Confusion: Why can't Sephiroth control Vincent??

Cloud Squall

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If Sephiroth can control the Jenova cells inside of Cloud, why can't he control Vincent in the same way? Vincent has the ability to transform due to Jenova cells inside of him, so Sephiroth therefore should be able to control him, right?
 

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Vincent isn't considered a sephiroth clone and I don't even remember them mentioning him being injected with jenovas cells. He was tested on, but not like that.
 

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"The ability to change one's looks, voice, and words, is the power of Jenova." After Hojo incapacitated Vincent, he must have injected him with Jenova cells.
 

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"The ability to change one's looks, voice, and words, is the power of Jenova." After Hojo incapacitated Vincent, he must have injected him with Jenova cells.

I don't think that's evidence enough to show that he was actually a sephiroth clone like the others though, is it? Hojo quite frequently rambled maniacally out loud - strikes me could be doing the same thing here. The only Sephiroth clones im aware of that have characters which are more than black robes are Zack and Cloud.
 

Cloud Squall

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I'm just wondering what allowed him to transform them? I read somewhere that Hojo extracted the metamorphosis ability from Jenova (a shapeshifting alien), which makes sense, but then it is raises the question why Sephiroth isn't able to control him..
 

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Cloud Squall

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See that I can explain. That isn't Jenova, that's Chaos (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Chaos_(Final_Fantasy_VII))

Well I was just reading Dragon Mage's 'Breaks Down the FF7 (So You Don't Have To),' and he wrote:

"Remember what I said about Jenova being a shape-shifting alien? Well, Hojo managed to isolate the gene that allows for the shape-shifting and transferred that ability into Vincent (some might recognize it as the Chaos gene) -- that is why all of Vincent's limit breaks are different shape-shifting forms."


Again, that makes more sense to me than to say there is a different shape shifting gene apart from Jenova (which Hojo used during the Jenova Project) called Chaos.
 

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Well I was just reading Dragon Mage's 'Breaks Down the FF7 (So You Don't Have To),' and he wrote:

"Remember what I said about Jenova being a shape-shifting alien? Well, Hojo managed to isolate the gene that allows for the shape-shifting and transferred that ability into Vincent (some might recognize it as the Chaos gene) -- that is why all of Vincent's limit breaks are different shape-shifting forms."


Again, that makes more sense to me than to say there is a different shape shifting gene apart from Jenova (which Hojo used during the Jenova Project) called Chaos.

And who am I to refute Dragon Mage s wisdom? They're probably right. However just because it was part of Jenova doesn't automatically make him the same as the rest of the sephiroth clones. Chaos is a completely different monster altogether. Vincent struggles to control Chaos as it is so maybe Jenova and Sephiroth doesn't have the power to dominate Chaos like it does with any regular sephiroth Clone.
 

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Vincent is indeed a different beast, in my opinion.

Let's forget the story and where Vincent sits in the plot just for one moment, and let's examine what Vincent is...

When we meet him, Vincent Valentine is an immortal (or semi-immortal) vampire-type being. His clothing reflects this as much as his sleeping in a coffin in the basement of a creepy, haunted mansion for 20+ years.

Vincent can transform into creatures, but they are not formless. Vincent's transformations are into monsters which draw heavily from the monsters from horror movies. Galian Beast is a generic beast-type (but basically a form of behemoth where the FF universe is concerned). Death Gigas is essentially Frankenstein's monster. Hellmasker takes inspiration from Jason Voorhees. Chaos is a devil / vampire type creature along the same lines as Disney's Fantasia's nightmarish Chernabog.

The only thing which would make the classic-horror themes of Vincent's character more noticeable would be renaming him Count Transylvania.

-

Jenova also has horror themes, but Jenova is more Lovecraftian horror than Transylvanian horror. Jenova is the sort of horror you would expect from John Carpenter's 'The Thing'. The shapes which Jenova cells take are grotesque and do not have clean, neat forms like Vincent's transformations.

