Is FFVII connected to FFX and X-2?

The main content presented here was originally written and posted by Squall_of_SeeD on GameFaqs in his FFVII Plot Analysis guide (find link in our Reviews & Analysis section). That content has now been revised by said author and now comes with a section written by Shademp, to elaborate on how little is actually revealed in this connection between FFVII and FFX.

FFVII & FFX – The Canonical Link [Squall_of_SeeD]
Narrative Gaps of the Canonical Link [Shademp]
References & Easter Eggs [Conceived by Squall_of_SeeD, edited by Shademp]
Article Credits

FFVII & FFX – The Canonical Link

Perhaps you’ve heard at some point that the stories of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X are connected by an actual plot element within their respective narratives. Perhaps you’ve wondered whether this is true, and, if so, what it entails for their respective worlds and characters.

We can confirm that it is true, but also that you have little reason to fear this development signaling Very Bad Things for the beloved cast of either game. For reasons that will become clear in the course of this article, while the connection is very real, it also has little to no actual impact on the lives that these characters will live out.

The best place to begin our analysis is on pages 723-724 of the Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania guidebook, where scenario writer Kazushige Nojima (main writer of FFVII, FFVIII, FFX, FFX-2, Advent Children, On the Way to a Smile and Crisis Core) reveals during an interview that he wrote the game’s story with the intention that the character named “Shinra” (a member of the Gullwings, the sphere hunter group the game focuses on) was the ancestor of the founders and rulers of the Shin-Ra Company seen in Final Fantasy VII.

According to Nojima, after Vegnagun and Shuyin’s defeat, Shinra received massive financial backing from Rin and attempted to use the remains of Vegnagun to extract the spirit energy on the Farplane in a usable form as a power source. Should be sounding familiar already if you’ve played FFVII.

Here is a translation of that segment of the interview:

Shinra is a good kid …

―Would you say “being connected” is one of the key words in this story?
Watanabe: “I personally like the word ‘connected,’ and there are places it fits with well.”
Nojima: “I try to give various connections to the vague things in the games.”

―Is there a connection, for example, with Shinra’s name, which of course reminds one of FFVII? The “last mission” line and Rin’s “I am not alone in my thinking” line from “Detective Rin” have strong implications.
Nojima: “As a matter of fact, yes. Shinra quits the Gullwings, receives enormous financial assistance from Rin and uses Vegnagun to extract mako energy from the Farplane. However, he can’t complete the system to utilize the energy in a single generation, and the Shin-Ra Company is built on another planet in the future once travel to distant planets is possible, and stuff like that … Those things happen about 1000 years after this story, though.”

―So the story of FFVII is after that?
Nojima: “I guess you could say those are the feelings I have about it. When I think about the characters, those are the images I already see. Shinra is a good kid, and yet his descendants are going to be like the President. (laughs)”
Watanabe: “Speaking of VII, after being told about the Shinra scenario, one of the staff members said he arranged the camera work for the first time you see the Bevelle Underground to ‘feel like something you’ve seen before.'”
Toriyama: “That’s right, it looks like the opening shot of Midgar in FFVII.”

Japanese quote:

渡辺 個人的に「つながる」っていう言葉が好きなんで、うまく対応させたようなところがあるんですけど。
野島 ゲームのなんで、漠然としたことが、いろいろつながるようにしてますね。
―たとえばシンラ君って、名前から連想させるとり、やっぱり『VII』につながっているんですか?「卒業ミッションだし」ってセリフや、『リン探偵』でのリンの「すでに同 志がいる」ってセリフがすごく意味シンなんですけど。
野島 じつはそうです。カモメ団をやめたシンラ君が、リンによる莫大な資金援助を受けて、異界でヴェグナガンが使っていた魔晄エネルギーを引っばり出してくる。でも彼一代 ではとても、そのエネルギーを利用するためのシステムは完成しなくて、遠い星に行けるようになった未来に別の星で神罹カンパニーができる、とか……。今回の話から1000 年ぐらいたってのことなんでしょうけど。
野島 まあ、僕のなかではそんな感どしでも言いましょうか。登場人物を考えるときに、すでにそうしたイメージを抱いてましたね。シンラ君はあんないい子なのに、子孫にはプ レジデントみたいのが生まれてしもうのか、とか(笑)。
渡辺 『VII』って言えは、シンラ君のエピソードを見たスタッフのひとりが、アンダーベベルにはじめてきたときのカメラワークを「どこかで見たような感じにしておいた」 って言ってましたね。
鳥山 たしかに、あの見せかたは『VII』のオープニングのミッドガルっぽいよね。

