Using Midgar as its base of operations, this massive conglomerate maintains an ironclad grip on the world. Originally a small weapons manufacturer, the advent of mako energy has provided Shinra with unprecedented growth and profits. Currently, the company focuses on mako energy, arms development, urban planning, space and aeronautics, and food and pharmaceutical productionLoading screen in Final Fantasy VII Remake
The Shinra Electric Power Company, also known as Shinra Inc. (神羅カンパニー, Shinra Kanpanī?, lit. Shinra Company) and sometimes spelled Shin-Ra, is an industrial enterprise in the world of Final Fantasy VII. It is primarily a power company, supplying mako energy and making electricity easily and widely available. Its reach sees its presence as a megacorporation with significant underhanded influence into societal, infrastructural, and political spheres. Shinra also operates in genetic engineering, space exploration, and projects its power through a military that includes the elite group SOLDIER. Their military power, combined with their commercial monopoly on mako energy, gives Shinra a measure of control over the world populace.
Nearly every central character in the Final Fantasy VII series has been negatively affected by Shinra's tyrannical rule, even many who work under its banner. The main characters of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- work for the company.
Rise to power
Initially founded as Shinra Manufacturing Works (神羅製作所, Shinra Seisakusho?), the company specialized in weapon manufacture. They discovered a process to refine the planet's life energy, the lifestream, into a form of energy they dubbed "mako". Capitalizing on this revolutionary new energy source, the company installed mako reactors all over the globe, and their influence and financial gains grew by leaps and bounds.
Shinra Inc. branched out into many cutting-edge industries, most prominently genetics engineering research. Head executive President Shinra saw the developed world become dependent on the company's mako energy and various other commodities, and further tightened his grip on the planet. Through the genetics engineering department, he initiated the SOLDIER program, which created supersoldiers through human experimentation and exposure to raw mako energy. Now in command of a private army and a covert ops division called the Turks, President Shinra intervened in a long-running global conflict and forced a quick conclusion. In the following years, he established autocratic rule over mako-powered territories.
The citizens of Wutai declined Shinra Inc.'s proposal to erect mako reactors in their nation; in response, President Shinra launched the nine-year Wutai War. During this time work progressed in earnest on Midgar, a floating metropolis built overhead several preexisting villages. The city was designed to house Shinra's headquarters and eight large mako reactors.
To support the war and its ambitious new construction project, the company created a propaganda news service, "Shinra News", whose main purpose is to declare those considered disloyal to Shinra dead and to distort events to Shinra's favor. In protest to Shinra Inc.'s lies, an anti-Shinra news service called "Shinra Truths" appeared. (Both can be viewed as emails in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.)
As depicted in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII, the Wutai War ended in a decisive victory for Shinra. The company captured the key location of Fort Tamblin, which forced an unconditional surrender from Wutai leader Godo Kisaragi. Soon after, a rogue SOLDIER member leads a retaliation against Shinra in the Genesis War. As depicted in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, the AVALANCHE Insurgency subsequently fights for six years to liberate Wutai from Shinra rule; both conflicts are ultimately quelled by the company.
Neo Midgar project
Shinra has since nearly completed Midgar, and holds complete control over the city and the lives of its citizens. It has obtained control of much of the world's information and broadcasting services, using their propaganda machine to give false hope to the uninformed masses. The counter-propaganda service "Shinra Truths" has disappeared. The company has introduced a figure-head mayor, Domino, to give Midgar's citizens an illusion of political autonomy.
Shinra pursues the promised land, a fertile land of ancient Cetra legend, which Shinra believes to be a land full of exploitable mako energy. Shinra plans to relocate their center of operations there in a project named Neo Midgar. Shinra goes through great lengths to create a person with Cetra's power who could lead them to the promised land, but in the end, Neo Midgar is never built.
Dissent has long been felt among the people under Shinra's rule. As the mako reactors destroy wildlife and outcast villages, people begin to despise their work. Many research mako and realize Shinra is ripping life out of the planet. Some Shinra employees desert as they discover truths about the company, such as First Class SOLDIER members Zack Fair, Genesis Rhapsodos, Sephiroth, and Angeal Hewley. One of SOLDIER's strongest units, 13th Unit Ragnarok, is reviled upon the discovery of Deepground, a hidden training program underneath Midgar, and silenced by the program's elite subjects, the Restrictors. Anti-Shinra groups, such as the eco-terrorist group Avalanche, and the Wutai Crescent Unit, spring up to combat the Shinra army. Even the Turks mutiny over their leader's unfair treatment and the human rights abuses the company regularly performs, causing a major fallout of many members at the end of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-.
