One of Final Fantasy 7's most standout aspects is its antagonists. In fact, some are arguably more iconic than some of the protagonists. They all have the trademark characteristics you want in a villain: puffed-up egos, an enormous sense of their own self-importance, and they're not afraid to carry out some truly heinous acts in order to further their own goals.
Some are obviously going to stand out more than others, especially in a roster as large as FF7's. A few do seem to actually feel bad about what they do, but the vast majority don't care, and sometimes even find delight in their activities.
This article will contain heavy spoilers for Final Fantasy 7.
Elena certainly tries very hard to be evil, but unfortunately, she ends up being the comedy relief antagonist. She does try to intimidate the protagonists in Wutai and Icicle Inn, but the former is dismissed by Reno, and the latter just sees Elena trapped in a giant snowball.
Elena puts up a decent fight in the Sector 8 tunnel, but even here, it's possible to completely ignore her if you take out Reno or Rude first. Perhaps if she'd been given a proper chance, she might have been more intimidating.
Palmer is more incompetent than he is evil, although he still has a cruel streak. This is most felt by Cid since Palmer oversees the (now defunct) Shinra space program, and he delights in harassing Cid when Cloud and co. first meet them.
Even then, his actual misdeeds within the game pale in comparison to his fellow Shinra executives, who treat him with little respect. That being said, it is very funny to watch him get knocked over by a Shinra truck at the end of his boss fight.
Rude is the silent member of the Turks, preferring to let his fists do the talking. He comes as the coldest member, but there is a friendship between him and Reno which he tries to hide beneath his stern exterior.
Rude isn't afraid to do a fair bit of dirty work, but there are moments where he seems hesitant to carry out some of the more nefarious tasks of his bosses, if only for a moment. It's this complex nature that makes him so memorable.
Reno is the most charismatic of the Turks (and possibly the most attractive one, too). Right from your first encounter with him in the church, you know that whilst he may come off as blasé and lazy, he does secretly enjoy doing some dirty work, especially constantly hounding Aerith to capture her.
Even after you leave Midgar and the saga with Aerith is completed, Reno doesn't seem to care at all about what he does. If it wasn't for his laziness, he might have become a far more terrifying villain.
Tseng is the leader of the Turks, but he doesn't get as much screen time compared to his subordinates. This does make his appearances much more sinister since he's a lot crueler than the other Turks, especially when he's constantly harassing Aerith.
The darkest of his tricks occurs during the Sector 7 plate collapse in Midgar since it's revealed that Aerith had to willingly comply with Tseng in order to protect Marlene. It can make you wonder just what else he's capable of when he's off-screen.
Heidegger is President Shinra's right-hand man, and he also commands the military. Unsurprisingly, he takes full advantage of this position. He constantly talks down to those in lower rankings and isn't afraid to use threats to make them do what he wants. And if that fails, physical violence isn't off the table either.
Heidegger is so convinced of his own brilliance that he refuses to acknowledge any possible faults in his plans, no matter the evidence presented to the contrary. He's a true example of failing upwards.
Scarlet is no less power-hungry than her fellow Shinra executives, and she relishes in it. She has no regard for the lives of her subordinates, delights in using torture, and she's more than happy to perform public executions (as shown with Tifa at Junon).
Being the head of Weapons Development gives Scarlet the perfect position she needs to do as she pleases. After all, the only people who are willing to talk back to her, are also the same people who care only for themselves and their own power.
4 Rufus Shinra
Rufus is the son of President Shinra, and thus the heir to the company after his father's death. Rather than ruling through suppression, Rufus chooses to rule through fear, and thus maintains the evil corporation's constant urge for power.
Throughout the rest of the game, Rufus constantly insults the likes of Hojo, Heidegger, and Scarlet for the slightest failure (even those caused by the protagonists), and has no time for any of their "excuses." If they weren't so evil themselves, you might feel sorry for them.
3 President Shinra
President Shinra only appears for a very small period of time in FF7's overall storyline before Sephiroth kills him, but it's made very clear that there is no barrier he will not cross in his pursuit for power, even when he's already the ruler of Midgar.
After all, there's a special kind of evil that's happy to wipe out the lives of hundreds of civilians by collapsing a plate of his own city. He even watches it happen from his tower, with zero remorse for his actions.
Hojo is the creator of the SOLDIER program, and he is a foul, creepy individual. He leers at Aerith when describing how she's related to the Cetra — and the less thing said about his treatment of Red XIII, the better. He's also the primary perpetrator in the manipulation of Sephiroth, all so he can create the perfect soldier.
Hojo is willing to go to any lengths for "science," so he's constantly putting others at risk. Even the other Shinra executives are viewed as expendable if it means furthering his own research.
It's hardly a surprise that Sephiroth takes the top spot. After all, this is a man who goes on a rampage in Nibelheim, manipulates and periodically controls Cloud throughout the story (including making Cloud try to kill Aerith), kills Aerith himself, and also tries to cause a global catastrophe just so he can become a god.
Perhaps it's understandable to initially feel sorry for Sephiroth after he discovers that he was constantly lied to and manipulated by Hojo, but that doesn't defend any of his actions.
Source: Read Full Article