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Barret Wallace

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Head of the underground resistance movement AVALANCHE, Barret depends on brute strength and his 'Gun-arm' to see him through...
—Description

Barret Wallace is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII. He is the leader of an eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE, trying to prevent Shinra Electric Power Company from using Mako, the planet of Gaia's life source, as a form of energy. His seemingly benevolent cause of fighting for the Planet is a cover for his personal vendetta and anger, which he later must come to terms with. Despite his brash and sometimes violent attitude, Barret has a good heart, and is torn between fighting and caring for his daughter Marlene.

ProfileEdit

AppearanceEdit

Barret PortraitNB

In his original appearance, Barret is a heavy-set, muscular dark-skinned man with a dirty brown vest, green pants and large brown boots. His right arm was mangled in the loss of his hometown, and has been replaced with his weapon, the gun-arm, which lets him interchange various weapon attachments to it. Barret has several bands of metal around his waist and his remaining arm, and a tattoo on his left shoulder. His hair is cut similar to a hi-top fade and he has a thick beard and a dog-tag around his neck. He has three scars on his right cheek. This appearance has humorously been compared to actor Mr. T, a comparison also somewhat shown through Barret's character.

In Final Fantasy VII Remake Barret wears black sunglasses.

In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Barret's gun-arm has been replaced by a transforming steel hand that can turn into a large gun. His vest has been replaced by a puffier, off-white one and he wears a fish-net shirt, and retains the green pants. His hair is differently styled, and is now arranged in cornrows. Character designer Tetsuya Nomura has commented that Barret's character was redesigned largely due to the comparisons to Mr. T, and when instructing the animators on what Barret's gun-arm should be like, he told them to make "a big, over-the-top gun that transforms in a huge, over-the-top way." Barret's skull tattoo was altered from his original artwork in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children; originally a skull with wings, it was changed to a rounder skull with extending wisps.

PersonalityEdit

Barret AC 2007 Art

Promotional image of Barret in his Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children outfit.

You gotta understand somethin'... I don't got an answer. I wanna be with Marlene... but I gotta fight. 'Cause if I don't...the planet's gonna die. So I'm gonna keep fightin'!
—Barret in Final Fantasy VII

Barret is characterized early in Final Fantasy VII as a brash, gruff man with a short temper and a tendency to curse, although his mouth is not as bad as Cid Highwind's. He is prone to firing his gun-arm into the air in fits of rage catching the attention of everyone around him. Barret's rage is accompanied by a deeper, albeit rarely shown thoughtfulness. Barret later admits to Elmyra Gainsborough he wants to be with his daughter Marlene, but at the same time wants to save the Planet, the issue causing such dissonance he gives up trying to explain it.

Barret describes life with train metaphors, including one of his more well-known phrases, "there's no gettin' off this train we on 'till we reach the end of the line," which he adopted from Cloud during the train ride after their first successful AVALANCHE mission. Late in Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud and Tifa are absent, Barret first says he ought to be the leader, but then says he has come to realize he is not suitable, and elects Cid in his place.

In the novella On the Way to a Smile, Barret's character is examined on a deeper level, revealing his isolation due to viewing himself as a monster because of his gun-arm, and his search for a new meaning to his life after his vendetta with Shinra is settled. Still guilty over the chaos AVALANCHE caused, particularly the death of the group's members under his leadership, Barret seeks both a normal life and a way to atone for his "minefield of mistakes" as the faction's leader.

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Early lifeEdit

Barret grew up in the small, forested coal mining village of Corel. He was married to a woman named Myrna who suffered from an unspecified illness. Because of his wife's illness Barret decided to advocate co-operation with Shinra in building a Mako Reactor north of Corel. His childhood friend, Dyne, disagreed at first, but Barret convinced him to agree.

BC Barret 1

In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, the original, more violent incarnation of AVALANCHE has occupied the Corel on May 8, 0003. Barret helps the Turks sneak into the reactor to reclaim it. At the time he does not know the name of the enemy organization, and ironically would later choose that title for his own insurgency group. Shinra destroys the reactor and Corel in retaliation, believing it was the people of Corel who helped AVALANCHE take the reactor. In the chaos Barret and Dyne return to the town and are gunned down by Shinra troops. Dyne falls off a cliff and Barret narrowly grabs his hand. Shinra executive Scarlet shoots their hands and Barret drops Dyne to his apparent doom.

