|“||Ha, ha, ha…my sadness? What do I have to be sad about? I am the chosen one. I have been chosen to be the leader of this Planet.||„|
|“||I will... never be a memory.||„|
|~ Sephiroth's last words.|
Sephiroth (in Japanese: セフィロス, Sefirosu) is the primary antagonist of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and a major antagonist in the extended Final Fantasy VII universe, Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, and also the Kingdom Hearts franchise. He is also Cloud Strife's arch-nemesis. Before, Sephiroth was once a first class SOLDIER from Shinra Electric Power Company (better known as Shinra Inc.) that was idolized by many in terms of his swordsmanship skills, intellectual actions, and discipline. His outstanding performance in the battlefield made him a celebrity war hero and an inspiration. His positive attitude did not last long until he, Zack Fair, and Cloud Strife ventured in the mako reactor in Nibelheim. Sephiroth then proceeds to Shinra Manor to search for possible clues of his origins. Finally learning the truth, Sephiroth goes insane, rebels from Shinra, and sets Nibelheim on fire. Believing he is the chosen one, he decides to become a god and rule the planet.
Ascent to War Hero and Fall from Grace
Sephiroth is the child of Professor Hojo and Lucrecia Crescent, two Shinra Inc. scientists. While in the womb, his mother named Lucrecia was injected with cells of a powerful alien being known as Jenova, and in his fetal form, he merged with the cells and was taken from Lucretia at birth. He was kept in the dark about his real mother, only told that she was named Jenova, and the terrible experiments that were been performed on him. Later in his life, he became a member of SOLDIER, Shinra Inc.'s super warriors. Sephiroth became the most powerful SOLDIER going beyond 1st class and became known as the SOLDIER Hero. He was particularly renowned for his accomplishments during the war between Shinra and Wutai, where he was first seen easily defeating a powerful Djinn known as Ifrit. Sephiroth was close friends with two other Shinra experiments, Angeal and Genesis, Genesis being considered a failure compared to him, and both were also unaware of what had been done to them. Genesis and Angeal would spar with Sephiroth, at which Sephiroth would easily fight them all off, until one day Genesis tried to go all out. Try as Genesis may, Sephiroth overwhelms him but Angeal stops the fight. Genesis would leave Shinra shortly afterwards with Professor Hollander. Sephiroth hoped to bring him back however. Then, Shinra sent him to Nibelhiem to inspect a broken Mako reactor, along with another SOLDIER 1st Class (Zack Fair), and several infantry men, one of which was Cloud Strife.
Once in the city, Zack asks Sephiroth about his parents, and he mentions that his mother's name was Jenova, but said nothing about his father. Sephiroth climbs Mt. Nibel with the rest of his men to inspect the reactor, and in it he finds a room labeled Jenova. In the room he sees Jenova- a hideous abomination, in the form of a female. Why Jenova is in an armored containment suit when later revealed is unclear, although it is likely a small error by the game creators. This and the witnessing of other mutant creatures ("failed" SOLDIERs injected with Jenova cells) brings about what essentially is a psychotic break, leading to him question who, or what, he is. For six days he locked himself in the basement of Shinra mansion reading books about the experiments Shinra had been doing.
This research causes Sephiroth to believe that Jenova was a Cetra and that he himself is the last surviving Cetra, he also comes to think that humanity betrayed the Cetra by leaving them to defend the planet against an evil calamity, the calamity actually being Jenova herself. With this information along with his anger for being used as an experiment for Shinra, Sephiroth slowly slips into insanity. On the seventh day, Sephiroth decided to take revenge on the humans for leaving the Cetra and making him one of Shinra's experiments, but first insanity took him and he burned Nibelheim to the ground (most likely using an extremely powerful Firaga). Zack thus confronts him later on, with Cloud not far behind.
