I'll control the world with fear. It takes too much to do it like my old man. A little fear will control the minds of the common people. There's no reason to waste money on them.
Rufus Shinra is the vice president of the Shinra Electric Power Company through Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Final Fantasy VII, and the president through most of Final Fantasy VII. He is President Shinra's son. He is a major antagonist during Final Fantasy VII and an important supporting character on a majority of its expanded universe.
In Japanese, Rufus's name is usually written ルーファウス (Rūfausu?), however the Final Fantasy VII Official Establishment File writes ルーファス (Rūfasu?) on the title of his page, which is more analogous to the pronunciation of the name "Rufus". The rest of the guide uses the correct name when referring to him. However, there are three instances of dialogue with two men in Kalm who use ルーファス (Rūfasu?). Both characters also use the correct name in other dialogue.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Etymology
- 9 References
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Rufus is a young man with short blond hair and blue eyes. He wears a similar outfit in all his appearances: a white business suit with a matching jacket over a black shirt. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, many new details are added to his suit: he now wears a tie as well as belts around his wrists and waist, and several hang loosely over his long skirt. His weapon of choice is a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun.
For the majority of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Rufus covers himself with a long white sheet.
Personality[edit | edit source]
I've heard that no one's ever seen him bleed or cry.
Rufus is initially portrayed as an enigmatic schemer who does not hesitate killing his enemies. He has no love for his father and plotted to overthrow him, having funded the fledgling eco-terrorist group Avalanche to pressure the president's deposal from behind the curtain. While Rufus shares his father's goals in cementing the Shinra Company's hold on the world, he believes fear is essential to control the populace and even sets up a public execution both to win favor and reassign blame for the company's larceny. Convinced that everything that the Shinra Company produces belongs to him, Rufus taunts Cloud Strife in the remake by saying that he owns him. Rufus acts fearless even in the face of formidable opponents, always having backup should things go wrong.
Between the events of Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, Rufus witnesses firsthand the damage the planet sustained due to Shinra's actions. His near-death experiences and time spent seeing what happens on the ground because of his company's actions have softened Rufus. Now speaking in a kinder tone desiring redemption for his misdeeds, he acknowledges Shinra's part in desecrating, if not nearly decimating, the planet. Wishing to do his part in fixing it, despite Cloud and Avalanche's hand in Shinra's collapse, Rufus shows them no ill-will and tells Cloud about Kadaj and his group despite Cloud rejecting his offer to work together. He retains a manipulative edge by attempting to use Cloud's adopted orphans to get him to cooperate. He displays a sarcastic sense of humor by commenting "a good son would have known" to Kadaj when revealing what he's been concealing under the white sheet he always cloaks himself with.
Rufus is hinted to be the one funding the World Regenesis Organization, but still wishes for Shinra to have a dominant hand in world affairs. The city of Edge is built using Shinra resources, and Rufus has a monument to Meteor placed in the city center to secure Shinra's ownership of Edge in the minds of the citizens.
Story[edit | edit source]
Pre-presidency[edit | edit source]
In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- Rufus is the main financier for the eco-terrorist group Avalanche, and feeds them information. Along with the other Shinra executives, Rufus takes part in meetings and strategy, and has special access to his father, personally discussing key issues as the second-in-command. Rufus has no interest in the planet's fate while funding Avalanche, rather, he is using the organization to take power from his father. It becomes clear Shinra has a traitor, but initially the informant's identity is not known.
The Turks capture Rufus during the attack on the Old Corel and use him as leverage with President Shinra to save their commander, Veld, and his daughter, Elfe, the commander of Avalanche. President Shinra saves him while the Turks are out searching for the support materia to cure Elfe and attempting to rescue Veld. Before the Turks were ordered to be executed for insubordination, Rufus has them spared since Tseng "assassinated" Veld and Elfe. Rather than being executed or relieved of his position for the attempt of his father's life, Rufus is placed under house arrest within the Turks' hidden headquarters. His absence is covered up as an "extended assignment overseas".
Though Rufus is not seen in person in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, an email from Kunsel to Zack mentions that Rufus has been promoted to vice president and corporate officer, and had departed on a "long-term business trip", the details unable to be disclosed for "security reasons".
Original continuity[edit | edit source]
As Shinra president[edit | edit source]
Tonight marks a new beginning for Shinra!
