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Roche is a supporting character and minor antagonist in Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. He is a rebellious SOLDIER 3rd Class in the Shinra Electric Power Company who is obsessed with motorcycles, high speed, and competition.

Roche is a newly introduced character in Final Fantasy VII Remake. He battles Cloud twice in both Remake and Rebirth. In Remake, he is first fought during the biking minigame and again in a standard battle. In Rebirth, he is fought in Chapter 4, "Dawn of a New Era", and Chapter 11, "The Long Shadow of Shinra". Elated to find a worthy opponent, he comes to respect Cloud as competition, as well as a "friend" and rival.

History[]

At some point in the past, Roche joined SOLDIER and earned the 3rd Class rank.

In "Mad Dash", Roche was in the Corkscrew Tunnel when Cloud, Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge failed an ID check riding motorcycles in route to Sector 7. He was impressed by their speed and subsequently pursued them, making a dramatic entrance by performing motorcycle tricks and eliminating some Shinra officers. He arrogantly introduced himself to Cloud and challenged him to a race. They exchanged taunting words throughout their competition, but Roche lost, accepting defeat and hoping that when they next meet, it would be just the two of them competing.[1]

Cloud and Roche clash from FFVII Remake

Roche duels Cloud.

Later that night at the S7-6 Annex, Roche made another dramatic entrance, laughing maniacally while performing motorcycle stunts and maneuvering around the Shinra officers attempting to apprehend Cloud, Biggs, and Wedge. He demanded Cloud face him in a one-on-one duel, calling it their "second dance", but was ultimately defeated.[2] An elated Roche told him there were "higher heights" to which they could "still soar", created a diversion to help Cloud and company escape, hoped they could someday have a rematch, and encouraged Cloud to stay alive until then.[2]

Yuffie and Roche in Intermission from FFVIIR Intergrade

Yuffie challenges Roche to a game of Fort Condor.

During "Wutai's Finest" in "Episode INTERmission", Roche traveled to the Sector 7 slums looking for Cloud and hollering for him to come out. He caused a commotion among the locals who were unaccustomed to ever seeing SOLDIER operatives in the slums. He told Yuffie she reminded him of his "dear friend" and asked if she knew him. Yuffie coldly asked if his friend was affiliated with Shinra, to which he replied "perhaps". Roche gave his name, commented on her hostility and "exotic wardrobe", and added that if he were on duty, she would cause him to pause. However, he assured that he was in the slums for "personal business" involving his "aforementioned friend".[3]

Roche described Cloud's appearance, "need for speed", and complimented his combat prowess while believing he had "love for his mount", but he could not recall his name. Yuffie unenthusiastically listened and asked if Roche played Fort Condor, to which he expressed his "scorching passion". He lost, but praised Yuffie for her victory and passion, considering her worthy of being a "friend" and "close companion", which left her bemused. A dramatic and excited Roche hoped they would next meet on the "open road".[4]

In "Dawn of a New Era" in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Roche was dispatched to Junon supposedly to capture Aerith Gainsborough now traveling in Cloud's party, but his personal motive appeared to be to get his desired rematch with Cloud. He drove his motorcycle to Under Junon, causing commotion and issuing his challenge to Cloud. When Cloud, Aerith, and Tifa Lockhart made their way to Upper Junon to take part in Rufus Shinra's inauguration parade, Roche led a motorcycling unit but ultimately lost the recommendation to Midgar's Seventh Infantry. After a failed assassination attempt on Rufus incriminated Cloud's party, they became targets for all Shinra forces. Roche joined the search, but only looked for a rematch; after losing the battle and getting his bike damaged, he let Cloud leave without ill will toward him, still hoping they could fight again.

Cloud vs Roche from FFVII Rebirth

Roche challenges Cloud in Nibelheim.

Roche offered himself to Professor Hojo's experiments and was into another "Sephiroth-clone", being tattooed with "SC4" on his left shoulder. Once the process was complete, he seemingly acted on his whim, and apparently defied his superiors to face Cloud a final time in Nibelheim with the enhanced abilities due to the experimentation he underwent. Showing an even more unhinged demeanor, he recklessly destroyed his new motorcycle during his arrival before challenging Cloud, however, he was ultimately still defeated. Refusing to be pitied as his body began failing during their duel, Roche succumbed to the Jenova cells within his body and became a mindless "black cloak" like the other Sephiroth-clones; the only remainder of his original self is his muttering "my...friend..." in seeming faint recognition of Cloud.

Characteristics[]

Appearance[]

Roche is a man with a muscular build, fair skin, long blond hair styled like a mullet and coiffed up top. He has a small goatee and blue mako-infused eyes. He wears the standard SOLDIER 3rd Class uniform of dark blue with black base layers, paired with black combat boots, black leather belts with the SOLDIER emblem, silver gloves, and silver pauldrons and bracers. He wields a SOLDIER-issued broadsword that resembles Zack's from Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-SOLDIER Sword from Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and rides a red motorcycle.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

After undergoing experimentation by Professor Hojo, Roche receives a tattoo "SC4" on his upper left arm, and numerous strands of his hair turn white due to his accelerated degradation. When he confronts Cloud again outside the Shinra Manor, the left sleeve of his fatigues has been stripped of armor and torn off, exposing his forearm. His second motorcycle appears identical to his first one, except it has the kanji (, Ni?, lit. two, second) painted in white on the front. After fully turning, Roche's skin becomes pallid, his hair fully gray, and he begins to wear a black floor-length robe with a white symbol on the back.

