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''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-''
クライシス コア -ファイナルファンタジーVII-
Kuraishisu Koa -Fainaru Fantajī Sebun-
Developer(s) Square Enix
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Release date Japan 13 September 2007

United States/Canada March 25 2008
Europe June 20 2008
Australia June 20 2008

Genre Role-Playing Game
Game modes Single player
Ratings ESRB: Teen
Platform(s) PlayStation Portable
"Men cry not for themselves, but for their comrades."
—Tagline, a quote from LOVELESS.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- is an action-RPG from Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable. The game is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII and is also the fourth entry to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.



Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Crisis Core begins seven years before the start of Final Fantasy VII, and encompasses the events that take place until just before the beginning. Its hero is Zack Fair, who was a minor character in Final Fantasy VII and the previous owner of the Buster Sword before Cloud Strife. He is a SOLDIER, working for Shinra under Lazard Deusericus. The game tells the tale of Zack's battle against the villainous SOLDIER defector, Genesis Rhapsodos, and the other perverted products of the Jenova Project. Since it takes place before Final Fantasy VII, many places on the Planet are either under construction or otherwise different from Final Fantasy VII. For example, the city of Midgar has not yet been completed, and the town of Nibelheim is still filled with its original inhabitants. Several playable or otherwise major characters from Final Fantasy VII make cameo appearances.

Zack Fair, the hero of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-

At the start of the game Zack is a lowly SOLDIER 2nd Class, dreaming of reaching the peak of SOLDIER 1st Class and becoming a hero. He is taught by Angeal Hewley, a 1st Class SOLDIER and the original owner of the Buster Sword. Angeal is a man who believes strongly in SOLDIER honor, loyalty, and friendship. He also jokingly calls Zack a "restless puppy". Zack and Angeal are sent to Fort Tamblin to fight in the final battle of the Wutai War. Along the way, they learn that Angeal's best friend from his hometown of Banora Village, Genesis Rhapsodos has betrayed Shinra. Angeal then disappears. They also find several soldiers working under Genesis. These men look exactly like Genesis, transformed thanks to stolen Shinra technology courtesy of Genesis. Sephiroth arrives and explains that Angeal has deserted SOLDIER.

Zack refuses to believe that his friend and mentor would simply turn out to be a turn-coat. He is sent to Banora Village along with the Turk Tseng to investigate a disappearance. Here they find several graves, including those of Genesis's parents. The only person he can find is Angeal's mother Gillian Hewley. Zack leaves her by herself, but when he returns he finds Angeal and Genesis together, and Gillian dead. Shocked by the idea that Angeal may have killed his own mother, Zack becomes angry. At this, Genesis then sprouts a single black wing similar to that of Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children from the left side of his back and flies away. The town is then bombed by the aircraft of the Shinra Army.

In Shinra Headquarters, Zack is finally made a First by Lazard. It is then that Genesis and his army launch an assault upon Shinra Headquarters. Zack fights his way through the enemies, and rescues the Turk, Cissnei. He and Sephiroth, the legendary SOLDIER hero, head to the Sector 5 Reactor. Genesis had joined forces with a former Shinra scientist, Dr. Hollander, the man behind the creation of Project G ("Project Gillian" for Angeal's mother). This branch of the Jenova Project created both Genesis and Angeal. Here Sephiroth tells how Genesis is suffering from degradation, slowly dying because of his tainted birth. They also find monsters that have Angeal's face, similar to the Genesis Clones that make up Genesis's Army. Zack tries to capture Hollander in the Reactor, but Angeal arrives and shows Zack his white wings. Refusing to fight his old master, Angeal drops Zack down into the Midgar Slums below.

Characters in Crisis Core

Falling into the Sector 5 Church, Zack lands into the flower bed tilled by Aerith Gainsborough in a direct parallel to Cloud and Aerith's second meeting in Final Fantasy VII. Zack and Aerith decide to go on a date together in the Slums, which begins a relationship that lasts until Zack is lost later in the game. After playing in the Slums, Zack has to return to the top of the plate because of another attack by Genesis. Angeal finally decides to take a clear side in the battle, and helps Zack beat the Genesis Army out of Midgar.