All of the aspects of Jenova which the party fight (each formed from a separate part of Jenova's corpse) are hideous, amorphous things. They tend to have heads and bodies of some form, but then the rest is a tangle of tentacles and giant, bulbous, fleshy growths.

Hojo and Sephiroth's transformations (both affected by Jenova cells) are equally hideous.

The more restrained approach to depicting the tainting effects of Jenova's cells on a human body (of depicting a single, black, feathery wing) is a later development from the Compilation material. In my opinion this One-Winged Angel concept over-simplified the negative impact of Jenova's alien cells. FFVII's Safer Sephiroth form (the form which inspired the One-Winged Angel idea) looks nothing like the Advent Children (etc) One-Winged Angel.

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Vincent's design doesn't seem to fit in with Jenova's world.

Jenova is an alien. That is, I think, of key importance. Yes, it is implied that she could metamorphose into humanoid forms in order to trick the Cetra ancients, but maybe we are to imagine these transformations as unstable (if we look at her corpse in the tank at Nibelheim as evidence, for example).


I'll not rule out the possibility that we are intended to imagine that Hojo did Jenova experiments on Vincent, and that this gave him shapeshifting abilities and a longer lifespan. The loose idea of transformation does fit with Jenova's style. However, I don't recall that ever being stated outright, and later references seem to point towards 'Chaos', and earlier references are, I believe, very vague.

I may be wrong, but wasn't Chaos a terrestrial entity (created by the planet, or existing since the dawn of time, or something), as opposed to an alien entity like Jenova?

I think, basically, that Vincent's transformations are of a completely different sort to the transformations of Jenova-affected individuals. A Jenova-affected Vincent would probably grow a few tentacles and spare limbs, or an eyeball will pop out from his left nipple or something. At the very least (in the later simplified style), they may have given him a single black wing.

They did none of these things. Vincent was an optional character who acted as a walking classical horror movie reference.
 

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And who am I to refute @Dragon Mage s wisdom?...

Ha, true. But I was just saying his opinion made more sense to me than saying there is a separate shape shifting cell.

Vincent is indeed a different beast, in my opinion.

Jenova also has horror themes, but Jenova is more Lovecraftian horror than Transylvanian horror. Jenova is the sort of horror you would expect from John Carpenter's 'The Thing'. The shapes which Jenova cells take are grotesque and do not have clean, neat forms like Vincent's transformations.

All of the aspects of Jenova which the party fight (each formed from a separate part of Jenova's corpse) are hideous, amorphous things. They tend to have heads and bodies of some form, but then the rest is a tangle of tentacles and giant, bulbous, fleshy growths.

Hojo and Sephiroth's transformations (both affected by Jenova cells) are equally hideous.

The more restrained approach to depicting the tainting effects of Jenova's cells on a human body (of depicting a single, black, feathery wing) is a later development from the Compilation material. In my opinion this One-Winged Angel concept over-simplified the negative impact of Jenova's alien cells. FFVII's Safer Sephiroth form (the form which inspired the One-Winged Angel idea) looks nothing like the Advent Children (etc) One-Winged Angel.

Vincent's design doesn't seem to fit in with Jenova's world.

Jenova is an alien. That is, I think, of key importance. Yes, it is implied that she could metamorphose into humanoid forms in order to trick the Cetra ancients, but maybe we are to imagine these transformations as unstable (if we look at her corpse in the tank at Nibelheim as evidence, for example).


I'll not rule out the possibility that we are intended to imagine that Hojo did Jenova experiments on Vincent, and that this gave him shapeshifting abilities and a longer lifespan. The loose idea of transformation does fit with Jenova's style. However, I don't recall that ever being stated outright, and later references seem to point towards 'Chaos', and earlier references are, I believe, very vague.

I may be wrong, but wasn't Chaos a terrestrial entity (created by the planet, or existing since the dawn of time, or something), as opposed to an alien entity like Jenova?

