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An expert in planetology who lives in Cosmo Canyon. Bugenhagen is a great man who has dedicated himself to the study of stars and taught his teachings to many people. He is also an inventor, and has created devices like the wind generator that powers the valley, a voicepipe that can listen to the voice of the planet, and an astronomical telescope.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth description

Geisel Bugenhagen is a character in the Final Fantasy VII series. He has a supporting role in Final Fantasy VII, a minor role in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, and an expanded role in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. He is a wise elder living in Cosmo Canyon who is an expert on planetology, possessing a deep understanding of the planet and the lifestream, and theorizing about its future. He is revered around the village and the world, and many visit him to learn more about planetology.[2] He is also the adoptive grandfather of Red XIII.

In Final Fantasy VII, Bugenhagen aids Cloud Strife's party in their quest to save the world from Sephiroth and the Shinra Electric Power Company with his wisdom and knowledge. He also educates them about Holy, the ultimate White Materia used to stop Meteor, the ultimate Black Materia.


Before Final Fantasy VII[]

Bugenhagen was born in 1877.[note 1] He formerly worked for Shinra in a position unrelated to weapons and mako.[4] He eventually left the company to pursue planetology and ultimately became an elder at Cosmo Canyon. He was close with Gast Faremis, who gifted Shinra science machines to Cosmo Canyon. At some point, Bugenhagen mentored Fuhito of Avalanche.[5] He greatly respected Red XIII's father, Seto, who nobly fought and sacrificed himself to save Cosmo Canyon from the Gi tribe. Afterward, he became the adoptive grandfather of Red XIII.[3]

Original continuity[]

Bugenhagen reminded Nanaki of his duty in a tribal rite to appease the planet during "The Howl That Shook Heaven and Earth" in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, especially since he was one of the last survivors of his tribe. Reno brought a Turk to Bugenhagen, discovering that Verdot had recently searched for his daughter Elfe, who possessed an incomplete summon materia. Fuhito later visited Bugenhagen, revealing his destructive summon plan to return all life to the lifestream and his inability to get the materia to work. Fuhito threatened to capture Nanaki or Dinne if he did not comply, but Bugenhagen claimed ignorance.[5]

Bugenhagen warmly welcomed Cloud's party to Cosmo Canyon in "In the Land of the Study of Planet Life" and was especially happy to see Red XIII, affectionately calling him by his real name, Nanaki, and referring to him as a "child", embarrassing him. Bugenhagen shared insights into his tribe's longevity and was amused by Red XIII's eagerness to grow up and become a protector. However, he felt Red XIII was not ready and offered wisdom about the planet's future death. When Cloud expressed concerns about the planet, Bugenhagen claimed to hear its cries from the stars, explained planet life cycles, and both acknowledged a scream. After the party exited, Red XIII questioned Bugenhagen about withholding his apparatus, leading to an eventual agreement upon amusingly acknowledging the party's commitment to saving the world.[3]

Bugenhagen invited the party to his laboratory, where he used a 3D hologram system to explain planetology, life, death, the lifestream, and the connection between spirit energy and mako. Following the presentation, he encouraged the party to consult with elders for further planetary knowledge and touched upon Red XIII's deceased father. As Red XIII remembered his parents, Bugenhagen questioned his hesitation to forgive his father, guiding him to the entrance of the Cave of the Gi. Though reluctant due to his age and danger, he guided the party through the cave and told the story of Red XIII's warrior father, Seto, who nobly sacrificed himself to save Cosmo Canyon. Embracing the truth, Red XIII discovered that his mother knew of Seto's heroics and had Bugenhagen promise to seal the cave and forget about it.[3]

In a private talk with Red XIII, Bugenhagen expressed skepticism about Cloud's mission to save the planet, believing it only postponed its inevitable demise. Despite his doubts, he supported Cloud's goals, regretting his limited contributions due to age. Grateful for revealing the truth about Seto, he urged Red XIII to join Cloud. As Red XIII vowed to return a noble warrior, Bugenhagen asked Cloud to watch over him and assured the party they could return for more knowledge.[3]

Upon their return to Cosmo Canyon in "What Aeris Left Behind", Cloud's party sought Bugenhagen's guidance after Shinra's failed attempt to stop Meteor with a rocket. Pleased to help, Bugenhagen advised the stumped party to look into their hearts. As Cloud recalled Aerith Gainsborough's death in the City of the Ancients, Bugenhagen excitably offered to accompany them there. Before their departure, Cloud inquired about Huge Materia, to which Bugenhagen taught him how to operate his machine, hinted at a special consciousness within, and encouraged he return if interested in exploring more materia.[4]

Onboard the Highwind, Bugenhagen reveled in the machinery's scent and the deck's ambiance. In the City of the Ancients, he revealed crucial details about a crisis beyond human power or endless time, and the need for the ultimate White Materia Holy to counter Meteor. Bugenhagen cautioned about Holy's potential to destroy everything, emphasizing it was up to the planet. Cloud queried Bugenhagen about using Holy, learning it involved communicating with the planet and obtaining the materia, which, if their wishes reached Holy, would glow pale green. Despite feeling stuck, Bugenhagen found a key symbol and a music box with Ancient writing. Cloud gave him the key and upon opening the box, they discovered the materia was already glowing, indicating Aerith had already prayed to the planet. Back on the Highwind, Cloud's party observed Holy was not moving and Bugenhagen sensed something was blocking it, attributing the issue to Sephiroth before they returned Bugenhagen to Cosmo Canyon.[4]

