- "I was short a few souls, and came to collect."
Nero the Sable (漆黒の闇ネロ, Shikkoku no Yami Nero, lit. "Nero the Pitch-Black Darkness") is an antagonist in Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. An odd man who rarely leaves Weiss's side in the ruins of Shinra and is not seen to have a friendly relationship or make attempts to have a friendly relationship with anyone but Weiss, Nero is assistant to Weiss and while Weiss is incapacitated leads the Tsviets. He acts only for Weiss's, deepground's cause, except for occasionally tormenting Vincent or Shelke while doing so. He is voiced by Ryotaro Okiayu in Japanese and Mike Rock in English.
Nero is a thin man with long, very unkempt, black hair with a fringe of thick locks getting shorter from right to left the longest being at collar length the back is waist legnth and uneven. His eyes are red with Sephiroth-like irises (possibly caused as a result of using tainted Lifestream in his creation or being spliced with Genesis). A mechanical pair of what debatably are rightly called wings spread from his back, these are in fact two thin, jointed arm-shaped pieces of metal ending in sharp metal hands, with foot-long spikes from the elbows and five flat, jointed pieces of metal ending in spikes coming from the wrists. Nero has full movement and makes regular use of these but does not and could not use them as wings although they look similar to and Nero spreads them in a way reminiscent of wings. He wears a grey mako suit with straight-jacket arms which are secured but later broken at the elbow revealing web tattoo's extending to Nero's wrists and grey, plain mid-calf boots with mako-blue soles. Strips of metal cover Nero's face which is thin and slightly feminine, one covers his forehead then extends around, another covers Nero's mouth then extends to the top of his head with one more surrouding his nose and joining with metals strip covering his mouth. At his thighs there are thigh length holsters attatched with belts and with two slack strips of cloth between them. Taut belts at his waist, around the uppermost part of his legs, crossed on his upperarms and securing the straight-jacket sleeves. He fights with stylized handguns. Sparks of darkness and whisps which rotate around him making an x in front of him emanate from him. He speaks with a dry English accent.
Nero is the biological younger brother of Weiss and only successful test subject of the stagnant Mako experiments. The experiment itself was based on the Omega Reports left by Grimoire Valentine. Upon Nero's birth, a vortex absorbed his mother into another dimension. The scientists of Deepground discover Nero has power over darkness and confine him in a suit of Mako to contain his great power. But unknown to the scientists and Nero at the time, that Nero himself would be related to an event that would end the world and the beings that would cause it.
Nero, Weiss, and Rosso continue their training and grow stronger over the years. Eventually, they are feared to be too strong to control and Nero's arms are bound to prevent him from using his hands to manifest his dark powers. Nero was then chained inside Mako Reactor 0.
Nero and Weiss are released and sent to retrieve Genesis Rhapsodos after he is defeated by Zack Fair. He and Weiss take Genesis's body away in a helicopter under secret orders from President Shinra. Weiss and Nero inform Genesis of the Deepground situation and ask him to join them in an upcoming rebellion against the Restrictors, but Genesis refuses.
- "No one will take my brother away from me again!"
Just before the events of Dirge of Cerberus, Weiss is taken over by the digitized mind of Professor Hojo. It is during this time, that Hojo (as Weiss) teaches to Nero "the secrets of rebirth" to bring about Omega. Nero learns of Lucrecia Crescent's theorem of the planet's ultimate and final weapon, Omega, and its herald, Chaos. Nero orders the Tsviets and Deepground under his brother's name to make a pure stream of mako (in Hojo's own words; Lifestream untainted by either Jenova or G-Substance) and to search for the Protomateria to bring about and control Chaos. Shelke's findings of Lucrecia's data eventually lead to information about the ex-Turk, Vincent Valentine, whom the soldiers were ordered to pursue.
Although not seen in Edge, it is likely that he was there, as a small group of WRO troops was sucked into darkness. Nero's first in-game appearance is not until the middle of the game while Vincent is searching in the abandoned Shinra Mansion. One of the Cait Sith robots encounters Nero in the very heart of the Deepground complex beneath Midgar, "Mako Reactor 0". Nero summons darkness to engulf Cait as he did to the soldiers in Edge.
He is next seen during the WRO assault of Midgar, where although he does not engage in the fighting with the ground assault, he discusses tactics with the Tsviet commanders. He teleports onto Cid Highwind's ship, the Shera, and wreaks havoc in the engine room by absorbing the engine room crew into darkness. Shelke enters the room and, after a conversation, they begin to fight. He dodges Shelke's attacks and tries to destroy her with the darkness.
