The game's setting follows in the footsteps of Final Fantasy VI by presenting a world with considerably more advanced technology than the first five games in the series. Overall, the game's technology and society approximates that of an industrial or post-industrial science fiction. The world of Final Fantasy VII, referred to in the game as "The Planet", but retroactively named "Gaia", is composed of three main land masses. The eastern continent features the city of Midgar, an industrial metropolis that serves as the capital city of the world as it hosts headquarters of the Shinra, who operate as the de facto world government. Other locations on the continent are Junon, Shinra's major military base; Fort Condor, a fort with a huge condor covering up a Mako reactor on top of it; a chocobo ranch; and Kalm, a small town inspired by medieval Europe.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The western continent features most of the accessible areas, which include the Gold Saucer, an amusement park with Corel Prison below; Costa Del Sol, a seaside resort; Nibelheim, a town residing at the base of Mt. Nibel; Rocket Town, the location of Shinra's failed rocket launch; and a settlement called Cosmo Canyon. Wutai, a village inspired by pre-modern Japan and China, is located on a large island off the western continent. The tribe inhabiting Cosmo Canyon emphasize living in harmony with nature and dedicating causes to the planet's well-being. Their settlement features an observatory and serves as a research facility for those who wish to participate in a philosophy known as the "Study of Planet Life", a lifestyle that encourages deference for nature and teaches that the planet has a life of its own. The northernmost continent is a heavily glaciated landmass, and its few settlements include an excavation site; a ski resort; the mythical "City of the Ancients"; and the Northern Crater, where the game's climax takes place. There are also underwater locations accessible via submarine, such as a sunken plane transporter.
Final Fantasy VII begins with Cloud joining AVALANCHE in a series of raids against the Mako reactors surrounding the city of Midgar. Although the first mission is successful, AVALANCHE is trapped at another reactor during a subsequent raid. The reactor explodes, launching Cloud from the upper levels of Midgar into the slums below. He lands on a flower bed, where he is formally introduced to Aeris. Prompted by the arrival of Shinra's Turks operatives sent to capture Aeris, Cloud agrees to be Aeris' bodyguard and defends her from the Turks. After the Shinra discover the location of AVALANCHE's hideout, they destroy it by demolishing the entirety of Sector 7, killing its population and three members of AVALANCHE. The Turks also capture Aeris, who is revealed to be the last surviving "Cetra", a race closely attuned with the planet and previously thought extinct. President Shinra believes Aeris can lead him to the "Promised Land", a mythical land of fertility, where he expects to find Mako energy
Influenced by Sephiroth, Cloud becomes suspicious of his memories and insists he is not a real human, but instead a specimen created from Jenova's genetic material by Professor Hojo. Jenova was an interstellar creature who crash landed on the planet roughly 2,000 years prior to the game's events. Jenova had intended to infect all living organisms on the planet with a virus inducing insanity and monstrous transformations; among its victims were most of the Cetra. Attempting to defend itself, the planet created giant monsters called "WEAPONs". The majority of humans fled rather than fight Jenova; however, a small group of Cetra survivors managed to defeat and confine Jenova. Eventually, the remains of Jenova were unearthed by Professor Gast, a researcher for the Shinra Company. Mistaking the creature for a Cetra, Gast was given authorization to conduct an experiment to artificially produce a Cetra by combining cells from Jenova with the fetus of an unborn child. Sephiroth learned that he was the product of this experiment while on a Shinra mission in Cloud and Tifa's hometown, Nibelheim. He concluded that he was a Cetra who had been produced solely from Jenova's genetic material. He burned down Nibelheim, intending to kill all descendants of those he believed had abandoned his ancestors in the defense of the planet. Cloud confronted Sephiroth during this massacre, after which Sephiroth vanished under unknown circumstances and was presumed dead until his reappearance in the Shinra building. When AVALANCHE travels to the Northern Crater to confront Sephiroth, he tells Cloud that he was not in Nibelheim, showing him images of a SOLDIER with dark hair who occupies Cloud's place in his memories. Tifa is unable to refute Sephiroth's claims, and Sephiroth casts the Meteor spell, causing the planet to awaken the WEAPONs in response. During the earthquake that follows, Cloud is separated from his companions and falls into the Lifestream.
The remaining members of AVALANCHE infiltrate Shinra corporate headquarters to rescue Aeris. After freeing her and Red XIII, they escape because most of the personnel in the building, including the president, are killed by Sephiroth, a man presumed to be dead, who stated that he would never allow Shinra to claim the Promised Land. The party also learns that during Sephiroth's attack on Shinra, the headless body of a creature named "Jenova" disappeared from the building's research facility. While the president's son, Rufus Shinra, assumes control of the company, AVALANCHE pursues Sephiroth across the planet, fearing his intentions for the Promised Land may be more destructive than Shinra's. The party is joined by Cait Sith and Cid Highwind, and optionally by Vincent and Yuffie. The full scope of Sephiroth's plan is eventually revealed: if the world is significantly damaged, the Lifestream will gather in an attempt to heal the wound. Sephiroth intends to use a powerful spell called "Meteor" to cause this injury, and then merge with the planet's energy, allowing him to be reborn as a god and rule over the planet. Aeris sets off to stop Sephiroth on her own. AVALANCHE follow her to the northern continent, where they enter an ancient Cetra city. After finding Aeris praying to the planet for aid, Sephiroth impales Aeris with his sword himself
Cloud and Zack were among the wounded survivors who were apprehended by Shinra as part of a cover-up of Sephiroth's massacre. Professor Hojo subjected these survivors to an experiment, performing the same enhancements given to SOLDIER members—a procedure which included Mako showers and the injection of Jenova cells. All but Zack entered a comatose state, and nearly five years later, Zack broke free from his confinement and took Cloud with him. However, the alien Jenova cells in Cloud's body still allowed Sephiroth to modulate his behavior. Moreover, the cells' ability to duplicate information allowed Cloud's mind to construct a false persona built around Zack's behavior. This was prompted by Zack himself, who was killed outside Midgar by Shinra soldiers during the escape; he urged Cloud to live both their lives before passing on. Afterward, Tifa discovered Cloud, who was wearing a SOLDIER 1st Class uniform, and offered him a job with AVALANCHE.
