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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Artwork by Tetsuya Nomura
A.K.A. Nanaki
Japanese name レッドXIII, 『ナナキ』
Romaji Reddo XIII, Nanaki
Weapon Hairpin
Birthplace Cosmo Canyon
Date of Birth 1959, exact date unknown
Age 48(15-16 in human years)
Height 3'9" [1]
Blood type Unknown
Japanese voice actor Masachika Ichimura
English voice actor Liam O'Brien
Final Fantasy VII Character
"Just as his name implies, he is an animal with fire-red fur. But under his fierce exterior is an intelligence surpassing that of any human's..."

Red XIII, real name Nanaki, is a red lion-like beast that serves as one of the playable characters in Final Fantasy VII. Red XIII was the name he received as a specimen designation while held captive and experimented upon by Professor Hojo. Even though he is 48 in human years, his age is comparable to around 15 to 16 years old by his own species' standards and is very wise. He fights alongside Cloud and his allies to fulfil his duty to the Planet to defend it as a warrior.


Appearance and personality

Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano

Red XIII is a quadrupedal animal with thick dark red and orange fur with a thin brown mane extending partway down his back. His right eye has a scar running through it, and the remaining eye is ochre in color. He is otherwise adorned with a variety of beads, earrings and feathers around his head, with golden pastern braces and brands on his legs. One of these brands is the roman numeral "XIII", hence his codename. He also has a flaming tail.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Red XIII's appearance is that it is never stated exactly what he is. It is known that his species is very long lived, and he had two parents who perished, and he is one of the last of his kind. He appears to be a feline, somewhat similar to a lion, and official sources refer to him as a feline. Reno even states in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- that Red XIII "looks like a lion", and in Advent Children, Red XIII can be heard roaring like a lion as well. However, his overall movements along with his howling and lunar relation appear to be canine, and at another point in Advent Children, he can be heard making a very canine-sounding yelp as he hits the ground after Bahamut SIN shakes him off. His species has never been conclusively identified as feline or canine, or even named, and the mystery has thus far been unanswered.

Red XIII has the dubious distinction of being the least featured of the playable cast of Final Fantasy VII in other media, so at times his character can be difficult to discern. What is certain is that he has a strong sense of honor and courage, especially regarding his father, who he believed was a coward who abandoned his tribe. He is polite, curious and observant, with something of a distaste for humans which may stem from Shinra's treatment of him. He is highly intelligent, as should be indicated by his ability to speak articulately, and he knows much about the planet due to his being raised at Cosmo Canyon. However, he can still be very feral and bestial when called upon. Red XIII's novella in On the Way to a Smile expands on this duality, showing Red XIII torn between living like an animal or a human, as he does not fully belong in either world.


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


Red XIII was born in Cosmo Canyon to an unnamed mother and his father Seto. That year, Seto ran off, and Red XIII assumed he had fled in the face of an impending invasion by the Gi Tribe. In reality, Seto sacrificed himself to stop a sneak attack from the Gi through the tunnels under Cosmo Canyon. When his mother died, Red XIII was cared for by the elder of Cosmo Canyon Bugenhagen. He even comes to call him "Grandfather", although obviously not in a literal sense.

Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-

One year before the events of Final Fantasy VII on October 10, 0006, Red XIII takes part in a ritual to appease the planet held once every 50 years, but is reluctant as he does not consider himself a warrior. Another member of his tribe, Deneh, is to be his companion for the ritual, and she accuses him of being a coward. When the Turks arrive to capture one of them as a specimen for Professor Hojo, Red XIII attacks them to save Deneh and prove himself a guardian of the canyon. However, he is defeated, but the Turks allowed him to finish the ritual to appease the planet before taking him back to Midgar.

Final Fantasy VII

Red XIII's battle render in Final Fantasy VII.

Red XIII joins Cloud's group sometime in December 0007 after being rescued from the Shinra HQ. They encounter him right as an experiment involving he and Aeris is taking place, in which Hojo is trying to coerce them to mate in order to "preserve" their species (Aeris being a Cetra), and provide him with new specimens to be used in his experiments. During his captivity, Hojo places a tattoo of the Roman numeral XIII on his left front leg as Hojo has injected him with Jenova cells in an attempt to create another Sephiroth Clone. After being freed by the group, Red XIII remarks that the name was a designation given to him by Hojo, and has no consequence to him so they could call him what they wished. After escaping from Midgar, he also says to the party he would only stay with them until they reach Cosmo Canyon.

Before returning to Cosmo Canyon, Red XIII tries to evade all the comments of his past. After arriving there and meeting with Bugenhagen, it is revealed that Red XIII's true name is "Nanaki", and despite being 40 years in age, he is really only about 16 in his species' years. After Bugenhagen hears Red XIII's remarks towards his own father, whom he believes is a coward, Bugenhagen invites him and the party to enter a sealed cavern within Cosmo Canyon.

Red XIII in a full motion video, during the ending of Final Fantasy VII.

