Timeline Pre-game

- Over 2000 years ago

An interstellar race known as the Cetra arrives on the Planet. They are on a
quest for the Promised Land. The Planet is an ideal location as it contains
the Lifestream, pure magical energy drawn from every living thing on the
Planet. There is already humanoid life on the Planet and the Cetra settle in
tribes amongst them.

- Approx 2000 years ago

Jenova arrives. He/She is known as the "Calamity from the Skies". It lands
at the north of the Planet and Cetra who have settled in a place called
"Knowlespole" go and investigate. Jenova appears disguised as a Cetra,
promising peace, but infects the Knowlespole Cetra with a terrible virus that
mutates and destroys them. Jenova then moves across the Plant infecting and
destroying the Cetra tribes.

Jenova's landing caused a huge wound in the Planet and the Lifestream gathers
there at what becomes known as the Great North Cave to repair the Planet. Five
Huge Robotic Weapons of increasing power are created by the Planet to kill
WEAPON), but before they can be used, a few surviving Cetra manage to defeat
Jenova (now in permanent female form) and seal her in rock.

The Weapons go into hibernation and the few surviving Cetra disperse amongst
the Human population.

- Over the next 2000 years

The people of the Planet grow more sophisticated. The centre of commerce,
government and power is centralised mainly in a large city called Midgar. This
city becomes more populated over the years. A commercial weapons manufacturing
company called Shinra figure out a way to draw power from the Lifestream in the
form of pure Mako. Mako is used by everyone as a source for materia and magic,
but Shinra create huge reactors that suck Mako from the Planet. This allows
Midgar to become a huge, sprawling and prosperous city. However the speed of
Midgars technological change is not matched by its democratic changes and
Shinra finally take over the running of the government and form their own
military wing and secret police force to keep a hold on power.

To keep a charade of democracy, a mayor is elected to run Midgar, but he/she is
merely a puppet in the pay of Shinra. Shinra develop an elite armed force
called SOLDIER, where promising soldiers are treated with Mako to enhance their
abilities. They also create the Turks, a shadowy collection of assassins,
spies and undercover thugs to carry out less obvious empire building on the
companies behalf.

Over the last 50-odd years of Midgars history, it has become place of two
extremes. Wealth, luxury and power fuelled by the Mako reactors are the lot of
those who live high above the ground on Midgars raised Plate structure.
Poverty, deprivation and oppression are endemic in the under-city, making life
a constant struggle for those who live in the slums under the Plates of the
Higher Midgar.

- 57 years ago

Vincent Valentine born. At some point in the next twenty years he joins the Turks.

- 48 years ago

Nanaki (Red XIII) born in Cosmo Canyon. He is one of the few remaining of
his species. At some point during Nanaki's growing up, the Canyon was attacked
by a vicious tribe know as the Gi. Nanaki's mother was killed. Seto, Nanaki's
father fought off the Gi, but was turned to stone in the process. Nanaki is
never told the truth as to where his father went and grows up believing Seto
abandoned the Canyon to the Gi like a coward. Nanaki's species is very long
lived and has some connections to the Ancients. This may explain why Hojo took
an interest in Nanaki many years later.

- 33 years ago

Barret is born in Corel. Corel at that time is a prosperous town built on the
coal mining industry. Coal still being the principal source of fuel for places
outside of Midgar at this time.

- 32 years ago

Cid Highwind born.

- 31 years ago

Professor Gast while excavating in Mount Nibel, finds Jenova inert in a
2000-year-old geological stratum. He takes Jenova to Nibelheim, where he
begins to research her origins and powers. At this point he believes her to be
an Ancient/Cetra. Shinra become very interested in his work and offer him
money and assistance to carry on.

- 30 years ago

The Jenova Project is started. The goal Shinra are aiming for is the creation 
of humans with the powers of the Ancients. It is not clear if Gast knew of 
this, but Hojo the scientist sent to assist by Shinra most certainly did.

Gast and Hojo start experimenting on Jenova. These are conducted in the
basement laboratory of Nibelheim Mansion. A young female scientist called
Lucrecia and a young Turk called Vincent (sent to keep an eye on things) are
also present.

As the experiments progress, Vincent falls in love with Lucrecia. However she
is in love with Hojo and declines Vincent's proposal of marriage. Lucrecia
becomes pregnant by Hojo. Hojo, having no luck using full-grown humans and
creatures in his Jenova experiments, decides to use his unborn child instead.
He injects Lucrecia and the baby with Jenova cells. Lucrecia becomes very sick
and upon delivering the baby, finally becomes altered beyond recovery.

