Ho Ho Hooo!
Bugenhagen is a character in Final Fantasy VII and Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. He is 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 travels upon a levitating green orb. 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 is an old bald man with long white beard and bushy white eyebrows. He wears round spectacles, dresses in a blue and yellow robe that covers his body, 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 larger. Though this green spherical area is visible on Bugenhagen in the original Final Fantasy VII, it is smaller and lacks detail, and thus could be misinterpreted as part of his apparel.
Bugenhagen is sapient and he has a thirst for knowledge, his specialty subject being the the Planet Gaia and its workings. He opposes Shinra Electric Power Company's activities in harvesting the Lifestream for Mako energy, as the Lifestream is the Planet's life source. Bugenhagen is protective towards Red XIII, for whom he is a father figure. 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 he is not a normal human. Bugenhagen has a tendency to say "Ho Ho Hooo!" whenever he hears something that catches his interest.
Bugenhagen speaks with Fuhito and appears to be having a conversation about the Lifestream.
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 Shinra employee, although he never worked with developing weapons or Materia. Vincent also mentions the machinery found in Cosmo Canyon was a gift from Professor Gast.
Upon discovering Red XIII resents his father, Seto, believing him to be a coward, Bugenhagen takes the party through the Gi Cave to show Red XIII his father's petrified remains and explain Seto sacrificed himself defending Cosmo Canyon from the Gi invasion. The petrified Seto sheds tears at seeing his son and, 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 and is approaching the Planet, the party seeks Bugenhagen's advice. 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 use the Ancient Key to access a machine created by the Ancients that displays the moment of Aeris's death.
Bugenhagen examines the image and notices Aeris's White Materia is glowing green, a sign her prayer to Holy succeeded. Holy could destroy Meteor, but something is holding its power back; the party presumes this to be Sephiroth. Diamond Weapon emerges from the ocean and marches toward Midgar, and the party leaves 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. Bugenhagen gives Red XIII his ultimate weapon, the Limited Moon, that once belonged to Seto.
...listen, Nanaki. I think you may already know. If you have any mission in life, it is not to defend this valley. Look at the withering mountain grass. Listen to the warble of the new born chocobo's[sic]. Look always to the eternal flow of time which is far greater than the span of human life. It will teach you more, than staying here in the valley... What you will see will eventually become part of the life's dream. For my children...... and for your children...... So please, Nanaki... Go with Cloud... And with your eyes...your ears...
Creation and developmentEdit
The game contains an alternate version of the scene where Bugenhagen bequeaths Red XIII his ultimate weapon. In the alternate version Cloud and the party don't leave Red XIII alone with Bugenhagen, but stand back to witness. After Bugenhagen tells Red XIII the latter should leave the valley and travel, he falls motionless. Red XIII panics, but Bugenhagen then presents the ultimate weapon, as if as an afterthought. Red XIII asks Bugenhagen to not scare him again like that. Bugenhagen tells the party they should not worry and that he will look after the Planet's future, but if the player returns to his room after this scene, he will be gone for good. It is ambiguous whether Bugenhagen dies in this alternate version, and the party doesn't meet at the Cosmo Candle afterward.
Bugenhagen is named for a character of the same name in The Omen. In the film, Bugenhagen is an archaeologist 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.