Head of the underground resistance movement AVALANCHE, Barret depends on brute strength and his 'Gun-arm' to see him through...
Barret Wallace is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII. He is the leader of an eco-terrorist group called 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.
Appearance and Personality
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'!
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, with a dog-tag hanging 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In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Barret's gun-arm has been replaced by a transforming steel hand that can turn into a large gun. His vest has been replaced by a puffier, off-white one and he wears a fish-net shirt, and retains the green pants.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. 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 changed from his original artwork in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children; originally a skull with wings, it was transformed to a rounder skull with extending wisps.
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 confusing him to the point 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 and the company destroyed. 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.
Before Final Fantasy VII
Barret grew up in the small, forested coal mining village of Corel. He was happily 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.
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 take it back. 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. 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.
Sometime in 0007 in Midgar, Barret led 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, Cloud is separated from the others.
Tifa comes up with a plan to meet Don Corneo when they find out 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. Barret and AVALANCHE fight to stop them, and Wedge, Biggs, and Jessie are lost in the struggle. 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 took Marlene to safety before the plate fell. When Cloud resolves to rescue Aeris from Shinra, Barret accompanies him to pay Aeris back for saving Marlene. Barret meets Marlene at Elmyra's house and has a tearful reunion, but leaves Marlene in Elmyra's care and asks the two to get away from Midgar as the city is no longer a safe place.
The foray into Shinra Headquarters is successful in rescuing Aeris and Red XIII, and during Sephiroth's attack on President Shinra, they flee Midgar to Kalm. Cloud is elected the group's leader over Barret, and he grudgingly accepts. After Kalm, the group continues to track Sephiroth and crosses the sea at Junon to Costa del Sol.
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 explains 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. Cloud and the others find many people gunned down, and a survivor says it was a man with a gun-arm.
Thrown into Corel Prison, 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 is murderous and wishes to destroy the world. When Barret tells Dyne Marlene survived, Dyne attacks him, saying he has to kill Marlene so his wife will not be lonely. Barret prevails, and Dyne, considering himself a lost cause, gives Barret and the others permission to leave the prison, then throws himself off a cliff to his death.
Barret continues to travel with the group, developing a profound respect for Cloud. It is even possible for the two to spend a date together at the Gold Saucer. After betraying the party at the Temple of the Ancients, Cloud decided to quit the journey but Barret assures Cloud he is among friends and that he will look out for him. 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.
When the Weapons awaken, Barret and Tifa escape on the Highwind with Shinra and are captured in Junon. A week later during a public execution, Barret escapes with Cait Sith and Yuffie Kisaragi's help, making his way to the Highwind to rendezvous with the rest of the group, minus Cloud.
While Barret was skeptical about Cloud's identity after Meteor is summoned, he realizes he is not fit to be the leader of the group, and in Cloud's absence hands control over to Tifa, and when she departs to care for a comatose Cloud, to Cid. In the quest for the Huge Materia, North Corel is on the brink of destruction from Shinra, but if it is saved, Barret becomes a local hero; if it is destroyed, further blame is put on Barret and AVALANCHE.
The group descends down the Northern Cave to defeat Sephiroth and release Holy to save the Planet from the Meteor Sephiroth summoned. Barret elects to keep fighting for Marlene and satisfies himself knowing that he has done well.
In On the Way to a Smile: Case of Tifa, Barret, along with Cloud and Tifa, revisit the various locations they had seen during their quest to save the Planet from Sephiroth, and in Kalm, Barret reunites with Marlene. They return to Midgar, where they help construct a new city, Edge. It is Barret's idea for 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, and his peace of mind. Searching for a way to atone for the deaths of Jessie, Biggs and Wedge, Barret requisitions a new attachment for the gun-arm that can transform into a mechanical hand, allowing him to live a more normal life. After having seen the effects of Geostigma Barret makes his way to Rocket Town, where he helps Cid with his new airship and decides to locate an oilfield to help fuel it, as the airship can be used to help those with Geostigma get to aid when a cure is found.
One year later, in 0009, 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 against 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 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.
When I'm through, there won't be a single sucka standing!
- —Barret, on a phone with Vincent Valentine in Dirge of Cerberus
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.
Barret wields various gun-arms for long range attacks - which makes him a good character to keep in the back row - and mech-hands that are short-range. His gun-arms have average power, and his strongest, the Missing Score, does more damage the more AP the player stocks it with; with enough mastered Materia Barret can easily hit for 9,999 damage with every attack. It is even possible to overflow the damage if the weapon is filled with mastered Knights of the Round Materia.
- Main article: Limit (Final Fantasy VII)#Barret
Barret's Limit Breaks consist mainly of physical blows, although one of them attacks the target's MP rather than HP; Mindblow. If the player is keen in their leveling, Barret can learn his level 2 technique Hammer Blow early, making it useful for dispatching enemies instantly.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, during the battle with Bahamut SIN, Barret's gun-arm takes on a green glow before firing a large, round blast of energy at the summon. This may be either Big Shot or Mindblow, though it is difficult to tell which - the energy blast Barret fires is green, while Big Shot and Mindblow were orange and blue, respectively.
Creation and Development
Barret, along with early versions of Cloud and Aerith, was one of the first three main characters designed for Final Fantasy VII. Barret's original backstory was that of a miner whose home Shinra destroyed - a story that was changed very little 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 Theme" from Final Fantasy VII|
|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 Heaven and Sector 7 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".
A shopkeeper named "Wallace" appears in Hollow Bastion alongside Biggs, Wedge and Jessie in Kingdom Hearts II. Much like Jessie, his appearance is different from his name sake, being white instead of black, and being tubby instead of muscular.
Barret appears in the Japan-exclusive Final Fantasy trading card game published by Square Enix. On one card, Barret can use his Hammer Blow Limit command as an Action Ability, while the other card has Gatling Gun as an Action Ability.
The name Barret is a Japanese transliteration of the English word "bullet". 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".
- 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 black playable character in the Final Fantasy series. The first was technically Leo Cristophe, who was depicted as black in some artwork, but was white 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.
- 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.
- 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 head 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. These bits were cut off the final game and nothing in the finished version suggests Barret would have ever visited the Shinra Headquarters before.
- While the hi-top fade had been popular during the 1990s, it had plummeted out of fashion by 1997 when Final Fantasy VII was published. While this would not have necessarily made characters look unfashionable in reference to their fictional universes, it was bad timing for the audience to be introduced to Barret, for adding another factor to a common critical impression at the time, that Barret's character portrayed a series of clichéd and unflattering African American stereotypes. Barret only has his hi-top fade prior and during the in-universe events of Final Fantasy VII; in chronologically later works he appears with an extensive makeover in both hairstyle and clothing.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Final Fantasy VII/Manual/Europe
- ↑ http://thelifestream.net/final-fantasy-vii/107/complete-timeline-of-the-compilation-of-ffvii/
- ↑ http://na.square-enix.com/ff7psn/
- ↑ Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega p.20
- ↑ Archive of http://www.squaresoft.com/barret-char.html on 29th May 1998.
- ↑ Famitsu, ed (1997) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VII Kaitai Shinsho. Famitsu. pp. 10. ISBN 4-7577-0098-9.
- ↑ FFVII: The Unused Text at TheLifestream.net