Villain Overview

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.
~ Sephiroth
I will... never be a memory.
~ Sephiroth's last words.

Sephiroth (in Japanese: セフィロス, Sefirosu) is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy VII, its remake, the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a major antagonist in the extended Final Fantasy VII universe, Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, as well as the Kingdom Hearts franchise. He is also Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart's archnemesis. 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 that he is the chosen one, he decides to become a god and rule the planet.

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 six wings.

Safer∙Sephiroth could easily be seen as a Seraph, with a seventh wing in place of his arm (perfectly presenting an allusion to the game's number). 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.

Appearance

Sephiroth

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 later 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.

Personality

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 interest 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, essentially being the agent of its 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 wintry 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 tragic even if he is irredeemable. 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.

Relationships

  • Sephiroth and Cloud: Sephiroth and Cloud are literately archenemies. At first, Cloud deeply admired Sephiroth and wanted to become a hero on the same level as Sephiroth so he left Nibelheim to join Shinra. Although Cloud only made it into Shinra as an infantryman, Sephiroth seemed to have personal interaction with him before, as he seemed to be on friendly terms with Cloud, even asking him how it felt to be back on his hometown as he didn't have one. However, Sephiroth's razing of Nibelheim completely deteriorated any kind of friendship between them, as Cloud did not hesitate to mortally injure Sephiroth and neither did Sephiroth hesitate to severely injure and stab Cloud and he flaunted his far greater might but Cloud's rage towards Sephiroth was strong enough to give him the strength to overpower Sephiroth and he sent Sephiroth into the Lifestream but this only allowed Sephiroth to gain the power and knowledge he needed to start his diabolical plans. At first, Sephiroth thought nothing of Cloud but as a mere puppet, causing him to mentally breakdown with cruel twisted words of the true Nibelheim Incident as Cloud in his trauma has imprinted Zack's memories into himself, but Cloud's defeat of him caused Sephiroth to hate him to the point he was able to resist being taken into the Lifestream and eventually revive himself for a final duel with Cloud, where Sephiroth's arrogance once again allowed Cloud to defeat him despite being weaker. Throughout Dissidia, Sephiroth remains on antagonistic terms with Cloud, who is effectively his nemesis, with Sephiroth even ignoring the war and just seeking to fight Cloud. However, in Final Fantasy VII Remake, Sephiroth's relationship with Cloud seems to be considerably different: While Cloud is still as hateful as ever towards Sephiroth and Sephiroth is just as ruthlessly patronizing and tormenting towards Cloud, Sephiroth appears to acknowledge Cloud as a fellow SOLDIER, with the remake making it possible that Cloud may be indeed a 1ST Class SOLDIER, and wishes Cloud to join him for his yet unknown goals to "save" the planet and despite Sephiroth still having the skill to defeat Cloud, on both times he overpowered Cloud, he never follows through and kills him and in their last altercation, even gives him a hint.
  • Sephiroth, Angeal and Genesis: Sephiroth's best friends, he deeply cared for Genesis and Angeal and they were the only ones until Zack Sephiroth socialized with. Sephiroth fondly referred to Angeal's penchant of giving lectures of SOLDIER honor but was dismissive of Genesis's intense jealousy of him due to Sephiroth's superior skills and heroic status. Even after they betrayed Shinra, Sephiroth could never let go of his bond with them, refusing to hunt them down and kill them. Ultimately, it was their fall from grace that began Sephiroth's own fall as he became disillusioned with Shinra and it was Genesis who led Sephiroth to becoming insane. Sephiroth in his anger rejected to save Genesis and never mentioned either him or Genesis again.
  • Sephiroth and Zack: As Angeal's student and yet another admirer of his heroics, Sephiroth had interacted with Zack before and saved him from Ifrit but it was only with their shared reluctance to hunt down Genesis and Angeal that Zack became Sephiroth's only remaining friend. Sephiroth appeared to have a soft side towards Zack, apologizing for putting him into another mission so soon and pardoning his failure to capture Hollander and permitting him to return to Midgar to protect Aerith. However, upon Sephiroth falling into insanity, even his bond with Zack had completely vanished as Sephiroth burned down Nibelheim to Zack's outrage. As the two strongest SOLDIERS fought, Sephiroth could not be reached by Zack despite his attempts to reason with him and Zack came to accept it but was no match for Sephiroth fighting his fullest and defeated. Sephiroth never mentioned Zack again but did seem to still acknowledge him as a fellow SOLDIER, including him in his illusion of Nibelheim Incident.
  • Sephiroth and Hojo: Sephiroth despised Hojo, seeing him as an inferior scientists to Gast and holding his immorality and scientific obsession in contempt. He never knew Hojo was his father and even in his madness, Sephiroth continued to hold Hojo in contempt, being incredulous of Hojo's attempt to clone him. Hojo considered Sephiroth his greatest success and despite being dismissive of him as a father, he became obsessed with Sephiroth after seeing his repeated success: Hojo is indicated to be the director of the Silver Elite and have went to the trouble of keeping close tabs of Sephiroth's personal life and likewise he declared that Sephiroth is not dead and that he had plans to bring him back, indicating he was aware that Sephiroth had survived and expectant of his return. He even created clones of Sephiroth as if knowing that he would be alive to control them and in the Remake, he laughed upon seeing Sephiroth alive and indeed not only controlling but even possessing and shapeshifting Sephiroth Clones. Hojo even went as far as to try to help Sephiroth destroy the planet just because he saw him as his greatest success.
  • Sephiroth and Gast: Gast appeared to be the only scientist Sephiroth respected. He considered the professor to be a great scientist far above Hojo and Hollander and may have even considered him as a father figure of sorts: He was visibly distressed upon learning that Gast seemingly produced him and lamented his death. The fact that he was seemingly betrayed by the very man he looked up to was the last blow to Sephiroth, inducing his fall to sanity, and though he continued to acknowledge Gast's genius, Sephiroth was disdainful of the man for his seeming conception.
  • Sephiroth and Hollander: Although clearly not to the same level as Hojo, Sephiroth seems to be distrustful and on bad terms with Hollander. He distrusted the man enough that he wanted to personally help Genesis by donating his blood and was further disturbed when Hollander rejected him. After learning of Hollander's Project G, Sephiroth's hatred towards Hollander escalated, deeming him to blame for Genesis and Angeal's fall.

