Ranking the Final Fantasy VII Villains
Final Fantasy VII is a fantastic RPG for a whole host of reasons, but one of the most enduring is its memorable cast of characters. This feature, of course, extends to the baddies as well as the heroes.
One of the most important elements in any RPG is a strong cast of villains. Villains to hate, villains to fear, and ultimately, villains to defeat. FFVII offers them in spades, from a humble pimp to the president of an energy company, all the way up to a space alien and her bastard son.
We’ll be going through each and every one of Final Fantasy VII‘s iconic cast of villains below, so let’s get started, shall we?
One of the first villains that players will encounter in Final Fantasy VII is the scumbag pimp of Wall Market, Don Corneo. Though his perverted tendencies and attempted sexual assaults are generally played off for laughs, the shrewd Corneo gets the upper hand on players several times throughout the game.
Re-emerging during a key side quest later in the game, Corneo is also one of the only villains that the Turks help you to take down. Small fry though he might be, players can’t help but pump their fists with joy when the bastard finally falls to his death in the second half of the game.
Reno & Rude
The most enduring members of The Turks are also the first two you will meet. Almost always found together, the stoic Rude and impetuous Reno are key antagonists during many of the games plot lines.
What makes them so great though is the amount of depth and personality the two are granted. Often overheard gossiping in bars and taverns, Reno and Rude aren’t just co-workers but close friends who confide in one another. They also have a spine, which they show for good when they decide to walk off the job with Elena in the last act of Final Fantasy VII.
The only female member of The Turks, Elena is deadly in her own right, but especially when she joins Reno and Rude. Anchored by her clumsiness, her chattiness and her knack for oversharing, Elena tends to shake off her quirks when there is a job to be done.
Her pining for Tseng further humanizes her, and most players will be happy to see her survive the events of the game toward the end of Final Fantasy VII.
The leader of The Turks, Tseng is a pragmatic and stern character who splits his time acting in the best interests of Shinra and himself. Having known Aeris since they were kids, Tseng also holds a certain affection for her that causes him to occasionally soften, and eventually costs him his life in the Temple of the Ancients.
Though he is the Turk we see the least of in FFVII, Tseng leaves a lasting impression nonetheless.
When the party first reaches the Golden Saucer, Barret goes off on his own. It isn’t long after that a string of vicious murders are committed by a man with an arm-mounted gun, and the others fear the worst. Luckily, the culprit is not Barret but Dyne, a former friend of Barret’s whose hand was shot off in the same fateful accident that cost Barret his own hand.
Now, lost to madness, Dyne has become a serial murderer, killing with reckless indiscrimination. Sadly it falls to Barret to put him down once and for all, a fate which is especially cruel when you consider that Barret has taken on the role of father to Dyne’s child, Marlene.
What’s a Final Fantasy game without a joke villain or two? As noted above, Don Corneo serves as the chief of silly villains in Final Fantasy VII, but next rung down the ladder is Palmer. Essentially just a fat dude in a yellow suit, Palmer seems designed to be ridiculed and is often made to look a fool, even by other members of Shinra.
Of course, nothing can top Palmer’s unceremonious death after he flees from a battle with Cloud and co only to be killed by a passing truck. It’s a hilarious ending for a villain whose most threatening moment was when he spanked his rear at you during a fight.
A buffoon of a man with a characteristic horse laugh (gya, hah, hah!) Heidegger appears as a common annoyance to the player, and his Shinra co-workers throughout the course of Final Fantasy VII. Though the player only battles him a single time in the game, it is atop a massive robot invention he has created known as the Proud Clod.
When the player finally crushes Heidegger’s final creation, they put in an end to the childish bully of Shinra and his stupid horse laugh as well.
The creator of the Sister Ray, Shinra’s greatest weapon, is also the queen bitch of the upper crust. A cruel and sadistic woman who prides herself on her ruthlessness, Scarlet appears throughout Final Fantasy VII, and is often the bane of the players.