When they reach the reactor, Zack breaks into the room labeled Jenova, and demands that Sephiroth tell him why he burned the town down. Sephiroth stood in front of a discolored and disfigured woman in a test tube, Jenova, and addresses her as "Mother" believing she is his real mother due to the fact that he was told his mothers name was Jenova. After talking to Jenova about reclaiming the planet Zack attacks him and they fight fiercely. Although Zack is able to stand reasonably evenly with Sephiroth, even having the skills to defeat Genesis proved to be insufficient and Sephiroth eventually overwhelms Zack in swordplay, driving him back before he quickly overpowered Zack in a clash of strength, disarming him and sending him flyinh. Sephiroth turned back to his "Mother" and acts as if nothing as happened. Cloud then walks in, and takes Zack's Buster Sword and badly injures Sephiroth but Sephiroth, in his rage, easily stabs Cloud through the stomach, though with all his will, Cloud manages to pull the sword up and throw Sephiroth off the edge of the reactor core, although, as an alternate ending in the anime Last Order Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth intentionally jumps into the reactor asking Jenova to go with him to the "Promised Land".
Final Fantasy VII
In Final Fantasy VII while seeking to find the Black Materia and destroy the world, Sephiroth desires to reach the "Promised Land" by doing so. He is briefly playable in a flashback to the events that occurred in Nibelhiem seven years prior. Most of the game is spent searching for him, but Sephiroth is always one step ahead of the heroes. His desire is to find the so-called promised land, so he can use the large amount of mako energy to activate the black materia, summoning Meteor, a powerful spell which Sephiroth tricks Cloud and the others into finding. Once activated, the black materia would send a meteor into the planet, causing the planet to try and heal itself using the Lifestream's mako energy, Sepiroth would then absorb this energy, thus becoming a god and rule the planet.
As the game progresses, it seems Sephiroth's powers become greater and greater, to the point where he can control Cloud, and even the remaining cells of Jenova herself. His control over Cloud however, allows him to obtained the black materia from him. Using Cloud, Sephiroth tries to make him kill Aerith while she is praying in the Forgotten Village trying to summon the spell Holy to help counter act the meteor summoned by Sephiroth, Tifa however yells and breaks Sephiroth's manipulation, and so using his control over Jenova, he forces her cells to take his own form and uses her to impale Aerith through the stomach.
Cloud and company pursue Sephiroth to the planet's wound, a crater that was left behind when Jenova arrived on the planet. They go into it and Sephiroth shows Cloud several flashbacks of what really happened at Niblehiem, and reveals that Cloud has his cells in him, and that Sephiroth could control him because of this. The illusion ends and Cloud, who does not believe himself to be Cloud, hands over the Black Materia to the real Sephiroth that had been frozen in the planet's core. Sephiroth had controlled remnants that shared Jenova cells from inside the planet in order to bring himself back to life to and achieve his plan of becoming a god to rule the planet.
Eventually, Sephiroth achieved his plan and became "Bizarro Sephiroth" (in Japanese: リバース・セフィロス Ribāsu Sefirosu) and "Safer Sephiroth" (in Japanese: セーファ・セフィロス Sēfa Sefirosu), which is his ultimate god or god-like form. One last battle commences between Cloud, his friends, and Safer-Sephiroth, who is eventually defeated. Despite this, his conscience remains intact and he drags Cloud into the Lifestream to have one last confrontation with him, this time in a metaphysical realm. However, just like before, Sephiroth is defeated. The Meteor continues its course and crashes into Gaia, but due to Aerith's ability to talk with the planet and summon the spell Holy, the Lifestream is able to push back the meteor before it causes ultimate destruction to the planet.
