This must've been a real thrill for you.Tseng
Tseng is the leader of the Turks in the Final Fantasy VII series. He first appeared in the original game, but has since appeared in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, prequel to Final Fantasy VII with the Turks as the main characters; in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and Final Fantasy VII Remake; and also appears in the OVA Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-, which depicts the events of the Nibelheim Incident from the Turks' point of view.
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Other appearances
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Etymology
- 8 References
Tseng dons the classic, dark blue Turk attire in Final Fantasy VII, and wears a similar, but black suit in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake. He has dark brown eyes and shoulder-length, black hair occasionally tied in a ponytail. He has a tilak in the middle of his forehead.
Tseng removes his ponytail and lets his hair fall in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- after Rufus Shinra spares Tseng from execution due to his perceived loyalty to the Shinra Electric Power Company. This is a token of deep dishonor in Chinese culture. In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, when Tseng is ordering Cissnei to return the runaway Nibelheim "specimens" alive, his hair is up in his Crisis Core hairstyle, but when the scene switches to an FMV, his hair is down in his Final Fantasy VII hairstyle. It is implied Tseng has been promoted to the leader of the Turks for international players who have not played Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-.
Tseng is stern, no-nonsense, and sometimes temperamental. He has known Aerith Gainsborough since she was a child and has special feelings for her, thus never completing his long-delayed mission to bring her to Shinra. In spite of several instances of ruthlessness (such as striking Aerith as she was trying to assure Barret and Tifa that Marlene was safe in the original Final Fantasy VII), he is devoted to his associates and friends, as he deployed the Turks to save Zack and Cloud before the Shinra Army could catch up with them, a failure which torments him throughout the Compilation.
In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Verdot summons Tseng to oversee a rescue mission with one of the Turks' special agents. Tseng realizes the agent, known as the "Legendary Turk", was once the anti-Shinra activist "Death God of the Battlefield", whom he had crossed paths against previously.
Unhappy with the partnership and wary of the agent's motive, the pair arrives at a secret Shinra military factory in Wutai overrun by anti-Shinra operatives. Tseng informs Legend by phone he is to rescue a weapons trader held inside the factory and eliminate the anti-Shinra operatives before they can leak the confidential information about the facility to the world. Legend plants bombs in strategic parts and discovers the kidnapped dealer is guarded by an old ally from his anti-Shinra days. Legend defeats the man who reveals the truth regarding a past negotiation Legend participated in. As Legend's bombs detonate, the man dies.
Releasing the hostage, Legend recognizes the weapons dealer had also been present at the negotiation and questions him about the incident. Unwilling to admit the truth, the dealer denies knowledge of what Legend is talking about and Legend abandons the dealer to die in the collapsing factory.
As punishment for his actions, Legend is placed under house arrest at Costa del Sol. Tseng is appalled by the lenient punishment, but Verdot explains that even though Legend had abandoned his duty and disobeyed orders to rescue the dealer, he had still ensured the company's secrets were not leaked and had thus completed his primary objective. Verdot relays that before Legend had became a Turk, there had been an incident at a mako reactor where a weapons dealer had entered negotiations with Legend's anti-Shinra faction. The dealer had betrayed the activists and only Legend survived; mourning the loss of his comrades and a little girl who had been important to him. Deducing the hostage must have been the same weapons dealer, Tseng begins to comprehend Legend's actions.
While still a rookie, Tseng is assigned to investigate the kidnapping of a Shinra soldier from one of Shinra's mako reactors. Under Verdot's command he is sent to search an unregistered vessel in the Costa del Sol harbor. Concluding the only purpose of kidnapping a reactor guard would be to learn more about the reactor itself, Tseng believes he must rescue of the soldier before he reveals any secrets.
Boarding the ship and finding the tortured soldier in the confinement room, Tseng discovers the enemy has been buying stolen Shinra weapons from a black market weapons dealer and has been stocking them aboard the ship. Torn between his duty as a Turk to investigate the stolen weapons further, and his determination to complete his mission to rescue the soldier, Tseng opts for the latter, and escapes the ship with the man.
