Everything You Need To Know About Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's New Characters
There's A Lot To Love (And Learn) About Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's New Characters
With Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's release date recently announced by Square Enix, fans are growing excited--especially after the trailer revealing the launch date also revealed some new information about which characters will appear in the game. Naturally, the crew from Final Fantasy 7 Remake are all making a return (well, minus the characters who didn't survive the first half of the adventure). Cloud, Aerith, Barrett, Tifa, and Red XIII (this time as an official, fully playable party member) will all be playable characters, and the trailer also revealed that even the likes of Kyrie Canaan--a new NPC introduced in Remake who can frequently be seen spewing Shinra propaganda--will be making a return in Rebirth.
Naturally, the upcoming game with also feature Sephiroth (and all of his glorious hair). But the most recent Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailer revealed the game will also feature the return of some familiar fan-favorites who were absent from all or most of Remake. Some of these characters will appear as charismatic NPCs, some as playable party members, and some as what Tetsuya Nomura refers to as "accompanying members"--party members who are not necessarily always with the party, and who cannot be controlled in combat the same way as official party member (similar to the way Red XIII was used in Remake).
Curious which characters are returning in Rebirth? // Curious as to which characters are making their grand debut in Rebirth? We've got you covered. See the list below to learn who will be joining Cloud and his friends to track down Sephiroth when Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launches on February 29.
Zack Fair is, like Cloud, a SOLDIER First Class. The two were friends and comrades during their time with Shrina, and Zack even gave Cloud his iconic Buster Sword. Zack also appeared in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7, a 2008 prequel to the events of Final Fantasy 7 that was recently remastered and ported onto modern consoles.
During the events of Crisis Core, Zack formed a romantic relationship with Aerith, meeting her after he crashed through the roof of the church in Sector 5's slums--exactly the way Cloud would in Final Fantasy 7. In addition to the Buster Sword, Zack is also the source of another noteworthy character accessory: Aerith's signature pink ribbon, given to her as a gift by Zack.
In the original game, Zack ultimately bit the dust, gunned down by Shinra's army. But his brief appearance in Remake flipped the script, and Zack ended up surviving. Injured but alive, he carried a weakened Cloud to safety. From the looks of the trailer--which shows Zack giving Cloud a piggyback through a crowd of people--Final Fantasy Rebirth seems like it may pick off right where Remake left off. Zack's inclusion in the second installment of the story could certainly make for some interesting plot developments, too. Depending on the choices the player makes, Cloud may be pursing a romance with Aerith. With Zack--who also has a romantic past with Aerith--now back in the picture, his friendship with Cloud may be out to the test in a new way.
Cait Sith has been confirmed as a playable character in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and the launch date reveal trailer gave players their first look at Square Enix's modern reimagining of the furry little creature.
Speaking of Cait Sith's fur, what lies beneath it may come as a surprise to new players--despite looking like a cuddly, anthropomorphized cat, Cait Sith is actually a robot. In battle, Cait rides Mog, a giant robotic Moogle, shouting directions through a megaphone to control his giant mount's behavior during combat. Though there's more to Cait Sith's background, addressing it would be getting into major spoiler territory, so suffice it to say there is far more to this cuddly little meow-bot than meets the eye.
The son of President Shinra, Rufus did briefly appear near the end of Remake as a boss. Formerly the vice president of Shinra Electric Power Company, Rufus was promoted to president after his father died at Sephiroth's hands. Despite being almost entirely unfazed by his father's death, he did appear to be concerned by the strange events leading up to it, and was curious regarding the involvement of Cloud, Aerith, Barrett, and Tifa in the events that transpired.
In the Rebirth trailer, Rufus can be seen ordering Shinra military personnel to fire a cannon (likely the Sister Ray mako cannon) at an unseen target. In the original game, after battling Cloud, Rufus trails Cloud and his companions, hoping to reach Sephiroth before they do. Based on the most recent trailer, it seems Rufus will be up to his usual hijinks, following Cloud in his quest to track down Sephiroth and attempting to beat him to the punch. Interestingly, Rufus can see Whispers.
Yuffie is a materia hunter from Wutai, and has been confirmed as a playable character in Rebirth. Formerly an independent nation-state, Wutai was brought to its knees after a war with Shinra, mainly serving as a resort town after the war tore it apart. Determined to restore her home to its former glory, Yuffie often goes on various excursions to steal powerful materia from Shinra. In the original game, Yuffie can be found in a forest, initially attacking Cloud and his party with her weapon of choice, a comically huge shuriken. After being defeated, demanding a rematch, and ultimately being denied, Yuffie joins the party, initially planning to steal from Cloud and his friends.
Though not in the initial release of the game, Yuffie appeared in 2021's Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, which saw her and her partner Sonon embark on a mission to steal a legendary type of materia from Shinra.
