This feeling. Is this what you meant by doing something for someone you care about?Shelke
Shelke the Transparent, real name Shelke Rui, is the third member of the Tsviets from Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. Born in 1991, she is 19-years-old though permanently stuck in the body of a young girl.
I... I don't really know. However, since coming here I have realized one thing. I don't want to let down anyone who's counting on me.Shelke to Nero
Shelke has pale skin, light blue "mako eyes", and short red hair with bangs that frame her face. She wears a blue turtleneck Deepground uniform with gloves and a breastplate bearing the Deepground insignia. Her uniform has containers on the back of her legs to hold her sabers. Shelke is 19, but has the physical appearance of a nine-year-old. She fights with two EM sabers, linked with a cord similar to nunchaku. Her main skill within the Tsviets is retrieving information from the Worldwide Network by means of a Synaptic Net Dive (SND), but her skills are not limited to computers.
Based on her battle in World of Final Fantasy, her weapons are called Shock Spear.
Due to spending ten years in Deepground she became a shadow of her former self, a hollow shell devoid of emotion. Suffering from isolation and mental scars, she talks in a robotic manner and thinks like a computer, making decisions based on logic rather than emotion. As she interacts with Vincent Valentine and his friends, Shelke encounters an unforeseen side effect from her work within the Tsviets by experiencing Lucrecia Crescent's memories and feels what she would have felt compelling Shelke to help Vincent, although she never admits to this. The experience allows her to regain her emotions and develop an attachment to Vincent, supposedly as a result of absorbing part of Lucrecia's consciousness.
Apart from Lucrecia's memories and emotions, Shelke develops a genuine sense of camaraderie and loyalty, defending the WRO crew and assisting them to the best of her abilities out of a sense of duty to respond to those who trust in her. As a result, she begins, in her own way, to care for those around her.
In 2000, the Shinra Electric Power Company discovered the nine-year-old Shelke possessed the rare SND ability and ordered her to be inducted into SOLDIER with the intention of harnessing her ability to develop a new type of warfare. President Shinra had other plans and gave the Restrictors a top secret mission. As the Turks and Shinra troops were taking Shelke to Midgar, Deepground SOLDIERs attacked and she was taken to Deepground.
Shelke was subjected to numerous experiments and rigorous training while Deepground analyzed her SND abilities. The procedures took their toll as they damaged Shelke's psyche and left her stunted, permanently appearing as a ten-year-old girl, and requiring daily treatments of mako to survive. Shelke was taught how to fight with two EM sabers designed by Argento and she proved herself worthy to be named a Tsviet, but due to her reliance on mako she was unable to participate in regular battles or field missions outside of Deepground. With her SND skills proving invaluable Shelke became Tsviets' fourth member after Weiss the Immaculate, Nero the Sable, and Rosso the Crimson, and was given the title "Shelke the Transparent".
After Genesis Rhapsodos rejected Weiss's request to join the resistance against the Restrictors and left Deepground, Shelke and Argento uploaded the HJ Virus into Deepground's supercomputer and freed everyone under the Restrictors' control by disabling their restriction chips. With the Tsviets in need of another worthy candidate, Shelke was ordered to use her SND abilities to manipulate the candidate's thoughts and memories, giving the person a deep-seated hatred towards the Restrictors.
Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-
So? I don't understand... how someone could give her own life for that of another. Do you understand, Vincent Valentine?Shelke to Vincent
After using an SND to locate the carrier of the Protomateria, Vincent Valentine, Shelke finds him during Deepground's attack on Kalm with Azul the Cerulean. They demand Vincent to hand over the Protomateria but Shelke loses power and faints, forcing Azul to retreat with her. When infiltrating the WRO Headquarters with Azul, Shelke uses her cloaking ability to follow Vincent until Shalua spots her. Upon reuniting with her long-lost sister, Shelke recalls the torture she went through in Deepground for the past ten years, how she held onto the sliver of hope of being rescued, and the ensuing bitterness. She fights Vincent before being sedated.
After coming to a few days later, Shelke tells Shalua she made a mistake in letting her enemy live, and threatens to attack again until Azul escapes his holding cell within the WRO headquarters. Stopping Azul's rampage with a shield materia, Shelke learns from him she is targeted for termination as she has outlived her usefulness to the Tsviets. She survives thanks to Shalua, who holds Azul at bay long enough for Shelke and Vincent to escape. Shalua's sacrifice leaves her in a perpetual coma. Unable to understand the point behind Shalua's actions, Shelke requests Vincent to explain to her why someone would give their life for others and Vincent's response causes Shelke to stumble as one of Lucrecia's memories responds to him.
