Sephiroth is the primary antagonist of Final Fantasy VII, and one of the major villains of its extended universe. A prototype SOLDIER and the strongest alive, Sephiroth is initially revered for his strength and hailed as a hero, until he learns and misinterprets his origins. Believing himself as the last of the Ancients, Sephiroth enacts a vendetta against mankind, with the ultimate goal of becoming a god and controlling the Planet. Sephiroth's goals later on include defeating Cloud Strife, who has consistently foiled his plans. To this end, Sephiroth is frequently depicted as Cloud's arch-nemesis.
Sephiroth is arguably the most popular Final Fantasy series villain - his appearance, name, and musical theme are all highly praised among fans and he has appeared in many spin-off titles. He is also consistently voted as one of the top video game villains in polls and lists on video game websites, such as GameSpot and IGN.
In Japan, Sephiroth's voice was provided by seiyū Shinichiro Miki in Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring and Toshiyuki Morikawa in all subsequent appearances including the Kingdom Hearts series. In the Kingdom Hearts' English version, his voice was provided by Lance Bass of *NSYNC fame, a decision that was received negatively by some fans. He is voiced by George Newbern in all subsequent appearances, who has been considerably better received.
Sephiroth's early designs were done by Yoshitaka Amano and later refined by Tetsuya Nomura. Sephiroth, in all his appearances, wears a long black coat with silver pauldrons, black boots, and black clothing underneath. The top of his clothing underneath his uniform is split to reveal his chest, covered by crossing leather straps. His hair is long and silver contrast to Cloud Strife's blond spikes, with his bangs parted to either side of his face. In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, his bangs are noticeably shorter than in any of his earlier appearances. Beyond his clothing and hair, Sephiroth is known for his green cat-like eyes and the Masamune, his 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, presumably to increase the force of his strikes as he is capable of using it with one hand. 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 traditional SOLDIER symbol in his belt is replaced by the new one, redesigned for the Compilation. In Advent Children, Sephiroth's hair was animated by hand to make sure it looked as real as possible, and he was given an otherworldly appearance with, as co-director Takeshi Nozue stated, "an attractive nose and thin lips. It's a face you'd never see in real life". In the Kingdom Hearts series, Sephiroth retains his core design of silver hair and a black coat, but his clothing is given red linings, his coat has changed shape, and he bears a black wing over his right shoulder, which has become another of Sephiroth's trademark character traits. He bears two additional wings underneath his coat in Kingdom Hearts II. In Dissidia, Sephiroth's design is similar to his Final Fantasy VII design, but his pauldrons are changed to resemble Amano's artwork and his coat is closed by a belt as in Nomura's design.
Sephiroth's personality is one of cold ruthlessness. Prior to his madness, he was not particularly 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. All the same, his cold exterior and professional attitude turn people away. Sephiroth is very intelligent, and is respectful to those he deems worthy - he considered Professor Gast a great scientist, but looked down on Professor Hojo and described him as "a walking mass of complexes". Sephiroth is confident to the point of arrogance, but as the strongest SOLDIER alive it could easily be argued he has the right to be. Well-spoken and somewhat graceful, Sephiroth is universally calm, collected, and in control. He can be frustrated and caught off his guard, but this rarely happens.
Following his fall into insanity, Sephiroth retains most of the above personality traits, but becomes murderous and vengeful. He also develops something of a Template:W, proclaiming several times he is "the chosen one", destined to lead the Planet and become a god. His intelligence has increased vastly following his time in the Lifestream where he absorbed the knowledge of the Ancients. At one point, Sephiroth even says he is greater than the Ancients. He has become highly cruel and delights in mentally torturing Cloud, and in Advent Children, in one of his iconic lines, asks Cloud what he cherishes so he may simply take it from him. Sephiroth is also fiercely devoted to Jenova and her cause, even though her body serves as little more than his avatar.