Rufus to Cloud in Final Fantasy VII Remake
During Sephiroth's attack on the Shinra Building in Midgar, the Shinra executive Palmer contacts Junon for help. Rufus responds by taking a B1-Alpha Helicopter to Midgar, arriving just after Sephiroth has killed President Shinra. Rufus confronts Avalanche atop the Shinra Building and declares himself as Shinra's new president and his intent to control the planet's populace through fear. Cloud, a mercenary hired by Avalanche, remains to hold Rufus back while the others escape. Rufus battles him using a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun and is accompanied by a guard hound. After seeing he cannot win against Cloud, Rufus falls back to the helicopter.
Rufus decides to pursue Sephiroth and Shinra forces follow his trail across the planet, Rufus traveling with an entourage of Shinra executives. A parade is held on his honor in Junon, celebrating him as the new Shinra president. Unknown to Shinra, Cloud and the rest of Avalanche, who had escaped the Shinra Building in Midgar, partake in the festivities with Cloud disguising himself as a Shinra foot soldier, and is among the soldiers who perform a routine for Rufus's send-off on a cargo ship.
The cargo ship travels from Junon to Costa del Sol, and while Rufus stays in the cabin discussing matters with Heidegger, the head of Shinra's military affairs, Avalanche stows away on the ship disguised as crew. Mysterious events transpire with many crew members killed, and after docking in Costa del Sol, it is determined Sephiroth was onboard alongside Avalanche. Rufus admonishes Heidegger for his failure to catch on to the stowaways before flying off on another helicopter.
Shinra's main airship, the Highwind, is not ready for flight, and after receiving intel that Sephiroth is heading for the Temple of the Ancients, Rufus decides to seize Cid Highwind's Tiny Bronco airplane for faster travel. Cid eagerly expects Rufus's arrival as he mistakes his visit for an announcement of re-launching Shinra's space program, but when he hears Rufus wants his plane he becomes outraged and refuses. Cloud's crew helps Cid escape in the Tiny Bronco, but Rufus has his men shoot it down.
When the Highwind is ready to take off Rufus, Scarlet and Professor Hojo fly to the planet's north pole to investigate the North Crater. They run into Avalanche in a place covered in materia, Shinra deeming it to be the fabled promised land, a land told in Cetra legend to be a land full of Spirit Energy. Rufus and the other Shinra executives are forced to flee when the Weapons emerge from the crater when Sephiroth summons the Meteor, but in the chaos they capture two Avalanche members: Tifa and Barret.
Rufus wants to have the two publicly executed to help calm the panic from the looming Meteor. His plans are foiled when Sapphire Weapon attacks Junon and blasts a hole in the gas chamber, Tifa and Barret escaping on the Highwind that has been stolen by Avalanche.
Determined to not give up, Rufus plans to destroy Meteor with the Shinra No. 26 rocket and send in the Shinra Army to the North Crater to kill Sephiroth in the Great Sephiroth Plan. The plan to blow up the Meteor fails, but Rufus has the Sister Ray mako cannon moved from Junon to Midgar to destroy the barrier surrounding the crater that protects Sephiroth. As he launches the cannon, Diamond Weapon approaches Midgar and fires at the metropolis. The salvo of attacks hits on-level with the president's office from which Rufus was overseeing the operation. Due to the damage no one can reach the office to find a body, so he is presumed dead and Shinra descends into chaos. Scarlet and Heidegger go rogue, but are killed by Avalanche, and the Turks abandon their objectives. The opening of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- reveals that Rufus survived, and was loaded into a helicopter during Meteorfall.
Post-crisis[edit | edit source]
Tseng, Elena, Reno, Rude. What do you plan on doing from here?
Rufus to the Turks
Rufus and the Turks are the central characters in On the Way to a Smile "Episode: Shinra". Rufus escaped death in Diamond Weapon's attack by using a hidden tunnel his father had built for when Rufus would need it and took refuge in Kalm. Mütten Kylegate takes Rufus prisoner while the Turks are away and interrogates him. Rufus reveals his plan to construct the city of Edge in the east of Midgar, using the remains of the fallen buildings and the corrupted roads.
After Kilmister helps him escape, Rufus helps him recover Professor Hojo's research from Midgar to learn the origins of Geostigma, a new disease that now plagues the populace, which Kilmister knows is connected to Jenova. Though Kilmister is eventually killed, Rufus still orders the Turks to locate Jenova's remains and keep them safe from being used by others.
After Meteorfall, many began referring to Rufus by the unflattering nickname of "Doofus Shinra".