As the meteor summoned by Sephiroth slowly approaches the planet, the Shinra Company focuses its efforts on protecting humanity from the WEAPONs, as well as defeating Sephiroth, in the hopes that this will dismiss Meteor itself. Meanwhile, the members of AVALANCHE find Cloud in a catatonic state on a tropical resort where he washed up following the casting of Meteor. The WEAPONs' destructive activity causes the island to split open, and Cloud and Tifa fall into the Lifestream, where she reconstructs Cloud's memories and learns the truth about his past. It is revealed that Cloud never succeeded in joining SOLDIER, and that the dark-haired SOLDIER from his memories was actually Aeris's first love and Cloud's best friend, Zack Fair. Zack, Tifa, and Cloud had fought Sepiroth during the burning of Nibelheim. Although Tifa and Zack were defeated, Cloud and Sephiroth severely wounded one another. After decapitating Jenova, Sephiroth was thrown into the Lifestream by Cloud, taking the creature's head with him. Rather than dying, his body and consciousness were crystallized in Mako inside Jenova's crater.
After Cloud awakens, it is revealed that Aeris, in her final moments, was casting the spell "Holy" with the White Materia, the only means of opposing Meteor. Although she succeeded, Sephiroth had since prevented the spell from taking effect. Deciding to protect humanity from the WEAPONs before approaching Sephiroth, Shinra and AVALANCHE destroy the WEAPONs, although nearly all of Shinra's executives are killed in the process. Among the few survivors are Reeve Tuesti, who is revealed to be the repentant controller of Cait Sith, and Professor Hojo, who is revealed to be Sephiroth's biological father. He explains that he and his wife were assistants to Professor Gast, and offered up their unborn child as a test subject to research involving Jenova. After finding out that Hojo is trying to help Sephiroth gain mastery over the Lifestream, AVALANCHE kills him. Cloud tells his team to go find what they are fighting for, before they begin a final assault against Sephiroth. With each member of Cloud's group at peace with his or her past, the group travels through the Northern Crater to the planet's core. They defeat Sephiroth and free Holy, but the spell is unable to destroy Meteor alone. Selected as Meteor's target, Midgar is almost completely destroyed. However, the Lifestream rises from the planet to aid Holy in destroying the Meteor. During the epilogue, taking place 500 years after the game's events, Red XIII runs through a canyon with two cubs at his side. He proceeds up a cliff-face, which reveals a lush land of greenery where Midgar had once been
Crisis Core takes place some years before the events of Final Fantasy VII, and as such, many characters from the game and other related works appear in Crisis Core. However, the primary characters in the game are from either Shinra Electric Power Company's private armed forces dubbed SOLDIER, or from their covert branch of operatives called the Turks.
The main protagonist and playable character of Crisis Core is Zack Fair, a young and friendly man. At the start of the game, he is a 2nd class SOLDIER operative. Angeal is a 1st class SOLDIER and acts as a mentor for Zack and father-like figure.
Both are friends with fellow SOLDIER members Sephiroth and Genesis, the latter serving as the game's primary antagonist who takes special interest in an unfinished play called "LOVELESS". The SOLDIER operatives work under Director Lazard, the illegitimate son of President Shinra. Zack is also friends with the Turks, particularly their leader Tseng and one of their female operatives Cissnei. During the course of the game, Zack encounters and befriends Aerith, a young woman tending flowers from a ruined church in the Midgar slums, and also befriends Cloud, a Shinra infantryman, and like Zack, raised in a country town. Zack also encounters Dr. Hollander, a former Shinra scientist that is performing unethical experiments in secret. Luxiere and Kunsel are two SOLDIER operatives that befriend Zack, as well as informing him on events and actions while offering help in his time of need.
Genesis and several other SOLDIER forces desert Shinra after an operation in Wutai. As SOLDIER further investigates the situation, Angeal also goes missing. Zack eventually tracks both Angeal and Genesis to their hometown of Banora. Zack sees Genesis mutate a single black wing from the left side of his back, while Angeal obtains a big white wing and one smaller wing from the right side his back. Due to his mothers shame, she kills herself. Genesis flies away while Zack helps to evacuate Angeal before the village is destroyed by Shinra bomb. Genesis then learns he has the ability to pass along his cells to others, mutating them in the same way, and creates an army of "Genesis copies" to attack Shinra headquarters. Though the forces are defeated, Angeal goes missing again. Zack and Sephiroth track down Genesis' mutation to a secret lab deep in a Midgar mako reactor, and learn that Dr. Hollander, a genetic researcher, had used both Genesis and Angeal as part of Project G, an attempt to clone human beings. Zack attempts to chase down Hollander but is stopped by Angeal, now with one white wing, intent on keeping Hollander alive. Angeal knocks Zack through the floor of the reactor into the slums of Midgar.
Zack recovers to find Aerith tending over him. Zack returns to SOLDIER headquarters and is ordered to investigate a mako excavation site near Modeoheim where Genesis has been spotted; en route, Zack meets Shinra infantry soldier Cloud Strife, and due to their similar background, quickly becomes friends with him. Zack encounters Genesis at the facility and beats him in battle, but instead of being captured, Genesis appears to commit suicide by throwing himself into the depths of the facility. Zack travels to the Modeoheim and finds both Angeal and Hollander. It turns out that Project G was named after Angeal's mother, Gillian, not Genesis. Angeal's mother was so ashamed of having been the root of Project G that she killed herself (Angeal did not kill her). Angeal struggles to hold back his mutation but is unable to do so, and Zack is forced to kill him. Before he dies, Angeal gives Zack his buster sword, stating that "My honor, my dreams, they are yours now." Hollander is captured by arriving Shinra forces, but later escapes during an attack by Genesis clones, while Zack, distraught over the death of his friend and mentor, goes back to the Sector 5 church, where he is comforted by Aerith.