In the Japanese release of Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth uses the masculine pronoun "ore" before descending into insanity and when addressing his "mother", Jenova, afterward. After his fall, he uses the more formal "watashi" when addressing his enemies. This change in mannerisms is carried over into his appearances in other games such as Dissidia Final Fantasy.
Birth and Early LifeEdit
Template:Q Sephiroth was born thirty years before the start of Final Fantasy VII (exact month left unknown) to Professor Hojo and Lucrecia Crescent. Before Sephiroth's birth, Hojo and Lucrecia were working as assistants to Professor Gast, Shinra's top scientist, on the Jenova Project. The project studied the remains of an extra-terrestrial entity known as Jenova, which 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 then carried Sephiroth to term, his fetal form merging with the Jenova cells as he developed.
After his birth, Shinra raised Sephiroth to be a super soldier, the very first SOLDIER. They told him nothing of his mother except that her name was "Jenova," and that she died during childbirth. He was not aware his father was the mad scientist Professor Hojo, whom he referred to as "inexperienced" and "a walking mass of complexes" — however, he respected Professor Gast, until he left Shinra under Ifalna's guidance. Sephiroth proved to be incredibly strong, gaining worldwide fame for his exploits such as his role in Shinra's victory against Wutai in 0000.
President Shinra comes to rely on Sephiroth during the events of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, calling Sephiroth in whenever the situation personally threatens the President's life, like during the first AVALANCHE attack on Junon on February 30, 0001. Sephiroth engages the AVALANCHE leader, Elfé, but she blocks his strikes, impressing him. While the two are fighting, Elfé questions why Sephiroth is fighting. She asks whether he ever wants to "fight for a reason", which seems to have a profound effect him. The results of Sephiroth choosing to fight for a reason would one day threaten the entire Planet's existence. He is later sent in on June 18, 0002, to "rescue" Professor Hojo who had almost defected with the AVALANCHE forces attacking the Shinra Building.
In SOLDIER, Sephiroth had two friends, Angeal Hewley and Genesis Rhapsodos. Though the three were rival SOLDIERs First Class, they saw 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. The small wound Genesis takes does not heal. Sephiroth offers his blood as a transfusion, but is told his blood is not compatible. Genesis eventually defects from Shinra, making Sephiroth uneasy about his missions against him. Just before his final mission, Sephiroth hints he may leave Shinra altogether.
In what would become his final mission, Sephiroth was ordered to inspect the Mako Reactor outside the town of Nibelheim on September 22, 0002. He enters with a small entourage, consisting of one other member of SOLDIER and a few Shinra MPs. Among this group was SOLDIER 1st Class member Zack Fair and his friend, a 16-year-old Shinra trooper named Cloud Strife. At the reactor, Sephiroth found several pod-like chambers containing monstrous creatures, apparently former humans, possibly mutated by injection with Jenova cells and exposure to Mako. Deeper inside, he found a larger chamber labeled "JENOVA" containing a strange feminine-looking creature. When Zack suggests a connection between SOLDIER and the creatures in the tanks, Sephiroth flies into a rage.
Crisis Core shows an expanded version of events at the Nibelheim Incident, and Genesis plays a large part in Sephiroth's madness. During this time, Genesis tells Sephiroth he was born from the Jenova Project, its goal to produce a "monster". Going in more depth about Jenova and the project Genesis states more facts, but Sephiroth does not understand all of what Genesis tries to tell him.
Deeply disturbed by the fact that the creature had the same name as his "mother" and by the idea that he might have been created in an experiment similar to the one that created the monsters in the pods, Sephiroth made his way to the mansion that had been occupied by Shinra researchers and began reading the research notes in the basement library. As a result of what he learned, Sephiroth became enraged and psychotic. Based on the Shinra reports, he came to believe that Jenova was a Cetra, and therefore he as Jenova's "son" was the last Cetra survivor. He also believed that the human race had betrayed the Cetra 2,000 years in the past, leaving them alone to defend the Planet from a calamity it had faced (eventually revealed to have been Jenova itself), and resolved to take vengeance for his "ancestors".