Afterwards, Zack is sent to the abandoned town of Modeoheim in the frigid wastes of the Northern Continent. He goes along with Tseng, and a Shinra Guard named Cloud Strife. Since both Zack and Cloud are "country boys", the two quickly become friends. At Modeoheim, Zack and the team find an abandoned Mako warehouse, which Genesis has been using as a base. Zack storms the facility and rescues Hollander from a vengeful Genesis, angry at Hollander's failure to stop the degradation. A weakened Genesis tries to fight Zack, but is defeated. Genesis falls into the abyss below, and is assumed dead. Hollander flees into the town of Modeoheim during the battle, while Zack pursues. At an ruined bathhouse, Zack finds Angeal. Hollander tells how Angeal was the true success of Project G, having Jenova's power of a two-way genetic conduit. He is able to pass off his own genes, and take in those of other organisms. Angeal, no longer wishing to be a monster, takes in several breed monsters and turns into a hideous creature, Angeal Penance. Zack defeats this creature, and mortally wounds Angeal. Just before he dies, Angeal passes on his Buster Sword and the legacy of SOLDIER honor to Zack. Dr. Hollander is captured as well. With all three major threats to Shinra gone, the war seems to be over.

Zack now takes over Angeal's role as the heart and soul of SOLDIER, speaking to trainees and encouraging recruits. After all that he has been through, Shinra sends him to Costa del Sol, reportedly for a vacation. As Zack relaxes on the beach, several Genesis Clones come out of the beach to attack, showing that Genesis and his army are very much still alive and willing to fight. Zack defeats them with an umbrella and is sent to Junon where Genesis has launched a full-scale attack. Junon is where Dr. Hollander was sent after being taken in Modeoheim. Genesis and his army manage to cause enough chaos for Hollander to slip out. Their attack was successful largely due to the intelligence given by the surprise traitor, Director Lazard.

Sephiroth briefly takes over the operations of SOLDIER. Noticing that Genesis seems to be attacking Mako Reactors around the Planet, he plans an operation in Nibelheim, the hometown of Cloud. Zack is able to visit Midgar and Aerith one last time before going off on his ill-fated last mission. Sephiroth, Zack, Cloud, and another Shinra Guard arrive in Nibelheim and are lead to the Mako Reactor on Mt. Nibel by a guide, Tifa Lockhart. At the Reactor, they find hideous monsters created by over-exposure to Mako. Sephiroth finds a tank labeled "JENOVA" - the name of his "mother" - within is the vaguely feminine form of the alien creature. With his own past in doubt, Sephiroth goes down into the basement of the Shinra Mansion, reading the files of Dr. Gast over Project S of the Jenova Project. Driven insane by the knowledge of his birth, Sephiroth goes on a rampage and destroys Nibelheim, killing most of the population. Zack chases after the SOLDIER hero, up to the Reactor. Sephiroth tries to free his "mother" from her tank, cutting Tifa down along the way. Zack confronts Sephiroth and fights him in two Boss Battles. Despite Zack's skills, Sephiroth defeats him. Cloud then arrives, furious over the death of his mother and the grave injuries to Tifa. Using an unknown power, Cloud defeats Sephiroth, sending him into the Lifestream along with Jenova's head. There Sephiroth waits until the events of Final Fantasy VII. Though Cloud wins, he is badly wounded, and falls.

Angeal, Sephiroth, and Genesis

Professor Hojo, the mastermind of Project S, takes the beaten bodies of Zack and Cloud. He starts a new experiment, this one to create the Sephiroth Clones to test his Jenova Reunion Theory. Zack and Cloud are infused with cells from Sephiroth, and lie asleep in tanks for four years. Zack is finally awoken by what seems to be Angeal. But since Zack is a SOLDIER, and somewhat resistant to Mako because of the SOLDIER process, he has enough strength to drag himself and a comatose Cloud out of a rebuilt Nibelheim through the ranks of Shinra soldiers.