We actually see Shinra arrive at the conclusion that this could be done during the game itself in Chapter 5 if one returns to the bridge of the Celsius and speaks with Shinra after reaching the Farplane Glen:

Shinra: “Aha…”
Yuna: “What are you looking at?”
Shinra: “Farplane data. The more I study it, the more fascinating it gets. There’s limitless energy swirling around in there.”
Yuna: “Limitless energy?”
Shinra: “The life force that flows through our planet…I think. With a little work, we could probably extract the energy in a usable form.”
Brother: “Sweet!”
Shinra: “Of course, that’d take generations.”
Brother: “That’s no fun!”
Buddy: “Well, still, it is something worth shooting for.”
Yuna: “Think how much Spira would change if we ever got it to work! Maybe one day we could build a city full of light, one that never sleeps!”
Shinra: “No doubt about it.”
Yuna: “Just imagine! But I’ll never get to see it…will I…”

::Shinra shakes his head::
Brother: “Shinra! Don’t make Yuna sad!”
Shinra: “Right. My bad.”

Furthermore, if the player speaks to Paine right after this conversation, she will speculate about how Vegnagun powers itself in an obvious allusion to mako siphoning:

An energy source on the Farplane… Is that how Vegnagun powers itself?

The seeds of the concept Nojima was speaking to were already sewn in the game itself, and they don’t end there.

It’s also made apparent in-game that finding a means to utilize the energy within the planet is something that Rin would have supported. If Rin is pinned as the culprit behind the wrongdoing on the Mi’hen Highroad involving the malfunctioning machina, it’s revealed that the machina malfunctioned and he covered it up because he believes machina to be vital to Spira’s future:

Rin: “You are suggesting that my decision to upgrade the machina resulted in a number of casualties… … and that I tried to cover it up?”
Yuna: “You put the investigation in our hands because we were amateurs. You hoped we would botch the case. And then, I kept calling you even though I didn’t have any leads. You would have objected to the meaningless interruptions, if you really wanted to solve the case.”
Rin: “I see. It appears that I have underestimated you, Yuna.”
Rikku: “Why, Rin?”
Rin: “If word got out that machina pose a danger, people would fear them and stop using them.”
Paine: “So Yevon’s not alone in sweeping things under the rug.”
Rin: “I firmly believe that machina are an indispensable part of Spira’s development. Even if there is another incident, I intend to conceal the evidence.”
Yuna: “You really think people will follow you that way?”
Rin: “I am not alone in my thinking. We are researching ways to extract the vast energy that sleeps in Spira, and use it to power machina.”
Paine: “You’re a jackass.”
Rin: “I will take that as a compliment.”

What’s further worth mentioning is that of the time of the events of the Last Mission from Final Fantasy X-2 International+Last Mission, three months after Shuyin’s defeat in FFX-2, it was established that Shinra and Rin were working together and researching something. This is revealed by Rikku on the tenth floor of the Iutycyr Tower:

Paine: “Out of shape?”
Yuna: “Haha, a little. I haven’t gotten much exercise lately. What about you, Rikku?”
Rikku: “Piece of cake! You know why? Because I don’t sit around all day doing nothing like you do.”
Yuna: “You’ve got me there.”
Paine: “So, what’ve you been looking for, Rikku? Some machine sunk in the sea or something?”
Rikku: “That’s right.”
Yuna: “Oh yeah, you’ve been helping Shinra, haven’t you?”
Rikku: “Hehe! Well, ya know how Shinra left the ship and is off researching something or other with Rin? Every now and then he asks me to check out this or that. He says he can’t do it himself because he’s just a kid. So I’m always looking for ruins on the bottom of the sea, or off running all over on some mission or another.”

In other words, as of three months after the main events of FFX-2 had come to an end, the concept Nojima spoke of was already in play. What’s further notable about this is that FFX-2 International+Last Mission was released 11 months after the original FFX-2, and well after the FFX-2 Ultimania interview with Nojima had been published.

In other words, Nojima spoke of this concept in the Ultimania interview and then actually put it into effect with Final Fantasy X-2 International+Last Mission.