Yuffie failed to get ahold of the special materia she was hunting, being told by Scarlet that Shinra had postponed such projects in favor of focusing on more pressing matters--namely, dropping the Sector 7 plate and killing thousands of the sector's inhabitants. As the pair were relentlessly pursued by Shinra, Sonon eventually sacrificed himself to ensure Yuffie would survive. Yuffie escaped just in time to watch the Sector 7 plate fall, and was last seen leaving the area on a chocobo, still determined to rebuild her home. As Intergrade was released a year after Remake, Rebirth will be the first time some players meet Yuffie.
Bugenhagen is village elder of Cosmo Canyon, a pilgrimage site for those who study planetology, and claims he is nearly 130 years old in the original Final Fantasy 7. Like Aerith, it is implied that Bugenhagen can hear the "voices" of the planet, and he appears disgusted by the way Shinra has begun draining the planet's Lifestream in pursuit of mako--despite the fact that he once worked for Shinra (though it seems the company's questionable use of the Lifestream may have played a part in Bugenhagen's decision to leave). In addition to being protective of the planet itself, Bugenhagen also has a soft spot for Red XIII. In the original game, Red XIII refers to Bugenhagen as his grandfather, though it's clear this is not meant in a literal sense.
Though he's not a playable character in either version of the game, Bugenhagen plays a large role in Red XIII's character development in the original game. With Red XIII permanently joining the party in Rebirth and Bugenhagen appearing in the trailer, it seems likely that Cloud and the rest of the party will pay a visit to Red's pseudo-grandfather in Rebirth, just as they did in the original game.
Though he only appears in the trailer quite briefly, this character's identity was was revealed by the YouTube captions in the recent Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launch date trailer, which refer to him as "Doc Sheiran."
Interestingly, Doc Sheiran doesn't appear in the original game at all, but he does appear in Trace Of Two Pasts, a 2021 novel that focuses on Aerith and Tifa. In it, Aerith and Tifa share stories from their childhoods. Doc Sheiran appears in Tifa's portion of the novel, shortly after the Nibelheim Incident. Doc Sheridan resides in Corel, where a young Cloud arrives with an injured Tifa in desperate need of medical attention. Doc Sheridan repairs Tifa's sternum, which was badly wounded by Sephiroth, and leaves her in the care of one Dr. Dhamini Oranye once her condition has improved.
Since Doc Sheridan plays such a minor part in the novel and doesn't appear in the original game, his appearance in the recent Rebirth trailer is quite interesting. What sort of role he'll play in Rebirth's plotline is anyone's guess, but there's one hint standing behind him: A Sephiroth clone. Perhaps he's studying them?
Dio is the owner of The Golden Saucer, an amusement park featured in the original game, and pictured in Remake's most recent trailer. A fan of body-building and showmanship, Dio appears in the original game basically wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, though it seems like he's been given new threads in Rebirth.
Due to a misunderstanding, Cloud and the rest of the party make an absolutely terrible impression, angering Dio so much that he throws the lot of them in jail. Eventually, things are resolved, and Dio apologizes with a gift for Cloud and his friends. Dio is not (and has never been) a playable party member, but since The Golden Saucer is featured heavily in the new trailer--and serves as a key location in the original game--players will probably get to know Dio quite well in Rebirth. (Whether or not he'll be given a last name in this version of the game remains to be seen, however.)
Cid Highwind is a former Shinra employee and an aviation enthusiast with a pipe dream of one day sending a rocket into space. He owns an airship, the Highwind, and a plane named Tiny Bronco. In the original game, he joins the party after a Shinra executive attempts to steal the Tiny Bronco.
When he's not swearing and chain-smoking, he's complaining--about anything and everything. Still, Cid is a lovable, good-hearted character and a powerful ally in battle. As a playable party member, Cid wields a large spear. Despite not appearing in any Rebirth trailers so far, Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed all party members from the original game will return in Rebirth, though it's not yet clear if he'll be a fully controllable party member or an accompanying member similar to Red XIII's role in Remake. But Nomura has said that, like Remake, Rebirth will include accompanying party members who will become official playable party members in the third and final installment in the series, so even if Cid is only an accompanying member in Rebirth, players will still get a chance to explore his combat abilities--they just might have to wait a few more years.
In the original game, Elena is the newest member of the Turks, recruited after Reno is injured. Despite her inexperience, Elena takes her new role a bit more seriously than Reno and Rude, but her clumsiness often gets in her way. She can also display poor judgement at times, but is ultimately committed to getting the job done. Elena was an excellent student in school, and it's implied that her determination to succeed at all costs may be due in part to her relationship with her sister, who she appears to feel the need to compete with. Elena also has a crush on Tseng, the leader of the Turks.
It's impossible to know how much of her personality from the original game will be on display in Rebirth, but after the launch date trailer, one thing is certain: Elena will definitely appear in the game. At one point in the original game, Elena and Yuffie are kidnapped by Don Corneo. With Yuffie also joining the cast in Rebirth, it's possible we'll see the kidnapping plotline play out once more.