As Zack and Cloud make their way across the world to safety, they run into Genesis and his clones. Since Zack and Cloud are infused with S Cells, Genesis wishes to take the two of them to stop his degradation. A Genesis Clone tests Genesis's plan by eating a lock of Zack's hair. This turns the Clone into a monster, which Zack defeats. Afterward, Zack then travels to his hometown of Gongaga, to see his parents. Cissnei appears to warn Zack telling him that going to Gongaga is too obvious, Shinra and others will expect this move. She also tells Zack in her last words that "Cissnei" is not her real name. Genesis and Hollander, now a Genesis Clone attack. The person who Zack thought was Angeal that protects him and Cloud is actually Director Lazard, now dying of the same degradation that Genesis and his Clones are suffering from. Zack chases after Hollander one last time. This time, Hollander decides to stand and fight, but Zack is able to defeat Hollander.

After years of fighting, Zack finally is able to put together where Genesis has been able to hide for so long. Genesis is always seen carrying a Banora White, and thus must have been hiding in Banora. Zack makes his way into a secret cave beneath the cratered land that used to hold Banora Village. He finds Genesis hiding at the end of the cave, now healed of his Degradation thanks to "the Goddess". Genesis fights Zack, but is defeated again. Afterward, Zack drags Genesis's limp body up to his campsite to join a comatose Cloud and a dying Lazard in a bizarre picnic of half-dead bodies. Lazard, a clone of Angeal in this point of the story, had just fought Shinra soldiers, with the help of a canine Angeal Clone monster, which Zack recognizes as the same one that defended Aerith at the church earlier. Both are dying, from the wounds and degradation. As the Angeal clone dies and fades away, its body is replaced with a letter, one of eighty nine that Aerith sent during the intervening four years, and the last she sent before giving up on receiving a reply. Upon reading this letter, Zack is shocked to find that he has been gone for four years. Desperate to show her that he is still alive, Zack makes his way to Midgar to rejoin Aerith. Later, Nero, and Weiss, the future leaders of Deepground arrive dressed as 1st Class SOLDIERs, and take Genesis away.

Before Zack can reach Midgar, the Shinra Army finally tracks him down and appears in force to stop him. Zack fights with everything he has, fighting to join his love back in the city. However, the numbers are too much for him, and Zack is mortally wounded. Looking up into the raining sky, Zack feels his life fading away, as does Aerith, tending to her garden a few short miles away in Midgar's slums. As Zack dies, a terribly confused Cloud awakes, and barely conscious, sees his friend dying on the ground. Just as Angeal before him, Zack passes down the Buster Sword and his SOLDIER honor to Cloud. This, along with the torture he experienced at Hojo's hands, shatters Cloud's mind, and causes him to merge Zack's personality and memories with his own to create a new personality and history a short time later. The real Angeal descends from the sky to bring Zack into the Lifestream. Cloud wanders into Midgar, dragging the Buster Sword on the ground as he goes. The game ends as Cloud rides the train towards the attack on Reactor 1, just like the image of Zack's training mission in the beginning of the game, wearing a modification of the SOLDIER 1st Class uniform as in the beginning of Final Fantasy VII, in which he declares himself a SOLDIER First Class, followed by a cut to black and a simple screen of text telling the player that the story continues in the original Final Fantasy VII.


A Battle in Crisis Core

Crisis Core is both an action and turn-based RPG, with a stream of extremely fast turns creating the illusion of real-time combat. Like the Square & Disney hybrid series Kingdom Hearts, the player chooses actions from a small menu, featuring attack, magic, special attack, and item choices. The key feature of gameplay is the DMW - a small slot machine-like screen in the upper left-hand corner. Images and numbers scroll in each of the 3 slots continuously, consuming Soldier Points (SP). Combinations of sevens lead to special status effects, while having identical characters in the left and right slot opens up the modulating screen. Certain combinations of characters and numbers in modulating phase will allow the player to level up the character, power up materia, or perform special moves and summons.

