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Rashard Zangan[1] is a character in the Final Fantasy VII series. He appears as a non-player character in flashbacks and letters in Final Fantasy VII, before having expanded roles in Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- and Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts. Zangan is a traveling master martial artist and calisthenics trainer.

Zangan has trained a large number of students around the world. Notably, when his travels took him to Nibelheim, he took on one student, Tifa Lockhart, in whom he saw immense potential. Tifa became his disciple, and her training under him ultimately allowed her to flourish into the skilled combatant she became later.


Early history[]

Zangan was a wandering traveler who would teach calisthenics in villages and take on students to train, but refusing payment for it.[2] Though Zangan was able to train 128 students,[3] he would have difficulty because the children would mistake him for a kidnapper, and the villages would suspect he was a spy sent by the Shinra Electric Power Company to test their loyalty, due to his outspoken disdain for them.[4]

Zangan had four booklets. The first four focused on movements and exercise (Book Two focused on strengthening deltoids and back muscles, Book Three focused on chest and abdomen[5]), before Book Five taught actual strikes and combat techniques.[6]

Zangan had a number of disciples in Midgar spread throughout the slums, whom he visited every three-four months, complaining about the stench each visit.[7] Among these Midgar disciples was Rakesh Oranye.[8]

At one point, one of Zangan's promising students who trained with Book Five had no appropriate person to spar with and so practiced against monsters in the badland instead, causing him to perish.[6]

Training Tifa[]

Zangan traveled to Nibelheim and met Tifa around the Gunnthra River, where he was waist-deep in the water. Many other villagers passed and ignored him,[4] but Tifa believed he was stuck and rushed to help him, only for him to leap out and jump heights that seemed impossible for a human. Zangan took interest in Tifa's arm and calf muscles,[9] impressed by her physical aptitude and her quality of mind that he felt makes a good martial artist;[4] however, Tifa felt uncomfortable and escaped.

Later in the morning, Zangan trained other Nibelheim villagers in calisthenics, with Tifa and her father Brian Lockhart participating. During the training, many adults lost balance partway through, though Tifa surprised herself with her own ability to keep up; despite not trusting Zangan, she pressed on due to possessing the stubborn pride common with other Nibelheim residents.[10] Later that night, Zangan invited some adults to sit down and listen to his personal philosophy, in which he was heavily critical of Shinra, causing the Nibelheim elder Zander to assume he was a spy, providing him a meal and place to stay before sending him away.[4]

Zangan visited Tifa that night, tapping on her window, assuring her that her doubts were misplaced, and telling her that he saw great potential in her. He gave her the first of five books for his training techniques, giving her the choice of becoming his disciple, but requesting she burn the book if she chose not to.[4] Later, Zander approached Tifa with a request to train other Nibelheim villagers, something Zangan had recommended; Tifa agreed, training them for six gil an hour, in what they knew as the Calisthenics Club.[11]

As Tifa progressed, Zangan gave her the remaining booklets to train with. When she reached Book Five, Zangan requested Brian be Tifa's sparring partner, which Brian reluctantly agreed to, making combat gear for her.[6] In 0002, three days before her fifteenth birthday,[note 1] Tifa sparred with Zangan to demonstrate her moves, but Zangan, who spoke much more harshly and taunted her during battle, dodged all of them, tracking her eye movements to see them coming, and she failed out of exhaustion.[12]

Zangan was later invited to the Lockhart's house by Brian. Brian offered to pay Zangan as thanks, but he said he would refuse future payments, and donated this to an organization he was involved with.[2][note 2] Zangan then gave Tifa a leather left arm bracelet as a gift, telling her it had multiple uses and its limit was "her imagination",[13] before expressing confidence that in six month's time, she could be initiate and share full host of secrets, with the two of them working to develop a unique combat style for her.[14]

Nibelheim Incident[]

LO Zangan

Zangan in Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.