On October 1st, Sephiroth proceeded to destroy Nibelheim, setting the town a-flame, 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 entering Jenova's chamber, Zack arrives and attacks him. In Final Fantasy VII he is easily defeated, but Crisis Core reckons this into a full battle where Zack fight Sephiroth in a pair fight. Either way, Zack is defeated and tossed out of the chamber. Cloud enters the reactor and picks up Zack's Buster Sword, rushing after Sephiroth. Caught off-guard, Sephiroth is impaled through the abdomen.
Due to Sephiroth's enhanced anatomy, however, he survives Cloud's assault, though wounded greatly. As Cloud leaves him to tend to Tifa, Sephiroth slices off Jenova's head and stumbles from the room. Cloud attacks him again, but Sephiroth stabs him with the Masamune. Cloud summons unknown strength and uses the sword as a lever, hurling Sephiroth into a pool of Mako below the reactor. In Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-, it was reckoned that Cloud only managed to fling Sephiroth into the wall, and that Sephiroth jumped into the Mako pool as a means of escape, stunned by Cloud's strength. No other version of the Nibelheim Incident shows events going this way, although Episode 12 of Before Crisis did depict a similar scenario.
Following the Nibelheim Incident Shinra sealed the records on Sephiroth and rebuilt Nibelheim in order to cover the incident up, populating it with Shinra employees paid to act as the town's citizens. However, Sephiroth survived the plunge, and spent the next few years traveling the Lifestream, learning the secrets of the Ancients. In particular, Sephiroth learned of the Black Materia, which could call the ultimate black magic, Meteor. Sephiroth eventually came to rest in the Northern Crater, the site of Jenova's landing 2,000 years previously. Crystallized in Mako to increase his powers, Sephiroth would remain in hibernation for some time, using his new-found influence over Jenova to act through her.
Hojo meanwhile decided to make use of the surviving Nibelheim residents, and so commissioned them against their wills to take part in an experiment that would hopefully prove his Jenova Reunion Theory, a theory that states that when Jenova's cells are separated, they will seek to rejoin each other. Hojo injected the survivors with Mako and Jenova cells, dubbing them "Sephiroth Clones". Cloud and Zack were two of Hojo's subjects for the experiment, and they would spend the next four years as prisoners in the Shinra Mansion. Shortly before the main events of Final Fantasy VII, Zack broke free and took the semi-comatose Cloud with him. At some time in 0007, the call of the Reunion began, and the Sephiroth Clones began making their way toward the Northern Crater to join with Sephiroth.
Approximately five years after his supposed death, in December 0007, Sephiroth enacted his plan to find the Black Materia. Jenova's remains, which had been moved to Shinra Headquarters in Midgar, took on Sephiroth's form and broke out of containment. Jenova/Sephiroth released Cloud and the members of AVALANCHE, who were being held prisoner, and killed President Shinra after declaring to the President that his company should never acquire the Promised Land. Sephiroth subsequently began searching for clues to the location of the Black Materia. Cloud, seeing Sephiroth's Masamune left at the scene of President Shinra's death, suspects he may be alive and sets out with AVALANCHE to find him and settle the score for what happened to Nibelheim.
The party first sees Sephiroth on the Cargo Ship, where he alludes to the Jenova Reunion. He also appears some time later in Nibelheim, where he again mentions the Reunion. When Cloud and his allies discover that Sephiroth is tracking down the Black Materia, they go to the Temple of the Ancients to acquire it first. They again find Sephiroth, who explains the full extent of his plans - the Planet relies on the Lifestream to heal itself when wounded. Using the Black Materia, Sephiroth plans to use it to call Meteor to injure the Planet and place himself at the center of this wound, merging with the Lifestream and taking control of it, becoming a god ruling over the Planet.