The player can choose whether to follow the game's story, which can be completed in around 15 hours of gameplay, or to complete missions at their disposition, which can be completed at 100% with over 50 hours of gameplay.

Materia is present as a part of the magic and ability system, like in Final Fantasy VII, but there are some differences in how it works. Summon Materia are no longer in control by the player, and instead, are added to the DMW. By special circumstances, or more likely, at random, the DMW slots switch to the summoning scene, where one of the various summon materias are selected and performed by the player. Materia does not divide like it did in Final Fantasy VII, though it does level up, at random, if 2 similar numbers corresponding to the slot are drawn in a modulated phase; 1-4 as a SOLDIER 2nd Class, or 1-6 as a SOLDIER 1st Class. Materia may grant significant bonuses to Zack's HP, MP, AP, ATK, VIT, MAG, SPR, or LCK. Materia can now be customized through the "Materia Fusion" process.

Crisis Core's Main Menu

Weapons are another thing that have been modified. Players are no longer allowed to buy any weapons. The game begins with Zack holding a typical SOLDIER sword, but he eventually moves on to wield the Buster Sword. However, there are some cases which some special weapons are utilized. For example, he wields an umbrella during a vacation to Costa del Sol.

Equipment is limited to accessories only, though they grant various stat boosts and special effects when equipped. Two to four pieces of equipment can be worn depending on requirements are met.

In addition, shops have also been changed. The shops in Crisis Core use a wireless system, in which players are allowed to enter and buy merchandises from the shop through the main menu. More shops can be added by proceeding in the storyline, and also by doing various missions which rewards you with the address that grants access to the shop. It is to be noted though that none of the shops will ever sell Phoenix Downs and must be found in treasure chests or won in missions.

Voice Cast

Character Seiyū English
Zack Fair Kenichi Suzumura Rick Gomez
Angeal Hewley Kazuhiko Inoue Josh Gilman
Genesis Rhapsodos Gackt Oliver Quinn
Sephiroth Toshiyuki Morikawa George Newbern
Cloud Strife Takahiro Sakurai Steve Burton
Aerith Gainsborough Maaya Sakamoto Andrea Bowen
Lazard Junpei Morita Stefan Marks
Tseng Junichi Suwabe Ryun Yu
Cissnei Asumi Nakata Carrie Savage
Reno Keiji Fujiwara Quinton Flynn
Rude Taiten Kusunoki Crispin Freeman
Hojo Nachi Nozawa Paul Eiding
Hollander Shinya Ohwada Sterling Young
Weiss Jouji Nakata David Boat
Nero Ryotaro Okiayu Mike Rock

Special Edition Crisis Core PSP

Special Edition 10th Anniversary of Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core silver PSP with the FFVII logo, Zack, Cloud, and Sephiroth emblazoned on the back. This special edition set was released on September 13th, 2007 along with the Japanese release of the game.

It comes bundled with a retail copy of Crisis Core, the special edition PSP-2000 (slim) unit covered in Tetsuya Nomura artwork, and a Buster Sword strap. Retailers also threw in a Crisis Core inner earphone set, supposedly as a pre-order bonus, although anyone who lined up on launch day was given the gift. All this came in a special box that seems to have been targeting collectors.

The PSP is Region Free - meaning the PSP can play any games from around the world however, it cannot play UMD Movies from the USA. Also, the version of Crisis Core bundled with it is a Japanese language version of the game which allows no options to switch to English. This bundle was produced in limited quantities of just 77,777 and retailed for 25,890 yen. Each individual special edition PSP is engraved with a serial number from 00001 to 77777. You can find these selling on eBay for upwards of $400-$600 each for opened and unopened sets.

Packaging artwork

External links

  • Official Japanese site
  • Official North American site
  • Official European site
  • Crisis Core trailer - Last Order anime trailer (Windows media player required)
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Profile Page

This article uses material from the "Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-" article on the Final Fantasy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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