Reprimanding Tseng on choosing the guard's life over the security of company secrets, Verdot returns with Tseng to the vessel to destroy the weapons, their data, and to locate the information leak that allowed the weapons to be sold on the black market. As Verdot heads to the hangar to destroy the weapons, Tseng is ordered to the control room to find and delete all files regarding them, but the anti-Shinra operatives escape with a hard copy of the data.
Seeing the weapons assail his mentor in the hangar, Tseng attempts to assist him, but Verdot reprimands him again, reminding him a Turk's first priority is the completion of the mission. Dispatching the operatives carrying the hard data, Tseng, his initial mission completed, is now free to aid Verdot in the hangar. While destroying the weapons, a surviving anti-Shinra operative sinks the vessel with the Turks still in it. The ceiling collapses and Tseng is trapped beneath a steel girder. He urges his mentor to leave him, but Verdot instead risks his life to free his subordinate, incurring a facial injury from falling debris in the process.
While recovering in a Shinra medical facility, Verdot explains he had stayed to help Tseng because his mission had been completed and he had thus been free to be what he wanted the Turks to be: loyal to the mission, but still good people at heart. Having found a Full Heal materia while on the vessel, Verdot hands it to Tseng, instructing him to keep it safe.
With the Wutai War drawing to a close, Verdot sends Tseng to Costa del Sol to ask Legend to return to the Turks. Legend had become a favorite among the town's ladies and Tseng is met with refusal, as Legend enjoys the life at Costa del Sol. Understanding his reasoning, Tseng leaves the invitation open.
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Tseng accompanies Zack Fair on several missions after Angeal goes missing along with Genesis. Tseng is introduced to Zack by Lazard on the mission to Banora. Tseng and Zack look for Genesis's parents, but find them dead and buried. While Tseng investigates the grave, Zack goes off to hunt for Genesis. After it is revealed Genesis has been using the Banora White apple juice factory as his hideout, Tseng and Zack leave the village and Shinra bombers destroy Banora to conceal its secrets.
In a later mission, Tseng is sent to accompany Shinra troops to Modeoheim, but Genesis's forces down their helicopter and it crashes on the snowy mountains of the Icicle Area. Zack and Cloud lead the patrol and arrive in the abandoned town of Modeoheim. Tseng holds back while Zack goes off to confront Angeal, who fuses himself with monsters to transform into Angeal Penance, forcing Zack to kill him.
In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, as part of their duties as a new member of the Turks, the Player Turk is sent to patrol Sector 8. Encountering the Avalanche organization infiltrating the sector, the Player Turk informs Tseng on their PHS who instructs them to investigate the group further and in turn notifies his superior, Verdot.
Discovering Avalanche intends to destroy the sector's mako reactor, Reno is sent in to support the Player Turk. Shears from Avalanche defeats them after the pair prevents the bombing of the reactor. Shears is ordered to withdraw to Junon where President Shinra is residing to hold a news conference. Noting their movements, Tseng sends Reno and the Player Turk to protect the President.
Later, with Avalanche intending to use the Sister Ray cannon to destroy Midgar as a message to Shinra, Reno leads a contingent of Shinra troops against Avalanche's street forces and the Player Turk enters the cannon facility from an underground passageway. Led by Tseng over the PHS, they work their way through the facility's security countermeasures and come across a site of a massacre. The cannon is turned off mysteriously before the Turks get to the control panel.
It is discovered Avalanche is receiving info from within Shinra, but the informant's identity is unknown. Verdot is forced to step down as the head of Turks and Heidegger takes his place. During an Avalanche attack on Junon, Tseng discovers they are after the airships docked in the city. Heidegger wants to let the situation escalate until it is viable to send in his military, and is using the Turks as expendable distractions and ignoring their requests for coordinated information. Verdot, having being observing the conflict, approaches the President in Midgar and threatens to reveal all classified information he was privy to the media unless he is reinstated as the head of the Turks. His request granted, Verdot co-ordinates the Turks into retaking the Junon airport. While the operation is a success, the Turks are no closer to discovering the leak within the Shinra executive offices.