Also notable is that this idea isn’t the secret of a single individual during development, but that it actually has the support of key staff involved in the making of FFX-2 and in the making of various other Final Fantasy titles, including Compilation of FFVII titles.

As seen above, during the interview, co-scenario writer Daisuke Watanabe reveals that, in response to Nojima’s idea, another member of FFX-2’s development staff arranged the first shot of the Bevelle Underground to be the same as the first shot of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII. He also speaks favorably of “connections” as a concept during the interview.

For his part, director Motomu Toriyama offered no objection to the idea, chiming in to confirm the similarities in camera work between the opening of FFVII and that first shot of the Bevelle Underground.

Someone else at the table during the interview was Yoshinori Kitase, currently the lead producer of the Final Fantasy series, the director and co-scenario writer of Final Fantasy VII, and the developer credited as being the mastermind behind the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

Though no comments from him are made during that segment of the interview, in an earlier interview with Kitase and Nojima — this time on page 191 of the Final Fantasy X Ultimania Omega (published in 2004) — the two had already revealed that FFVII and FFX shared the same metaphysics:

FFVII and FFX are connected?!
―Last time, for the FFX Scenario Ultimania, we asked about the story and various other things, but with almost half a year going by since then, have any new thoughts regarding FFX come to life?
Kitase: “They have … This time we’ve included some stuff with the flavor of a sequel in FFX International, although thinking about another story in that world is surprisingly hard to do. It was too perfect, and it’s difficult to expand on it. Upon reflection, the work that we did came together splendidly as it already was.”
Nojima: “With VII, it was relatively low pressure adding things like Zack’s episode for the International edition. However, with X, where the original story was resolved and completed, inserting this new episode is going to break the world. Is it saying too much?”
Kitase: “Speaking of which, there was that time where Nojima-san said he was trying to make it be a sequel to VII.”

―It’s a sequel to VII?!!
Kitase: “No, that was halfway a joke. However, in FFVII’s ending, Holy was supposed to settle things, then it’s suddenly ‘500 years later,’ and there’s been nothing like a sequel for it. There’s room to fill in that gap. There’s room for imagination. Since Nojima-san and Toriyama-san have worked together since then, talk that it could be possible with those staff members built up for a moment.”

―So, how did talk of it as a sequel to VII come up?
Nojima: “I felt that VII and X had a relatively connected feeling, that VII has an essence there.”

―Ehh, so VII and X are connected?
Nojima: “No, there isn’t much to it. For example, what happens when people die is fundamentally the same in my mind. I wrote both stories following the same idea. At times, other thoughts pop up, though. Pyreflies are green here and there, and other colors besides.”

―When you speak of dying and becoming green colors, could that possibly be …?
Nojima: “Yes. In my mind, pyreflies are an example of the Lifestream of FFVII.”
Kitase: “Also, when planning for this later development of FFX International, such ‘reincarnation ideas’ from Nojima-san have come up as prospects. I’ve thought they sound somewhat like VII.”
Nojima: “That’s right. As long as there’s a Lifestream, there’s stuff like that …”

―Reincarnation … Who is your rebirth idea about?
Nojima: “That’s … a secret.” (laughs)
Kitase: “We’ve talked about someone unexpected going to the Farplane.”

Japanese quote:

