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Red XIII, real name Nanaki, is a character in the Final Fantasy VII series. He is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, a guest in Final Fantasy VII Remake, and has appearances in other games in the series. A red lion or wolf-like beast of a unique species, Red XIII is the only quadrupedal playable character in the main Final Fantasy series so far.

Red XIII is the name he received as a specimen designation while held captive and experimented upon by Professor Hojo. Although he is 48 years old, he is developmentally equivalent to a 15- or 16-year-old human by his long-lived species' standards. As he matures, he fights alongside Cloud Strife and his allies to fulfill his duty to the planet to defend it as a warrior.

In Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII uses headdresses to enhance his damage. His earlier Limit abilities augment his stats by adding positive status effects, but his later abilities deal physical attacks to enemies based on his own damage.


Before Final Fantasy VII[]

Nanaki was born in 1959[1][2][3] in Cosmo Canyon to an unnamed mother and his father Seto, the previous Watcher of the Vale. An invasion by the Gi tribe, restless spirits from another world, occurred three years later. Seto ran off that year, sacrificing himself to stop the Gi while Nanaki's mother also died fighting them. Nanaki assumed his father fled and left his mother in the face of the invasion. With his father and mother passed away, Nanaki was cared for by the elder of Cosmo Canyon, Geisel Bugenhagen, whom he came to affectionately call "Grandfather."[1] As revealed in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Nanaki deepens his voice and acts older around strangers.

On October 10, 0006,[2][3] depicted in "The Howl That Shook Heaven and Earth" in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Nanaki and the female Deneh performed in the "Planet Pacification Ceremony", a ritual held once every fifty years. Nanaki was frightened to take part and told this to his adoptive grandfather, Bugenhagen. Nanaki's fear made Deneh consider him a coward. Shortly after, the Turks were sent to Cosmo Canyon to hunt for a member of an endangered species for Professor Hojo's research. While Fuhito of Avalanche traveled to confront his old master, Bugenhagen, the Turks fought through Avalanche forces to take Deneh, but Nanaki jumped ahead to save her. Nanaki was taken into Shinra hands, while Deneh escaped unharmed.[7] Brought to Hojo for his thirteenth experiment, Nanaki is branded with the tattoo of Roman numeral "XIII" while designated "Red XIII".[note 2]

Original continuity[]

Joining Cloud[]

Red XIII in Shinra Building

Cloud, Tifa, and Barret meet Red XIII in Shinra Headquarters.

In December 0007, after Hojo captured Aerith Gainsborough, the last Cetra, he attempted to interbreed her with Nanaki to provide him with new specimens. During "Storming the Shinra Building", Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, and Tifa Lockhart came looking for Aerith, finding her in the same containment tank as Nanaki. Nanaki feigned aggression against Aerith to throw Hojo off guard, prompting Barret to shoot the tank and free them both. Nanaki then apologized and surprised the group with his ability to talk, and remarked his name "Red XIII" was the designation given to him by Hojo, so they could call him as they wished.[9]

After helping the group battle one of Hojo's experiments, on their way out, the group were captured by the Turks. Nanaki was not returned to Hojo's lab, but rather incarcerated in a prison cell within the building alongside Barret, wherein he spoke occasionally of his "grandpa", boring Barret. The group eventually escaped the Shinra Building thanks to Sephiroth, whom Nanaki recognized it as the work of a Jenova specimen. Nanaki intended to travel with the party until they reached Cosmo Canyon.[9] In Kalm during "The Tragedy of Five Years Ago", he listened to Cloud's account of the Nibelheim Incident with interest, bothered by Barret's interruptions.[10] During "Dangerous Voyage", Red XIII notably disguised himself as a human on the cargo ship as to not arouse suspicion, complaining about the suit he wore and the heat's effect on his nose. Upon reaching Costa del Sol, Red XIII again blended in by playing football with children on the streets, though he did so accidentally as the tail was kicking the ball independently of his will.[11]

