- “Ho Ho Hooo!”
Bugenhagen (ブーゲンハーゲン, Būgenhāgen?) is a character in Final Fantasy VII and Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, and the elder of the village of Cosmo Canyon, the hometown of Red XIII. In Final Fantasy VII he helps Cloud and his party in their quest to save the Planet with his wisdom and knowledge. Red XIII affectionately refers to Bugenhagen as his "grandfather", although obviously not in a literal sense. Bugenhagen has a tendency to say "Ho Ho Hooo!" whenever he hears something that catches his interest. Bugenhagen travels upon a levitating green orb, though how this levitation is achieved is never explained in the game. He mentions he'll be 130 years old at his next birthday.
Bugenhagen's special insight may be due to his balanced interest in both machines and nature, as well as realizing humanity's often small importance in the grand scheme of things.
Bugenhagen allows Cloud and the others to utilize his Solar System model generator to hide the Huge Materia they steal from Shinra.
Appearance and personalityEdit
Bugenhagen is an old man with a bald head, long white beard and bushy white eyebrows. He wears round spectacles, dresses in a blue and yellow robe that covers his body entirely, including his hands.
Bugenhagen's appearance in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- differs from his appearance in the original Final Fantasy VII in that the sphere he sits on is dramatically increased in size. Though this green spherical area is visible on Bugenhagen in the original Final Fantasy VII, it is smaller and lacks detail, and thus could easily be misinterpreted as part of his apparel.
Bugenhagen is wise and he has a thirst for knowledge, his specialty subject being the the Planet Gaia and its workings. He opposes Shinra's activities in harvesting the Lifestream for Mako energy, as he knows the Lifestream is the Planet's life source. Bugenhagen is protective towards Red XIII, for whom he is a father figure. To protect Red XIII Bugenhagen never told the details of how Red XIII's father, Seto, perished, but unknowingly led to Red XIII becoming resentful of his father, whom he assumed to be a coward.
Much like Aeris, Bugenhagen can hear the "voices" of the planet, though he is not a Cetra. However, his unusual long lifespan suggests that he is not a normal human. The game does not explore his backstory nor origins, though.
Cloud Strife and his party arrive in Cosmo Canyon and Red XIII introduces them to Bugenhagen, who shows Cloud and his friends what is truly at stake if Shinra is allowed to continue extracting Lifestream from the Planet to create Mako energy. Bugenhagen explains how Lifestream is the Planet's life energy, and if it is lost the Planet will become unable to sustain life.
Cait Sith informs the party that Bugenhagen was once a skilled Shinra employee, although he never bought weapons or Materia. Vincent also mentions the machinery found in Cosmo Canyon was a gift from Professor Gast.
Upon finding out Red XIII resents his father, Seto, believing him to be a coward, Bugenhagen reflects on this. Bugenhagen decides to take the party through the Gi Cave to show Red XIII his father's petrified remains and explain that Seto had sacrificed himself defending Cosmo Canyon alone. Despite being stone, Seto is able to shed tears at seeing his son again. Upon seeing Cloud and his friends' conviction to protect the Planet, Bugenhagen asks Red XIII to continue journeying with them, saying Red XIII's true calling is to protect the Planet, not just Cosmo Canyon.
After Meteor has been summoned by Sephiroth and is approaching the Planet, the party seeks Bugenhagen's advice to help prevent its fall. Bugenhagen and the party ascend into the Solar System model generator in Bugenhagen's lab and place their Huge Materia within, and then head to the Forgotten Capital to find answers in the works of the Ancients. They arrive at the Forgotten Capital and use the Ancient Key to access a machine created by the Ancients. The machine displays the moment of Aeris's death.
Bugenhagen examines the machine's image and notices Aeris's White Materia is glowing green, a sign her prayer to Holy was a success. He reveals Aeris was able to summon Holy, which would destroy Meteor, but something is holding Holy's power back; the party presumes this to be Sephiroth. Diamond Weapon emerges from the ocean and marches toward Midgar, and the party leave Forgotten Capital to fight it.
After Diamond Weapon's defeat, if the party returns to Cosmo Canyon, a resident informs Red XIII that Bugenhagen is ill from his trip to the Forgotten Capital. The party visits the observatory and learns he is dying. Before his death, Bugenhagen gives Red XIII his ultimate weapon, the Limited Moon, that once belonged to Seto.
Bugenhagen is named for a character of the same name in The Omen. In the film, Bugenhagen is an archeologist who relates a great deal of the lore of the Antichrist to the protagonists so they may stop him.
Much like Heidegger, Bugenhagen has a historical and philosophical namesake. Johannes Bugenhagen was a deeply influential figure in the Protestant Reformation, and was called "The Apostle to the North" for his work in bringing the Lutheranism to the Northern German city-states and the Scandinavian kingdoms. However, he is perhaps most famous for being Martin Luther's pastor in Wittenberg. While not as famous as many his contemporaries, he was deeply respected in his time and his theological and social influence lives on throughout Northern Europe.
- During the scene where Bugenhagen is talking about the Lifestream and the Planet in the planetarium a humorous glitch can happen. If Tifa is in the party placed in the bottom of the menu party, the game will freeze and the player can control Tifa with the same movements that she has when she escapes from the gas chamber; it will appear like she is dancing.
- During the optional scene with Bugenhagen after Diamond Weapon has been defeated, he doesn't have the green orb he usually sits on.