implied that while he was aloof, Sephiroth was still benevolent and caring in his own strange ways, and was good friends with Angeal and Genesis. Then the Nibelheim Incident happened, and his mind snapped so hard that he shifted into a malevolent Omnicidal Maniac. The events of the main game then brought forth a manipulator working to achieve that goal, and by the time of Advent Children, whether due to being more of a resurrected memory or because he's had time to dwell and re-stabilize his mind after death, he's much more focused and contained, controlling his insanity in favor of being genuinely spiteful thanks to Motive Decay.
  • The Chosen One: He proclaims himself such during his rampage at Nibelheim.
  • 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."
  • Color-Coded Eyes: His green eyes symbolize his power over Jenova and the Lifestream, and his otherworldly nature.
  • Colony Drop: His plan is to summon Meteor to impact the planet.
  • Combo Platter Powers: His Super-Strength is the stuff of legend and he is supposedly far stronger than even the most outlandish rumours paint him; post-resurrection he demonstrates Flight, Teleportation, Voluntary Shapeshifting (courtesy of Jenova, upon whom he was employing Demonic Possession) and a degree of Psychic Powers, as well as all the usual but high-level magical abilities common in the FFVII world. After his second resurrection it is cleanly demonstrated that he can unleash the deadly plague Geostigma and can create weaker avatars of himself, and he may have achieved Complete Immortality of sorts in that he basically refuses to die due to sheer force of will keeping his soul tied to the Planet.
  • Complete Immortality: Even after his physical body is destroyed, he has the sheer force of will to keep his spirit from passing on, making him impossible to kill off for good.
  • Conflict Killer: An earlier than usual example in the original game, where he takes over duties as the Big Bad from President Shinra at the end of the Midgar Section. The conflict with Shinra doesn't disappear, but it takes a major back seat for the rest of the game.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To Kefka. Both are villains who started out as loyal soldiers in their respective Evil Empire's armies and want to achieve godhood, yes, but they're as different as night and day. Kefka is an extremely colorful Large Ham who is initially outmatched when he stops to fight the party, but gradually becomes more dangerous as the game progresses and eventually becomes an unstoppable force thanks to his cunning rather than brute force. Sephiroth, on the other hand, wears mostly black, is The Stoic or only mildly smug even when cutting a bloody swatch through his foes, and is a One-Man Army from the get-go. Whereas Kefka was an irredeemably evil psychopath who was pretty much a bastard from the start, Sephiroth is a tragic character whose descent into darkness was the result of being used as a pawn his entire life. To top it off, the final battle against Kefka takes place in the upper atmosphere, while Sephiroth is fought at the core of the earth.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: In the non-Japanese versions of Final Fantasy VII, Supernova seems like it should not only cause a Game Over but destroy the entire planet given its Overly Long Fighting Animation consisting of blowing up the planets of the outer Solar System and then causing a supernova that cooks the inner planets... but all it does is leave each of your party members with 1/16 of their current HP, and maybe cause some status effects. It will never actually kill anyone. His less grandiose attacks can do more damage and actually kill.
  • Corporate Samurai: Prior to going rogue, he was the Shinra Corporation's greatest warrior.
  • Crystal Prison: The remains of his original body were crystallized in Mako at the Northern Crater.
  • Cutscene Boss: After defeating Safer-Sephiroth, Cloud has to duel Sephiroth in human form 1-on-1 in his mind; this is a post-game cutscene fight that cannot be lost.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was experimented on in the womb by his own father, being implanted with Jenova cells under the false belief it would make him a Cetra. When he was born and failed to display any power over the Lifestream, but did display supernatural strength and ability, Shinra decided to raise him as a warrior and turned him into the first SOLDIER. Shinra also lied to him about his parents, telling him that his mother was a deceased woman named Jenova.
  • Dark Is Evil: Aside from his menacing black outfit, he is associated with dark magic in general, such as the Meteor he seeks to summon and his obsession with obtaining the Black Materia. As Safer Sephiroth, though, he becomes a display of Light Is Not Good, though it's where he can cast Shadow Flare.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In Crisis Core, he keeps the black outfit though he is on the heroes' side as a prominent supporting character. However, since it's a prequel, we know he eventually will fall into playing the other trope straight.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: He spends most of Final Fantasy VII missing his lower half, only kept alive by his connection to Jenova and being encased in mako crystal.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes, but not often. Best shown in this bit from Cloud's flashback:
    Young!Cloud: “They’ve given me a new materia. I’m so excited to try it out!”
