One winged angel, Silver SOLDIER or Sephiroth. These are the names by which he is known. Many know the name of one of the most iconic characters in the Final Fantasy universe, but only a few know what is behind the well-known antagonist from Final Fantasy 7. But to be able to explain his story to you, we have to start well before his birth. Please note
that this text contains a lot of spoilers.
If you only played Final Fantasy 7 Remake and don't want to know what the allusions between Cloud and Sephiroth are, then you should definitely look for something else to browse!
The catastrophe of the old people
The ancient people, named Cetra, are people who have a strong bond with the planet. They could feel the energy of the life stream, direct it and speak to the planet. Your job was to make the planet grow and prosper. But not every Cetra wanted to devote itself to this task. The Cetra, which distanced themselves from their task, lost this connection to the planet and the people of the people emerged.
Approx. 2000 years before the events in Final Fantasy VII (buy now) then there was an accident. A meteorite struck Gaia and the north crater was formed. This impact has massively injured the planet and even in Final Fantasy VII, this wound has not healed yet. However, this meteorite impact was no accident. An alien life form was located on this meteorite. The Cetra called this the misfortune from heaven, we also know it under the name Jenova.
Jenova is a form-changing life form that tries to suck out the life force from the planet. Then she tries to travel through space with meteorite-like remains of the planet to find new planets. When she lands on Gaia, the Cetra begin to die. At that point in time, they did not know why and therefore considered it an illness that was caused by Jenova. When this became known among the Cetra people started before Jenova
to hide. However, it was not a disease. Jenova has the ability to implant cells from her victims, and these cells then ensure that the infected have turned into monsters. Jenova then took the form of the deceased Cetra and came closer to the people to gradually infect and kill them. In this way Jenova wiped out almost all Cetra. But a few survivors banded together and sealed them in the North Crater. Even if it won over Jenova, the people of Cetra became a legend over the years and Jenova was even forgotten.
Science that creates knowledge
2000 years later, Professor Gast, a scientist from the Shinra group, examined Jenova. He mistakenly considers it a Cetra and wrote it down. Since the Shinra group wants to extract mako energy from the planet, the group looked for the consecrated land, a kind of utopia. Mako energy is energy obtained from the life stream. The Shinra Corporation sent Professor Hojo and Lucrecia as guests to assist him on the Jenova project. When he realizes that Jenova is not a Cetra, Gast leaves the Jenova project and helps Ifalna to escape, which is actually the last Cetra. Together they hide, fall in love with each other and father Aerith. Hojo is meanwhile continuing to research Project Jenova and his rival Professor Hollander is researching a subsidiary project called Project Gillian.
Project S / Project Sephiroth
This project is the guide for the elite unit SOLDIER. Sephiroth is the first experiment of this project and gives it its name. Professor Hojo and Lucrecia fall in love and have a child. During pregnancy, Lucrecia and Hojo decided to test their research on their own child. So they injected Jenova cells into their unborn child. During pregnancy, Lucrecia gets extreme cramps and visions from her child. She sees what Sephiroth will do to the world.
Project G / Project Gillian
This project was also used to SOLDIER to create. However, this variant turned out to be unsuccessful. Professor Hollander injected Jenova cells into a woman, and after she did not become a monster, he took her cells to continue researching. This woman was called Gillian Hewley.
Project G resulted in the two 1st Class soldiers Angeal Hewley and Genesis Rhapsodos. Genesis was injected with Gillian cells and Angeal was born the natural son of Gillian. However, so-called G-Type SOLDIER a big disadvantage. Since they do not come into direct contact with Jenova cells, their bodies decay rapidly. Genesis, who only had Gillian cells implanted, notices this decay and realizes that something is wrong.
Creatures that emerge from Project G can pass their cells on to other beings, making them copies of themselves. Genesis can only do this in people who are decaying much faster than him. Angeal, on the other hand, who directly inherited her genes as the biological son of Gillian, does not weather so quickly. In addition, it can not only make copies from humans, but also from animals. He also has the ability to absorb his copies and absorb their powers. However, his copies also decay, which suggests that the key to stopping this process can be the Jenova cells.
