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I understand Jenova/Sephiroth are a bigger threat, however...

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
#26
Aerith's statement about Sephiroth being the bigger threat given his immediate lethality to all life on the planet is accurate and makes perfect logical sense. It's completely in line with her character, especially given she's the last living Cetra.

.... However, answering the question from a larger perspective with the benefit of hindsight and knowledge of the future plot, I'm going to say they're equal. They were both fatal and serious illnesses that plagued the planet.

Shinra was unmanaged Type 2 Diabetes with poor diet, zero exercise and smoking. The other was stage 4 brain cancer.

Sephiroth was the most effective and powerful threat to the planet, given how fast he was able to enact his scheme, not to mention the fact he's almost immortal. He's inherited Jenova's legacy and is far more dangerous than it as well.

But Shinra created Sephiroth. And a plethora of other threats to the planet.

Let's put aside the Mako energy extraction technology that uses the Lifestream as an energy source and would have killed the planet down the line.

Shinra was responsible for a myriad of dangerous and lethal creations and experiments. All in the pursuit of power, and profit. Hojo leading the science and research department of Shinra guaranteed that had FFVII ended differently where Sephiroth was defeated and Shinra was allowed to remain untouched and in power, a new "Sephiroth" would rise from one of Shinra's many mistakes. Because Hojo had no limits to his curiosity. And had no problem breaking the rules of ethics and nature in the pursuit of knowledge. We can go down the list of wonderful gifts Shinra left behind for the planet's well being.

There was the rejected and flawed "Cetra" prototype who became a monster and wanted revenge on the world.

The sadistic supersoldier who was only content when bathing in the blood of others. Who's mind was left broken thanks to the inhuman experiments that pushed her body beyond the limits of power.

The super-beast who desired only battle and held zero regard for life on or off the battlefield.

A supersoldier tainted with darkness that hated all life save for his brother. Who could functionally x-zone anybody within darkness and was so lethal he was kept in a straightjacket, bondage gear and chained up.

And there's the ultimate mako enhanced supersoldier who was so unbelievably strong, he too had to be kept chained up tight in a chair to ensure he didn't cause trouble.

...Not to mention the entire city-sized underground warehouse of discarded experiments, psycho killers and monsters they kept on call for clean up.

Nevermind the Mako energy business. Shinra was in the business of making monsters. Monsters for war, power, and even some as unintended consequences due to the Mako energy exposure from their reactors. They left behind nothing but risks to all life.

In a world as mysterious and magical as VII's, Shinra was not just reckless. They were borderline suicidal in their intentional creation of "things that could wipe humanity and the planet." But greed and power are some hella poweful drugs... And Shinra was mainlining them 24/7. Riding that high to the end of the world.
 

Daikini-San

Currently in another Dimension
AKA
Iku-Ne
#27
But who also created superpowered Zack and Cloud?
Shinra.
Who taught Cid how to be a pilot and paid for his Highwind?
Shinra.
Who made Nibelheim prosperous enough that Mayor Lockheart could afford to hire Zangan to train his daughter in martial arts?
Shinra.
Everything you guys say about the danger posed by Shinra is spot on, but the OG is also at pains to point out that life for the majority is materially much better under Shinra. More comfortable. More pleasant. I don't mean by this that they're not the bad guys. It's just complicated.

edited to add "not" before 'bad guys", because a double negative = a positive.
Very good point. However, I'd like to add that even though Shinra made life 'better', this didn't come without any strings attached. There's always a catch. Sure, we'll build this reactor here and make your town prosperous, but it's going to drain the life out of your area (nature wise) or cause some sort of explosion, or have monsters running rampant. Whatever 'good deed' Shinra did I felt wasn't genuine because there's always some bs attached to their 'good deeds'.
 
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Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
#28
Also, Cloud and Zack were happy little accidents.

It's not like Shinra went, "Hmmmmm... Our supersoldier is really cool and a great guy but maaaaaybe those alien cells we spliced in him as a baby will drive him insane so we better find a crew of heroes to build up to fight him so they save the world!"

If there was no Shinra, there wouldn't be a Cloud and Zack. That's true.

...There wouldn't be a Sephiroth either.
 
#30
Is she a still a threat? She wasn't able to do anything to anyone of her own volition. She only became a threat because they spliced her cells with Sephiroths.

malevolent force of nature + igorance of and contempt for nature = disaster for humanity

Science ought to be about understanding nature, but their science wasn't interested in understanding it, just using it.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#31
Hard to say under what other conditions she could have become a threat again, as we know so little about her and the conditions of her initial defeat. It may have been a simple matter of time or it may have required outside forces jostling her.