In September 23 0002, a Shinra investigation team comprising the SOLDIERs Sephiroth and Zack Fair, as well as Cloud Strife and two other infantrymen, arrived in the village. When Cloud spoke to Zangan in the inn, he bragged about teaching 128 students around the world and about his student Tifa's potential, asked to see Shinra techniques, and offered that they incorporate his techniques.[3][note 3]

When Sephiroth returned from the Nibel Reactor, Zangan questioned Cloud, noting that Shinra had arrived to eliminate any information that could embarass the company, something he said he picked up on due to his years of travels.[3]

On October 1, the Nibelheim Incident took place as Sephiroth burned down the town. Zangan tended to injured villagers, during which he beckoned to Cloud for help.[3][note 3] Tifa ran into him later, and he told her the whereabouts of her father and Sephiroth, before trying to stop her from following them to the mako reactor to no avail. Zack also ran into him, as he told Zack that Tifa had ran into the reactor; Zack ran after her to rescue her, and Zangan told him he would catch up when he could.[15]

At the mako reactor, Zangan was able to carry Tifa to safety, but could not come back for Cloud and Zack before Shinra and Professor Hojo arrived.[15] Zangan tried to heal Tifa with the Cure spell to no avail,[16] instead taking her to a doctor for medical attention, first with a doctor in Corel, who recommended she be taken to a bigger facility in Junon or Midgar with better treatment access. Zangan made some calls, and received an offer from the Shinra Building's Research and Development Division for a bed for her. Zangan refused to take her there, partly due to his own feelings toward the company, and also due to fearing how she would react if she woke up in Shinra's care after the events. Instead, her took her to a doctor in the Sector 8 slums, Dr. Dhamini Oranye, due to remembering his student Rakesh Oranye.[17]

Five years later, during Final Fantasy VII, Tifa discovered a letter sent to her by Zangan tucked away in her piano in the reconstructed Nibelheim. The letter recalled his saving her at Mt. Nibel, claimed he "can't even jump anymore" (suggesting he was injured since), spoke of Zangan's suspicions about the reconstructed town, and instructed her to continue her training. With it was a manual for Final Heaven.[16]



Zangan is a vibrant but aged man with a muscular physique, and grey hair in a ponytail. He wears an armored vest, gloves, beige pants, and a red cape. His cape and waist belt both have flame-like insignias etched into them. Tifa described him as appearing "both boyish and elderly" with muscled arms "thicker than even the hardiest men of the village".[9]


Tifa Lockhart. Eyes like yours don't miss much. Surely you noticed how carefully I was observing you during the training. Allow me to speak plainly. I've taken a keen interest in you from the moment we crossed paths. I'd like to someday have you as a disciple, if it's a path you're inclined to follow.
You possess the makings of a great martial artist—both the aptitude and the quality of mind. Your arms and legs are strong and limber. That is proof of your aptitude. As to your quality, I needed only a glimpse of what is in your heart. The key to conquering the body is a positive imagination, and one can only foster a positive imagination if she first possesses a kind heart.

True to his role as a master martial artist, Zangan is a wise man with a bold and vibrant yet gentle personality. He is very lighthearted in his demeanor, taking jokes even at his expense in stride.[10] However, he is also very disciplined, and his training regimen is rigid, despite his focus on imagination and willpower, and being strict with form in his students.[18] This rigidity also applies to himself; despite being aware he can sometimes give off the impression as a Shinra spy or kidnapper, he still does not change his ways when meeting new people.[4] Zangan is also very self-critical, holding himself at guilt for allowing one of his students to pass to monsters through not instructing him to train properly[6] and for fighting Tifa in a dishonorable way, admitting he would be disappointed if Tifa used this tactic herself.[2] These aspects of his personality, whether positives or flaws, show Zangan to be a great master and martial arts teacher, as such lessons show his focus on the long term, to teach by action and experience to establish a strong foundation before applying the more conceptual and intrinsic aspects of his martial art. Though Zangan focuses on his disciples and his closest students, he also teaches group calisthenics to willing participants to help them live long and healthy lives.[10]