Before he returned to Cosmo Canyon, Nanaki did not discuss his past or even reveal his real name. In "In the Land of the Study of Planet Life", Nanaki finally returned to his homeland and immediately rushed to reunite with Bugenhagen. Cloud's party also met Bugenhagen, who told them about Nanaki's origin and true nature, as well as giving them an overview on planetology. Upon hearing Nanaki's remarks about his father, Bugenhagen invited them to enter the Cave of the Gi within Cosmo Canyon, which was still haunted by the ghosts of the Gi tribe that once laid siege to Cosmo Canyon, as their anger prevented their souls from assimilating into the lifestream.[1]

At the end of the cave, Nanaki discovered the petrified body of Seto, who alone stood his ground and fought the Gi, but their poisoned arrows turned him to stone. Absolved of the shame for his father, Nanaki vowed to become a great warrior like him, and howled at the moon while Seto's petrified remains shed tears. Nanaki initially opted to remain in Cosmo Canyon as a 'Watcher of the Vale', but changed his mind after Bugenhagen said the best attempt to protect the planet was to journey on with Cloud's party. As Cloud and the others were on their way out of the village, Nanaki rushed to catch up to them, joining them for the remainder of their quest.[1]

Nanaki accompanied Cloud's party as they pursued Sephiroth. During "Secret Date", after learning Sephiroth-clones sought the Black Materia, Nanaki thought of his own tattoo and wondered if he would suffer a similar fate, though Tifa encouraged him and reminded him he had been fine until then.[12][note 2] When Sephiroth acquired the Black Materia and set out to the North Crater, in "Parting with Aeris", Aerith prayed for Holy in the City of the Ancients, where she was killed by Sephiroth; Nanaki howled at her passing in mourning.[13]


Cloud & Red XIII 2

Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.

After the party reclaimed the Black Materia, Cloud had the choice to hand it over to Barret for safekeeping, giving it instead to Nanaki.[14][note 3] Sephiroth fooled him into returning it to Cloud by conjuring an image of Tifa begging Nanaki to help Cloud. Cloud then passed the Black Materia onto Sephiroth, allowing him to summon Meteor. This roused the Weapons, colossal monsters created by the planet, and Barret and Tifa escaped on the Shinra airship Highwind with the company's executives and were brought as captives to Junon.[15]


Red XIII during the ending of Final Fantasy VII.

Much later, when Cloud was saved and reunited with the party, in "What Aeris Left Behind", Bugenhagen joined them to visit the City of the Ancients and unveiled the nature of Holy, which Aerith had summoned.[17] Returning to Cosmo Canyon after the Diamond Weapon has been defeated, Bugenhagen fell ill. Nanaki ran to him, and the others stayed back to leave them alone. Bugenhagen told Nanaki his mission extended beyond defending Cosmo Canyon, and he should survey the world and all its unique facets to gain the true knowledge he mentioned in their last meeting. Nanaki took a resolve to protect the planet, and when Cloud asked him what became of Bugenhagen, Nanaki responded that Bugenhagen "couldn't stay still and just zipped out".[18]

Red XIII took part in the attack on the Northern Cave in "The Planet's Judgment", defeating Sephiroth in later January 0008. He watched alongside the others as Meteor destroyed Midgar and was then stopped by the power of the Holy and the lifestream.


In "Episode: Nanaki" of On the Way to a Smile, Nanaki returned home to Cosmo Canyon, but vowed to follow Bugenhagen's wishes and travel the planet to observe all life, teaching others what he learned. After leaving, a void began to grow in his heart, which he dubbed "Gilligan" for the sake of helping to remember it. Nanaki struggled with being a feral beast yet acting human, as well as his longevity meaning he would experience a great amount of loss.[19]

Nanaki was able to relate to Vincent Valentine, who was himself immortal and would live even longer. Vincent told him that "Gilligan" was his fear of loss and loneliness that would come with living a long life, and encouraged him, saying he may one day have children of his own to keep him from being lonely. The two agreed to reconvene in Midgar every year for the remainder of Nanaki's life where Nanaki could tell Vincent the stories of his travels.[19]