Sometime later Zack, now promoted to 1st class SOLDIER, travels with Sephiroth and Cloud to investigate a mako reactor near Nibelheim. Sephiroth discovers he himself was an experiment, implanted with cells of the extraterrestrial Jenova. In his anger, Sephiroth sets Nibelheim's town ablaze. Zack attempts to defeat Sephiroth but fails, but Cloud arrives and despite being impaled by Sephiroth's sword, is able to throw Sephiroth into the Lifestream. Zack and Cloud fall unconscious. Zack awakes to find he and Cloud part of Dr. Hojo's experiments on Jenova cells and Mako exposure; while Zack is unaffected by the Jenova cells, thanks to the genetic modifications already present in him thanks to SOLDIER, Cloud has reacted badly to the introduction of Jenova cells into his body and is unable to move on his own. Zack helps Cloud to escape and they quickly become high priority targets for the Shinra forces. Zack encounters Cissnei during their escape, but she does not capture them, instead allowing them use of a Turk motorcycle. While fleeing, Genesis intercepts Zack and Cloud, and makes one of his clones eat a lock of Zack's hair. When this causes the mutation to go awry, Genesis flies away. Zack, realizing that Genesis is trying to stabilize his mutation, vows to defeat Genesis before being captured again.
Zack and Cloud travel to Gongaga, Zack's hometown, to try to hide but learn from Cissnei the Shinra forces are not far behind. After defeating Hollander, who himself has started to become a Genesis clone, Zack encounters Director Lazard, now inflicted as an Angeal clone. Lazard directs Zack to the remains of Banora, noting that Genesis always carries one of the dumapples which only grow near that village. At Banora, Lazard watches over Cloud as Zack descends into a cavern exposed to the Lifestream as the result of the Shinra destruction. Inside, he encounters Genesis, who reveals that Cloud has been infused with Sephiroth cells and plans to use him to stabilize his mutation. Genesis attempts to defeat Zack by calling forth on the Lifestream to transform him into a giant beast, but Zack manages to destroy Genesis' power source. As the Lifestream leaves him, the mutation is also removed, leaving Genesis human but near death. Zack returns to the surface with Genesis, and finds that Shinra tried to attack Lazard and Cloud but Lazard was able to hold them back at the cost of his life. After Lazard dies, Zack discovers a note he carried from Aerith to Zack, and learns that he has been gone from Midgar for more than four years, and Aerith has given up hope on his return. Zack takes Cloud and makes the return to Midgar immediately. After they leave Banora, Genesis is collected by Nero the Sable and Weiss the Immaculate.
The Turks attempt to find Zack and Cloud before the Shinra forces do, knowing that Shinra will likely kill them if captured. Unfortunately, Shinra discovers the two first on the barren terrain outside Midgar. Leaving Cloud hidden away, Zack goes off to defend his honor as a SOLDIER against a large number of Shinra troops, and is ultimately fatally wounded. Cloud manages to crawl to Zack's body after Shinra has left, and Zack, in his dying breath, bequeaths the buster sword to Cloud as Angeal did before. Cloud begins to walk back to Midgar, while Zack's body is taken to the Lifestream by Angeal.
The epilogue recreates the opening scenes of Final Fantasy VII, with the promise of the story being continued in that game.
* Zack Fair
* Genesis Rhapsodos
* Angeal Hewley
* Cloud Strife
* Vincent Valentine
* Aerith Gainsborough
* Tifa Lockhart
* Yuffie Kisaragi
* Barret Wallace
* Cid Highwind
* Red XIII (Nanaki)
* Cait Sith
A young man from Gongaga who would one day become one of ShinRa's strongest First Class SOLDIERs, Zack is Crisis Core's protagonist and only playable character. He works hard under his mentor Angeal to climb the ranks and achieve his dream of becoming a hero. He is known for being laid back, and a bit of a flirt, extremely kind, loyal, and having superior skills in combat. Despite this, he despises killing, and strives to protect people above all else, and despises those with no regard for life.
An enigmatic SOLDIER First Class with an even more puzzling past. Raised as the son of the landlord of Banora, he has only recently been made aware of his connection to the Project G. Upon learning the truth, he strikes against Shinra as the leader of the Genesis Army. There is more to this movement than simply revenge, as Genesis seeks to find the answers to the mystery locked inside epic poem “Loveless.” By the time of Final Fantasy VII, all evidence of him has been destroyed and covered up with the exception of 3 brief records.
A respected SOLDIER First Class, a mentor to Zack, and the original owner of the Buster Sword. He comes from the small town of Banora where his best friend was Genesis. His family is extremely frugal, a trait he has inherited though he does entertain a few hobbies. He is unaware of the circumstances of his birth and their revelation causes a great deal of confusion in him and strain between him and his comrades.
A member (and later the head) of the Turks.He originally met Zack through a mission they were partnered together on. Over the course of the SOLDIER’s time with Shinra, they worked together several times and had a fairly good working relationship together. In a twist of fate, Tseng was in charge of cleaning up the Nibelheim incident, as well as rescuing and later hunting down Zack and Cloud.
The executive manager of SOLDIER at the time of Crisis Core. Though he doesn’t have any experience in combat, his concise instructions and composed demeanor has won him the respect and loyalty of his subordinates. His quick ascent to his current position has him often compared to Rufus Shinra who has made the same sort of meteoric rise. For all of his politeness and niceties though, there seems to be another side to him glimpsed through his messages to SOLDIER rife with allusions to “injustice” and “the darkness of Shinra.”
An orphan prodigy who was taken in by Shinra for combat training. She is the youngest member in the history of the Turks and fights with a huge shuriken called “Rekka.” She and Zack cross paths several times, though it appears to be more than simply coincidence, and the two share an amiable friendship with hints of deeper feelings.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The game begins with a flashback to the ending of Final Fantasy VII. As Meteor looms overhead, Yuffie and Vincent are in Midgar helping with the evacuation. Vincent tells Yuffie to check the Mako Cannon. She does so, and the device she is using finds a single person still alive there. Despite Yuffie's protests, Vincent ascends the Cannon to the firing controls to find the slumped body of Hojo. Vincent trains his triple-barreled handgun, Cerberus, on him but, just as he is about to fire, an explosion blows Hojo's body away and causes the tower to start crumbling. Vincent is narrowly rescued by Yuffie on a hovercraft, after which they rendez-vous with Cloud and the others.