Vincent in a rage confronts Hojo. But he is incapacitated by Hojo and subject
to more Jenova treatments. He becomes another twisted monster like the rejects
being stored in pods at the Nibelheim Mako Plant.

Hojo then stores Jenova in the Mako Plant and takes his perfect newborn baby
son away to Midgar and Shinra headquarters where he can be raised and observed
as he grows. The boy is named Sephiroth and he is never told who his parents

At some point Professor Gast left the project, most likely after Hojo began his
warped experiments on live people. Realising he had no way of stopping the
Shinra scientist he decided to get away before Shinra decided he is no longer

Vincent awakes to find Lucrecia and Hojo gone and the experiments at Nibelheim
Mansion over. In despair he seals himself up in a coffin in the basement and
sleeps for the next 30 years. Lucrecia, having new powers courtesy of the
Jenova cells also goes into seclusion in a Waterfall Cave.

- 28-24 years ago

Professor Gast travels the planet. He is possibly looking for more information
on the Ancients/Cetra. He visits Bugenhagen at Cosmo Canyon during his travels
and gives him scientific equipment. At some point along the way he meets
Ifalna, one of the last Ancients on the Planet. They fall in love and retire
to Icicle Lodge on the Northern Continent. Gast does not officially leave
Shinra, but he does not tell them of his whereabouts.

- 22 Years ago

Aeris is born to Professor Gast and Ilfalna. Soon after her birth Hojo
finally tracks Gast down. He tries to take Aeris and Ifalna away for his
experiments. Gast and Ifalna resist. Gast is killed and Ifalna and Aeris are

- 21 years ago

Cloud born in Nibelheim. He grows up a lonely and isolated child; constantly
frustrated by his inability to allow himself to be the person he wants to
really be.

- 20 years ago

Tifa born in Nibelheim. She is out-going and lively and has a lot of
friends. Although she and Cloud are close in age and distance they don't spend
much time together as children.

- Approx 16 years ago

Shinra go to war abroad with the town of Wutai. The fierce pride of the
leader Godo has kept Shinras influence out of the town, but they are quickly
crushed and Wutai has to become a tourist town to carry on and survive. Somehow
during this time, Ifalna escapes from Shinra Headquarters Laboratory with Aeris
and gets as far as Sector 7 station in Midgar. Here, exhausted and wounded she
hands Aeris over to Elmyra Gainsborough and then dies. During their first
meeting Elmyra's husband is killed far away and this is sensed by Aeris.

Elmyra adopts Aeris and raises her. Aeris grows up showing strange intuitive
powers and an affinity with nature. She keeps about her person a small white
pearl of materia that her dead mother left for her. This is actually the
materia for summoning Holy. But Aeris is not aware of its power. As she grows
up, Tseng the leader of the Turks pesters her. He wants to take her back to
Shinra Headquarters, but Aeris manages to avoid Shinra every time.

Sephiroth is also proving to be a hugely capable and talented young soldier
with abilities and powers that far outstrip his peers. His conduct during this
time of war earns him a hero's reputation even though he is still in his teens
and he continues to rise though the ranks of SOLDIER.

During the War, Shinra keep investing in new military research and formulated a
space program. An experienced young pilot called Cid Highwind was destined to
fly Shinras rocket into space. Cid has already proved himself worthy with the
Sea Plane the Tiny Bronco and the Highwind airship. But his dream was crushed
when the launch was aborted due to technical problems. After the War with
Wutai finished, Shinra decided its Mako business was more profitable than war
and Space exploration and the Space program was dropped.

- 16 years ago

Yuffie born in Wutai

- 12 Years ago

Tifa's Mother dies. An upset and confused Tifa believes her Mother has gone
to Mount Nibel and sets off to find her. Cloud follows to make sure she stays
safe but Tifa is injured in a fall. Tifa's father arrives and blames Cloud for
leading her astray. Cloud, distressed at being wrongly blamed and angry at his
inability to save Tifa, decides that one day he will become as strong and capable 
as the Legendary Sephiroth and resolves to join SOLDIER when he is old enough.

After Tifa recovers, her and Cloud become a little closer. She hears of his
plans to join SOLDIER, at the same time she starts training under martial arts
master Zangan perfecting her hand-to-hand combat skills.

- 9 years ago

Zack leaves his home in Gongaga and joins SOLDIER; he easily makes the grade
and gets to serve under the command of Sephiroth.

- 7 years ago

While stationed in Midgar, Zack meets and dates Aeris. He writes to his
parents about her during this time.

Cloud leaves Nibelheim, but fails to get into SOLDIER. He becomes an
ordinary Shinra soldier and cuts off all contact with his hometown and old
friends; so ashamed is he that he failed again.