    Sephiroth: “Just like a kid.”
  • Defector from Decadence: He was considering leaving from Shinra due to growing distrust from the organization. Unfortunately, he ended up doing more than that.
  • Defrosting Ice King: At the start of Crisis Core, he is cold and aloof toward Zack, even dumping a mission onto him, and this shatters Zack's image of the hero he aspired to be. However, their shared desire to find and bring back Angeal and Genesis causes them to begin working together in earnest, which allows Zack to see past his cold and aloof exterior to see the compassionate and caring side underneath. This lasts until Nibelheim.
  • 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 depictions vary wildly.
    • Final Fantasy VII depicted him as obsessed with his mother and wanting to become a god in her name; Advent Children has invoked Flanderization as described below, with him focusing on his rivalry and hatred for Cloud; Crisis Core explores his pre-madness Sugar and Ice personality where he's a nice guy who is just tough to get to know; Kingdom Hearts retools him as Cloud's Enemy Without existing to Troll him and goad him into fighting; Dissidia sees him as a Punch-Clock Villain interested only in recovering his memories with no loyalty to Chaos or Cosmos otherwise. Depending on the game you pick up, Sephiroth can be a mass-murdering sociopath, a respectful Worthy Opponent, a delusional man with a God Complex, or some combination of them all.
    • His power levels also fluctuate, mostly to keep him balanced against other characters in each game. He may be an Empowered Badass Normal master swordsman, or he may have god-like top-tier magical abilities.
    • Numerous materials and creator statements vary on if Sephiroth is The Chessmaster or The Pawn to 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 in return, and some creation materials say that it was Jenova controlling him and not the other way around.
    • His first death also varies between media. Crisis Core and Final Fantasy VII show that Cloud managed to use Heroic Willpower and Sephiroth's injured state to his advantage and throw him into the Lifestream. Canonically this is the real outcome. Meanwhile, Last Order and Before Crisis have the Turks interpret and report the event as Sephiroth having willingly leapt into the Lifestream to make a suicidal escape and Cloud's effort as having mostly spooking him, with another liberty taken that Sephiroth saw some sort of spiritual glow in the boy's eyes to justify the feat.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: His murder of President Shinra is this. He had barely been mentioned in the story by that point and he effectively shows up out of nowhere and goes on a killing spree throughout Shinra HQ, stabbing the game's previous main villain in the back and throwing the plot off the rails.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony: He never finds out who his birth parents are even after the heroes do. He still believes his mother is Jenova and that he's a descendent of the ancients, unaware that his parents are two normal human beings.
  • The Dreaded: He's always spoken of with a combination of hate, reverence, and fear. In fact, the mere suggestion of his presence is enough to terrify just about anybody.
  • Duel Boss: The final meeting between him and Cloud after Safer-Sephiroth, the Final Boss that a party of 3 including Cloud fights, is destroyed.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He's initially presented as one to Cloud, being his former partner and an ex-SOLDIER who went rogue. Like Cloud, Sephiroth is an emotionally stunted adolescent at heart, convincing himself that his isolation from others made him "special"—and also like Cloud, when he found out what that entailed, he snapped. But while Cloud was eventually able to accept himself, weaknesses and all, Sephiroth refused to settle for being anything less than the very best.
    • As the game continues it emerges he's more 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 the development of VII, the developers even considered making them siblings or lovers, driving their connection deeper.
  • Evil Is Petty: Averted originally, as his God complex and omnicidal tendencies initially manifested after a legitimately traumatic revelation regarding his origins. However, as he continued to survive thanks to The Power of Hate, his motive started to decay to simply spiting Cloud, the guy who'd been thwarting his plans.
  • Evil Laugh: Though not a voiced sample like Kefka, one of Sephiroth's animations in the original game had him bouncing his shoulders, often accompanied by "Ha, ha, ha" in his dialogue boxes. He was given an actual one in later installments.
  • Evil Wears Black: He wears an all-black outfit with silver steel shoulders. However, this was his SOLDIER outfit, which he wore since his Shinra days when he was a hero.
