Deepground (ディープ グラウンド ソルジャー, Dīpu Guraundo Sorujā?) is a special top-secret branch of SOLDIER created by Shinra Electric Power Company during Final Fantasy VII, headed from the secretive Mako Reactor 0 beneath the Shinra Headquarters. According to a World Regenesis Organization (WRO) member in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Deepground was originally a medical division. They are the main antagonists of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- and fight against the WRO.
Deepground is known to be connected to Genesis Rhapsodos, though only vague information exists on this subject. It is said briefly in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- that Deepground became an experimentation ground because of Genesis's evolution, and that all the Tsviets have been spliced with his genes. It is unknown what, if any, special abilities or advantages this grants the SOLDIER members of Deepground, as they bear no similarity to either Genesis himself or his copies.
The Deepground facility underneath Midgar was built at the same time the Shinra Headquarters in 1976. At this time the facility was merely a medical lab for wounded SOLDIER members, and to house Mako Reactor 0 to power the facility and the Shinra Building above it. Before the war's end the facility was reformed into a secret prison for human experimentation with the aim of replacing the existing SOLDIER program with stronger, unquestionably loyal candidates. In 1985, Rosso the Crimson was born, and would come to exhibit unusual skill in battle. Inspired by this success, the scientists pushed further and incorporated other research into their own.
Using Grimoire Valentine's research on stagnant Mako, the scientists exposed human fetuses to the energy. From this Nero the Sable was born with incredible power over darkness, strong enough to draw his mother into another dimension upon his birth. To prevent later incidents like this, Nero was encased in a Mako suit to contain his power. Nero's older brother, Weiss the Immaculate, was not exposed to the procedure as his brother was.
With anti-Shinra sentiment growing, President Shinra ordered more testing in Deepground to develop stronger SOLDIERs. More Shinra troops were sent to train and be experimented on in Deepground, their bodies pushed to the extent they needed Mako baths to sustain themselves. Special suits were made for the troops that kept a current of Mako flowing through them. Weiss began to show remarkable ability, which surprised the scientists as Weiss had not been exposed to anything other than normal Mako. They dubbed him a "perfect" SOLDIER. The experiments shattered Rosso's psyche, and she lost any morality and humanity and loved the sight of the blood of her enemies. Nero, Rosso and Weiss would become known as the Colored Tsviets.
The SOLDIER members trained in Deepground emerged stronger than their peers, and four in particular showed exceptional ability. President Shinra made the four the fourteenth unit of SOLDIER, the "Lost Force". The members of Lost Force were made the governors of Deepground, called "the Restrictors". Deepground members were implanted with control chips to force loyalty to the Restrictors, who swore fealty only to President Shinra. The training of the Deepground SOLDIERs grew harsher using virtual-reality simulations, and more troops were sent down to train.
Shinra even began sending down SOLDIER applicants and war conscripts against their will, in addition to the experiments being done on children who were born in Deepground itself. Deepground was divided in four among the Restrictors who ruled their section with absolute power. Ranks were given to the Deepground SOLDIERs, with Tsviet as the highest rank all members aspired for. Argento was recruited from the Wutai War, and designed the weapons used by the other Tsviets.
Genesis joined the ranks of SOLDIER. Dr. Hollander explains to him the experiments that led to his birth, and how to use his copy abilities. The two desert Shinra and declare war on the company. Meanwhile, as the Tsviets grew stronger, Shinra feared the three would become too strong to be contained by their control chips. Weiss was chained to Mako Reactor 0 and sedated, and Nero was given a new suit that chained his hands together, containing his dark powers. Shelke was brought to Deepground, where the experiments on her powers left her unable to physically develop beyond that of a nine-year old child. Her weak physical stature left her unable to take field assignments, but she was still invaluable, giving her the title "the Transparent".
