This must've been a real thrill for you.
Tseng is the leader of the Turks in Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. He first appeared in Final Fantasy VII, 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 and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-; 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.
Tseng dons the classic, dark blue Turk attire in Final Fantasy VII, and wears a similar, but black suit in the rest of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. 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 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 the Shinra Electric Power Company. In spite of several instances of ruthlessness (such as striking Aeris as she was trying to assure Barret and Tifa that Marlene was safe), he is devoted to his associates and friends, as he sent out 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-, Tseng is summoned by Veld 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. Appalled by the lenient punishment, Tseng questions Veld who 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. Veld explains 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 Veld'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, Veld returns with Tseng to the vessel to destroy the weapons, their data, and to locate the information leak which allowed the weapons to be sold on the black market. As Veld 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 his mentor assailed by the weapons in the hangar, Tseng attempts to assist him but Veld 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 Veld 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 and he urges his mentor to leave him; Veld 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, Veld explains he had stayed to help Tseng because his mission had been completed and he had thus been free to decide 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, Veld hands it to Tseng, instructing him to keep it safe.
With the Wutai War drawing to a close, Veld 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 Banora is destroyed by Shinra bombers to conceal its secrets.
In a later mission, Tseng is sent to accompany Shinra troops to Modeoheim, but their helicopter is destroyed by Genesis's forces and 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, Veld.
Discovering AVALANCHE intends to destroy the sector's Mako Reactor, Reno is sent in to support the Player Turk. Shears defeats them after the pair prevent 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. Veld 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. Veld, 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, Veld 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 building's 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 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 Aerith 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 are indecisive over the immorality of it and are allowed to leave while Veld handles the operation.
Reno and Tseng discover AVALANCHE has taken over the construction site of the Corel Reactor. Infiltrating the construction site, the Player Turk finds Rufus Shinra there. Veld, having followed after Rufus, informs the Turks Rufus is the informant and supplier for AVALANCHE in a bid to remove his father from presidency. As Veld 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 Elfé appears Veld recognizes her voice as that of his lost daughter: Felicia.
Her memories revived as Veld explains who she is, Elfé is taken by her mysterious illness and she is carried out of the reactor by Fuhito. The Turks encourage Veld to go after her, and before leaving Veld 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 Veld having deserted to pursue his daughter, Tseng is instructed to link with the Turks' secondary division to bolster numbers.
Conflict with ShinraEdit
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 he never received due to being 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.
Veld is looking for a number of Materia he needs to save his daughter, Elfé, and despite the Shinra Company being in the hunt for him, the Turks decide to help. While the Turks find the required Materia, Veld is taken by Shinra. While Tseng, Rude and Reno discern the location where Veld is being held, the other Turks and Shears meet in Wall Market and split the Materia orbs among themselves before dispatching to look for Elfé.
Assisted by Rufus, Tseng locates Veld 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 Veld, the Player Turk commandeers a helicopter to chase after AVALANCHE before Fuhito would summon Zirconiade and kill Elfé to make it whole. While Elfé is saved, Zirconiade is summoned. As the Player Turks chase after Fuhito along the construct created by Zirconiade's summoning, Tseng, Reno, Rude, Veld and an awakened Elfé are captured by the Shinra military. Fuhito is killed by the Player Turk.
Confronted with the offer that the Turks would be spared from capture and execution if Veld and Elfé are killed, Tseng turns his gun on the pair and pretends to shoot them. As Tseng leaves with Veld and Elfé, Reno and Rude wait for their remaining comrades still fighting Zirconiade. Zirconiade is destroyed, but the shockwave emitted from its destruction destroys 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 Veld and the AVALANCHE leader, Elfé. 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 Aeris, who is still living in the slums of Midgar.
Tseng kidnaps Aeris 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 Aeris, 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 the body of Jenova from Professor Hojo's laboratory, and during the incident AVALANCHE escape with Aeris. 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 Aeris 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 at Gongaga, where she searches for a Huge Materia from the village's destroyed reactor.
Shinra places an informant among AVALANCHE in the form of Cait Sith and 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. Tseng escapes with the Keystone and the Turks use it 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 Tseng is attacked by Jenova in Sephiroth's form. He crawls to the entrance where he meets with AVALANCHE and hands them the Keystone, saying their goal in opposing Sephiroth is the same. Aeris 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. When met in Icicle Inn Elena originally accused Cloud of "doin' in her boss". Her line was changed in the PC version to say Cloud "messed my boss up", which is more accurate. The Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania comments that, "In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, he is entrusted with Full Cure Materia by Veld; perhaps this is what keeps him alive so often". Tseng receives the news of Aeris'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 Veld and the Player Turks from Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-. Veld asks Tseng what his orders are. Tseng replies it is urgent they evacuate the remaining civilians and the Turks get to work.
After the Shinra Company's collapse Tseng continues working for Rufus with the fellow Turks Reno, Rude and Elena. Tseng and Elena retrieve Jenova's remains from the Northern Cave but are attacked and subsequently tortured by the Remnants of Sephiroth, Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz. Vincent Valentine rescues them and does what he can to assist them on the road to recovery. Tseng and Elena show up in Edge to give Rufus a deus ex machina rescue.
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.
Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-Edit
Tseng is fought as a boss in the Training Mode.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-Edit
Tseng has a spot on Zack's Digital Mind Wave, known as "Air Strike" that involves Tseng calling in a helicopter, spraying all enemies with machine gun fire, and launching 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.
Creation and developmentEdit
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.
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.
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.
- Tseng removes his ponytail and lets his hair fall in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- after Rufus insists Tseng is not executed due to his perceived loyalty to the company in killing Veld and Elfé. This is a token of deep dishonor in Chinese culture.
- When Tseng is ordering Cissnei to return Zack and Cloud alive, his hair is up in his Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- hairstyle, but when the scene switches to an FMV, his hair is down in his Final Fantasy VII hairstyle when he is shown with his back to the player. 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-.
- In Tseng's last appearance in Final Fantasy VII, after giving the Keystone to Cloud and sitting down for what appears to be his death, his eyes blink and he can be seen twitching every now and then to show he is still alive, but when the player inserts the Keystone and sinks into the temple, his eyes have closed and he is not moving. This, alongside the original translation, is likely to be the cause of fans believing Tseng had died.