In Advent Children, though Sephiroth was defeated 2 years earlier, but has left a great dent in the planet. He infected the lifestream, and so created a disease called Geostigma. Geostigma weakens the immune system, causes exhaustion, and black sores on the skin of the infected. Children are more prone to getting this disease than adults, however, this does not mean adults can't get it; in fact, Cloud has it. 3 remnants of Sephiroth that did not dissipate into the lifestream, named Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, are seeking to reunite with their "mother" Jenova, and attack Cloud, calling him their "brother". As the movie progresses, two of the remnants are defeated, leaving only Kadaj, who merges with what is left of Jenova. By doing so, he becomes Sephiroth's avatar, adopting his physical appearance. Cloud and Sephiroth fight once more and this time it is purely physical battle. With his superior combat abilities, Sephiroth is steadily able to wear down and overwhelm Cloud until Cloud is finally decisively beaten and badly injured. However, Cloud, by reminiscing of all that he cherishes when Sephiroth mistakingly mocks him by threatening to kill them all and being invigorated by Zack's spirit, perfects Omnislash 5 and uses it to finally defeat Sephiroth, taking advantage of the advantage of many blades, the enchanted speed, and Sephiroth's surprise to soundly deal lethal blows. However, when Cloud demands Sephiroth to stay in his memory, Sephiroth calmly says "I will...never be a memory.", proving he is not truly defeated and while his physical body may have been destroyed, he is still present.
Kingdom Hearts Series
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Sephiroth, though not visibly seen, is mentioned as a well-known hero. His reputation inspires Zack Fair to train to become Sephiroth's equal in power and legend.
After Master Xehanort's defeat, Zack witnesses Hercules train under Phil, noticing one of Sephiroth's feathers floating towards him. Zack then disappears, with the feather landing where he once stood.
Sephiroth appears as an optional boss in the first Kingdom Hearts game for both the North American version, and later the Final Mix version. He is found in Olympus Coliseum. No story is really provided, though it does refer to him as "The SOLDIER Commander" and a man once known as the "greatest of swordsmen".
Prior to Sora's arrival to Olympus Coliseum, Cloud strikes a deal with Hades: if Cloud defeats Hercules in battle, Hades will lead Cloud to Sephiroth. However, the deal is not payed off.
Later, Sora enters the Platinum Match and encounters Sephiroth himself, besting the One-Winged Angel in a duel. In the Final Mix version only, following Sora's departure, Cloud encounters Sephiroth and engage in a battle before dissipating in light.
Kingdom Hearts II
|“||Absurd. Defeating me is meaningless. You know that more than anyone, Cloud. No matter how many times I fall, your darkness keeps calling me back!||„|
|~ Sephiroth to Cloud|
In the second Kingdom Hearts game, while still an optional boss, Sephiroth is given a backstory. Sephiroth claims he is the darkness in Cloud's heart and as long as that darkness remains, Sephiroth cannot die. Thus, Cloud and Sephiroth have been fighting for a long time, across many different worlds. One year after Sora's battle with Xehanort's Heartless, Cloud has been looking for Sephiroth in the newly-restored technomagic kingdom of Hollow Bastion (now known by its true name "Radiant Garden"), wanting to end their conflict once and for all.
Sora and company first encounter Sephiroth as they leave Hollow Bastion's castle to assist in the Battle of the 1000 Heartless. The One-Winged Angel inquires of Cloud's whereabouts, but realizes that Cloud is getting enlightened and takes his leave. He soon after rescues his arch-nemesis from a swarm of Heartless and taunts him about the darkness.
After defeating the MCP and discovering Hollow Bastion's true name of Radiant Garden, Sora and company arrive at the Dark Depths, once more encountering Sephiroth, who asks where Cloud is and on Sora's identity. Sora and company refuse to answer. Sephiroth then notices Sora's Keyblade and engages Sora in battle, intending on testing the weapon's loyalty and Sora's strength.
After an arduous battle, Sora triumphs over the One-Winged Angel. Sephiroth, though, informs Sora that only Cloud can truly defeat him, and orders the Keyblade wielder to bring Cloud to him. Sora then finds Cloud in the Marketplace and tells him of Sephiroth's location, prompting Cloud to travel there to engage Sephiroth in battle.