As the Wutai War ended, anti-Shinra groups still caused trouble for the company. The Turks were sent out around the world to seek new recruits, and they found an exceptionally strong man named Azul. Though Azul escaped capture, when he discovered the reason for his capture he willingly continued to Midgar to join Deepground and prove himself. Azul later volunteered to be used in the "Metamorphose Project", which experimented with shape-shifting abilities. He transformed into Arch Azul and slaughtered the other test subjects. As a result of his strength, Azul was dubbed "the Cerulean", and made the final colored Tsviet. Weiss began to aspire to overthrow the Restrictors, and plotted to use someone not bound by a control chip to do so.
Deepground members arrive in Banora to carry a near-dead Genesis back to Midgar's Reactor 0. Weiss begged Genesis to help them take over Deepground, but Genesis had reformed and was ashamed of his actions, and refused and left the facility. Genesis's cells are taken and injected into the colored Tsviets.
The Tsviets discovered a computer virus they could use to hack the Deepground supercomputer that controlled their chips and reprogram them, effectively letting them move against their masters. The coup succeeded, and the Tsviets took control of Deepground. The Restrictors' deaths unleashed a virus in Weiss's body as a booby trap should he rebel, which over time degraded his body.
Weiss, in an attempt to stop the virus, performed a Synaptic Net Dive. While in the Worldwide Network, Weiss came in contact with the Professor Hojo's fragmented digital mind as he had transferred his mind into the network before his physical body's death. In Weiss's weakened state, Hojo took control of his mind, and used his body and Deepground's resources to lay out a new plan. After much work, Deepground began to escape.
As Deepground worked to dig its way out of Midgar's remains, curious citizens began to dig into the Shinra Building to look for the company's secrets, hoping to find proof of human experiments and other nefarious deeds. Several thousand workers, soldiers, and civilians went missing soon after. The World Regenesis Organization took control of the situation to find out as much as possible about Deepground while preventing further harm. Deepground invaded Junon and Kalm, taking those not previously tainted by Geostigma, Jenova cells, or other contaminants, back to Reactor 0. Soon after, the cries of a thousand wailing souls could be heard in Edge coming from the direction of Midgar.
After pushing Deepground out of Kalm, Vincent Valentine joins the WRO in their fight, as Deepground is targeting him as well. Vincent's body houses the Protomateria, a special Materia used to control both Chaos and Omega. As time goes on, Vincent learns the truth about his past, the experiments that altered his body, and Deepground itself. Hojo, under the guise of Weiss, attempts to create a pure Lifestream, rapidly filled with the dead that Deepground kidnapped, to trick the Planet into releasing Omega, its final defense. Omega would gather up the Lifestream from the Planet and break atmosphere, traveling to a new planet to inhabit, while leaving the previous planet a cold and lifeless rock.
The WRO make an assault on Midgar to stop Deepground's plan, also allowing Vincent to make his way into Deepground itself with the help of a former Tsviet: Shelke. Vincent exchanges bullets with other Tsviets, and loses control of Chaos, as Deepground had earlier stolen the Protomateria. Chaos takes over Vincent's body, but Vincent regains control using the Protomateria in Weiss's body. Together, Vincent and Omega's Squire take on Weiss and Nero, and even Omega Weapon itself. With the Tsviets' defeat Deepground loses the battle in Midgar, and is wiped out.
At the beginning of Deepground, four individuals battled their way through the harsh training regimes of the Deepground facility to gain the respect from their fellow SOLDIERs, proving themselves elite among the best. In recognition of their ability, the individuals were gathered to form a secret entity whose commands were handed down directly by President Shinra. All proof of the existence of these individuals was covered up, and to the handful of people who knew of them, they became SOLDIER Unit 14: Lost Force. To prevent opposition, restriction chips were planted into the brain stems of all Deepground SOLDIERs, controlled by each member of Lost Force. Lost Force became known thereafter as the Restrictors.
The last leaders of Deepground. Led by Weiss, they are a small, elite group each with different abilities. They act as the main bosses of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.