Spoilers end here.

Personality[]

Roche as the bike minigame boss from FFVII Remake

Roche is a thrill seeker exhilarated by motorcycles, speed, and competition.

Roche is a fearless, reckless, arrogant, flamboyant, and honorable man who acts like a renegade. He is a self-proclaimed "Speed Demon", exhilarated by the high speeds of motorcycles and competition.[1] He has a flair for the dramatic, performing flashy stunts on his motorcycle and speaking theatrically, often using vehicular references in his speech. He is arrogant, claiming his ears are "attuned to the female voice" and longing for an opponent worthy and equal to his level of skill.[2][1]

Roche has the credentials and skill needed to progress in the ranks of SOLDIER, but is uninterested in a promotion,[5] and has a rebellious streak with questionable loyalties.[1] Though he antagonizes Cloud, he appears to do it for sport, even fairly rejuvenating him prior to their duel. After two intense competitions with Cloud that ended in defeat, Roche comes to honorably view him with respect, considering Cloud a worthy opponent of equal measure and a "friend".[2] He then helps Cloud escape and encourages him to stay alive so they can have a rematch someday, perhaps on the account of kinship. Roche is ostracized by many in the Shinra Public Security Forces due to his unpredictable antics and disregard for anyone's safety.[2][1]

Abilities[]

Roche is proficient in swordsmanship and magic, holding the skills needed to receive a promotion in SOLDIER.[5] He is a virtuoso motorcyclist, capable of performing impressive and flashy stunts, fighting at high speeds, and casting powerful spells.[1] After volunteering to become Hojo's test subject, seemingly to gain the power to finally best Cloud, his "friend" and rival, he grows more unhinged but also more powerful.

Gameplay[]

Final Fantasy VII Remake[]

First encounter[]

Roche is the boss of the biking minigame in Chapter 4 "Mad Dash". The segment is based on the G Bike minigame from the original Final Fantasy VII. Cloud needs to hit his bike enough for a cutscene to trigger where he jumps onto Roche's bike and damages his engine.

Motorcycle segment in Ch4 Mad Dash from FFVII Remake

Motorcycle segment.

Cloud steers the bike, braking and accelerating, and swinging his sword left or right of the bike. He has a special attack that takes a moment to charge, unleashed with Triangle, called Spinning Slash, where he spins the bike, dealing more damage than with normal sword strikes. His long range attack is called Sharp Gust, using L1+Triangle.

Roche alternates between pulling ahead or to the sides of the tunnel to unleash attacks onto Cloud: either crescent energy slashes, which can be avoided by swerving from side to side, or bolts of lightning that hit the road ahead, which should be anticipated and avoided. After Roche stops his onslaught, he slows down enough for Cloud to get near enough to attack.

The game is over if Cloud takes too much damage and his health is depleted, but the "Continue from Last Battle" option lets him continue from the segment where Roche first appears, starting at full health. Biggs and Wedge's bike also has a health bar and can take damage, but Roche should focus on Cloud; Biggs and Wedge do not particularly need protecting.

Earning praise from Jessie for excelling in this segment (finishing with 80%+ health) yields a trophy.

Second encounter[]

Roche returns at the Shinra warehouse and challenges Cloud to a one-on-one duel, restoring his HP and MP for a fair fight before engaging (this will not happen on hard mode).

Roche employs a flashy fighting style, and uses magic, such as Thunder. After sustaining a certain amount of damage, he will become more aggressive, using dashing attacks that cover great distances and may briefly stun Cloud. At this phase, he will employ new techniques, such as Ignition Flame, which erupts a pillar of flame towards Cloud; and Combustion Sword, which resembles Cloud's Braver. He dodges most of Cloud's attacks when in his neutral stance.

Fort Condor[]

I'm always ready for a round of Fort Condor!

Roche
Roche in FFVIIR Episode INTERmission

Roche is an opponent for Fort Condor in "Episode INTERmission" as part of "Mastering Fort Condor". He hangs out in the Pillar Plaza. He is a Rank 2 player who has a mix of ranged and vanguard units, making a mix of defense and vanguard units best against him, leaning more towards defense. It is still ideal to have at least one ranged unit against his M.O.T.H. Unit (Defense), though Magic Attacks can also help deal with it. A good strategy is to use a defense barracks against him early, ensuring a stream of defense units to attack him.

