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Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)

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Sephiroth
Sephiroth-FFVIIArt
Portrait FF7 - Sephiroth Portrait
Also known as The Man in the Black Cape, One-Winged Angel
Japanese name セフィロス
Romaji Sefirosu
Weapon Longswords (Masamune)
Ultimate Weapon {{{Ultimaweapon}}}
Occupation SOLDIER 1st Class
Birthplace Nibelheim[1]
Date of Birth Unknown
Age Exact age unknown
Approximately 20 years old at the start of Crisis Core[2]
Height 6' 1" [3] (185 cm)[4]
Blood type Unknown
Japanese voice actor Shinichirō Miki (Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring)
Toshiyuki Morikawa (Crisis Core, Advent Children, Last Order, Dissidia, 012, Kingdom Hearts II)
English voice actor Lance Bass (Kingdom Hearts)
George Newbern (Crisis Core, Advent Children, Dissidia, 012, Kingdom Hearts II)
Final Fantasy VII Character
There was one Soldier named Sephiroth, who was better than the rest, but when he found out about the terrible experiments that made him, he began to hate Shinra. And then, over time, he began to hate everything.
—Marlene Wallace, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Sephiroth is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy VII, and one of the major villains in its extended universe.

Before his fall from grace, Sephiroth was one of the most lauded success stories of the Shinra Electric Power Company's SOLDIER program. A great warrior idolized by the public and infantrymen alike for his strength and discipline in combat, Sephiroth's many successes in the field of battle during the conflicts surrounding the Shinra Electric Power Company's bid for global domination led to his status as a celebrity war hero and the poster boy for both the Shinra Military and the company's SOLDIER program.

After learning the truth behind his origins, and coming to believe he is the only remaining survivor of the Ancients, Sephiroth rebels against the Shinra Electric Power Company and enacts a world-wide vendetta against the "corruption" of humankind. His ultimate goal in the world of Final Fantasy VII is to take control of the Lifestream, and with its power and knowledge become a god-like being. In spin-off appearances, Sephiroth is depicted as Cloud Strife's archenemy, and is seen as a symbol of Cloud's troubled past that haunts his life.

Appearance and PersonalityEdit

AmanoSeph

Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano, depicting a right-handed Sephiroth.

Sephiroth wears a long black coat with silver pauldrons, black boots and black trousers. The top of his coat is open to reveal his chest, with his leather SOLDIER suspenders crossed over it. Sephiroth's silver hair is long with his bangs parted to either side of his face. In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Sephiroth's bangs are shorter than in his earlier appearances. Sephiroth has green cat-like eyes and wields Masamune, a seven-foot long katana he is rarely seen without. His battle stance with the sword is to hold it over his left shoulder with the blade curving downward. Sephiroth usually wields the Masamune two-handed. In later appearances a single black wing emerges from his right shoulder.

In the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth's uniform remains the same as in Final Fantasy VII, but his coat has several buckles instead of just one, and the original SOLDIER logo in his belt is replaced with the redesigned version of the logo for the Compilation.

In the Kingdom Hearts series, Sephiroth retains his core design of silver hair and a black coat, but his clothing is given red linings and is a different shape. His sleeves have small red wings, and he bears a dark blue and black wing over his right shoulder. He bears two additional wings underneath his coat in Kingdom Hearts II, acting as a subtle reference to his Safer∙Sephiroth form. Unlike his other appearances, he has blue eyes, and it is commented by other characters Sephiroth looks like Cloud, as the Kingdom Hearts incarnation of Sephiroth is implied to be an embodiment of Cloud's inner darkness.

In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Sephiroth's design in his base outfit is similar to his Final Fantasy VII design, but his pauldrons are changed to resemble Yoshitaka Amano's artwork of him, and his coat is closed by a belt as in Tetsuya Nomura's design. Beneath his coat are two white sashes with lavender on the edges, a reference to both Amano's artwork of Sephiroth and his wings as Safer∙Sephiroth.

Sephiroth Portrait

Sephiroth is cold and ruthless. Prior to his madness, he was not anti-social, as he has friends in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and willingly tells Zack and Tifa about Mako and Materia on Mt. Nibel, but his cold exterior and professional attitude turned people away. Sephiroth is intelligent and respectful to those he deems worthy — he considers Professor Gast Faremis a great scientist, but looks down on Professor Hojo.

In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Sephiroth maintains an outwardly professional demeanor, but is loyal and friendly to a select few, and has a dry sense of humor. He is confident to the point of arrogance, but as the strongest SOLDIER alive, it could be argued he has the right to be. Well-spoken and graceful, Sephiroth is calm, collected, and in control. He can be frustrated and caught off guard, but this rarely happens.

Following his fall into insanity, Sephiroth retains most of the above personality traits, but becomes murderous and vengeful. He develops a messiah complex, proclaiming he is "the chosen one" destined to lead the Planet and become a god. He has become cruel and enjoys mentally torturing Cloud.

Sephiroth is devoted to Jenova and its cause, even though its body serves as little more than his avatar. It is also stated he himself is an agent towards Jenova's will.[5]

Dissidia Final Fantasy hints Sephiroth may have some sadness as Cecil Harvey tells Sephiroth "there is sorrow in [Sephiroth's] wintery eyes". In both Dissidia games, when he is defeated, Sephiroth calmly remarks, "I fall into the shadows", implying he either accepts defeat, or does not care. When he is defeated by the Warrior of Light, he asks if the Warrior of Light fights in the war because he enjoys battle, implying Sephiroth himself enjoys battle. This is further reinforced in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, when Kefka mentions that "[Sephiroth] was made for combat".

