- “My soul, corrupted by vengeance, hath endured torment to find the end of the journey, in my own salvation and your eternal slumber.”
- —Genesis Rhapsodos
Genesis Rhapsodos (ジェネシス ・ラプソードス, Jeneshisu Rapusōdosu?), also known as G, is a character in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. He is the main antagonist of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and makes a brief cameo in the ending of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. A 1st Class SOLDIER born from the Jenova Project, Genesis is initially a loyal SOLDIER who wishes to prove himself a hero like Sephiroth.
When he begins to suffer from genetic degradation due to his imperfect infusion of Jenova's cells, Genesis leads a rebellion against Shinra Electric Power Company with the intent of finding a cure. Genesis is an authority on researching and interpreting the verses of the epic LOVELESS, and his obsession with the poem drives his actions as he comes to think of himself, Sephiroth, and Angeal Hewley as the three protagonists in LOVELESS.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
- “Infinite in mystery is the gift of the Goddess. We seek it thus, and take to the sky. Ripples form on the water's surface. The wandering soul knows no rest.”
- —Genesis quoting LOVELESS Act I
Genesis's appearance is based on Camui Gackt, one of the most famous Japanese pop/rock idols. Gackt wrote and performed Dirge of Cerberus's theme song, "Redemption", and wears the Genesis costume in the music video, though with a different hairstyle. Beyond this, Genesis's design bears similarities to Sephiroth, including the long coat with black clothing underneath, as well as crossed leather straps, the SOLDIER symbol, black boots, shoulder guards, and a large sword. In Dirge of Cerberus, the left side of his outfit is seperated into straps.
Genesis is right-handed and bears a black wing on his left side, in contrast to Sephiroth, who is left-handed and has a wing on his right side. Gackt had a small amount of input on the costume design, mostly to ensure it would allow for easy movement, but also to help settle on the color scheme, which had previously been intended to be either white or black. As Genesis experiences genetic degradation during Crisis Core, his hair turns white and his clothing lightens to white and gray on the torso, his wing also turning a lighter shade of black.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-'s beginning portrays Genesis as a deserter, arrogant and childish. As the story progresses, the conflict within Genesis becomes increasingly visible. Genesis was adopted, causing him to feel betrayed by both his true and adoptive parents, and his main source of turmoil comes from discovering the secrets of his birth that leads him to resent Shinra and all those associated with it. He takes pride in the handsome figure he cuts, his fighting style, and the popularity they garner him, however, he does not like mingling directly with people, and only opens himself up to his companions, Sephiroth and Angeal.
Genesis is obsessed with LOVELESS, a famous poem that has been adapted into numerous plays. According to the Genesis fan club "Study Group", Genesis first read LOVELESS at a young age and it became his favorite work, and he has spent his entire life since trying to decipher its meaning. Genesis seems to take the words of LOVELESS literally - believing to have discovered its meaning; he considers himself, Zack, Sephiroth, and his friend Angeal, to be characters in the poem, and believes that by fulfilling its words he can obtain the "Gift of the Goddess" to cure his degradation.
In the Japanese versions of Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core, Genesis is voiced by Gackt. In the English version of Dirge of Cerberus, he is voiced by Robin Atkin-Downes, and in the English version of Crisis Core, Genesis's voice is provided by Oliver Quinn.
- “The world needs a new hero!”
- —Genesis to Sephiroth before the VR room fight
Genesis was born from the result of Jenova Project G, lead by Dr. Hollander. Gillian Hewley was injected with Jenova's cells, and her cells were transplanted into Genesis to grant him Jenova's abilities. After Genesis's birth, Professor Hojo's "Project S", which created Sephiroth, was deemed superior, and Project G was shut down. Unknown to Hojo and Hollander, however, the Project G research would continue in Deepground. Genesis was labeled a failed experiment and given to a wealthy landlord in Banora to be raised.
Genesis and Angeal were close friends in Banora and despite Angeal's family being poor, the two grew up happily. During the Wutai War, Genesis became envious of Sephiroth's fame, and he and Angeal left for Midgar to join SOLDIER. The two became 1st Class and were close friends with Sephiroth, the only two he socialized with in the company on a personal level. During a training exercise between the three Genesis challenged Sephiroth to a one-on-one duel. The fight got out of hand and Angeal intervened. Genesis broke Angeal's SOLDIER sword with his Rapier and the top sliced into his shoulder as it shattered.
Genesis assured the two it was a minor wound, but the wound worsened rather than healed. The wound had triggered Genesis's flawed genetic structure to begin to degrade, and Hollander, knowing the secrets of Genesis's birth, told Genesis he could heal him. Secretly, Hollander desired vengeance on Hojo and Shinra, and wanted to prove Genesis was the superior product of the Jenova Project.