During "Episode: Yuffie", Nanaki assisted Yuffie in rescuing Yuri from a cave after it overflows with lifestream tainted with Geostigma. He revealed he had also acquired a cellphone while visiting Midgar to keep in touch with the other party members, though he struggled using it. Nanaki later left Wutai, but returned on the Shera to help Yuffie continue to search for a cure for Geostigma.[20] Around this time, Nanaki also made frequent visits to Cid Highwind.[21]

During Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story, Nanaki found Evan Townshend and Kyrie Canaan playing in a pond in the wastelands outside of Junon. Evan attempted to drive Nanaki away with a gun, but accidentally destroyed his own truck. Nanaki then saved Kyrie from drowning in the pond and took her to Junon to recover.[22]

Redxiii advent children

Red XIII in Advent Children.

During the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, when Edge was under attack by Bahamut SIN in 0009, Nanaki hastened there with Cait Sith on his back and used his claws and teeth to battle the dragon. He later boarded the Shera with the party members, and appeared in Aerith's church while the healing rain was pouring.


Red XIII in Dirge of Cerberus.

During Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Nanaki was not present in the scene where the whole party was gathered in Midgar. He was however present during the ending, lying next to Shelke Rui as he rested outside of 7th Heaven.

500 years later[]

FFVII AC Nanaki Cubs

Nanaki and his cubs, as seen in the opening for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

500 years after Meteorfall, depicted at the end of Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children Nanaki arrived in a precipice overlooking the overgrown Midgar ruins with two young cubs.[note 4] The three dashed through a canyon and climbed up to the crest of a cliff to look down at the remains of Midgar, now covered in moss and trees while a flock of birds flies by. After the scene fades, the sound of distant children's laughter is heard.

Remake continuity[]

During "The Belly of the Beast", Cloud, Tifa, and Barret came to the Shinra Building to free Aerith. Nanaki was held in a different containment tank from her, but when Barret freed Aerith's tank, Nanaki's was opened as well, and he used the opportunity to rush after Hojo. Barret took Nanaki for a monster, but Aerith told them he was a friend and placed her hand of his head, a healing light emanating. Nanaki lost any aggression he previously felt,[23] and gained knowledge of the Whispers.[24] Nanaki joined the others as they retreated to Aerith's old room in the lab to recuperate.

Hojo freezes Red XIII on the spot with a robot from FFVII Remake

Hojo freezes Red XIII midair.

In "Deliverance from Chaos", Nanaki described the Whispers to the others, before the group escaped with the help of Avalanche. Nanaki objected to Barret calling him a "lab rat-dog", spiting him later with his tail.[24] He helped them navigate and escape the Drum, revealing the nature of Hojo's experiments, assuring them that all test subjects awaited a horrible fate and that death would be preferable.[25] Nanaki tried to attack Hojo at his only opportunity, but was frozen in place by a robot as Hojo escaped.[26] When the group escaped the Shinra Building, Nanaki introduced himself to Heidegger as a "lab rat dog", sarcastically reclaiming Barret's description.[27] In "Destiny's Crossroads", Nanaki helped defeat the Whispers, declaring he could decide his own destiny. As the group resolved to pursue Sephiroth, Nanaki agreed to join the hunt, saying they could "use a nose like his".[28]

Red XIII in a helicopter from FFVII Rebirth

Red XIII in a Shinra helicopter.

In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, in a separate reality where the party had failed to escape the Shinra Building in time (which had been destroyed by tornadoes), Nanaki was dug up from the rubble and put in a transport helicopter alongside an unconscious Aerith. He momentarily gained consciousness and attacked the pilot, causing the helicopter to crash. Zack Fair rescued Aerith from the wreck, but Nanaki's fate was unknown.

