Shinra Electric Power Company

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File:Shin-ra.png
Shinra's corporate logo which depicts the parsing once used in Japan

The Shinra Electric Power Company (神羅電気動力株式会社 Shinra Denki Dōryoku Kabushiki-gaisha?), or simply the Shinra Company (神羅カンパニー Shinra Kanpanī?) was a powerful mega-corporation which controlled most of the world in the Square-Enix video game Final Fantasy VII until the Company collapsed during the events of the game. It now operates on a much smaller level but is still very important to World Events. Shinra is named after the family that runs the corporation. In Japanese materials pertaining to the original Final Fantasy VII, the company's name is parsed "Shin-Ra", though this parsing has not appeared in any English localizations and has been disused in Japan.

Overview[edit]

Originally a small weapons development company, Shinra grew into a multi-conglomerate and de facto world government when it became responsible for developing mako. Mako Energy is created through the process of extracting a green ethereal substance called "Spirit Energy" from the Lifestream and out of the Planet via mako reactors where it is then condensed into a liquid and processed into a source of fuel and electrical energy.[1]

During an international war that lasted several years, Shinra Works perfected the means of manufacturing mako and its byproduct materia, small spheres that allow their wielders access to magical abilities. Investing in the marketing of this substance and the mass-production of a line of elite military units called "SOLDIER" (individuals showered in mako and injected with the cells of the alien being Jenova), Shinra quickly brought the war to an end, and in the postwar era, gained control over the world due to the people's ever-growing dependency on Shinra's Mako Energy and materia as a source of electricity and power.[2][3] Reaping incredible profits from the development — and monopolization — of these technologies, they proceeded to build the city of Midgar on the Eastern Continent, which became their capital. As the siphoning of Spirit Energy and the process of condensing it into Mako Energy within reactors is highly expensive, the greedy and ruthless President Shinra began searching for the fabled Promised Land, a place he believed to be abundant in naturally-rising mako, where a new city called "Neo-Midgar" could be constructed.[4] The naturally-rising Mako Energy would eliminate the need for costly reactors.

Despite being classified as a corporation, during Shinra's height it operated more like a government than a typical company, as it has a standing military with various specialized operatives, and local politicians — such as Domino, the mayor of Midgar — were housed as employees within Shinra Headquarters, in the very center of Midgar.

Shinra was divided into several departments: Urban Development (headed by Reeve Tuesti); Public Safety Maintenance (headed by Heidegger); Weapons Development (headed by Scarlet); Science (headed by Professor Hojo); and Space Exploration (headed by Palmer).

However, Heidegger, Scarlet and Hojo were all killed, and their respective departments collapsed with their demises. Palmer's department was also deemed obsolete, as Shinra abandoned its space exploration programs.

Shinra owned and operated the city of Midgar, the city of Junon and its accompanied military base, the rebuilt city of Nibelheim and the various mako reactors scattered around the world of Final Fantasy VII. They also financed the building and operation of the Gold Saucer, a combined amusement park-casino entertainment complex. The mako reactors that appear in the game's story are the 8 mako reactors around Midgar, the Mt. Nibel reactor, the Corel reactor, the Gongaga reactor, the undersea reactor at Junon and the Fort Condor reactor. The Fort Condor reactor was no longer in operation by the time the story begins, and the Gongaga reactor suffered a meltdown sometime prior to the beginning of the game, suspending operations there. During the story, reactors 1 and 5 in Midgar are destroyed by AVALANCHE, but reactor 5 is later repaired.[1][5]

Two years after the Meteor Crisis and the collapse of Shinra, Inc, President Rufus Shinra and the The Turks began investigating the aftermath of Sephiroth. Rufus, who had resurfaced since his apparent death two years earlier, is intent on rebuilding Shinra but also in repaying his debt to the planet.

Leadership[edit]

File:ShinraHierarch43y3.jpg
A chart detailing the hierarchy of the Shinra Company

Shinra's leadership changes at several points in the plot of Final Fantasy VII. The first leader seen is President Shinra who used Shinra's vast reserves of money to maintain control, but after being murdered by Sephiroth, he is succeeded by his son Rufus, who had served as vice-president until that time. As President, Rufus was even more ruthless, preferring to rule through fear rather than money. Rufus himself is then incapacitated late in the story, engulfed in an explosion at the Shinra headquarters.

