Every Important Detail You Need to Know From Final Fantasy 7’s Various Spinoffs

A tangled web of lore.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix

The original Final Fantasy 7 is an all-time classic, but in the decades since its release Square Enix has followed up with a wealth of spinoff novels and games that create a web of convoluted lore. Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and now Rebirth, ambitiously reimagine the classic game’s world, but also seems to integrate quite a few elements of that extended universe. Diving into Final Fantasy 7’s lore is a complicated experience, and it’s hard to keep up with the various books, games, and films that have been released. With that in mind, we’ve created a brief primer of some of the essential info from Final Fantasy 7’s spinoffs with a key focus on things that could be important for the Remake trilogy moving forward.

Warning: There are major spoilers for every Final Fantasy 7 spinoff ahead.

The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story

The Kids Are Alright is a novel written by Final Fantasy 7’s scenario writer, Kazushige Nojima, and it was translated into English in 2019.

Square Enix

The Kids Are Alright is a spinoff novel set after the events of Final Fantasy 7, following a pair of young protagonists named Kyrie Canaan and Evan Townshend, who run a detective agency in Midgar.

Evan Townshend’s Real Identity

Kyrie, and another character named Leslie Kyle, were introduced in Final Fantasy 7 Remake as major side characters. Trailers have shown Kyrie returning in Rebirth, but we haven’t seen any indication of Evan making an appearance, despite the book being written largely from his perspective.

Evan is a particularly interesting character because of the secret we find out near the end of the novel: he’s the illegitimate child of President Shinra. If Evan exists in the Remake universe, it would mean that Rufus Shinra, who now runs the company, has a sibling.

Traces of Two Pasts

Traces of Two Pasts is a novel written by Kazushige Nojima, and released in 2023.

Square Enix

Traces of Two Pasts is the newest addition to the Final Fantasy 7 universe, and was also written by Kazushige Nojima. The difference here is that Square Enix has confirmed this novel takes place directly before the Remake trilogy, and delves into the past of both Tifa and Aerith.

Tifa’s Training With Zangan

There’s a great amount of detail given to the two character’s history and relationships, and while that’s all good it’s not absolutely vital to know. The most important detail for Tifa is likely her relationship with the martial arts master Zangan. During Tifa’s youth, Zangan sees promise in Tifa, and the pair spend years training and refining techniques, building a relationship in the process. We also find out that Zangan is the one who saves Tifa after Sephiroth destroys Nibelheim.

Aerith’s Imprisonment at Shinra

The other important piece of context in the novel deals with Aerith’s past, and the years she spent imprisoned at Shinra Tower. In the book we learn Aerith’s Cetra powers started giving her visions, and she’d create drawings of the “Promised Land.” After learning of this Shinra forced Aerith to draw, and would send teams out across the world that would use her drawings as a reference to try and find the fabled Promised Land. Almost every single one of these expeditions ended in failure, with the researchers sent out vanishing.

One Shinra employee blamed Aerith for the disappearance of her family and assaulted the young girl, which undoubtedly scarred her.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7

Crisis Core was originally released on the PSP in 2007.

Square Enix

Crisis Core is undoubtedly the most important Final Fantasy 7 spinoff, as Square Enix seems to be going all-in on giving Zack Fair a larger role in the Remake trilogy. It’s a direct prequel that leads into the events of Final Fantasy 7, and the most readily available spinoff due to the 2022 remake, Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core Reunion.

Genesis and SOLDIER Degradation

Crisis Core introduces a few brand new characters, but the most important are Genesis Rhapsodos and Angeal Hewley. Both are First-Class SOLDIERs and the best friends of Sephiroth, and both were created by Project-G, the precursor to Shinra’s project that created Sephiroth. This means that Angeal and Genesis are imperfect versions, and due to the nature of the experiments their cells degrade, which ultimately means a slow demise.

Genesis is the main villain of Crisis Core, and essentially declares battle on the world saying, “he’ll take the world with him.” He also has an intense fascination with the Goddess Minerva, a supernatural being that seems tied to the consciousness of the world Gaia. He’s seemingly an important character to the entire series, even popping up in the secret ending of Dirge of Cerberus. But it’s impossible to know if Genesis will ever come back, as there have been some rights problems due to the characters’ likeness being based on the famous Japanese singer Gackt. At the very least though, the Genesis project and idea of degradation could be important.


The final trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth reveals that Cissnei, another original Crisis Core character, is coming back, so it’s important to at least know who she is. Cissnei is a member of the Turks who had frequent run-ins with Zack Fair, and was assigned to watch him for a while as well. The two developed an interesting relationship, and the end of Crisis Core shows Cissnei trying to find and save Zack, to no avail.