Three years later, in the Waterfall Cavern, Vincent sits with his lost love Lucrecia Crescent, her body encased in Mako Crystal. She speaks to him telepathically, apologizing, though Vincent doesn't know why, claiming he is the one who should apologize. This exchange is revealed to be a brief flashback, and Vincent is actually sitting alone in a hotel room in Kalm, where a celebration is taking place to commemorate the three-year anniversary of Meteorfall. A nearby television shows a news report about a recently uncovered entrance to an unknown part of the Shinra complex deep underground, where it is rumored a force of soldiers more powerful than SOLDIER were created.
Suddenly, an explosion in a nearby building heralds the appearance of multiple airships in the sky, each one containing a number of mysterious soldiers who drop to the ground and open fire on the civilians. Not all are killed however: people free of Geostigma are herded into carriers; those infected are attacked on sight. Vincent springs into action, making his way through the town, dispatching the mysterious soldiers and aiding civilians, to meet with Reeve Tuesti. Along the way he helps members of the World Regenesis Organization (WRO), an organization created by Reeve to help heal Gaia and protect it from further damage. At one point, Vincent is met by a small girl and a hulking man who demand of him the "Protomateria", of which Vincent knows nothing. After sending a wave of soldiers at him, the man accepts Vincent's "challenge", gives his name, Azul the Cerulean, and says that "[they] will meet again" before leaving with the girl. After this, Vincent meets up with Reeve, who asks Vincent to help the WRO in their cause, though Vincent is reluctant. Reeve gets shot from behind by one of the soldiers, but he is revealed to be a costume of sorts for Cait Sith, who plans with Vincent to launch an offensive against the attack.
Having lost consciousness, Vincent awakens in a tube in the WRO headquarters being watched over by Shalua, who Vincent briefly mistakes for Lucrecia. After recovering fully, Vincent is given a new task by Reeve: go to the Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim to find as much of Lucrecia's thesis on Chaos as possible. As well as the possibility of Vincent's Chaos form giving the WRO a fighting chance against Deepground, Shalua has a suspicion of Deepground's ultimate goal having something to do with the final WEAPON, Omega. Suddenly, WRO security is breached by Deepground soldiers led by Azul. Fighting his way through the complex and aiding WRO soldiers, Vincent finds Shalua, who sees that Vincent has been followed by the girl who was accompanying Azul earlier. After shedding her camouflage, the girl is revealed to be Shelke, Shalua's long-lost younger sister and the "reason to live" she had told Vincent of during their first meeting. Shelke reveals that she remembers being captured by Deepground, and that the Mako infusions they used to keep her in a 10-year old body (she is actually 19) are now required to keep her alive. Despite this, she still tries to complete her objective, and tries to attack Shalua. Fortunately, Reeve intervenes. Using special tranquilizer bullets, Vincent is able to best Shelke in battle and sedate her. However, upon leaving, Azul ambushes Vincent, showing that Shelke's attack was merely a foil for his own. By using nearby explosive barrels, Vincent is able to defeat Azul despite his shielding. After dealing with the problem, Vincent makes for Nibelheim to find Lucrecia's reports on Omega WEAPON and Chaos. Reeve advises him to go through the sewers, as the path above ground is crawling with Deepground soldiers.
Reaching the mansion through the sewers, Vincent is surprised to find a hologram of Lucrecia waiting for him, apologizing again. After finding the remaining data, Vincent runs into Rosso again. Preparing to battle her, Rosso instead flees and sends a spider-like mecha, the Black Widow, after him, which Vincent destroys in the mansion foyer. Preparing to leave, Rosso ambushes Vincent and plunges her hand into his chest, retrieving the Protomateria, which is revealed to be what allows Vincent to control Chaos. Without it, it is possible for Chaos to overwhelm him. Finally, Rosso makes to kill Vincent, but a sudden flash covers Vincent's rescue by a mysterious figure.
After clearing out the town and forcing the soldiers to retreat with the help of the "real" Reeve and fresh WRO reinforcements, Vincent travels to Edge with Reeve, who reveals the collective name of the soldiers: Deepground. A new breed of supersoldiers even more powerful than SOLDIER, the project was initially ordered by President Shinra and very few others knew about it. What little information the WRO have on them was gleaned from Scarlet's files. Suddenly a transmission comes in, where a seated man with long, messy white hair claims that "the time has come to cleanse this world". Suddenly the vehicle is attacked by a pack of Deepground wolves that, despite Vincent's efforts to vanquish them, still cause the vehicle to crash. Vincent continues the journey to Edge on foot, battling more Deepground soldiers and wolves along the way.
Reaching Edge, Vincent meets Shalua Rui, a WRO scientist, who tells Vincent that the city is deserted before leaving, saying that she is searching for "[her] reason to live". Meanwhile a red-headed woman sits surrounded by countless corpses of WRO soldiers, lauding "Weiss" on his earlier speech. Making his way through the abandoned city, Vincent comes across a young boy who helps him get a keycard to access a warehouse where he meets the woman from before, who introduces herself as Rosso the Crimson before throwing Vincent into a wall. Chaos emerges from the rubble and launches an energy attack of such power that Rosso is forced to flee.
Vincent awakens in a WRO vehicle en-route to the WRO headquarters, being watched over by the person who saved him, who reveals herself to be none other than Yuffie Kisaragi. The truck crashes, forcing Vincent to make his way back on foot. On the way, Vincent finds a Deepground camp close by, and, sure enough, when he reaches the headquarters, it is under another attack by Deepground, this one even grander in scale. After dispatching the heavily fortified attack force outside the building, the entrance opens, revealing the inner building to be practically in ruins.