Temporarily without a leader to control the company, the Head of Public Relations Heidegger and Head of Weapons Development Scarlet took control of Shinra Inc. Their first act was to "arrest" Executive Reeve and deploy their super weapon, the Proud-Clod to put down the resistance group AVALANCHE. However an encounter with AVALANCHE lead to both Heidegger and Scarlet's demise.

Shinra was left without a leader and doomed, as pointed out by the Turks, who also encountered AVALANCHE, as they fled Midgar.

However, it was revealed in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children that Rufus survived his ordeal and has the intentions of restoring his company and undoing the damage it caused to the Planet.

He is still followed by four members of the Turks (Reno, Rude, Elena, and Tseng), all of whom are very loyal to him.

Shinra Executives[edit]

President Shinra[edit]

The late President Shinra was the first President of the Shinra Company. He built it from a simple weapons development company to a corporation that controlled the world in a single generation. He was a remarkably capable manager who excelled at the science of predicting human nature and guiding public opinion.

The President dedicated a large amount of Shinra Inc's resources and money into research of the Cetra with the hope of finding "The Promised Land" and building a powerful Mako Reactor there. However, when Shinra Inc finally managed to capture a living Cetra, President Shinra was murdered by Sephiroth.

It was his theory that one could control the world by grasping the masses' hearts with money. He found the opinions of his son, Rufus, dangerous and ensured that they were kept away from company affairs by assigning him duties in "far away" lands.

Rufus Shinra[edit]

File:Rufus02 3.jpg
Rufus Shinra
Main article: Rufus Shinra

Rufus is the son of President Shinra and Vice-President of Shinra Inc. Little is known of his role as Vice-President other than that he used his position to secretly supply money to the terrorist group AVALANCHE hoping they would overthrow his father and allow him to take over Shinra Inc. Upon his father’s death, Rufus immediately became President of the Shinra Company. He intended to use Shinra’s powerful military to control the world through fear and maximize profit. However, he was also interested in the Promised Land, which led him into confrontation with AVALANCHE and Sephiroth. During the Meteor Crisis, under Rufus’ leadership, Shinra took on the task of protecting the people from the rampaging WEAPONs and attempting to destroy both Meteor and Sephiroth. However, during the campaign to destroy Sephiroth, Diamond WEAPON destroyed the upper floors of Shinra Headquarters and Rufus was incapacitated in the ensuing explosion. Later on, it is learned that Rufus survived and intends to rebuild Shinra to its former glory.

Heidegger[edit]

Heidegger [ˈhaɪ.də.gɐ] was Shinra’s Head of Public Safety and General Affairs Departments until he was killed by AVALANCHE during the Meteor Crisis. He was also the leader of the specialist Shinra group, the Turks. He was recognizable by his characteristic “horse like” laugh and deep-green suit. Heidegger also was renowned for having a bad temper and was often prone to physically assaulting employees of Shinra Inc. At one point, fellow executive Scarlet joked about Heidegger’s weight and incompetence as Shinra executive. This echoed Rufus Shinra’s own sentiments when he told Heidegger that he must change to suit his own plans for the company or face being made obsolete. This triggered one of his angry outbursts and he punched several nearby soldiers.

Heidegger died, killed by AVALANCHE, after his short term as Acting President of Shinra Inc.

Scarlet[edit]

Scarlet was the head of Weapons Development for Shinra Inc. until her death during the Meteor Crisis. A ruthless executive responsible for the complete destruction of Corel and a large number of its people, Scarlet’s main aim was to create the perfect weapon, although she feared that no-one would be able to use it properly.

Scarlet held a powerful position in the company and was inclined to order Shinra soldiers around, even though it wasn't in her authority to do so. She also had enough influence to take a leading role in the company after Rufus appeared to have died, although this led to her death in the Proud Clod along with Heidegger.

Reeve Tuesti[edit]

File:Reeve-tuesti.jpg
Reeve Tuesti

Reeve headed Shinra's Urban Development Department and was a primary architect for the construction of Midgar. He was very serious, middle-aged and in possession of a strong sense of responsibility. There is a distinct line of demarcation between this man of proper tact and the other late executives; he was never as ruthless or greedy as any of the others on the Shinra Board. This led to his joining of AVALANCHE through Cait Sith, through whom he filtered vital information to the group, allowing them to keep up with the company's activities. After Rufus appeared to have died, Reeve was arrested by Heidegger's men but later organized the evacuation of the Midgar Plate to the slums below to avoid Meteor.

After Shinra collapsed, Reeve founded the World Regenesis Organization (WRO) and attempted to organize the rebuilding of the planet's eco-system.