Powers and Abilities

The One-Winged Angel

Even as a child, Sephiroth showed exceptional fighting potential, with superhuman physical prowess and natural fighting ability, that would compensate for his lack of the powers of the Ancients as he was originally conceived to have and be acknowledged by Shinra, with Sephiroth's strength being the inspiration for Shinra beginning the creation of SOLDIERS. As an adult, Sephiroth's combat abilities and superior superhuman physical abilities reached immensely high levels that were unmatched by any other SOLDIER and his might was such that he was considered the best fighter ever produced by Shinra of all time and unbeatable, with Cloud describing his strength as unreal and beyond any stories of his reputed accomplishments in the fields of battle., having greatly contributing to many of the wars Shinra won. Even among the other SOLDIER Class First, Sephiroth is at a class of his own and is even at a cut above Genesis and Angeal, who were also considered alongside himself the most powerful SOLDIER 1ST Class. An extraordinarily skilled swordsman, referred to as the strongest swordsman, and also an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant, 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 can also effortlessly incorporate hand-to-hand combat moves into his swordsmanship with immense force and skill. Regarded as being the strongest fighter in the entire Final Fantasy VII verse, Sephiroth's unmatched fighting skills are seen many times even compared to other extremely strong and skilled fighters in the verse: He easily fought both Genesis and Angeal off, countering all of their attacks and pushing them back, and overpowered Genesis using powerful magic to enhance his Rapier, deflecting 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. He effortlessly disarmed Tifa of Masamune with his back turned and nonachalantly lifted her with a single hand before severely slashing her within seconds, triumphed over Zack, another powerful SOLDIER First Class who had bested Genesis, pushing Zack back steadily before quickly overpowering him in a sword lock and badly cutting him down in Crisis Core while in the Last Order, he completely outmatched and defeated Zack with ease. Even after being stabbed by the Buster Sword, Sephiroth was able to resiliently function and remain strong enough to outmatch Cloud, easily disarming and 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. Later on, even with Cloud having surpassed the level of SOLDIER First Class, Sephiroth would always gain the upper hand over Cloud and only lost in the end due to his arrogance: In Advent Children, he showed a noticeable superiority in skill and might over Cloud throughout the entirety of their clash, despite Cloud's improved combat ability, able to flawlessly and easily deflect Cloud's attacks and pressure him with his own and even easily matching Cloud's dual-bladed swordplay, in process cutting through all the pieces of Shinra building in his way with ease and even able to easily attack him bare-handed to his advantage, launching him several feet away with his blows, as well as managing to not only completely neutralize Cloud's Omnislash, blocking his strikes with little strain, but he also managed to stab Cloud before he could even come close to completing the attack with astonishing ease, before proceeding to execute a version of Octaslash that easily overwhelmed and left Cloud badly injured, with him landing 6 out of 8 blows, before being caught off-guard by his Omnislash Version 5. In the Remake, Sephiroth easily overwhelmed Cloud until he had aid from the other members of AVALANCHE and even then stood his own and despite sustaining enough damage that his Supernova was canceled, he still remained capable of proving himself a superior fighter over Cloud, at first easily countering all of Cloud's attacks while flinging him away with