Cloud succeeds in acquiring the Black Materia, but Sephiroth exerts his influence over Jenova's cells and takes control of Cloud, who hands the Materia over to Jenova. At this time Aeris Gainsborough, the true last survivor of the Cetra, tries to use the White Materia to summon Holy, the only power able to counter Meteor. During her attempt 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 held it back within the Planet with his will as augmented by Jenova's power. Cloud and his allies continued tracking Sephiroth to the Northern Crater.
At the crater, Cloud kills Jenova in Sephiroth's form and reclaims the Black Materia, this time giving it to a party member to keep it safe. Cloud and Tifa continue deeper into the crater and find an illusion of Nibelheim's destruction, showing a man with black hair in Cloud's place. Sephiroth tells Cloud he was never at Nibelheim and is not even real, being nothing more than a cluster of Jenova cells who had taken on the memories of a boy named "Cloud." Sephiroth's manipulations and lies take their told, and shatter Cloud's fragile mind. Meanwhile, Sephiroth projects an illusion to the party members left behind of Cloud asking them to come to his aid, and the member entrusted with the Black Materia follows them. Cloud takes back the Black Materia and Sephiroth reveals his true body encased in crystallized Mako. Cloud delivers the Black Materia to Sephiroth, who uses it to summon the Meteor. The crater collapses, and Cloud's allies are forced to flee with Rufus Shinra. The Planet unleashes the Weapons from their sleep and Sephiroth erects an energy barrier over the crater to keep them from detecting him.
With the Weapons wreaking havoc and keeping his enemies from rallying against him, Sephiroth began shapeshifting his body into a form befitting a god, awaiting Meteor's arrival. Cloud eventually recovered and the party received unlikely assistance from Shinra. In later January 0008, they fired the Mako cannon known as the Sister Ray at the Northern Crater, piercing Sephiroth's barrier and allowing Cloud and his allies to enter the crater and find Sephiroth.
Descending into the crater, they eventually find Sephiroth at the Planet's core, blocking Holy. After they dispatch Sephiroth's larva-like Bizarro∙Sephiroth form, Sephiroth emerges from it, almost entirely transformed into his ultimate form, an angelic being with seven wings. Cloud and his allies destroy Sephiroth, but his mind endures. Pulling Cloud into the Lifestream for a final mental battle, Sephiroth attempts to take control of his mind again, but Cloud's mental defenses have grown, and he defeats Sephiroth. Battered and bloody, Sephiroth dissolves into the Lifestream, seemingly destroyed.
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 also the focus of the On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of the Lifestream - Black". Here, 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. He eventually uses memories from the Lifestream of others to craft his avatars in his own image and send them to find Jenova so he can reclaim a true body. As Sephiroth is faced with dissolution into the Lifestream, he manages to avoid 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.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent ChildrenEdit
Template:Q During the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, in 2009, Sephiroth again plays the role of the destroyer. It has been two years following Sephiroth's defeat, and a fatal plague called Geostigma has spread throughout the world, afflicting many with extreme fatigue and open skin sores. The plague is revealed to be 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 numerous times during the film.
The now-reclusive Cloud finds himself confronted by a strange trio of silver-haired men who are the physical manifestations of Sephiroth's will and spiritual energy, his powerful will having allowed him to pull out of the Lifestream before being fully diluted. However, without a great abundance of Jenova's cells, Sephiroth cannot be fully reborn. The three, Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo all believe themselves to guided by their "mother", Jenova, but rather, it is Sephiroth himself who forces their actions. The leader, Kadaj, becomes Sephiroth's vessel after absorbing Jenova's remains, transforming into Sephiroth. Sephiroth reveals his new plan is to use Jenova's influence over those infected with Geostigma to control the Planet - once they die, their tainted spirits will join the Lifestream and further infect it with Jenova, until Sephiroth can control it. Then, he will use the Planet to travel the universe, and find another planet to rule over. Sephiroth and Cloud fight in the ruins of Midgar. Though Cloud is exhausted by the effort, Sephiroth does not break a sweat. He is merely toying with his old foe, hoping to crush his spirit before killing Cloud. Sephiroth is defeated by Cloud's Omnislash Version 5, utilizing his new set of swords, the Fusion Swords. Sephiroth remains floating in the air as his single black, feathered wing appears. His final words are "I will...never be a memory," and the single wing wraps around him. The wing fades away, revealing what is left of Kadaj's body as he falls to the ground. The weakened Kadaj is then accepted into the Lifestream as his body and soul "evaporate" into the falling rain, Aerith's Great Gospel.