Shelke reveals she had previously absorbed some of Lucrecia's data into her mind to study it to find the Protomateria. Shelke offers to combine the data with the rest Vincent found in Nibelheim to give them a clearer picture of what they will be up against and regain control of her mind. On board the Shera, Shelke creates a terminal for her use and performs a SND to provide everyone with a better understanding of Omega. Cid Highwind, Vincent Valentine, Reeve Tuesti, Cait Sith, Yuffie Kisaragi, and surrounding WRO members learn Deepground's goal: amassing a pure Lifestream to prematurely summon Omega and destroy the world.
Preparing to assault Midgar, Chaos momentarily overtakes Vincent; he dismays, not comprehending the loss of consciousness. Having had possession of Vincent's cellphone since the events at Kalm, Shelke returns it to him before he departs after modifying it so he can call her directly for guidance, although insisting she is only helping the WRO for her own benefit. When Vincent tells Shelke he is counting on her, she is taken aback, since no one has ever counted on her before. She uses the information she gathers from the network to aid in the infiltration of Midgar, and monitor the Shera's damage along with Vincent's movements through the ruined metropolis.
When Vincent reaches the remains of Shinra Building, he loses control of Chaos again. In Lucrecia's voice, Shelke tells him Chaos's nature and how the Protomateria enabled him to control it until Rosso took it from him. She implores Vincent to fight Chaos's influence and that she does not want him to die, but her SND visor short-circuits. Shelke offers to help Cid check on a situation in the engine room where she finds the crew missing and her former comrade, Nero. Not wanting to let down everyone who's counting on her, Shelke attempts to fight Nero off, but is captured by his dark powers, though she survives by using her shield materia.
Close to giving up, Shelke experiences more of Lucrecia's memories and one from her own past in which Shalua comforted her about their mother's death. She has a vision of Shalua asking if she can return to the Planet. Shelke tells her she cannot, but Shalua reassures her they will see each other again. After rubbing it off as "data interference," tears roll down Shelke's face, surprising her, as she believed she did not have any tears left. She is rescued by Vincent before her materia's power runs out, and he places her in a regeneration tube so she can regain her strength.
While Vincent is confronting Weiss/Hojo, Shelke projects a holographic image of Lucrecia to Vincent, encouraging him to take control of Chaos rather than try to overpower it. After Omega awakens and Chaos takes over Vincent, Shelke emerges from her regeneration tube. Theorizing the souls within Omega to act like a network, she performs a SND to dive into Omega and retrieve the Protomateria.
While she is restrained by darkness, an obscured figure resembling Lucrecia gives Shelke the Protomateria. Emerging from Omega, Shelke momentarily takes on Lucrecia's appearance and returns it to Vincent, enabling him to regain control of Chaos and save her. Outside the Shinra Building, Shelke tells Vincent he is late, though she doesn't mind, and he remarks Lucrecia had the same demeanor. After promising Shelke to speak with Lucrecia after the battle, Vincent leaves and Shelke joins the others as they destroy the mako reactors to cut off Omega's power and witness Omega's defeat.
About a week after the Battle of Midgar, Shelke is having a cup of tea at 7th Heaven in Edge. Realizing she is not alone, she is starting to fill the ten-year void in her life and sends Vincent a message on her phone reminding him of his promise to tell Lucrecia how he truly feels. As Vincent emerges from Lucrecia's Cave, he finds Shelke, now wearing ordinary clothes. A smiling Shelke tells Vincent the others are waiting, and she doesn't understand why they sent her to get him, although she doesn't mind. Seeing Lucrecia in Shelke, Vincent smiles as they watch at what appears to be Omega's remains in the sky.
Shelke is fought as a boss in Chapter 4 at the WRO Headquarters. She is the only member of the Tsviets fought without any actual shooting ability.
Shelke has appeared in the following media throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a card.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- World of Final Fantasy as a champion.
- Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple as a card.
Behind the scenes
Shelke is voiced by Fumiko Orikasa in the Japanese version.
She is voiced by Kari Wahlgren in the English version. She shares her voice actor with Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca in Final Fantasy XII, Ovelia Atkascha in Final Fantasy Tactics, and Aranea Highwind in Final Fantasy XV.
In the Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania, Shelke's name and epithet are rendered as 「無式(=無色)のシェルク」, referring to her title being a pun, meaning both "Expressionless" (無式, Mushiki?) and "Colorless" (無色, Mushiki?).
Shelke's title may also refer to her ability of becoming transparent, as used before her fight in Chapter 4.
- Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Signature Series Guide, p.006
- Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Official Complete Guide, p.016