In the aftermath, Barret found Dyne's daughter Marlene and took her to raise her as his own, believing Dyne had perished. He acquired a prosthetic gun-arm, which was made for him by Shalua Rui. Barret made his way to Cosmo Canyon and learned of AVALANCHE, becoming the leader of the organization's second incarnation, and went to Midgar to begin his campaign against Shinra.

AVALANCHE leaderEdit

VII Remake Cloud and Barret

Barret and Cloud in Sector 1 Reactor

Sometime in 0007 in Midgar, Barret leads the reformed AVALANCHE against Shinra, its members including Biggs, Wedge, Jessie and Tifa Lockhart. As part of an attack on Shinra, Barret agrees to hire Tifa's childhood friend, the mercenary Cloud Strife. With Cloud, they begin their largest operation yet on December 9th.

The attack on the Sector 1 Reactor is successful, and although Cloud's fee is steep and Barret does not like him, the need for help and his skill convinces Barret to continue to keep him with the group. At the next reactor bombing, the group runs into President Shinra and Barret curses at him before the president flees on a helicopter. As the robot the president sends after the group explodes Cloud is separated from the others.

Tifa comes up with a plan to meet the crime lord of Sector 6, Don Corneo, when they discover he is a Shinra informant. While Tifa and Cloud are gone, Shinra sends the Turks to destroy the pillar holding up the Sector 7 plate, crushing the slums beneath where AVALANCHE's headquarters is located. Barret and AVALANCHE fight to stop them, and Wedge, Biggs, and Jessie are lost in the struggle with Barret the last one standing defending the pillar when Cloud and Tifa join him. Despite their efforts the pillar is destroyed and Barret, Cloud, and Tifa narrowly escape. Barret is enraged at the loss, but is consoled by Tifa's assurance that Aeris Gainsborough, a woman she and Cloud had met in the slums, took Marlene to safety before the plate fell.

Aeris was kidnapped by Shinra, and when Cloud resolves to rescue her Barret accompanies him to repay Aeris for saving Marlene. Barret meets Marlene at Elmyra Gainsborough's house and has a tearful reunion. Elmyra criticizes Barret for leaving his daughter alone when he goes off to fight Shinra, and Barret struggles explaining his reasons, rationalizing it that the Planet needs saving, especially for Marlene's sake. He leaves Marlene in Elmyra's care and asks the two to flee Midgar as the city is no longer a safe place.

Pursuit of SephirothEdit

When the group arrives at the Shinra Headquarters Barret suggests barging in through the front door. They find Aeris in captivity of Professor Hojo, the head of Shinra's science department, who wants to interbreed her with Red XIII to "preserve their species," Aeris being a Cetra and Red XIII being of rare sentient leonine species. They are captured by the Turks with Barret imprisoned with Red XIII, during which time he gets to know him a little. During Sephiroth's attack on President Shinra they are released, and the group flees Midgar to Kalm. Cloud is elected the group's leader over Barret, and he grudgingly accepts.

In Kalm Cloud explains Sephiroth is a legendary SOLDIER who defected Shinra to exact revenge on mankind, and though thought perished appears to have returned. He tells his version of the Nibelheim Incident of five years ago when he and Sephiroth came to Nibelheim to inspect the Nibel Reactor and Sephiroth went mad upon learning of his origins from the Jenova Project and torched the town. His story is continually interrupted by Barret who is asking for more details as Cloud's recollection is inconsistent.

After Kalm, the group continues to track Sephiroth and crosses the sea at Junon to Costa del Sol with Barret disguised as a sailor aboard the Shinra cargo ship where he spies upon Rufus Shinra, the company's new president. In Costa del Sol Barret is angered at the others' claim he looks "cute" in the sailor suit and should keep it as pajamas, but secretly retreats to the inn to look at himself in the bathroom mirror while wearing it.

The group eventually arrives at North Corel, a town built by the Corel survivors near the destroyed Mako Reactor's ruins. The townspeople vilify Barret and he divulges his past to the group. Riding to the Gold Saucer, an amusement park built towering over the Corel ruins, Barret's frustrations increase and he runs off alone after Aeris tries to cheer him up, telling Cloud and the others not to forget they are after Sephiroth. Cloud and the others find many people gunned down at the Battle Square, and a survivor says it was a man with a gun-arm.

BarretFMV

Barret in an FMV.