- Weiss the Immaculate
- Nero the Sable
- Rosso the Crimson
- Azul the Cerulean
- Shelke the Transparent
The average soldiers of Deepground are slightly more powerful versions of normal Shinra troops. They are both male and female, generally use machineguns as weapons, and wear helmeted uniforms reminiscent of those worn by the Genesis clones. They are cleared for use of heavier weaponry should the need arise.
Ideally tucked away in hard-to-see corners at long range, snipers sport high-powered rifles with deadly accuracy. By the time one can see a sniper of Deepground caliber, it's usually too late to do anything.
Heavy Armored Soldiers BEdit
These massive soldiers carry heavy rocket launchers in the event more firepower is needed. They are slow moving due to the heavy armor.
Following the SOLDIER traditions, Deepground has not forgotten the importance of a blade on the battlefield. These basic soldiers are trained for close range combat, but are skilled to the approximation of a SOLDIER 2nd class.
Heavy Armored Soldier SEdit
Much like the heavy ordinance officers carry rocket launchers and explosives, heavy swordsmen are quicker and use large serrated swords in combat. They are extremely powerful and are not to be underestimated. They, like heavy ordinance officers, are usually granted command of Deepground field operations.
Also known to the infantry as Shrike squads, these troopers carry rapid fire rifles and ride high-yield jetpacks for quick movement. They rely more of their lightning fast attacks and maneuverability for protection, as a single well aimed shot can bring down a Shrike.
Operating on a similar basis as the Shrike units, Pegasus riders ride specialized high-velocity zero-G bikes and carry rapid fire sub-machine guns. They are intended to be used for scouting and search and rescue operations, rather that out and out combat. Alone they are not much of a threat, but Pegasus riders tend to travel in squads to overwhelm and overpower single targets.
Deepground employs the use of beasts, conditioned to attack targets with efficiency and aggression. They are deformed humans rather than natural beasts, and wear a helmet with a mouth hole so they can carry things in their mouth. Their weapon of choice is the knife on their posterior.
Perhaps one of the oldest segments in Midgar, Deepground's city architecture is similar to Kalm. While large, the city is not as multi-tiered and "stack built" like the Midgar sections, instead possessing numerous buildings of various height, spread over a set area. The settlement does have a "sky" area, though as Midgar is built over it, no actual sunlight can reach it. The buildings' internal structures are unknown, however, the structure of the "walls" surrounding it are the same as typical Midgar designs. The Mako Reactor 0 looms over the city and sets the city in a faint green to red glow while the city is connected via a transport system similar to a mono-rail.
Deepground SOLDIER members wear a color scheme of black contrasted with dark blue. While the normal SOLDIER uses swords as their main weapon, most of Deepground uses guns. The glowing strips adorning the uniforms of Deepground SOLDIERs have a specific function in Multiplayer Mode: to identify the members of opposing teams. Players competing in multiplayer missions would be assigned to either Team Shiva or Team Ifrit; members of Team Shiva would retain the standard blue glow, while members of Team Ifrit would be assigned a red glow. The red glow is also used for NPC Deepground SOLDIERs that act as enemies in various missions.
The design of Deepground's arsenal of weapons is influenced by older weapon models dating back to World War II, in direct contrast to the modern day designs adapted for use by the WRO. For example, the standard Deepground assault rifle is a modified Lee Enfield rifle fitted with a handgrip on the stock, compared to the WRO carbine based on the modern Sig 552 Assault rifle. The sub-machine guns used by the Deepground paratroopers are modified AK-47 rifles, while the missile launchers carried by ordinance officers are modeled after the classic German Panzerschreck.
The design of the Deepground Commanders are influenced by Roman helmet designs, both having similar curves on the tops to be used for intimidation. It also draws inspiration from the original designs of the SOLDIER outfits portrayed in the original Final Fantasy VII (due to the chestplate joined to the shoulderpads).
The symbol they bear is also the SOLDIER symbol on the original artwork for Cloud Strife and on his high-quality battle model, rather than the SOLDIER symbol seen in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.
- Shelke the Transparent is able to connect through the helmets worn by the Deepground troops and, able to see what they can see, direct them during battles.