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Marlene Wallace is a character in the Final Fantasy VII series. She plays a supporting role in Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile, and Final Fantasy VII Remake. Marlene is the biological daughter of Dyne and Eleanor who was adopted by Barret Wallace after their hometown of Corel was razed by the Shinra Electric Power Company. The two then moved to the Sector 7 slums of Midgar.

Marlene is a bright and intelligent young girl, somewhat shy and mature beyond her years. She is close to her adoptive father Barret, and her carer Tifa Lockhart.


Before Final Fantasy VII[]

Marlene was born in 0003 to Dyne and Eleanor in the town of Corel. At barely a year old, Corel was destroyed by Shinra and most townspeople were killed, including Eleanor, though her father miraculously survived. Marlene was thought to be a casualty as well, but actually survived and was rescued by Barret upon his return to the ruins. Unaware of his friend's survival and assuming him dead, Barret adopted Marlene, who was too young to remember her biological parents.[2]

Barret and Marlene moved to Midgar, homeless, wandering from town to town, and sleeping rough. The two frequented the Seventh Heaven bar in the Sector 7 slums. Tifa on her work day scolded Barret for sleeping rough with Marlene, until she and Marle offered them a home and work at the bar.[3]

Original continuity[]

Life in Midgar[]

Marlene stayed with Tifa at Seventh Heaven during "No. 1 Reactor Bombing" while Barret, Biggs, Wedge, Jessie, and a hired Cloud bombed Mako Reactor 1.[4] When the group returned in "At the Hideout in the Slums", Marlene was excited to see Barret and was shy toward Cloud.[note 1][5]

Before leaving to bomb Mako Reactor 5 in "To the No. 5 Reactor", Tifa entrusted Marlene to watch over Seventh Heaven, who happily obliged and told them to take care.[6] Marlene was at Seventh Heaven during "Prevent the Fall of the Plate" when Shinra attacked with plans to drop the Sector 7 plate. Upon the party's return, Tifa directed Aerith toward Seventh Heaven to get Marlene to safety. The party failed to stop Shinra from dropping the plate, leaving Barret deeply concerned for Marlene, but Tifa assured she was safe.[7]

In "Aeris's Secret", Marlene was revealed to have survived thanks to Aerith and was brought under the care of Elmyra Gainsborough, but Shinra had captured Aerith. Elmyra chastised a worried Barret for his parenting to which he responded with sorrow and inner conflict, wanting to spend more time with Marlene, but also wanting to save the dying planet. Elmyra understood his feelings and directed him upstairs where Marlene was sleeping. When Marlene woke, a tearful Barret hugged and was comforted by her, relieved she was okay. Marlene told Cloud that Aerith asked a lot of questions about him and assumed she liked him. She called Cloud "stupid" if he responded cluelessly and promised to not tell Tifa if he answered positively. Barret asked Elmyra to look after Marlene before they departed to rescue Aerith, and Marlene pleaded with them to save her.[8]

Marlene stayed with Elmyra while the party left Midgar to pursue Sephiroth. Marlene was later taken hostage by Shinra spy Cait Sith around "Within the Temple of the Ancients" and forced Cloud's party to cooperate with him on their journey to the Temple of the Ancients.[9] She was eventually released unharmed and, along with Elmyra, relocated to Kalm. In "The Planet's Judgment", Marlene watched from a tower as Sephiroth's Meteor approached Midgar and sensed Aerith's "flower girl" presence when she used the White Materia from the lifestream to summon Holy as a counter.[10]

Geostigma crisis[]


Marlene impersonates Barret.