I think, basically, that Vincent's transformations are of a completely different sort to the transformations of Jenova-affected individuals. A Jenova-affected Vincent would probably grow a few tentacles and spare limbs, or an eyeball will pop out from his left nipple or something. At the very least (in the later simplified style), they may have given him a single black wing.

They did none of these things. Vincent was an optional character who acted as a walking classical horror movie reference.


Well, I would say the flaw in your argument is that you are forgetting that the 'Sephiroth' we see throughout the game is actually Jenova, who has completely transformed to look like him. So Jenova is able to transform 100% into people, and not be merely "grotesque" and "hideous."

And I agree that Vincent was based on/inspired by classic horror imagery, but he's technically not a vampire (Square Enix, though, constantly poke fun of this vampire similarity). But I guess I never really picked up on the specific horror references when I was younger- Frankenstein, Jason Voorhees, the Fantasia Demon... neat.
 

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Ha, true. But I was just saying his opinion made more sense to me than saying there is a separate shape shifting cell.

Well, I would say the flaw in your argument is that you are forgetting that the 'Sephiroth' we see throughout the game is actually Jenova, who has completely transformed to look like him. So Jenova is able to transform 100% into people, and not be merely "grotesque" and "hideous."

And I agree that Vincent was based on/inspired by classic horror imagery, but he's technically not a vampire (Square Enix, though, constantly poke fun of this vampire similarity)

I wasn't being sarcastic. I enjoyed that very thread you mentioned earlieir so I respect the research Dragon Mage did into the ins and out of the story.

Now that he mentioned it, I seem to remember what Dennis said about Chaos being created by the planet is true, too. And i'm pretty sure that was what they experimented on Vincent with, not Jenovas cells like the other Sephiroth Clones. Either that or Chaos conflicts with it.
 

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I wasn't being sarcastic. I enjoyed that very thread you mentioned earlieir so I respect the research Dragon Mage did into the ins and out of the story.

Now that he mentioned it, I seem to remember what Dennis said about Chaos being created by the planet is true, too. And i'm pretty sure that was what they experimented on Vincent with, not Jenovas cells like the other Sephiroth Clones. Either that or Chaos conflicts with it.

I think the confusion lies with the game vaguely saying that Hojo "experimented" on Vincent. But they don't really say what exactly that means. Was it Jenova? Or something else?

It isn't until Dirge of Cerberus do they say it was Chaos, and the Protomateria. But they say those two were added by Lucrecia, only after Hojo's 'experimentation' left him nearly dead.

So again, what 'experiments' did Hojo do exactly? It just seems to be that it makes sense that he did Jenova cells, but if so, that raises other questions..
 
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Dionysos

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Ha, true. But I was just saying his opinion made more sense to me than saying there is a separate shape shifting cell.




Well, I would say the flaw in your argument is that you are forgetting that the 'Sephiroth' we see throughout the game is actually Jenova, who has completely transformed to look like him. So Jenova is able to transform 100% into people, and not be merely "grotesque" and "hideous."

And I agree that Vincent was based on/inspired by classic horror imagery, but he's technically not a vampire (Square Enix, though, constantly poke fun of this vampire similarity). But I guess I never really picked up on the specific horror references when I was younger- Frankenstein, Jason Voorhees, the Fantasia Demon... neat.

I hadn’t forgotten about Sephiroth being Jenova, but you are right to bring that up as I hadn’t considered it here.

I guess this is the stability thing again. Jenova can transform to take the appearance of a human. We see it with Jenova’s corpse transforming into Sephiroth. We are also led to believe that Jenova transformed herself into a humanoid to trick the Cetra… If I remember rightly I think it is even implied that Jenova transformed herself into the image of particular Cetra as a tactic to confuse the loved ones of the forms that she took.