He watches over Vincent as he progresses his way down through the Shinra building. He sees Chaos emerge from Vincent and as Nero teleports away, he accidentally drops Shelke's mobile telephone, which allows Vincent to control Chaos again.
Vincent later encounters him deep within the Deepground complex, where they duel. Upon being defeated, he taunts Vincent about Shelke's fate and then tries to absorb Vincent into the darkness. As he turns to go, Vincent and Shelke unexpectedly appear from the darkness. He then realizes that Vincent is immune to the effects, as he has Chaos, "a soul wrought of terra corrupt" inside him. The "terra corrupt" is tainted Lifestream, the same substance from which Nero's darkness comes from and which Chaos is fully born of. As he is about to question them, Yuffie intervenes by giving a speech. Slightly confused, Nero vanishes into a portal, insisting that his brother has called him.
He is finally encountered in Weiss's chamber, where, after Vincent and Yuffie find Weiss's seemingly lifeless body, he informs Vincent and the accompanying Yuffie of Weiss's rebirth and the start of Omega's awakening. The reactor then activates, briefly illuminating the chamber with blinding light. Vincent and Yuffie draw their weapons and attempt to attack Weiss. Nero, in a furious rage, sucks them and himself into darkness.
Upon exiting the darkness and finding that both Yuffie and Vincent were still very much alive, Nero comments to Vincent that "there are some things that cannot be absorbed by my darkness". Nero then transports Vincent into a hellish world with mysterious floating platforms and crystals above a pool of lava. Nero himself appears in a spider-like machine and is known as Arachnero. Eventually, the machine loses it's footing and plunges into the lava pit. In a scream of both agony and anguish, Nero blasts upwards in a pillar of fire. He floats down to a rock, and draws his guns, while Vincent clambers up to meet him. Then the battle with Gorgonero commences.
After the gunfight, Nero and Vincent return to Mako Reactor 0 where a fatigued Nero limps off to Weiss. Back in Weiss's chamber, Weiss has become "reborn". An excited Nero rushes over to Weiss and embraces him, begging him to never leave again. Weiss just sneers and tells Nero that he has no further use of him. Nero glares at him in disbelief. Weiss then plunges his hand into Nero's chest and throws him across the room. After it is revealed to Vincent that Hojo is in control of Weiss, Weiss and Vincent battle.
After losing the battle to Vincent, a shocked and confused Hojo wonders why Omega's power has begun to wane. Nero, in a spectral form, appears, and begs for his brother and him to become one, so that they will never be parted again. When Hojo orders him to leave and stop polluting Omega, Nero merely ignores him. Weiss, now nearly free of Hojo's influence, agrees, and proceeds to hug Nero. Nero then fuses into Weiss, completely freeing him of Hojo's control. Weiss walks slowly towards the center of the Mako chamber, with the compulsion that he needs to bring about Omega, and vanishes in a ball of light.
Nero's actual fate is speculative. He is either in some form of existence inside of Weiss, or he may have been destroyed along with Hojo when Weiss entered in Omega, since he was a tainted being.
Nero explains to Vincent Valentine that Weiss was the only one that ever loved him and Nero would only ever love Weiss.
Nero's weapons of choice are guns (from their appearance, possibly handguns based on the real life IMI Desert Eagle), two of which are carried by him and used by his mechanical hands and later two identical ones drawn from darkness which he uses with his real hands. Nero can also use the arm or blade sections of his 'wings' as melee weapons.
Nero is able to manipulate and manifest darkness, this ability was gained from the Mako associated with the dark being Chaos, which he can use to move people, objects or absorb them into darkness within or without him, make objects and possibly people from the darkness as seen when he makes copies of his guns. The Mako also gave him enhanced versions of the abilities ususally associated with a SOLDIER. Nero's abilities require him to wear a suit which constantly supplies him with Mako. Shinra actually became scared of Nero's abilities deciding to place the straightjacket-like restarints on him to suppress his abilities and chaining him in Mako reactor 0, Nero was unable to free himself alone, or possibly but unlikely chose not to, however the restraints failed to suppress his abilities. They also cause him to be constantly surrounded by sparks and whisps of darkness.
- Nero is the Italian word for "Black". Sable is an adjective commonly used to describe the black fur of some animals. It is also used in heraldry to denote "black".
- He is also the only Tsviet whose power Weiss does not possess