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    Genesis Rhapsodos 

Genesis Rhapsodos
"My soul, corrupted by vengeance, hath endured torment to find the end of the journey, in my own salvation and your eternal slumber."
Voiced by: Gackt (Japanese), Robin Atkin Downes (Dirge Of Cerberus, English), Oliver Quinn (Crisis Core, English)

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.

  • Arch-Enemy: To Zack. Genesis constantly antagonizes him through Crisis Core and takes this role as Zack’s answer to Cloud's Sephiroth.
  • Author Appeal: He was heavily based on Gackt, a Japanese pop star that Tetsuya Nomura was a fan of at the time.
  • Badass Longcoat: He wears a long red coat. One of his fanclubs even calls themselves "Red Leather".
  • Beta Test Baddie: To Sephiroth. Genesis was just one of many people around the world who looked up to Sephiroth and wanted to be just like him. Learning that they were made from separate, competing branches of the Jenova Project, just heightened Genesis' jealousy of and ambition to surpass him.
  • 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.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: He's the Redhead to Sephiroth's Blonde and Angeal's Brunette.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: After Genesis Avatar is defeated, Zack must fight Genesis again in human form.
  • Cold 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.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: In-universe, Genesis is obsessed with LOVELESS and has written papers on what it might mean. As his condition and sanity deteriorate and his desperation for a cure intensifies, he starts drawing parallels between the events of Crisis Core and LOVELESS, and becomes convinced it is some sort of holy prophecy or legend that he must fulfill.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Zack. His quest to become a hero contrasts with the same quest Genesis Rhapsodos undertakes, but whereas the latter's feelings of entitlement to the moniker of "hero" lead to obsession and downfall, Zack's quest to "become a hero" has less to do with personal glory and more with making the world a better place. Zack's will to become a hero motivated him to think for himself and to be guided by his moral compass and sense of justice, whereas Genesis's obsession with becoming a hero drove him to challenge those he saw as hindrances and a need to prove himself as superior to others. Both joined SOLDIER inspired by stories of the hero First Class Sephiroth, striving to emulate him, and both fall from Shinra's graces after learning of the company's corrupt ways. In an inversion of a typical hero-villain story dynamic, Zack dies whereas Genesis lives.
    • To Angeal as well. They are both SOLDIER’s of Project G, both were inspired by Sephiroth to join SOLDIER and both can create copies of themselves. However Genesis and his copies are associated with black wings, whereas Angeal and his copies are associated with white wings, alluding to angel/fallen angel imagery. Both struggle with the man/monster dynamic, Genesis embracing it as it gives him special powers he can exploit to attain his goals, whereas Angeal begins to loath himself.
  • Evil Redhead: A ginger villain who massacres a town (including his adoptive parents), turns those loyal to him into copies of himself, and helps drive Sephiroth over the edge at Nibelheim.
  • Expy:
    • Of Sephiroth, obviously. Genesis was intended to be a Foil to him in personality and appearance, so he copies many elements of Sephiroth's design while other elements are entirely different. This is probably at least partially intentional in-universe — like many kids, Genesis idolized Sephiroth during the Wutai War and wanted to be just like him, so emulating his wardrobe and giving it his own personal touch may have been a deliberate choice on his part.
    • Of Kuja. Like Kuja, Genesis is poetic and flamboyant, and rebelling against his creator that used him as a superweapon, and has an inferiority complex towards a rival that is viewed as superior by the people that created them. And they both go mad and resort to drastic, world-endangerous methods when they discover they're going to die and seek a way to avert their death.
  • Final Boss: Of Crisis Core. Not counting the scripted Hopeless Boss Fight that follows.
  • Foil: To Sephiroth. They're both famous First Class SOLDIERs that go rogue from Shinra and seek divine power. However, Sephiroth does so because he comes to think he's an Ancient and should rule the planet; Genesis is trying to save his own life and is resorting to desperate stretches of reason to find a way. Even their designs play into this; Genesis is short-haired, right-handed, has a wing on his left side, and wields a massive straight-bladed sword that he infuses with magic, while Sephiroth is long-haired, left-handed, with a wing on the right side, and he wields a katana that he never empowers. Also contrast Genesis' demonic-looking Genesis Avatar form with the angelic Safer Sephiroth, and Genesis' belief that he is a monster with Sephiroth's Godhood Seeker.
  • Freudian Trio: Forms one with Angeal and Sephiroth in Crisis Core, as the Id; driven by emotion and personal ambition.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He's jealous of Sephiroth's status as The Ace (as well as the face of SOLDIER), which drives him to attempt to take him on alone during what was meant to be a light-hearted training session.
    Genesis: After all, your glory should have been mine.
  • The Heavy: In Crisis Core, he's the character that the game's events revolve around.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Genesis is this with Angeal and Sephiroth before his separation.
  • 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. Gackt had a hand in the design of his outfit.
  • It's All About Me: He leaves SOLDIER in order to find a cure for his condition. This would be fine, except he murders a bunch of innocent people and subjects others to horrendous experimentation at Hollander's hands. He also pushes Sephiroth further into madness because he's attempting to goad the latter into curing him. Needless to say, his selfish actions do not end well for anyone.
  • 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. He was last seen in Dirge of Cerberus' secret ending with plans for something else, but it has yet to be followed up on.
  • Kick the Dog: He spends quite a lot of time mocking Angeal and Sephiroth's inner conflicts, turns the SOLDIERs loyal to him into copies, and helps kick off the massacre at Nibelheim by pushing Sephiroth over the edge with a breaking speech.
  • Laser Blade: He can channel magic into his sword, giving it the appearance of a lightsaber. Further, the hand motion he employs to activate this resembles the Trope namer.
  • 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.
  • 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, though he's less evil and more a desperate jerk as the game goes on.
  • 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 adoptive parents, though 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.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Implied with his statement to Zack that as a monster, he has neither dreams nor honor (admittedly a claim that is later disproven by his desire to regain his pride as a SOLDIER).
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Angeal's mother, he was a nice guy growing up.
  • Wicked Pretentious: He's one of the world's leading scholars on LOVELESS and is implied to have published writings about his theories to its meaning. Normally, this may have had him come across as Wicked Cultured, but his tendency to spout Meaningless Meaningful Words at the drop of a hat turns him into a downplayed version of this trope.
  • With Friends Like These...: On the giving end. He's extremely petty towards Angeal and especially Sephiroth, whether out of not taking their concerns seriously (Angeal) or simple jealousy (Sephiroth). It's pretty telling that Sephiroth tells him he can rot after everything he pulls.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: When Angeal interrupts his duel with Sephiroth, his sword breaks in two and part of the blade strikes Genesis in the shoulder. While Genesis treats it as Only a Flesh Wound, it ends up not healing and getting worse, kicking off his cellular degradation.