What I meant to say is that while these transformations are a part of Jenova’s tactic of invasion, they are not 100% stable. It isn’t clear how long Jenova can hold a humanoid form for. It could be a couple of days. It could be hours. It could be years. It could be infinite… We only see Jenova/Sephiroth for very brief glimpses, and they nearly always end with an unstable piece of Jenova’s corpse transforming into another Jenova boss fight.

Based on what we see in FFVII I had the impression (which other people may not have had, which is fine) that Jenova’s transformation cannot be held forever. It’s hard to tell because we don’t know what Jenova really looked like as a cosmic being. The corpse that we see in the tank at Nibelheim (which had been frozen in the Northern Crater) almost looks like she has taken the form of a Cetra, but then the alien aspects have started to bubble back to the surface again. Maybe being frozen in the Northern Crater delayed the effects of her cells realigning and taking their original forms (so we see her in a half-Cetra, half-Jenova state). Her subsequent preservation in a tank could also preserve her corpse’s state.

However, when Sephiroth uses the Jenova genes within himself to manipulate and control Jenova’s corpse then her body quickly becomes unstable again. She breaks out of the tank and takes Sephiroth’s form, but by the time that we meet Jenova/Sephiroth on the ferry from Junon to Costa Del Sol her body has already started to deteriorate and fall apart. Her individual body parts go full-Jenova on the party.

Who really knows, though? It’s also possible that she always looked like how she appears in the Nibelheim tank. My personal interpretation was that Shinra had managed to preserve her corpse at the point where her body is halfway (or however far) to turning back into her true form.

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Vincent’s transformations seem to be different. I guess it would be too much to say that they are completely controlled, but they seem to be more stable than Jenova transformations. Vincent, for brief periods, can turn himself into a creepy monster and deal damage, but these monsters are all neatly defined and are not shapeless monstrosities, and then afterwards he is back to being himself again. The forms that he takes are not alien-like in the style of a Jenova transformation, but they are instead terrestrial monsters from the nightmares of earth.

I didn’t mean to suggest that Vincent was an actual vampire. Vincent is not a vampire, but he is undoubtedly a vampire-type. He doesn’t have vampire teeth and drink blood, but his character design and sleeping in a coffin is based on vampires.

Hojo’s experiments are curious, but it is important to remember that Hojo was absolutely insane as a scientist. This is the guy who would later attempt to breed Red XIII and Aerith together after all. Hojo is all about experimentation, but he doesn’t give a damn about any consequences. Hojo is the sort of guy that Ian Malcom would be telling off in Jurassic Park. The laboratory is Hojo's playground, and he’ll cackle loudly at any horrific thing which results from what he does.

Jenova was just one (albeit crucially important) project for Hojo. It’s not too unusual to suggest that Hojo had separate projects for metamorphosis, perhaps using the planet’s mako, or some other energy, or the genes of a terrestrial animal or being. The FFVII universe already had summon spells, and status ailments such as turning into a frog, so it might even be that Hojo was studying these effects and attempting to control them.

I don’t think that we are to believe that Jenova is the only being in the cosmos which can transform her form.

Vincent ended up in Nibelheim, if I'm remembering rightly, because he was confronting Hojo regarding Lucretia. Vincent was shot by Hojo and ended up in the basement coffin. Vincent was not at Nibelheim because he was a subject of the Jenova project himself. If Hojo ever did plan to experiment with Jenova's genes on Vincent (it would be a logical next step, perhaps) then maybe his plans never came to fruition due to the events which led to Vincent's getting shot and placed in the coffin.
 

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I hadn’t forgotten about Sephiroth being Jenova, but you are right to bring that up as I hadn’t considered it here.

I guess this is the stability thing again. Jenova can transform to take the appearance of a human. We see it with Jenova’s corpse transforming into Sephiroth. We are...

I like your theory about Jenova not able to maintain a transformation for too long, but I'm still not convinced that Jenova's transformation are all that different from Vincent's transformations.

I also don't believe classic Final Fantasy spells like Toad, or Pig should be used as evidence to prove something in the story- pertaining to Jenova or whatever (they've been around since early FF games).