As already mentioned SOLDIER a Shinra elite unit. SOLDIER existed even before Project S. They were exposed to mako energy to become stronger than normal people. However, when the breakthrough came with Project S, SOLDIER were also infected with Jenova cells. Every SOLDIER who came to Sephiroth received this treatment.
The events in Nibelheim
A group consisting of two 1st Class SOLDIER and two infantrymen was sent to Nibelheim because of monster attacks. You should examine the Mako reactor and see if everything is OK with the village. This group includes Sephiroth and Zack Fair as 1st Class SOLDIER and Cloud as infantryman. The other infantryman is not mentioned by name. Cloud and Zack became friends at Shinra during their time together. When the group arrives in Nibelheim, Sephiroth Cloud asks what it's like to be back home for a long time. Cloud, ashamed of still being an infantryman, runs back to the car and gets his Shinra mask to avoid being recognized.
The events are told differently in the course of the games Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, just like the OVA Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-. Nowhere is it confirmed which of the different versions is correct. Therefore, we take the parts that overlap in all stories and are most likely.
The Shinra group fulfills its mission and inspects both the Mako reactor and the village. Before they go to the reactor, Zack, Tifa and Sephiroth take a picture. This photo plays a huge role in the story of Final Fantasy VII as it is the proof is that Cloud was not a 1st Class SOLDIER in Nibelheim. Arrived at the reactor, the masked Cloud and Tifa stay outside because Shinra doesn't want to reveal any trade secrets. Sephiroth and Zack enter the reactor and Sephiroth sees the Mako capsules, in which there are monsters. He makes it clear that he is disgusted by the sight. He also mentions that ordinary SOLDIER are created in this way. Confused by the wording, Zack asks him how it came about and Sephiroth begins to think.
So far, he has never thought that he was also experimented on. Genesis appears and confronts Sephiroth that his thoughts are correct. He tells him that Sephiroth and Angeal are the crowned successes of Project S and Project G and asks for help. Genesis suspects that Sephiroth's cells are the only way to avoid decay, but Sephiroth declines. Through this confrontation with Genesis, Sephiroth comes up with the idea of settling in the Shinra Villa in Nibelheim and reading the reports there. According to FFVII, he spends three days there, in Crisis Core it is said that it was a week.
Up to this point Sephiroth always said that his mother had died at birth, his father was never an issue. The only thing he was called from his mother was her name – Jenova. In the firm belief that Jenova was his mother and judging from the reports stating that Jenova was a Cetra, the belief that he was the last Cetra solidifies in him. The reports also say that a meteorite landed on Gaia, the Cetra fell ill with it and the people who let Cetra die. In the end, these reports contaminated Sephiroth, who was unstable with Genesis' statements and question, with the thought of exterminating humanity, since it had let his people die.
Based on his new opinion, he decides to burn the village down and go to the reactor to save Jenova, who is sealed there, and to unite with her. After setting the village on fire, he goes to the reactor. Tifa and her father follow him. Shortly thereafter, Zack also sets off. However, when he arrives, Sephiroth has already killed Tifa's father and injured her. Crying, she leans over her father. When Zack comes closer to her and wants to help her, she screams at him that she hates all SOLDIER. Shortly thereafter, Zack runs up to the room where Jenova is to face Sephiroth. After a duel, Zack is defeated and lies in the anteroom.
There he doesn't hesitate for a second and pushes the armor sword through Sephiroth. Cloud thinks he would have defeated Sephiroth and runs out to help Tifa. When he reaches her, he lifts her up and carries her aside. A short time later, Sephiroth runs out of the room with his mother's head. Weakened by his wound, he didn't have enough strength to take the rest of his body with him. Cloud runs after Sephiroth again. This time, however, he is vigilant and notices him. Before Cloud can do anything, Sephiroth stabs his sword through Cloud's chest and lifts it up with his blade. For unknown reasons, however, Cloud manages to exert enough strength to gain a foothold and Sephiroth and Jenova's head push the Mako reactor down into the life stream. From that day on, Sephiroth is considered to have passed away.