As Cloud's party travels through the cavern, Bugenhagen explains it is haunted by the ghosts of the Gi Tribe, a faction of tribal warriors who laid siege to Cosmo Canyon, and that their anger prevents their souls from assimilating into the Lifestream. Once they reach the end of the cavern, the party encounters a very powerful spirit which has dwelled there for some time with intense hatred and fight a tough battle against it. After it is defeated, a back entrance to Cosmo Canyon is made accessible. Here, Bugenhagen explains that the Gi Tribe greatly outnumbered the forces of Cosmo Canyon and had tried to enter through this back pathway.

On a ledge overlooking the entrance to the cave, Red XIII discovers his father Seto, alone, stood his ground and fought the Gi. After victory, though, the poisoned arrows of the Gi Tribe took their toll on Seto and turned his body to stone, which still stood there protecting the canyon. Absolved of his shame for his father, Red XIII vows to become a great warrior like his father, and howls at the moon while Seto's petrified remains shed tears.

Later in the game, Bugenhagen joins the party to visit the Forgotten Capital and unveils to them the nature of Holy. After returning to Cosmo Canyon and the defeat of the Diamond Weapon, he falls into a serious illness. Red XIII runs to him, and the party stays back to leave them alone. Bugenhagen tells Nanaki that there is so much more to life than that which is within Cosmo Canyon and he should survey the world itself and all it's unique facets to gain the true knowledge he mentioned in their last meeting. Bugenhagen then passes away and Nanaki takes up a resolve to protect the planet, and the things that make it up as that was what constitutes his knowledge and concept of life itself.

Red XIII then takes part in the attack on the Northern Crater with the rest of the party, defeating Sephiroth in later January 0008. He watches with the rest of the party as Meteor destroys Midgar and then is stopped by the power of the Holy and the Lifestream.


In On the Way to a Smile, Red XIII was mentioned in Case of Barret when Cid said he got visits from him often.

Red XIII is the center character in Case of Red XIII. Upon returning home, Red XIII—now called Nanaki by everyone, including his former comrades—vows to follow Bugenhagen's wishes by traveling the Planet to observe all life he can and teach others what he learns. After he leaves however, a void begins to grow in his heart—he dubs this void "Gilligan" for the sake of helping to remember it. During his travels, he struggles with being a beast and acting like a human, as well as his long life when means he will experience a great deal of loss. Eventually, Vincent tells him that "Gilligan" is his fear of loss and the loneliness that will come with living his long life. Vincent gives Nanaki some encouragement, saying that one day, he may even have children of his own to keep him from being lonely. Vincent then informs him that he is immortal, meaning that he will be living longer than even Nanaki would. The two agree to meet at Midgar every year for the remainder of Nanaki's life, where he will tell Vincent the stories of his travels.

Nanaki also appears in the latter part of Case of Yuffie, assisting Yuffie in rescuing Yuri from a cave after it overflows with Lifestream tainted with Geostigma. He mentions during this time he acquired a cellphone while visiting Midgar to keep in touch with the other party members, though he has difficulty using it. Nanaki later leaves Wutai, but returns on the Shera to help Yuffie continue to search for a cure for Geostigma.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Red XIII in Advent Children.

At the intro, which is 500 years after Advent Children, An adult of Red XIII's species, likely Red XIII himself due to their long life spans, is seen with two younger members of the species running in a barren area. And also when Edge was under attack by Bahamut SIN in 0009, he hastens there with Cait Sith on his back. He appears later in the film, aboard the Shera and once more in Aerith's church. He is only given one line in the entire film, commenting on how some children still have Geostigma, and has a slight accent.

Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-

Red XIII in Dirge of Cerberus.

Although there is a scene where the whole cast is gathered at Midgar, Red XIII is not present. He is, however, present during the ending, laying next to Shelke as he rests outside of 7th Heaven.

500 Years Later

Nanaki and his pups, as seen in the epilogue.

After the Final Fantasy VII's credits roll and in the opening scenes of Advent Children, remade with more enhanced visuals, a scene is shown 500 years in the future. An older Nanaki is shown with two young pups, implying he mated with Deneh or another female of his species, and they dash through a canyon and climb up to the crest of a cliff. There, all three stand and look down at the remains of Midgar, which is now covered heavily in moss and overgrown with trees. A flock of birds fly by above, but it is unknown if human life still exists. However, after the scene fades to black, the sound of distant laughter can be heard. The nature of this laughter left up to the player to decide.

Equipment and Stats

Red XIII's initial weapon "Mythril Clip"

Like Cloud, Red XIII is a well-rounded attacker who uses hairclips to enhance his fighting abilities. His hairpins all have decent power and many boost his magic power. His ultimate weapon, the Limited Moon, does more damage the more MP he has. This makes Red XIII a good choice for the "HP <-> MP" Materia, which swaps his HP and MP, allowing him to easily get several thousand MP and do 9999 damage per hit. Another weapon of note is the Seraph Comb, obtained after the Cave of the Gi. With 68 battle power, it is the strongest weapon in the game up until that point, and most other characters do not acquire weapons of equal power until the Temple of the Ancients and after.