Thrown into Corel Prison after being assumed to work with the gunman, Cloud and the others find Barret, further enraged and demanding to be allowed to settle his past alone. He allows them to accompany him as they confront the prison's leader, Dyne, who also has a gun-arm on his mangled hand. Traumatized by the loss of his family and home, Dyne wishes to destroy the world, and thus went to Gold Saucer to exact the massacre Barret and the others ended up being blamed for.

When Barret tells Dyne Marlene survived, Dyne attacks him, saying he has to kill Marlene so his wife will not be lonely in the afterlife. Barret prevails, and Dyne, considering himself a lost cause, permits Barret and the others to leave the prison, then throws himself off a cliff to his death. The owner of Gold Saucer, Dio, learns of the event, and allows the party to leave and gives them a buggy as an apology.

Barret continues to travel with the group, developing a profound respect for Cloud. It is even possible for the two to go out at the Gold Saucer while there to look for the Keystone. During the "date" Cloud and Barret ride the gondola and Barret tries to pry which of the party's women Cloud is attracted to. The pair spots Cait Sith, the party's newest member, stealing the Keystone and handing it to the Turks. When they confront him Cait Sith reveals he has Marlene captive, thus blackmailing the others to taking him along, greatly upsetting Barret.

After being manipulated by Sephiroth to relinquishing the Black Materia at the Temple of the Ancients, Cloud decides to quit the journey. Barret assures Cloud he is among friends and that he will look out for him, pushing him into going after Aeris who has gone missing. When Sephiroth murders Aeris Barret consoles Cloud, and is willing to continue the hunt for Sephiroth with him even if Cloud now fully knows he is susceptible to Sephiroth's influence. Barret has a small revelation at Gaea's Cliff, where he considers the cold and barren land the exact opposite of the technological Midgar, yet is just as unappealing to him.

MeteorfallEdit

After the party reclaims the Black Materia, Cloud, who does not trust himself in Sephiroth's presence, can hand it over to Barret for safekeeping. Sephiroth conjures an image of Tifa who begs Barret to help Cloud, and thus Barret is tricked to handing the Materia back to Cloud, who gives it to Sephiroth who uses it to summon Meteor. This rouses the Weapons, colossal monsters created by the Planet itself, and Barret and Tifa escape on the Shinra airship Highwind with the company's executives and are brought as captives to Junon.

A week later during a public execution, Barret escapes with Cait Sith and Yuffie Kisaragi's help. They make their way to the Highwind to rendezvous with the rest of the group, minus Cloud, who has not been seen after he gave away the Black Materia. While Barret doubts Cloud's true identity, he realizes he is not fit to be the group's leader, and in Cloud's absence hands control over to Tifa. When she departs to care for a catatonic Cloud they discover in Mideel, Barret elects Cid, the Highwind's pilot, as leader.

Shinra is collecting Huge Materia from Mako Reactors in a bid to stop the Meteor that is now approaching the Planet, but the party wants the Materia for themselves to help battle Sephiroth. During Shinra's quest to collect the Huge Materia from Corel Reactor, North Corel is on the brink of destruction from Shinra. If they deter the accident Barret becomes a local hero. If the town is destroyed, further blame is put on him.

After Shinra destroys Sephiroth's energy barrier from over the North Crater, the group descends down the Northern Cave to defeat Sephiroth and release Holy to save the Planet from the Meteor. Barret elects to keep fighting for Marlene and satisfies himself knowing he has done well.

Post-crisisEdit

In On the Way to a Smile: Case of Tifa, Barret, along with Cloud and Tifa, revisits the various locations they had seen during their quest to save the Planet from Sephiroth. In Kalm, Barret reunites with Marlene. They return to the ruins of Midgar, destroyed in the battle between Holy and Meteor, where they help construct a new city, Edge. Barret suggests Tifa to open a bar to help the depressed cope with their losses, and Tifa, struggling with her own personal dilemmas, agrees to run it. Shortly after, Barret leaves on a journey to settle his past.