Monsters from Professor Hojo's laboratories escape and run rampant in the 65th to 68th floors of the Shinra Building. While Tseng evacuates the employees, the Player Turk is sent to contain the outbreak. Upon reaching Hojo's lab, it is discovered the outbreak was a ruse by Fuhito and Shears from Avalanche to capture Hojo; while Hojo is retrieved, Shears and Fuhito escape.
Having learned of Aerith's role as the last Cetra and wanting to protect the promised land from Shinra, Avalanche attempts to capture her, but the Player Turk foils their plans. Afterward, Tseng, who has been assigned for some time to capture Aerith, arrives in another attempt to convince her to work with Shinra. Misunderstanding, the Player Turk prevents Tseng from seeing Aerith as she runs back home.
In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, before Zack goes off to Nibelheim, he asks Tseng to look after Aerith for him. Tseng agrees, since he has already been keeping an eye on her. In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, called in due to reports of the staff manning the Nibel Reactor disappearing, Tseng pilots the Player Turk to Mt. Nibel where they were supposed to parachute to the reactor, but a rogue wind causes them to parachute off course.
The Nibelheim Incident unravels when Sephiroth burns down the town and breaks into the reactor, but is defeated by a Shinra infantryman, Cloud Strife, and sent plummeting to the pool of mako below the reactor. Tseng is informed of the events and when the Shinra clean-up crew arrives the Player Turk is ordered to check on the laboratory equipment in the basement of the Nibelheim Mansion for Professor Hojo. As the Nibelheim survivors are gathered they are to be shipped into Hojo's laboratory, but the Turks hesitate over the immorality of it and are allowed to leave while Verdot handles the operation.
Reno and Tseng discover Avalanche has taken over Corel Reactor the construction site and the Player Turk finds Rufus Shinra there. Verdot, having followed after Rufus, informs the Turks that Rufus is the informant and supplier for Avalanche in a bid to remove his father from presidency. As Verdot instructs his subordinates to place Rufus under arrest, Fuhito appears to kill not just the Turks but Rufus too, reasoning that Avalanche no longer needs him. When Elfe appears Verdot recognizes her voice as that of his lost daughter: Felicia.
Her memories revived as Verdot explains who she is, Elfe collapses due to her mysterious illness and Fuhito carries her out of the reactor. The Turks encourage Verdot to go after her, and before leaving, Verdot resigns his position to Tseng, who leads Rufus out of the reactor before Fuhito destroys it.
With the Player Turk rendered comatose due to injuries and mako poisoning sustained in the reactor's destruction, and Verdot having deserted to pursue his daughter, Tseng is instructed to link with the Turks' secondary division to bolster numbers.
Conflict with Shinra
Four years after the Nibelheim Incident, Zack and Cloud escape the Shinra Mansion. Tseng sends out the Turks to find Zack before the army does. Tseng has 88 letters for Zack from Aerith that went undelivered because Zack was contained in the Shinra Mansion. Tseng never gets to give Zack the letters, however, as the Turks are unable to find Zack before the Shinra infantrymen kill him.
Verdot is looking for a number of materia he needs to save his daughter, Elfe. Despite the Shinra Company being in the hunt for him, the Turks decide to help. While the Turks find the required materia, Shinra captures Verdot. While Tseng, Rude and Reno discern the location where Verdot is being held, the other Turks and Shears meet in Wall Market and split the materia orbs among themselves before dispatching to look for Elfe.
Assisted by Rufus, Tseng locates Verdot and attempts to liberate him while ordering the Player Turk, who is being pursued by Shinra troops through Wall Market, to secure an escape out of Midgar. While Reno, Rude and Tseng free Verdot, the Player Turk commandeers a helicopter to chase after Avalanche before Fuhito would summon Zirconiade and kill Elfe to make it whole. While Elfe is saved, Zirconiade is summoned, a powerful summoned monster that has been Fuhito's goal all along to eradicate all life on the planet, returning all the world's spiritual energy to the lifestream. As the Player Turks chase after Fuhito along the construct created by Zirconiade's summoning, Shinra military captures Tseng, Reno, Rude, Verdot and the awakened Elfe. The Player Turk kills Fuhito.