  • Expy: Of Psaro the Manslayer regarding his appearance, behavior and motives.
    • His entire character trait of being insane, devoted to his "mother" while still being the one behind his actual actions brings many parallels to Norman Bates from Psycho.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He started off as a hero of Shinra and of SOLDIER, well-respected and highly-regarded. But once he found out that he was born from JENOVA cells, Sephiroth declared himself no longer human, and that he would wipe out humanity, using the Planet as his vessel to become a god.
  • 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: After discovering Professor Gast's notes stating Jenova is a Cetra, Sephiroth comes to the conclusion that he is the last Cetra, and that when the Calamity from the Skies came 2000 years ago the humans had left the Cetra to be wiped out. 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride — Sephiroth really is the strongest being on the planet, but this means he never recognizes when an opponent is an actual threat to him and he doesn't exert the full force of his powers against them. This is how Cloud repeatedly defeats him; Sephiroth prefers to toy with him instead of finishing him off when he has the chance, and then Cloud pulls a comeback and blindsides him.
  • A Father to His Men: Part of the great tragedy of his descent into darkness is that he really cared for those under his command (like giving Zack permission to return to Midgar when there's an increase in monster sightings in the slums or telling Cloud he can visit his mom when they reach Nibelheim). Even mere days before his descent, he remembered that Nibelheim was Cloud's hometown and gave him permission to visit friends and family even while he was still a grunt, while allowing them all to get rest before the climb to the reactor.
  • 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. Sephiroth as an enemy is not engaged in an official boss fight until the very end of the game, and his second form as Safer/Seraph-Sephiroth is the final battle in a playthrough where the player makes the decisions and can get a Game Over; the battle after that is a Post-Final Boss.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: As part of his Evil Counterpart dichotomy with Aerith, Sephiroth is associated with fire via the Nibelheim Incident and his Supernova attack, while Aerith is associated with water via Great Gospel and the Lifestream.
  • 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.
  • Flight: In Advent Children he can fly even without manifesting his wing.
  • For Want of a Nail: He was considering retiring from SOLDIER at the time of the Nibelheim. If he'd stuck to his guns or just retired early, it's entirely possible that all of Final Fantasy VII and its aftermath could have been averted.
  • 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. In the fight between him, Genesis and Angeal he calmly repels Genesis' enraged strikes, while Angeal steps in to get them to stop.

  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Sephiroth's playable segment during the flashback in the original game perfectly display key traits of him at the time: being absurdly powerful and downright invincible and A Father to His Men, who will always bring Cloud back to life when he's downed. Him being the commanding officer of the mission is also reflected in gameplay: he's controlled by the AI and can't be ordered around by the player (or level 1 Cloud, for that matter), nor can any of his equipment be altered or removed.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The international release's version of Supernova, an attack that obliterates the entire solar system, is not only incapable of actually killing your party or doing any actual damage to the Planet itself for some reason, but is also significantly more dangerous than his actual Evil Plan to destroy the world with Meteor (it's possible that the attack actually is another Meteor, just directed at the Sun rather than the world, but that doesn't explain how Meteor takes 7 days to hit the Planet but Supernova takes about a minute total). In the Japanese version, he just conjures an exploding star that deals a significant amount of damage and only destroys a few planets.
  • Genius Bruiser: He demonstrates that he has an advanced knowledge of science and slipping into insanity was prompted in part by spending several nights locking himself away in an underground library to study pretty much every book and piece of research into the JENOVA project he could get his hands on; he later shows an in-depth knowledge of the history of the Planet and the Cetra civilization. Hojo (whose work Sephiroth considers inferior to Gast, implying he is read up on both) concedes that Sephiroth outsmarted him like father like son and proved impossible to predict, and he shows himself to be a brilliant chessmaster and Manipulative Bastard of the highest order once Disc 2 gets going and reveals that he's been playing you like a fiddle the entire game. As the most decorated veteran of SOLDIER ever he is also well-versed in battle tactics, strategy and various forms of combat as well, making for a very dangerous enemy.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The discovery of his origins (namely, that he was born as part of an experiment to produce people with the power of an ancient civilization that was destroyed, and that the humans survived by hiding while the Ancients were eradicated) drove him insane and sparked his Face–Heel Turn. It really doesn't help that his own parents experimented on him while he was still in the womb, not to mention Genesis deciding to Kick the Dog at the exact wrong time in an attempt to goad Sephiroth into curing him. The fact that he's not actually descended from the Cetra, but the monster who all but wiped them out likely made things even worse.