Palmer[edit]

Palmer was the director of Shinra’s Space Exploration program and is responsible for the development of Rocket Town. He is the oldest executive. Despite his position, however, he is a bumbling and incompetent director and his Space Program failed miserably. As such, his department fell into neglect and he was shunned to a minor role on the board.

Palmer is also one of the only board members to survive the events of Final Fantasy VII. However, he all but disappears after he is badly injured by AVALANCHE, making only two brief appearances afterward. As such his present circumstances are unknown.

Professor Hojo[edit]

The late Head Scientist of Shinra's Science Department, Hojo was a radical scientist who undertook experiments without any regard for ethics or the potential consequences of his research on his test subjects. Like President Shinra, he was very interested in the Cetra and Promised Land legend. He was the mastermind behind the Jenova Project and using Jenova cells to enhance members of SOLDIER. He was responsible for the creation of Sephiroth, the death of Professor Gast and almost caused the destruction of Midgar and the entire Planet. However, he was killed by AVALANCHE before he could accomplish the latter.

Shinra Departments[edit]

Department of Public Safety Maintenance[edit]

Shinra maintained its own military under Heidegger (officially referred to as "The Department of Public Safety Maintenance"), which consisted of units of various ranks. Other notable aspects of Shinra's everyday military forces included widespread usage of advanced robotics and hover technology. Shinra employed MPs who were charged with maintaining order and policing the City of Midgar as well as Special Guardsmen who run Midgar's train service as well as other domestic transport and security services.

The Shinra Military also 'policed' other towns such as Kalm, the Costa Del Sol, The Gold Saucer and Nibelheim as well as others. The Department of Public Safety Maintenance also had a hand in running the military base of Junon in a similar way to how they operated in Midgar.

Overall, Shinra's presence within the city of Midgar and outside was personified through the Department of Public Safety Maintenance.

SOLDIER[edit]

The SOLDIER Department was originally a separate branch in Shinra until it was merged with the Department of Public Safety Maintenance by Heidegger after he was granted control over the Unit from Lazard. Its members were specially trained and elite fighters selected for use during the Wutai War. SOLDIER was divided into three classes; Third Class, Second Class and First Class. The skill and power of members grew with each ascending rank. Both Sephiroth and Zack were First Class members of Soldier before the Nibelheim incident.

Department of Urban Development[edit]

Shinra was in control of the vast metropolitan city of Midgar and the military base and city of Junon. As such it was the job of the Department of Urban Development, under Reeve Tuesti, to maintain these cities and the people within them.

Shinra Company's main interest was in itself and profits. As such the Department for Urban Development held little regard for the masses. It built large sprawling cities which encroached on the lives of the general public. In the case of Midgar the 'plate', which served as the upper-half of the city, was home to Shinra and its many employees as well as richer citizens of Midgar. Beneath the plate, people lived in squalid conditions and received little help from the Urban Development Department which made little effort to maintain the lower part of the city. In Junon, Shinra built its large naval and air base above the village already there in a similar style to Midgar. The military facility generated hate for the Company in the village and drove the fishing industry, the village's main source of income, under. In both cases, Midgar and Junon, the residents found themselves relying even more on Shinra which explained the Department's motives for their "unfriendly" approach to urban development.

Department of Weapons Development[edit]

Shinra's vast corporate empire was maintained by an equally large military. However, it was the job of Weapons Development under Scarlet to create and manufacture new technological advancements to aid Shinra's forces. The department was behind the creation of Shinra's roboguards, the Junon Mako Gun named "Sister Ray" and during the Meteor Crisis they devised the plan to use Huge Materia to destroy the meteor.

During the Wutai War Shinra relied on the latest of initiative technology to give it a lead in the fighting. This was the charge of the Weapons Development Department which used the power of Mako to create powerful weapons to help the company in its war.

After the War, Shinra was more concerned with maintaining its newfound power and security over its cities. The Department created strong robots to defend its interests as well as guns and grenades to arm its soldiers.

During the Meteor Crisis the Department tried various methods to find a weapon to defeat Sephiroth. One weapon was the Huge Materia, which when loaded into a rocket acted as a devastating missile. However, the Huge Materia was unable to stop Meteor and Shinra instead decided to use Scarlet’s pet project the Sister Ray to attack Sephiroth himself. This was, unlike the Huge Materia, a mildly successful attempt.

Department of Science and Research[edit]

Shinra had a large Science program under Hojo which dealt with research into the Cetra, Mako Energy, bio-chemistry and genetics. The department was also in charge of the Jenova Project which was used to create the "perfect" soldiers.