In hard mode, Roche is a Rank 5 player and uses a buffed board with the best speed and more ATK and HP for his towers, but keeps the materia and unit loadouts from Easy/Normal mode. The strategy with the Sorcerer Board II is still viable (though alternate strategies also work) of using all three attack spells on Roche's headquarters to deplete 5/6ths of its health, and sending out fast units from the middle to push the territory line up to Roche's towers to shave off the last little bit of HP with the player's units. As Sorcerer Board II charges ATB slowly, it is best to wait for it to fill until deploying any units, also allowing the player to see where Roche is putting his units to start off his advance. When the player has a full ATB bar, they can send out a Guard Dog (Vanguard) from the middle on the side Roche left clear to push the territory line to the towers, and then immediately place a unit right in front of Roche's HQ.

Board Units Reward(s)
Assassin Board II[note 1]
9 ATB
Blizzard materia icon for Fort Condor from FFVII Remake INTERmissionBlizzard
Aero materia icon for Fort Condor from FFVII Remake INTERmissionAero x2
Slow materia icon for Fort Condor from FFVII Remake INTERmissionSlow
Elite Helitrooper (Vanguard)
Cutter (Vanguard)
Monodrive (Ranged)
Missile Launcher (Ranged)
M.O.T.H. Unit (Defense)
Easy/Normal:
Elite Helitrooper (Vanguard)
Condor Coin x3
Battalion Board II[note 2]
Hard:
Secrets of the Ninja Vol.V
Secrets of the Staff Vol.V
Condor Coin x3
  1. In hard mode, Roche uses "Assassin Board II", a rarity ★★★★ board with 3/3 speed and buffed towers
  2. If Yuffie wins against Roche after already besting Jessie, he gives the Battalion Board II. The board can also be bought from Old Snapper after Yuffie becomes eligible to face the Rank 3 player.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth[]

Roche is fought as a boss twice, both times with Cloud alone. He is the end boss of chapter 4, "Dawn of the New Era", as well as chapter 11, "The Long Shadow of Shinra".

Musical themes[]

Roche is associated with two tracks in Final Fantasy VII Remake, both heard in "Mad Dash". "Speed Demon", track 11 of disc 2 on the Final Fantasy VII Remake Original Soundtrack, plays while Cloud and Roche battle each other on motorcycles. "Ignition Flame", track 18 of disc 2 on the Final Fantasy VII Remake Original Soundtrack, plays during Cloud and Roche's duel.

Behind the scenes[]

Roche from Final Fantasy VII Remake artwork

Concept art.

Roche was originally created as a boss to conclude the bike minigame. The team felt his originality as a character could pan into something more interesting, and instead used his bike minigame appearance to foreshadow a later role, as well as reusing him as a boss battle in the Sector 7-6 Annex. His role would be used to explain the situation for SOLDIER operatives fighting for Shinra.[6][7]

Roche was intended to reappear later. One idea was to include him in Chapter 14, "In Search of Hope", though the developers gave up on this as Midgar's slums had no roads to ride motorcycles along. Another was to include him in the final highway battle, but the developers felt it ruined its serious tone.[8][9]

Roche becoming a "robed man" in Rebirth was not in the initial plans; Roche was only designed to be a mid-boss for the bike minigame in Remake. Since no other details were given, scenario writer Hiroaki Iwaki felt he had free reign to make Roche "a weirdo" based on the logic that he was in SOLDIER. Other writers expanded on this concept, and when Iwaki learned that Roche would become a robed man in Rebirth, he was amazed at how far he had gone. Since Roche stands out, the developers wanted to give him a bigger role, and used him to show that some of the robed men are ex-SOLDIERs. This purpose was meant for Broden, the innkeeper in Kalm, but this event did not stand out enough; Roche standing out more helped to emphasize it, since he can be easily contrasted with Cloud. Kazushige Nojima intended to give Roche a proper death, but in the end he survives the events of the game.[10]

Voice[]

His Japanese voice actor is Kenta Miyake. He shares this voice actor with Biran Ronso from Final Fantasy X, Gladiolus Amicitia from the Final Fantasy XV Universe, and Ignacio from Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. He is voiced by Austin Lee Matthews in English.

Gallery[]

Notes[]

Citations[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "Motor Chase"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Final Fantasy VII Remake script § "A Little Diversion"
  3. Final Fantasy VII Remake, Episode INTERmission
  4. Final Fantasy VII Remake, Episode INTERmission
  5. 5.0 5.1 Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania, p. 54
  6. Shanley, Patrick; Wigler, Josh (2020, July 6). "Inside the 'Final Fantasy VII Remake' Team's "Familiar Yet New" Adaptation of a Classic". From 'Hollywood Reporter'. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020.
  7. Robert Ramsey (n.d.) . Interview: Final Fantasy VII Remake Producer and Co-Director on Development, Launch, and Being Grateful for the Fans. Push Square. Archived from the original on May 25, 2020.
  8. Romano, Sal (2020, July 21). "Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 development already underway". From Gematsu''. Archived from the original on July 21, 2020.
  9. MKillerby translating the July 22nd Famitsu interview with Naoki Hamaguchi (n.d.) . Translation: Toriyama and Hamaguchi (FF7R co-directors) interviews in Famitsu. Archived from the original on July 22, 2022.
  10. (n.d.) . Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Post-Release Interview (Part 2) – Devs Discuss Side Characters, Dialogue, and Sequel. Frontline Gaming Japan. Archived from the original on April 18, 2024.
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