  • Godhood Seeker: 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: For the first hour or so of the game, the primary bad guy in Final Fantasy VII was Shinra, Inc., and the plot revolved around thwarting them in the city of Midgar. Sephiroth's introduction greatly widens the scope, and the stakes, of the rest of the game.
  • Guest Fighter: He cameos as a playable character in Ehrgeiz. He is also the eighth DLC fighter (and sixteenth third-party character) to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: He is a part of the active party during the Nibelheim flashback sequence, but controlled exclusively by the AI in every battle.
  • 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.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: He was spliced with tissue samples of JENOVA in-utero, and considers it to be his mother even after learning of its true nature.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: With Cloud. He has really long flowing silver hair, is otherworldly and collected while his rival has shortish spiky golden blond hair, is pragmatic but unstable. Their personalities get reversed at the end of the game, however.
  • Hair Intakes: His bangs are parted in such a way that they curve up and then come down to his shoulders. This look is more pronounced in his original artwork and original game model.
  • 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 his remnants, Cloud, and the children infected by Geostigma gain this trait as a sign of his influence over them.
  • Hero Killer: Thanks to It Was His Sled, you know whom he killed. Although, the culpability for Aerith's death could also be shared with Jenova as well. invoked
  • The Hero's Idol: Cloud, growing up with low self-esteem and considering himself weak, looked to Sephiroth as a source of strength, and was inspired to eventually join SOLDIER when he came of age. Unfortunately this all shatters after Sephiroth snaps and burns down Cloud's village, killing Cloud's mother in the process. Cloud responds by stabbing him through the chest with a sword.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sephiroth is this with Angeal and Genesis before his madness.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: He's a paragon of SOLDIER, and as such maintains a professional and stoic demeanor. Those who get to know him however find out that beneath it all he's a kind and caring guy. This was all before his Sanity Slippage, of course.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: After being thrown into the Lifestream with Jenova's head, Sephiroth comes to dominate her body and control it as his own, even beyond death.
  • HP to One: One of Sephiroth's signature attacks is the Heartless Angel, which of course reduces the party/player/Sora's health down to one point. Both of his forms at the end of FFVII carry this, by the way.
  • 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.
  • In the Back: Cloud is only able to defeat Sephiroth in the past because he was able to get a cheap blow on Sephiroth while he was distracted by Jenova. This injury lets Cloud later throw Sephiroth into the mako below, as a normal foot soldier would be no match for Sephiroth normally.
  • Invincible Villain: While a member of your party in flashbacks his durability (coupled with his Tough Ring accessory which boosts it) is so high that none of the monsters can hurt him at all; every hit landed on him scores zero. The story itself and Advent Children further show that though his physical bodies can be killed (with great difficulty mind) you are effectively Fighting a Shadow as his soul and consciousness survives in the Lifestream as a kind of poison and he can return from death pretty much indefinitely, though the process of doing so may weaken him each time and diminish his personality. Regardless of this, one of Sephiroth's most defining traits is that the bastard just refuses to DIE.
  • 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.
  • It's Personal: Averted at first, in that during the original Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth doesn't really care about Cloud personally despite the young man's vengeful spite for him. That doesn't mean he's above using his knowledge of Cloud's fractured psyche as a tool to Mind Rape him when it suits his needs, however, and he even manages to outright possess Cloud a few times due to Cloud himself possessing Jenova cells. Then Cloud kills him, both physically again and as the remnant in his psyche, and that's when the Motive Decay sets in as Sephiroth enacts this trope against him.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Before Sephiroth went insane, he used the arrogant term of "Ore", but after the Nibelheim Incident, he always uses the formal and polite term "Watashi," alluding to the fact that he has devoted himself to his "mother's" cause.
