I’ve put together this article for the launch of our newly re-organized Compilation of Final Fantasy VII forum structure which now includes a Fan Content Section. This is speculation and theorization based on as much data as I can put together from all of the pieces of the Compilation, for the potential of the final events leading to the ending of the the FFVII Compilation, allowing Gaia to finally become the paradise that is seen 497 years after Dirge of Cerberus. This is a fairly in-depth article, spanning 3 pages, so don’t forget to click “Read the rest of this entry.”
Enjoy, and be sure to check out our new sections in the forums!
“…Inside our bodies there’s a current, like the Lifestream. That current is what fights off any malevolent intruders.”
Each living being’s sprit/will is composed of Spiritual Energy that returns to the current known as the Lifestream upon death. It also appears that the Lifestream forms over time from cellular degradation and decomposition, as each individual cell is technically also living. That explains why there are still bodies left behind when some people die, but others are seen breaking down directly into Lifestream (likely due to accelerated cellular degradation). This Spiritual Energy of the Lifestream is not entirely ethereal, and it maintains some physical presence within the biology. It’s this current that likely also allows them to utilize Materia, as well as protects the Planet and its life forms. The model of a spiritual energy current that exists within each life form and protects them from harm, before returning to the Planet until it brings life to a new being, is a microcosm of the Planet’s role in the Cosmos. Essentially all life is a part of this cycle of spiritual energy.
Gaia refers to the world of Final Fantasy VII. It is the location at which the entity known as “the Planet” currently resides. A “Planet” is a massive entity composed entirely of this Spiritual Energy. These entities travel from world to world throughout the cosmos, bringing life to anywhere they inhabit. These Planets have a built in mechanism that, if certain conditions are met, it gathers all its energies from the life forms on the world, and departs, leaving it as a lifeless husk, and roams the stars for a new planetary shell, much like the spiritual current in the Lifestream finds new life. This means that all Planets (with life forms), are also living beings. The Cetra were able to speak with the Planet, whereas this talent is slowly lost over time to Humans. The life of the Planet is one of the core themes of Final Fantasy VII, with the ShinRa Company not believing in the Lifestream as a part of a living entity, but just harvesting it as a natural resource to generate Mako. It is literally and figuratively the fuel behind the conflict with ShinRa and AVALANCHE. In Advent Children, Rufus (and thereby the remains of ShinRa) slowly changes from referring to “the world” as “the Planet” as he comes to accept the Planet as a living entity, and eventually funding the W.R.O. to restore life on Gaia, and heal the Planet.
As an entity, the Planet never directly receives a name, and is only referred to as “the Planet.” It does manifest an avatar as the embodiment of its will (or the will of the Lifestream), in the form of Minerva, also referred to as the goddess. She is only seen in Crisis Core, and it is the only point at which the Planet is shown to display an avatar of its own will. Sephiroth attempts to use the large surge of Lifestream at the Northern Crater to forcibly take control of the Planet in the final battle of Final Fantasy VII, when he becomes Safer Sephiroth.
It seems that when any entity takes up the mantle of the will of the Lifestream, they physically change to represent this by obtaining 6 white wings. Sephiroth is shown to possess 6 symmetrical wings on his lower body, in addition to his large black Jenova wing. This is almost identical to the wings on the Goddess Status where Minerva appears. Minerva also possesses the 6 wings, though they appear on the wheel-like structure on her back. (Omega Weapon possesses 4 main wings and 2 smaller ones on its head, though this may be due to the fact that it is artificially being triggered prematurely, in addition to the fact that it’s not joined with Chaos, who possesses the other two wings).
“2000 years ago, our ancestors, the Cetra, heard the cries of the Planet. The first ones to discover the Planet’s wound were the Cetra at the Knowlespole. …The Cetra then began a Planet-reading. …it’s like having a conversation with the Planet…”
The encounter with Minerva marks the only time that the Planet directly makes contact with any being on Gaia that is not a Cetra. While Bugenhagen, the people at Cosmo Canyon, and Nanaki’s race all listen to the cries of the Planet, it is never indicated that any of them are directly addressed. The fact that Genesis is the only being to receive this contact, and he possesses the powers of Jenova is something that is incredibly significant.
The below is a paraphrase of the information in the Crisis Core Complete Guide, where the development team talk about Minerva. It is also the only point that Genesis’ motivations after the events of Dirge of Cerberus are hinted at.
“The Planet produced Weapon… But it was no longer necessary to use it.”
“Weapon cannot vanish. …It remains asleep somewhere on the Planet.”
“Even though Jenova is confined, it could come back to life at some time…”
“The Planet has not fully healed itself yet. It is still watching Jenova.”
The Planet’s main form of self-defense are the Weapons. They exist for the sole purpose of eliminating anything the Planet deems as evil. They are created when Jenova first arrives, but once she is sealed into stasis by the Cetra, the Weapons are no longer needed, and enter a state of suspended animation. They continue to exist, because Jenova still exists. In before Crisis, Zirconaide’s summoning triggers the awakening of Jade Weapon. Final Fantasy VII, the rest of them are awakened by Meteor, as it is a trigger to the same events that brought Jenova. They begin attacking the humans, due to the damage that they were causing the Planet through the Mako reactors.
” ‘…Weapon. Monsters created by the Planet. It appears when the Planet is in danger, reducing everything to nothingness.’ That’s what was stated in Professor Gast’s report.”
All of these primary defense Weapons are defeated during [ ν ] – εуλ 0007 – 0008. Jade Weapon is defeated by the Rogue Turks. Sapphire Weapon is destroyed at Junon, when it’s shot in the face by the canon. Diamond Weapon is killed outside of Midgar, when the Sister Ray is fired directly through it. Ruby and Emerald Weapons are assumed to have been defeated by Cloud & Co, as is Ultima Weapon. The Planet no longer seems to be capable of creating new Weapons to replace those that are destroyed. This is likely a combination of the wound at North Crater, in combination with the Mako Reactors weakening it. With Holy not completely stopping Meteor, this means that the Planet’s only defense against is by using the Lifestream itself as a weapon to destroy it.
Doing this leaves the Planet in a weakened state. With the injury from the original impact at North Crater never healing, in addition to the Mako Reactors, and being forced to directly use raw Lifestream as a weapon, the Planet is in a highly weakened state, even with the almost total abandonment of Mako energy by the events of Advent Children. This is likely what allows Sephiroth to spread Geostigma and the Negative Lifestream to attempt to defeat the Planet. After all of this, the plot during Dirge of Cerberus forcing the premature deployment of Omega Weapon, causes it to conflict with Chaos, resulting in its destruction. As a result, all of the Planet’s natural methods of self-defense are exhausted, though luckily Jenova’s capabilities are also significantly reduced. It is this point when Genesis is awakened. To understand the possible reasons behind this, first we need to understand more about Jenova.