Under Hollander's orders, Genesis took a large force of 3rd and 2nd Class SOLDIERs and went rogue during the closing stages of the Wutai War. Hollander vanished, taking with him the technology to produce Genesis Copies - by transplanting Genesis's cells into the SOLDIER members who had followed him, Hollander would grant them Genesis's appearance and abilities, and the two began to build their army.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-Edit
- “We are... monsters. We have neither dreams or honor.”
- —Genesis to Zack
One month later SOLDIER director Lazard sends Zack and Angeal to Wutai to assist in the siege of Fort Tamblin, and to investigate Genesis's disappearance. During the attack Angeal vanishes, and Zack is assaulted by Genesis Copies. Returning to Shinra, Zack is dispatched with Tseng to Banora to locate Genesis's parents and question them. The town is full of Genesis Copies as well as Shinra robots stolen from the company, and during the investigation Tseng finds a fresh grave with Genesis's parents, killed by their foster son.
In a warehouse outside of town, the two find Genesis, who incapacitates Tseng. Angeal appears and stops Zack from striking him as Genesis leaves, then follows him. Zack returns to the village and finds Angeal's mother, Gillian Hewley, dead, thought to have been killed by Angeal. In reality, she killed herself in shame for taking part in the Jenova Project. Genesis tells Zack and Angeal that Angeal cannot live in their world anymore, and trips Zack as he tries to chase after Angeal.
Genesis summons Bahamut to fight Zack, and after Zack defeats it Genesis unfurls a large wing from his left shoulder. He tells Zack that he and Angeal are monsters, and flies away leaving Zack and Tseng to evacuate as the town is destroyed to cover up Genesis's actions. Shortly after, Genesis and Angeal are declared killed in action by Shinra.
In Midgar, Lazard tells Zack (now promoted to SOLDIER 1st Class) and Sephiroth that Shinra plans to continue to fight Genesis and his forces out of the public's eye with the ultimate intent to kill Genesis himself, when alarms sound an intruder attack. The security drones in the building have malfunctioned, and Genesis Copies are attacking the Shinra Building. As Zack helps fight off the army, Sephiroth contacts him and tells him Angeal has been spotted in the Sector 5 Reactor. The two find Hollander's lab in the reactor where evidence of his hand in creating the Genesis copies is found, and information on Project G. Hollander and Genesis arrive, and Zack chases Hollander as Genesis speaks to Sephiroth, claiming Sephiroth's glory and fame ought to be his.
He cites a passage from LOVELESS and asks Sephiroth which of them would be the Hero spoken of in the story. He claims his true desire is to obtain the "gift of the goddess" that LOVELESS speaks of. Angeal interrupts Zack's pursuit of Hollander and reveals two white wings of his own. Wishing to be returned to normal, Angeal knocks Zack into the Sector 5 Church in the slums below, having allied with Genesis and Hollander to be cured.
As the attack on Shinra continues and Zack returns to the plate to help defend the city, Angeal reappears with a change of heart, and flies him to the Shinra Building. Sephiroth and Angeal go to fight off the Genesis Copies and send Zack to protect Hojo from Genesis. Genesis, Angeal and Zack congregate in Hojo's lab, where Genesis quotes from LOVELESS and the group discuss the poem's missing fifth act that leaves the result of a climactic battle between friends uncertain. Genesis flees and Zack and Angeal follow. Angeal abandons Zack to fight Bahamut Fury summoned by Genesis, who has also taken his leave once Zack defeats it.
News of a base used by Genesis in Modeoheim comes in. Zack and Tseng, accompanied by another Shinra infantryman and Cloud, investigate, and find Genesis in a Mako excavation facility. Zack finds Genesis confronting Hollander, now degraded to the point his clothing and hair have begun to turn white. Genesis has decided Hollander is useless, failing to help his condition, and declares he will seek Jenova cells to cure him. Hollander protests that no one knows where Jenova is, and Genesis says he will destroy the world along with himself then. Genesis duels Zack and is defeated, and throws himself into the depths of the reactor to his apparent demise.
Several months later the Genesis army resurfaces and attacks Shinra across the Planet. Zack and Sephiroth assist in the defense of Junon where Hollander is being held captive. During the attack he escapes with the assistance of two Genesis Copies. Though unseen by Shinra, Genesis observes the events from atop the Mako Cannon, alive but still degrading.