the force and forcing Cloud to dodge his own attacks while hardly moving at all before he pushed back Cloud in a clash of blades and disarmed him in a single maneuver. In Dissidia, Sephiroth's martial prowess is perhaps the greatest among Chaos's warriors: Unlike the other Chaos warriors, who always lost to the warriors of Cosmos, Sephiroth was able to achieve victory not once, but multiple times: He defeated Lightning and the Warrior of Light alongside the Cloud of Darkness, pushed back Lightning in their one-on-one duel, stalemated the Warrior of Light, defeated Firion and Tifa, made quick work of Terra, and though he lost to Cloud, Sephiroth was able to battle Cloud evenly and even held the upper hand before losing. In the NT, he was able to stalemate and defeat Cloud. During the events of Mobius, Sephiroth once again displays his surpassing swordsmanship and physical might, as he easily defeated Cloud in their first altercation, even mocking him as unworthy of being a SOLDIER, easily countering his attacks and powerfully flinging him away with said counters before blowing down Cloud with a shoulder punch and holding him in sword-point and even managed to casually fight off both him and Wol and come out on top, impaling Cloud severely and rendering Wol helpless by holding him in swordpoint moments after impaling Cloud. When he had Cloud under his control and Wol tried to help Cloud, Sephiroth was able to dispatch Wol within moments with ease. Overall, Sephiroth is described as the strongest character in Final Fantasy VII, with Kitase, the producer of Advent Children, confirming his might and prowess exceeded every other character in the verse and Nomura saying in the Ultimania that Sephiroth is the strongest individual.

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 all forms of Materia available to SOLDIER, such as Fire, Ice, Earth, Lightning, Revive, and Restore and is capable of casting their highest tier spells. In Crisis Core, Sephiroth displays an unseen ability to cast magical shields that could easily block the fires of a dragon and Genesis's fire spell and materialize Fire, Blizzard, Thunder and Support Materia to fight alongside him independently: The elemental materias are completely immune to the elements that compose them while the Support Materia have minor resistance and all of them are resilient to physical attacks and can cast the ga-level spells as well as Cura, Barrier and Dispel and exude energy to damage if close enough. His prowess over fire-based magic is evident by how easily he razed Nibelheim to the ground. After being immersed inside Lifestream and absorbing immeasurable 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 transmutation, 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 Remake, Sephiroth makes liberal use of powerful magic with ease in his boss fight: He can cast Aeroga, Firaga, Thundaga, and Blizzaga without Materia, infuse himself with elemental magic to perform powerful elemental attacks, such as razing the ground, unleashing multiple thunder strikes, firing blasts of wind and creating glazers of ice, cast Shadow Flare multiple times, creating 4 magnetic orbs of darkness with each cast, and is able to use an alternate version of Heartless Angel that has Sephiroth curse his feathers and send them, creating a powerful field of red energy that deals devastating damage, and a completely new spell where he is able to create a dark field of energy that continuously emits dark energy. 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. In Mobius Final Fantasy, Sephiroth also displays the ability to use summon magic without Summon Materia, summoning several creatures, which Cloud notes is something he never had before. Not only that, Sephiroth proved capable of surrounding areas in impenetrable darkness and creating Materia of his own, which he gave to Cloud and was able to use to restrain Cloud.