Marlene moved to Edge with Barret, Tifa, and Cloud before the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in the aftermath of Midgar's destruction. She was adopted by Tifa in On the Way to a Smile and the three established a new home, opening a new 7th Heaven bar.[11] She recounted the events of Final Fantasy VII. She befriended Denzel, who was afflicted by Geostigma, and cared for him.[12]

Marlene accompanied Tifa to the Sector 5 slums church in search of Cloud and insisted they wait for him. Loz, a Remnant of Sephiroth, ambushed them, prompting Marlene to throw a materia orb at him in Tifa's defense. Both were defeated and Marlene was kidnapped along with other children from the Midgar area and taken to the City of the Ancients. She tried to call out to a captured Denzel who was under Kadaj's influence, but was unsuccessful. Marlene nearly escaped her captors, but Kadaj downed a tree and blocked her way.[12]

Marlene and Cloud

Marlene inspires and makes Cloud smile.

Cloud freed Marlene and the other children with aid from Vincent Valentine, and they returned to Edge. She impersonated her father and gave Cloud uplifting words, inspiring him to forgive himself and return to his "family". She later played with Denzel and the other kids before being summoned by Aerith's spirit to the church and held Barret's hand as everyone congregated.[12]

Remake continuity[]

Marlene befriended a girl named Betty sometime after moving to the Sector 7 slums.[13] They hung out a lot, danced to music together, and talked about the haunted train graveyard, which a retelling Marlene warned Tifa about.[14][15]


Marlene is happy to see Barret return.

Marlene helped Tifa at Seventh Heaven during "The Destruction of Mako Reactor 1" while Barret, Biggs, Wedge, Jessie, and a hired Cloud bombed Mako Reactor 1. She saw the news about the bombing on television. Barret told her not to worry, and Tifa asked Cloud to keep her company while she ran an errand, but he frightened her. Barret tried to send Marlene to bed, she wanted to talk more, asked if people return to the planet when they die. Barret affirmed, and she finally went to sleep. The following day, after Tifa and Cloud did some odd jobs during "Home Sweet Home", Marlene asked if they had fun upon their return, and Barret sent her to wait out front for Jessie as they discussed strategy.[13]

FFVIIR Aerith Tseng Marlene angle
Aerith leads Marlene away from FFVII Remake

Aerith protects and rescues Marlene.

Marlene's safety was at risk during "Fight for Survival" when Shinra attacked the Sector 7 support pillar with the intent of dropping the plate. Tifa pleaded with Aerith and directed her to Seventh Heaven where Marlene was. She found her scared and crouched behind the bar. She was initially wary of Aerith, but found comfort in learning that she was friends with Tifa. She appeared to sense something supernatural about Aerith, and calmed down. Marlene asked if Tifa was okay and expressed disappointment knowing her father was not coming home. Marlene told Aerith she smelled nice, like the flower Cloud brought Tifa before, and cowered behind her when Tseng appeared. Aerith agreed to go with him as long as Marlene was safely taken to her adoptive mother Elmyra Gainsborough's house in the Sector 5 slums.[16]

Barret watches over the sleeping Marlene from FFVII Remake
Barret embraces Marlene from FFVII Remake

Barret is relieved to see Marlene safe.

By the time Cloud's party got to Aerith's house during "In Search of Hope", Marlene was under Elmyra's care and asleep upstairs. Elmyra calmed a worried Barret who was relieved to see Marlene safe. Feeling conflicted, he apologized to Marlene the next day, wishing he could spend more time with her but also explaining why he needed to save the planet from "bad people". Marlene supported Barret and the party's decision to rescue Aerith. Barret promised he would return to her.[15]

After Cloud's party destroyed the Whispers and left Midgar to pursue Sephiroth during "Destiny's Crossroads", Elmyra called to Marlene from downstairs who was looking out a window and thinking of her father when seeing a withered flower bloom anew. Meanwhile, outside the city's perimeter, Barret vowed he would return to her.[17]

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Marlene is a young girl with a small stature, fair skin, brown hair, and brown eyes.

As a 4-year-old in Final Fantasy VII, Marlene wears a pink dress with a yellow bow, rolled up white socks, and brown ankle boots. Her hair is cut in a bob with a straight fringe.