Limit Breaks

See videos of the various Breaks here

Red XIII's lower-level Limit Breaks involve him increasing his stats, particularly through the use of Haste, which boosts his speed. His later Limit Breaks hit multiple enemies, and his ultimate Limit Break, Cosmo Memory, hits all enemies for 8x damage, allowing it to easily do 9999 damage at a relatively low level.

Level Name Obtaining Action Image
1 Sled Fang
Sureddo Fangu
Already known Shoots out and pounces on an enemy, dealing three times normal damage.
Lunatic High
Runatikku Hai
Use Sled Fang 8 times Adds Haste status to the party and raises Red XIII's "Defense %" by 50% for every party member still alive.
2 Blood Fang
Buraddo Fangu
Kill 72 enemies with Red XIII. Dashes out at a single enemy dealing 1.25 times normal damage, and absorbs some HP and MP.
Stardust Ray
Sutādasuto Rei
Use Blood Fang 7 times. Stars rain down upon the enemies, hitting ten times randomly for 5/8 normal damage each time.
3 Howling Moon
Hauringu Mūn
Kill 72 enemies with Red XIII after learning Blood Fang. Howls at the moon, which adds Haste and Berserk to Red XIII, and boosts his attack by 60%.
Earth Rave
Āsu Reivu
Use Howling Moon 6 times. Attacks 1-2 enemies five times total, each attack dealing about double of his normal damage.
4 Cosmo Memory
Kosumo Memorī
Defeat Lost Number at the Shinra Mansion. Howls to Cosmo Canyon, summoning a massive beam of plasma that hits all enemies for 7.8125 times normal damage.


Main article: Nanaki (Boss)

Nanaki is fought as a Boss in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. First in Chapter 18, then in the Training Mode.


Conceptual art of an elderly Red XIII and his cubs, seen in the game's ending, by Tetsuya Nomura.

Red XIII was originally designed as a beast-type SOLDIER capable of using magic and understanding human language. He would have been a protector of the Buga tribe, to which Bugenhagen belonged, and his father Seto would have been his predecessor before he fled, making Red XIII contemptuous of his father. In the final product, Red XIII's tribe is not named, but otherwise he is roughly the same as originally conceived. When he was first drawn, Nomura chose the name "Red XIII", as he wanted a name that didn't sound like a name, so he combined a color with the number "13", which is believed to be unlucky. Other staff members later assigned Red XIII's true name as "Nanaki".

Red XIII was also planned to be the focus on a sub-plot which was cut from the game. After being captured by Shinra, Hojo would have produced several clones of Red XIII, which would have had blue and purple fur and been named Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV, respectively. After defeating them, the party would be confronted by two more clones, and a battle would ensue where the party would fight both the clones and the real Red XIII, and be forced to figure out which was the real thing and avoid killing him. Though the clones would be defeated, Red XIII would have the party spare them, as he is the last of his kind beyond them. Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV would later reappear in the final dungeon partially mechanized, determined to prove themselves superior to the original Red XIII.

During early plans for the game, Red XIII was to have the "Beast" Job Class.

Musical Theme

"Red XIII's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII''
Image:FFVII - Red XIII's Theme.ogg
Trouble with the audio sample?

"Red XIII's Theme" (レッドXIIIのテーマ Reddo XIII no Tēma) plays when Red XIII introduces himself after the battle with Sample:H0512. Additionally, "Cosmo Canyon" (星降る峡谷 Hoshi Furu Kyōkoku) and "The Great Warrior" (偉大なる戦士 Idai naru Senshi) are both very similar to "Red XIII's Theme". They play in Cosmo Canyon and when Red XIII sees the petrified Seto, respectively.



Ehrgeiz's Django
  • In the fighting game Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, a game with playable characters from Final Fantasy VII, the second-to-last boss, Django, bears a striking resemblance to Red XIII in his alternate "outfit". He even employs attacks which are references to Red XIII and his father's names; Seto Punch, Seto Low Punch, Seto Combination, Nanaki Kick, and Nanaki Combination. Two of his attacks are named after Red XIII's Limit Breaks: Sled Fang and Blood Fang.
  • Of all the player characters of Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII receives the least screen time in Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus. This is because his fur makes him extremely difficult and costly to animate.
  • Red XIII is the only quadrupedal playable character in the main Final Fantasy series.
  • Red XIII makes a small cameo in Dissidia Final Fantasy as a tutor from the in-game manuals.
  • Red XIII's real name, Nanaki, is an anagram of "Anakin", referencing Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars. His nickname is also very similar to how the pilots in Luke Skywalker's fleet were named in the movies.


  1. Square Electronic Arts, ed (1997). Final Fantasy VII North American instruction manual. Square Electronic Arts. pg 9. SCUS-94163.

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

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