―前回の「FFX SCENARIO ULTIMANIA」でもいろいろとお話をうかがいましたけど、あれから半年近く経過して、『FFX』に対する何か新しい思いみたいなものが生まれてたりしますか?
北瀬 そうですねぇ……今回、『FFXインターナショナル』で後日談的なものを入れことになったわけですけど、あの世界で別の物語を考えるのが、意外にやりにくいというか 。あまりにもカツチりできてるんで、広げづらいんですよね。逆に言うと、『FFX』は結構しっかり作ってあったんだな、と改めて思いましたね。
野島 『FFVII』のときって、インターナショナル版でわりと気軽にザックスのエピソードとか追加できたんですよ。でも、『X』に関しては、本編がまとまっていたんで、 そに新たなエピソードを入れると、できあがっている世界を壊してまう。語り過ぎちゃうっていうか。
北瀬 そう言えば、一時期、『VII』の続編作ろうかって話を野島さんとしていたことがあったよね。
北瀬 いや、なかば冗談だったんですけどね。ただ、『VII』のエンディングって、ホーリーがどうなったかとか決着つけずに終わらせて、後日談的なエピソードもなくて、い きなり「500年後」じゃないですか。そのあいだを埋める余地がある。想像の余地がある。野島さんにしても、鳥山にしても、『VII』から一緒に作ってきたわけだから、そ のメンバーならそれもアリかってな話は、一瞬だけ盛り上がったことがありましたね。
野島 僕的には『VII』と『X』って、わりとつながってた気がするんで、『VII』は気がすんだかなと。
野島 いや、たいしたことじゃないんです。なんとなく、人が死んでどうなるのか、そのあたりが僕のなかでは基本的に同じだというだけで。どちらの作品も、そういう考えにの っとって物語を書いたんで。ときどき、僕の思っていることがチラリと出ちゃってるんですけどね。幻光虫が緑だったりとか、そういうところで。
野島 うん。僕のなかでは、幻光虫は『VII』のライフストリームだったりするんですよ。
北瀬 『FFXインターナショナル』用の後日談を考えるときにも、野島さんのそういった「生まれ変わりのアイデア」が候補に上がってたよね。ちゃっと『VII』を意識して るのかな、と思った。
野島 そうですね。ライフストリームがあるかぎり、ああいうふうなことが……。
野島 それは……ナイショ(笑)。
北瀬 意外な人が異界に行っちゃう話だったんですよ。

Next up, even Tetsuya Nomura — character designer of FFVII, FFX and FFX-2, as well as a key Final Fantasy developer himself — has alluded to the concept. On page 86 of the Advent Children Reunion Files book, he said about the Shera “I guess the airship must be running on some mysterious ancient power source.” (Quote scan)

For those looking for such a declaration in an actual game or movie rather than an interview alone, I point you to this dialogue from Dirge of Cerberus where the same thing is said by an engineer on the airship:

“While this airship is named after Cid’s wife, construction of the vessel wasn’t performed by the captain at all.
Our team of loyal scientists here at the World Regenesis Organization or those criminals at Shinra weren’t involved, either.
To tell you the truth, the ship is not even from this era. It is a relic from a lost civilization.
Most of the machinery in the engine room is boxed up in black casing, so we don’t even know what half of it does.
There’s no need to worry. Even though we cannot reproduce the technology, we can still put it to good use.
I can almost guarantee there will be no problems.

While the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (released in 2007 and 2009) states that the Shera was built by Cid, it is still propelled with the help of mysterious ancient technology. (Read full dissection here)

A final piece of the puzzle worth our study are these comments about Shinra from page 563 of the FFVII Ultimania Omega (released in 2005), found under the “Final Fantasy X-2” heading of the “Final Fantasy VII in Other Games” section:

“In the Gullwings, the group which the protagonist Yuna is a member of, there is a boy named ‘Shinra.’ His name is reminiscent of the Shin-Ra Company, and he’s researching ways to use ‘the life force flowing through the planet’ as energy. The results of this can’t be seen in FFX-2, but perhaps someday his descendants will found a ‘company that supplies energy from the planet’?”

Wherever one stands on the topic of whether the points of view offered by authors in interviews or guidebooks require evidence within the final product, certainly interviews such as that we examined at the beginning of this article can offer insight. Likewise for other material found in Ultimania guides.

For that matter, in this particular case, there’s plenty of physical evidence in the games built around Nojima’s idea, including Rin and Shinra’s stated goals in FFX-2, their realized partnership in FFX-2 International+Last Mission, and the airship featured in Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus.

At this point, we’ve even seen titles in the Compilation of FFVII feature a few characters’ bodies disappear in a spray of spirit energy similar to that of pyreflies, as when fiends or unsent are defeated in FFX, and when Seymour killed Maester Kinoc and then absorbed him. In Dirge of Cerberus, for example, Grimoire Valentine’s body disperses in a cloud of energy similar to pyreflies. In Crisis Core, Hollander and Lazard’s bodies do the same.

Whether the concept will ever be built upon further is beyond our means to reasonably speculate. What we can be sure of, however, is that the concept exists and it has its artifacts within the settings of both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X — as well as that the characters and stories we love from both are safely tucked away outside falling victim to Sin or Jenova.