As Sora returns to the Dark Depths, Cloud arrives and duels with Sephiroth. As the two lock blades, Sephiroth taunts Cloud once more, but Tifa arrives, encouraging Cloud to let go of his inner past. Though Sephiroth is irritated at Tifa's appearance, Cloud suddenly glows in a bright aura and warps both himself and Sephiroth to an unknown world to continue their duel.
Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Sephiroth makes an appearance in the Final Fantasy-based fighting game Dissidia and it's prequel Dissidia 012. Despite a few more colors in his wardrobe, he pretty much stays the same. In the story he mocks Cloud's inability to find a reason to fight. Once Cloud defeats him and obtains his crystal, Sephiroth tells him to remember that he is the only reason that Cloud was able to get it.
Among all Final Fantasy villains in Dissidia Final Fantasy, Sephiroth seems to be treated with the most fear by both villains and heroes. Unlike other Final Fantasy villains, Sephiroth truly believes he is right, and from this draws substantial willpower, and fervent religious willpower; this with his psychopathy, substantial martial ability, and massive power reserves make him among the most powerful of Chaos' warriors, if not the most powerful.
In some cutscenes, it is revealed that Sephiroth had no memory of his past life when he awoke as a servant of Chaos, however, he says that he is slowly gaining it back. His personality does fully comes back near the end of the game.
Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy
The fallen hero also appears in this rhythm game as a boss in Final Fantasy VII scenarios. Commonly during the song "One-Winged Angel". He is also an unlockable playable character by gathering eight black shards.
Etymology and Symbolism
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 6 wings.
Safer∙Sephiroth could easily be seen as a Seraph, with a 7th 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 translated 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 10 aspects of creation according to Jewish mysticism.
The presence of a single, black wing protruding from his back (or right arm) is taken from Lucifer (better known as Satan or The Devil) in the Bible. Lucifer was a Seraph/Angel before he turned against God and fell from heaven. Sephiroth having a single black wing emphasizes his evil nature, as Lucifer is often depicted with black wings, among other fallen angels.
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 Holy Trinity.
Sephiroth appears as a young man with long silver hair and green cat-like eyes. He wears a long black leather trench coat with shoulder plates and sometimes appears with a single black wing; he often appears with black feathers falling around him. A common misconception is that this is the cause for his theme, and common alias, "One-Winged Angel." The true cause for this is in his final form having absorbed vast amounts of mako, transforming his (non-dominant) right arm into a grotesque black scale and feathered wing. All future appearances with the black wing are in reference to this, presumably to imply he has retained the same level of power in a human form.
However, upon the advent of FFVII Crisis Core, it is revealed any survivor of the Jenova Project possesses the ability to sprout this wing, however, to date it remains unclear why this is. Sephiroth having literally joined with Jenova possesses powers far beyond that of other test subjects, and it cannot be assumed his abilities and theirs are truly relatable.
In his most recent appearances, it appears as though he now exists at some level as an energy-being comprised of mako, given his ability to die, and reappear unchanged at will. Ironically his attempts to destroy the planet seem to have made him more of a part of it.
At first, Sephiroth is a brave and noble man and fully loyal to Shinra, famous and well-respected by all for his confidence and loyalty as Shinra's greatest war hero. While he has a cold exterior and treats others professionally, he can still form genuine bonds with others even if due to his beliefs that the other Shinra warriors are expendable and unreliable, it is an initial attraction due to the skill level of others, as he values his bond with Genesis and Angeal, both of whom were the only ones closest to him in prowess even if they are ultimately not a match for him, refusing to do missions regarding them and allowing Genesis to escape when he confronted him even though he knew he is more than a match for Genesis from their last one-on-one duel. Sephiroth also quickly bonds over Zack Fair, due to their shared bond with Angeal and also due to Zack's skills (although Zack in the end never managed to reach Sephiroth's level, but did shorten the gap between their skills fairly close and he had managed to surpass Angeal and Genesis). While he considers the other warriors of Shinra to be inferiors, he never treats them with actual distaste and treats them rather cordially and can even be kind to them. While well-spoken, socially graceful, calm and composed, Sephiroth is not without a dry sense of humor and at times he can show frustration. While confident and considering many others to be inferior to him, Sephiroth never treats others arrogantly and he has no intrest in self-glory.