In the Japanese releases, Sephiroth uses the pronoun ore prior to his insanity, a common masculine pronoun used by confident males. Following his "death" at Nibelheim he begins to use watashi instead, a more formal pronoun with no attached gender. This post-madness mannerism is used in his spin-off appearances, such as Dissidia Final Fantasy.

StoryEdit

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

Birth and Early LifeEdit

I knew ever since I was a child, I was not like the others. I knew mine was a special existence. But this is not what I meant!
—Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII

Sephiroth was born to Professor Hojo and Lucrecia Crescent approximately twenty-seven years before Final Fantasy VII (exact date of birth unknown[2]). Before Sephiroth's birth, Hojo and Lucrecia were working as assistants to Professor Gast, Shinra Electric Power Company's top scientist, on the Jenova Project. The project studied the remains of an extra-terrestrial entity known as Jenova, who was mistakenly thought to be one of the Cetra, an ancient people who had the power to "talk to the Planet". Hojo injected cell samples from Jenova into the pregnant Lucrecia and her unborn baby. Lucrecia carried Sephiroth to term, his fetal form merging with the Jenova cells as he developed. After the baby was born, he was taken away from Lucrecia by Shinra scientists. She never even had a chance to hold her child.

Sephiroth never gained the ability to talk to the Planet, as he is not a true Cetra descendant, but Shinra found another use for him and raised Sephiroth to be a super soldier. They told him nothing of his true parentage, instead saying that his mother's name was "Jenova" and telling him nothing of his father. Sephiroth felt that he was different from other children somehow, but had no idea of the experiments that created him. Sephiroth came to respect Professor Gast until he left Shinra under Ifalna's guidance, and considered Professor Hojo a hack scientist in comparison.

Other than his birth, the details of Sephiroth's life prior to Crisis Core are obscure. Approximately eight years before Crisis Core begins, the Wutai War began when Wutai resisted Shinra's demands to build a Mako Reactor on their land. Sephiroth became instrumental in ensuring Shinra's dominance in the war. He rose to the rank of SOLDIER First Class and was admired and respected as a great war hero, while those in Shinra considered his strength to be unequaled even by other First Class SOLDIERs. Many young men, including Cloud Strife and Genesis Rhapsodos, idolized Sephiroth and sought to join SOLDIER to become heroes like him.

Crisis Core/Before CrisisEdit

BCVIISephiroth
Whether your words... are lies created to deceive me... Or the truth... that I have sought all my life... it makes no difference. You will rot.
— Sephiroth to Genesis

Near the end of the Wutai War, Sephiroth has only two close friends within SOLDIER, Angeal Hewley and Genesis Rhapsodos. Though the three are rival SOLDIERs First Class, they see each other as close friends. When Genesis and Sephiroth duel in the virtual reality Junon, Sephiroth seems to be the strongest, but the fight ends inconclusively. Angeal stops the fight before either hurt each other too badly, although the small wound Genesis takes does not heal. Sephiroth offers his blood as a transfusion, but is told it is not compatible. Shortly before the Wutai War ends, Genesis vanishes and is presumed missing in action.

In the months after the war, the anti-Shinra group AVALANCHE intensifies its actions, raiding Junon. Sephiroth engages the AVALANCHE leader, Elfé, who asks whether he wants to "fight for a reason," which has a profound effect on Sephiroth; the results of Sephiroth choosing to fight for a reason would one day threaten the Planet's existence. Meanwhile, it is discovered Genesis has defected from Shinra with a Shinra scientist Hollander, creating an army using Copy Technology to graft Genesis's cells onto other traitor SOLDIER members with which to rebel against Shinra. Angeal goes rogue torn between his loyalties, and the two are declared killed in action.

As Sephiroth participates in the AVALANCHE Insurgency and Genesis War, his loyalties and emotions continue to be thrown into turmoil leading to Sephiroth refusing missions concerning Genesis and Angeal, and on a later assignment he allows them to escape. Zack Fair, one of Sephiroth's SOLDIER First Class comrades, kills Angeal and apparently Genesis, but Genesis resurfaces several months later. Sephiroth participates in a mission to "rescue" Professor Hojo who had almost defected with the AVALANCHE forces attacking the Shinra Headquarters. In September of 0002, Sephiroth tells Zack he is considering retiring from Shinra, and their next mission together will likely be his last.

On September 22nd 0002, Sephiroth arrives at Nibelheim to investigate an outbreak of monsters near the town's Mako Reactor that is believed to be connected to Genesis. He arrives with a small entourage, including Zack and two Shinra infantryman, one of whom is the sixteen-year-old Cloud Strife. At the reactor Sephiroth finds several pod-like chambers containing monstrous creatures who used to be human, mutated by exposure to Mako. He finds a large chamber labeled "JENOVA" containing a feminine-looking creature. When Zack suggests a connection between SOLDIER and the creatures in the tanks, Sephiroth flies into a rage, horrified the reason he is "different" may be because he was created similarly to the monsters in the pods.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- shows an expanded version of events at the Nibelheim Incident, and Genesis plays a part in inciting Sephiroth's madness by telling Sephiroth he was born from the Jenova Project, its goal to produce a "monster". Disturbed by the creature in the reactor having the same name as his "mother" along with the once human monsters in the pods, Sephiroth makes his way to the Shinra Manor that had been occupied by Shinra researchers, and for three days reads the research notes in the basement library and wonders why he was never told the truth of his origins. He comes to believe Jenova is a Cetra, and therefore he as Jenova's "son" is the last Cetra survivor. He falls into insanity and believes the human race had betrayed the Cetra 2,000 years ago leaving them alone to defend the Planet from a calamity (eventually revealed to have been Jenova itself), and resolves to take vengeance for his "ancestors".