Once again, Vincent fights his way though the remains and helps the few remaining WRO soldiers before finding Shalua and Shelke under attack by a huge blue behemoth. Fending it off, Shelke pulls out a shield materia to reveal the creature as a transformed Azul, whose body had been held at the WRO before reviving. Asking Shelke why she stopped him, she replies that he had attacked her too. With this Azul attacks her again, saying that the Tsviets had only been using her because of her Synaptic Net Dive (SND) ability (creating a residual image of herself in the worldwide network to obtain information), and that Azul had never considered her a true member of the Tsviets. Reactivating the shield materia to hold him off while Shalua opens an escape route, Shelke is unable to do so long enough to stop the door from automatically closing. Holding a small space open with her mechanical arm, which begins to malfunction under the pressure from the door, Shalua ushers Shelke through it into Vincent's care. Shalua expresses regret that she couldn't rescue her younger sister from Deepground's clutches just before the door closes, crushing Shalua's mechanical arm and leaving her defenceless to an (unseen) attack by Azul, which renders her comatose.
Vincent, Yuffie, Reeve and Shelke manage to escape from the complex just in time for Cid to arrive with the Shera. With help from Cloud and co., the remnants of the WRO plan to lauch a simultaneous land-air attack on the remains of Midgar and the home of Deepground. What they don't know is that the Tsviets are waiting for them with an army of their own. On the Shera, Shelke struggles to deal with her sister's sacrifice and her abandonment by Deepground, and Vincent is seen to be gradually losing control over Chaos (though Lucrecia appears to help him regain composure). Eventually, Shelke decides to help Vincent and the WRO, though she insists that it is in her own best interests: while in Deepground, her main mission was to collect the fragments of Lucrecia's research on Omega and Chaos from the worldwide computer network and arrange them in her own mind to help find the Protomateria. However, this had an unintended side-effect: Lucrecia's thoughts and emotions began to mix with her own. On the WRO's side, as well as providing them with detailed information on Deepground, she can use the data collected by Vincent to complete the collection, remove it from her mind, and regain control of herself.
Using an SND, Shelke explains Lucrecia's findings on Omega WEAPON and Chaos:
Soul wrought of terra corrupt
Quelling impurity, purging the stream
To beckon forth an ultimate fate
Behold mighty Chaos, Omega's squire to the lofty heavens.
Omega WEAPON activates when Gaia senses that it is in fatal peril, gathers the entirety of the Lifestream using itself as the container, and ascends into space to find a new planet on which to deposit it and begin life anew. Without the Lifestream, the remains of Gaia would wither and die, crumbling into dust. As found by Cait Sith earlier, Deepground have been collecting people with pure Lifestream currents (i.e. not infected with Geostigma) to slaughter them en masse and dupe Gaia into activating Omega WEAPON early. The appearance of Chaos heralds that of Omega.
The attack soon begins with Vincent as part of the ground squad, but a stray bullet hitting his hoverboard lands him far from the others. Vincent fights through the Depground hordes, eventually reaching the remains of the Shinra building where, after fighting Rosso and Azul each for the last time, he reaches Mako Reactor 0, the home of Deepground. Meanwhile, on the Shera, Nero the Sable,another Tsviet and second-in-command, sabotages the engine and kills the engine room crew. Shelke tries to defeat him, but fails, falling into his darkness. Vincent travels deeper into Mako Reactor 0, successfully fighting off Nero, after which Yuffie appears again and accompanies Vincent to the throne of Weiss the Immaculate, the highest member of the Tsviets and leader of Deepground. In the meantime, Shelke, surviving in Nero's darkness using her shield materia, has a final conversation with the spirit of her sister, who asks if it would be alright for her to enter the Lifestream, reminding Shelke of the time their mother died.
Nero makes one final attempt to stop Vincent from approaching Weiss, who is revealed to be Nero's older brother, absorbing Vincent into his darkness, but Vincent is able to escape, with Shelke in tow, because his own darkness (Chaos) is much deeper. Despite Nero's best attempts, Vincent defeats him. After getting Shelke to a Mako tank, Vincent and Yuffie approach Weiss' throne, only to find him slumped on his throne, lifeless. Nero appears and tells them of Weiss' resurrection through absorbing the powers of Omega. Suddenly the Lifestream around the room surges and Weiss rises, reborn. Nero attempts to embrace his brother, but Weiss impales him and throws his body across the room.
After a monologue referring to the events of Final Fantasy VII, Weiss is revealed to be possessed by the spirit of Hojo, who had used his remaining strength after being defeated at the Mako Cannon to upload his consciousness into the worldwide network. Hojo was able to usurp Weiss' body because of Weiss being in the middle of an SND to find a cure for a virus he was infected with by the Restrictors, leaving his mind wide open. Vincent attempts to defeat Weiss, but with the power of Omega he is practically invincible and Vincent is easily defeated. In his weakened state, Vincent starts losing control of Chaos again, but Lucrecia appears again and pleads for Vincent not to let Chaos control him. Weiss attempts to finish Vincent off, but Vincent deflects his attack, "utilizing the Protomateria to call forth Chaos while retaining [his] human form", as Hojo puts it. Enhanced by the powers of Chaos, Vincent is able to fight Weiss to a standstill. At this point, the spirit of Nero appears, silences Hojo's flaunts about the power of Omega, and finally embraces his brother, infusing him with his spirit and exorcising Hojo's spirit from Weiss' body. Finally, Weiss enters the surrounding Lifestream, which activates the appearance of Omega.
Omega WEAPON begins forming over the remains of Midgar by drawing Mako directly from the Reactors. Vincent is swept up in one of the currents, and loses control over Chaos in the process, transforming into the demon to escape from inside Omega. Shelke senses what's happening, and enters SND, which also allows her to communicate with living beings on the subconscious level. Entering Omega, Shelke finds the spirit of Lucrecia with the Protomateria, and evades Omega's attacks to return it to Vincent, allowing him complete control over Chaos' form.