Using Masamune, Sephiroth can launch blades of energy capable of easily cutting through metal and concrete as well as fiery magical energy and forcing both Zack and Genesis into the defensive and pushing them back. He was also able to channel energy from his katana into the ground to release a wave of energy that Zack struggled to block. In Dissidia, Sephiroth can empower Masamune with energy to release a large slash, unleash craters of energy, and even perform multiple slices and can also unleash a circular wave of energy and create 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 and even stronger since his immersion, able to affect multiple targets. 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. After his immersion in Lifestream, Sephiroth has displayed at certain occasions the ability to teleport others with him, although he can only do this if they're close enough. He is also able to levitate and fly even before being immersed in the Lifestream, as he was able to hover down to Zack's location in Crisis Core, and can manifest a single black wing for more conventional flight.

His immersion in Lifestream has granted Sephiroth potent psychic powers. Sephiroth can read the minds of others, project highly detailed illusions and telepathically communicate with others even from vast distances. His telekinesis is strong enough to lift not only objects, but even other people, using only his mind: He was able to not only easily break down a section of the Shinra Headquarters but was even able to briefly restrain the party telekinetically. In Remake, in addition to casually launching a Mako Cannon at the party, Sephiroth has even shown the ability to manipulate matter itself, breaking down and shaping several objects into a large rock that he fired at Cloud. He is also able to manifest the Masamune at will, allowing him to leave it impaled on others while still maintaining it. Remake even shows Sephiroth is able to warp space and reality to an extent, as he slices the dark tornado created by the Whispers and opens a wormhole for himself and then Cloud and the others to go to the other side of the Midgar bridge and later on creates a portal to teleport himself and Cloud temporarily into the Edge of Creation.

Sephiroth's Limit Break is Supernova, where he unleashes a massive amount of destructive energy in the form of explosion that is so strong it seems as if it can destroy the entire solar system and in Remake, he was able to easily destroy a huge portion of Midgar with a single blast of Supernova. It is even said that powered with enough despair, Supernova is able to affect multiple dimensions.

Due to the extraordinary strength of his willpower, Sephiroth was able to retain his consciousness in Lifestream after the death of his physical body. Having been injected with Jenova cells as a fetus directly and exposed to pure jenova cells undiluted by human DNA, Sephiroth's abilities as a Project S SOLDIER marked him as the superior specimen of the Jenova Project, his quality surpassing Angeal and Genesis's Project G. He cannot degrade as his genome cannot be broken down and though he cannot be copied, he is able to deliver abilities to others via his cells, giving Cloud SOLDIER powers and Genesis believed Sephiroth's cells can transfer immunity to degradation to save him. Having overpowered Jenova's will, Sephiroth gained the ability to exert influence 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, which he was able to enhance by sheer emotion to the point of surviving not just his physical death but also spiritual defeat and create a core for himself to remain ever more unpurged by the Lifestream. In Remake, Sephiroth also proves able to shapeshift carriers of Jenova cells into himself and also transform them into eldritch entities, as he transformed Marco into himself and Jenova Alpha and after his defeat, had another Sephiroth Clone masquerade as himself before revealing the disguise. 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. In Mobius, Sephiroth proves that even though Cloud has shaken off his control, if Cloud is weak enough, he can still override Cloud's will, needing assistance from Wol for Cloud to return.