When Sephiroth and Zack are dispatched to Nibelheim to investigate the Nibelheim Reactor, Genesis appears to Sephiroth at the reactor's core. He tells Sephiroth about the two Jenova Project branches, G and S, and that as Angeal was the perfect "monster" of Project G, Sephiroth is the product of Project S. Knowing that Sephiroth only knows his mother is named Jenova, Genesis tells him the origins of Jenova and her hand in their creation. Claiming that Sephiroth is the perfect product of Jenova's cells, Genesis says this means his cells will never degrade and asks Sephiroth to give him his cells as a means of curing his degradation. Sephiroth, confused and angry, refuses, and Genesis departs. His words, combined with what Sephiroth learns about his origins in the Shinra Manor, spark his descent into madness, and he burns Nibelheim to the ground and is seemingly killed by Cloud within the reactor.
After four years of captivity in the aftermath of Nibelheim's destruction, Zack and Cloud break free from Shinra and escape, but are pursued by two Genesis Copies. As Zack prepares to face off with them, the real Genesis soars down from the sky. Genesis explains he heard Zack was being used for one of Hojo's experiments, Project S, so Zack holds Sephiroth's cells that can cure him. One of the Genesis copies consumes a lock of Zack's hair, but it mutates into a horrible monster and Genesis leaves.
When Zack makes his way back to Gongaga, more Genesis Copies attempt to kill him, but are stopped by Genesis and Hollander, now also a Genesis Copy suffering from degradation. Believing Zack's body rejected Sephiroth's cells due to being in SOLDIER, they now seek Cloud and the cells he carries. Genesis declares he has discovered the true final act of LOVELESS and flies away as Hollander and the copies search for Cloud. Zack dispatches Hollander and meets Lazard, an Angeal Copy, who directs him to Genesis's final lair - the underground caverns beneath Banora.
In the caverns, Zack finds the journal of a younger Genesis before his days as a SOLDIER that describes his invention of Banora White apple juice, along with his desire to share his accomplishments with Sephiroth by having him eat a Banora White. Deeper in the caves Zack finds Genesis before a statue of Minerva, presumably the "goddess" spoken of in LOVELESS. Certain that the Goddess Materia in the statue's grasp is the "gift of the goddess", he quotes LOVELESS again - with Zack's arrival, having inherited Angeal's Buster Sword and Sephiroth's cells, the three friends are reunited and LOVELESS is fulfilled.
Believing himself the Hero who has received the goddess's protection, Genesis absorbs the Materia's power to become Genesis Avatar and engages Zack. When defeated Genesis is returned to human form, fully restored with no signs of his degradation. Zack figures out that all Genesis ever wanted was to regain his pride as SOLDIER, and be healed of his degradation. Gathering the last of his strength, Genesis challenges Zack to a final duel as a SOLDIER, and is struck down.
Genesis is sent flying back with Zack's final attack, and lands on his feet to find himself in a place flooded with Lifestream. The goddess statue in the distance morphs into Minerva who sees his desire to complete his duty as SOLDIER, and as the will of the Lifestream, she allows him to continue living. Weak but alive, Genesis is carried out of the cave.
Zack lays him down and retrieves three Banora Whites, taking a bite out of them to fulfill Genesis's dream, though he apologizes for not being "the real thing". Zack questions Genesis as to the apple being the "gift", but Genesis shakes his head. Thanks to his battle with Zack, Genesis is able to see what the gift really is: the pride of a SOLDIER. Content with his pride restored and his dream fulfilled, Genesis passes out, and Zack and Cloud move on.
Shortly after Zack and Cloud leave, a Shinra helicopter lands near Genesis, and two 1st Class SOLDIERs with Deepground symbols on their belts jump out. They question if Genesis would be willing to join them and carry him into the helicopter. Genesis's voice can be heard a final time, creating his own fifth act of LOVELESS.
Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-Edit
- “Sir. I've been spending time analyzing the data retrieved from the files of former weapons development administrator Scarlet. Deepground. It used to be a medical facility for injured SOLDIER troops. Military personnel would be sent there for care and rehabilitation. However, over time, it evolved into a laboratory for madmen content on ignoring all laws of man and nature. And supposedly this evolution took place because of the existence of one rogue SOLDIER—a man known only as "G." However, that's all we were able to retrieve.”
- —WRO Personnel onboard the Shera
Genesis was brought to Deepground, and the two SOLDIERs, Weiss and Nero, attempted to persuade him to join in their rebellion against the Restrictors, current leaders of Deepground. Genesis declined and sealed himself in a flooded cavern beneath Midgar, awaiting the day he would be needed to protect the world in Sephiroth and Angeal's stead. Vincent discovers that according to Scarlet's private files, the Tsviets were spliced with Genesis's cells and subjected to various experiments to see how they reacted.
Collecting the three "G Reports" unlocks an extra ending. Following Omega's destruction, Weiss's body lays in the flooded cavern, which sends out a shock wave that awakens Genesis. Genesis approaches Weiss and tells him it "is not yet time for slumber" and that they have much work to do. He picks up his "brother", spreads his wing, and flies off into the night.
