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Red XIII

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Just as his name implies, he is an animal with fire-red fur. But under his fierce exterior is an intelligence surpassing that of any human's...
—Description

Red XIII, real name Nanaki, is a red lion or wolf-like beast and one of the playable characters in Final Fantasy VII, who also appears in other entries to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Red XIII is the name he received as a specimen designation while held captive and experimented upon by Professor Hojo, and remains the name he is called by the party and in battle in Final Fantasy VII. Although he is 48 years old, he is developmentally equivalent to a 15- or 16-year-old human by his long-lived species' standards. He fights alongside Cloud Strife and his allies to fulfill his duty to the Planet to defend it as a warrior.

ProfileEdit

AppearanceEdit

Cloud & Red XIII 2

Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.

Red XIII is a quadrupedal animal with dark red and orange fur and a thin brown mane. His right eye is scarred, and the remaining eye is ochre. He is adorned with a variety of beads, earrings and feathers around his head, with golden pastern braces and brands on his legs. One of these brands is the roman numeral "XIII". He has a flaming tail.

It is never stated exactly what Red XIII is. It is known that his species is long-lived, he had two parents who perished, and he is one of the last of his kind. He appears feline, somewhat similar to a lion, and official sources refer to him as a feline. Reno states in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- that Red XIII "looks like a lion," and in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Red XIII can be heard roaring like one. However, his overall movement along with his howling and relation to the moon appear canine, and at another point in Advent Children, Red XIII yelps like a canine as he hits the ground after Bahamut SIN shakes him off. At one point in the original Final Fantasy VII he is referred to as a dog by a little girl in Costa del Sol the first time the party gets there.

PersonalityEdit

Red XIII is the least featured of the playable cast of Final Fantasy VII in other media, and so at times his character can be difficult to discern. He has a strong sense of honor and courage, especially regarding his father, whom he believed a coward who abandoned his tribe. He is polite, curious and observant, with something of a distaste for humans which may stem from Shinra's treatment of him. He is intelligent, and knows much about the Planet due to being raised in Cosmo Canyon.

Red XIII can still be feral when called upon. Red XIII's novella in On the Way to a Smile expands on this duality, showing Red XIII torn between living like an animal or a human—his intelligence and conscience make it difficult for him to live as an animal, while his animal appearance and qualities make him seem as such by humans who disregard his humanizing traits.

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

BirthEdit

Red XIII was born in Cosmo Canyon to an unnamed mother and his father Seto. That year, Seto ran off, and Red XIII assumed he had fled in the face of an impending invasion by the Gi Tribe. In reality, Seto sacrificed himself to stop an attack from the Gi through the tunnels under Cosmo Canyon. When his mother died, Red XIII was cared for by the elder of Cosmo Canyon, Bugenhagen, whom he came to affectionately call "Grandfather".

Planet ritual and captureEdit

BCVIINanaki

During the events of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- on October 10, 0006, Red XIII partakes in a ritual to appease the Planet held every 50 years, but is reluctant as he does not consider himself a warrior. Another member of his tribe, Deneh, is to be his companion for the ritual, and she accuses him of being a coward. When the Turks arrive to capture one of them as a specimen for Professor Hojo, Red XIII attacks them to save Deneh and prove himself a guardian of the canyon. He is defeated, but the Turks allow him to finish the ritual to appease the Planet before taking him to Midgar.

Joining CloudEdit

Red XIII in Shinra Building

Cloud, Tifa, and Barrett meet Red XIII in Shinra Headquarters.

Red XIII joins Cloud's group sometime in December 0007 during Final Fantasy VII after being rescued from the Shinra Headquarters. Cloud's party encounters him during an experiment involving Red XIII and Aeris, in which Hojo is trying to interbreed them to "preserve" their species (Aeris being a Cetra), and provide him with new specimens. At some point during Red XIII's captivity, Hojo placed a tattoo of the Roman numeral XIII on his left front leg.

Red XIII later speculates the tattoo means Hojo has injected him with Jenova cells to create another Sephiroth Clone. In actuality, the tattoo is from an unrelated experiment, as Red XIII was captured by Hojo more than three years after the other Sephiroth Clones were created; this is also confirmed in the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega.

As Hojo places Aeris and Red XIII in the same containment tank, Cloud's party rushes the lab and Red XIII feigns aggression against Aeris prompting Barret, one of Cloud's companions, to shoot at the tank that malfunctions. Hojo opens it and Red XIII lunges at him while the others rush to save Aeris. Red XIII introduces himself and surprises everyone with his ability to talk despite his feral appearance. Red XIII remarks the name is a designation given to him by Hojo, so they can call him what they wish, and helps the party battle another of Hojo's experiments. After being captured by the Turks, Red XIII is not returned to Hojo's lab, but incarcerated in a prison cell within the building alongside Barret, from where they soon escape.