In the reality where the party successfully fled Midgar, Nanaki listened to Cloud's story of Sephiroth at Kalm in "Fall of a Hero". He officially joined Cloud's team as they pursued Sephiroth, while gaining new companions in Yuffie Kisaragi and Cait Sith. Nanaki was dejected at having to pretend to be the party's "pet" on numerous occasions, and when aboard Shinra-8 in "Blood in the Water", took it upon himself to pretend to be a human to partake in a Queen's Blood tournament, donning the uniform of a security officer.

Hojo in Costa del Sol from FFVII Rebirth

The party runs into Hojo on the beach.

In Costa del Sol in "Fool's Paradise", Aerith confided in him by showing her heirloom materia, asking what color Nanaki thought it was. He answered "clear" as the materia in Aerith's grasp was colorless. Aerith said it had used to be white back when they were in Midgar, but after losing her memories to the Whispers, the materia had lost its luster as well. Nanaki tried to comfort her, and suggested she go have fun with Tifa. He was perplexed when Aerith and Tifa changed to their beachwear, trying to compliment their appearance without knowledge of what humans would find attractive about women. When they found Hojo at the beach, Red XIII was aggravated and incensed.

Nanaki initially only spoke in his normal voice in private around Aerith before revealing his natural voice and true age as a teenager in human terms once returning to Cosmo Canyon in "Watcher of the Vale". He rushed off to see Bugenhagen, thanking Cloud's group for helping him return home. When Cloud's group met Bugenhagen, they learned of Nanaki's past while receiving an overview on planetology. Following the River of Lights festival, telling the group of his parents on the way, Red XIII undertook a trial within the Cave of the Gi with Barret aiding him as an observer against the restless spirits of the Gi.

Nanaki finds Seto from FFVII Rebirth

Nanaki finds Seto.

After facing Gi Nattak at the end of the cave, Nanaki discovered the petrified body of Seto and learned the truth that his father had sacrificed himself to keep the Gi at bay before falling to their poisoned arrows. The truth had been deliberately hidden from him to protect him. Bugenhagen asked Nanaki to keep journeying with Cloud's group to help them protect the planet with an open mind. Nanaki accepted with renewed pride in his father before rejoining the group as they learned the story of the Gi from Gi Nattak along with the black materia. When the restless spirits of the Gi, unable to return to the lifestream to find respite, began wreaking havoc in the Cosmo Region, Nanaki helped quell their wrath and promised to bring the black materia to them if they only waited patiently in the cave. Though this was a lie, as the party could not risk the possibility of the Gi using the black materia for something nefarious, Nanaki was adamant that his promise had not been hollow: he would yet find a way for the Gi to rest in peace.

Nanaki as Garm from FFVII Rebirth

"Garm" in Loveless.

During the party's return to the Gold Saucer in "A Golden Key" to look for the keystone, Nanaki played the part of Hellhound Garm, Valvados's minion, in the Gold Saucer virtual reality production of Loveless. He fought Alphreid (played by Cloud), and was flustered if Alphreid chose Garm as his "true love" and reached out to kiss his paw, only to be outraged the love confession was but a ruse. If Cloud went on a date with Nanaki, they rode the Skywheel together where Nanaki opened up about having momentarily had the power to glimpse into the future when Aerith had first touched him in the Shinra Building, but that he had lost the ability after they fought the Whispers. He showed his more playful side and at the end of their "date", Cloud petted Nanaki affectionately.

At the Temple of the Ancients, Cloud became eerily obsessed with getting his hands on the black materia, unnerving everyone. They participated in the Cetra's trial to gain access to the deepest part of the temple, and Nanaki was confronted with the painful memory of being made a test subject for Hojo, renamed "Red XIII" and tattooed. When they reached the black materia, Cloud grabbing hold of it made the temple begin to come apart, and it would collapse even after Nanaki tried to quickly place the orb back onto its pedestal. They escaped the temple with Cait Sith holding back the total collapse long enough, Cloud smuggling the materia out regardless, and ending up giving it to Sephiroth before falling unconscious.