In the Crisis Core Ultimania, it is explained that Genesis has reappeared to protect the Planet, and his final lines in Crisis Core explain his return, but in more of a riddle. Because Dirge of Cerberus is the last chronological entry in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, save for the final scenes of Advent Children Complete, Genesis's current status is unknown.
As a 1st Class SOLDIER, Genesis possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes and stamina. He is trained with both melee weapons and magic, and utilizes both with equal skill in battle akin to a Mystic Knight or a Red Mage. His weapon of choice is the Rapier, a large sword with a bright red blade, and he variably uses it one or two-handed. Genesis can channel magic into his Rapier, endowing it with a red aura and causing runic symbols to appear along its length. Genesis makes liberal use of magic and uses spells with fire-type appearances, such as Homing, Flash, and Dark Energy, but it is unknown which of these spells are cast using Materia and which are an extension of his Project G abilities. He also uses Summon Materia to conjure monsters to battle Zack.
With his identity as a Project G SOLDIER known to him, Genesis manifests a black wing over his left shoulder. This wing enables him to fly, and when battling Zack he can command the feathers to fly about and use them in projectile attacks. Following his restoration at the end of Crisis Core, when he is fought with his empowered Rapier, he is able to manifest blades of red energy, but no longer bears his wing. At this point it is unknown if he merely did not manifest it, or no longer has the ability to.
Genesis's ultimate attack when fought as a restored human is Apocalypse, where he creates a crest of red energy above his opponent that emits a wave of energy to damage them. Zack learns Apocalypse as a DMW attack after defeating Genesis in their first battle.
As a product of Project G, Genesis can copy his genetic material onto other people and create copies of himself. These Genesis Copies take on Genesis's appearance, the degree of which depending on how strong the copy is - the strongest copies appear identical to Genesis save for his weapon. As he is not a perfect specimen, his degradation passes on to his copies, hampering their abilities as they lose power. Unlike Angeal, who is a perfect specimen, Genesis cannot imbue monsters with his abilities, nor can he take on the abilities of those imbued with his cells, as Angeal does when he becomes Angeal Penance.
Genesis is fought three times throughout the game. He is first fought at the Mako Excavation Facility, in the process of undergoing degradation and with his wing present. The next time he is fought he is titled "Genesis Avatar", fought in the Banora Underground after being transformed by the Lifestream from the Goddess Materia. Immediately after this the player fights Genesis in human form, restored to full strength.
A simulation of Genesis based on his abilities in the battle in the Mako Excavation Facility can be fought in Mission 5-1-5.
Creation and DevelopmentEdit
Gackt's original involvement with Square Enix was singing the theme music for Dirge of Cerberus, and appearing in a minor role in that game, playing Genesis. Hideki Imaizumi, the producer of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII, thought such a passing role was a waste, and asked for more involvement. Imaizumi and Gackt came up with Genesis's design, describing everything from his attitude to his clothes. "I went to eat with him one time and described the Final Fantasy VII universe in rich detail. And it turned into this process of collaboration, creating the character together. Then we went to the studio and recorded the Japanese voice with all that in mind. So he really was a creative partner in all of this. And we really wanted the connection between Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core."
Genesis appears in the Japan-exclusive Final Fantasy trading card game published by Square Enix.
Etymology and SymbolismEdit
Genesis's name is derived from the Greek term Genesis, which means "birth" or "origin". "Genesis" is the name of the first book of the Old Testament. The Fruit of Knowledge that caused Adam and Eve to fall from Eden is often depicted as apple, and Genesis often carries one with him, and it is used as a symbol of temptation as he offers it to people he wishes would join him. Similarly, Genesis was the first to learn about the "sin" of the Jenova Project, but unlike Sephiroth, he achieves salvation, as well as spiritual and physical healing, from the Gift of the Goddess.
"Rhapsodos" is "one who performs an epic poem", a rhapsody, such as the poet Homer. Thus, Genesis's name may be interpreted as meaning "the original performer of the epic poem", which could refer to his desire to reenact LOVELESS, or his rebellion against Shinra that Sephiroth would repeat years later.
- According to the Crisis Core Complete Guide, Genesis's fanclub, titled Red Leather, is sponsored by his foster parents in Banora. Despite initially seeing their task of raising Genesis as a mere job from Shinra, their affections for him grew over time.
- The Crisis Core Ultimania Scenario Q&A details that the remains of the abandoned Banora mine were used as a "secret base" or child's playground by Genesis when he was young. The Crisis Core Complete Guide explains that the desk installed there, the one the player views when first entering the Banora underground, was Genesis's desk from his childhood. Items found here include a trophy cabinet, containing the prize for winning the "National Agriculture Awards, Processed Foods Category", scattered photos from Genesis's youth, and a book that appears to be his journal.