Barret is the focus of another novella, Case of Barret. After Barret leaves Marlene in Cloud and Tifa's care, he searches the world for an alternative energy source to replace Mako, and his peace of mind. Searching for a way to atone for the deaths of Jessie, Biggs and Wedge, and to adapt to life after the end of Shinra and the need to fight, Barret requisitions a new attachment for the gun-arm that can transform into a mechanical hand, allowing him to live a more normal life. His doctor requests for him to wait at least a week for its completion. During a truck run to a nearby village to ensure its safe passage, he strikes a conversation with a coal mechanic about how to face his problems; after taking down a monster, and with the mechanic even in fear of him, Barret hesitantly accepts that "the monster dens may be in him".

Upon helping with the farm work for the village to sell their produce in the city, he witnesses a father and his sick daughter requesting the lead driver to take her to Midgar; the daughter is suffering from a severe case of Geostigma, a new terminal illness that has been infecting people ever since Meteorfall. Shortly after the daughter passes away, Barret learns the father was once one of the crew that piloted the Gelnika, a Shinra cargo plane.

Barret makes his way to Rocket Town, where he meets with Cid and the new crew with his new airship. After having witnessed further of the pandemic the Planet is now struggling with, Barret reconsiders the use of Mako again to aid the people and find a cure with airship technology. Cid claims the Planet has shifted the Lifestream away from where the old reactors are settled, and that it would take a greater degree of manpower that would prove inefficient compared to the expertise that Shinra had before its demise.

Cid shows Barret a black substance he and his team recently discovered: oil. Having located an ideal but dangerous monster-ridden area to construct an oilfield in, Barret's hopes are elevated. He comes to catharsis in being able to help with both his strength and insights, as the airship can be used to help those with Geostigma get to aid when a cure is found, and a new fuel source would help everyone with its use and innovation. Returning to the doctor, he tells him to hold onto the arm, as Barret puts his strengths to use in rebuilding the world.

Geostigma crisisEdit

Ffviiac-barret

Barret in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

One year after Meteorfall, in 0009 during the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Barret is still in contact with his friends. Barret leaves a message on Cloud's cellphone saying he has found a large oil field. Barret later appears to help Cloud fight Bahamut SIN using the gun on his right hand as a weapon (although it can now morph into a prosthetic hand). Despite his time away from her, he cares deeply for Marlene; his first words to Tifa are a command that his daughter better be safe. After Bahamut SIN is defeated, he watches Cloud battle Kadaj from the Shera, Cid's new airship, and orders Cid to land so they can help, but Cid tells him to jump if he wants off the ship.

Barret can also be heard, though not seen, in Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII's "present" sections, as he gives Cloud a "closed" sign passed on from Yuffie and each present to deliver to Marlene and Denzel.

Deepground conflictEdit

BarretDoC

Barret in Dirge of Cerberus.

When I'm through, there won't be a single sucka standing!
—Barret, on a phone with Vincent Valentine in Dirge of Cerberus

During Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Barret, along with Cloud and Tifa, leads a ground assault on Midgar against Deepground in 0010, and provides Vincent with a map via phone which leads the way to Deepground. The three join Cid, Reeve, Yuffie, and a young defected Tsviet named Shelke, to aid Vincent in Omega's destruction.

Spoilers end here.

GameplayEdit

Barret-ffvii-battle

Barret is the second playable party member available. He wields various gun-arms for long range combat (with a few melee weapons), and his Limits consist mostly of physical blows with these weapons. He has strong stats for defense and very high Strength, but his magic stats are weaker. His ultimate weapon, the Missing Score, has a large number of Materia slots, and deals more damage based on the AP of the Materia stocked to it. This can allow him to abuse an overflow glitch if stocked with mastered Knights of the Round Materia.

Barret is a date option for Cloud in the Gold Saucer. He begins with 0 hidden date points and has few dialogue options to improve this value, making him the hardest character to date. Dating Barret in the PlayStation 4 version earns the player the Best Bromance trophy.

Creation and developmentEdit

Barret sketch

Barret, along with early versions of Cloud and Aerith, was one of the first three main characters designed for Final Fantasy VII. Barret was a character character designer Tetsuya Nomura had wanted to create for a long time.[6] Barret's original backstory was that of a miner whose home Shinra destroyed—a story that hardly changed in the final product. In the original concept Marlene was Barret's biological daughter, and Barret would have had a wife as well. The confrontation between Barret and Dyne would have taken place during a battle between AVALANCHE and Shinra in the Corel ruins, and the leader of the attack that destroyed the town was changed several times, including Heidegger and Reeve, before settling on Scarlet.