In The Reunion Files, Nojima has stated that Sephiroth's only true goal in the film is taking revenge on Cloud, who he saw as a Shinra Army rookie. 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. Sephiroth's dialogue was also made to sound profound, as "he thinks on a level higher than humans", and his hair and eyes were exceptionally difficult to animate. Various minor details were made to emphasize Sephiroth's other-worldly character; he was never made to blink, almost never grunted or breathed, and even in the heat of battle kept his voice calm and controlled. Nomura says that when creating Sephiroth, his appearance was set but he had trouble deciding what kind of voice he should have; once Toshiyuki Morikawa auditioned, Nomura knew he was exactly what he wanted. Morikawa also 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". Template:-
According the Ultimania Omega, Sephiroth's relationship with Aerith was changed numerous times during the course of production. At some phases they were to be lovers, in others siblings before their relationship was finalized in the final script.
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 also to be used to create an army of monsters that would be born out of crystallized Materia.
In another deleted point, when Sephiroth's true body is first seen in the Northern Crater, it would have the contours of a female.
Further, according to Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, 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 extremely brutal and cruel, with a strong interest in destruction and slaughter. He was also 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 be crippled, Sephiroth was a unique exception: only his madness would be amplified while he would manage to retain his composure.
All manifestations of Sephiroth seen throughout the game — excluding flashback sequences and his real body at the Northern Crater and Planet Core — are Jenova's entire body under his control, shapeshifted to take on his appearance. The Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega Guide, littered with information directly from the game's creators, stated that Sephiroth "was not content to become a mere puppet and assumed possession of her mind and will." Despite some initial debate over Jenova's influence over Sephiroth and vice versa, this confirms that Sephiroth had taken control of Jenova's body to the extent that, in essence, he was Jenova. Sephiroth appears through Jenova at regular intervals, until the party confronts him at the Northern Crater. At this time, Sephiroth has absorbed most of Jenova's remaining cells, so he appears to the party by way of astral projection. It is also at this time that Sephiroth's true body is seen preserved in crystallized Mako. In the game's two penultimate battles, Sephiroth takes on two other forms as detailed below. Cloud's final confrontation with Sephiroth is purely mental/spiritual and takes place in the Lifestream, a final battle of wills. Sephiroth is defeated, and his soul dissolves back into the Lifestream.
In Advent Children, however, it is revealed that Sephiroth avoided dissolution and is eventually revived when Kadaj absorbs Jenova's cells, allowing Sephiroth to shapeshift Kadaj's body into his own image. In this sense, Sephiroth is still "dead", but as Jenova's cells still remain in existence in some way, he is still able to exert influence over them and act through them. This gives him the potential to be reborn again at a later date, if another source of Jenova cells could be found. In the On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of the Lifestream - Black", Sephiroth manages to sustain himself in the Lifestream by focusing on his hatred of Cloud, allowing him to maintain his sense of self. Sephiroth also believes that as long as the people living on the Planet, and especially Cloud, remember him, he can continue to endure and be revived by their memories.