However, that all changed after his fall into insanity. With the knowledge of his status as the greatest monster ever produced by Shinra and the knowledge of how his seeming race was betrayed, Sephiroth steadily becomes much darker and colder to the point that even in it's initial stages, he coldly told Genesis to rot whereas previously he would have helped his friend. While still calm, inside he has great anger and hatred for Shinra Inc. and humanity in general and has shown sadistic tendencies. He has a messiah complex, believing he is the chosen one destined to lead the planet and also is utterly devoted to Jenova and it's cause, esentially being the agent of it's will.
Despite his destructive and inimical nature, it is hinted, or "implied" by Cecil Harvey's quote against Sephiroth in Dissidia, "There is sorrow in those wintery eyes", that Sephiroth's darkness is due to how he was unable to cope with the knowledge he obtained on his origins and thus this makes him somewhat tragical even if he is unredeemable. He has been shown to enjoy fighting, even asking the Warrior if he also has the same sense and Kefla went as far as to say Sephiroth is born for combat. Sephiroth also always calmly accepts his defeat.
Powers and Abilities
Even before the Nibelheim Incident, Sephiroth already wielded unparalleled might, having unbelievably advanced combat abilities and superior superhuman physical abilities beyond any other SOLDIERS, not only due to having the highest level of Mako energy enhancements inside him but also due to the fact that he has had far greater levels of experience from his time as a war hero, greatly contributing to many of the wars Shinra won and also having trained and practiced to a far greater level than most. Earning great fame and the highest authority among SOLDIERS for his skill, Sephiroth is known for wielding a highly free-wheeling combat style, to the point that Cloud described it as being a mesmerizing sight and Sephiroth's strength for being an unreal. An extraordinarily skilled swordsman and also an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant, easily the best fighter in Final Fantasy VII and quite possibly among the greatest to ever be seen in the whole series, Sephiroth is deemed the only one capable of fully mastering the Masamune and wields it with great ease, despite the blade's size and length, Sephiroth's skills are such that he is completely unhindered by it, displaying immense ambidexterity and specialized training with it, capable of effortlessly switching between offense and defense in a split second and although he mainly uses it with both hands, Sephiroth can just as effectively wield the blade with a single hand easily. In fact, he even uses the long blade to his advantage by deftly manipulating it to effectively attack others even from a distance. Combined with his high level superhuman physical prowess, Sephiroth can effortlessly cut through metal and concrete, swing so fast as to not only completely outpace the speed with which the human eye can see but also pressure even seasoned swordsmen, and perform deadly combos such as his notable attack Octaslash. His sword-fighting style is easily adaptable from offense to defense, which he carries to phenomenal levels: When fighting Zack in his boss battle, Sephiroth displayed great caution and the ability to easily react to most frontal and even behind assaults, usually easily repelling Zack's attacks before quickly unleashing barrages of attacks, but when he fought Cloud, Sephiroth went all-out from the beginning, easily both attacking and defending. Sephiroth also combines martial arts attacks with astounding ease and proficiency. In a practice session, Sephiroth calmly took on both Genesis and Angeal despite their blades being shorter than his on equal footing, easily parrying their attacks and forcing them back. Even with Genesis empowered by powerful magic, Sephiroth still proved to be stronger, forcing the latter into the defensive and at one point, he deflected every spell launched at him by Genesis even though they were homed on him and coming from many directions and sliced through the Sister Ray with ease. During his destruction of Nibelheim, Sephiroth effortlessly killed each and every single one of the villagers who fought him, instantly overpowered Tifa with ease, repelling her slash with his back turned before easily lifting her with a single hand and severely wounding her within a matter of seconds, and trounced Zack Fair, despite him having defeated