Again, though, I liked your theory that the reason Jenova looks the way she does during the events of FF7 is because she was halfway between her transformation of a Cetra impersonation and her natural alien self when she was killed by the Ancients.
 

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I like your theory about Jenova not able to maintain a transformation for too long, but I'm still not convinced that Jenova's transformation are all that different from Vincent's transformations.

I also don't believe classic Final Fantasy spells like Toad, or Pig should be used as evidence to prove something in the story- pertaining to Jenova or whatever (they've been around since early FF games).

Again, though, I liked your theory that the reason Jenova looks the way she does during the events of FF7 is because she was halfway between her transformation of a Cetra impersonation and her natural alien self when she was killed by the Ancients.


No problem. We all have different interpretations, and there is no correct way to look at this considering that the evidence is so ambiguous. The FFVII creators thought a lot of things through, but this is one of the things which they neglected to explain sufficiently.

I think it is easier for me to illustrate my ideas about Vincent’s transformations vs Jenova transformations with the aid of some images. I do believe that when they are seen together they are noticeably quite different.

Here are some images of Vincent's transformations:
Galian Beast:
FFVII-GalianBeast.png



Death Gigas:
deathgigas.png

Hellmasker:

hellmasker.png

Chaos:

chaos.png


Now let us compare these with the following Jenova transformations:

Forms of Jenova (Birth, Life, Death):

(Jenova Death, above, and Birth and Life are all palette swaps of the same monster graphic).


Jenova Synthesis:




Hojo's Jenova-affected states:
Helletic Hojo:
(He has arms as well but this is the clearest image I could find).


Lifeform-Hojo N:




Sephiroth's Jenova-affected states:
Bizarro Sephiroth:


Safer Sephiroth:



There may be more I might have missed, but I think that more or less covers it.


The main difference that I am seeing is that the forms which Vincent's transformations take can be comprehended by the human mind and categorised instantly. We see them and we see a murderer in a mask, a behemoth-type were-wolf beast, a Frankenstein's monster, and a bat-devil demon. Considering that the FFVII world shares our concepts of gothic horror and what is considered spooky (this is based not only on the Nibelheim mansion and Vincent's own existence, but also the haunted hotel in the Gold Saucer), it is maybe likely that these beings are somewhat familiar to the inhabitants of the FFVII world (from fiction or their nightmares, if not in reality). Their concepts of what is scary and belongs in nightmares is realised in physical form through Vincent's limit break transformations.

The Jenova transformations are difficult to make sense of. The FFVII inhabitants might be puzzled. 'Which head is the real one? Do the same laws of nature apply? Are both heads real? Is that tentacle really necessary? Just what is that bulge?'. Any one would get confused trying to comprehend the existence of these things.

Vincent's transformations are not like that. They appear to be forms which make sense within the terrestrial landscape. They don't seem to be alien. Jenova's cell's transformations are all distinctively alien because Jenova is an alien.

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Ha ha. The toad theory does open up a can of worms, I agree. Battle status effects don’t always carry through into the story (otherwise they might have thrown Aerith a Phoenix Down, etc). They sometimes do though. Characters do show an awareness of the spells and abilities that they use from time to time. If Hojo was conscious of the frog spells (if, say, they were a real thing within that universe and not just a battle thing) then it may have been something he’d want to look into. It’s more likely that he didn’t, but I’m just saying it is a possibility.

I’m not going to push too hard on the ‘Hojo did frog experiments’ theory though as I was only speculating on the spot and in an almost hyperbolic way (although it would be funny if the forest near Cosmo Canyon with all of the frogs was the result of Hojo’s experimentation of this sort :P). I only meant to suggest that there are possibly other creatures or beings in the FFVII universe who can transform in some way. The ability may exist. It might not only be Jenova or the alien element which allows for transformation in a world where magic and monsters are earthly things.
 
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