- “These days, all it takes for your dreams to come true is money and power.”
- —President Shinra
President Shinra (プレジデント神羅, Purejidento Shinra?) is, as his name implies, President of the Shinra Electric Power Company in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, and Final Fantasy VII.
President Shinra plays a minor role and is not seen at all in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, only mentioned in emails and some dialogue. President Shinra has three known sons; Lazard Deusericus and Evan Townshend, his illegitimate sons, and the legitimate Rufus Shinra, heir to Shinra's fortune. Lazard and Rufus are made high-ranking executives in Shinra.
President Shinra is a short stout man with thinning blond hair and mustache, wearing a burgundy suit, white shirt and red tie. He is always seen with a cigar. His age is never disclosed, but is generally thought to be somewhere in the sixties. It is implied he has a wife, but she has not been seen in any installments of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. President Shinra is callous and ruthless, stopping at nothing to gain more money and power.
His lifelong dream is to build Neo Midgar in the Promised Land, a land he believes is fertile with Mako energy. President Shinra is unfazed at disposing anyone who might oppose him and his company and has effectively become the de facto ruler of the world. His only soft spot appears to be his son, Rufus, shown by the fact President Shinra forgives Rufus's traitorous behavior, and that his passkey at the Shinra Building is his son's birthday.
President Shinra is first seen by the player Turk in Junon where he is giving a speech. The eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE attacks and the President escapes, but is shot by the AVALANCHE scientist, Fuhito. Surviving, President Shinra calls in Sephiroth to attack the AVALANCHE commander, Elfé.
Later, President Shinra begins to suspect there is a traitor within Shinra. This thought is fueled by his son, Rufus, who is suggesting the same. The President wrongfully accuses the Turk leader, Veld, and replaces him with Shinra's incompetent military head, Heidegger, for a mission based in Junon to eradicate AVALANCHE. Heidegger's position as the Turk leader proves to be only temporary as the President replaces him with Veld, after Heidegger's strategy at Junon almost destroys the city and Veld blackmails President Shinra with classified information, possibly about the Deepground project.
President Shinra would later find out the real Shinra traitor is Rufus, who had been funding AVALANCHE to have his father killed so he would take over the company. The Turks capture and use Rufus as leverage with President Shinra so they can save their commander Veld, and his daughter, Elfé, AVALANCHE's commander. Afterward, Rufus is neither killed nor stripped of his title despite being a traitor; President Shinra merely orders him to be placed under house-arrest in Junon. Rufus's absence is explained by claiming he is on an "extended assignment overseas".
President Shinra is first seen during AVALANCHE's attack on the Sector 5 Reactor. Having foreseen the attack, he has prepared an ambush. He engages in a short conversation with Cloud, before he sets Air Buster on them and leaves by helicopter.
During the Shinra Headquarters infiltration, the party overhears a conversation between Shinra and some of his top executives, including Heidegger and Professor Hojo. He plans to leave Sector 7, which the Turks destroyed as a counter-attack to finish off AVALANCHE, as it is.
The party meets the President again in person when they are brought before him after being captured while trying to escape with Aeris. After a brief conversation the President sends the party away to be locked up.
President Shinra is encountered one more time when the party arrives at his office, where he lies impaled by a large sword. Palmer, who was hidden during the assault, claims it was Sephiroth who killed him. After President Shinra's death, Rufus promptly arrives and takes his place as the head of the company.
President Shinra makes a small appearance in the novel, Hoshi wo Meguru Otome, which chronicles Aerith Gainsborough's travel through the Lifestream after her death at the hands of Sephiroth. Aerith finds a blank place in the Lifestream where it does not flow properly, and finds President Shinra there.
The President is joyous to have met her and tells Aerith he would have given her a life of luxury if she had cooperated with Shinra instead of living in the slums. He tells her how he took Shinra to where it was and became a king over Midgar with his control over Mako and the people's dependency on it, and asks Aerith if she does not consider her life miserable in comparison to his as they have both ended up to the same place. Aerith realizes the President is clinging to the ambitions and wealth he had in life and this is why the Lifestream cannot take him.
(神羅万象, Everything Covered by God?), a Japanese four-character idiom and homophone variant of Shinra Banshou (森羅万象, All-Covering Forests and Ten Thousand Things?), a Buddhist idiom which has come to mean "All of Nature" or "All of Creation".Shinra comes from the first two characters of Shinra Banshou
- Both of President Shinra's known sons were made high-ranking executives in the company, however, neither were loyal to their father. Rufus funded the first AVALANCHE insurgency, and Lazard secretly supported Genesis Rhapsodos and Dr. Hollander's escape and their war on Shinra.
- In On the Way to a Smile: Case of Shinra, it is stated that President Shinra always had the same passkey for unlocking anything within the Shinra Building. The passkey was Rufus's birthday.
- When the player visits the Honey Bee Inn in Midgar in Final Fantasy VII, they can find out President Shinra is a regular customer. One of his "fetishes" is to dress like himself as a king.
- During the scene when Sector 7 is destroyed, President Shinra is shown observing the events from his office and the music he is listening to is Joseph Haydn's "The Creation".