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The following article is based on a subject that has not been officially named in any official Square Enix material; the current title is merely a placeholder.

We look alike, but inside, we're very different.


Concept artwork of the Nero brothers.

The Nero family (ゼネロ&ベネロ&・・・・・・, Zenero & Benero & ...?)[1] consists of ten members in Final Fantasy IX. The two featured most prominently are Zenero (ゼネロ, Zenero?) and Benero (ベネロ, Benero?), often known as the Nero brothers, who are members of the Tantalus Theater Troupe. The other members of the clan are Genero (ゲネロ, Genero?), Denero (デネロ, Denero?), Penero (ペネロ, Penero?), Benera (ベネ子, Beneko?), Zenera (ゼネ子, Zeneko?), Genera (ゲネ子, Geneko?), Denera (デネ子, Deneko?), and Penera (ペネ子, Peneko?). The family members whose names end with -ro (, ro?) are male, and the ones whose name ends with -ra (, ko?) are female. The females always end their dialogue with a heart symbol. Penera appears to be the youngest as she is smaller than the others.

Nero family members are humanoids (human by the game's standards[1]), and look like hooded pigs with a twin set of claws. Zenero and Benero appear as comic relief, often having an exclamation mark at the end of their sentences, and the use of a characteristic movement whenever they talk. Genero participates in the Festival of the Hunt. The three brothers reunite in Alexandria when he is done with his training.

Zenero and Benero first appear in the play I Want to be Your Canary in the second boss fight with King Leo. They are next seen when Baku is preparing the M.S. Prima Vista for flight. When the ship crashes into the Evil Forest they help the other crew mates. Zenero and Benero keep Steiner locked up in a room and instruct him to drink medicine to recover from a monster attack.

In Japanese the female members of the Nero family had their name end in "-ko", as is common with female Japanese names. In Japanese the female Nero family members end their sentences by adding an extra "yo" at the end, but in the English version it was made it into a heart symbol.

In the Italian version the three are called Piddu (Genero), Poddu (Benero) and Puddu (Zenero), and speak with a Sardinian accent.


I Want to Be Your Canary[]

Benero and Zenero are fought with Baku's character, King Leo, during the play.

Festival of the Hunt[]

Genero is an unseen competitor in the Festival of the Hunt. If Genero has the high score during the festival, the attendant says Genero is the youngest of three brothers/siblings, and that he fights using scissors. In the Japanese version it says they are attached to his hands, and the word for "scissors" (ハサミ, hasami?) could also be read as "pincers", like the Nero brothers seem to have.

Gambling minigame[]

The Nero Brothers briefly host a gambling minigame in Alexandria's weapon shop after the party returns there from the Outer Continent. The minigame is only available when the player controls Zidane. The minigame is a shell game: The three brothers shuffle their positions and ask the player to identify one of them. After a correct answer the player can continue or stop and receive a reward. After a wrong answer the player loses the money they paid for the game. The only reward is gil, and the prize sum rises all the way up to 25,600.

The player can use the Start to pause the game during the shuffle to make it easier.

Beating the brothers in the game nine successive times earns the Found in the Shuffle achievement/trophy in the latest versions.

Lost family sidequest[]

The final Nero goes looking.

During endgame, a new sidequest becomes accessible where Zidane must repeatedly visit the Tantalus hideout in Lindblum's Theater District and talk to the various Nero family members. Starting with Benero and Zenero, a member of the Nero family will appear, saying the others are missing, then go and look for them. Each time Zidane returns to the hideout after a major event or battle in Memoria, the final dungeon, a new member will be there, saying all the previous members are missing.

This can be done repeatedly until Deathguise is defeated—the last major event that will trigger a new scene at the hideout. After the scene with Penera, the final Nero family member, Zidane will comment on the huge family, and a treasure chest will appear within the hideout with a Protect Ring inside.

The sidequest can be advanced with every major event and battle in Memoria, and there are more Memoria events than necessary to complete the quest. This means the player can still complete the quest even if they do not return to the hideout after every event. If the player completes the sidequest and continues to trigger more events in Memoria, the sidequest will seemingly start over again, and it can be completed twice as there are enough events to do so, although there is no additional reward. Whether this was intended or a glitch is unknown.

The Nero family members as they appear are:

Benero and Zenero → Genero → Denero → Penero → Benera → Zenera → Genera → Denera → Penera

The events that move the sidequest forward are:

  1. The party can fly the Invincible on the world map.
  2. The battle with Nova Dragon.
  3. The battle with Maliris.
  4. The flashback of Alexander.
  5. The scene where Zidane talks to himself.
  6. The flashback of Dagger on the boat.
  7. The scene with the giant eye in the sky.
  8. The battle with Tiamat.
  9. The scene with the two planets colliding.
  10. The scene where Quina thinks they are drowning.
  11. The scene where Zidane talks about memories.
  12. The battle with Kraken.
  13. The scene about Gaia's birth.
  14. The party entering the screen called "Stairs". This is the room between the two ladders, that contains Vivi's Mace of Zeus and the "Dark Phantom". Unlike in the other events of this list, there isn't any scene or dialog.
  15. The battle with Lich.
  16. The scene where Garland talks about the beginning and the Crystal.
  17. The scene where the party enters the Crystal World.
  18. The battle with Deathguise.

Behind the scenes[]

The Nero family sidequest is infamous for the length of time it took for fans to discover it. Never mentioned in any English guidebook, the sidequest went unnoticed and unmentioned in many fan-made "perfect game" guides. The game itself gives no hints toward discovering or progressing in the quest. The existence of the quest gained wider recognition in May 2013 when a topic popped up on the Final Fantasy IX message board at GameFAQs.



Nero is derived from the Sabine word meaning "vigorous" or "strong" that was later integrated into Latin meaning "black". The most famous use of this name was the Roman Emperor Nero in the first century AD.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Final Fantasy 25th Memorial Ultimania vol.2, p.239