Cloud... You'll come home, won't you?Denzel
Denzel is a recurring character in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. A young child, Denzel's life is one of many misfortunes. He looks up to Tifa and Cloud, and takes something of a big brother role to Marlene.
Denzel has wavy light brown wavy hair and blue eyes. He wears a short-sleeved dark green button down with a undershirt, dark wash denim jeans, sneakers and a necklace with a Fenrir ring attached that belongs to Cloud.
Left to fend for himself after his parents' passing, Denzel tries to survive in an uncaring world turned upside down. Having lost his caretaker(s) more than once, Denzel is acutely aware of loss and grief, but tries to look forward to the future regardless. He is commonly sombre and withdrawn, but accepts help from Tifa and Cloud, viewing them as role models and something of parental figures. He takes Marlene under his wing. Denzel tries to be of as much help as he can, not wanting his new family to see him as a burden, and becomes fiercely protective of them, recklessly charging at Bahamut SIN when the dragon goes on a rampage. Denzel is perceptive and skeptical, remaining unconvinced when a Shinra infantryman told him Avalanche dropped the Sector 7 plate that killed his family, as he remembered how Abel and his co-worker Arkham spoke otherwise.
According to the novella, On the Way to a Smile "Episode: Denzel", Denzel grew up in a well-to-do family in Midgar's Sector 7. His father, Abel, worked for Shinra Electric Power Company, while his mother, Chloe, worked around the house.
Denzel was seven years old during the events of Final Fantasy VII. Abel had recently received a promotion and they were planning on moving to a new house in the upper-class Sector 5. Before they could move Shinra had made plans to blow up the Sector 7 pillar to take out Avalanche's headquarters and place the blame on them. Abel had been informed of this, and attempted to get his family to Sector 5 before Sector 7's destruction. Upon telling his family about the circumstances, Chloe panicked and rushed off to warn her friends and neighbors. Abel went to go look for her and had an associate named Arkham take Denzel to their new house in Sector 5. Abel promised Denzel that he and his mother would make it back in time, but they were unable to do so.
The first day after Sector 7's fall, Denzel lived alone in the house his family had planned on moving into. Arkham had said he would check in on him every once in awhile to make sure he was okay. Denzel was overcome with anger and grief over the loss of his parents, and left the house looking for them clinging to a small hope they might have made it out. He got lost, but found a Shinra model airship, which he threw at a nearby house and accidentally broke a window. The old woman who lived in the house, Ruvie, scolded Denzel, but sympathized with him when she discovered he lost his parents in Sector 7. Upon learning Denzel lived alone, Ruvie let him live with her.
Denzel and Ruvie led a peaceful life together, Denzel's days consisting of helping her around the house and yard. When the Meteor appeared in the sky Denzel and Ruvie were shaken up, but continued to live out their lives and did not evacuate Midgar, as they considered it meaningless if Meteor was going to destroy the world anyway. As Meteor began to crash down onto Midgar Denzel and Ruvie awaited the end to come. The Lifestream surfaced to destroy Meteor, and Ruvie's house filled with its light. Ruvie protected Denzel from the Lifestream by throwing herself in its path. The next morning Denzel found Ruvie barely alive, and not long after she died, one of the first victims of Geostigma.
In the wake of Meteorfall Denzel was found by a man named Gaskin who was helping get everyone who did not evacuate to the Midgar Slums. Denzel received help burying Ruvie and left with Gaskin and other survivors to the railroad tracks and used them to descend Midgar's main pillar. Denzel witnessed people suffer and die from Geostigma. In the slums, Denzel and a group of orphaned kids his age made a living looking for scrap metal people needed to build the new city of Edge in exchange for food. Denzel and his friends called themselves the Sector Seven Scavengers.
When Gaskin succumbed to Geostigma the members of the Sector Seven Scavengers set off to live at homeless shelters in Edge. At first many of the kids, Denzel included, were too prideful to stop living independently, but once heavy machinery was brought into Sector 7 to clear the ruins, they saw little business and food became scarce. Denzel was the last remaining member of the Scavengers along with a boy named Rix, but after making an offensive comment about slum-dwellers, Denzel found himself alone.
After an unsuccessful search for food Denzel wandered the ruins and made his way to the Sector 5 slums where, just outside of Aerith's church, he came upon Cloud's motorbike, Fenrir. He noticed Cloud's phone hanging off the bike's handlebars and examined it. Denzel decided to call one of the numbers on the phone's incoming call list. The number he called was that of 7th Heaven in Edge, and he was answered by Tifa, surprised to find the person calling is not Cloud. Denzel felt a sharp pain and, upon realizing black liquid was dripping from his forehead, he knew he had Geostigma. He collapsed and was found by Cloud.
Cloud felt that him finding Denzel was no coincidence, and thought Aerith brought Denzel to his bike so he could find him, so rather than dropping him off at a hospital Cloud brought Denzel home at Tifa's behest. Denzel recovered and told Tifa and Cloud his story. As they felt responsible for what happened to Sector 7, Tifa and Cloud felt it their obligation to take care of Denzel, and Marlene was happy to have a new friend.