Birth of a GodEdit
Bizarro∙Sephiroth is the first form of Sephiroth that Cloud and his party face at the end of the original game. Although many explanations abound, it is sometimes assumed that this is a cocoon state that Sephiroth uses to prepare for his ultimate form. Bizarro has five parts: Head, Right Magic, Left Magic, Core, and Torso. The Head poses no real impact in the battle, but the Left and Right Magics act as a barrier that raise the Core's defense. Once they are brought to inactivity, the Core's defense drops. After the Core is defeated, the Torso becomes more vulnerable. Bizarro's attacks range from the self-healing Bizarro Energy to Heartless Angel which brings every character down to 1 HP. Template:-
Safer∙Sephiroth (セーファ・セフィロス Seefa Sefirosu) is Sephiroth's ultimate form seen in the original game. Though one more battle follows Safer∙Sephiroth's defeat, it is a staged, scripted battle purely for plot purposes, so the fight with Safer∙Sephiroth is essentially the game's final battle as far as gameplay is concerned. Sephiroth has taken on the form of an angel with seven wings and a humanoid torso, presumably his preparation to ascension as a god. Despite Sephiroth being found in the bowels of the Planet, the battle takes place in a kaleidoscopic swirl of clouds circling Sephiroth, giving the sense that the battle is taking place in another, heavenly plane of existence. Here, Sephiroth demonstrates his incredible power with magical attacks including Heartless Angel, Shadow Flare, Deen, Pale Horse, and his signature attack, Supernova, in which he summons a meteor to destroy the Solar System and cause the sun to explode.
Template:Q Even after appearing in so many titles, Sephiroth's true strength is still unknown. It's stated in the official book Reunion Files the Sephiroth seen in Advent Children has "ascended to a new level of existence" and is much stronger than before. Though he was defeated, Sephiroth never used the full extent of his powers in the final fight against Cloud in Advent Children, and because of that his true potential is still unknown. Advent Children producer Yoshinori Kitase has said "Sephiroth's existence and will is extremely powerful. There is nothing stronger, nothing above him."
Sephiroth is a master swordsman and is strong and agile. In Crisis Core, Sephiroth is able to defend himself with ease when facing both Genesis Rhapsodos and Angeal Hewley, two products of Project G, at once. Although Genesis gains a temporary advantage on Sephiroth one-on-one using powerful magic, Sephiroth quickly retaliates and forces Genesis on the defensive, and at this time he single-handedly cuts apart the cannon of the Sister Ray, slicing clean through it with one-handed strokes. Also in Crisis Core, he can unleash bursts of energy from his sword and can teleport, and he retains the ability to unleash energy bursts in Last Order and Dissidia. As he has taken over Jenova, Sephiroth is able to shapeshift her body parts into his visage and other forms. After absorbing the knowledge of the Lifestream while regenerating his body, Sephiroth gains the ability to use magic without requiring the use of Materia.
Sephiroth also has a measure of psychic abilities, able to read minds, project illusions, and levitate objects and people using his will alone. In Advent Children, Sephiroth retains his great strength and agility and controls the Lifestream that has been corrupted by those who died of Geostigma. Any other powers he has developed or retained since his death are not shown. Sephiroth's strength in the Kingdom Hearts series has caused him to be ranked among the hardest bosses in the series. Sephiroth in both games is able to summon meteors, pillars of fire, and orbs of dark energy. Template:Endspoiler
- Main article: Sephiroth (Crisis Core)
- Main article: Bizarro∙Sephiroth
- Main article: Safer∙Sephiroth
- Main article: Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII Boss)
Sephiroth is fought in the original Final Fantasy VII in the Lifestream as the game's scripted Final Boss. He fights a one-on-one duel with Cloud, but it is impossible to lose the battle. Before the final cinematic confrontation the player battles against his "pupa" form, Bizarro∙Sephiroth and his "god" form, Safer∙Sephiroth. Sephiroth is fought as a boss in Crisis Core twice and can be challenged again in Missions.
Sephiroth is briefly a member of Cloud's party during the Nibelheim flashback, though he cannot be controlled by the player. His equipment and Materia are as follows:
|Mastered Fire Materia|
|Mastered Ice Materia*|
|Mastered Lighting Materia*|
|Mastered Earth Materia*|
|Mastered Revive Materia|
|Mastered Restore Materia|
*Connected to a Mastered ALL Materia.
However, none of his equipment or Materia can be moved or unequipped. He is also immune to all damage.