Genesis in single combat, forcing him back without much effort and quickly overpowering him in a clash of strength and ripping his sword out of his grasp while silmutaneously cutting him down, effectively leaving him incapacitated. Even after being stabbed by the Buster Sword, he could still overpower Cloud with ease, easily stabbing him with Masamune before he could get close and lifting and throwing him aside a great distance before quickly crossing the distance and stabbing him again, only being overpowered by Cloud's willpower. Despite relying on his newly gained powers more, Sephiroth fully retains his impeccable combat skills as shown in Advent Children, where he flawlessly faced and dominated Cloud throughout the entirety of their clash, easily deflecting Cloud's attacks while Cloud struggled to block Sephiroth's and even easily matching Cloud's dual-bladed swordplay. He could cut through all the pieces of Shinra building in his way with ease and easily dodge Cloud's use of a piece of concrete and repel with his own which Cloud barely avoided as well as easily attack him bare-handed to his advantage, launching him several feet away with his blows. Even when Cloud empowered himself, it still proved to be not sufficient to match Sephiroth, who was still able to easily deflect Cloud's blows, force him back and eventually strip him of his aura by easily stabbing him before he could land his attack. In the end, it was only because Cloud caught Sephiroth off-guard that he was able to defeat him using Omnislash Version 5.
Although mainly preferring melee, Sephiroth was already quite accomplished in the use of Magic and proved fully capable of making liberal use of it in combat. He had mastered the use of the elemental Materia of Fire, Ice, and Lightning, capable of casting the highest level of elemental spells and projecting them as separate from himself to shield himself from said elements. He also has mastered the use of Support Materia and Shield Materia, able to project a Support Materia separately from himself to allow him to heal and increase his attack power and quickly cast a shield of magical energy able to deflect a blast from Genesis easily. His prowess over fire-based magic is evident by how easily he razed Nibelheim to the ground. After being immersed inside Lifestream and absorbing immesurable amounts of the knowledge of the Ancients, Sephiroth's magical prowess are enhanced to the point that he can perform all levels of magic without need of materia. In addition to being capable of performing all forms of status spells, such as Stop, Death Sentence and Silence, allowing him to reduce his enemies fighting effectiveness, render magic completely unusable as well as curse others to die within a set time limit, and also several unique and highly potent buffing spells, such as Reflect, Wall and Death Force, making him able to resist or even repel attacks and be immune to all instant death attacks, he is also capable of combining several elemental magics and unleashing them in a devastating storm and even performing transmution, turning his enemies into a toad to render them hapless. He also gains access to the devastating magical artifacts of Pandora Box and Black Materia. With Pandora Box, he can blast it's energy, which ignores all form of defensive ability. With Black Materia, he is capable of performing the most destructive form of magic Meteor, summoning a massive meteor capable of heavily damaging the entire Earth. He is also capable of summoning a smaller but still devastating meteor using it. In Dissidia, Sephiroth displays two variations of Shadow Flare; in addition to summoning four orbs of darkness, he can also cast a single attracting explosive orb of energy.
Using Masamune, Sephiroth can launch blades of energy capable of easily cutting through metal and concrete as well as fiery magical energy. The blades also managed to overpower Zack's attempt to parry it with the Buster Sword and send him flying a great distance. In Dissidia, Sephiroth can empower Masamune with energy and can also unleash a circular wave of energy. He can also cast a shield of energy capable of countering Bravery attacks. Sephiroth is capable of summoning Angels that can render his opponent's health to nearly zero, an attack called Heartless Angel, even before he was exposed to Lifestream and this has become one of his trademarks. Sephiroth has another variation in Dissidia where he imbues his sword with dark energy and stabs his opponent before inflicting Doom.