    Angeal Hewley 

Angeal Hewley

"Embrace your dreams. If you want to be a hero you need to have dreams... and honor."

Voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue (Japanese), Josh Gilman (English)

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, instilling with him what it means to be a true SOLDIER and why those values are important.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: He's the Brunette to Sephiroth's Blonde and Genesis's Redhead.
  • 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.
  • 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 Counterpart: 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.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: In contrast to Genesis and Sephiroth's black wings, Angeal's wings are white and pure.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Angeal is this to Genesis and Sephiroth before his death.
  • 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 an 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.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Zack is horrified when he sees Angeal standing over his own mother's dead body, thinking that his mentor had just committed matricide. It's only later that Angeal reveals that his mother Gillian actually killed herself since she couldn't bear the guilt of her role in Project G any longer.
  • No Cure for Evil: Averted, End of Gluttony restores his HP.
  • One-Winged Angel: He merges with other Angeal Copies to become Angeal Penance.
  • Ornamental Weapon: The Buster Sword costs 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, cooking, and gardening.
  • Team Dad: To Zack, and most of the 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.

    Lazard Deusericus 

Lazard Deusericus
"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.
  • First-Name Basis: His subordinates refer to him as Director Lazard and his last name is largely ignored.
  • Foil:
    • 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.
  • 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. He gets namedropped in the remake, revealing he was alive during the original game, but it's unknown if the remake is canonical to Crisis Core.