Jessie Rasberry[2] is a character in the Final Fantasy VII series, with a minor supporting role in Final Fantasy VII and a major supporting role in Final Fantasy VII Remake. She is a core member of Barret's independent Avalanche cell along with Biggs and Wedge, and is crucial to the bombings of Mako Reactors 1 and 5.

Jessie is the technical expert of Barret's Avalanche cell, providing them with the explosives used in the bombings, minor explosives used on their missions, fake IDs, and other procured items.[3] Although she is generally confident and upbeat, she is burdened with guilt at the devastation caused by her bombs. Jessie is very close to Biggs and Wedge, and develops apparent feelings for Cloud, being very flirtatious with him and often teaming up with him on missions.

History

Before Final Fantasy VII

Jessie on stage.

Jessie was born in 1984[note 1] to Rowan Rasberry and his wife. She grew up with Biggs and Wedge,[4] presumably in Sector 7. She lived with her mother and father, who worked as a Chief Maintenance Engineer[5] at the Shinra Electric Power Company.

Jessie aspired to be an actress at Gold Saucer. After hard work, she was eventually cast in a top billing role at the Gold Saucer as the "Princess",[6] thrilling her parents. However, just before opening night, her father, Rowan, collapsed from overwork and fell into mako storage. Her father's incident led Jessie to study planetology and seek out Avalanche. She believed her father's soul as being stuck between the living plane and the afterlife, and thus came to believe that Shinra's mako harvesting needed to stop.[7]

Jessie was a member of Barret's independent Avalanche cell.[note 2] While working for them, she lived with other aspiring actresses[10] in the Sector 7 slums. Her mother believed she was still trying to get into the Gold Saucer and wasn't cast yet. Jessie also sold water filters to the residents of the Sector 7 slums, raising funds for Avalanche.[11]

Before the attack on Mako Reactor 1, Jessie prepared the bomb, but used a more powerful blasting agent than what the instructions demanded.[12]

Original continuity

Avalanche operations

In December of 0007, during "No. 1 Reactor Bombing", Avalanche infiltrated Mako Reactor 1. Jessie came up with a code that opened a door and descended an elevator with Barret and Cloud. After setting the bomb she had built, Cloud helped Jessie during their evacuation after she got her leg stuck. The Avalanche members parted ways and regrouped at the train back to the Sector 7 slums, during which Jessie showed Cloud a digital model of Midgar and told him about her fascination with computers. The bombing mission was a success, and Jessie was amazed by seeing the results of it on the news back at their Sector 7 hideout.

During "To the No. 5 Reactor", Avalanche set off to Mako Reactor 5. Jessie made everyone fake ID cards to bypass the train's security check; however, Cloud's card notably failed, because she had tried to "make it special".[13] This forced the group to jump off the train. Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie stayed behind when Cloud, Tifa, and Barret jumped off first, Jessie disguised as a train conductor. Cloud could compliment her on her disguise, or tell her it needed more work.

During "Prevent the Fall of the Plate", Shinra attacked the Sector 7 pillar, and Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge helped Barret defend it. When Cloud found her severely wounded, she was glad she could talk to him one last time and mourned that since many people died because of her bombs, this was her rightful punishment.[14] Jessie was among the casualties of Sector 7 plate collapse.

In the lifestream

In Hoshi o Meguru Otome, Jessie appeared to Aerith within the lifestream when the former thought of Cloud and Tifa. Jessie's remnants responded to their names, and she caused Aerith to call Biggs and Wedge. The three were happy to hear Cloud officially joined Avalanche, and that the group was fighting a threat surpassing even Shinra, but told Aerith they were fated never to be absorbed into the lifestream due to the lives they took while they were alive.

Jessie asked Aerith to leave them because she must still have a task to fulfill before she is absorbed, and being near them would only taint her with their bad memories and inflict their fate on her. As they left, Aerith called to them and told them their deaths helped save people by delaying Shinra, allowing more of Sector 7's people, including Marlene, to evacuate in time.

Remake continuity

Discussing Cloud's integrity with the group.

During "The Destruction of Mako Reactor 1", Jessie supplied the bomb for Avalanche's mission, as well as codes to hack the reactor and progress further inside. She immediately took an interest in Cloud, telling Biggs about it.[15] She descended the reactor with Cloud and Barret to mako storage. After her bomb went off, Shinra's mechs caused more damage, and thus the explosion was bigger than Jessie expected. She fled the reactor with the help of Cloud.