Denzel tried to be of as much help around the bar as he could. He looked up to Cloud as his hero, and always looked forward to spending time together. Denzel enjoyed hearing stories of the places Cloud visited during his travels, as did Marlene, and both would listen to his stories late at night and ask Cloud as much as they could about the places he had been. Denzel suffered from the effects of Geostigma, but tried his best not to think about it or how it may soon lead to death.
He'll come back. He said that he would.Denzel referring to Cloud
Denzel's condition worsens and he begins to lose hope. He hears about men who can cure Geostigma, and is taken with the other children to "be cured". The men are Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, who take Denzel and the others to the Forgotten City where Kadaj has the children drink water tainted with his will. The water enables Geostigma to run its course, and allows a complete takeover of their bodies and minds by Jenova's will. Kadaj's group uses Denzel and the other kids to track down Jenova's remains, a plan which proves unsuccessful.
Denzel is freed from control during Bahamut SIN's attack. When he comes to, he finds a hurt Tifa, injured while trying to protect him. Denzel charges at the Bahamut, but is stopped by Barret, who opens fire on the dragon along with the other former members of Avalanche. After a promise from Cloud to return home, Denzel returns to 7th Heaven where he and Marlene await the outcome of the battle. Having missed Aerith's healing rain, Denzel is the first Geostigma victim Cloud cures by using the water infused with Lifestream pooled in the church.
Advent Children Complete expands Denzel's role by including the scene where he came upon Cloud's motorbike. He later returns the doll of Moogle Girl's dead brother after she is knocked down in front of 7th Heaven carrying him on her back. Denzel, with the other children of Edge, rides in the back of a truck driven by Yazoo in reference to the ride Cloud Strife and Zack Fair took while on the run from Shinra.
He is present for more of the battle against Bahamut SIN, being saved from Shadow Creepers by Tifa and Cloud, the latter seeing an image of Zack superimposed over Denzel's form just before the rescue. Denzel battles the monsters created by the Remnants of Sephiroth, using an imitation of Cloud's Limit Break to crack open a fire hydrant. Denzel runs to Aerith's church with Marlene, Moogle Girl, and the other children of Edge to be healed by Cloud.
Denzel and Marlene are not seen during the Deepground/Omega crisis the following year in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, as they were spirited away by Cloud and Tifa to be safe from the Deepground.
In the year following the Deepground crisis, Denzel decides he is tired of having everyone helping him and wants a chance to give back for all that had been done for him. Denzel requests an interview for the World Regenesis Organization (WRO), which was still accepting kids. Denzel was to meet for the interview at Johnny's Heaven, an outdoor cafe owned by Johnny, Tifa's old friend and regular customer in Sector 7. When the interviewer arrives, Denzel is surprised to find the person interviewing him is the head of the WRO, Reeve Tuesti.
Reeve asks why Denzel wants to join the WRO. Denzel relates his story and at the end, Johnny, who had been listening in, objects to Denzel joining the WRO, thinking it would damage his image if the word got out that a kid was recruited by the WRO at his cafe, especially when that kid belonged to Tifa.
Reeve tells Denzel the WRO would no longer be accepting kids, his heart changed by the boy's story. Reeve thanks Denzel for taking care of his mother and produces a handkerchief made from the same pattern as the one Ruvie gave Denzel, who realizes Reeve is Ruvie's son, whom she had always talked about. Johnny questions why Denzel wants to join the WRO and Denzel says he wants to be strong like Cloud. Johnny says that instead of a guy who swings a sword, it is a guy who rubs away the pain of getting all the girls, which Denzel declares is not the case, before leaving with encouragement that everyone, including the women and children, can be strong.
Sometime during the year, Denzel and Cloud visit the outskirts of Midgar where yellow flowers grow in the place where Zack died. Denzel asks if this is someone's grave and Cloud replies the spot is where a hero began his journey.
Behind the scenes
From info derived from On the Way to a Smile, Denzel was born late November/early December [ μ ] – εγλ 2000. Denzel was found by Cloud on June 29th, in the early afternoon, as seen from the phone display shown during an Advent Children Complete trailer.
Denzel was confirmed to appear in late Monty Oum's Dead Fantasy, since he has appeared in an unfinished clip alongside Cloud. They also have the same conversation as at the ending of Advent Children Complete.
In the Japanese version, Denzel is voiced by Kyousuke Ikeda in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. In Advent Children Complete, he is voiced by Kazumu Izawa. Koki Uchiyama was among those who auditioned for Denzel's role. Although Tetsuya Nomura found his voice too mature for Denzel, he did choose to cast him for the voice of Roxas, and later Ventus, in the Kingdom Hearts series.
In the English version, he is voiced by Benjamin Bryan in Advent Children. In Advent Children Complete, he is voiced by Aaron Refvem.
"Denzel" means "high stronghold" in the Cornish language.