Compilation of Final Fantasy VII | Advent Children
The "Wheelchair Person" is...
Messageboard regular Kosamuji was among the first to consider the true identity of the Wheelchair Person. In his first round of speculating, he made the following observation:
"Whoever the person in white is, he/she has got something to do with Shinra. If you look very closely at the top right edge of the room, in the scene with Sephiroth and the mystery person, while Sephiroth is walking towards him, you'll catch a glipse of the Shinra logo."
Note that at the time this post was made, Kadaj was suspected by some of being Sephiroth himself. Kosamuji continues:
"Personally, I belive that the robed figure is Rufus...
"1) If Rufus DID survive the Diamond WEAPON incident, then it would have pretty much (damaged) his body, hence the full body robe thing.
"2) That would also explain the wheelchair."
Looking at the trailer again, I noticed that he was right about the Shinra logo. Here is an image from that scene, with the logo circled in red:
Here, then, was my reply to Kosamuji:
"...The only thing I don't get is, if the wheelchair person is Rufus, then why is the grey-haired guy (i.e., possible Sephy clone) paying respect to him? After Meteor was summoned, Rufus wanted to get at Sephiroth just as much as AVALANCHE did (he did destroy the barrier over the crater, after all)..."
And his reply to my inquiry:
"...the Sephy clone could be paying respect to him because Rufus is the head of Shinra, and if anybody was to make a Sephy clone, it would be Shinra. A Sephy clone wouldn't HAVE to be one of the ones from the game. It could be a whole new, powerful clone, as opposed the crazy zombie things in ff7. Hojo is the only other person I could see being the White robed guy, but would he have the equipment to carry out such a thing?
"Maybe Rufus created the Sephy clone to kill Cloud (someone that has been a thorn in his side for a long time) and Sephiroth, if he found out that he was alive."
Perhaps the strongest (and most damning) piece of evidence for the Wheelchair Person being Rufus is that at one point (in the preview version of AC that was shown in Venice), Kadaj calls him "Mr. President". Of course, this opens up the field for even more possibilities from the Shinra executive community, including President Shinra, Reeve (see below), and Hojo. However, one must admit that Rufus does have the edge here.
There is also the recent revelation that the Wheelchair Person is clean-shaven (which would cast any speculations on them being President Shinra or Reeve into greater doubt), and that they wear white clothing underneath the robes. Though Rufus' shirt was black, his trenchcoat was white-- as it seems the Wheelchair Person's sleeves are.
Anyway, speaking of that mad Shinra scientist...
The theory of the Wheelchair Person being Hojo wasn't tossed around much on the messageboard, but it is quite plausible, for the reasons Kosamuji stated above.
In the meantime, Digital Holocaust posted two speculations of her own:
The first of these is that the Wheelchair Person is the "Crisis From the Skies" herself, the one and only Jenova:
"Cloud still has Jenova cells inside of him and if he still exists, then Jenova still exists. Remeber what Prof. Hojo said at Costa Del Sol? That pieces of Jenova, including her cells will return back to her to make her whole again, that was the kaboodle behind the Reunion theory.
"Also, the artwork consists of Cloud and Sephiroth standing side by side and they both appear to be dispersing or 'returning' (Or even materialising... Hm, I wonder if that word has any link to the condesnsed magic named 'materia', but that's another story for another time) into nothingness or it could even be the illusion of them merging with one another.
"Either way, they're both infused with Jenova cells and s/he'll want them back sooner or later. But, seeing as Sephiroth was destroyed and evidently dispersed back into the Lifestream, I can't see Sephiroth playing much of a part in this story except as memories or reminders and rather, a spectre of Cloud's past."
Here's the artwork Digital was referring to:
One problem with Digital's theory that many pointed out was concerning Jenova's tentacles and other mutations; the robed figure in the wheelchair seems to have a regular human form.
The second of Digital Holocaust's speculations is that the Wheelchair Person is Sephiroth himself:
"Mainly because he was basically the reincarnation of Jenova all over again. Also Jenova had the power to manipulate, she had done this previously with the Cetra in making them trust her and believe her. Sephiroth does the same to Cloud and others with deceit (to an extent) and illusions. Maybe this is why this new silver haired man is serving the wheelchair guy.
"Also, the Shinra logo in the office made me double-think because I was looking for simple logic without being involved in too many confusing speculations on who the wheelchaired person is. I remembered that 'Shin-Ra' is Japanese for New God. So, it gave me some obvious connections there."
She does make some good points in favor of Sephiroth being the one in the wheelchair (though, if I remember correctly, the kanji in "Shin-Ra" mean "God Network"... but that's a minor quibble).