In addition to his extraordinary fighting prowess and powers, Sephiroth, as easily expectable of a well-known war leader hero and the greatest First Class SOLDIER, is an extremely intelligent individual borderline genius, especially in the arts of leadership and strategical and tactical warfare, perhaps ranking as the cleverest individual in Final Fantasy VII and among the most intelligent individuals in the entire Final Fantasy series as a whole: Regarded as the highest general in SOLDIER, Sephiroth is able to be entrusted into leading armies of other SOLDIERS into battles during the wars to victory, which greatly attributed to his fame. During his quest to conquer the Planet, Sephiroth displays his genius strategical mind and also proves to be an exceptional manipulator and deceiver by being able to first orchestrate the murder of President Shinra and freedom of Cloud and his party and then flawlessly manipulate and outthink Cloud and the party throughout the entire game while also remaining one step ahead of Shinra, ultimately ending in Sephiroth successfully summoning Meteor. He was also able to successfully torment Cloud by revealing the truth of the Nibelheim Incident in his twisted manner and even manipulating Tifa into revealing the truth subtly, to the point where Cloud completely broke down. In Remake, Sephiroth also successfully manipulates Cloud into continuing his journey to defeat him with taunting and cryptic words and preying on his desire for revenge. During the events of Mobius: Fatal Calling, Sephiroth once again effortlessly outsmarts Cloud, able to trick him into giving him the tools he needed to return to their world and despite the setback of Wol allowing Cloud to regain control, Sephiroth ultimately remained successful. Sephiroth is also shown to be highly knowledgeable and well-learned, being well-versed on the lore of Mako energy and Materia, with noticeable scientific competence and ability, being able to effortlessly identify Genesis and Angeal Copies and understand Project G much faster than Zack did, thoroughly explain why Materia is essential to use Magic and also how Mako was used to create SOLDIERS, swiftly identify the cause of malfunction in the Nibelheim Mako Reactor and figure out the way to stop it by closing the valve and effortlessly correctly analyze the process of creating monsters used by Hojo as well as read and understand the entirety of the library in the Shinra Mansion in a matter of days, managing to piece together from information he received from reports regarding the Jenova Project created by both Gast and Hojo, although the outdated nature made his conclusion incorrect and led to his insanity. This knowledge is vastly enhanced after he fell to the Lifestream, as he obtained a vast amount of knowledge from it, learning secrets about the Planet and the Cetra, obtaining an understanding of the nature of the Planet itself, the cycle of life and death, and forbidden secrets such as the White and Black Materia, and the Magic they held: Holy and Meteor. Sephiroth also had enough scientific mind to be able to fully understand the Reunion Theory constructed by Hojo and use it to his benefit.

Weapons

Sephiroth's most famous weapon is the Masamune: a 10-foot long katana that has been an occasionally available weapon in other series of Final Fantasy, though Final Fantasy VII depicts Sephiroth as the only one able to wield the weapon effectively. His signature melee-attack is the Octaslash, a swift sequence of 5 to 8 sword strikes. In addition to using it as a melee weapon, Sephiroth also wields Masamune to channel his powers over energy, performing powerful attacks in the form of blades and waves of energy.

A lesser equipment of Sephiroth is the Materia he had as the SOLDIER Hero: As Shinra's foremost and most powerful fighter, Sephiroth had mastered all forms of Materia but the original game and Crisis Core depict different Materias. As a playable character in Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth has Revive, Restore, Earth paired with All, Fire, Ice paired with All, Lightning paired with All. In Crisis Core, he uses what seems to be Barrier Materia to project a shield to protect himself from both Ifrit and Genesis's fiery attack, a small-scale Energy Materia and can use Huge Materia in battle by summoning them. However, in his later appearances, his only Materia is the Black Materia, which he uses to perform Meteor, as Sephiroth can now cast magic without Materia.

Boss

Final Fantasy VII

To Be Added

Crisis Core

Sephiroth is a boss fight in Crisis Core during the Nibelheim Incident and fought in the Nibel Reactor. He can prove to be among the most difficult and powerful bosses in the game, as he is able to summon 4 Huge Materia: Fire, Blizzard, Thunder and Support. All those Materia have huge amounts of health, resists physical attacks and are immune to the elements composing them, though the Support Materia can only slightly resist elemental spells. Their offensive ability not only extends to casting spells to the ga-level, in the Support Materia case being using Cura, Barrier and Dispel, but are also able to exude magical energy to harm Zack if he is close enough. Even without the Materia, Sephiroth is still not to be underestimated as he can dish out punishing damage with his Masamune and he cannot be surprise attacked as he will simply turn around and attack faster than Zack could attack Sephiroth. His attacks range from 2-to-4 hit combos and can steadily wear down Zack unless he has high defense. Sephiroth's most devastating attack is Heartless Angel, which will deplete Zack's health to one and cannot be blocked, but Octaslash and Draw Slash are not to be underestimated as well as unlike the Materia spells, they cannot be interrupted.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

To Be Added

Quotes

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!
~ Sephiroth
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.
~ Sephiroth.

Kingdom Hearts

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.