  • Joker Immunity: Sephiroth's soul and consciousness survive in the Lifestream; while his physical bodies can be killed, he can resurrect himself again and again. As he boasts to Cloud at the end of Advent Children:
    Sephiroth: I will never be a memory.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Prior to the Nibelheim assignment, Sephiroth was a consummate professional, cold on the surface but compassionate beneath. All he knew of his past was that he'd been told his mother's name was Jenova. His Sanity Slippage started when he found Jenova's chamber and the makonoid containment units inside the reactor, and was told by Genesis that he was created by Shinra to be the ultimate monster. Then he discovered Professor Gast's flawed notes stating Jenova to be the last of the Cetra. Cue him snapping, proclaiming that humans had betrayed the Cetra and deserved to be exterminated, burning down Nibelheim, and setting off for a Reunion with his "Mother".
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Though his sword is actually a nodachi named Masamune, but it is still an example of a Japanese sword who is far more powerful than several other weapons, whether they're of its kind or not.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch:
    • After the party is imprisoned by Shinra, Sephiroth makes his first appearance by going on a massive killing spree inside the compound where you are imprisoned, leaving a trail of Shinra mook corpses as well as the Shinra president's body with a sword in his back. Of course, since just before this, President Shinra had arranged for Sector 7 to be destroyed, with the people both on the plate and in the slums, still inside all for the sake of wiping out AVALANCHE, it's hard to feel any sympathy for him. In fact, when they discover the President's body and discover who killed him, Barret's immediate response is to ask, "So Sephiroth is a good guy?"
    • He gets it again in Crisis Core when he rejects Genesis, who asks him for help right before the Nibelheim Incident. Is condemning someone to a slow Cruel and Unusual Death evil? Yes. But considering this is the same person who spends the entire game spouting Meaningless Meaningful Words and started his request for help by calling Sephiroth the perfect monster and pushing him further towards his breakdown...
  • The Kingslayer: Early in the game, he murders President Shinra. Given what a bastard Shinra was, it's hard to fault him for it, even though his motives were hardly altruistic.
  • 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.
  • Light Is Not Good: As Safer Sephiroth, he ditches the all black colors associated with his human form and becomes an abomination with several white wings who fights on a celestial, pseudo-heavenly background. He can, however, cast Shadow Flare in this form.
  • 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 hard enough to cut apart buildings.
  • Limit Break: Crisis Core reveals that Octoslash and Supernova are (two of) Sephiroth's Limit Breaks.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Shinra never explained to him that his birth parents are Hojo and Lucrecia or told him about the experiments that were done to him in the womb. Instead, they lied to him and said that his mother was a woman named Jenova who died giving birth to him. When he learned about the Jenova Project, he assumed that he was some kind of artificial creature created from Jenova's remains and went insane.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: His long silver hair reaches his waist, and he has very delicate features.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Using a mix of this and illusions is how he drives the plot. Exemplified when he mutates his original body into Safer Sephiroth, replacing his legs with a winged cloud-like mass, and his off-hand with a gnarled, bladed black wing.
  • Made of Iron: Being impaled by a BFS large enough to bisect him only slows him down!
  • Magic Knight: Sephiroth is as proficient with magic as he is with his sword. His Materia are fully mastered during Cloud's flashback and, when fought as a boss in Crisis Core, is able to use elemental crystals as well as his special moves with the Masamune.
  • 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.
  • Master of Illusion: One of his lesser-known powers. He is able to recreate the entire burned Nibelheim to taunt Cloud about the truth of their mission there in the past.
  • 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.
  • Mystical White Hair: Prior to him becoming the Big Bad, Sephiroth's white hair symbolized his otherworldly nature, overwhelming power as the first SOLDIER, and connection to Jenova.
  • The Needless: In Advent Children Sephiroth neither breathes nor blinks, deliberately invoked by Kazushige Nojima to emphasize how inhuman and otherworldly he had become.
  • Nice Guy: Pre Face–Heel Turn, he was a pretty swell guy. He was kind, thoughtful, a great leader, and many men in SOLDIER highly respected him for his boundless courage and sympathy. That changed once he found out his origin.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Under his black coat he's shirtless. And then he loses the coat at the final duel against him in the original game.