While a party member in Cloud's flashback in Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth has no Limit Break, and furthermore, his limit meter cannot be charged as he cannot take damage. Even using cheats to boost Sephiroth's limit meter does nothing, as it will never fully charge. In Crisis Core Sephiroth's Limit Break is stated to be "Super Nova", which is Safer∙Sephiroth's ultimate attack, involving Sephiroth summoning a meteor to destroy the sun and engulf the party in a wave of fire. Super Nova returns as Sephiroth's ultimate attack in Kingdom Hearts, and is his EX Burst in Dissidia, where it is again referred to as his Limit Break.
Sephiroth's signature attack besides Super Nova is Heartless Angel, a move capable of draining the opponent's HP to a single digit. He uses Heartless Angel in Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core, and in the Kingdom Hearts series. Sephiroth is also able to use Heartless Angel during his EX Mode in Dissidia, but it drains the opponent's Brave, not their HP. In Crisis Core, Sephiroth's DMW is "Octaslash", a swift sequence of eight sword attacks. He uses the attack in Crisis Core and Dissidia. In Advent Children Complete, Sephiroth also uses a barrage of eight sword stabs to attack Cloud, which may be based on Octaslash. In the Kingdom Hearts series, Sephiroth is able to perform his own variation of Cloud's "Omnislash" technique, which has been erroneously reported as Octaslash by some. Sephiroth is also associated with the Shadow Flare technique, though it is not an attack unique to him. Template:-
Sephiroth is named for the סְפִירוֹת Səphīrōth (medieval Hebrew form of Template:W). 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 "numbers", which can be attributed to the Sephiroth Clones. Sephiroth's penultimate form, Bizarro∙Sephiroth, is a mistranslation, and "Rebirth Sephiroth" would be much more apt.
It is often believed that the name Safer∙Sephiroth is a mis-translation, similar to how Helletic Hojo should have been translated as "Heretic Hojo". A common rumor is that "Safer" is a misspelling of "Template:W" (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:
- "Above Him stood the Seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew".
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"; note that "safer" can also be transliterated as "sefer," "sapher," and "sepher". "Sepher" (סֶפֶר) is Hebrew for "book"; thus, the boss's name translates to "Numbers Book," or, more accurately, "Template:W".
Sephiroth is also known as the "One-Winged Angel," referring to Final Fantasy VII's final boss theme. The title is significant due to Sephiroth's "fallen angel" connotation, a title given to those who have fallen from grace. To some, the name "One-Winged Angel" seems strange, as Safer∙Sephiroth has a total of seven wings. However, the original Japanese name is "片翼の天使 (Katayoku no Tenshi)," which means "an angel with a wing on one side" rather than an angel with only one wing. And, as noted above, Sephiroth appears in many titles after Final Fantasy VII with a single black wing, drawing back to his title as the One-Winged Angel.
Template:Listen Sephiroth is also the focus of three pieces of theme music written by series composer Nobuo Uematsu. His official theme in Final Fantasy VII is "Those Chosen by the Planet", a piece utilizing bells, 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.
- 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 "Enemy to the World" is played, and another version called "Advent: One-Winged Angel" is played during the Cloud/Sephiroth battle in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. "One-Winged Angel"'s showing in every game in which Sephiroth appears has made it Sephiroth's theme song, replacing "Those Chosen by the Planet".
- Main article: Sephiroth/Dissidia
Chaos has summoned a combined force of Final Fantasy's ultimate villains in an attempt 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. As a result, during the game Sephiroth begins to remember things the others have forgotten, eventually 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 that he will return as long as Cloud "remains the way he is". Template:-
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit
Sephiroth appears in the Kingdom Hearts series as an optional boss and Cloud's archrival. It is implied that 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 only for him to return. Sephiroth attacks with sword combos, pillars of fire, meteors, and orbs of dark energy, and is commonly considered among the harder bosses of the series.