During "Turmoil", Tifa Lockhart and Cid Highwind returned to Cosmo Canyon without Cloud, who was in the lifestream. Visiting Bugenhagen, they found him disheartened by the planet's impending demise and worried about Cloud's absence. Tifa informed Bugenhagen of Cloud's fall into the lifestream. Bugenhagen then explained its various locations beneath the world's surface, directing them to an island in the southern seas. He emphasized the lifestream was a mass of spiritual energy and difficult to resist due to its strong current.[6]

After defeating Diamond Weapon in "Decisive Battle", Cloud's party revisited Cosmo Canyon and checked in with Bugenhagen, who was dying from illness after his trip to the City of the Ancients. A sad Red XIII briefly stayed behind and refused to leave his grandfather's side, but he offered sagacious counsel and encouragement, insisting he appreciate everything about the planet's nature as it would become part of life's dream and get passed on for generations. As a farewell gesture, Bugenhagen gifted Red XIII his ultimate weapon. Red XIII then told the party that Bugenhagen "couldn't stay still and just zipped out of here", making everyone believe they may reunite with him.[6][2]

Remake continuity[]

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Bugenhagen is a 130-year-old man who sits on a levitating green orb designed by Shinra. He has aged fair skin, blinded gray eyes, a mostly bald head with his remaining white hair tied in a small ponytail, bushy eyebrows, a thick mustache, and a long twin-braided beard. He wears black spectacles and a purple and yellow robe.


Bugenhagen is cheerful, easygoing, and wise. He is energetic and brimming with curiosity despite his advanced age,[1][2] getting excited about more knowledge, travel, and modern technology.[3][4] Bugenhagen is broad-minded, claiming he can hear the voice of the planet,[3] pondering its mysteries, and mastering Shinra's latest inventions.[2] While he outwardly displays enthusiasm, Bugenhagen opposes Shinra's mako energy harvesting and holds a pessimistic view of the planet's state, acknowledging its inevitable demise. However, after a lecture and discussion with Cloud's party, he supports their goal of saving the planet and willingly lends his assistance.[3][4]

Bugenhagen is widely revered for his planetology expertise, drawing aspiring planetologists to Cosmo Canyon to learn from him firsthand.[2] He is also the adoptive grandfather of Red XIII, who affectionately calls him by his real name, and has looked after him since his father Seto died.[3] Red XIII's feelings are mutual, valuing his sage advice and showing concern for him.[3][6] Bugenhagen deeply respected Seto and it pained him that Red XIII viewed his father as a coward, which eventually led to him sharing the truth of Seto's noble sacrifice, prompting Red XIII to reconsider his outlook on life.[3][1] When Bugenhagen fell terminally ill, Red XIII was very sad but found comfort in Bugenhagen's encouragement and the gift of his ultimate weapon.[6]


Bugenhagen is a highly intelligent planetologist, surprisingly long-lived for a human, and can hear the voices of the planet despite not being a Cetra.[3]

Behind the scenes[]


Bugenhagen's Alternate Final Scene - FFVII Unlocked

The game contains an alternate version of the scene where Bugenhagen bequeaths Red XIII his ultimate weapon. In the alternate version Cloud and the party don't leave Red XIII alone with Bugenhagen, but stand back to witness. After Bugenhagen tells Red XIII the latter should leave the valley and travel, he falls motionless. Red XIII panics, but Bugenhagen then presents the ultimate weapon, as if as an afterthought. Red XIII asks Bugenhagen to not scare him again like that. Bugenhagen tells the party they should not worry and that he will look after the Planet's future, but if the player returns to his room after this scene, he will be gone for good. It is ambiguous whether Bugenhagen dies in this alternate version, and the party doesn't meet at the Cosmo Candle afterward.

During the scene where Bugenhagen is talking about the Lifestream and the Planet in the planetarium a humorous glitch can happen. If Tifa is in the party placed in the bottom of the menu party, the game will freeze and the player can control Tifa with the same movements that she has when she escapes from the gas chamber; it will appear like she is dancing.

During the optional scene with Bugenhagen after Diamond Weapon has been defeated, he doesn't have the green orb he usually sits on.


Bugenhagen is named for a character of the same name in The Omen. In the film, Carl Bugenhagen is an archaeologist who relates a great deal of the lore of the Antichrist to the protagonists so they may stop him.

Much like Heidegger, Bugenhagen has a historical and philosophical namesake. Johannes Bugenhagen was a deeply influential figure in the Protestant Reformation and was called "The Apostle to the North" for his work in bringing the Lutheranism to the Northern German city-states and the Scandinavian kingdoms. However, he is perhaps most famous for being Martin Luther's pastor in Wittenberg. While not as famous as many his contemporaries, he was deeply respected in his time and his theological and social influence lives on throughout Northern Europe.

"Geisel" was the real-life surname of acclaimed German-American educator, author and activist Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name of Dr. Seuss.



  1. Bugenhagen says "This year, I'll be 130" around the time of Final Fantasy VII, which occurs in [ ν ] – εγλ 0007,[3] setting his birth around 1877.



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