Geostigma crisis[edit | edit source]
A good son would have known.
Rufus to Kadaj
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Rufus invites Cloud to see him. He has been under the Turks' protection for two years, living with them in the Healen Lodge. He appears wheelchair-bound, and covers himself with a white sheet to supposedly hide his Geostigma, as he appears to be in the disease's final stages. Renouncing his past cruelty, Rufus explains the near-death experience opened his eyes to the truth and that he now desires to undo the chaos his company had brought onto the world. The Turks' search of the North Crater after Sephiroth's defeat yielded no result, but they were interrupted by Kadaj and his gang. Rufus tells Cloud everything he knows about them, offering Cloud to work with him. Cloud refuses, and despite Rufus nearly persuading him by reminding Cloud of the orphans he now helps take care of, Reno's sudden reminder that together they would rebuild Shinra prompts Cloud to leave.
Cloud, his friends, Rufus and the Turks fight the remnants of Sephiroth, Sephiroth's avatars born from the lifestream who want to reunite with Jenova's remains so Sephiroth can be reborn. Rufus meets the remnants' leader, Kadaj, several times as he is looking for Jenova, but feigns ignorance of the being's whereabouts. Kadaj brings his possessed horde of Geostigma-infected children to Edge to find Jenova and summons Bahamut SIN to tear down the Meteor monument Shinra had erected, presuming Jenova's remains being hidden there. As Rufus and Kadaj watch the showdown from a tall building, Rufus removes the sheet and stands up. The progression of his Geostigma is not nearly as advanced as he had pretended, the sheet instead having concealed Jenova's remains from Kadaj of which Rufus had been holding onto the whole time.
Rufus throws Jenova's container off the building's ledge. When Kadaj plunges after it, Rufus follows suit and pulls out his shotgun and shoots at the box. He is caught in the net thrown by Tseng and Elena, but Kadaj collects Jenova's remains, upset the container was damaged. Kadaj escapes to the ruins of Midgar where he absorbs Jenova's remains to become Sephiroth, but is defeated by Cloud and dissolves back into the lifestream.
Rufus is cured of Geostigma when Aerith Gainsborough calls down healing rain, prolonging the life of the Shinra family and his chance for further redemption.
In the new opening scene for Advent Children Complete, after Kadaj asks Rufus why mankind bothers to constantly rebuild after destroying everything they make, Rufus says people rebuild to "gild the past" and rid themselves of a recent problem. Kadaj assumes Rufus means Geostigma, something he says Shinra brought upon the planet. Kadaj says Rufus fears the past. Rufus objects, and says it is simply because he is forgetful. Rufus also explains to Cloud that Sephiroth's will in the lifestream is what causes Geostigma, rather than the mako energy, as the populace believes.
Deepground conflict[edit | edit source]
It is hinted in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- that Rufus is secretly funding the World Regenesis Organization headed by Reeve Tuesti, who had a feeling his mysterious benefactor was someone who owed "a debt to the planet" (nearly quoting Rufus's words to Cloud from Advent Children word for word). His signature white jacket is seen in the opening of Dirge of Cerberus as Rufus is being loaded onto an emergency transport while Yuffie is evacuating a sector of Midgar during Meteorfall.
Remake continuity[edit | edit source]
During Cloud, Barret and Tifa's infiltration of the Shinra Building to save their friend Aerith, Rufus contacts Tseng of the Turks, prompting Reno and Rude to retrieve him via helicopter. As they approach the Shinra Building, they down the Avalanche HQ helicopter sent out to extract Barret Wallace's cell from the roof of the building. Cloud, a mercenary working with Avalanche, tells the others to escape while he stays behind to deal with Rufus. Rufus is amused at Cloud's bravado and remarks that Cloud's former affiliation with SOLDIER, Shinra's elite military force, means that he owns him. Cloud overpowers Rufus and his guard hound, disarming Rufus of his guns, and Rufus retreats via helicopter.
Rufus returns after Avalanche escapes the building and officially takes over the position of CEO, as his father, President Shinra, has just been killed by Sephiroth. Although unfazed over the murder, the mysterious happenings, Sephiroth's return from the dead and Cloud and his friends' involvement trouble Rufus. The building is swarmed by flying cloaked beings, puzzling Rufus further, especially when no one else seems able to see them. When Heidegger addresses him as VP Rufus ignores him, until Tseng calls to him with "President", annoying Heidegger.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
In Final Fantasy VII Remake Rufus is again fought by Cloud alongside his pet, now renamed Darkstar. He is faced in Chapter 17, "Deliverance from Chaos". He is a significantly more threatening opponent, performing combo attacks with Darkstar. He parries Cloud's attacks and guns him from behind. He alternates between shooting and reloading, and ordering Darkstar, who can buff him.