After escaping Midgar, Red XIII intends to stay with the party until they reach Cosmo Canyon. In Kalm, Red XIII listens to Cloud's account on the Nibelheim Incident with interest, and in Junon the party has to cross the ocean on the cargo ship where Red XIII disguises as a human as not to arouse suspicion. The ship stops at Costa Del Sol where Red XIII complains the heat makes his nose dry. He lies down in the shade, observing kids playing football on the streets before the party moves on.

Return to Cosmo CanyonEdit

Until returning to Cosmo Canyon, Red XIII does not discuss his past. After arriving there and meeting with Bugenhagen, it is revealed Red XIII's true name is Nanaki, and despite being 48 years old he is still not considered an adult by his species' standards. After Bugenhagen hears Red XIII's remarks towards his father, whom he believes a coward, Bugenhagen invites him and the party to enter a sealed cavern within Cosmo Canyon.

RedXIIIFMV

Red XIII in a Full motion video, during the ending of Final Fantasy VII.

As the party travels through the cavern, Bugenhagen explains it is haunted by the Gi Tribe ghosts, a faction of tribal warriors who laid siege to Cosmo Canyon, and that their anger prevents their souls from assimilating into the Lifestream. At the cavern's end a back entrance to Cosmo Canyon is made accessible where Bugenhagen explains the Gi Tribe outnumbered the Cosmo Canyon forces.

On a ledge overlooking the cave's entrance, Red XIII discovers the petrified body of his father Seto, who alone stood his ground and fought the Gi, but the Gi Tribe's poisoned arrows took their toll and turned Seto to stone. Absolved of his shame for his father, Red XIII vows to become a great warrior like him, and howls at the moon while Seto's petrified remains shed tears. Bugenhagen asks Red XIII to protect the Planet and senses the best way of doing it is to remain with Cloud and the rest of AVALANCHE, who are on a quest to stop Sephiroth and Shinra Electric Power Company from finding and exploiting the fabled Promised Land. As the others are about to leave the village, Red XIII runs after them and claims he wants to protect the Planet too.

Pursuit of SephirothEdit

After finding out Sephiroth is seeking the Black Materia in the Temple of the Ancients, the party visits the Gold Saucer to acquire the Keystone to open the temple's doors and stay for the night. After Cloud explains Sephiroth's objective Red XIII grows concerned over the tattoo he has, wondering if he is also a Sephiroth Clone, but Aeris encourages him to carry on.

After Sephiroth has acquired the Black Materia and set out to North Crater, Aeris absconds to pray for Holy in the Forgotten Capital, but is killed by Sephiroth just as the party catches up with her. Red XIII howls at her passing as Cloud rests her body to the lake. The party keeps at Sephiroth's trail and defeats the final part of Jenova's body, Jenova∙DEATH, at the Whirlwind Maze and retrieves the Black Materia. Cloud has the option of giving the Materia to Red XIII to hold on to, as he has been taken control of by Sephiroth in the past and does not trust himself. Red XIII promises to keep the Materia safe and not to hand it over to anyone.

As Cloud goes on ahead Red XIII and some others of their party stay behind to guard the Materia. The place gets windy and Red XIII cannot see his whereabouts. He calls out to the others but no one responds. As the scene settles he finds himself alone. Tifa, Cloud's friend who has been traveling with them since the start, runs up to him and urges him to go help Cloud who's in trouble. Red XIII is confused, but follows Tifa's orders, without realizing Tifa is an illusion conjured by Sephiroth to trick Red XIII to delivering the Black Materia to Cloud.

Red XIII rushes to Cloud who, among with the Shinra executives, has found Sephiroth's true body inside a Materia crystal. Cloud asks Red XIII to hand over the Black Materia and Red XIII complies, but Sephiroth's lies have made Cloud doubt he is real and his psyche has been broken. Cloud hands the Materia to Sephiroth who uses it to summon the Meteor awakening the Weapons sleeping in the crater, and everyone but Cloud escapes the scene. Red XIII later joins the party on the stolen Shinra airship, the Highwind, as they set out to look for the missing Cloud.

MeteorfallEdit

After Cloud has been saved and has rejoined the party, Bugenhagen joins them to visit the Forgotten Capital and unveils the nature of Holy, which Aeris had summoned to combat Sephiroth's Meteor, but in the Planet's core Sephiroth is blocking it. Returning to Cosmo Canyon after the Diamond Weapon has been defeated, Bugenhagen falls ill. Red XIII runs to him, and the others stay back to leave them alone. Bugenhagen tells Nanaki there is so much more to life than what is within Cosmo Canyon, and he should survey the world and all its unique facets to gain the true knowledge he mentioned in their last meeting. Bugenhagen passes away and Nanaki takes up a resolve to protect the Planet.