Sephiroth

Sephiroth during the burning of Nibelheim.

On October 1st, Sephiroth destroys Nibelheim, setting the town on fire and killing many of the townspeople, before returning to the reactor to claim Jenova's remains. He is pursued by Tifa's father, Tifa, Zack, and Cloud. At the reactor, Tifa takes up Sephiroth's Masamune from her father's corpse and attacks him, but he disarms her and cuts her down. Shortly after Sephiroth enters Jenova's chamber, Zack arrives and attacks him.

Zack fights Sephiroth but is defeated and tossed out of the chamber. Cloud enters and picks up Zack's Buster Sword, rushing after Sephiroth. Caught off-guard, Sephiroth is impaled from behind through the abdomen and collapses. As Cloud leaves to tend to Tifa, Sephiroth slices off Jenova's head and stumbles from the room. Cloud attacks him again, but Sephiroth impales him with the Masamune.

Out of sheer force of will Cloud pulls the sword out of his chest and uses it as a lever to hurl Sephiroth into a pool of Mako below the reactor. Sephiroth vanishes with Jenova's head still in his grasp, apparently falling to his death. In Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- the scene depicts Sephiroth jumping into the pool of Mako willingly, having noted he is unable to defeat Cloud. Following the Nibelheim Incident, Shinra seals the records on Sephiroth, declaring him killed in action, and rebuilds Nibelheim to cover the incident, populating it with Shinra employees paid to act as the villagers.

Sephiroth fell into the Lifestream, his willpower too great to allow himself to be consumed. Over the next several years Sephiroth travels the Lifestream, growing in power and knowledge, and the fragments of his body congregate at the Northern Cave inside the North Crater, joining to recreate Sephiroth's physical form in a cocoon of Mako. Sephiroth's new goal is to merge with the Lifestream and seize control of it to become a god.

Though his physical body is encased in Mako Sephiroth can control Jenova's cells as an extension of his body and thus act on his plans through the remains of Jenova's body. Hojo injects Zack, Cloud and the survivors of Nibelheim (save for Tifa who was rescued by Zangan before Shinra found her) with Sephiroth's cells, turning them into Sephiroth Clones. Hojo believed the Jenova cells within Sephiroth would call for a "reunion" of those who shared its cells, and wished to see his theory put to test.

Final Fantasy VIIEdit

Approximately five years after his supposed death, in December 0007, Sephiroth enacts his plan and puts out the call for the reunion to summon the Sephiroth Clones to the North Cave. Jenova's remains, which had been moved to the Shinra Headquarters in Midgar, shapeshift into Sephiroth's form and break out of containment. Jenova/Sephiroth releases Cloud and the members of the second reincarnation of AVALANCHE, who were being held prisoner, and kills President Shinra after declaring Shinra should never acquire the Promised Land. Cloud, seeing Sephiroth's Masamune left at the scene of President Shinra's death, suspects Sephiroth may be alive, and sets out with AVALANCHE to find him and settle the score for what happened to Nibelheim.

Sephiroth-hibernation

Sephiroth's true body hibernating in the Northern Cave.

The party finds Sephiroth on the cargo ship headed to Costa del Sol, where he alludes to the Jenova Reunion and leaves an arm of Jenova behind that transforms into a monster Cloud's party must fight. Sephiroth appears some time later in Nibelheim Shinra Manor basement, where he mentions the reunion and calls for Cloud to follow him. At the Temple of the Ancients Sephiroth reveals the full extent of his plans — the Planet relies on the Lifestream to heal itself when wounded, and the North Crater, where the Lifestream is abundant, is where Jenova fell two thousand years ago.

Using the Black Materia, Sephiroth plans to call the Ultimate Destructive Magic — Meteor — to injure the Planet and place himself at the center of its impact zone as the Lifestream emerges to heal the Planet's wound. Sephiroth plans to merge with the Lifestream, becoming a god.

Cloud acquires the Black Materia, but Sephiroth exerts his influence over Jenova's cells within Cloud's body and takes control of Cloud, who hands the Materia over to Jenova. Aeris Gainsborough, the true last survivor of the Cetra, uses the White Materia to summon Holy, the only power able to counter Meteor. During her prayer to call forth the Ultimate White Magic, Sephiroth (or rather, Jenova transformed into his image) impales her with his sword, killing her. Though Aeris had successfully called Holy, Sephiroth holds it back within the Planet. Cloud and his allies continue tracking Sephiroth to the North Crater.

Cloud and his party kill Jenova in Sephiroth's form and reclaim the Black Materia. Cloud entrusts it to a party member for safekeeping while he and Tifa continue deeper into the crater and find themselves in an illusion of Nibelheim's destruction that Sephiroth conjured. Sephiroth wants to break Cloud by revealing his mind pieced together the events of him being there instead of Zack. Sephiroth deceives Cloud into thinking he is a mere cluster of Jenova cells that assumed the identity of a boy named "Cloud". Tifa tries to tell Cloud that what Sephiroth says is a lie, but she cannot deny that Cloud was not at Nibelheim during its destruction.

Tifa's words along with Sephiroth's manipulations take their toll and shatter Cloud's fragile mind. Sephiroth projects an illusion of Tifa before the party members left behind to bring the Black Materia to Cloud. Once Cloud takes back the Black Materia he hands it to Sephiroth's true body residing within a Mako cocoon. Sephiroth summons the Meteor, which awakens the Planet's defense mechanism, the Weapons. The walls of the area crumble as the Weapons arise from their slumber, and Sephiroth's Mako cocoon falls into the crater. Cloud's allies flee with Rufus Shinra on the Highwind while Sephiroth erects an energy barrier over the crater to keep the Weapons from detecting him.