In Kingdom Hearts, Sephiroth appears to challenge Sora in the Colosseum, and after their fight Cloud appears and the two do battle. In Kingdom Hearts II, Sephiroth appears during the siege on Hollow Bastion, and later can be found on a cliff face after killing the MCP. Sephiroth is intrigued by Sora's keyblade, and challenges him to test its powers. Afterwards, 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 of them vanishing in flashes of light to places unknown. After defeating Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, the player is given the One-Winged Angel keyblade, modeled after the Masamune.
In the Kingdom Hearts', Sephiroth is voiced by Lance Bass. 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, both of which have voiced Sephiroth in most of his appearances. Template:-
Itadaki Street seriesEdit
Sephiroth appears together with some other Final Fantasy VII characters. Sephiroth is controllable both in his normal appearance and the shirtless version that Cloud confronts alone at the end of Final Fantasy VII. 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. Template:-
A Sephiroth costume will be sold as downloadable content for the character Sackboy in the PlayStation 3 game LittleBigPlanet. The release date for the costume in America and Europe is yet to be confirmed. Template:-
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 Advent Children - a partner figure to this one features Cloud in a similar environment. Other Sephiroth-related items including pendants and rings with the theme of his single wing and/or the Black Materia have also been produced.
- When Cloud is transported to Ivalice by a device called the Celestial Globe in Final Fantasy Tactics, he comes out confused and disoriented. The first thing he says is "The heat! Inside my skull... No, stop... Sephiroth---no!" The Final Fantasy VII boss does not actually appear in the game, though a black-caped swordsman is mentioned in one of the Errands. As well, one of the game's enemies, Marquis Elmdore, bears a resemblance to him, having long silver hair and wielding the Masamune in the last battle in his human form.
- Sephiroth has been a common face in the Gamefaqs user popularity contests. He was the runner-up in the Character Battle II, losing to his nemesis Cloud. He was voted the most popular villain in the Got Villains? contest, beating Ganondorf from the Legend of Zelda series.
- Sephiroth has a small cameo in the popular fan parody "Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series". When the other characters show off their favorite cards, Bakura (who is secretly a villain) holds up a card showing Sephiroth from Advent Children, before exclaiming "oops, wrong one", and holding up another.
- Sephiroth's made an appearance in the LeetStreet Boys music video for "Yuri the Only One" dancing to the lyrics of "Sephy's Mom has got it going on", not only a parody of the song "Stacey's Mom" but also referencing Jenova and his belief that she is his mother.
- Sephiroth's strongest weapon in Dissidia is called One-Winged Angel, after his musical theme.
- In Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, the player receives a keyblade called One Winged Angel after defeating Sephiroth. Its design is based on his Masamune.
- In the TV show Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island, Butchy parodies Sephiroth through the episode "Sir Nutalot". He appears with Sephiroth's long silver hair and usual attire.
- In the TV show "Robot Chicken", the main characters of Final Fantasy VII are parodied as workers in a fast food restaurant. Sephiroth is portrayed as a mean restaurant manager. A parody of "One Winged Angel" is heard in the background; however, the word "Sephiroth" in the lyrics are replaced by the word "Hamburger". The skit also parodies the final scripted battle between Cloud and Sephiroth at the end of Final Fantasy VII.
- 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.
- Along with the other Jeudo-Christian religious themes surrounding him, Sephiroth's character design draws many interesting parallels with Jesus Christ. Both have similar avatar-like connection to a deified parental figure (Jenova/Jehovah); both were born of unnatural conceptions; both undergo processes of death, rebirth, and second-comings; both reach eventual ascendancy; both were considered heirs to the throne of an ancient "bloodline" (Cetra for Sephiroth, and King David for Christ); and both are associated with the establishing of a new Kingdom.
- Despite stating that Professor Hojo is a walking mass of complexes, he himself (at least after his downfall into insanity) fits that description. Sephiroth is shown to have a Messiah Complex, a God Complex, and is widely believed to have an Oedipus Complex, as he detests his father (Hojo) and, to some extent, worships his "mother" (Jenova).