Confronted with the offer that the Turks would be spared from capture and execution if Verdot and Elfe are killed, Tseng turns his gun on the pair and pretends to shoot them. As Tseng leaves with Verdot and Elfe, Reno and Rude wait for their remaining comrades still fighting Zirconiade. The shockwave emitted from the monster's destruction evaporates the construct on which the battling Turks are standing and the entire construction vanishes in an explosion of light.
Tseng is summoned to a hearing to discuss the Turks' fate. Scarlet suggests executing the three survivors until Rufus enters the room with Reno and Rude. He argues Tseng has proven his loyalty by assassinating Verdot and the Avalanche leader, Elfe. Tseng thanks Rufus, but says he did not do it for the Turks but for himself. Tseng removes his ponytail and lets his hair fall.
Tseng remains with Shinra and keeps his position as the highest ranking Turk. Shinra deems Midgar complete and pursues the plan for building Neo Midgar in the promised land. To find it, Shinra orders the Turks to kidnap Aerith, who is still living in the slums of Midgar.
Fighting the second incarnation of Avalanche and Sephiroth
Tseng kidnaps Aerith during the dropping of the Sector 7 plate and takes her to the Shinra Building. Avalanche has reformed under Barret Wallace's guidance, although this sect of Avalanche is vastly different from the organization the Turks fought previously. Avalanche infiltrates the Shinra Building to rescue Aerith, but the Turks capture them. It is later reported that Sephiroth, who was thought to have perished in the Nibelheim Incident five years ago, has attacked the Shinra Building and stolen Jenova from Professor Hojo's laboratory, and during the incident Avalanche escapes with Aerith. The Turks are tasked with finding Sephiroth, and they trace his whereabouts to Junon.
Tseng, Rude and Elena—the Turks' newest member—pursue Sephiroth and come across Avalanche in the Mythril Mine. If Aerith is not among the group, Tseng inquires about her. If she is, Tseng is content she is safe. As the Turks' orders concern only Sephiroth, they ignore Avalanche and continue on their way. Later, Tseng accompanies Shinra Executive Scarlet to Gongaga, where she unsuccessfully searches for a Huge Materia from the village's destroyed reactor.
Shinra places an informant among Avalanche in the form of Cait Sith. During Avalanche's stay at Gold Saucer, he steals the key to the Temple of the Ancients from them and hands it over to Tseng. The Turks use he Keystone to access the temple, having gathered info this is the place Sephiroth is looking for. Tseng and Elena try to decipher the murals, and Tseng asks Elena out for a dinner. Elena leaves, elated, but Jenova in Sephiroth's form attacks Tseng. He crawls to the entrance where he meets with Avalanche and hands them the Keystone, saying their goal in opposing Sephiroth is the same. Aerith meets Tseng here for the final time and reprimands him.
Many fans took Tseng's appearance in the Temple of the Ancients to be his death due to poor translation, but Tseng is saved before the temple transforms into the Black Materia. Badly wounded, Tseng is not seen again during Final Fantasy VII. The Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania comments that, "In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, he is entrusted with Full Cure materia by Verdot; perhaps this is what keeps him alive so often." Tseng receives the news of Aerith's death at Sephiroth's hands from Reeve.
Although not shown in Final Fantasy VII, material released after the original game reveals that Tseng was part of the evacuation process during Meteorfall along with Reno, Rude and Elena. The Turks evacuate their assigned sectors and find Tseng by a collapsing building, claiming that people are still trapped inside. A part of the building collapses and the Turks think this is too much work for only four of them. They hear a familiar voice and turn around to see Verdot and the Player Turks from Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. Verdot asks Tseng what his orders are. Tseng replies it is urgent they evacuate the remaining civilians and the Turks get to work.
During Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tseng continues working for Rufus with his fellow Turks Reno, Rude, and Elena, spending the next two years residing in Healen Lodge. As the leader of the Turks, he oversees Reno and Rude's work of building a monument of Meteor in the city center of Edge, as well as Elena's work in developing a stimulant for patients plagued with Geostigma.
After Evan and Kyrie are taken to Healen Lodge, Tseng and Rufus explain that Evan's mother, Annette, had once been the late President's secretary and mistress, and that Evan is one his illegitimate sons. The meeting is interrupted when Fabio and his two partners-in-crime, Keough and Doyle, attack the lodge in an attempt to rescue Thropp. Evan bargains with the Turks for the thieves' freedom, and after threatening Rufus, the criminals are let go.
Later on, Rufus sends the Turks on a mission to find Jenova. Tseng takes Elena along while ordering Reno to stay in Edge to finish the monument, and ordering Rude to repair a helicopter in Midgar's Sector 8. At a beach house in Under Junon, Tseng and Elena hear a commotion and discover Kyrie had been brought into town by a red beast, which Tseng recognizes as Red XIII. At the office of the town doctor, Dr. Eugene, he sees Kyrie talk to a silver-haired young man with the same eyes as Sephiroth, who introduces himself as Kadaj. When he shakes Tseng's hand, Tseng and Kyrie pass out. After awakening, Tseng learns that Kyrie saw Kadaj as a friend of hers who had died in a fire; Tseng tells her not to trust him if she meets him again.
When Reno and Rude arrive to Junon with Evan, Tseng decides that they'll use Evan and Kyrie in their search for Jenova. Believing that the Turks had something to do with Fabio's death, Evan and Kyrie attempt to flee. Elena shoots Evan in the shoulder, and as Evan gives up hope on ever finding his mother, Reno suggests that they can get him to Nibelheim by helicopter. Tseng and Elena agree to take him and Kyrie, while Reno and Rude stay in Junon and await contact from their former colleagues.
After a brief stop at Nibelheim, Tseng and Elena take Evan and Kyrie to their next desired destination, Icicle Lodge. At an inn, Tseng sees a silver-haired youth stare at him through the window, but when he gets to the spot, he finds no trace of Kadaj. Tseng and Elena realize Kadaj is looking for Jenova, and chase after him. Reno and Rude arrive in Icicle Lodge to help and find Evan. While tracking down Kadaj, Tseng orders them and Elena to open fire, but they hesitate in fear Evan might be struck. Kadaj finds Jenova in Evan's hands and attempts to grab it, but Evan kicks it into the lifestream, prompting Kadaj to jump in after it.
Tseng and Elena retrieve Jenova's remains from the Northern Cave, but are attacked and subsequently tortured by Kadaj, now accompanied by two other remnants of Sephiroth: Yazoo and Loz. Vincent Valentine rescues them and does what he can to assist them on the road to recovery.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, Tseng has a slightly bigger role: he arrives in time with Elena to save Rufus from falling off the abandoned building, and also assists Reno and Rude in another helicopter with Elena by picking them up after Yazoo takes out the duo's own helicopter.
The Turks are on the hunt for Aerith for President Shinra's Neo Midgar project. After Reno and Rude fail to catch her, Tseng is on the job after spotting her in the Sector 7 slums during the Turks' attack on the Sector 7 pillar. While Reno and Rude face Cloud, Barret and Tifa on the pillar, Tseng has his troops surround the Seventh Heaven bar where Aerith is cooped up with Marlene Wallace, a young girl. Aerith acts defiant when Tseng confronts her, and agrees to go with him in exchange for the child's safety, and Marlene is delivered to Elmyra Gainsborough's house.
Tseng delivers a video message to Cloud, Barret and Tifa who are trying to stop the pillar separating from the plate above, letting them know that he has kidnapped Aerith as she is the last Ancient. Against Tseng's estimations, however, the trio escapes the plate collapse and infiltrates the Shinra Building to save their friend.