Red Tifa&Aerith in the ending from FFVII Rebirth

Nanaki briefly senses Aerith's presence while comforting a mourning Tifa.

The group headed to the City of the Ancients at Aerith's behest with the unconscious Cloud in tow. They lost track of her in a dense mist in a mysterious forest, but Cloud came back to his senses, claiming he had witnessed another world. Nanaki was alarmed, feeling something supernatural about the mist, and worried that the Whispers were deliberately trying to separate them from Aerith, and that something bad could happen to her as per fate. Nanaki experienced a reality where Sephiroth killed Aerith after which they defeated both Jenova Lifeclinger and Sephiroth Reborn to prevent Sephiroth from reuniting the different layers of existence as per his mission of becoming a god. Sephiroth departed, seemingly satisfied with how the events had turned out regardless, and everyone but Cloud mourned for Aerith's passing. Cid repaired the Tiny Bronco so they could tail Sephiroth further north. Nanaki briefly felt Aerith's presence on the field where they were waiting for the repairs to be completed, but was unable to see or hear her.



Artwork by Tetsuya Nomura.

Nanaki is a quadrupedal animal[note 5] with dark red and orange fur and a thin brown mane. His right eye is scarred, and the remaining eye is ochre. He is adorned with a variety of beads, earrings and feathers around his head, with golden pastern braces and brands on his legs. He also has the roman numeral "XIII" tattooed on his shoulder. The tip of his tail burns, and he seems able to control the flame.

Nanaki has black patterns on his legs and what appears to be face paint. He has tattoos on his shoulder and thigh, and as Nanaki's father also has a similar one Seto Artwork, these tattoos can be taken to be cultural to their tribe. The XIII tattoo, meanwhile, was placed on him by Professor Hojo.[note 2] In Final Fantasy VII remake project, Nanaki wears a collar that can hold materia.


Nanaki is an honorable, courageous warrior with an inquisitive and knowledgeable mind. He is polite, soft-spoken, and calm,[9] mostly remaining composed, if at times pessimistic without veering into outright bitterness.[29][30][12][31] Nanaki is very inquisitive, listening attentively and curiously to stories by Cloud[10] and Tifa,[32] and having great knowledge of planetology[31] and later the Whispers.[24] At times, Nanaki acts out with sarcastic comments.[29]

Nanaki is still maturing and grappling with anxiety, which he aspires to outgrow. Nanaki speaks often about his desires for adulthood,[1][17] which he initially imagines to mean becoming a warrior who protects Cosmo Canyon and who is unafraid.[1][17] This very desire led to his capture, as him stepping up to prove himself to Deneh caused the Turks to capture him,[7] but also led to him resenting his father, who believed had cowardly neglected his duties. Learning otherwise greatly affected Nanaki and led him to see his greater duties to protect the planet.[1] Nanaki initially had dislike for humans, perhaps, due to Hojo's experiments, but his maturity softened his stance.[note 6]

Bugenhagen serves as a father figure to Nanaki, who reveres him. Nanaki struggles to imagine life without him, but heeds his desire that Nanaki's true future lies beyond Cosmo Canyon.[1][17][18] Nanaki also became close with Aerith and Tifa, who offered him reassurance during moments of fear.[24][12] He initially found Barret irritating due to his loudness, making snide remarks at his expense.[29][34]

Later in life, Nanaki became close with Vincent, due to their shared longevity. He struggled with the prospect of outliving his peers and with the loss he would experience. Nanaki also became increasingly torn between living like an animal or a human—his intelligence and conscience making it difficult for him to live as an animal, while his animal appearance and qualities made him seem as such by humans who disregarded his humanizing traits.[19]


Final Fantasy VII[]

Battle model from Final Fantasy VII.

Red XIII is a playable party member in Final Fantasy VII who uses a variety of headdresses to enhance his fighting abilities, many of which boost his Magic. Red XIII is a well-rounded character with even stats across the board, making him potent both at physical attacks and casting spells. Red XIII has very high Dexterity (speed stat).