Although not capitalizing on teleportation often, Sephiroth can still teleport at high speeds and in an instant, doing so during his battle with Zack to dodge his attacks and catch him off-guard by appearing behind him and attacking him from his blind spot and later doing this with Sora to catch him off-guard and attack him from his blind spot.
His immersion in Lifestream has granted Sephiroth potent psychic powers. He is capable of projecting illusions into the minds of others as well as reading their thoughts. His telekinesis is strong enough to lift not only objects, but even other people, using only his mind. Sephiroth is even capable of warping reality, manifesting several copies of Masamune to allow him to retain the original. He can even warp reality to the point of making it realistic as an alternate dimension he creates explodes to destroy the entire solar system, even inflicting heavy damage from it, which he can do not only in his Safer form but also his normal form.
Due to the extraordinary strength of his willpower, Sephiroth was able to retain his consciousness in Lifestream after the death of his physical body. He has gained control over Jenova's cells and he can construct avatars in his likeness, as well as other eldritch entities; this enables him to have a physical presence in the world of the living and attain a sort of immortality. By extension, he can remotely control Jenova cells inside living organisms. If a human has a sufficiently high concentration of Jenova cells in their body, Sephiroth can control their thoughts and actions, and in severe cases can outright puppeteer their bodies. His ability to project his will through these avatars and puppets is limited, but is compounded by the subject's willpower (or lack thereof), and intensifies over shorter distances, being strongest at the Northern Crater (the site of his physical body). He is also capable of manipulating the Geostigma even with it greatly reduced and intensifying it to begin destroying the planet and then possessing it. In Dissidia, Sephiroth can manifest the energies of the Lifestream in the form of an aura that briefly slows down his target.
Sephiroth, as easily expectable of a well-known war leader hero and the greatest First Class SOLDIER, is highly intelligent and disciplined. He is an exceptional leader and strategist, having led armies of other SOLDIERS into battles during the wars to victory, which greatly attributed to his fame. Sephiroth also holds the most amount of knowledge on Mako energy and Materia among SOLDIERS, thoroughly explaining how they were used to enhance SOLDIERS and could made monsters to Zack as well as providing another intensive explanation on why Materia is essential to use Magic. Sephiroth would put his tactical appitude to use when he began his quest to conquer the Planet. He was able to consistently outthink Cloud and his party, allowing him to remain one step ahead and eventually decisively find the Black Materia.
Sephiroth's most famous weapon is the Masamune; in the Final Fantasy universe this seems treated more as a style of sword, as one is left in the President of Shinra after his attack, which appears most often as a 10-foot long katana, though other lengths appear occasionally.
Final Fantasy VII
|“||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!||„|
|“||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.|
|“||Good to see you, Cloud.||„|
|“||As have I.||„|
|~ Sephiroth encountering Cloud.|
|“||I'm a part of you, am I? Then join me in this eternal nightmare untarnished by light.||„|
|~ Sephiroth challenging Cloud to a duel.|
|“||Did Cloud tell you that? Then he must understand now.||„|
|~ Sephiroth after Goofy remarks at him being "the dark part of Cloud's heart".|
|“||That last bit of light is always the hardest to snuff out.||„|
|~ Sephiroth as he leaves.|
|“||Can you do it? That darkness comes from your own dark memories. Do you think you can erase your past?||„|
|~ Sephiroth responding to Cloud's claim that defeating him will make the darkness go away.|
|“||Face it—you turn your back on the present and live in the past. Because the light of the present is too much!||„|