That being said, Ifalna makes clear that the Cetra were unable to finalize the matter and that the Weapons were left in stasis for Jenova's possible return. She describes Jenova as "confined" and says it's still possible for her to reawaken.

That's good enough for me. :monster:
 

jazzflower92

Pro Adventurer
AKA
The Girl With A Strong Opinion
#32
Is she a still a threat? She wasn't able to do anything to anyone of her own volition. She only became a threat because they spliced her cells with Sephiroths.

malevolent force of nature + igorance of and contempt for nature = disaster for humanity

Science ought to be about understanding nature, but their science wasn't interested in understanding it, just using it.
Also Sephiroth took his brains and his mother's skills to a new level. Seriously, I would love to see a fully humanoid Jenova and one that is more of an active player.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
#34
Jenova for all its danger of being shapeshifting, infectious, calamity from the skies, is still less lethal and dangerous than Sephiroth.

From what we know, Jenova didn't try to absorb the knowledge of the Cetra, nor did it attempt a scheme to become a god. And it was able to be subdued and sealed away by random people before it could fully annihilate all life on the planet.

...I mean, if an Antarctica based 7 man research party cut off from the world can take down The Thing, Jenova's long lost brother :monster:, I think some random people with magic and future tech would at least be able to stop it before it ended all life.
 
#35
Jenova came with a Meteor that is still wounding the planet 2,000 years later.

We don't know very much about what happened with Jenova the first time. Considering that this was enough of a threat that the Planet felt the need to make the Weapons, I don't want to play it down too much. Very possibly she did try to absorb the Lifestream.

If the Cetra were supposed to be nomads, why do they have a stone city?
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#36
You mean that weird, vaguely located place around the water altar? Fuck knows. :monster:

I've always figured that their city in the north may have been their cultural mecca, even if they didn't all congregate there at the same time. There's an altar there specifically for using the White Materia, though, so the place may have held spiritual significance for them the way holy sites do in various real-world spiritual avenues.
 

Dee

sweet dee
AKA
Bun, Academic
#39
After reading all of the replies here, I think it's kind of a moot point until you start asking yourself: "...a bigger threat" in terms of what? To the planet, to humanity, to all living creatures (but the planet would survive), and to what extent/reasoning behind each character's purpose?

Let's take Jenova first. There isn't much we know about Jenova aside from what happened during and after their crash landing on Gaia. We are told Jenova is an 'alien' of sorts with sentience enough to control whatever other organism they've come into contact with (in this case, the Cetra). Square doesn't really go into the why with Jenova, though, so that's where it gets muddled, but we can view Jenova in a few different ways:

1. A virus: any of a large group of submicroscopic infectious agents that are usually regarded as nonliving extremely complex molecules, that typically contain a protein coat surrounding an RNA or DNA core of genetic material but no semipermeable membrane, that are capable of growth and multiplication only in living cells, and that cause various important diseases in humans, animals, and plants. Merriam-Webster

Assuming we're defining Jenova as a virus, and a more 'intelligent' virus at that, this virus, if you will, has the sole purpose of replication, which is exactly what Jenova did to the Cetra. Jenova mimicked or replicated the ancient race, ravaged and killed off most of them (for what purpose, though, we are lacking in explanation). That's not to say a virus can't be 'defeated'. Jenova was indeed stopped and rendered dormant when the remaining Cetra fought back and quarantined the alien life.

2. An extraterrestrial life form: We don't know enough about these, if they exist, to say for certain what their purpose would be. However, considering humans often will attribute humanly qualities to other forms of life (aka us, 'humans', viruses, etc) we can assume they are nearly like us in some way or even more advanced as they are often portrayed in movies, television, and books. If Jenova is an alien species, perhaps their goal is to wipe out the other living beings in the universe. That is a story we're all too familiar with.

With these two explanations for Jenova's 'purpose', I'd say they were a more immediate threat given their damage to the planet and the subsequent killing off of nearly an entire intelligent life form. Since Jenova had been rendered dormant, however, they do not pose as much of a threat anymore until the human's come sniffing around.

Now let's get to Shinra. I'll go ahead and just refer to them as humanity; however, they probably won't ruin the rest of life on the planet right away and with such devastating results in such a short amount of time as Jenova did. It's kind of like comparing the threats of a meteor striking earth to climate change and to...I dunno, let's say ExxonMobile.