FFVII Limit Break Red XIII Howlingmoon

Red XIII's Limit Break Howling Moon.

Red XIII's earlier Limit Breaks involve boosting his own stats to make him a stronger fighter, while his later Limit Breaks are geared toward damaging multiple enemies. Red XIII's ultimate weapon, the Limited Moon, does more damage the fuller his MP gauge is. Beside this, his notable weapons are the Seraph Comb, which when acquired is the strongest weapon in the game for a good period, and the Hairpin, making him the only close-range character to acquire a long-range weapon, the Hairpin.

Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis[]

Red XIII is one of the nine initial character units available, although not seen in-story until FFVII Chapter 3, "Goodbye, Midgar". He uses collars as his primary weapons, and has access to the Sled Fang and Lunatic High Limits through his statstream.

FFI PSP Black Mage MapThis section about a character in Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis is empty or needs to be expanded. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Final Fantasy VII Remake[]

Red XIII is a guest character who aids Cloud and his party after he is released from Shinra's grasp. He cannot be controlled by the player, and his stats, equipment and abilities do not appear in the menu. He joins near the end of the game, at Chapter 17. He has two magic materia embedded in his collar, and is capable of casting Cure on his allies and Bio on his enemies.

Red XIII moves swiftly and performs jumping attacks using his fangs and claws. His role in combat is minor and he doesn't deal any significant damage, although he can assist in staggering. He has two unique attacks: Sidewinder and Stardust Ray. Sidewinder is a spinning attack similar in execution to his normal attack in the original game. He may use it during the fight against The Arsenal, if the player takes too long to destroy the boss' Barrier Drones. Stardust Ray works similarly to Cloud, Barret, and Tifa's second level Limit Breaks, as it deals repeated damage to the enemies in an area and greatly increases their stagger gauge. It is mostly used against stronger normal enemies (such as the M.O.T.H. Unit), as well bosses (such as Jenova Dreamweaver), and is used alongside Barret's Fire in the Hole Limit Break in the last phase of the fight with the Whisper Harbinger.

Outside of battle, he can be used to solve some minor puzzles in the Drum where Cloud commands him to run over the wall to activate terminals and open paths for the party to cross.

During the motorcycle section where the party escapes from Midgar, Red XIII will restore a portion of Cloud's HP between waves of enemies.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth[]

Red XIII is fully playable as of the second part of the Remake trilogy, joining the party at the start of Chapter 2. He wields collars and can quickly swipe with his claws in a short combo, or briefly spin around for an area-of-effect attack. His unique ability is the Vengeance Gauge, which fills by him taking damage while defending or parrying, and can be used at any quantity to enter Vengeance Mode. While in this state, Red XIII's speed, attack power, and attack range all improve, allowing him to build ATB quite quickly. His unique ability also becomes Siphon Fang, a slicing leap that drains HP from foes. Many of his weapon abilities depend on Vengeance Mode and its benefits, such as costing two ATB bars or consuming the remainder of the gauge for greater potency. All in all, Red XIII's gameplay blends strategic defensive and offensive play and risk-reward decisions in combat.

Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Nanaki is fought as a boss, first in Chapter 18 and then in the Training Mode.

Musical themes[]

"Red XIII's Theme" (レッドXIIIのテーマ, Reddo XIII no Tēma?) plays when Red XIII introduces himself after the battle with Sample:H0512. Additionally, "Cosmo Canyon" (星降る峡谷, Hoshi Furu Kyōkoku?) and "The Great Warrior" (偉大なる戦士, Idai naru Senshi?) are similar to "Red XIII's Theme." They play in Cosmo Canyon and when Red XIII sees the petrified Seto, respectively.

Other appearances[]

Guest appearances[]

Red XIII has appeared in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:

Red XIII is the only playable character from Final Fantasy VII yet to be added in Dissidia Opera Omnia.

Mentions and cameos[]

Red XIII makes a cameo in Dissidia Final Fantasy as a tutor from the in-game manuals.

