Final Fantasy 7 is particularly well known for its iconic characters. Cloud, Tifa, Barrett, and the rest provide a compelling main party, while villains like Sephiroth are infamous. Much of the game is driven by these characters’ actions, and much of the player’s interest is derived from wanting to follow their journeys. Final Fantasy 7‘s more prominent characters have become industry icons, with Cloud and Sephiroth appearing in Super Smash Bros Ultimate and the whole cast being reunited in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. With how much recognition each design holds, it’s no wonder the battle royale Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier used many of them as cosmetic skins.
However, that’s not all The First Soldier pulled from. There are several other entries in the Compilation of Final Fantasy 7and modern Square Enix has become bolder in referencing them. The First Soldier‘s second season is based on Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7, and while it already has costumes based on Zack and that game’s Tifa, it will soon be receiving a costume based on Genesis Rhapsodos. Seeing the antagonist of Crisis Core in a new game is surprising to many Final Fantasy 7 fans, both due to the character’s origins and his controversial place in the series. However one sees Genesis, it appears Square Enix is bringing him back into the fold.
The Origin of Final Fantasy 7’s Genesis
The main reason why Genesis’ appearance in The First Soldier caught so many fans’ attention is they thought he would be wrapped up in legal issues. A common theory suggests the reason why Direction of Cerberus: Final Fantasy 7 and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 have not been re-released is that they used the likeness of Japanese idol Gackt. Gackt wrote and performed the theme song of Direction of Cerberus, “Redemption,” and played Genesis Rhapsodos in a secret live-action cutscene at the end of the game. Hideki Imaizumi, the producer of Crisis Corewanted to do more with the character, so he and Gackt sketched out a complete picture of Genesis for Crisis Core.
In all of his Japanese appearances, Genesis was portrayed by Gackt. However, in 2021 Gackt became unable to continue his music career due to developing a neurological disease. Square Enix had already used Genesis in a few spin-offs, even if they all used abstract art styles. Genesis would have likely appeared in the Crisis Core portion of the upcoming Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis with or without Gackt. combining Ever Crisis and The First Soldier‘s news with light references to his existence in Final Fantasy 7 Remakeit appears Genesis’ story might finally be headed toward a conclusion.
Genesis’ Role in The Compilation of Final Fantasy 7
As mentioned, Genesis’ primary role is being the main antagonist of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7. Genesis is the product of Project G, a spin-off of the Jenova Project. He is similar to Sephiroth in many ways, not the least of which is how he was separated from his Shinra-affiliated birth parents. After growing up in the rural village of Banora, Genesis and his unknown brother Angeal enlisted in Shinra’s SOLDIER program. The two became 1st Class Soldiers, and also became Sephiroth’s only friends. Early in life, Genesis became obsessed with the famous poem LOVELESS, to the extent he made it his life goal from him to decipher. During a particularly intense sparring match, Genesis is wounded, which starts his cells’ deterioration.
This begins Genesis’ spiral into madness, as he becomes dangerously obsessed with recreating the events of LOVELESS while trying to cure himself. His constant Shakespearean quotes got on many players’ nerves, and that was only the first of Genesis’ faults from him. Among other things, Genesis is the trigger for Sephiroth researching Genova in Nibelheim, gets the blessing he seeks by the physical goddess of the Lifestream, and is also redeemed after being cured at the end of the game. Genesis survives the events of Crisis Corewith his appearance to Deepground leader Weiss in Direction of Cerberus‘secret cutscene being his last chronological appearance. With Genesis also resurfacing in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergradeit seems like the line from LOVELESS saying “nothing shall forest my return” may finally come to pass.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 is available now on PSP.
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