Jessie was stunned by the explosion's size, wondering how she could have caused it, which left Biggs and Wedge suspicious.[12] During "Fateful Encounters", she supplied more bombs to help the group through the tunnels. She expressed guilt at the explosion, gave Cloud materia to thank him, and showed him the map of Midgar despite him saying he didn't need it. As they made their way back to the slums, Jessie continued to feel guilty about the explosion's size. Upon returning to the Sector 7 slums in "Home Sweet Slum", she celebrated their victory despite her feelings and met up with Cloud again, telling him she'd be lobbying for him to join the next mission, as she could tell Tifa was uneasy about the bombings and felt safer in Cloud's hands.[9]

Cloud and Jessie on a motorcycle.

After Barret refused to hire Cloud, Jessie asked him for help on a mission to rob her parents' house in "Mad Dash". Biggs and Wedge came out of concern for her, and they drove motorbikes up to the Sector 7 plate. Jessie rode with Cloud, playfully flirting with him along the way, and kissed him on the cheek for his safe driving, leaving him awkwardly flustered. They arrived at Jessie's neighborhood and headed to her parents' house. Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge chatted with her mother, who made pizza for them, while Cloud stole her father's Shinra ID. Jessie's mother urged her to work at the Sector 8 theater again, still blissfully unaware of her involvement with Avalanche. Jessie then robbed the Sector 7-6 Annex, securing a weaker blasting agent than the one used in the previous bombing mission.

Jessie asks Cloud to return the next day.

Jessie and the others returned to the Sector 7 slums via parachutes secured by her father,[16] and once there she asked Cloud on a date inviting him to her house for homemade pizza. If Cloud agreed she was ecstatic, otherwise she vowed to try a less in-your-face approach.[17][note 3]

The next day, Jessie was attacked by Whispers, who injured her leg, and thus she was unable to help in the bombing of Mako Reactor 5; Cloud took her place and agreed to her request to "raise some hell" for her.[19] Jessie's fake IDs were still used on the mission, but because of the previous day's attack, the system was updated, and the group was found holding forged IDs.

An injured Jessie's final moments.

Jessie, alongside Barret, defended the Sector 7 pillar against Shinra's attack during "Fight for Survival". She ascended to floor 13, which was higher than both Biggs and Wedge. She used her grenades to destroy Shinra's helicopters, but the Whispers intervened, severely injuring her by burying her beneath beams and rubble. Cloud and Tifa found her shortly after, and Cloud dug her out. Cloud picked her up, and Jessie called him her "hero" and remarked on him being the "guy" who gets to hear her "last words." Cloud affirmed they wouldn't be her last. Still, Jessie told Cloud and Tifa not to be sad over her death, believing it to be the rightful punishment for all the victims of her bombs.[20] In her final moments, Jessie lamented how she wanted everyone to come over again and enjoy her mother's cooking. Cloud reminded her that she "owes him a pizza", but she didn't believe she could oblige. Jessie noticed Tifa was crying and asked if "she said something wrong", before closing her eyes and apparently succumbing to her injuries.

After Cloud and friends defeated the Whispers and escaped Midgar in "Destiny's Crossroads", one of Jessie's gloves, and presumably her bandanna, were on the desk beside a bed with a recuperating Biggs. Though Jessie was presumed dead by the others, her body was never shown following the incident at the plate, and thus, her fate remains uncertain.

Characteristics

Appearance

A photograph of a young Jessie.

Jessie is a 23-year-old woman with a slender build. She has fair skin, brown eyes, and medium-length reddish-brown hair tied in a ponytail. Jessie wears a red headband, a metal breastplate, a blue undershirt, metal-plated brown gloves with red bands, a brown leather belt and holster, knee-length green capris, and armored boots. In Remake, her blue undershirt is a leotard, and she wears a black shirt under her breastplate, black wristbands, and silver stud earrings.

Personality

Jessie in Seventh Heaven.

Jessie is determined, spunky, and charismatic. Like Biggs and Wedge, she is upbeat and playful. She is fearless when it comes to romance, openly flirting with Cloud to the point that he calls her "desperate."[17] Jessie feels embarrassed to play "damsel in distress" and tries to push herself even when injured.[19]

Beneath her vibrant and animated demeanor, Jessie feels culpable for her actions as part of the terrorist group, and after trying to blame something else, eventually blames herself;[21] Biggs and Wedge notice this isn't normal of her.[12] However, Jessie continues to harbor guilt up until her final moments, feeling she deserves to die for all the deaths her bombs caused.[14][20] Her talents as an actress enable her to mask her insecurities behind her smile and sense of humor.