Vincent Valentine was also featured in the Rebirth launch date trailer (though we only got to see the back of him). In the original game, Vincent is a playable party member with shape-shifting abilities and a deep affinity for firearms. Despite sleeping in a coffin, Vincent is not actually a vampire. Instead, it is implied that he takes years-long coffin-naps as a form of self-punishment for past mistakes, which he refers to as "sins."
Vincent joins Cloud's party after the group stumbles across his coffin in the basement of Shinra Manor, disturbing his slumber. When Vincent learns that they'll likely be encountering Professor Hojo at some point, he agrees to go with them. So, why is this guy self-flagellating via coffin hibernation, and what's his problem with Professor Hojo? The answer lies deep within spoiler territory, so if you've never played the original game (or played it so long ago you don't remember the details), you may wish to skip this section.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
Like quite a few characters on this list, Vincent is also a former Shinra employee. Originally a Turk, Vincent was eventually assigned to keep an eye on the in-progress Jenova Project, where he fell in love with the one of project's assisting scientists, Lucretia Crescent. Unknown to Vincent, Lucretia had once been an assistant to his father, Grimoire Valentine, who died shielding Lucretia from an explosion after an experiment backfired. Experiencing what appears to be survivor's guilt, Lucretia stamps out her blossoming romance with Vincent, distancing herself from him and eventually beginning a relationship with Professor Hojo, which then led to a pregnancy.
Professor Hojo (who was apparently getting very comfortable with his mad scientist side at this point) wanted to use the fetus as a test subject for the Jenova Project, something that Lucretia was willing to go along with due to her commitment to their scientific endeavors. Vincent, however, was horrified, and strongly opposed the use of a human test subject.
When the experiment made Lucretia gravely ill, Vincent angrily confronted Hojo, who promptly shot him in the chest. Hojo used Vincent's body--which was still barely clinging to life--in a number of experiments meant to improve human endurance and induce the ability to transform. The experiments failed due to the fact that Vincent was so close to death. In a last-ditch effort to save him, Lucretia introduced Chaos-tainted mako into Vincent's body, saving his life, but also turning him into a vessel for Chaos, a powerful, demon-like entity who proved impossible to control. Realizing this, Lucretia administered Protomateria, a powerful substance discovered by Vincent's father, Grimoire. Lucretia suspected that Protomateria was created by the planet itself as a means of preventing Chaos from wreaking havoc unchecked.
Between Hojo's strengthening experiments and the Protomateria, the procedure worked. Vincent survived, gaining a multitude of powerful abilities, but was horrified upon waking up on the operating table, seeing himself as a monster. But while Vincent was still unconscious, Lucretia gave birth, and her child was whisked away by the cruel Dr. Hojo before she even had a chance to hold it. Between the anguish of losing her child and thinking she was to blame for the deaths of both Vincent and his father. Lucretia attempted to end her life, but the experiments on her body made that impossible, so she chose to flee instead, isolating herself from society. Similarly, Vincent opted for a decades-long dormant sleep to atone for his "sins" (despite the fact that, aside from working for Shinra, he never really committed any evil acts).
As for Hojo and Lucretia's baby? Well, suffice it to say the child will definitely make an appearance in Rebirth.
One curious aspect of the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launch date trailer was the odd amount of screen time focused on this seemingly random guy in a hood. At first glance, it's very easy to write him off as a Sephiroth clone, and while he very well may be one, there are a few standard feature's he's missing.
Sephiroth clones are typically labeled and/or tattooed with a number. Though we only see one side of this mysterious man, he doesn't seem to have a number printed on he shoulder of his cloak (though it could be on the other side, and we can't see enough of his skin to tell if there's a tattoo anywhere on him). But even more curious is his cloak. Sephiroth clones tend to have dark grey cloaks with flowing, tattered fabric that sways in ethereal manner, even when there's no breeze. These cloaks appear to have some sort of pattern around the edges of the hood, and a strange white symbol painted on the back. The cloak worn by the mysterious man in the trailer bears none of these hallmarks, and appears to just be a normal black cloak. But as previously mentioned, we don't get a look at the full cloak, and it's also possible the Sephiroth clones have had their cloaks redesigned for Rebirth.
But if there's one thing clones all have in common, its their facial appearance. Despite not actually being biological clones of Sephiroth, they are a sort of copy of him, functioning more like puppets he can control. Every Sephiroth clone seen in Remake has and extremely pale, almost sickly complexion, silver eyes, and no facial hair. The fact that the man featured in the trailer looks perfectly healthy with a bright, peachy complexion, brown facial hair, and a pretty standard-looking cloak, it's possible he's simply a different character (or a new one entirely). Only time will tell, but the good news is the wait won't be long--Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launches on February 29, 2024.