Our earth goes through cycles and will inevitable experience a shift in climate at some point whether it happens 'quickly' on its own without human intervention or whether it happens slowly. Now, in our world, climate change is obviously being affected by man (aka companies like Exxon aka Shinra), so while they do pose a threat, they might not pose an immediate threat to the planet and humanity in comparison to Jenova. It will take several hundreds of thousands of years for humanity to be wiped out by, literally, ourselves, and it would take even longer for that to completely ruin the planet. Add in the looming threat of a meteor strike and...well, the comparison is tremendously different. Let's say someone on our earth had the power to summon a meteor strike (wow, that'd be terrifying). I'd say I think I know who or what the bigger threat was. This is all based off the assumption that their planet works very much like Earth.

We also have to take into consideration that the humans were experimenting with the Jenova cells they discovered and injecting it into other human beings. Shinra literally created the super soldier that would be the catalyst to bringing back Jenova in some form, even if the return of the alien life form is not as devastating or powerful as it was when it first arrived. We learn that Sephiroth is also able to overwhelm Jenova and utilize their abilities with his own sheer will, which is pretty frightening and why I think he's equally as much of a threat to humanity and the planet as I think Jenova is.

Based off these facts and assumptions, during the main story we know of Final Fantasy 7, I would have to say Sephiroth is the bigger threat not only because of his intentions but also because of the experiments and presence of Jenova cells in his body given to him in the womb. Sephiroth was considered a successful experiment and therefore he is the greatest threat at present during the game because of what he is able to achieve. Jenova was already defeated by the Cetra once before, but is overwhelmed yet again by this super soldier using their own DNA. However, the reasoning behind why Jenova is overcome by Sephiroth is also not explained (if Jenova is a sentient being, perhaps they made the decision to allow it/if Jenova is not 'sentient' in the sense we understand humans and other animals to be, the 'why' becomes more clear). We can only speculate at this point until Square gives us more info (if ever), but for now...

TL;DR

Sephiroth > Jenova > Shinra/humanity
 
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Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
#40
Okay, but what if humanity creates another Sephiroth? :monster:

What if they think they can get it right this time, and instead of Jenova as the augmenting element, they find another extraterrestrial organism?

Let's say it's from another meteorite. Maybe it carries a unique and mysterious plasmodia that induces DNA mutations in the infected that severely alter the physical form of the host and imbue them with magical properties! At the expense of their humanity of course. While also being highly contagious. But this time it's light sensitive! So surely that'll be easier to control!

I mean, let's not underestimate the danger and risk of unbridled and unchecked human stupidity here. Sephiroth is your aggressive and virulent viral induced cancer attacking the body of the planet and all life on it.

....Shinra is the person injecting 12 cm3 of random crap from outer space into their bodies in hopes of power and profit. Because hey! What else is random alien DNA and planet-life-draining technology made for, if not to use it??
 

jazzflower92

Pro Adventurer
AKA
The Girl With A Strong Opinion
#41
Okay, but what if humanity creates another Sephiroth? :monster:

What if they think they can get it right this time, and instead of Jenova as the augmenting element, they find another extraterrestrial organism?

Let's say it's from another meteorite. Maybe it carries a unique and mysterious plasmodia that induces DNA mutations in the infected that severely alter the physical form of the host and imbue them with magical properties! At the expense of their humanity of course. While also being highly contagious. But this time it's light sensitive! So surely that'll be easier to control!

I mean, let's not underestimate the danger and risk of unbridled and unchecked human stupidity here. Sephiroth is your aggressive and virulent viral induced cancer attacking the body of the planet and all life on it.

....Shinra is the person injecting 12 cm3 of random crap from outer space into their bodies in hopes of power and profit. Because hey! What else is random alien DNA and planet-life-draining technology made for, if not to use it??
Some people do not learn from history. But then again there will be some people who will prevent history from repeating hopefully.
 

Dee

sweet dee
AKA
Bun, Academic
#41
Some people do not learn from history. But then again there will be some people who will prevent history from repeating hopefully.
You're right in that humanity is fickle and ignorant, so it wouldn't be a surprise if they tried to experiment yet again on other human beings. There's no doubt about it. But to bring a counter argument to Makoeyes, I'm not sure I could say one threat is bigger than the other at any given time in history. It all just depends.
 
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