In the quiz Brain Blast in Final Fantasy XIII-2, one of the answers is "Patisserie Red Thirteen", referring to Red XIII.


Ehrgeiz's Django.

In the fighting game Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, a game with playable characters from Final Fantasy VII, the second-to-last boss, Django, resembles Red XIII in his alternate "outfit", even employing attacks alluding to Red XIII and his father: Seto Punch, Seto Low Punch, Seto Combination, Nanaki Kick, and Nanaki Combination. Two of his attacks are named after Red XIII's Limit Breaks: Sled Fang and Blood Fang.


Red XIII has appeared in action figures, key chains and Coca-Cola figurines. He, alongside Cait Sith, has also appeared on a Potion can.

Behind the scenes[]

Concept and design[]

Red XIII Sketch

Conceptual art of an elderly Red XIII and two cubs by Tetsuya Nomura.

Character designer Tetsuya Nomura had the idea to have a four-legged party member, but it was a struggle to make it work as this character would not easily be able to climb ladders, and when he turned his tail his body would end up going inside walls.[35] Yoshitaka Amano's artwork suggests that the Red XIII existed early in development, though his inclusion was not necessarily initially as a playable character.


Red XIII's name spelled as Red 13.

When he was first drawn, Nomura chose the name "Red XIII" as he wanted a name that did not sound like a name, and so combined a color with the number "13", which is believed to be unlucky. Other staff members later assigned Red XIII's true name as "Nanaki",[35] chosen for its Native American sound.[36] A screenshot published before Final Fantasy VII was released shows Red XIII's namespelled with Arabic numerals rather than Roman.

Red XIII is nearly always seen from the left, the side of his good eye. This is seen in FMVs, his menu portrait, the end of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the ending of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, and even almost all of his concept art. The same rough angle as his Final Fantasy VII portrait was used in his portrait for Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, in which he still has both eyes.

Character development[]

Red XIII was designed as a beast-type SOLDIER capable of using magic and understanding human language. He would have been a protector of the Buga tribe, to which Bugenhagen belonged, and his father Seto would have been his predecessor before having fled, making Red XIII contemptuous of him. In the final product, Red XIII's tribe is unnamed, but otherwise he is roughly the same as originally conceived.[35]

Red XIII was planned to be the focus on a cut sub plot. After being captured by Shinra, Hojo would have produced several clones of Red XIII, which would have had blue and purple fur and been named Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV, respectively. After defeating them, the party would be confronted by two more clones, and a battle would ensue where the party would fight both the clones and the real Red XIII and be forced to figure out which was the real thing and avoid killing him. Though the clones would be defeated, Red XIII would have the party spare them, as they were the last of his kind beyond him. Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV would later reappear in the final dungeon partially mechanized, determined to prove themselves superior to the original Red XIII.[citation needed]

For Final Fantasy VII Remake, the developers considered it important to establish his relationship with Cloud in the game and used him as a starting point of the level design in the Drum. However, they did not plan to make him playable, fearing disruptions to the tempo of the game and confusion for new players to have control a character that appears so late.[37][38]

For Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, special consideration had to be taken for his inclusion. Each quest in the game was recorded with two versions: one for before the party completes his character arc and one for after.[39] Staff also debated whether he should ride a chocobo with the rest of the party or, as a beast himself, run beside. Ultimately, they asked Tetsuya Nomura, who said he could ride a chocobo. The team ultimately was quite excited about the prospect and the positive fan reaction.[40]


Red XIII is voiced by Masachika Ichimura in Japanese, though he only has two lines in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. He is voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi in Final Fantasy VII Remake.

He is voiced by Liam O'Brien in the English version of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Red XIII shares his English voice actor with Caius Ballad from the Final Fantasy XIII-2, Kain Highwind from the 3D remake version of Final Fantasy IV and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, and Cu Chaspel from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates. Red XIII is voiced by Max Mittelman in the English version of Final Fantasy VII Remake where he uses two voices. Red XIII's fake voice has a deeper pitch while his normal voice is that of a teenager.