  • Odd Friendship: While he was friends with Angeal and Genesis since childhood, his friendship with the Hot-Blooded and perky Zack is peculiar to say the least.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Cloud lifts him off of his feet on pure Heroic Willpower despite being impaled on his sword, still just a kid and a trooper rather than the SOLDIER he thought he was, Sephiroth has one of his only moments of shock in the entire franchise before he gets chucked into the Lifestream.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Though it isn't his only goal, his plan to seize control of the Lifestream would kill mostly everything else on the planet.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: His Masamune has already a much bigger size than the Buster Sword and, other than his standard attack animation in the original game, he wields it several times with only one hand.
  • One-Winged Angel: Trope Namer. He goes through Bizarro Sephiroth and Safer Sephiroth in the final encounter of the game before reverting to his own body (Safer is the de facto final fight since it's the last one the player can actually lose). In later appearances, he has become a literal one-winged angel.
  • O.O.C. 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, channeling 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.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Despite the elaborate and powerful imagery, the Super Nova will never actually kill your playable party, instead reducing them to 1/16th or their HP. Devastating, but still a non-lethal move.
  • Physical God: After falling into the Lifestream, which is the life-energy of the Planet itself, his already incredible power and magical prowess skyrockets to unimaginable proportions. Following this, he plots to fully merge with Jenova and absorb the entire Lifestream into himself to become a god; with his iconic One-Winged Angel form, Safer Sephiroth, he became a being powerful enough to destroy an entire solar system. He takes it one step further, as even after dying he refuses to fully pass on, making it impossible to kill him off for good, those feats alone are the closest thing to Sephiroth reaching godhood.
  • Post-Final Boss: When Cloud duels him at the end of the original game, the battle is impossible to lose. The player is supposed to use Omnislash to finish him off, but even if the player does nothing, the dev team thought of a way to make Sephiroth still lose.
  • Posthumous Character: Strictly speaking, he died at Nibelheim some five years before the start of the game, in the sense that his physical body was slain and his corpse crystallized in mako at the Northern Crater. But thanks to the way the Lifestream works, his spirit is still active and he can exert control over Jenova's cells to shapeshift her into a new body to use as 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.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Rapidly devolves into this after the Nibelheim incident. His boundless arrogance and smug taunting of Cloud put him on the level of a schoolyard bully.
  • 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.
  • Purposely Overpowered: His brief "playable" segment during Cloud's flashback has him as absolutely invincible: Enemies do zero damage to him and he is at level 50, way higher than your party at the time and is able to kill any enemy in one or two hits. Yet this is done to show the way Cloud saw him as: having "unreal" strength, in his words.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: It's revealed in Crisis Core that his shampoo and conditioner are perfumed.
  • Retirony: According 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.
  • Sanity Slippage: Before learning the truth of his origins as a prototype science experiment, he was a calm, collected, and aloof soldier. When he does learn the truth, his mind completely snaps and he becomes a murderous psychopath obsessed with becoming a god.
  • Satanic Archetype: Once a great hero and paragon, this "One-Winged Angel" would go on to try to destroy the planet in his quest to usurp the Lifestream and attain godhood. Design wise, he combines the man in black version of Satan with the biblical description of being a beautiful angel of high rank in his final form.
  • Shipper on Deck: Was fully supportive of Zack dating Aerith, and even covered for him with SOLDIER.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Sephiroth delivers one hell of a line to Genesis:
    Sephiroth: Whether your words are lies meant to deceive me... or the truth that I have sought all my life... it makes no difference. You will rot.
  • A Sinister Clue:
    • He's left handed, and is the first Final Fantasy Big Bad to be such and one of two boss characters in the game to be left-handed (the other is Reno of the Turks note ). (Golbez was established as one retroactively by Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, but Sephiroth came long before that game.)
    • One of the questions in the Silver Elite club quiz in Crisis Core is about in which hand Sephiroth uses his sword, with "left" as the correct answer.
  • The Sociopath: A more complex example as Sephiroth doesn't start off as one. He was capable of forming genuine attachments and developing respect for others, was open to helping others and was rather reasonable and polite. But once he discovers his origins, Sephiroth's personality is completely twisted, the first sign of his sociopathy manifesting with a newfound desire for bloodshed and an extreme obsession with his mother figure, JENOVA. By the events of the main game, Sephiroth is most commonly associated with an incredibly cold, antisocial demeanor that always persists whenever he's in anyone's presence. His monologue after killing Aerith is one where he doesn't care about feelings and emotions and is completely unmoved and unfazed by anything in his desire to destroy the world for his own ends. Additionally, he kills with no impunity, takes enjoyment in toying with his enemies, and harbors an intense amount of interest, especially towards Cloud, for his own amusement.
