When the war of the beasts brings about the world's end, The goddess descends from the sky, Wings of light and dark spread afar, She guides us to bliss, her gift everlasting.
There is no hate, only joy, For you are beloved by the goddess, Hero of the dawn, Healer of worlds, Dreams of the morrow hath the shattered soul. Pride is lost, wings stripped away, the end is nigh.
The nature of Minerva's existence is unclear. In the mission chaining leading up to her, Shinra corporation detects her as "an incredibly strong summon signal", and the Crisis Core Complete Guide says Minerva is similar to a summon in substance. Despite this, Minerva is not shown to be associated with a Materia shard as other summons are. Given the nature of Materia, she may be summoned directly from the Lifestream instead.
An avid fan and studier of LOVELESS, Genesis Rhapsodos believes the object the three heroes are searching for in the text, the Gift of the Goddess, could cure his degradation. Genesis attempts to recreate the conditions of LOVELESS to come to the Gift. After fighting Zack, Genesis realizes the "Pride of a SOLDIER" is his Gift of the Goddess.
When Zack defeats Genesis in the Banora Underground, Minerva shows herself to Genesis in a vision in the Lifestream. Looking into his soul and seeing his unselfish desire and will to "complete his duty as a SOLDIER" she revives him as a reflection of the Lifestream's will. In the Crisis Core Complete Guide, the development team states, "Minerva's facial expressions are meant to be hints to the Lifestream's judgment, such as 'Genesis has not yet completed his duty as a SOLDIER' and 'Genesis still has much left to learn'."
In the Great Cavern of Wonders mission chain, Zack investigates a cave on the north continent that is also targeted by Genesis Copies and Wutai remnants. A strange energy signature in the cave drives machines berserk and grants them biological properties, and makes monsters more aggressive. Eventually Zack is the only human strong enough to keep exploring the caves. In the deepest area Minerva appears before Zack and attacks him. When he prevails, she vanishes without explanation.
Minerva is the game's superboss, appearing in Mission 9-6-6 as the final opponent in the Great Cavern of Wonders. Defeating her earns the Divine Slayer accessory. Re-challenging the mission allows players to battle her again.
The battle for the fight against Minerva is "The Summoned", a remix of the Final Fantasy VII boss theme, "Fight On!", that is used for battles with summoned monsters in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.
Minerva appears with her Tetsuya Nomura artwork in a shine-elemental card.
Etymology and symbolism
Minerva is the Roman pantheon equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena. Her name is thought to be a mishearing and a corruption of the Latin word "mens", meaning "mind."
Minerva's presence as the personification of the Lifestream reflects the role of Sophia in Gnostic belief, an Aeon made from the pure energy of the divine realm of light known as the Absolute, who was fragmented and trapped inside the bodies of human beings.
- A goddess-like statue holding an orb is placed in the Banora Underground where the light breaks through the cave ceiling. The Crisis Core Complete Guide states the statue was part of Genesis's plan to reenact LOVELESS. This statue shatters after Minerva's meeting with Genesis.
- The Minerva Statue seen in the Banora Underground was redesigned from the Japanese version of the game for its English release, as the original model was deemed to look too much like depictions of the Virgin Mary.