Red XIII takes part in the attack on the Northern Cave with the rest of the party, defeating Sephiroth in later January 0008. He watches alongside the others as Meteor destroys Midgar and is stopped by the power of the Holy and the Lifestream.

Post-crisisEdit

In On the Way to a Smile, Red XIII was mentioned in "Case of Barret" when Cid said he often got visits from him.

Red XIII is the center character in "Case of Red XIII". Upon returning home, Red XIII (now called by his real name Nanaki by everyone) vows to follow Bugenhagen's wishes by traveling the Planet to observe all life he can and teach others what he learns. After he leaves, however, a void begins to grow in his heart—he dubs this void "Gilligan" for the sake of helping to remember it. During his travels, Nanaki struggles with being a beast and acting like a human, as well as his longevity which means he will experience a great deal of loss.

Vincent tells him "Gilligan" is his fear of loss and the loneliness that will come with living a long life. Vincent encourages Nanaki, saying that one day he may have children of his own to keep him from being lonely. Vincent reveals he is immortal himself, meaning he will be living longer than even Nanaki. The two agree to reconvene in Midgar every year for the remainder of Nanaki's life where he will tell Vincent the stories of his travels.

Nanaki appears in the latter part of "Case of Yuffie", assisting Yuffie in rescuing Yuri from a cave after it overflows with Lifestream tainted with Geostigma. He mentions during this time he acquired a cellphone while visiting Midgar to keep in touch with the other party members, though he struggles using it. Nanaki later leaves Wutai, but returns on the Shera to help Yuffie continue to search for a cure for Geostigma.

Geostigma crisis and Deepground conflictEdit

Redxiii advent children

Red XIII in Advent Children.

During the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, when Edge is under attack by Bahamut SIN in 0009, Nanaki hastens there with Cait Sith on his back, and uses his claws and teeth to battle the dragon. He appears later aboard the Shera and once more in Aerith's church. He is only given one line in the entire film, commenting on how some children still have Geostigma, and is revealed to have a slight accent.

Red XIII-DoC

Red XIII in Dirge of Cerberus.

In Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, although there is a scene where the whole cast is gathered in Midgar, Nanaki is not present. He is, however, present during the ending, lying next to Shelke as he rests outside of 7th Heaven.

500 years laterEdit

FFVII AC Nanaki Cubs

Nanaki and his cubs, as seen in the opening for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

500 years after Meteorfall, Nanaki arrives to a precipice overlooking the overgrown Midgar ruins with two young cubs, implying he has mated with Deneh or another female of his species. The three dash through a canyon and climb up to the crest of a cliff and look down at the remains of Midgar, now covered in moss and trees while a flock of birds flies by. After the scene fades, the sound of distant children's laughter is heard. Given Vincent and Nanaki's conversation in "Case of Red XIII," it's possible Nanaki is heading to their annual meeting.

Spoilers end here.

GameplayEdit

Final Fantasy VIIEdit

RedXIII-ffvii-battle

Red XIII is a playable party member who uses a variety of headdresses to enhance his fighting abilities, many of which boost his Magic. Many of his earlier Limits boost his power in combat, while his later Limits are more geared towards damaging multiple enemies. Red XIII's stats are well-rounded and he has the highest Speed stat. His ultimate weapon, the Limited Moon, does more damage the fuller his MP gauge is.

Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-Edit

Nanaki is fought as a boss in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. First in Chapter 18, then in the Training Mode.

Creation and developmentEdit

Red XIII Sketch

It was character designer Tetsuya Nomura's idea to have a four-legged party member, but it was a struggle to make it work as he wouldn't easily be able to climb ladders, and when he turned his tail his body would end up going inside walls.[5]

Red XIII was originally designed as a beast-type SOLDIER capable of using magic and understanding human language. He would have been a protector of the Buga tribe, to which Bugenhagen belonged, and his father Seto would have been his predecessor before having fled, making Red XIII contemptuous of him. In the final product, Red XIII's tribe is unnamed, but otherwise he is roughly the same as originally conceived. When he was first drawn, Nomura chose the name "Red XIII" as he wanted a name that did not sound like a name, and so combined a color with the number "13", which is believed to be unlucky. Other staff members later assigned Red XIII's true name as "Nanaki".[5] During early plans for the game, Red XIII was to have the "Beast" job class.