  • 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 the 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...
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Sephiroth is still dressed in his SOLDIER outfit long after he's gone rogue. Though he assumes the monstrous forms of Bizarro and Safer Sephiroth, his humanoid form is always wearing that costume, even after coming back from the dead in Advent Children.
  • The Stoic: He always has a calm tone and never raises his voice. Even in battle he never once grunted during his fights with Cloud and AVALANCHE.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He took after his "mother", Jenova, in terms of looks. He also took after his biological mother's looks, Lucrecia.
  • 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-Reflexes: Not only he has insane strength but he is also very quick on the draw. In Crisis Core, when Zack held him at swordpoint, he quickly threw him off guard and off the platform they were standing. He also calmly deflected a fireball thrown by Genesis which caught even Zack off-guard.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Ever since Cloud first killed him in Nibelheim, Sephiroth's sheer hatred of his Arch-Enemy allowed him to preserve his mind in the Lifestream and reconstruct himself using Jenova cells, and he does it again and again each time he's re-killed. So long as Cloud stays The Hero that slew him, Sephiroth will never stop hunting him. This even applies to crossovers with other games - whenever Cloud shows up, you can bet that Sephiroth won't be far behind.
  • 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.
  • Sword Beam: In Crisis Core and the Dissidia series, Sephiroth can fire waves of energy from the Masamune's blade.
  • Tragic Villain: Sephiroth may be evil to the point of making it look cool, but at the end of it all he's still a deeply disturbed man who was lied to all his life about his origins, deprived of any normal familial care & experimented on since his conception, and raised by some of the most morally bankrupt caretakers one could possibly have just so he could be used as a weapon. Not only that, but even after proving himself as a highly revered individual in SOLDIER, it forced him into conflict with some of the only people he was ever able to make friends with, and he lost all of them one way or another. If he'd had a better upbringing with more supportive people and was allowed to understand what he is, he might have never had his Start of Darkness to begin with.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Crisis Core explains his Start of Darkness was the result of this. His two closest friends (implied to be his only friends at all, aside from Zack) go rogue and rebel against Shinra, he's the one usually sent out to fight their forces, he finds out the two are Super-Soldier Humanoid Abominations experiments created by Shinra, and Shinra is implied to never show any concern for his feelings about any of this. By the time the Nibelheim mission comes around a year or two since the outbreak of the Genesis War, Sephiroth is considering retiring... then he finds out he's also a genetic experiment created by Shinra, and the other two were basically prototypes for him. While Sephiroth snapped at Nibelheim, it was really just the last spark in a long, slow burn of his sanity.
  • Tranquil Fury: Opposite of Cloud, who let's out fierce Hot-Blooded yells, Sephiroth is always calm, it's eerie. His Villain Song "One-Winged Angel" even portraying Sephiroth as if he was "burning inside with violent anger"
  • Tyke-Bomb: He was genetically altered in the womb and raised pretty much from birth to be Shinra's perfect warrior.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Played with. He definitely looks much more attractive than his father, who is repulsive, but his mother is quite beautiful.
  • Undying Loyalty: To pretty much anyone he gets particularly close to, like Genesis, Angeal and Zack. But at the same time, he's deeply loyal to SOLDIER and Shinra. When Genesis wages a one-man war against SOLDIER and takes Angeal with him, his loyalties become torn - though he does admit to Zack that he's at least considered betraying Shinra himself. This aspect of his character is pretty much gone after he loses his mind.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: While he's pointedly not an enemy at the time, the game goes out of its way during the Nibelheim flashback to keep your hands off his fully leveled materia with its late-game magic while he's a Guest-Star Party Member. Attempting to remove or transfer any of his materia (or the Masamune, for that matter) while he's in the party will earn a stern "..." from Sephiroth.
    • Sephiroth is also controlled by the AI the entire time he's in the party, making all his equipment doubly unusable.
  • Villain Song: "One-Winged Angel" is probably the most famous example of this trope in video games, even though he's not the one doing the singing. Both versions are sung by a Latin choir with lyrics from the Carmina Burana, portraying Sephiroth as if he was "burning inside with violent anger". The Advent Children version, however, appears to be sung from Jenova's point of view, encouraging Sephiroth to not remain a memory.