The Demise of Zack Fair

Of course, the most important part of Crisis Core is the demise of Zack Fair, which makes his seeming survival the biggest question of Rebirth. After the events of Nibelheim, Zack and Cloud are put in containers of mako in the Nibelheim laboratory. Zack wakes up first and breaks out Cloud, who’s suffering from mako poisoning. On their way back to Midgar the pair is ambushed by a horde of Shinra soldiers, and Zack is ruthlessly gunned down while he sacrifices himself to save Cloud.

If you didn’t already know, Zack also had a budding romance with Aerith, whom he met by chance in the Slums of Midgar.

Before Crisis: Final Fantasy 7

Before Crisis released on mobile devices in Japan in 2004.

Square Enix

Before Crisis was a Japan-exclusive mobile game set before the events of Final Fantasy 7, focusing squarely on the Turks organization. There was a wealth of new characters introduced, along with some backstory on prominent characters like Tseng, Rude, and Reno. While most of that backstory doesn’t seem vital, there’s one piece of info that could be key.

Rufus Shinra’s Ties to Avalanche

The Turks fight the insurgent organization Avalanche, and this game shows a much harsher organization than the one Barret runs. Throughout the story, we learn there’s a mole within Shinra feeding info to Avalanche, and possibly even providing them with funds and supplies. It’s eventually revealed that the mole is none other than Rufus Shinra himself, though his motives are never made entirely clear.

Dirge of Cerberus

Dirge of Cerberus released on PlayStation 2 in 2006.

Square Enix

Dirge of Cerberus stars Vincent Valentine and takes place after the film Advent Children, and is the furthest we’ve seen in the Final Fantasy 7 chronology. While we aren’t talking about Advent Children, we’ve included Dirge of Cerberus due to already seeing elements from the game in Remake.

What Is Deepground?

Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Yuffie DLC, Episode INTERmission, introduces Deepground to the new trilogy, a super secret Shinra department created for Dirge of Cerberus.

Deepground is a top-secret experimental department that lives beneath the Sector 0 reactor and was hidden for all of the events of Final Fantasy 7. The organization was created as a medical division for injured SOLDIERs, but morphed into something more insidious. The group is led by powerful supersoldiers called Tsviets. In Dirge of Cerberus, Deepground spends years digging out of the ruins of Midgar, and then wants to use their power to take over the world. It’s a lot more convoluted than that, but that’s the gist of things.

Episode INTERmission has Yuffie fighting Deepground, and even introduces one of Tsviets, Nero the Sable. It’s unclear if Deepground appearance is a one-off, or if the group will continue to be important to the Remake trilogy.

Vincent Valentine and Chaos

Without getting too far into the weeds, Dirge of Cerberus provides more context to Vincent's role in the series, even though he was an optional character in the original game. After lengthy experimentation by Shinra and Professor Hojo, Vincent’s body becomes home to a sentient entity called Chaos, which itself is part of another entity named Omega.

Omega is a weapon created by the planet Gaia, but unlike the other weapons is used as a last resort when the planet is near its end. Chaos is meant to send all life to the Lifestream, where it’s absorbed by Omega, which then flies into the cosmos to land on a new planet and start the cycle of life anew. At the moment we have no idea how, or if, the Remake trilogy will dig into Vincent’s backstory.

Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis

The First Soldier story in Ever Crisis is ongoing and continues to get updates.

Square Enix

Ever Crisis is a 2023 mobile game that retells the story of the original Final Fantasy 7 and Crisis Core, but also adds a brand new story called The First Soldier. This story introduces a trio of new characters, who were among the first to be chosen for Shinra’s SOLDIER program.

Glenn Lodbrok The First Soldier, and Young Sephiroth

Glenn Lodbrok is the main character of The First Soldier story, and he’s a large lovable guy with a happy-go-lucky attitude. He’s accompanied by two other Shinra candidates, Lucia and Glenn, as they’re sent to the Rhadore Archipelago to survey sites for a new mako reactor.

The trio learns more about the people there, but ultimately events lead to them meeting a young Sephiroth, who was sent to fight the Rhadore Army. There’s a bit of tension between the two, but The First Soldier story is still ongoing in Ever Crisis.

Interestingly, the cutscene that plays when you start The First Soldier seemingly takes place years after the story, showing an older Sephiroth standing in a field of Behemoths he’s defeated. As Sephiroth tries to call Genesis he’s stopped by an older Glenn in a cloak, who attacks him.

We don’t know if Glenn or The First Soldier will factor into the Remake trilogy in any way, but Square Enix has put a lot of attention on the mobile game, and talked a lot about Sephiroth’s larger importance in Rebirth.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launches on February 29 exclusively on the PS5.

Related Tags