At this point, a series of flashbacks expand upon the backstories of Vincent and, to a greater degree, Lucrecia. Lucrecia was a Shinra scientist and assistant to Professor Grimoire Valentine, Vincent's father. Studying Chaos and Omega WEAPON with only an ancient Cetra text to go on, Lucrecia completes a thesis on the subject which is heavily mocked. However, rather than dampening her spirits, their criticism just drives her to prove them wrong. Later, Lucrecia and Grimoire find the Waterfall Cavern which, according to the Cetra text, is the place where Chaos will appear on Gaia. Finding a dark, mist-like substance, they take it back to the Shinra Mansion where a violent reaction when studying it almost claims Lucrecia's life, with Grimoire pushing her out of harm's way at the last second, sacrificing himself instead. This tragedy strikes Lucrecia hard, affecting her future actions. Shortly afterward, Vincent is assigned her protection. Flustered that she would have to interact with the son of her deceased mentor, and worried that he would find out the truth, Lucrecia hides these feelings and introduces herself.
In time, Vincent and Lucrecia form an informal friendship where Vincent's feelings begin to grow, until Vincent happens upon a confidential file Lucrecia left unattended and finds out about what happened to his father. When he asks Lucrecia about it, she assumes he will react harshly and, after apologizing to Vincent, flees the situation and enters a relationship with Hojo, which would lead her into the Jenova Project, and bring Sephiroth into the world. Rather than trying to stop things, Vincent merely stands back, believing that whatever makes Lucrecia happy is best. However, upon seeing her continued and increasingly severe suffering, Vincent confronts Hojo, who shoots him in the stomach. Lucrecia enters at this point and what she sees only makes her already fragile mental state even worse. Not wanting a repeat of what happened with Grimoire, Lucrecia resolves to save Vincent no matter what the cost. Unable to stop tissue decay, a mocking remark from Hojo gives her the idea to use her research on Chaos to find a solution. By injecting Vincent with G Substance (the dark substance that killed Grimoire), Lucrecia stabilizes Vincent's body, but at a cost: Vincent becomes Chaos. Crying out in despair at her repeated failures, the Protomateria appears before Lucrecia, which she uses to calm the beast and return Vincent to human form. With her mind practically broken as a result of all that has happened, Lucrecia tries to commit suicide, but the Jenova cells inside her thwart her attempts. Consequently, she seals herself away from the world inside the Waterfall Cavern. In the meantime, Hojo takes Vincent's body and uses it in his experiments where it turns out that, with the power of Chaos inside him, Vincent has become immortal, which enables him to survive Hojo's tests. After regaining consciousness and reacting in horror at his new form (the Galiant Beast), he is sealed in a coffin in the basement of the Shinra Mansion, where he would sleep for 30 years before meeting Cloud and his party.
Finally, Lucrecia appears to Vincent in a dream sequence where she laments how much she hurt him and makes one last plea for his forgiveness, but is "happy that [he] survived". With this, Vincent activates his Chaos form, takes Shelke to safety, materializes the Death Penalty and faces down Omega WEAPON, obliterating its defenses in order to get close enough to find that it is protected from direct assault by a barrier. Fortunately, the WRO, together with Cloud and co., work on taking down the remains of Deepground and cheer Vincent on as he charges straight through the barrier and enters the inside of Omega, where he takes down more of the WEAPON's defenses before coming face-to-face with it. Vincent enters a portal in Omega's head into an ethereal-looking white space. After taking out some Crystal Feelers, Omega's Cocoon is forced to the surface and quickly destroyed. Afterwards Vincent encounters Weiss, now fully integrated with the powers of Omega, and he and Vincent promptly fight to a standstill. Weiss summons a biomechanical creature similar to Omega WEAPON but smaller in stature and connects himself to it, forming the final boss: Omega Weiss. Vincent defeats Weiss and escapes Omega who, rather than deactivating, actually sprouts wings and prepares to ascend into space. Seeing this, Vincent amasses all the power Chaos can afford him and charges headlong into Omega WEAPON, destroying it, and supposedly Vincent as well. As the credits roll the camera pans deep into an abyss, where Shalua's life support tank is embedded in the ground, heavily damaged. Shalua lies there, lifeless, as wisps of Lifestream begin to emanate from her body.
In the epilogue, Shelke, sitting inside Seventh Heaven, narrates that life has begun to return to normal, and that she seems to be beginning to age again. Yuffie bursts in, asking Tifa if she's heard from Cloud regarding "him"; Tifa replies that she hasn't. Shelke is seen to be speaking into a cassette recorder. Meanwhile, Vincent is inside the Waterfall Cavern speaking to Lucrecia. He tells her that both Omega and Chaos have returned to the Lifestream until they are actually needed. Before leaving, he thanks her, saying that "[she was] the reason [he] survived". Unseen by Vincent, a tear rolls down Lucrecia's cheek. Exiting the cavern, Vincent is surprised to find Shelke looking in the distance. Without looking round, she tells him that everyone is waiting for him, and that they made her come and get him, "not that [she minds], though". They look to the sky together, where fragments of Omega remain, floating in space.
If the player collected all three G Reports, a secret ending sequence shows the emergence of Genesis Rhapsodos in a cave where he finds the body of Weiss, carries it into his arms and, saying that "it is not yet time for slumber" and that "[they] still have much work to do", as well as calling Weiss "[his] brother", unfurls his lone black wing and flies away.
A failed experiment of The Jenova Project, Cloud Strife led AVALANCHE to defeat Sephiroth at the end of FFVII. In the two years following, he established the Strife Delivery Service to ferry goods across the lands using his bike, Fenrir. Cloud was also infected with Geostigma that covered his left arm in sores, which he hid under a long, black sleeve. The loss of Aerith during their travels weighed heavily on his mind, and the combination of all these drove Cloud to leave Seventh Heaven and stay in her church.
With the emergence of Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz, Cloud was forced to fight again when they kidnapped children from Edge. With the encouragement of his friends, and the otherworldly reassurances of Aerith, he was able to battle his inner demons to emerge victorious in a final battle with Sephiroth. His Geostigma was healed by Aerith's rain, and Cloud closed his story in Advent Children with a soft glimpse of a peaceful smile.
A former Turk, Vincent was charged with protecting the group of scientists involved in The Jenova Project: Gast, Lucrecia Crescent and Hojo. He fell in love with Lucrecia, but it went unrequited when she chose Hojo instead. After the birth of Sephiroth, Vincent confronted Hojo, only to be shot and put in a state of permanent agelessness by the mad scientist. He was discovered locked in a coffin by Cloud under the ShinRa mansion in Nibelheim.