President Shinra was always interested in the Cetra. This was an interest he shared with the scientists Professors Hojo and Gast of Shinra’s Science Department. Gast led the research into the Cetra and discovered the ancient life being Jenova. The Jenova Project was designed not only to find the Promised Land but also to use Jenova Cells to create powerful soldiers for Shinra Inc. However, after Gast's death, the research and use of Jenova was carried on by Professor Hojo who would later be responsible for Sephiroth and the modern SOLDIERs.

Department of Space Exploration[edit]

In the past, Shinra had held aspirations to explore space. From these aspirations, a rather important department under the leadership of Palmer was formed. However the department was not fit for its purpose and under the incompetent Palmer it failed to achieve anything. President Shinra later abandoned his plans for space exploration and the department became defunct, under funded and mostly ignored.

However, the department was responsible for the creation of Rocket Town and as such Palmer plays an important part in Shinra’s relations with it. When President Rufus visited the town in order to acquire Cid’s Tiny Bronco, Palmer accompanied him and later got in a fight with AVALANCHE. Eventually, Shinra launched a rocket into space, although this was an attempt to stop Meteor rather than an to fulfill its aspiration to explore space.

Department of General Affairs[edit]

The General Affairs Department seemed to have been incorporated with the Department of Public Safety Maintenance by Heidegger after he seized control of the department from Verdot.

Investigation Division of the Department of General Affairs[edit]

Main article: Turks

Better known as the Turks, the Investigation Division is Shinra's special security force, under Tseng. They performed covert operations on behalf of the company, including espionage, kidnappings and assassinations. They also acted as scouts for potential candidates for Shinra's elite military unit, SOLDIER, and serve as bodyguards for the Shinra executives.

Shinra Technology[edit]

Mako serves as Shinra's main source of profit, as well as the basis for many of their weapons and inventions.

Mako is the condensed form of Spirit Energy and the primary source of electrical energy used by human beings throughout the world. Aside from its electrical applications, Shinra makes use of mako with their elite task force, SOLDIER. These specialized military units consist of operatives that are biologically augmented by mako.

Mako is similar to radioactive materials in that prolonged exposure can lead to genetic mutation, cognitive disability and even death. Individuals who have had prolonged exposure to mako are identified by a glow in their eyes, referred to as "mako eyes." All members of SOLDIER bear this distinguishing feature, and, as such, it is considered to be a "mark of SOLDIER."

Mako Reactor[edit]

One of the primary uses of mako within Shinra, the Mako Reactor condenses mako energy into liquid form for use as a fuel, and by the time of the game has made fossil fuels such as oil and coal obsolete. Shinra used the growing dependence of the planet's population on mako energy as a way of gaining and strengthening their control of the world. Thirteen Mako reactors appear in the game - the eight in Midgar, the Mt. Nibel reactor, the Corel reactor, the Gongaga reactor, the undersea reactor at Junon, and the Fort Condor reactor. At the time of the game, the Fort Condor reactor is no longer in operation, and the Gongaga reactor had suffered a meltdown. Midgar Reactors 1 and 5 are destroyed by AVALANCHE early in the game, but number 5 is repaired in time to be used to power the Sister Ray along with the remaining six.

Junon Cannon/Sister Ray[edit]

File:Junonmc.jpg
The Sister Ray at Junon Harbor

The Shinra naval and air base over the fishing town of Junon was equipped with an enormous artillery cannon (which was longer than the town itself) aimed out over the sea. It fired massive mako-enhanced artillery shells of extraordinary range and destructive power, as seen when the cannon destroys the Sapphire WEAPON with a single shot, when the WEAPON attacks Junon. After the destruction of the Sapphire WEAPON, it was rendered useless by the removal of Junon's huge materia, and was moved to Midgar, where it could be powered by the combined output of the city's eight mako reactors.

In its new form, the cannon was fired only once in attempt to destroy the energy barrier Sephiroth had erected around the Northern Crater, the recoil from the blast was strong enough to break all of the windows in the Shinra Tower, and the blast itself was strong enough to destroy both the Diamond WEAPON (which the beam passed through as if it weren't there) and the energy barrier that was its target. Later, AVALANCHE infiltrated Midgar and disabled the Sister Ray to prevent an overload incited by Professor Hojo, Head of Shinra's Science Department, which could have destroyed the entire city.

In Advent Children, set two years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, the Sister Ray still stands, though it has fallen into decay along with the rest of the city.

