Analysis: Sephiroth in Crisis Core

This post was originally inspired by the #IHaveaTheory challenge on Square Enix Amino.

To that end, I’ve set my sights on Sephiroth. You know, the man we all first knew from Final Fantasy VII as the guy you’d never invite to a fireside chat.

WARNING: FINAL FANTASY VII AND CRISIS CORE SPOILERS AHEAD

But before that in game canon, there was Crisis Core. Where Sephiroth was young and had friends and absolutely no desire to crush us all with a meteor (probably). We start at the beginning: Sephiroth was raised and trained as an intellectually and physically exceptional child with no immediate family.

While there’s no canon information on his childhood, some of his behavior in Crisis Core reflects what his mentality likely was.

Unlike many real life students with exceptional skills, Sephiroth had all of the special instruction and resources he needed to prosper. By the time we see him in Crisis Core, Sephiroth was entirely confident in abilities he’d been building on his entire life.

Yet when Genesis expressed jealousy over Sephiroth’s fame, he told Genesis he could have it. This is an indication that his confidence was self-contained rather than something he got from or held over other people. In short, fame or the lack of would not affect him at all.

This connects to another issue that exceptional people face in their upbringing. According to a guide by the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), “specific provisions for [gifted and talented students] stir heated controversy regarding whether or not they need special attention”.

Zack himself displayed this skepticism just before his mission with the Turks that Sephiroth was originally assigned to. Upon hearing that he refused to go, Zack asked if they were being too soft with him or babying him (depending on language/translation).

You can see the scene here at about 6:40.

For Sephiroth, this kind of controversy led to his abilities defining him to others in one of two ways. His status as the best First Class SOLDIER led people to believe he was either a hero beyond their standing or he was entitled more than he deserved.

Let’s consider that in conjunction with the immense value he placed on his friendship with Angeal and Genesis.

To have two friends who treated him as someone on their level, whether positively or negatively, meant a great deal to Sephiroth. There were few people who wouldn’t judge him based on his reputation since he had no family.

The bottom line is that Angeal and Genesis (and later Zack) gave him something his reputation could not: a sense of belonging.

And that feeling overpowered everything else Sephiroth held as important. He refused the mission that Zack went on because it was an act directly against his friends. When he was on his way to Modeoheim, he put his current mission off to go out of his way and talk to Zack – even though Zack was upset with him at the time.

Full clip here.

Sadly, this value Sephiroth placed on belonging was his undoing in the end.

To be human and exceptional separated him from nearly everyone, even others who were First Class. But at least he had that in common with people – humanity.

His discovery of the truth took that last bastion of hope away along with two of his closest friends. (The below video shows Sephiroth’s struggle as he tried to hold onto his humanity and the particularly painful way he found out he wasn’t human after all.)

Full clip here.

Failing that, Sephiroth had utterly nothing in common with anyone insofar as he knew. What meant most to him in life was inaccessible to him forever (or so he felt).

All that remained to fill the void was his greatness. In his mind, that had defined him to everyone else throughout his life, and he only thought he’d been defined by something more to those he cared for.

With his feeling of belonging gone, Sephiroth had to face that he would never truly belong among humans.

That combined with inevitable rage at the deception and horror at the truth of his origin… Sephiroth turned to godhood to embrace what he had originally tried to reject.

He was exceptional and he did not belong among these people; he never would. Grieving it in solitude could drive him mad or…

Sephiroth could choose not to grieve, instead empowering himself by believing he never really needed to belong. The feeling was simply another deception by the lesser beings of humanity.

And so, he rationalized godhood as his destiny.

and I’m still sad about it after all these years
#BlameHojo

Thank you for reading!

 

Custom Cosplay Challenge Entry

This challenge is a brought to you by the Dragon Age Amino!

The goal was to create a Dragon Age themed cosplay based on something in the games. Whether it was a concept or an OC or a canon character, there were a lot options!

Naturally, I chose lyrium because why go with a person when you can personify one of the most intriguing items in the game.  (Read up on lyrium here if you wish.)

Now on to the entry itself! Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy.

All edits by the mighty Sigma.

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You have a choice.

Lyrium is the emerald water of the Fade from whence the Maker created our world in his mercy and wisdom.

Much like magic, lyrium must be used to serve man. It is highly dangerous and volatile, yet still it can be found beyond the Chantry’s guidance.

Children, resist the temptation of lyrium and walk with the Maker! Prolonged lyrium use away from the word of the Maker leads to memory loss, paranoia, disfigurement, inability to tell dreaming from waking, an unending thirst, and worse.

Lyrium flows through the Veil to the waking world because it is the will of the Maker. It is sacrilegious to deny his will through the use of lyrium outside of the Chantry. These symptoms are a punishment for that trespass.

The power of lyrium only serves man in the hands of the Templars. Do the will of the Maker as a Templar, and you will be granted lyrium to develop your abilities as a champion of the just.

Through your devoted training and dedication to the Maker, only you can contain the threat of lyrium and magic abuse.

Join the Templar Order today.


Ah, Chantry propaganda… Mostly lies with a promise at the end. Oddly, this was fun!

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a) Which character have you cosplayed as?

Lyrium personified! With an apostate-esque motif. Come on, you know she’d be an apostate.

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b) Why have you cosplayed as this character? (i.e. What compels you to this character? Do you know a substantial amount about them? Is there any connection that you can make to them?)

Well, I think lyrium is pretty to look at and unnerving, two of my favorite traits. I’m romancing Zevran, Fenris, and Anders for a reason here.

But the many facets of lyrium fascinate me from being an ore, potion, black market drug, and the only usable item found in reality and the Fade.

As a person, I imagine she’s a complete wild card. Powerful but fickle, playful with a touch of malice, a little come hither thrown in, and reliable only in that she’s never far even if you can’t see her. She carries a definite sense of thrill and danger all at once– that’s lyrium as a person.

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c) In the future, would you do anything different with this cosplay? Anything you would change? Keep the same? Are you satisfied with the final results?

If I did this again, I’d probably get black temporary tattoos to represent some the black/dark blue undertones you see in raw lyrium. Maybe try some galaxy-esque makeup too!

I would definitely keep the top the same, since I really like the black lace with the deep blue-teal top. I’d probably change the skirt to something a bit more fringey and wild, but still try to retain some elegance to it.

But I am very satisfied with how it all came out and I had a lot of fun throwing this together!

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