Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Final Fantasy 7: Shinra

I mentioned before that the true villain of Final Fantasy 7, at least for disc 1, was really the Shinra Corporation. Yet, after escaping Midgar their presence in the game changes dramatically. We have a lot to talk about.

The Shinra Corporation's primary role after Midgar is one of an incompetent adversary at best and simple comic relief at worst. You wouldn't think a world-wide corporate government would be able to function given its leadership, though the more I look at them the more I suspect they function despite their leadership.

There are competent, even sympathetic people within the company. The game starts off by coloring it as a very blank and white situation, but that's the bias from the point of view of a violent extremist group. In fact, most of the world's population seems dependent on the company's services, and I imagine many of the company's employees respect that burden of power. Reeve springs to mind.

The Turks in particular, despite their position as a sort of constant nuisance, seem to be mostly relatively cool people I can't help but like. Sure, they do things like crashing down an entire sector of Midgar in order to eliminate a terrorist cell, but that was under orders; you can't be a member of a special agent squad if you can't handle the occasional morally reprehensible mission.

Outside of the parameters of their duties, though, the Turks seem like fun, funny, reasonable folks. Tseng and Aeris were practically friends. Reno and Rude are just a couple of dudes who enjoy their work. Elena is an overachiever. None of them have many qualms about working together with Cloud's group when needed.

Really, the biggest problems in Shinra are Heidegger, Scarlet, and sometimes Rufus. Heidegger is incompetent and violent. Scarlet is wily and remorseless.

Rufus is a bit more complex. He's intelligent and brave enough to do what needs to be done in most situations, such as fighting Weapons or escaping calamities. At first it seems like he should be a huge villain since he's running the company with a focus on using fear to control people, but he doesn't really seem to follow through on that plan--Scarlet had that agenda pretty well secured already, and all things considered Rufus seems to start fewer wars than his father did. It's as if he had this ideal in mind before he took office, but then the reality of the office forced him to put aside his radical ideas in favor of more practical ones.

And then, of course, there's the true villain: Hojo, the mad scientist who caused almost every major problem short of Mako energy itself. While Mako Reactors are killing the planet, Hojo's work is killing everything else. It would seem that he's directly responsible for a large portion of the monsters in the world, his experiments created Sephiroth, he killed Dr. Gast, experimented on Vincent, Cloud, and Zack, and was probably the last straw that broke Cloud's mind in the crater.

So, why in the world were women hanging all over him at Costa Del Sol?

1 comment:

  1. He's basically the Richard Feynman of that world. Plus smart is sexy.