|~ Sephiroth after Cloud's outburst.|
|“||I know. Because... I am you.||„|
|~ Sephiroth after Cloud is blinded by Tifa's light as she approached.|
|“||What is Cloud doing?||„|
|~ Sephiroth to Sora and company when they arrive at the Dark Depths.|
|“||Hmph. By the way, you three... who are you?||„|
|~ Sephiroth slashing at Sora who jumps back in surprise.|
|“||Well... That's an interesting sword you're carrying.||„|
|~ Sephiroth noticing Sora's Keyblade.|
|“||I see... so that's a Keyblade. And I suppose you must be its chosen wielder.||„|
|~ Sephiroth after Donald tells him about the Keyblade.|
|“||I wonder if it won't change its mind—once I defeat you.||„|
|~ Sephiroth preparing to attack Sora.|
|“||I admit you're very skilled... But apparently, Cloud is the only one who can eliminate me.||„|
|~ Sephiroth after his defeat.|
|“||Tell Cloud to come here. Tell him Sephiroth is looking to settle things.||„|
|~ Sephiroth requesting Sora to bring Cloud to him.|
|“||Did you give him my message?||„|
|~ Sephiroth to Sora after he returns from talking to Cloud.|
|“||Cloud... you'll never let go of the darkness.||„|
|~ Sephiroth to Cloud when he arrives to confront Sephiroth.|
|“||You'll never let go of your past.||„|
|~ Sephiroth to Cloud as the two prepare to battle.|
|“||You can't. He'll never let go of the darkness.||„|
|~ Sephiroth to Tifa when she tries to help Cloud.|
|“||Let's see what this light of yours can do.||„|
|~ Sephiroth directing his attacks to Tifa.|
|“||The light doesn't suit you.||„|
|~ Sephiroth after Tifa offers Cloud her light.|
|Toshiyuki Morikawa (Crisis Core, Advent Children, Last Order, Dissidia, 012, Kingdom Hearts II)||Lance Bass (Kingdom Hearts)|
|Shinichiro Miki (Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring)||George Newbern (Crisis Core, Advent Children, Dissidia, 012, Kingdom Hearts II)|
- Sephiroth is one of the most popular Final Fantasy villains ever.
- The saying "I will...never be a memory" may imply that Sephiroth may keep coming back, leading us to think he will never lose without deciding, but this is debatable. Though, he never seems to lose without accepting the opponent to have won, if this is simply due to an arbitrary level of talent Sephiroth observes or if he truly believes he cannot win is unclear.
- It is imperative at this point to note also Sephiroth is never like the typical FF villain, though very delusional, within this illusion and his psychopathy, Sephiroth is very calm and seemingly sane. His ambition is not universal destruction, but universal cleansing, draining all planets of life, as he believes his "mother" Jenova did, before crashing to the planet.
- His appearance, behavior and motives are reminiscent of Psaro, a villain from the equally veteran Enix RPG series Dragon Quest. They are often portrayed together in unofficial fan works, mainly in Japan.
- George Newbern, Sephiroth's English voice actor from Advent Children onward, was well-known for being the voice actor for Superman in the DC Animated Universe and various other animated incarnations of the Man of Steel as well as his more villainous counterparts such as his Injustice incarnation and his Justice Lords self.
- Both his voice actor Toshiyuki Morikawa and Cloud's voice actor end up voiced Griffith from dark fantasy manga Berserk. Ironically, Sephiroth is quite similar to Griffith; they started out as soldiers, but then they ascended into godhood and became the main villain of their respective installments. However, Griffith is much worse than Sephiroth.
|Final Fantasy VII Villains|
|One Minute Melee Villains|
Akuma | Albert Wesker | Juri Han | Meta Knight | Bowser | Dr. Eggman | Deadpool | Deathstroke | Mewtwo | Frieza | Sakuya Izayoi | Dio Brando | Catwoman | Black Widow | Oni | Scorpian | Wario | Ryu | Vergil | Sephiroth | Baby Bonnie Hood | Bowser Jr. | Metal Sonic | Mecha Sonic | Master Hand | Polygon Man | Sasuke Uchiha | Heihachi Mishima | Geese Howard | Kuma | Godzilla | Cell | Meruem | Broly | Shadow the Hedgehog | Vegeta | Shang Tsung | Goomba | Ivy Valentine | Sasori | Decapre | M. Bison | Rugal Bernstein | Hiei | Bill Cipher | Gaara | Sir Crocodile | Terra