Narrative Gaps of the Canonical Link

Kazushiga Nojima has presented us with a story of migration between planets that is surprisingly lacking in details. When the questions are asked we see just how many gaps there are in this connection that sets Final Fantasy X as a form of prequel to Final Fantasy VII, albeit with the two not sharing events on the same planet.

Before moving on let’s make clear some terminology that will now be used. Because the world of FFX is referred to as Spira, it makes sense to call the travellers from FFX by the term ‘Spirans’. While there is some ambiguity to if the world of Spira encompasses the whole celestial body on which the story takes place, few will argue against referring to the migrators from FFX as Spirans.

The planet of FFVII will be referred to as ‘the planet’, ‘the FFVII planet’ or ‘the world of FFVII’, due to the home of Cloud and friends having no official name. While the names “Gaia” and “Gaians” would be simpler, the use of these would perpetuate the false notion of the planet’s name being Gaia.

Space…the Final Fantasy Frontier?

Start asking questions and the narrative tapestry proves incomplete. Why did the Spirans migrate into space in the first place? Was it a journey made out of a desire to explore or to escape impending doom from some threat we have not been told about? Did some Spirans stay behind or did everybody leave? Does Spira still exist during the events of FFVII, continuing on with its own civilization? What happened to the technology that brought the Spirans to the FFVII world? Was the technology destroyed when Jenova attacked humanity or was there a gradual decline in both the knowledge and resources to drive the machines?

A few readers may now have noticed a basic assumption based on Nojima’s statements about the connection between FFX and FFVII. Nojima says “the Shin-Ra Company is built on another planet in the future once travel to distant planets is possible” but nowhere does he specify the form of travel. Because he says that the travel to other planets happen about 1000 years after FFX-2, one imagines the world of Spira advancing their technology enough to build space ships. That is not the logically necessary interpretation however. Spirans might have developed a form of portal technology to travel from one planet to the other, without even having to fly above the atmosphere of their own planet. The technology used may even be based on magic. Because Nojima does not tell us the form of travel, we can’t know if Spiran space ships ever landed (or crashed) on the surface of the FFVII planet. Even if we assume that space ships were used, we don’t know if the space between planets was painstakingly traversed over tens of thousands of years or if the ship(s) used some form of portal/wormhole technology.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have only begun exploring the narrative gaps and the ways in which fans will often fill in gaps without realizing it.

Origins of Humanity: Extra-Terrestrial or Mixed?

Are Spirans the first human ancestors of the FFVII planet? No developer interview or plot guide (that we know of) has specified if Spirans were the original humans of the FFVII world or if humans were already around when the migrators arrived. In the latter scenario the population of FFVII becomes, at the very least in part, a cross-breed between the Spirans and the humans native to the planet. Either way, President Shinra is clearly a descendant of Shinra from FFX-2, as stated in the official material.

Because of how Final Fantasy VII described the Cetrans as earthbound wanderers who could speak to the planet and even heal it, many will find it as the more intuitive interpretation that Cetrans were the original humans, birthed by the planet with which they have such a strong connection.

The following quotes are from Professor Gast’s tapes which can be viewed in the village of Icicle Inn. From the tape ‘The Original Crisis‘:

“Then, Ifalna,
please tell us about the Cetra.”

“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.”

“Tell us, Ifalna…
Where is the land called ‘Knowlespole’?”

“Knowlespole refers to this area.
The Cetra then began a Planet-reading.”

what exactly does Planet-reading entail?”

“…I can’t explain it very well, but
it’s like having a conversation
with the Planet…”
“It said something fell from the sky
making a large wound.”

“Thousands of Cetra pulled together,
trying to heal the Planet…”
“But, due to the severity of the wound,
it was only able to heal itself
over many years.”

“Do the Ancients, rather, the Cetra,
have special powers to heal the Planet?”

“No, it’s not that kind of power.
The life force of all living things
on this Planet becomes the energy.”
“The Cetra tried desperately to
cultivate the land so as not to
diminish the needed energy…”

“Hmm, even here so close to
the North Cave,
the snow never melts.”
“Is that because
the Planet’s energy is
gathered here to heal its injury?”

“Yes, the energy that was needed to
heal the Planet withered away
the land…then the Planet…”
“The Planet tried to persuade the Cetra
to leave the Knowlespole, but…”

Let’s take a break.”

“I’m all right…
When the Cetra…were preparing to part
with the land they loved…”

“That’s when the one who injured the Planet…
or the ‘crisis from the sky’,
as we call it, came.”

