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.