In a deleted scene, Barret was to promise the other AVALANCHE members they would go to Cosmo Canyon together after finishing their mission. A remnant of this promise exists in the game when Barret mournfully says at the campfire in Cosmo Canyon he swore with his friends they would have a toast at the Cosmo Candle.

Barret's job class was originally listed as "Gunner," a class which would eventually be introduced to the series in Final Fantasy X-2.

Musical themeEdit

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"Barret's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII
Music-harp
FFVII - Barret's Theme
Trouble with the audio sample?

"Barret's Theme" (バレットのテーマ, Baretto no Tēma?) plays as the background to the 7th Heavenn and Sector 7 Slums after preparing to attack the Sector 5 Reactor. Additionally, "Mining Town" (炭坑の街, Tankō no Machi?), which plays during Barret's flashbacks of Corel and in North Corel, is a remix of "Barret's Theme." "Mark Of The Traitor" also has elements of "Barret's Theme;" it plays in North Corel.

Other appearancesEdit

Barret has appeared in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:

Other mediaEdit

GamesEdit

Wallace KHII

Barret is referred to in Kingdom Hearts, though he does not make a guest appearance like many other Final Fantasy characters. In Kingdom Hearts II, a shopkeeper named "Wallace" appears in Twilight Town alongside Biggs, Wedge and Jessie in Kingdom Hearts II. Much like the other characters, his appearance is different from his namesake, being light-skinned instead of dark-skinned, and being tubby instead of muscular.

In Final Fantasy Tactics, when talking with Cloud after selecting "Dismiss" from the party menu, he will say, "There's no getting off this train until we reach the station", a reference to a line Barret uses in Final Fantasy VII.

MerchandiseEdit

Barret has appeared in action figures, key chains and Coca-Cola figurines. He, alongside Marlene, has also appeared on a Potion can.

GalleryEdit

Etymology and symbolismEdit

The name Barret is a Japanese transliteration of the English word "bullet."[7] Before Final Fantasy VII had an English localization Barret was referred to as "Bullet" in some pre-release magazine articles. His last name Wallace is of French origin and means "foreigner".

Wallace is a Scottish surname derived from the Anglo-Norman French waleis, which is in turn derived from a cognate of the Old English wylisc meaning "foreigner" or "Welshman". Due to his prominent role as fighting against Shinra, Barret's surname in Final Fantasy VII may allude to William Wallace, a Scottish landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence, who is the subject of the 1995 Academy Award-winning film Braveheart.

Final Fantasy VII derives symbolism from Jewish mysticism, and Barret's character may have been influenced by it as well. Sephirot are the ten attributes through which God appears, and Barret may be tied to one such attribute, gevurah, associated with judgment and strength. From the Bahir, "This is the left hand of God." The right hand of God being chesed: kindness/love. Cloud, Barret and Aeris were the first player characters designed for the game, with Aeris and Barret possibly representing chesed and gevurah. The metaphor may be embodied in Barret, who has lost his right hand, but retains his left.

TriviaEdit

  • Barret shares his Japanese voice actor with Ryid Uruk from Final Fantasy Type-0.
  • Barret was referred to as "Barrett" in the English version of the Final Fantasy VII manual.
  • The internet MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing has a monster called the Burly Sidekick. This is a direct parody of Barret.
  • Barret was the first consistently dark-skinned playable character in the Final Fantasy series. The first was technically Leo Cristophe, who was depicted as dark-skinned in some artworkLeo Chibi, but was light-skinned in his sprite form.
  • While Barret's appearance in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was changed to make him look less like Mr. T, the first line he is heard speaking in the movie is "Yo, waddup foo?"
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, published by Square Enix, there is an antagonist named Lawrence Barrett who possesses a gun-arm. Despite these similarities, the developers have called it a coincidence.
  • There is a bit of unused dialogue found in the Final Fantasy VII game data that would have taken place outside the Shinra Headquarters, before the party heads in for the first time, and in the elevator, if the player entered the building through the main entrance. Outside the building Barret would suggest that Cloud knows the place well, to which Cloud would have answered it to be his first time there. Barret would then have said he has been at the headquarters before back when he still had both his hands. The elevator scene is similar, with Cloud saying he's never been to the place before and asking if Barret is familiar with it, which would have prompted the same response from Barret.[8] These bits were cut from the final game, and nothing in the finished version suggests Barret would have ever visited the Shinra Headquarters before.

ReferencesEdit

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