The Cetrans and the planet shared a mutual connection, as proven by not only the Cetrans working to heal the planet but also by the planet itself persuading the Cetrans to leave the injured area.

Naturally this is not enough to prove that Cetrans are not descended from Spirans. Both options remain available for now, especially when considering the next question…

Between ‘Recently’ & ‘Eons Ago’

When did the Spirans arrive on the FFVII world? This is never clearly stated either. Let us re-examine the interview segment from pages 723-724 of the FFX-2 Ultimania (see earlier article segment for the full Japanese quote) :

―Is there a connection, for example, with Shinra’s name, which of course reminds one of FFVII? The “last mission” line and Rin’s “I am not alone in my thinking” line from “Detective Rin” have strong implications.
Nojima: “As a matter of fact, yes. Shinra quits the Gullwings, receives enormous financial assistance from Rin and uses Vegnagun to extract mako energy from the Farplane. However, he can’t complete the system to utilize the energy in a single generation, and the Shin-Ra Company is built on another planet in the future once travel to distant planets is possible, and stuff like that … Those things happen about 1000 years after this story, though.”

Our only source of time estimations leaves a muddled impression. Travel to distant planets become possible about 1000 years after the events of FFX-2, but as stated earlier we have no idea if this form of travel employed space ships and/or portal technology. There is no way to know how long the trip to the FFVII world lasted.

If one picks apart Nojima’s statement, it can come off as though he is saying that the Shin-Ra Company was founded merely 1000 years after FFX-2, immediately when the Spirans arrived on the FFVII world. What Nojima probably meant to say is that the company as an extractor of mako energy (which it became sometime shortly after [ μ ] – εуλ 1959 in the FFVII timeline) was founded many generations after the Spirans arrived. We would feel less uneasy here if Nojima’s explanation was summarized in a more clean-cut manner.

Without additional data to help us, the Spirans could have landed at any point in modern times (even after Jenova’s calamities) to countless millennia before the arrival of Jenova. In the scenario that the Spirans arrived perhaps tens of thousands of years before Jenova, it is easier to consider the possibility that Cetrans are descended from Spirans.

Understandably so, many fans find it hard to believe that the Spirans could have arrived before Jenova. If the damage caused by Jenova did not erase records of Spirans’ place in history, what did? Should not Cloud, Aerith, President Shinra and even Mukki know that their genetic origins are completely or partially from a planetary body long ago and far away?

If we remember the quote from Dirge of Cerberus, where the “lost civilization” referred to is most likely not a Cetran one, it is at least implied that the relics from (what we presume to be) the Spirans are ancient.

“While this airship is named after Cid’s wife, construction of the vessel wasn’t performed by the captain at all.
Our team of loyal scientists here at the World Regenesis Organization or those criminals at Shinra weren’t involved, either.
To tell you the truth, the ship is not even from this era. It is a relic from a lost civilization.
Most of the machinery in the engine room is boxed up in black casing, so we don’t even know what half of it does.
There’s no need to worry. Even though we cannot reproduce the technology, we can still put it to good use.
I can almost guarantee there will be no problems.

To say that something is ancient leaves open interpretations still. Is it possible to call a relic ancient if it is, say, only one thousand years old? Some would say yes, some would say no.

Whether you pin down the advent of the Spirans to before or after the calamity of Jenova relies heavily on where you are able to suspend your disbelief in what the FFVII timeline can allow and make room for.

Fan Theories

On one hand we are left with the frustration of so many relevant details being left out. On the other hand, this has given fans a lot of room to speculate and come up with their own theories as to the nature of the connection between FFX and FFVII. Here is a quick list of some of the most popular theories that I have seen proposed on TheLifestream.Net and other FFVII forums.


Theory: Jenova followed the Spirans to the FFVII world
Typically this has Jenova’s origins set in Spira, with Spirans travelling into space and with her being the trigger for why Spirans went into space in the first place. In this paradigm, Spirans are indirectly responsible for bringing all of Jenova’s calamities to the FFVII planet.

In Advent Children, Kadaj muses to Rufus Shinra:

Kadaj: It doesn’t matter who she picks! You’ll all meet the same end! Mother came to this planet after a long journey. To rid the cosmos of fools like you! But you know as well as I do – nothing’s changed since she got here. I have to change it, to make her happy. If Mother willed it, I’d do anything for her!