The fall of Shinra
As depicted in Final Fantasy VII, President Shinra is killed when Sephiroth enacts his plan to summon Meteor to harm the planet. Sephiroth takes over Jenova's remains—an extraterrestrial creature once thought to be the body of a Cetra—stored in the Shinra Building. In the original game he seemingly morphs her body into his image and slays the President in his office. In the remake, he uses one of his clones to perform the deed. Vice President Rufus Shinra takes over the company and hunts Sephiroth down to North Crater, a site of immense mako energy the company believes to be the promised land they have been looking for. Sephiroth uses the Black Materia to summon Meteor, awakening Weapons, the planet's defense mechanisms, which attack Shinra's sites of power. Shinra fights the Weapons while attempting to destroy the Meteor with the Shinra No. 26 rocket, a relic of its short-lived space exploration program.
Rufus later has the mako cannon known as Sister Ray brought to Midgar to destroy the energy barrier created by Sephiroth at North Crater. The company's plan is to deploy Shinra's full military might on Sephiroth within the crater. The beam destroys the barrier over the crater along with the Diamond Weapon, whose salvo of energy damages the Shinra Building with Rufus assumed dead. Shinra's military operation is never put into motion as the other company executives go rogue. Reeve Tuesti, the head of Urban Development, is stripped of his title and imprisoned by Heidegger and Scarlet, the leaders of the Turks and Shinra army and Shinra's weapons development, who are soon killed. Professor Hojo, the head of Shinra's science department who had helped create Sephiroth, is killed while attempting to fire the Sister Ray again to help Sephiroth whom he considers his most successful experiment. The final remaining Turks abandon their mission to hunt down Avalanche and help evacuate Midgar instead, with Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi participating. Rufus is found alive and taken to safety. Midgar is devastated by the Meteor's descent as the lifestream intervenes to stop it. With the people realizing the lifestream's importance Shinra can no longer use it popularly as an energy supply.
In a conversation between the Turks Reno and Rude in Healen Lodge in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, it is revealed some Shinra employees remain dedicated to the company and share Rufus's desire to atone for their misdeeds against the planet.
Shinra is led by President Shinra (who is later replaced by his son Rufus Shinra) and its multi-affairs are divided into several departments:
Advanced Weaponry Division
Led by Scarlet, the Advanced Weaponry Division develops most of Shinra's weapons of war, and often works alongside the Public Security Forces as a single fighting unit, combining the best technology avaliable with the manpower that fuels the core of Shinra's military.
The Advanced Weaponry Division is behind the creation of all the autonomous robotic units employed by Shinra, such as the Sweepers, Sentry Rays, Slug-Rays and the Monodrives (the latter developed alongside the Research and Development Division). Other heavy weaponry units, such as the Sister Ray, the Proud Clod, and the Gelnika, are also under their jurisdiction. Lastly, this division is also responsible for researching and developing new and experimental materia, which are all overseen personally by Scarlet herself.
Research and Development Division
Led by Professor Hojo, the Research and Development Division is the main manufacturer of the army's materia. It also conducts secret human experiments, heading the Jenova Project and Deepground. Other scientists include professors Gast Faremis (who led the department before Hojo), Hollander, Lucrecia Crescent, and the late Grimoire Valentine.
Shinra has been involved in many immoral human and animal experiments. It creates monsters for military use, which leads to the increase of monsters roaming the planet. They experiment on the effects of mako energy on human subjects; in small doses, it leads to enhanced warriors who enroll in SOLDIER, but prolonged exposure creates makonoids, monstrous beings who barely resemble humans.
Professors Hojo and Hollander competed in the Jenova Project in creating a human with Cetra's powers. Hojo performed shape-shifting experiments on Vincent Valentine, a former Turk. After the Nibelheim Incident, Hojo injected the Nibelheim survivors with Jenova cells and mako to test his Jenova Reunion Theory. The results of this experiment were the Sephiroth-clones.
The Deepground underground medical facility transformed into an experimental soldier site after Genesis's birth. In this madhouse experimentation went on without the interference of morality and produced such monstrosities as Azul the Cerulean, Rosso the Crimson, Shelke the Transparent, Nero the Sable, and Weiss the Immaculate.
Urban Planning Division
Led by Reeve Tuesti, who designed the city of Midgar, the Urban Planning Division runs the city's day-to-day affairs. One their plans is to build a massive expressway to connect all the sectors, making easier for the population to move around the city.
Space and Aeronautics Department
Headed up by Palmer, the Space and Aeronautics Department plans on launch men into space, their first being the ever-willing Cid Highwind. Shinra's goal was to use the space program to find alternative sources of energy, since mako is finite resource. After the failed launch of Shinra No. 26 rocket, funding for the department was pulled, but it remains a part of Shinra. This, combined with Shinra's plans to create Neo Midgar at the "Promised Land", which they believe is abundant in mako, has put the space program on hold, indefinitely.
Public Security Forces
Led by Heidegger, Public Security Forces is the Shinra army and police force and consists of a few different sub-branches:
General Affairs Division: Auditing
Also known as the Turks, this department was first headed by Verdot. Officially the Turks' purpose is to seek out potential SOLDIER recruits, but in reality they are skilled special agents used for gathering intelligence, providing additional security, and protecting the company's secrets. Membership is exclusive, having just over ten members towards the end of the conflict with the original Avalanche.