Sephiroth begins shapeshifting his body into a form befitting a god, awaiting Meteor's arrival. Cloud recovers upon discovering the truth about his past. In late January 0008, Shinra fires the Mako Cannon, known as the Sister Ray, at the North Crater, piercing Sephiroth's barrier and allowing Cloud and his allies to enter the crater and reach Sephiroth.

They find Sephiroth at the Planet's core, blocking Holy. Emerging from his larval Bizarro∙Sephiroth form upon defeat, Sephiroth becomes the angelic Safer∙Sephiroth‎, a being with seven wings. Cloud and his allies destroy Sephiroth, but his mind endures. Pulling Cloud into a metaphysical final battle, Sephiroth attempts to take control of him, but Cloud's mental defenses have grown, and he defeats Sephiroth. Sephiroth dissolves into the Lifestream, seemingly destroyed. With Sephiroth gone, Holy is released from the Planet core and together with the power of Lifestream destroys the Meteor.

NovellasEdit

Sephiroth is mentioned frequently in Hoshi wo Meguru Otome, as Aerith observes the effects Sephiroth's actions are having on the Lifestream and the Planet.

Sephiroth is the focus of the On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of the Lifestream - Black" where Sephiroth uses the Lifestream's emergence to fight Meteor to infect the Planet with Geostigma, dispersing his memories among the Lifestream to spread the disease. As Sephiroth is faced with dissolution into the Lifestream, he avoids this by focusing on his hatred of Cloud, which allows him to maintain a core sense of being and remain separate from the other spirits. With his peripheral memories, including those of his personal appearance, stripped away over time, he uses memories of how others in the Lifestream see him to craft his avatars and sends them to find Jenova's remains to reform a true body for himself.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent ChildrenEdit

Good to see you, Cloud.
—Sephiroth

In 0009, Sephiroth remains an active force terrorizing the Planet. Geostigma has spread throughout the world, afflicting many with extreme fatigue and skin sores. The plague is caused by Jenova's remaining consciousness in the Lifestream, and primarily affects children due to their weaker immune systems. The disease has also affected Cloud, who experiences visions of Sephiroth.

The now-reclusive Cloud finds himself confronted by a trio of silver-haired men who are physical manifestations of Sephiroth's will. The three, Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo, believe they are guided by their "mother" Jenova, but rather, it is Sephiroth himself who forces their actions. The three seek Jenova's cells to be reunited with her, unaware of Sephiroth's ultimate plan to recreate a new body for himself using Jenova's last remnants.

Kadaj absorbs Jenova's cells, and Sephiroth exerts his power over Jenova to shapeshift Kadaj's body into his own visage, restoring him to life. Sephiroth faces Cloud and reveals his plan to taint the Lifestream with those dead of Geostigma to the point he is able to control it, and use the Planet as a vessel to travel space and find a new Planet for him to rule.

Acsephiroth

"I will... Never be a memory".

Sephiroth and Cloud fight in the ruins of Midgar, and Sephiroth gains the upper hand before Cloud is reinvigorated by memories of his friends and family and destroys Sephiroth with Omnislash Version 5, utilizing his Fusion Swords to assault him from all directions. Sephiroth's final words are "I will... never be a memory".

His black wing folds around him and he fades away leaving a weakened Kadaj to die and fade into the Lifestream as Aerith calls healing rain to cure the Planet of Geostigma.

Post-Advent ChildrenEdit

Chronologically, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is Sephiroth's final appearance in the Final Fantasy VII timeline, and his current status is unknown, though it is likely, given his past tenacity, that he continues to exist within the Lifestream.

Although Sephiroth himself does not appear during the events of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, he is mentioned a few times. The first mention is in a flashback with Lucrecia, who, while pregnant, experiences a vision as to what her child would become, which shows Sephiroth destroying Nibelheim. The second mention is from Weiss the Immaculate, when explaining he is actually Hojo possessing his body after his death three years prior.

AbilitiesEdit

Sephiroth's strength is unreal. He is far stronger in reality than any story you might have heard about him.
—Cloud Strife to his party
Cloud VS Sephiroth

Sephiroth versus Cloud in Advent Children.

The full extent of Sephiroth's abilities is unknown. It is stated in the official book Reunion Files that the Sephiroth seen in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has "ascended to a new level of existence" and is stronger than before. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children producer Yoshinori Kitase has said, "Sephiroth's existence and will is extremely powerful. There is nothing stronger, nothing above him." Though Cloud and other characters have been able to battle Sephiroth competently, it is implied in most of these fights that Sephiroth was not fighting at his full potential, Sephiroth's power being somehow limited or he is holding back.

As a human prior to the Nibelheim Incident, Sephiroth possessed superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance and reflexes. He is a master swordsman and can produce beams of energy by swinging his Masamune, can swing faster than the human eye can see, and can cut through solid metal and concrete. In his boss battle in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- he can teleport, his only shown instance of doing so in the Final Fantasy series.

Following his assimilation of Jenova and his immersion in the Lifestream, Sephiroth's powers increase dramatically. He can cast magic without the need for Materia, can fly, levitate, project illusions into the minds of other beings, and manifest the Masamune at will. Through his control over Jenova, Sephiroth can shapeshift her cells into his visage and other forms, and act through them as though they were his own body. This allows Sephiroth to remain "alive" even when dead, by morphing Jenova's cells into a new body to act through from within the Lifestream, but his ability to do this is limited. He can mentally manipulate creatures that contain Jenova's cells in their body, and if their mind is weak enough, can exert total control over their bodies, and can control the "negative Lifestream" composed of those who died of Geostigma.