Vincent apparently kept tabs on the development of Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz -- as he was able to inform Cloud of their origins after saving him from a disastrous battle at the Sleeping Forest. Vincent surprised Cloud when admitting that he had never tried to find forgiveness for his sin of failing Lucrecia, the woman he loved, which spurred the swordsman to pick himself up. He was also the only member of AVALANCHE not to have a cellphone, which shocked Marlene so that she almost scolded him for it.
Vincent traveled to Edge to, thus, buy a phone -- and also assist his former comrades in battling Bahamut Sin.
The legendary member of SOLDIER, Sephiroth goes insane when he learns of Jenova and plans to take the planet back for his mother. However when confronted by a rookie Cloud, he jumps into the lifestream, taking Jenova's head with him.
Sephiroth's body drifts via the lifestream to the Northern Crater, where he is able to return years later due to his strong will. Armed with the knowledge of the lifestream, he is able to manipulate Cloud as well as manifest himself to the group throughout the game.
After obtaining the black materia, he is able to summon meteor in which he plans to destroy the planet and become a god. Ultimately he is defeated by cloud in a battle that exists in both the physical and mental planes.
Advent Children centers around the Reunion occurring. For Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo, that is their ultimate goal. But they do not realize that they are actually doing Sephiroth's bidding. For him to return and to continue what he was unable to do at the end of FFVII.
When Kadaj merges with Jenova, Sephiroth is able to return and Cloud is face to face with his nemesis. Sephiroth never forgave Cloud for the problems he had caused him, and for the defeat he was given and is focused on setting things right.
Although Sephiroth is once again defeated, his final words "I will not remain a memory" hint that perhaps we haven't seen the last of him.
One of the three Silver Haired Men [unofficial name], Kadaj is the leader of the group. He is evil, cruel and manipulating, showing no remorse for his actions and not letting anyone get in the way of his goal.
Along with Loz and Yazoo, Kadaj is searching for 'Mother' [Jenova]. However little does he realize that he is actually doing Sephiroth's bidding, through the desire that Sephiroth has to return.
Although Sephiroth is the ultimate enemy in Advent Children, Kadaj is the main enemy. Kadaj's plan is to use the children to bring about the Reunion. Enticing them to do his bidding by offering them a new existence, and telling them of the planet making the children suffer by affecting them with Geostigma.
Kadaj's ultimate showdown is with Cloud, the enemy of Sephiroth, also being the enemy of the three men.
Character note: the three SHM all represent aspects of Sephiroth's character. Kadaj represents Sephiroth's cruel side.
Aerith was the last of the Cetra, a group of people closely attuned to the Planet. A half-Cetra, she was the daughter of Professor Gast and Ifalna. The Shinra believed she held the secret to the Cetra's Promised Land -- but Aerith also held the key to saving the Planet from Sephiroth, for she was the only one capable of activating the White Materia, summoning Holy to counter the effects of Meteor. Aerith died while praying for Holy in the Forgotten City of the Ancients, by the blade of Sephiroth's Masamune. Her death enraged Cloud, and continued to haunt him despite his defeat of Sephiroth at the end of FFVII.
Aerith returned in Advent Children, assisting Cloud from the afterlife, reassuring him of his guiltlessness in her death. She also provided the rain that healed the Geostigma disease that had infected Cloud, Rufus and many children; and saved Cloud after he was shot by Yazoo. She provided comfort in her departure, walking through her church doors, framed by light.
Cloud Strife's childhood friend from Nibelheim, martial artist Tifa Lockhart was the owner of the Seventh Heaven bar in Midgar and an original member of rebel group, AVALANCHE. She fought against Shinra Inc. with Barret, and later accompanied Cloud on his journey to defeat Sephiroth. Tifa held the key to unlocking Cloud's true past, and continued support him two years after FFVII.
She rebuilt the Seventh Heaven bar in Edge with the help of Barret and Cloud, and continued to look after Marlene in Barret's absence. She was regularly frustrated by Cloud's condition and his insistence at segregating himself from his friends, culminating in a desperate, exasperated argument in Advent Children after Marlene was kidnapped by Loz. Tifa later joined the rest of the regrouped AVALANCHE in battling Bahamut Sin in Edge.
Daughter of Godo, Lord of Wutai, Yuffie Kisaragi was a spunky, headstrong ninja adamant about recovering her hometown's lost glory in the war with ShinRa. She embarked on a trip to collect (or steal) materia, which led her to meet with AVALANCHE and eventually join them (for their materia). After the battle with Sephiroth, Yuffie surprisingly entrusted the group's materia to Cloud, who left them idly on the floor of Aerith's church.
Yuffie has called Cloud before to inform him of the missing children from Wutai, but made her return by parachuting into Edge to assist the group in their fight against Bahamut Sin. Her landing showed that Yuffie had yet to get over her motion sickness, something that plagued her during her travels on the Highwind.
Hailing from Corel, Barret swore revenge on ShinRa Inc. when his hometown was destroyed by their malfunctioning Mako Reactor. He lost his best friend, Dyne, his wife, Eleanor and in his right arm in the ensuing conflict; all that he had left was Marlene, Dyne's young daughter whom he adopted under his care. Barret formed AVALANCHE with Tifa, Jessie, Biggs and Wedge and fought against the ShinRa in Midgar by bombing their Mako Reactors.
Barret helped Tifa and Cloud rebuild the Seventh Heaven bar in Edge, but left soon after its opening to look for a new source of energy. On the last day before his departure, he spent the night talking with his precious daughter. He regularly called back to speak to Marlene, but only returned to Edge when Bahamut Sin was attacking the city to battle alongside his former comrades.
Cid Highwind was originally an aspiring astronaut under the ShinRa Space Program, but his dream of going to space was crushed with the cancellation of the project as the ShinRa chose to delve into Mako energy instead. Cid, himself, pushed the abort button when Shera refused to leave the rocket before her repairs were done. Coarse and brash, Cid continued to live in Rocket Town until joining AVALANCHE to fight Sephiroth. The Highwind, his airship, was destroyed when the group escaped from the crumbling Northern Crater.