Rufus: Hm. The nightmare returns.

Kadaj: As long as you exist, the nightmares will come again and again.

That Jenova arrived after a long journey with the intent to “rid the cosmos of fools” can imply previous experience with humans and that she somehow knew there would be humans, or “fools”, to destroy on the planet she landed on. In a scene added for Advent Children Complete, Kadaj muses about how he does not understand humanity’s cycle of destruction and creation.

Kadaj: Why does humankind even bother? You wreck everything you’ve ever made then you start over like it’ll be any different the next time.

Rufus: I suppose we’re no good at facing our memories. We’d rather gild the past… Find something worthwhile among the rubble and build a future with that.

Kadaj: And that’s why you salvaged Mother? To “gild the past”?

Rufus: We were trying to rid ourselves of a more immediate problem.

If these musings reflect that Jenova’s natural instinct is to end a cycle of repeated destruction by laying waste to all and denying rebirth, then she shares a trait with both the main villains of FFX and FFX-2. Is this a coincidence?

Even those who propose this theory will often agree however that Jenova’s origins are best left as a mystery or otherwise the psychological threat of Jenova as an “alien” will be compromised.


Theory: Modern day humans of FFVII are a cross-breed between Spirans and Cetrans
Listing this because it appears to be the most frequent theory, even to the point of being a natural assumption. The consequences of this cross-breeding, both in genetics and culture, can differ in detail.

Some like to think that Spirans, with their (presumably) technological lifestyle, were responsible for making Cetrans leave their harsh lifestyle of cultivating and wandering the planet. See the history described by Sephiroth in the original game.

“You ignorant traitor.
I’ll tell you.”
“This Planet originally belonged to the Cetra.
Cetra was an itinerant race.
They would migrate in,
settle the Planet, then move on…”
“At the end of their hard,
long journey, it was said
they would find the Promised Land
and supreme happiness.”
“But, those who disliked journeying appeared.
They stopped their migrations,
built shelters and elected to
lead an easier life.”
“They took that which the Cetra
and the Planet had made without
giving back one whit in return!”
“Those are your ancestors.”


“Long ago, disaster struck the Planet.”
“Your ancestors escaped…
They survived because they hid.”
“The Planet was saved
by sacrificing the Cetra.
After that, your ancestors
continued to multiply.”
“Now all that’s left of the Cetra
is in these reports.”

Sephiroth does not know it here, but the disaster that struck the planet was the arrival of Jenova. Because of the strong impression that Cetrans had already begun leaving their nomadic life before the great calamity from the sky, fans will often subscribe to the idea that Spirans arrived in this timeframe as well, contributing to or causing the Cetrans to lead an easier life.

The theory can be extended to genetics. Although FFX also had a form of “lifestream”, it is possible that Spirans could not communicate with the FFVII planet, or even use magic, because of being too genetically/spiritually alien to the new celestial body they found themselves upon. If so, then a mix between Spiran and Cetran blood could have weakened the Cetran traits over time, genetically making magic and planet-reading a rarity.


Theory: The Spiran technology was lost due to Jenova’s attack on humanity
Aside from Jenova herself (or “itself”) possessing great powers of deceit it also spread a virus that turned Cetrans into monsters. As explained by Ifalna in the ‘Original Crisis’ tape:

“I’m all right…
When the Cetra…were preparing to part
with the land they loved…”
“That’s when it appeared!”
“It looked like…our…our dead mothers
…and our dead brothers.
Showing us specters of their past.”

“Who is the person that appeared
at the North Cave?
I haven’t any idea.”

“That’s when the one who injured the Planet…
or the ‘crisis from the sky’,
as we call it, came.”
“It first approached as a friend,
deceived them, and finally…
gave them the virus.”
“The Cetra were attacked
by the virus and went mad…
transforming into monsters.”
“Then, just as it had
at the Knowlespole.”
“It approached other Cetra clans…
and infected them with…the virus.”

“You don’t look well…
Let’s call it a day.”