As a 6-year-old in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Marlene's hair is longer and styled in a plait held up by a pink ribbon, similar to Aerith's hair. She wears a sleeveless turtleneck and a stripe patterned knee-length skirt, both light gray in color. She wears gray high-top sneakers and pink socks.

Her appearance and role is evocative of prominent child actor Mara Wilson, who in the 1990s was often portrayed as precocious daughters, from Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda.


Barret and Marlene key art from FFVII Remake

Marlene is close with her adoptive father Barret.

Marlene is a bright, cheerful, intelligent, and kindhearted young girl who is mature for her age. Almost always smiling, she is thoughtful and has an understanding of the world, but misses her doting father and wishes they could be together more.[5][13] Marlene is reliable and independent, helping Tifa at Seventh Heaven, watching the bar in her absence, and just about escaping her captors when taken by the Remnants of Sephiroth during the geostigma crisis.[6][12][13] She is good at making friends. Marlene befriends Betty upon moving to Midgar and later forms an older sisterly bond with Denzel, caring for him when he had geostigma and eventually having him move in with Barret, Cloud, and Tifa as family.[12][13][15]

Marlene has a deep love for her adoptive father, Barret, who reciprocates the feeling. She feels at peace with him, admiring him and his heroic deeds, believing him to be an important member of the neighborhood watch, unaware that he is with Avalanche.[5][13] Marlene enjoys the little time she can spend with Barret, missing him when he is away, always thinking about him, and eagerly awaiting his return.[10][15][17] Despite that, she understands how important his job is, hopes for his safety, and amuses herself by impersonating him.[12][5][13]

Marlene is close with Tifa, spending lots of time with her while Barret is otherwise busy and always offering to help with Seventh Heaven.[5][13] She views her as a role model and family even before being adopted by her.[12][18] Though initially wary toward Cloud, she grows to like him, teasing him on occasion, interested in hearing stories about his adventures, and coming to view him as family.[8] Marlene later inspired Cloud to return to his family after the geostigma crisis ended.[12] She is fond of Aerith, grateful she saved her life, finding comfort in her presence,[16] pleading to the party to rescue her,[15] and sensing her when Holy stopped Meteor.[10] Marlene honors Aerith by wearing a pink ribbon and a similar hairstyle.[12]

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Trading Card Game[]

Marlene appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game with an Earth-elemental card. She's also depicted on one of Barret's cards.

Behind the scenes[]

Marlene's Friends FFVIIArt

Concept art of Marlene's friends.

Marlene was supposed to be Barret's biological daughter rather than Dyne's and Barret would have saved her from the Corel disaster.[citation needed] Concept art also exists for "Marlene's friends" who are not included in the final game.

In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the idea to begin the film with an opening narration of Marlene describing the events of the game grew out of a more generic idea of a child describing events they were too young to fully understand. Marlene's bangs were difficult to animate due to them being so fine and brushing over her eyebrows to create unwanted shadows, and motion capture work was found to be difficult as young children were hard to direct.[citation needed]

Tetsuya Nomura has said of Marlene that due to her time with Tifa, she has been taken under her wing and is a "mini-Tifa" in personality, but also shares a physical similarity to Aerith and could sense her presence near the climax of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, giving her aspects of both.[citation needed]


Marlene comes from German (there pronounced [/maɐ̯ˈleːnə/]), where it was originally coined as a portmanteau of Maria and Magdalene, and essentially hearkens to Mary Magdalene. In English, Marlene is also associated by folk etymology as a variation of the name Marilyn.

Marlene's Japanese name is Marin. Marin may be derived from an English derivation of the Latin name Marīna, the feminine form of Marīnus, which means "marine" or "of the sea".



  1. If Cloud gave Marlene the flower he bought from Aeris, she did not respond, prompting Tifa to apologize for her shyness. Barret later asked where she got the flower. When she answered, she was encouraged to thank Cloud; she did and promised they would take care of him.