Cid returned two years later in his new ship, the Sierra (named after Shera) to assist Cloud and Tifa in protecting Edge from Bahamut Sin's attacks.
Originally known as Nanaki, Red XIII was the last of his species, a wolf/dog hybrid capable of human speech. He was imprisoned as an experimental subject by Hojo of ShinRa Inc., who attempted to cross-breed him with Aerith in an attempt to create a Cetra with a longer lifespan. He escaped when Cloud, Tifa and Barret broke into ShinRa Headquarters to rescue Aerith.
Red XIII had always lived believing his father was a coward, but a trip to Cosmo Canyon proved that his father had been protecting their homeland all along. He continued to accompany Cloud in pursuit of Sephiroth, and returned two years later to assist AVALANCHE in battling Bahamut Sin in Edge.
Cait Sith was a talking black cat perched atop a giant, white moogle. It was actually a robot controlled from elsewhere by Reeve, a top employee of ShinRa. Inc. While originally a spy who gave Tseng the Key to the Temple of the Ancients, Cait Sith continued traveling with AVALANCHE and eventually turned to their side, redeeming himself by sacrificing his puppet body to gain the Black Materia.
While Reeve continued to rebuild Midgar by forming the World Regeneration Organization, he sent Cait Sith (sans the white moogle) to assist AVALANCHE in their battle against Bahamut Sin in Edge. He fought alongside Red XIII, perched on his back.
Set two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud now leads a solitary life traveling the Planet as a transporter. The office of Strife Delivery Service is located in 7th Heaven, which also functions as an orphanage for children stricken with Geostigma.
Three new enemies make an appearance in Advent Children. Kadaj, their leader, is in his teens, while Yazoo and Loz are known to be in their twenties. In them, Cloud sees shadows of FFVII’s fallen hero, Sephiroth. The three are after “Mother” and refer to Cloud as their “Brother”. Having obtained Jenova’s head, their purpose appears to be to start another Reunion. Vincent suspects that with Jenova’s cells, they may even be able to create another Sephiroth.
Reno and Rude arrive at 7th Heaven, Cloud having been hired by Rufus to be his “bodyguard” from the three new foes. The ShinRa President suffers from Geostigma as well and is wheelchair-bound. Rufus has been reconstructing Midgar and searching for any traces of influence that Sephiroth might have left on the Planet, to which he has found none. He now resides at the Healin Lodge, also known as the Geostigma Sanatorium. The Turks report that the three silver-haired youths have brought the children to their headquarters, the City of the Ancients.
Cloud still carries emotional scars from the last time we saw him. Weighed down by memories of loved ones he has lost and his physical condition, he now comes across as devoid of hope. Ever the reluctant hero, it takes much persuasion from Tifa after the children are captured for Cloud to decide to go after them. Perhaps it is only during his dream-like encounter with Aerith on the way to the City of the Ancients that he finally makes some progress. The two meet back-to-back in the flower field, beneath a pure white sky. Cloud struggles to voice his desire to seek forgiveness, to which Aerith says that she already has forgiven him. Consoled but still unconvinced, Cloud sets out on his path of redemption.
A non-contagious disease known as Geostigma is spreading across the Planet, with Kadaj claiming that it is due to Jenova’s cells working hard in the Lifestream. Children tend to show signs of Geostigma first, though adults are susceptible to the disease as well. Symptoms of Geostigma include mental weakness, pain and even death. Cloud is known to suffer from this disease though he hides his affected arm beneath his sleeve. He is heard coughing and clutching his arm in some parts of the trailers. Victims bandage affected regions and it was Cloud’s used bandage, which Marlene found in the Church, that gave away his condition.
According to the creators, the Church will feature prominently in the movie. Besides being the place Cloud calls home, it is also the stage for the fight between Tifa and Loz. Despite her valiant attempts, Tifa is ultimately defeated and Loz makes off with Marlene and the rest of the children. Cloud arrives late and brings the barely conscious Tifa back to 7th Heaven.
Kadaj speaks to the children by the shore of the lake in the City of the Ancients, rallying them to join forces with him against the Planet. They ambush Cloud and the children form a circle around him, preventing his escape. Kadaj calls Cloud a traitor and is about to execute him when Vincent swoops down and brings Cloud to safety. Marlene escapes and rejoins Cloud and Vincent in the woods. They then chase the silver-haired youths and the children back to Midgar.
Midgar is in chaos when they return. Kadaj has unleashed a swarm of Shadowcreepers which attack the townspeople while Cid, Barret, Vincent, Yuffie and Red XIII fight them off. Tifa is shown shielding Denzel, one of the orphans under her charge. Reno and Rude battle Yazoo and Loz respectively. Kadaj is seen looking down from a damaged building with Rufus, during which he summons Bahamut Sin. Cloud then practically flies towards the dragon, kamikaze-style, as it prepares to launch an attack on the city.
It should be noted that Tifa, Cid, Yuffie, Red XIII and Marlene have each been seen carrying a ribbon. Cloud, too, has been spotted with one tied around his left arm during what appears to be a flashback. Here, his arm is not covered by a sleeve, presumably before he contracted Geostigma, and he is seen fingering the ribbon in the rain. Whether the ribbons are simply a gesture of friendship or even a sign of mourning remains uncertain.
The scene then shifts to Cloud scaling up the side of a building with a sword in each hand while explosions go off. As the buildings collapse around him, he looks up and we see Sephiroth in all his former glory. The line, “I won’t remain just a memory.” is heard. From out of the debris, sword drawn, a familiar face is seen. None other than Sephiroth has returned.
The idea for Advent Children came about when script writer Kazushige Nojima wrote a script that was "just a story about Cloud and Tifa and the kids". Visual Works, a company that has developed CG films for Square, picked Final Fantasy VII as the theme for a presentation that they were going to create. Square's research and development department worked with them on its launch, and director Tetsuya Nomura joined the crew after producer Yoshinori Kitase called him. Advent Children was originally going to be a game sequel, but Nomura stated that it was not possible due to a number of factors. However, the development team decided to stick with the original plan and work on it as a movie production.