While her most notable moment is the notorious slap fight she engages in with Tifa atop the Sister Ray, Scarlet isn’t finally struck down for good until the player destroys the Proud Clod, which Scarlet pilots alongside Heidegger.
After Sephiroth’s vicious attack on Shinra leaves the majority of the tower’s staff dead, Cloud and co follow the bloody trail to its zenith: a massive sword pinning President Shinra to his desk. With Shinra’s president dead, his son, Rufus Shinra, ascends to power, and becomes one of Final Fantasy VII‘s chief antagonists in the process.
While the player only officially comes to blows with Rufus once, he remains a force to be reckoned with throughout the game. Though his endgame death at the hands of the massive Diamond Weapon, was eventually retconned in Advent Children, Rufus getting blasted to shit in Shinra tower, where he thought himself safely above the conflict, is one of the most satisfying moments in the game.
One of the most memorable parts of Final Fantasy VII is the scene where the four weapons, the earth’s self-made, secret defense force emerges from the bowels of the lifestream. Further, the encounters with the massive beasts (Ruby, Diamond, Emerald, and Ultima) which fill the remainder of the game are thrilling and intimidating in equal measure.
Especially dire are the Emerald and Ruby weapons, which exist as secret bosses, and are hands-down the most difficult bosses of the entire game. Still, Ultima and Diamond definitely get their due as well, with the former destroying an island village and the latter taking down Shinra tower once and for all, with Rufus Shinra going down for the count in the bargain.
Perhaps the most outright evil character in Final Fantasy VII is Professor Hojo. The creator of Sephiroth, murderer of Professor Gast, corruptor of Vincent Valentine, and tamperer of Cloud Strife’s genes, Hojo is responsible, or at the very least complicit, in the majority of the horrors, terrors and tragedies inflicted upon Gaia over the course of the game.
Being no slouch in the boss department either, Hojo injects himself with Jenova cells when he fears his number is finally up. This causes him to evolve into three increasingly dangerous forms before the player is finally able to put him down for good.
A cold, cruel and morally bankrupt man, there are few villains whose demise will satisfy the player as much as Hojo’s.
The infamous calamity from the skies, Jenova’s fall to earth is essentially the inciting incident of Final Fantasy VII. It is her cells that are used to enhance soldiers like Cloud and Sephiroth, and it is her war against the ancients that makes Aeris’ existence so vitally special.
Jenova rarely speaks or communicates in any way, but her sinister force is felt throughout the entire run time of the game. Further, after Sephiroth absconds from Shinra tower with her head, she battles the player throughout the game in an increasingly mutated, and body-terror-inducing form.
Battled a total of four times throughout Final Fantasy VII, Jenova is the most horrific, stalwart and steadfast force that the player must battle against in the game.
Standing atop the heap of Final Fantasy VII villains is one of the greatest gaming antagonists of all time, the greatest soldier who ever lived, Sephiroth. Created by Hojo, who fertilized a baby in the womb with Jenova cells, Sephiroth takes on his alien mother’s horrific genesis after learning the truth about himself in the basement of Shinra’s secret mansion in Nibelheim.
First witnessed in a flashback that shows his demonstrative battle prowess, Sephiroth is immediately established as a force to be reckoned with. After the player witnesses him burning an entire town to the ground, before stalking off fearlessly into the flames, his image and his legend is burned into their minds forever.
From there, he rarely appears, but players often come across his murderous handiwork, along with his vicious slaughters of humans and monstrous sea creatures alike. “It is a power to be respected.” Red XIII intones when the party comes across a sea serpent impaled like a cocktail weenie on the remnants of a smashed tree. And he’s right.
By the time players finally face the mighty Sephiroth, especially his second Safer Sephiroth form, all the soaring orchestral choirs and galaxy-destroying super moves in the world won’t stop them from finally taking revenge on this silver-haired bastard. A hard fight is hard-won when Sephiroth succumbs at last to Cloud’s blade, but the blood-spattered look of surprise on his face is well worth the effort when he finally disappears into the Lifestream for good.
So what do you think? How many of these characters are you excited to see in the first installment of Final Fantasy VII Remake? Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments below!