Red XIII was planned to be the focus on a cut sub-plot. After being captured by Shinra, Hojo would have produced several clones of Red XIII, which would have had blue and purple fur and been named Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV, respectively. After defeating them, the party would be confronted by two more clones, and a battle would ensue where the party would fight both the clones and the real Red XIII, and be forced to figure out which was the real thing and avoid killing him. Though the clones would be defeated, Red XIII would have the party spare them, as they were the last of his kind beyond him. Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV would later reappear in the final dungeon partially mechanized, determined to prove themselves superior to the original Red XIII.

Red13-prerelease-ffvii

Red XIII's name spelled as Red 13.

In a screenshot published before Final Fantasy VII was released, Red XIII's name is shown spelled with with arabic numerals rather than roman.

In the rest of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII has little screen-time, appearing only briefly in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. This is because his fur makes him difficult and costly to animate.

VoiceEdit

Red XIII is voiced by Masachika Ichimura in Japanese and Liam O'Brien in English, though he has but one line in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Red XIII shares his English voice actor with Caius Ballad from the Final Fantasy XIII-2, Kain Highwind from the 3D remake version of Final Fantasy IV and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, and Cu Chaspel from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates.

Musical themesEdit

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"Red XIII's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII
Music-harp
FFVII - Red XIII's Theme
Trouble with the audio sample?

"Red XIII's Theme" (レッドXIIIのテーマ, Reddo XIII no Tēma?) plays when Red XIII introduces himself after the battle with Sample:H0512. Additionally, "Cosmo Canyon" (星降る峡谷, Hoshi Furu Kyōkoku?) and "The Great Warrior" (偉大なる戦士, Idai naru Senshi?) are similar to "Red XIII's Theme." They play in Cosmo Canyon and when Red XIII sees the petrified Seto, respectively.

Other appearancesEdit

Red XIII has appeared in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:

MerchandiseEdit

Red XIII has appeared in action figures, key chains and Coca-Cola figurines. He, alongside Cait Sith, has also appeared on a Potion can.

GalleryEdit

EtymologyEdit

The name "Nanaki" was chosen because it has a Native American sound to it, fitting with the Native American theme of Red XIII and Cosmo Canyon.[6] Tetsuya Nomura chose the name "Red XIII" by combining a color with a number to have a name that didn't sound like a name. (See Creation and development section)

TriviaEdit

Django

Ehrgeiz's Django.

  • In the fighting game Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, a game with playable characters from Final Fantasy VII, the second-to-last boss, Django, resembles Red XIII in his alternate "outfit," even employing attacks alluding to Red XIII and his father: Seto Punch, Seto Low Punch, Seto Combination, Nanaki Kick, and Nanaki Combination. Two of his attacks are named after Red XIII's Limit Breaks: Sled Fang and Blood Fang.
  • Red XIII is the only quadrupedal playable character in the main Final Fantasy series.
  • Red XIII makes a cameo in Dissidia Final Fantasy as a tutor from the in-game manuals.
  • Red XIII is nearly always seen from the left, the side of his good eye. This is seen in FMVs, his menu portrait, the end of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the ending of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, and even almost all of his concept art. The same rough angle as his Final Fantasy VII portrait was used in his portrait for Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, in which he still has both eyes.
  • Red XIII's dialogue to some of the optional scenarios is different before and after the Cosmo Canyon events to reflect his new-found mindset after discovering the truth about his father, although this is more noticeable in the Japanese script than in the English counterpart. For example in the scenario where Yuffie steals the party's money, before the Cosmo Canyon events Red XIII responds "Greed... A perfect example of human nature," but after Cosmo Canyon he will say, "Give... give back what is rightfully mine!" which no longer includes a demeaning note about the human species.
  • In the quiz Brain Blast in Final Fantasy XIII-2, one of the answers is "Patisserie Red Thirteen," referring to Red XIII.
  • In Costa del Sol, if Red XIII is not in the current party he is found laying in the shade near the Materia shop. If Cloud kicks the kids' ball at Red XIII, he will bark.
  • As a character in Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Red XIII has made the most appearances in events of any regular character, at five.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Final Fantasy VII manual - North America, pg.9
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Final Fantasy VII manual - Europe
  3. 3.0 3.1 Final Fantasy VII manual - PC
  4. Square Electronic Arts, ed (1997). Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pg 9. SCUS-94163.
  5. 5.0 5.1 FFVII 10th Anniversary Discussion: p. 8 to 13 of the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania translated by TheLifestream.net
  6. Famitsu, ed (1997) (in Japanese). Final Fantasy VII Kaitai Shinsho. Famitsu. pp. 16. ISBN 4-7577-0098-9.

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