Cast

Japanese English
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)

Trivia

  • Sephiroth is one of the most popular and iconic villains in the Final Fantasy franchise.
  • 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.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Part One marks Sephiroth as the only main villain that wasn't defeated in the climax of the series conflict at any sense of the word, as Caius Ballad, the main villain of Final Fantasy XIII-2, despite surviving his defeat, became more or less docile in Lightning Returns due to failing to get rid of his immortality, returning as the main villain for the upcoming next parts of the Remake.
  • 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.
    • Ironically, Sephiroth's backstory of being created by a mad scientist who wanted to utilize the power he possessed resembled that of the first incarnation of Superman, William Dunn, as well as his being "created" by Professor Ernest Smalley.
  • 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.

Navigation

           Final Fantasy logo.png Villains

Final Fantasy
Garland | Fiends of Chaos | Chaos | Astos

Final Fantasy II
Palamecian Empire
Emperor Mateus | Leon | Borghen | Dark Emperor | Light Emperor

Final Fantasy III
Xande | Djinn | Gigameth | Goldor | Gutsco | Hein | Cloud of Darkness

Final Fantasy IV
Baron Empire
Golbez | Kain Highwind | Baigan | Dr. Lugae | Red Wings | Elemental Archfiends

Others
Zemus | Maenad | The Creator

Final Fantasy V
Exdeath | Gilgamesh | Enkidu | Demons of the Rift | Void | Enuo

Final Fantasy VI
Gestahlian Empire
Emperor Gestahl | Kefka Palazzo | Typhon | Ultros

Cult of Kefka
Kefka Palazzo | Magic Master

Final Fantasy VII
Shinra Inc.
President Shinra | Rufus Shinra | Heidegger | Palmer | Professor Hojo | Professor Hollander | Scarlet
Turks
Elena | Reno | Rude | Tseng Remnants
Kadaj | Loz | Yazoo

Others
Don Corneo | Fuhito | Genesis | Jenova | Omega Weiss | Sephiroth

Final Fantasy VIII
Adel | Fujin | Griever | NORG | President Vinzer Deling | Raijin | Seifer Almasy | Ultimecia

Final Fantasy IX
Alexandrian Empire
Queen Brahne | Thorn and Zorn | Meltigemini | Kuja

Others
Garland | Necron

Final Fantasy X
Yevon
Seymour Guado | Yo Mika | Wen Kinoc | Lady Yunalesca

Leblanc Syndicate
Leblanc | Logos | Ormi

Others
Jecht | Shuyin | Sin | Yu Yevon

Final Fantasy XI
Promathia | Shadow Lord | Shantotto

Final Fantasy XII
Archadian Empire
Vayne Solidor | Doctor Cid | Gabranth | Ba'Gamnan | Bergan | Ghis | Venat | Gerun

Others
Judge of Wings | Feolthanos

Final Fantasy XIII
Barthandelus | Bhunivelze | Caius Ballad | Jihl Nabaat | Order of Salvation | Orphan | Yaag Rosch

Final Fantasy XIV
Garlean Empire
Varis Zos Galvus | Nael Van Darnus | Gaius Van Baelsar | Zenos Yae Galvus | Livia Sas Junius | Nero Tol Scaeva | Regula Van Hydrus | Rhitahtyn Sas Arvina

Ascians
The Paragons/Unsundered Ones
Lahabrea | Elidibus | Emet-Selch
Individuals
Igeyorhm | Nabriales | Warriors of Darkness | Fandaniel

Illuminati
Quickthinx Allthoughts

Others
Heavens' Ward | Lolorito | Nidhogg | Teledji Adeledji | True Brothers of the Faith | Archbishop Thordan VII | Vauthry

Final Fantasy XV
Empire of Nilfheim
Iedolas Aldercapt | Ardyn Izunia | Glauca | Ravus Nox Fleuret | Loqi Tummelt | Caligo Ulldor | Verstael Besithia

Others
Bahamut | Ifrit | Somnus Lucis Caelum

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Chaos
Servants of Chaos (Asmodeus | Beezlebub | Belphegor | Leviathan | Lucifer | Mammon

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
General Hein | Phantoms

Final Fantasy: Unlimited
Earl Tyrant | Fungus | Herba | Oshca | Pist Shaz XI | Solijashy