This is my own personal theory, which I came up with shortly after reading 1UP.com's report from the Venice Film Festival. There is a description of a scene where Cloud speaks to the Wheelchair Person, who talks of how he wants to improve the world. Later on, the Wheelchair Person's bodyguards are decimated by Kadaj, who calls the Wheelchair Person "Mr. President".
How would this fit Reeve? For one thing, Reeve/Cait are the only original party members whom we haven't seen screenshots of yet; he's also one of the last (if not THE last) known living Shinra executives, which explains the "Mr. President". Also, there's Reeve's personality-- he changed profoundly over the course of FFVII, so what the Wheelchair Person said to Cloud would not be uncharacteristic of him. That he's in scenes with both Cloud and Kadaj exposes his unique position-- a Shinra bigwig who was also Cloud's ally. As for why he's in a wheelchair, well, he was in Midgar when Meteor hit, and the 1UP.com report notes that this person is "in the deepest stages of Geostigma". Perhaps his being in Meteor's path lent to him becoming very ill.
Another matter is the early information and screenshots from Dirge of Cerberus-- Reeve is mentioned and Cait Sith is seen. Seeing as how DoC takes place a year after AC, why has neither character surfaced in the latter thus far? Does it have to do with the Wheelchair Person?
One thing which would contradict this theory are recent screenshots of the Wheelchair Person's face-- whoever they are, they're clean-shaven. It's possible that Reeve got rid of (or lost) his beard, but one must wonder how likely this is.
For an alternate theory regarding Reeve's whereabouts, check out the Unconfirmed Characters page.
This is probably the most surprising theory I've seen thus far. Michael Vaughn wrote in, making a case for top Jenova Project scientist and Aeris' father, the one and only Professor Gast. Although some of the points he made were inaccurate (such as Gast not resigning from Shinra, when in fact he did), there was one thing he pointed out which caught my attention: it's never confirmed that Gast died. If you recall the last video in his house in Icicle Inn, the camera's lens is shot out right before Hojo's troops open fire on Gast and Ifalna. We do know that Ifalna escaped with Aeris, but what was Gast's fate?
In regards to Advent Children, I remembered a scene in one of the movie's earliest trailers where Kadaj is kneeling before the Wheelchair Person. Looking back at Cloud's "Five Years Ago" story from the original game, it's clear that Sephiroth held Professor Gast in high regard, and with a great deal of respect. This would explain why Kadaj is so civil (to the point of subservience) to the Wheelchair Person-- because he is the genius Professor who even Sephiroth looked up to.
Still, that doesn't explain Reno and Rude as his bodyguards, and certainly not the "Mr. President" bit...
This was one of my own early theories, which was long forgotten until Kosamuji recently brought it up, making some very good points that fit mostly everything we know about the Wheelchair Person. To wit:
- Tseng was a highly-ranked official within Shinra; with most of the others gone, he could easily claim the title of President.
- Tseng was the boss of the Turks, which would explain Reno and Rude's presence.
- Tseng doesn't have any facial hair, so he matches an important physical characteristic of the Wheelchair Person.
- Tseng was never confirmed as being dead-- the last time we see him is at the altar of the Temple of the Ancients, where he says, "I am... still alive..." It's possible that he was found (by Elena, perhaps?) and moved somewhere while Cloud and Aeris were exploring the Temple.
There are a couple of grey areas in regards to Tseng-- namely, the meeting with Cloud and the absense of Elena. I think Tseng's words to Cloud may have come as a result of his past relationship to Aeris; despite their adversarial relationship, Tseng liked her, and may have thought things over after her death and had a change of heart. As for Elena, Kosamuji's tongue-in-cheek theory is that she's being kept away deliberately, as Tseng's concubine. I can't really vouch for this idea, but it is pretty amusing.
Keith Carey recently sent in the following via email, in which he posits the theory that Lucrecia is the one under the white robes:
I've been really surprised that I haven't seen this theory at all yet. The first time I saw the FFVII: Advent Children videos, I immediately thought that the wheelchair person was Lucrecia, Sephiroth's birth mother.
Throughout FFVII, Sephiroth doesn't seem to know the complete truth about how he was made. He didn't know that Hojo was his father and that Lucrecia was his birth mother. Even if Jenova was his "true" mother because of the Jenova cells injected into him from birth, Lucrecia is still his mother. Perhaps the Sephiroth clone (Kadaj) did further research into Sephiroth's past and discovered this bit of information. It would certainly explain the respect he would have for her.
In FFVII, it also never showed what exactly happened to Lucrecia. After you meet her to get Vincent's final weapon, there's a flash of light and she disappears, but there's no hint that she died. The only bit that doesn't quite make sense is the Mr. President part, so maybe it's not true, but I would be very surprised if she doesn't show up somewhere in the movie given her important relation to Sephiroth and vague disappearance in FFVII.
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