  • 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) and, before going mad, his stoicism outweighed any Sugar-and-Ice Personality traits. The later games tend to play the trope straighter, with his white hair emphasizing his villainous nature and connection to Jenova.
  • Winged Humanoid: Sephiroth can manifest a single black angel wing while fighting.
  • Wings Do Nothing: Averted. As Safer Sephiroth, the wing in his right hand is used as his standard attack. He can also use the wings in his lower body to rise up in the air, making him unreachable to melee fighters.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The original game subjects him to this the two times he and Cloud get to fight one-on-one in order to allow Cloud to beat him.
    • The first time around was when Cloud hurled him into the Lifestream on Nibelheim's Mako Reactor. At that time, Sephiroth was already suffering from a mental breakdown and he was also worn out from his intense and all-out duel with Zack, who was an extremely powerful SOLDIER 1ST Class in his own right. This left him susceptible to being impaled in the midsection by Cloud badly and when Cloud actually attacked him directly, Sephiroth did easily overpower his initial assault but he severely underestimated Cloud's determination to avenge his home and defeat him, which prevented him from instantly finishing Cloud off and gave Cloud the time to summon the strength to overpower him with sheer willpower.
    • The second time was after Cloud and the others had already beaten him in his Safer-Sephiroth form. Not only had Sephiroth been naturally weakened by his previous defeat, but Cloud had grown much stronger, both mentally and combat-wise, so their one-on-one duel was a Foregone Victory that ends with Cloud using his strongest move Omnislash to easily defeat him.
  • World's Best Warrior: Sephiroth is a true Living Legend for being the single greatest warrior in the world as the single most powerful warrior in the history of the very elite SOLDIER. Famous for his impeccable swordsmanship, immense strength, blinding speed, and great ability in magic, his battle prowess is such that according to Cloud the tall-tales about his capabilities actually underestimate what he is truly capable of in the field of battle. Two of the three times Cloud defeated him, he only did so because Sephiroth was in a weakened state, going as far as to disbelieve the idea of him having killed Sephiroth as he believed that realistically there was no way in hell he could have defeated Sephiroth directly, despite his last memory of Sephiroth prior to his amnesia being about to fight him to the death, and in their third altercation, with both of them having grown even stronger, Sephiroth clearly outmatched Cloud the entire time while appearing casual and mocking and was only defeated due to Cloud having a Heroic Second Wind. Word of God confirmed that the only reason Sephiroth lost was due to his pride making him toy with Cloud whenever they faced off, which gave Cloud the chance he needed to finish him off.
  • World's Strongest Man: Both before and after his Face–Heel Turn, Sephiroth is recognized as the strongest being on the Planet by pretty much everyone, being the most powerful fighter of the N.G.O. Superpower of the world who was responsible for much of it's victories. He has insane Super-Strength even by the standards of the world he inhabits, can tank an insane amount of punishment and repeatedly comes back from the dead. When you get to play him with in flashback he is literally invincible and kills almost every monster in your path with single attacks. Even though Cloud and company technically did defeat him, Hironobu Sakaguchi confirmed Sephiroth was holding back against AVALANCHE. The makers later on confirm there's nothing stronger than him in the world. Even though Cloud has canonically been able to defeat him in their clashes, apart from the ones where Sephiroth was already weakened, Word of God confirmed Sephiroth would have won with ease had he actually taken Cloud seriously and wasn't blinded with hubris.
  • Would Hit a Girl: At Nibelheim he doesn't hesitate to disarm Tifa and slash her with the Masamune. There's also the whole "impaling Aerith" thing.
  • Yandere: Usually subtextually depicted as one for Cloud, be it platonic or romantic, but the subtext is removed in Final Fantasy VII Remake and played straight. Sephiroth warmly describes the time Cloud killed him as "the crowning moment of [their] time together" and shows Cloud threatening visions of him killing Tifa and Barret, even nearly physically killing Barret at one point, on top of asking Cloud to join him in destroying the planet. Sephiroth wants his dear nemesis all to himself and sees Cloud's companions as obstacles to be removed.
  • 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.