Final Fantasy Adventure
Dark Lord | Julius | Glaive Empire

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Meteor Parasite | Raem

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Larkeicus

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Dark Lord

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Cu Caspel | Galdes

Final Fantasy Dimensions
Elgo

Four Generals
Asmodai | Baugauven | Styx | Vata

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Dark Lord

Vile Four
Dualhead Hydra | Flamerus Rex | Ice Golem | Pazuzu

Others
Skullrus Rex | Stone Golem | Twinhead Wyvern

Final Fantasy Tactics

The Lucavi
Belias | Cuchulainn | Dycedarg Beoulve | Marquis Elmdor | Vormav Tingel/Hashmal

Others
Algus | Delita Hyral | Gafgarion | Gerrith Barrington | St. Ajora | | Wiegraf Folles

Final Fantasy Tactics A2
Duelhorn
Alys the Ensorceled | Duke Snakeheart | Maquis | The Night Dancer

Khamja
Ewen | Illua

Others
Klesta | Neukhia

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Llednar Twem | Queen Remedi

Final Fantasy Type-0
Cid Aulstyne | Gala | Gilgamesh Ashur | Nimbus | Qator Bashtar | Qun'mi Tru'e

           KH.png Villains

Real Organization XIII
Master Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Terra-Xehanort | Ansem, Seeker of Darkness | Xemnas | Vanitas | Xigbar | Vexen | Saïx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Dark Riku

Organization XIII
Xemnas | Xigbar | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx | Axel | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Roxas | Xion

Council of Disney Villains
Maleficent | Pete | Jafar | Hades | Ursula | Oogie Boogie | Captain Hook | Hector Barbossa | Scar | Riku

Other Disney Villains
Anastasia Tremaine | Beagle Boys | Beast | Black Guards | Bo'sun | Card Soldiers | Cave of Wonders | Cecil Clayton | Cerberus | Chernabog | Cheshire Cat | Crew of the Black Pearl | CLU 2 | Cy-Bugs | Davy Jones | Diablo | Drizella Tremaine | Fates | Flotsam & Jetsam | Gantu | Hayabusa | Hydra | Iago | Judge Claude Frollo | Julius | Kraken | Lady Tremaine | Lock, Shock and Barrel | Lord Cutler Beckett | Lucifer | Magic Mirror | Maleficent's Goons | MCP | Monstro | Mother Gothel | Mr. Smee | Neverland Pirates | Pain & Panic | Prince Hans | Queen Grimhilde | Queen of Hearts | Randall Boggs | Razoul | Rinzler | Sabor | Sark | Shan Yu | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Sour Bill | Tick Tock | Titans (Lythos, Hydros, Pyros & Stratos) | Turbo | Zeus

Heartless
Ansem (manga) | Anti-Sora | Antlion | Arch Behemoth | Behemoth | Blizzard Lord & Volcanic Lord | Crimson Prankster | Dark Follower | Dark Thorn | Darkside | Demon Tide | Destroyed Behemoth | Dustflier | Enraged Elk | Grim Guardianess | Grim Reaper | Groundshaker | Guard Armor | Illuminator | Infernal Engine | King of Toys | Kurt Zisa | Leechgrave | Lich | Opposite Armor | Parasite Cage | Phantom | Possessor | Pot Centipede | Pot Scorpion | Prison Keeper | Red Armor | Ruler of the Sky | Shadow Sora | Shadow Stalker | Sköll | Sneak Army | Sora's Heartless | Stealth Sneak | Storm Rider | Thresholder | Trickmaster | World of Chaos | Xehanort's Guardian

Nobodies
Specter | Twilight Thorn

Unversed
Belly Balloon | Cursed Coach | Element Cluster | Flame Box | Floating Flora | Gluttonous Goo | Iron Imprisoner | Lone Runners | Mad Treant | Metamorphosis | Mimic Master | Ringer | Symphony Master | Trinity Armor | Vanitas Remnant | Vitality Vial | Wheel Master

Dream Eaters
Anti Black Coat | Armored Ventus Nightmare | Char Clawbster | Chill Clawbster | Commantis | Dark Hide | Hockomonkey | Holey Moley | Spellican | Wargoyle

Others
Braig | The Experiment | Fuu | Hostile Program | Ice Colossus | No Heart | Phantom Aqua | Rai | Replica Xehanort | Riku Replica | Seifer Almasy | Sephiroth

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