Jessie grew up with Biggs and Wedge.[4] She has lots of respect for Barret, her leader, and Tifa, as the two complement each other's skills. Jessie appears to have somewhat of a romantic rivalry with Tifa, asking Cloud if he is close to her,[22] and later commenting that she'd "rather have a professional" like him instead of Tifa during a mission.[9]

Giving Cloud materia in Sector 8.

Jessie has apparent romantic feelings for Cloud, frequently gushing over him, and eventually inviting him on a date.[17][note 3] However, Wedge believes her feelings for him are a mere game to her.[10] Cloud sometimes reacts with irritation to Jessie's advances, but normally responds awkwardly and is flustered. Jessie is comfortable opening up to Cloud, even entrusting him with a mission she did not tell Biggs and Wedge about. Her attempts to break his hardened persona have sometimes yielded success, making him smile on a few occasions, which is rare for him.

Abilities

Jessie begins hacking a gate in Sector 1.

Jessie is intelligent and resourceful, possessing vast technological knowledge. In addition to providing Avalanche with explosives and fake IDs, she builds and sells water filters and other household items to the residents of the Sector 7 slums to raise operating funds.[2] The filters are crucial as a source of revenue, and Tifa notes they raise more funds than the Seventh Heaven bar.[11]

Jessie with a grenade.

Jessie inherited her tinkering skills from her father,[5] who worked as a "Chief Maintenance Engineer" at Shinra, and received the parachutes used from him.[16] She is skilled at tossing grenades, using her accuracy to blow up a helicopter when Shinra attacks the Sector 7 support pillar. She also brags about her ability to make pizza.[17]

Jessie is a talented actress and was skilled enough to land a starring role at the Gold Saucer after a lot of work.[6]

Musical themes

Jessie has no musical themes in the original Final Fantasy VII, but Final Fantasy VII Remake introduces a few. The first of these is "RUN RUN RUN" is a cutscene track that plays at the end of the "Motor Chase" quest in "Mad Dash."Different versions play based on how much health the player loses. If the player maintains at least 80% of their health, Jessie kisses Cloud, which leaves him awkwardly stunned.

"Jessie's Theme" is a field track that plays in Sector 7 during the "Homecoming" quest in "Mad Dash." The track plays when exploring Jessie's neighborhood before arriving at her parents' house. Later in the chapter, an unnamed cutscene track plays during the parachute cutscene in the "Return to the Slums" quest. The first minute of the track incorporates a more rocky and upbeat version of "Jessie's Theme."

"The Look on Her Face" is a cutscene track that plays at the end of the "To the Top" quest during "Fight for Survival." The track plays during Jessie's death scene and just after it ends.

Other appearances

Jessie appears as a card in both Mobius Final Fantasy and the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. The former uses her Final Fantasy VII Remake appearance. In the latter, her card uses her Tetsuya Nomura artwork and is Thunder-elemental.

Characters named Jessie appear as allusions to the Final Fantasy VII character, often alongside other characters named Biggs and Wedge, with varying degrees of resemblance. In Final Fantasy XIV, a character named Jessie is introduced in Patch 2.3 as the Deputy President of Garlond Ironworks, working alongside the Final Fantasy XIV versions of Biggs and Wedge. This Jessie resembles her Final Fantasy VII counterpart in appearance, being a young female Midlander Hyur with brown eyes and brown hair tied into a ponytail. In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, a character named Jessie appears alongside Biggs and Wedge, as a trio of Black Mages in a research laboratory. She offers Chocobo Dispel Tonics in exchange for Essences.

Outside of the Final Fantasy series, a similar allusion appears in Kingdom Hearts II. In the game, Jessie is the owner of an Accessory shop in Twilight Town, appearing together with characters named Biggs and Wedge. This character looks quite different from the Jessie from Final Fantasy VII, as she has blonde hair and wears blue. She plays a small role at the beginning of the game, being the first character the player can talk to using Reaction Commands.