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
"Rufus's Welcoming Ceremony" plays during his initiation ceremony in Junon. In Final Fantasy IX a band on the Prima Vista plays the theme in the Evil Forest. This version, called "Rufus's Welcome Ceremony (Millennium Version)", is found on the Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack PLUS album. A piano arrangement is included on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VII album. The theme is also included on the compilation album Final Fantasy VII Vinyl Limited Edition.
Other appearances[edit | edit source]
Rufus Shinra is an ally and a summonable Legend depicted in his Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children outfit.
- Ability Cards
- Legend Cards
Rufus Shinra appears as a boss in select FF VII dungeons and as a playable character who could be initially recruited during the Challenge Event Vow Upon a Star as a First Time Reward for completing the event's Junon stage on Classic difficulty.
Rufus appears on a card that depicts him from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Rufus is covered with a sheet so as to hide his face, and his voice was made soft and deceptive to give him a sense of mystery. Toru Okawa, who voices Rufus in the film's Japanese version, stated he got the impression Rufus was the type of person always hiding something, and states that the scene where he rises from his wheelchair and casts off his cloak is one of his favorites, where Rufus reveals his secrets at last.
Okawa noted that Rufus's line "a good son would have known" has become a fan favorite, and Director Tetsuya Nomura has joked the irony is that such a line comes from Rufus. Nomura said that Okawa's voice had an undertone of mystery and elegance, and was perfect for Rufus's part: "Only someone like Rufus, a big shot president, would be able to jump off a building without hesitation and expect his Turks to take care of everything".
As revealed in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, President Shinra had an illegitimate son named Lazard Deusericus with a woman from the slums, making him Rufus's older half-brother. An infantryman in the director's office tells Zack that he found Lazard to resemble "the V.P". The novel Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story reveals that President Shinra had yet another illegitimate son, Evan Townshend, the younger half-brother of Rufus and Lazard, with his secretary Annette. It's also implied that Rufus knew about Lazard as he says meeting Evan isn't his first time meeting a half-sibling.
In On the Way to a Smile "Episode: Shinra", Rufus discovers that his father's passkey, used to unlock anything in the building, was the date Rufus was born. As the actual code was not presented, the exact date of his birth remains unknown. Rufus gave the idea of an escape route in the Shinra Building executive office when he was five years old when President Shinra showed him the blueprints. Much to the President's hesitation, it was built, and Rufus used it after Diamond Weapon attacked Midgar. In "Episode: Shinra", it is also mentioned that Rufus chooses the farthest part of the room for a bed.
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Rufus employs personalized coins for special attacks during his fight with Cloud. Each side has a meaning that reflects Rufus's personality and his plans to rule the Shinra Corporation and Midgar. One side shows an emblem with a sword, a shield, and a pair of wings, with the words "Shinra Inc., A New Era. Ever Forward. Reign Supreme". surrounding it, which symbolizes the Shinra ideals and Rufus's lust for power. The other side shows Darkstar and mandragora flowers, with the words "Fierce Pride", which symbolize both "enchantment" and "fear".
Rufus is likely the inspiration for the character Dauragon C. Mikado of the early 2000s Square Beat Em' Up RPG The Bouncer.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Rufus is a name of Latin origin, and means "red-haired".
In a March 4, 2020 interview, Yoshinori Kitase explained that the word "SHINRA" derives from the word "myth" in Japanese (神話, shinwa?) because SHINRA was about becoming god and controlling everything.
Rufus is one of the few Final Fantasy characters with a last name written in kanji and a first name in katakana, and, along with his father, the only character in Final Fantasy VII (and the series in general) with kanji in the name that isn't a title or a nickname.
References[edit | edit source]
- Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile, "Episode: Shinra", p.138-139:
The monstrous Weapon had struck the building.[...]Then Rufus remembered a conversation with his father from almost twenty years ago.[...]Five-year old Rufus woke up in the middle of the night[...]
- Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania, p.050
- Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story
- Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania reveals the meaning behind Rufus' coins (Accessed: June 25, 2020) at twitter.com/aitaikimochi