Zangan's observance of people and his empathy is his driving strength and motivation as a teacher. These qualities are to the point of him being able to tell what Tifa (when he had only known her for one day) was thinking even before she said it.[4] Zangan also showed kindness most of the time; when he broke from this in taunting Tifa during their first sparring match, she noted the sharp contrast from his "soft visage" as a teacher and was angered by his insults.[12] Zangan prioritized rescuing Tifa over chasing after Sephiroth,[16] and his empathy for how she would wake up under Shinra's care drove him to search harder for a doctor that could treat her.[17]

Zangan's training focused heavily on conquering the inner self, believing that it provides a solid basis to evaluate the world around one with perfect clarity, and that it is impossible to rightly judge others without knowing oneself.[4] Zangan believed that anger was no sin, and could be a source of strength, but that one must control it, instead of letting it control them.[19] In explaining his movements, Zangan often used imagery, giving instructions such as "tremble like newly hatched chocobo chicks" and "imagine yourself as a statue", emphasizing the importance of positive imagination to conquer the body.[10]


Zangan is extremely strong, quick, and agile for his age. He was able to leap out of Nibelheim's Gunnthra River reaching heights that seemed impossible for a human,[9] carry two villagers at once on his back,[15] and in their first sparring match, was able to weave through and dodge all of Tifa's strikes with ease.[12] This was also due to quick reflexes he possessed in being able to track her eye movements to know where she would strike.[12]

Zangan appeared to tailor his exercises to his students specifically. For Tifa, he recognized that "thick, bulky muscles" had no place on her as her strengths were core strength, speed, and sharp reflexes,[20] and then in their last days training, offered to develop a unique fighting style for her.[14]


Final Fantasy VII[]


Zangan's field model in Final Fantasy VII.

Zangan can be talked to as Cloud in the Nibelheim flashback in "The Tragedy of Five Years Ago". He can be talked to in the inn at the start of the flashback, in the town after Sephiroth vanishes, and seen when the town is on fire later.

After "Searching for the You of That Day", when the player completes the piano minigame, they will see a letter from Zangan addressed to Tifa with the manual for her ultimate Limit, Final Heaven.

Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Zangan can be fought as a boss in the Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- Training Mode.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Zangan is only vaguely mentioned in an e-mail sent to Zack by Tifa, and is never actually seen.

Other appearances[]

Zangan [1-188S] Opus series card.

Zangan appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a Fire-elemental backup card. His auto-ability and field ability are related to Tifa, representing their master-apprentice relationship.

Zangan is referenced in an introductory quote by Tifa in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy when she says "I'll show you Zangan's secret technique!"

Behind the scenes[]

During the development of Final Fantasy VII, Zangan himself was intended to be found in Nibelheim, where he would tell Cloud that the survivors of the town's destruction had been killed by Shinra, and he would relate to Tifa that he took her to safety.[21] This exchange was ultimately cut from the game.

Concept art of Zangan was produced for the first entry in the Final Fantasy VII remake project and appears in the deluxe edition artbook, but the design has thus far not been used, as Zangan has yet to make an appearance in the project. Rashard was going to appear as a character in a side quest in the Sector 7 slums in a chapter in which Tifa Lockhart would be the main protagonist, in which Tifa would test new weapons against mobs and be rewarded with the soup dumpling merch, the first of two items needed for her cheongsam (sporty) dress.[22]


Zangan is voiced in Last Order by Hiroshi Fujioka, best known for his roles as Takeshi Hongo in the original Kamen Rider series, and as Segata Sanshiro, the mascot for the Sega Saturn. In the English version of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Zangan is voiced by Jamieson Price, who also voices Reeve Tuesti in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.



  1. As Tifa was born May 3 1987, this would put her fifteenth birthday, and thus Zangan and Tifa's first sparring match, at 0002. This would also mean the event took place a few months prior to the Nibelheim Incident.
  2. It is likely that Zangan refers to Avalanche as the organization he was a member of, given his outspoken disdain for Shinra.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cloud's account of events told in "The Tragedy of Five Years Ago" flashback in Final Fantasy VII is based on his own faulty memory where his position is swapped with Zack, meaning his account is unreliable. However, when seeing Zack's account of events in Chapter 8 in Crisis Core, Zack never sees Zangan, suggesting it was in fact Cloud who spoke to him and was Cloud to whom he beckoned for help.



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