Sephiroth's signature attack is Supernova, his ultimate attack when fought as Safer∙Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII. The Kingdom Hearts series depicts Supernova as his strongest attack, and Crisis Core and Dissidia refer to it as his Limit Break. His other trademark attacks are Heartless Angel, a move that drains the opponent's HP to a single point; Octaslash, a sequence of eight sword attacks; and Shadow Flare, a barrage of dark energy orbs. In Kingdom Hearts and Dissidia, he can use variations of Meteor through his command of the Black Materia.

In BattleEdit

As a Party MemberEdit

Sephiroth's stats

Sephiroth's stats.

Sephiroth is a temporary party member in Cloud's flashback in Final Fantasy VII. He cannot take damage, acts of his own accord in battle, and his equipment cannot be removed. He has no Limit Break and his Limit meter will not charge since he cannot take damage - if hacks are used to increase the meter, he does not have a Limit command. His Materia are all mastered; Revive, Restore, Earth paired with All, Fire, Ice paired with All, Lightning paired with All. His weapon has perfect accuracy and his attacks always critical. His equipment and Materia are as follows:

Equipment Materia
Wpn. Masamune FFVII Magic Materia Left SlotFFVII Magic Materia Right Slot FFVII Magic Materia Left SlotFFVII Support Materia Right Slot FFVII Magic Materia Left SlotFFVII Empty Materia Right Slot
Arm. Gold Armlet FFVII Magic Materia Left SlotFFVII Support Materia Right Slot FFVII Magic Materia Left SlotFFVII Support Materia Right Slot
Acc. Tough Ring -

As a BossEdit

See also: Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII Boss), Sephiroth (Crisis Core Boss), Bizarro∙Sephiroth, and Safer∙Sephiroth

Sephiroth is fought three times in Final Fantasy VII, all as parts of the final battle. He is first encountered in a "pupa" form as Bizarro∙Sephiroth. He is then fought in his "god" form as Safer∙Sephiroth. A final cinematic confrontation is fought against Sephiroth in the Lifestream. He fights a one-on-one duel with Cloud, but it is impossible to lose the battle.

Sephiroth is fought as a boss in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- twice in the Nibelheim Reactor, and can be challenged again in missions. Experiment No. 124 is a facsimile of Sephiroth that serves as the final opponent in the "Hojo's Laboratory" series of missions.

Creation and DevelopmentEdit

Sephiroth 2012 Amano Art 2

Yoshitaka Amano artwork of Sephiroth drawn especially for the September 2012 issue of the Japanese art magazine, Illustration.

Sephiroth was designed by Tetsuya Nomura. It was Tetsuya Nomura's idea to have a story in Final Fantasy VII where the player would chase Sephiroth. Following a moving enemy had not been done before in the Final Fantasy series, and Nomura thought that chasing something would help pull the story along.[6]

According to the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, Sephiroth's relationship with Aerith was changed numerous times during production. At some phases they were to be lovers, in others siblings before their relationship was finalized. As a sign of their implied connection, Nomura gave the two similar hairstyles.[7] Sephiroth's long hair was tricky to make with polygons at the time, and Nomura wanted to show a contrast between Cloud and Sephiroth in their designs. The image of Cloud and Sephiroth was based on Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō[8], famous Japanese warriors whose duel became legendary and the swordsmen have appeared in many forms in pop culture in Japan.

In a deleted plot point, Sephiroth was to have created the "Cloud" the player controls during the game out of his emotions and will when he was defeated during the Nibelheim Incident. The being was but a phantom of the real Cloud, and Sephiroth would be able to take complete control over it and talk through its mouth. Sephiroth's will was to be used to create an army of monsters that would be born out of crystallized Mako. In another deleted point, when Sephiroth's true body is first seen in the Northern Cave, it would have the contours of a female.

According to Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega[9], in the early story drafts Sephiroth was planned as a man whose "Jenova" element was artificially awoken using the power of Mako energy. His base personality was to be brutal and cruel, with a strong interest in destruction and slaughter. He was to possess a powerful will and ego, calm judgment, and a sharp mind. In the original story drafts Sephiroth would succumb to Mako addiction and suffer withdrawal symptoms and while a normal person would have been crippled, Sephiroth was an exception: only his madness would be amplified while he would retain his composure.

AC-Sephiroth-Concept

Concept Artwork for Advent Children.

In The Reunion Files for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Nojima has stated that Sephiroth's only true goal in the film is take revenge on Cloud. His revival had been decided to occur early on in the project, but not the exact reasons or means of how he would be revived, and these details were decided at later dates. Among several other ideas discussed, one was that Sephiroth would return, but only Cloud would be able to see him.

Sephiroth's dialogue was made to sound profound, as "he thinks on a level higher than humans", and his hair and eyes were difficult to animate. His hair was animated by hand to make sure it looked as real as possible, and his eyes were almond shaped and slanted upwards, designed to strike a balance between realistic and otherworldly. Various other minor details were made to emphasize Sephiroth's character as a sort of ascended being - he was never made to blink, almost never grunted or breathed, and even in the heat of battle kept his voice calm and controlled. Co-director Takeshi Nozue stated the developers wanted Sephiroth to have a sense of allure and charm, and gave him "an attractive nose and thin lips. It's a face you'd never see in real life".

VoiceEdit

His voice evokes fear even when speaking normally, and although he's not deliberately trying to be overbearing, he has this tremendous strength.
—Tetsuya Nomura, The Reunion Files
George Newbern as Sephiroth
"I am the chosen one. I have been chosen to rule this planet."
Maria
Sephiroth Voice Sample
Trouble with the audio sample?

In Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, Sephiroth is voiced by Shinichirō Miki. In all subsequent voiced appearances, he has been voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa. On directing Advent Children, Tetsuya Nomura said that when creating Sephiroth, his appearance was set, but he had trouble deciding what kind of voice he should have - once Morikawa auditioned, Nomura knew he was exactly what he wanted. Morikawa noted that, with Sephiroth's on-screen presence, he knew his final lines had to be done properly, and with input from the director, gave Sephiroth's iconic final words a sense that "he's not done yet".

In the original Kingdom Hearts, Sephiroth is voiced by Lance Bass, a former member of the 1990s boy band 'N Sync. As he was not added until the Western release, he has no Japanese voice actor for the first game: the Final Mix release of the game uses the English voices, and so Lance Bass's voice is used. In Kingdom Hearts II, Sephiroth's Japanese voice is provided by Toshiyuki Morikawa, while George Newbern voices him in the English release after fans criticized Bass's performance. Newbern has voiced Sephiroth in all subsequent appearances.

Musical ThemesEdit

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"Those Chosen by the Planet"
Music-harp
FFVII Those Chosen By The Planet
Trouble with the audio sample?

Sephiroth is the focus of three pieces of theme music written by the series composer Nobuo Uematsu. His official theme in Final Fantasy VII is "Those Chosen by the Planet", a piece utilizing chimes, low drums, and a deep chorus, which accompanies Sephiroth's appearances throughout the game. "Birth of a God" accompanies the battle against Bizarro∙Sephiroth, the first of Sephiroth's final two forms.

"One-Winged Angel"Edit

Main article: One-Winged Angel

The most noteworthy piece (and a lingering fan favorite) is the one that plays during the confrontation with Safer∙Sephiroth, "One-Winged Angel". In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, a slightly altered version called "The World's Enemy" is played, and another version called "Advent: One-Winged Angel" is played during the battle between Cloud and Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. "One-Winged Angel's" appearance in every game in which Sephiroth appears, has made it become more widely recognized as Sephiroth's theme, as opposed to "Those Chosen by the Planet".

Other appearancesEdit

Final Fantasy VEdit

Sephiroth-FF5

A 2D sprite of Sephiroth, modeled after Final Fantasy V style sprites, occasionally appears in the loading section of the Final Fantasy Anthology port of Final Fantasy V.

Dissidia Final FantasyEdit

Sephiroth Dissidia Artwork
Main article: Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)/Dissidia

Chaos has summoned a combined force of Final Fantasy's ultimate villains to gain control of a number of Crystals, resulting in total control of the Final Fantasy worlds. Sephiroth is one of these villains and stands as the villain representing Final Fantasy VII, opposing Cloud Strife.

Sephiroth stands apart from the other villains, acting to manipulate and trick Cloud on his own. Though the other villains do not understand why, Sephiroth had killed himself in a previous cycle of the war and as a result begins to remember things the others have forgotten, believing he has found the secret to ultimate power and knowledge beyond their scope. Alongside his manipulations of Cloud, Sephiroth aspires to attain this power for himself and survive the destruction of Cosmos and Chaos to become a god. He is ultimately defeated by Cloud, and fades away, although not before telling Cloud he will return as long as Cloud "remains the way he is".

His alternate form is his shirtless appearance which he is seen in throughout his real appearance in Final Fantasy VII.

Dissidia 012 Final FantasyEdit

Sephiroth reappears as a Warrior of Chaos in the prequel to Dissidia Final Fantasy alongside all the other characters from the original. He plays a minor role seeking to recover more memories of his home by fighting. When Kefka tells him memories return faster when one fights someone from the same world as them, Sephiroth challenges Tifa. Cloud intervenes on Tifa's behalf and defeats Sephiroth, causing him to retreat. In an unseen scene mentioned in his Museum profile, Sephiroth kills himself at the end of the twelfth cycle to see if he is truly "Sephiroth", or merely a manikin infused with the real Sephiroth's memories.

In his second alternate outfit, Sephiroth appears as he does in his original Tetsuya Nomura artwork with a simpler coat and different hairstyle. As a bonus fourth outfit available for download, Sephiroth wears his Kingdom Hearts coat and bears a differently designed wing.

Theatrhythm Final FantasyEdit

Theatrhythm Sepiroth
A legendary SOLDIER and war hero who learns that he was artificially created as an experiment of Shinra Inc. and turns on both the company and humanity. Defying even the strongest of Cloud's attacks and refusing to return to the Planet, he intends to let loose the ultimate destructive magic and have his vengeance on the world.
—Online description

Sephiroth appears in both his human and Safer∙Sephiroth forms. His human form is an unlockable character, unlocked by collecting Black Shards from Dark Notes only. His Safer∙Sephiroth form is an enemy.

He is an Offense and Spell oriented type character.