Zangan, Tifa's teacher, reaches the reactor shortly after it's all over and saves her. When he comes back afterwards to save Cloud and Zack, too, Shinra was faster. Hojo, who received reports of Sephiroth's actions, decided to take both and all the villagers with them and do research on them. So that this is not noticeable, Hojo had the village rebuilt and the residents replaced by Shinra employees. They now live there and act as if nothing had ever happened in Nibelheim.
After the events in Nibelheim, Hojo has a new idea. By being told that Sephiroth went nuts and looked for his mother, he developed the reunion theory. This means that every being that contains Jenova cells wants to return to Jenova. To test this thesis, he took all survivors of the Nibelheim incident with him for research purposes. Each of them was exposed to Mako energy and each was injected with Jenova cells. So they were exposed to a similar method used to create SOLDIER. The resulting beings were called Hojo Sephiroth clones. These are not optical clones, but rather he wanted to confirm his thesis that all Jenova cells want to return to Jenova.
Zack, who already had Jenova cells inside and was already exposed to Mako energy, shows no signs that would confirm this thesis and is fully conscious. Cloud, on the other hand, suffers from massive mako poisoning and has to be saved by Zack. However, every individual who became a slave to Jenova through treatment received a tattoo with a number on the body. Since Jenova was under Sephiroth's control, the Sephiroth clones were automatically under his control too. Contrary to Hojo's theory, the clones do not gather at Jenova, but follow Sephiroth's will and try them Black materia to get. Cloud, which is also a Sephiroth clone, has its own will, but can be controlled by Sephiroth.
But where is Sephiroth actually?
During the course of the game, Sephiroth is in the north crater all the time. Since being thrown into the life stream by Cloud, he has been waiting there, enclosed in a shield, and controls Jenova and thus the Sephiroth clones. He regenerates and prepares for his return. He uses his control over Jenova to act as himself with his shape-changing ability and to pursue his goals. For this reason, we see him several times in the game. It is not about him personally, but about Jenova every time.
When we appear in the form of cloud in FFVII in the north crater and hand over the Black Materia to Sephiroth, we see its true shape for the first time. We discover that his body is missing from the upper body. However, when we face him at the end of the game, we see a completely different shape. In total we see three different forms. First we see Bizzaro Sephiroth, a union of him and Jenova. Then we see Savior Sephiroth, in this form he shows his divinity and finally we see his usual shape. After you ultimately kill Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII, he and Jenova enter the life stream. This causes the disease Geostigma to develop over the next two years.
The Return of the Chosen One
The return of Sephiroth begins in Advent Children. As part of the life stream, he poisons the world with geostigma, a disease that infects people with Jenova cells. This disease mainly affects young people, but can also affect middle-aged people. So we see that many children are infected with it, but Rufus and Cloud also have this disease.
Sephiroth wants to enforce his will with the geostigma. So he creates three beings that embody his will – Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz. Together, these three search for the remaining cells from Jenova, which Shinra recovered from the north crater. The film speaks of Jenova's head here, but it is only about her cells. Since Sephiroth's minions think Cloud has them, they kidnap the children Cloud cares about and try to put pressure on him. They tell them that they have a cure for the geostigma. Once in the abandoned city, Kadaj gets the kids to drink from a black river that appears to be poisoned with Jenova cells. Immediately after Denzel, one of the children, has drunk it, you can see how his eyes take on the shape typical of SOLDIER.
It turns out in the course of the film that Rufus has the Jenova cells and after a conflict in Midgar, Kadaj manages to seize the cells. After being in a duel with the cloud, he decides to take these cells in and thus bring "HIM" back. The duel between Cloud and Sephiroth begins again. Again, Cloud emerges victorious and it starts to rain. This rain is the will of Aerith, which is also in the life stream. With this rain she cleanses the world from the geostigma and thus from the Jenova cells. A small basin full of this water is created in the church with the flowers. To illustrate the cleaning process, Cloud scoops up some of this water and pours it over Denzel, as in a baptism.
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