As a result of various factors, such as the Verdot's desertion, the Turks go rogue and several members desert Shinra at the end of the conflict with Avalanche. Thus the Turks' numbers dwindle to three members who are kept on a tight leash by Heidegger. Tseng takes over leadership, and after Reno is injured, Shinra allows for an additional member to join, Elena.
First led by Lazard Deusericus, this department deals with Shinra's elite branch of Mako-infused warriors and their battle strategies. After a rash of defections and betrayals Heidegger assumes control. SOLDIER operatives are divided into three classes, depending upon skill and success in the field.
Shinra Public Security Forces
The Public Security Forces is Shinra's non-mako infused military/police force that makes up the majority of Shinra's military and is deployed far more often than SOLDIER. The Public Security keeps peace in Midgar, is deployed to handle events of public unrest, and guards and operates Shinra-owned facilities. The Public Security Forces have a rivalry with SOLDIER and extend challenges in the form of training sessions.
While only referred to occasionally, the Roboguard consists of Shinra's automated combatants, including machines like Sweepers and Guard Scorpions. These machines are often encountered in less-hospitable environments, such as the Lower Plate and mako reactors.
The theme most commonly associated with Shinra in Final Fantasy VII is titled "Shinra, Inc.", a slow piece featuring ominous piano (and, later, choir and digital effects) against a sinister, heavy beat. This track may have inspired "Immoral Melody" from Final Fantasy IX, as the two share strikingly similar beats. A slightly more upbeat remix, called "Mako Monopoly (from FFVII "Shinra Company")", plays in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.
The "Shinra, Inc." melody is also heard in "Infiltrating Shinra" that plays in the Shinra Building; "Shinra's Full-Scale Assault" that plays during the scene where Barret shows Tifa the Meteor, and when Cloud is going through various obstacles when trying to reach the upper plate to get to the Shinra Building; and also during "Mako Cannon - The Destruction of Shinra" that plays during the scene when Sister Ray destroys the barrier around North Crater.
The Shinra Electric Power Company is mentioned in the daily Mognet. The mail is sent by DJ Mog, and the player may receive it anytime soon after a few days of playing.
- Win! Win! Win!
The Mognet program is brought to you by the Shinra Company! And today is Celebrate Your Sponsor Day, KUPO! Answer the quiz and you might win a trip to Wutai, KUPO! Woo!
Fill in the blanks: S_______ C_______DJ Mog
Behind the scenes
Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega sheds light in what Shinra's history was like in the game's early drafts. Old Midgar (before the plate was built) was intended as the company's capital, where Shinra would have developed and constructed weapons, monopolizing the defense industry. The Ultimania states that Shinra would have profited from a long-lasting war with an unnamed nation where they secretly exported weapons to the enemy country as well. The traces of the secret trade were meant to be visible in various towns and cities, and characters such as Barret Wallace would have noticed.
Further, the Ultimania tells that at the start of the previously mentioned war, the company would have already begun using mako energy, and towards the end of the war, Shinra would have created the SOLDIER. Due to SOLDIER, the country on Shinra's side would have won the war and afterward, due to the company's monopoly on mako energy, Shinra would have gained economic control of said country.
Shinra in popular culture
Square Enix's cloud gaming subsidiary, Shinra Technologies, is named after the company. Square Enix's cafe Artnia serves pancakes with the Shinra logo. Square Enix has also registered "Shinra Company" as a trademark to be used in videogames in Japan.
In The Simpsons Game the "Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game" level there is an evil corporation known as the Rin-Sha company.
Connection to Final Fantasy X
In Final Fantasy X-2, Square Enix dropped hints of a connection between Gaia and Spira, as Shinra and Rin discuss the potential of the Farplane as an energy source, though Shinra states the technology to safely and successfully refine energy from the Farplane would not be developed for generations. This connection is confirmed in the Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania guide, where scenario writer Kazushige Nojima states that Rin would fund Shinra's efforts to refine energy from the Farplane using Vegnagun's remains, but failed. His descendants, a thousand years later when space travel would be developed, would travel to Gaia and found the Shinra Electric Power Company.
Director of Final Fantasy VII, Yoshinori Kitase, has commented on this, saying Shinra in Final Fantasy X-2 was created by Kazushige Nojima who thought it might be good if people would imagine that Shinra would grow up and start the Shinra company. He declined to confirm the games take place in the same world, however.
Various Shinra merchandise have been released by Square.
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.
- Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, pp. 56, 216–217
- Early Material Files Worldview & Terminology – p. 523-525 of the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega (Accessed: March 10, 2020) at The Lifestream
- Square Enix Registers Trademark For Final Fantasy VII’s Shinra Company (Accessed: March 10, 2020) at Siliconera
- Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania Interview with FFX-2 creators, Page 723
- Is Squall Really Dead? Final Fantasy Producer Addresses The Series' Biggest Fan Theories (Accessed: September 05, 2017) at Kotaku