StatsEdit

Level HP CP Strength Magic Agility Luck
1 198 9 21 21 12 13
10 789 14 48 47 26 30
20 1,445 19 79 76 43 49
30 2,101 24 109 105 59 67
40 2,758 30 139 134 75 86
50 3,414 35 169 164 92 105
60 4,071 40 199 193 108 123
70 4,727 45 230 222 125 142
80 4,908 50 238 230 129 147
90 5,089 50 247 239 134 153
99 5,252 50 255 247 138 158

iOS StatsEdit

Level HP Strength Magic Agility Luck
1 198 SSS S B D

AbilitiesEdit

Reactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Fire 7 Level 5
Counter (Lv 1) 5 Level 15
Blizzara 14 Level 20
Thundaga 25 Level 40
Counter (Lv 2) 10 Level 45
Focus (Lv 1) 4 Level 70
Counter (Lv 3) 16 Level 75
Proactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Magic Up (Lv 1) 4 Initial
Dark (Lv 1) 5 Initial
Sinewy Etude (Lv 1) 7 Level 10
Dark (Lv 2) 10 Level 25
HP Up (Lv 1) 4 Level 30
Strength Up (Lv 1) 4 Level 35
Bluff 15 Level 50
Dark (Lv 3) 16 Level 55
Sinewy Etude (Lv 2) 10 Level 60
Magic Up (Lv 2) 8 Level 65
HP Up (Lv 2) 8 Level 80
Sinewy Etude (Lv 3) 15 Level 85


Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain CallEdit

Sephiroth returns as an unlockable character, and is unlocked by collecting Black Crystal Shards, one of three returning characters whose corresponding Shard remains the same. His manikin counterpart from Dissidia Final Fantasy appears as an enemy.

He is an Offense and Spell oriented type character.

StatsEdit

Level CP HP Strength Magic Agility Luck Vitality Spirit
1 15 289 21 20 11 8 20 15
50 42 4902 165 158 88 60 158 116
99 50 7688 253 243 135 92 242 178

AbilitiesEdit

Reactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Berserk (Lv 1) 5 Initial
Vigilance 4 Level 5
Counter (Lv 1) 5 Level 10
Armor Break (Lv 2) 7 Level 20
Weapon Break (Lv 2) 6 Level 30
Berserk (Lv 2) 10 Level 35
Counter (Lv 2) 10 Level 40
Gravity 19 Level 45
Added Cut 15 Level 55
Firaga 25 Level 60
Thundaga 25 Level 70
Berserk (Lv 3) 15 Level 75
Blizzaga 25 Level 80
Counter (Lv 3) 16 Level 90
Meteo (Lv 3) 28 Level 95
Proactive Abilities
Ability CP Level Learned
Dark (Lv 1) 2 Initial
Magic Up (Lv 1) 4 Level 15
Dark (Lv 2) 4 Level 25
Magic Up (Lv 2) 8 Level 50
Dark (Lv 3) 6 Level 65
Magic Up (Lv 3) 14 Level 85


Final Fantasy Airborne BrigadeEdit

Sephiroth is an ally, a summonable Legend and a boss in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. He is depicted in his default Final Fantasy VII outfit. His abilities are Draw Slash, Octaslash, Oblivion, Scintilla and Hell's Gate. His EX ability is Sudden Cruelty.

Sephiroth will occasionally appear during the battles against Jenova-DEATH and Jenova-SYNTHESIS. When he appears, Sephiroth performs Oblivion and ejects a party member from the battle.


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Final Fantasy ArtniksEdit


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Final Fantasy Trading Card GameEdit

There are many trading cards depicting Sephiroth in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. One card displays the infamous scene of Sephiroth standing before the burning Nibelheim. Another shows his Dissidia Final Fantasy artwork. A third card uses Sephiroth's manikin in Dissidia Final Fantasy, the Imaginary Champion. His cards are either ice or dark-elemental.

Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit

See also: Final Fantasy in Popular Culture

Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit

For more information, see Kingdom Hearts Wiki: Sephiroth
Sephiroth - Kingdom Hearts Artwork

Sephiroth appears in the Kingdom Hearts series as an optional boss and Cloud's arch-rival. It is implied this incarnation of Sephiroth is the physical embodiment of Cloud's dark memories, and as such cannot be permanently killed, as he implies Cloud has beaten him at least once beforehand. Sephiroth attacks with sword combos, pillars of fire, meteors, and orbs of dark energy, and is commonly considered to be one of the hardest bosses in the series.

In the original Kingdom Hearts, Sephiroth, under the title "Platinum Match", challenges Sora in the Colosseum, and in Final Mix and 1.5 HD ReMix after their fight, Cloud appears and the two do battle. Sora will receive the One-Winged Angel Keyblade, modeled after Sephiroth's Masamune, after defeating him in Final Mix and the 1.5 HD ReMix.

In Kingdom Hearts II, Sephiroth appears during the siege on Hollow Bastion looking for Cloud and later saves him from a horde of Heartless. After slaying the MCP, he can be found in the Dark Depths. Sephiroth is intrigued by Sora's Keyblade, and challenges him to test its powers. Afterwards, Sephiroth shrugs off the defeat, and implies Cloud is the only one who stands a chance at defeating him. He orders Sora to tell Cloud where to find him, leading to a second confrontation between the two. Both of their battles end with the two vanishing in flashes of light to places unknown.


Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street SpecialEdit

Itadaki-Sephiroth

Sephiroth appears as a playable character in Itadaki Street Special along with Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa from Final Fantasy VII.

FF4PSP-RydiaSprite
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Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street PortableEdit

Itadaki-Sephiroth2

He also appears as a character in Itadaki Street Portable.


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Ehrgeiz: God Bless the RingEdit

Sephiroth appears alongside some other Final Fantasy VII characters. Sephiroth is controllable both in his fully-dressed appearance and his shirtless appearance. He fights mostly with his fists, but can also do sword-draw attacks and various combos with the Masamune, as well as use a variation of Meteorain.

LittleBigPlanet SeriesEdit

A Sephiroth costume was announced to be available as downloadable content for the character Sackboy in the PlayStation 3 game LittleBigPlanet, but was never released.

On July 4th, 2011, the Sephiroth costume, along with costumes of Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and Vincent, was instead released on July 13th 2011 for the sequel, LittleBigPlanet 2.

MerchandiseEdit

Seph-statue

The Sephiroth Statue.