The matter of the cannon's name has led to some confusion. Though Scarlet 'names' the cannon the Sister Ray after it is transferred to Midgar, it is nevertheless seen to already bear this name on its barrel before the move. This may possibly be an error within the original script, or a result of one of many mistranslations present in the game (or she may have "suggested" the name to Rufus after already taking the liberty of naming it such). The likely cause is, however, simply that the creators of the graphics and script were not working on the same page as is true quite often with games. Never in the script is it referred to as the Sister Ray, previously, but only in the graphical depictions of it.

Roboguards[edit]

Combined with powerful computer technology Mako can be used to create powerful and efficient robotic soldiers. This is something the Shinra Company has taken advantage of and has created various types of guard from robotic-mako technology, such as the Scorpion Guard and Proud-Clod.

Other uses[edit]

Mako was one of the two main components in enhancing members of SOLDIER (examples of individuals enhanced with mako include Zack Fair, Cloud Strife and Sephiroth), and its by-product, materia, was a valuable source of income for Shinra, as well as a powerful source of weaponry, used by both the Turks and SOLDIER. It was also used in a series of horrific experiments by Professors Gast and Hojo on living people. For additional uses of Mako, see the page on Materia.

Trivia[edit]

  • "Shinra" is written with the Japanese kanji 神羅. This does not appear to be an actual Japanese surname, although its on-reading is the same as many others. The individual kanji mean "god"/"divine" and "snare"/"net"/"silk". The "Ra" is also often used to represent Rome. Exactly why this name was chosen and what it might imply are matters of some discussion among fans. One theory is that since the Japanese word "shin" can also mean "new" (although it is then not written with the same kanji as the "shin" in "Shin-ra"), the name of Shinra when spoken could be interpreted as "New Rome", and this would indeed fit the Shinra company and the family's aspirations. Additionally the kanji can be read as shin (god) ra (light, gauzy silk) which seems to convey the properties of the lifestream (i.e. "Shinra Electric Power Company").
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, a member of the Gullwings named "Shinra" proposes the concept of extracting the life energy from within the planet Spira.[6] In the Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania guidebook published by Square Enix, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X-2 scenario writer Kazushige Nojima stated that the character Shinra and his proposal are a deliberate nod to the Shinra Company of Final Fantasy VII, and also revealed that he envisioned the events of Final Fantasy X-2 as a prequel to those in Final Fantasy VII.[7][8][9] This connection had previously been hinted toward by Kitase and lead Final Fantasy developer Yoshinori Kitase during an interview in the Final Fantasy X Ultimania Ω guidebook, and was again detailed in the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω — two other official publications of Square Enix.[10][11]
  • President Shinra listens to Franz Joseph Haydn's Oratorio, The Creation as the Sector Seven Plate collapses.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 216. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  2. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 58. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  3. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 216. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  4. ^ President Shinra: "It's been said the Promised Land is very fertile. ...If the land is fertile..." / Barret: "Then there's gotta be Mako!" / President Shinra: "Exactly. That is why our money sucking Mako Reactor is a necessity. The abundant Mako will just come out on its own. That is where Neo-Midgar will be built. Shinra's new glory..."(Final Fantasy VII)
  5. ^ Gongaga resident: "It's been a while since the explosion, but you can still find pieces of it left all over town. Shinra built the reactor, without even thinking about the town's safety. And, this is the result. One day, there was a huge explosion. Many townspeople died in it..."(Final Fantasy VII)
  6. ^ Yuna: "What are you looking at?" / Shinra: "Farplane data. The more I study it, the more fascinating it gets. There's limitless energy swirling around in there.... The life force that flows through our planet... I think. With a little work, we could probably extract the energy in a usable form...." / Yuna: "Think how much Spira would change if we ever got it to work! Maybe one day we could build a city full of light, one that never sleeps!" (Final Fantasy X-2)
  7. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2003). Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. pp. 723–724. ISBN 4-88787-021-3. 
  8. ^ Star Champion (2001). "The Final Fantasy Connection - "Different Planet Theories"". Willamette. Retrieved 13 March 2006. 
  9. ^ Morrow, Glenn (a.k.a. "Squall of SeeD") (2005). "Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Plot Analysis; section entitled Are Spira and Gaia connected?". IGN. Retrieved 24 February 2006. 
  10. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2001). Final Fantasy X Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). DigiCube/Square Enix. p. 191. ISBN 4-88787-021-3. 
  11. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square Enix. p. 563. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 

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