In the next video, Ifalna mentions that “A small number of the surviving Cetra defeated Jenova and confined it.” Coupled with the reports Sephiroth found in the Shinra Mansion, it is clear that Jenova’s actions led to the near-extinction of the Cetrans. It’s not a far leap to imagine that Jenova and the monsters caused by her virus also destroyed Spiran technology and/or the means to propel them. While Sephiroth speaks of the ex-nomadic Cetrans (let us call them “ex-Cetrans”) surviving the disaster because they hid, this statement doesn’t by necessity mean that the Spirans and ex-Cetrans were unaffected by the ravages of Jenova.


Theory: The decline of Spiran technology was gradual
Just like the decline of the Cetran population was gradual, albeit with much to originally blame on Jenova, it is also possible that Spiran technology was a luxury that could only last for a limited time.

While the Shera is described in Dirge of Cerberus as using a “mysterious ancient power” there must have been a reason why this ancient power was lost until Cid somehow unearthed it. This could be because of Spiran engineering knowledge being lost over time and/or because some precious resource required to activate the machinery becoming unavailable.

It is worth remembering that the ancient components driving the Shera could be from any given era after the arrival of the Spirans. Was this technology from when the Spirans first arrived? Is it a mix between Spiran and ex-Cetran engineering after the cataclysm of Jenova? The Shera may well represent a stage when the Spiran technology had already declined in comparison to the stage when the people from the FFX world first arrived.

Some will argue that both fan theories about technological decline, put together, presents the best answer. Some may prefer one theory over the other.


Theory: Cid Highwind is great with machines because of strong Al Bhed genes
In Final Fantasy X, the Al Bhed are labelled as their own race, separate from other Spirans. They have a knack for technology, even that which they did not create themselves, and will typically not dwell on spiritual matters. With the assumption that these are indeed all genetic traits, Cid Highwind (and other mechanics of the FFVII world) could fit the bill of having a strong Al Bhed origin. The fact that Cid’s airship the Shera is propelled by what is presumably Spiran technology will often solidify this notion in the minds of fans, as the Al Bhed of Final Fantasy X also find ancient airships which they are still able to activate and control.


Theory: There are intentional similarities between the Shera and the airships from FFX and FFX-2
Squall_of_SeeD has observed that there are startling similarities both inside and out between the Shera and the airships seen in FFX and FFX-2. In the future this speculation may be further investigated with the addition of in-game snapshots and a thorough analysis.

References & Easter Eggs

Outside of the canonical connection between FFVII and FFX there are some neat easter eggs connecting the two.


Hidden in the game data of Final Fantasy X is the Buster Sword, which Tidus can equip. Interestingly enough he often hits enemies with the blunt edge, just like Zack claims in the Crisis Core script to do (but never actually does so in cutscenes). A number of videos exist showing off this dummy weapon in Final Fantasy X. Credit to YouTuber The Owen for the recording embedded below.


Though this next “connection” shows up only in official localizations of FFVII and FFX-2 rather than the canon Japanese materials, it does nonetheless make for an amusing observation. In FFX-2, there is an optional boss called King VERMIN! — the capitalized letters and exclamation point being how the name actually appears in-game. In FFVII, this is an insult that Barret refers to President Shinra with early in the game:

President Shinra: “And such a waste of good fireworks, just to get rid of vermin like you…”

Barret: VERMIN? That’s all you can say… VERMIN! Y’all Shinra’re the VERMIN, killing the planet! And that makes you King VERMIN! So shu’up jackass!”

In the Japanese script, the president actually called them “ujimushi” — which is to say, “maggots” (ウジ虫 as it’s written in the script; more easily looked up when written as 蛆虫). Barret responds by saying that the Shin-Ra are the “kiseichou,” or “vermin” (寄生虫), and that the president is their “oyadama”/chief (親玉):



Meanwhile, the fiend in FFX-2 is, indeed, known by the same name as its English language counterpart in the Japanese game as well, though it is here spelled with katakana as キングヴァーミン (“Kingu Vaamin”).

Despite the minutiae of these details not quite aligning perfectly, as well as the possible unintended coincidence behind the naming of the boss in Japanese, given the matching capitalization and punctuation in “King VERMIN!,” it makes you wonder if the translator knowingly made a nod to Nojima’s idea that connects FFX with FFVII.

Article Credits

Squall_of_SeeD: Original article author. Transcribed and translated interviews.
Shademp: Formatting & content re-structuring. Provided FFVII and Dirge of Cerberus snapshots.
Hito: Translation assistance.
ultima espio: For the suggestion that portals may have been used to travel from one planet to the other; not space ships.