Tseng is at the Turks' office at the Shinra Building with Reno and Rude, who ponder about the immorality of their objectives and yet they still carry them out. Tseng says that they can just view the casualties as returning energy to the lifestream, an exchange for the life the Shinra Company has stolen from the planet. The others scoff at this, leading Tseng to say that it doesn't matter how they view their orders, they just carry them out. When a call from Rufus comes in, they head out to get him. Tseng later accompanies Rufus when he takes over as the new CEO of the Shinra Company. Rufus is puzzled by the Whispers that have swarmed the Shinra Building, but Tseng does not know what he is talking about.
Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-
Tseng is fought as a boss in the Training Mode.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-
Tseng has a spot on Zack's Digital Mind Wave, known as "Air Strike". Tseng calls in a helicopter, spraying all enemies with machine gun fire, and launches missiles at them. Air Strike is unlocked at the moment the player meets up with Tseng in the second chapter, and is usable since the start of the third chapter.
The Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- OVA illustrates the events surrounding Zack Fair and Cloud Strife's escape from the Nibelheim's mansion, overlapping with incidents depicted in Final Fantasy VII, Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.
The OVA covers the Turks' role during both the Nibelheim Incident and events leading up to Zack's Final Stand against the Shinra military; addressing the Turks' pursuit of Zack and Cloud through the Mythril Mine and their ill-fated search for the pair in the Midgar wasteland.
Behind the scenes
The original English localization to Final Fantasy VII gave the impression that Tseng died at the Temple of the Ancients, making his later appearance in Advent Children seem like a retcon. When met in Icicle Inn, Elena originally accused Cloud of "doin' in her boss", but the line was changed in the PC-version to say Cloud "messed my boss up", which is more accurate. In Tseng's last appearance in Final Fantasy VII',' after giving the Keystone to Cloud and sitting down, his eyes blink and he twitches every now and then. When the player inserts the Keystone and sinks into the temple, Tseng's eyes have closed and he is no longer moving. This, alongside the original translation, further gave cause to believe that Tseng had died.
Final Fantasy VII Remake has an unused model for a younger Tseng where he has shorter hair. Rather than using this younger model, the flashback scene where Tseng addresses the young Aerith still uses his regular character model.
Tseng is voiced by Junichi Suwabe in Japanese. He shares his Japanese voice actor with Seymour Guado, Jassu, Zanar, and the Hypello race from Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 and Nimbus from Final Fantasy Type-0.
He is voiced by Ryun Yu in English.
Tseng's name was initially misunderstood to be pronounced Shion in Japanese for English audiences, following an early fan translation of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children by Jasconius. Rather than translating by ear, Jasconius used the Japanese subtitles included on the DVD. ツォン (Tson?), the correct katakana form of "Tseng", was misread as the similar-looking シオン (Shion?). Many viewers were confused upon reading "Shion" but seeing Tseng (rather than a new character named Shion) in the film, and attempted to explain the error resulted in the aforementioned misconception. Tseng's name is indeed pronounced as "Tsung" in English.
The reason "Tseng" is written as Tson in katakana is due to his name being Cantonese Chinese. In pinyin—a standardized system that uses the Roman alphabet to phonetically represent the Chinese language—e represents a sound resembling the short o of English, also approximated in Japanese with an unlengthened o vowel. In Chinese pinyin, his name is written as Zeng (曾, which means great-grandfather, is a common Chinese family name).
In the Final Fantasy VII Official Establishment File, prior to the English localization and the release of the game in Japanese, Tseng's name was written in Latin-text as "Zeng". After the release of the game's localization, efforts were made to use universal Latin-text for Japanese and English publications, which decided on "Tseng".
In spite of this, in Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-, Tseng's name is written as "Zheng" in English, which is how he signs a document near the beginning. His name is later written as "Zeng" in the credits. In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Zack can come across a camera near the church in Sector 5, but even after reading the inscription as "T-S-E-N-G", he does not realize it is Tseng's and wonders how to pronounce that. This inscription is the same in the Japanese version, where the joke makes more sense because the gap between the Japanese pronunciation and the written text is greater.