Etymology and symbolism[]

The word nana from "Nanaki" means "seven" in Japanese. This might be an allusion to the number seven.

"Nanaki" might also be taken to mean nameless (名無き), though it is unknown if this is an intended reading or a coincidence.

Red XIII's species is never named in the series but could relate to shisa and komainu that derive from Chinese "guardian lions", and resemble a cross between a lion and a dog. "Lion-dog" statues are used as wards, people placing pairs of shisa on their rooftops or flanking the gates to their houses, and komainu seen alongside temple entrances. In the Final Fantasy VII series, Red XIII's species act as the planet's guardians.



  1. The European manual listed Red XIII's age as 45.[6]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Though Nanaki's "XIII" tattoo resembles those of Sephiroth-clones, who also have tattoos with Roman numerals, Nanaki's tattoo is from an unrelated experiment, as he was captured more than three years after the other Sephiroth-clones were created.[8]
  3. In Final Fantasy VII, the player can choose to hand the Black Materia over to Nanaki or Barret. Regardless of whom it is given to, the same events take place, and they are fooled by Sephiroth with the same trick.[15] Later, Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition made Red XIII the canon choice of this event, listing Cloud as having handed the Black Materia to Red XIII in Red XIII's timeline,[14] and not in Barret's timeline.[16]
  4. Aside from Nanaki, the only other known member of his species is Deneh. This suggests Nanaki could have had children with her, or that other members of his species still exist.
  5. It is unclear what type of animal Nanaki is. Nanaki has been likened to a lion[7] and a dog,[24][11] while in Advent Children he roared like a large cat, and in Final Fantasy VII Remake his growl was akin to a tiger. He has both feline and canine characteristics.
  6. In Final Fantasy VII, recruiting Yuffie with Red XIII in the party before completing chapter "In the Land of the Study of Planet Life" will lead Red XIII to remark on greed as a "perfect example of human nature", a remark he does not make when recruiting her after completing the chapter.[33]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Final Fantasy VII script § "In the Land of the Study of Planet Life"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition § "Red XIII", p. 058-059
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Final Fantasy Ultimania Archive Volume 2, p. 34
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Final Fantasy VII, game manual (PlayStation, NTSC-J), p. 09
  5. 5.0 5.1 Final Fantasy VII, game manual (PC)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Final Fantasy VII, game manual (PlayStation, PAL), p. 05
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, "The Howl That Shook Heaven and Earth"
  8. Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, p. 32
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Final Fantasy VII script § "Storming the Shinra Building"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Final Fantasy VII script § "The Tragedy of Five Years Ago"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Final Fantasy VII script § "Dangerous Voyage"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Final Fantasy VII script § "Secret Date"
  13. Final Fantasy VII script § "Parting with Aeris"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition, p. 058-059
  15. 15.0 15.1 Final Fantasy VII script § "That Which Waits in the Northernmost Reaches"
  16. Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania Revised Edition, p. 056-057
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Final Fantasy VII script § "What Aeris Left Behind"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Final Fantasy VII script § "Cosmo Canyon optional dialogue"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile § "Episode: Nanaki"
  20. Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile § "Episode: Yuffie"
  21. Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile § "Episode: Barret"
  22. Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story
  23. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Operation: Save Aerith"
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "A Way Out"
  25. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Use the Central Terminal"
  26. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "2nd Ward"
  27. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Great Escape"
  28. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Turning Point"
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Flying Through the Night"
  30. Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "The Ominous Trail"
  31. 31.0 31.1 Final Fantasy VII script § "A Shocking Reunion"
  32. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 94
  33. Final Fantasy VII script § "Recruiting Yuffie"
  34. Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts, p. 189
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania, p. 8-13
  36. Famitsu 1997
  37. Shanley, Wigler 2020
  38. Ryan 2020
  39. Foster October 29 2023
  40. Foster October 14 2023


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