Behind the scenes

Development

Jessie was designed by Tetsuya Nomura for the original Final Fantasy VII. She was redesigned by Roberto Ferrari for Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Jessie, along with Biggs and Wedge, was given more character depth for Final Fantasy VII Remake, at the direction of Nomura,[23] and the entire team were conscious about adding depth to the characters leading into the battle at Sector 7.[24] For this, writer Kazushige Nojima used the same personalities he had imagined for the characters when originally creating them, bringing out a side that always existed but wasn't fully portrayed.[24]

In the original Final Fantasy VII script, Jessie has relatively few lines, though a couple of lines hint to her personality that Remake would expand on. These include a line about her guilt at the devastation caused by her bomb,[25] later believing that her death at the Sector 7 pillar was a rightful punishment,[14] as well as subtle moments hinting at her attraction to Cloud when asking what he thinks of her disguise and claiming to have put her heart into making his ID "special".[26] The Final Fantasy VII Remake script includes far more character moments and interactions, a scene at the Sector 7 pillar showcasing her skills in combat, and a backstory that did not previously exist. For her backstory, Kitase wished to show the top of the plate, and Nojima gave her background as an actress to make Jessie's words and actions more theatrical.[27][28]

The team intended for Cloud to respond differently to the characters depending on who he is talking to. Cloud acts cool when talking to Aerith, acts himself when talking to Tifa, while being more annoyed in response to Jessie. At other times, Jessie takes advantage of Cloud acting flustered. When editing the voices, the team found that Jessie came on stronger than intended and worried she might be seen as "too persistent". To offset this, whenever Jessie flirts with Cloud, she'd end it with "Psych!" to show it's just for fun.[27][29]

Character model

In the original Final Fantasy VII, Jessie has a high-resolution model of her upper body, used in the scene where she and Cloud look at the Midgar map. When she is under her disguise, she simply reuses the Shinra guard model.

Characters using the models of Jessie and Biggs are seen in Elmyra's flashback at the train station in the original game, but it is ambiguous whether they're meant to be the same characters. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Biggs and Jessie are not seen in this flashback at all, implying the models in the original game were merely reused assets.


Voice

Jessie in the Remake 2015 gameplay trailer.

Jessie is voiced by Erica Lindbeck in the English release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, first appearing in the December 2015 gameplay trailer using an old version of the script. Lindbeck knew little about the original game when joining the cast, but had heard her role would be minor. She was nonetheless very excited to be in a Final Fantasy game at all, and was happy that her role was being expanded upon. Lindbeck also loved the relationship between Jessie and Tifa.[30]

Reception

Jessie was noted a fan favorite for Final Fantasy VII Remake.[24][23] In a poll of Japanese players, Jessie ranked as the fourth most popular character for the game, above Barret, but below Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith.[31] Nomura was also surprised at her popularity.[32]

Square Enix developers also had a good impression of her during development, and were pleased to see the reception reflected among the fans beyond what they had expected.[24] Yoshinori Kitase credited Jessie's success to Nojima's distinctive dialogue, the performance by Jessie's voice actresses, and the cutscene team's direction.[23]

Etymology

Jessie is a given name in its own right, but may also be a nickname for the given name Jessica. It is generally considered the feminine form of Jesse. Jesse, meaning "God exists" or "God's gift", is the father of David who became the king of the Israelites.

Notes

Annotations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jessie's age is listed as 23 as of the events of Final Fantasy VII in the Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania.[2] Since the bombing of Mako Reactor 1 occurs in December of 0007, this would make 1984 her date of birth.
  2. Though the Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania timeline states the cell was formed in October of 0007,[8] Tifa states in Final Fantasy VII Remake that the cell had been independent for a year.[9]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Her offer to Cloud is genuine, and if he accepts, she urges him to hurry back from Mako Reactor 5 before her pizza gets cold.[18]

Citations

  1. Final Fantasy VII demo
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania, p. 032
  3. Final Fantasy VII Remake, official site
  4. 4.0 4.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake, loading screen
  5. 5.0 5.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake, ID card for Rowan Rasberry
  6. 6.0 6.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Jessie Job 2"
  7. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Sector 7-6 Annex Infiltration"
  8. TheLifestream.net November 2008
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Talking Strategy"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "To Wedge's Place"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Life in the Slums"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Motor Chase"
  13. Final Fantasy VII script § "To the No. 5 Reactor"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Final Fantasy VII script § "Prevent the Fall of the Plate"
  15. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Enter the Reactor Grounds"
  16. 16.0 16.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Return to the Slums"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Remaining Payment"
  18. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "A New Operation"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Sudden Attack"
  20. 20.0 20.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "To the Top"
  21. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Last Train"
  22. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Breach Security"
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Shanley, Wigler 2020
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Ryan 2020
  25. Final Fantasy VII script § "At the Hideout in the Slums"
  26. Final Fantasy VII script § "To the No. 5 Reactor"
  27. 27.0 27.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania, p. 744
  28. Game8 § "Changes in Style and Scenario "
  29. Game8 § "Developing the Characters"
  30. Watts 2020
  31. Famitsu July 2020, p. 19
  32. Romano 2020

References

Video games
Bibliography
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