Surnames of Crisis Core characters

Final Fantasy VII fans new and old may find themselves confused while playing the official English localization of Crisis Core. Throughout the game, Zack receives a number of e-mails providing updates on the status of Shin-Ra personnel central to the storyline. While these announcements of everyone from Hollander to Zack being “killed in action” are invariably based in falsehood, they do raise a curious topic: What are the last names of several characters who appear in the game? Do they even have official last names?

Crisis Core featured several new characters and one almost new character who played pivotal roles in setting up the events of FFVII: Angeal, Genesis, Lazard and Hollander. The personnel updates announcing their deaths provide a surname for each of them, except Hollander, while these names appear nowhere else in the game.


Angeal Hewley, Genesis Rhapsodos, Lazard Deusericus and simply Hollander.

If these names are official, why do they appear nowhere else in the game? Indeed, why do some seem to appear nowhere else in Crisis Core media altogether?

Angeal’s last name is easy enough to verify. Not only does his profile on the official North American Crisis Core website provide the surname “Hewley,” but so does his entry on the equivalent Japanese site. Notably, however, Genesis’s North American and Japanese website entries do not include “Rhapsodos” or any other surname for that matter.

Furthermore, checking the personnel e-mail concerning Angeal and Genesis that Zack receives in the Japanese version of the game reveals that neither man was provided a last name there — and likewise for Lazard Deusericus in the announcement pertaining to him.


Hollander, of course, remains without a last name.

Where then to turn for confirmation of these names that appeared in the English releases? Given that “Angeal Hewley” is clearly printed — both in romaji and Japanese katakana (アンジール・ヒューレー) — in his profile from the official Crisis Core Ultimania guidebook (pg. 16) as well as the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (pg. 104; pg. 106 of the Revised Edition), these books would be the logical next place to investigate. However, we again find nothing, neither for Genesis nor Lazard, when checking their profiles on pp. 18 and 29 of the CC Ultimania, as well as pp. 104 and 105 of the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (pp. 106 and 107 of the Revised Edition).
Left now with only pre-release announcements and promotional material in Japanese gaming magazines to consult, our resources to potentially confirm these matters grow short. However, in the case of Genesis Rhapsodos at least, one old scan is all we need; and it exists. On pg. 100 of the May 19, 2007, issue of “V Jump” — a publication from frequent Square Enix collaborator Shueisha — the full name “Genesis Rhapsodos” is clearly and boldly printed in katakana (ジェネシス・ラプソードス).

However, no such luck avails the surname “Deusericus” for Lazard. Even the earliest periodicals announcing his presence in Crisis Core provided only a first name for him (ラザード in katakana), these being the March 1, 2007, issue of “Weekly Shonen Jump” (pg. 224) and the March 7, 2007, issue of “Dengeki PS2” (pg. 146). Meanwhile, that same “Dengeki PS2” issue still provided Angeal’s last name (pg. 147).

Searching for information on a last name for Lazard in Japanese yields no joy either. “Deusericus” would likely be デウセリクス in katakana, but searching for this name by itself or along with ラザード as an additional search term yields literally no results.

Consequently, the conclusion that must be drawn is clear. Certainly “Deusericus” is an interesting name and a clever one. Clever because “Deus” is Latin for “God” and “sericus” is Latin for “of silk,” “silky” or “silk-like” while the kanji in the name of the “Shin-Ra” Company (神羅) mean “god” and “silk” respectively. Thus, the portmanteau “Deusericus” means “of Shin-Ra” or “from Shin-Ra.”

Again, this is witty given that Lazard is secretly the son of President Shinra. However, the name is still purely an invention for the localization and not proper canon.

As for “Rhapsodos” as a last name for Genesis, this is an equally clever construction.

The word “rhapsodos” comes from the Greek words “rhaptein” (to stitch or sew) and “oide” (a song or poem). Thus, “rhapsode” or “rhapsodos” is “one who strings songs or poems together,” distinguished from “aoide” or “aoidos” in that the latter is one who recites poems of their own devising while the former recites an existing poem. The word “genesis,” meanwhile, is a transliteration from Greek for the Latin Vulgate and means “origin” or “beginning.”

Together, the two give the name “Genesis Rhapsodos” a meaning like “the one who recites the origin/beginning of the song/poem/rhapsody” — or possibly “the origin/beginning of the one who recites the poem/song/rhapsody.” Either way, it’s rather appropriate given that Genesis is always quoting LOVELESS and was the first of the experiments that led to Sephiroth and Deepground, as well as given that the name of the game is “Crisis Core.”

Why exactly Genesis’s official surname stopped appearing in media related to Crisis Core is unknown. Perhaps it was to make him appear more mysterious or to build a stronger association between he and Sephiroth, who has always lacked a canon last name. Whatever the reason, it is a genuine product of FFVII’s development team, and was presented during the development of the game, but then left behind and never commented on. Whether it belongs to the canon of the released product is uncertain.

Perhaps when Crisis Core was still in development, Square Enix sent their production notes to the North American and European branches, which then translated these notes early so as to more efficiently facilitate international releases. Among these notes may have been the yet-to-be discarded surname for Genesis.

Perhaps even “Deusericus” was among these notes that no one outside the company is likely to ever see.

Of course, this is all pure speculation. Unlike “Rhapsodos,” the surname for Lazard has no known precedent in Japanese canon, nor even the Japanese language itself.

Article Author: Squall_of_SeeD
Special Thanks: hitoshura, BloodyCloud, Shademp