Many models and action figures of Sephiroth have been released. Play Arts has released figures of Sephiroth as he normally appears, as well as Safer∙Sephiroth and Sephiroth's appearance in Kingdom Hearts. Among these figures are Sephiroth himself, Sephiroth standing atop Meteor, and a figure featuring Sephiroth in the Shinra Building ruins based on his battle with Cloud in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children — a partner figure to this one features Cloud in a similar environment.

Other Sephiroth-related items include pendants and rings with the theme of his single wing and/or the Black Materia, cold cast statues and even a fragrance. A life-sized statue of Sephiroth hibernating in the Northern Cave is housed in the floor of the Square Enix Character Goods Show Case in Tokyo, Japan.

GalleryEdit

Etymology and SymbolismEdit

Sephiroth Advent Children Complete

Sephiroth's single wing.

Sephiroth is named for the סְפִירוֹת Səphīrōth (medieval Hebrew form of Sephirot). Sephiroth is a plural noun in Hebrew; the singular is Sephirah (also spelled Sefira). The Sephiroth are described in the Kabbalah as the manifestations of God that allow Him to manifest in the physical and metaphysical universes, referring to Sephiroth's simultaneous existence in the Lifestream and the Planet, and his manifestations through Jenova.

Sephiroth also means "counting" (of numbers), which can be attributed to the Sephiroth Clones. Sephiroth's penultimate form, Bizarro∙Sephiroth, is a mistranslation, and "Rebirth Sephiroth" would be more apt.

It is often believed the name Safer∙Sephiroth is a mistranslation, similar to how Helletic Hojo should have been translated as "Heretic Hojo." A common rumor is that "Safer" is a misspelling of "Seraph" (שרף) due to Safer∙Sephiroth's angelic appearance. A Seraph (plural "Seraphim", שְׂרָפִים) is described in the Hebrew Bible as being a humanoid angel with six wings.

Safer∙Sephiroth could easily be seen as a Seraph, with a seventh wing in place of his arm. However, the origin of the name Safer∙Sephiroth is Hebrew; the boss's name as written in Japanese is "セーファ・セフィロス," or Sēfa Sefirosu; "safer" can also be transliterated as "sefer", "sapher", and "sepher". Sepher (סֶפֶר) is Hebrew for "book"; thus, Safer Sephiroth (Sefer Sfirot) literally translates to "Book of Numerations", possibly linked to the mathematical formulas that appear during his Supernova attack. However, it more likely refers to the Sefirot, the ten aspects of creation according to Jewish Mysticism.

Sephiroth's plan in Final Fantasy VII to ram a meteor into the Planet and use the overflow of Lifestream to become a god refers to a concept in Zohar regarding the Tree of Life, where it is said that if someone tries to fill all of humanity into a vessel, the vessel will break, alongside the universe, causing life to flow erratically yet in a familiar pattern.

Sephiroth considering Jenova to be his mother, yet also being implied to have become one with her, may allude to the Christian belief of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, yet also being one and the same with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit via the blessed trinity.

TriviaEdit

FFTClockwork City of Goug

Cloud uttering Sephiroth's name in Final Fantasy Tactics.

  • While Sephiroth himself does not appear in Final Fantasy Tactics, when Cloud is transported to Ivalice by a device called the Celestial Globe, the first thing he says is The heat! Inside my skull... No, stop... Sephiroth---no!. A black-caped swordsman is also mentioned in one of the game's Errands. One of the game's enemies, Marquis Messam Elmdore, bears a resemblance to Sephiroth and wields a Masamune in battle.
  • Sephiroth is left-handed, however, he has been depicted wielding his sword in his right hand in many pieces of art and merchandise.
  • Sephiroth's strongest weapon in Dissidia Final Fantasy is called One-Winged Angel, after his musical theme.
  • According to a Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- fan letter mailed to Zack, Sephiroth uses an entire bottle of both shampoo and conditioner to wash his hair. Both are provided by the Shinra Company and are scented with thirteen kinds of perfumes.
  • Seraphimon from Digimon has a DigiCode on his breechcloth which translated to Japanese reads (全ては我と共に, Subete wa ware to tomoni?, lit. All shall be one with me) a quote of Sephiroth's.
Glovelesssephiroth

Sephiroth gloveless.

  • During the scene in which he kills Aeris, when Sephiroth is descending from the ceiling, his hands are bare. However, in the rest of the scene, he has gloves on.
  • Despite stating that Professor Hojo is a walking mass of complexes, he himself (at least after his downfall into insanity) fits that description. Sephiroth has a messiah complex, a god complex, and arguably has an Oedipus complex, as he detests his father Hojo, and, to some extent, worships his "mother" Jenova.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV one NPC may say the following to the player: Why, if it isn't Sephiroth! Or was it Sephiross? Setirophx? xXxSephirothxXx? referencing Sephiroth and common variations used to name characters on MMOs (and by proxy, Final Fantasy XIV itself).
  • His statement about not having a hometown when arriving at Nibelheim can be considered ironic, as Sephiroth was born in Nibelheim.
  • In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, a Sephiroth fangirl in Midgar mentions she would "love to see him stripped to the waist", a reference to how he appears during the final scripted battle in Final Fantasy VII.
  • The main antagonist of the 1.0 version of Final Fantasy XIV, Nael Van Darnus, references Sephiroth. In "United We Stand", after wounding the player, Nael takes his leave similarly to that of Sephiroth in the Nibelheim burning scene. Nael also seeks to destroy Eorzea and purify it by using forbidden magicks to summon the moon Dalamud, similar to how Sephiroth attempts to destroy Gaia via the Black Materia to summon Meteor.

ReferencesEdit

External LinkEdit

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