- 5 years ago

Reports of monsters disrupting life for the workers at the Mt. Nibel Mako
reactor results in Sephiroth, Zack and Cloud being sent to Nibelheim to
investigate. On reaching Nibelheim Cloud keeps his identity hidden from Tifa
and the other townspeople. He cannot bear to be seen as just an "ordinary"

Tifa takes the party to the Mako reactor. Tifa and Cloud stay outside. Inside,
Sephiroth discovers Jenova's body and sees all the mutated "failed" experiments
of Hojo's. He begins to realise his origins may be similar and becomes upset.
Zack is disbelieving at first, but when one of the mutated humans falls out of
a pod he also begins to be concerned. The party return to Nibelheim Mansion.

Sephiroth finds all the notes of Jenova Project in the basement of the Mansion.
 He is aware of Professor Gasts initialisation of the project but has not been
told how Gast died or Hojo's full involvement in his creation. Later in the
night Zack goes to speak to Sephiroth and finds Sephiroth a changed man.
Sephiroth has discovered Gasts notes he made at Icicle Lodge about the
Ancients. He now believes he is descended from the Ancients and regards normal
humans as traitors who abandoned the Cetra to a terrible disaster. However he
does not seem to accept Jenova is the cause of that disaster. He rants and
raves at Zack before leaving quickly to see Jenova whom he refers to as

Zack follows him outside and sees the whole village in flames. Many people are
dead or dying, a Shinra Soldier (Cloud) tends to his dying mother. Sephiroth
heads for the reactor with several townsfolk in hot pursuit. Tifa and Zack
chase after him, Cloud following behind.

At the reactor Tifa discovers her father's body. Sephiroth has killed him. As
Sephiroth moves towards the Pod with Jenova in it, Zack tries to attack him but
is batted away. Tifa picks up Sephiroth's discarded sword and attacks him, but
he takes the sword back and cuts her down. Cloud arrives to witness this and
he tenderly moves Tifa into a more comfortable position before confronting

Sephiroth opens the pod and tries to free Jenova. As Cloud approaches
Sephiroth tells Jenova he has come to reclaim the Planet for her. Cloud stabs
Sephiroth then returns to tend to Tifa. Injured, Sephiroth can only take
Jenova's head with him, he leaves the pod room, walking past Cloud. Cloud
follows him onto the bridge above the Life stream running far below at the
bottom of the reactor. Sephiroth stabs Cloud though the chest, but Cloud keeps
a hold of the sword and uses it to flip Sephiroth and Jenova's head into the
bottom of the Mako reactor. Cloud then passes out.

In the immediate aftermath, Zangan (Tifa's tutor) arrives at the reactor and
takes the wounded Tifa to Midgar. Here she sets up a bar called "Seventh
Heaven" in the sector 7 slums when she has recovered.

Cloud, Zack and the surviving residents of Nibelheim are gathered up and used
by Hojo to create clones of Sephiroth now they believe the original is dead.

Far from dead, Sephiroth washes through the Life stream until he ends up at
the Great North Cave. Having assimilated the knowledge of the Ancients while
in there he begins to formulate a plan to turn himself into a God. This
involves summoning a Meteor to cause a big enough wound on the planets surface
to make the Life stream rush to one place, where he can absorb it all. Over
the next 5 years he experiments with controlling the Sephiroth clones remotely
and projecting himself psychically. His physical body however remains in the
Great North Cave for the duration of the game.

Shinra cover up the incident at Nibelheim and repopulate the town with
Shinra staff. Experiments carry on at the Mansion, but Jenova is moved to
Shinra Headquarters (now minus her head), for safekeeping. After the cloning
project proves to be a failure, Hojo moves back to Midgar permanently and
carries on research there. At some point he captures Nanaki for a series of
unknown tests and names him Red XIII.

- 4 years ago to present day

Shinra persuade the people of Corel to accept the building of a Mako reactor.
 Barret, seeing that coal has no future, pleads Shinras case. His best friend
Dyne opposes it, but Barret talks him round. One day Barret and Dyne come back
from a trip out of town and find Shinra burning down Corel.

They discover that Shinra have blamed several explosions at the new reactor on
sabotage by Corel Townsfolk. Barret and Dyne are both severely injured in the
fighting. Dyne falls over a cliff and Barret believes him dead. Barret goes
back to Corel to be with his now dead wife Myrna. He sees Dynes wife Eleanor
is also dead but Dynes daughter Marlene isn't. He decides to take Marlene and
flee to Midgar.

Barret has his useless arm replaced with a gun, he also hears of a similarly
injured man who has a gun arm and surmises Dyne is still alive. But he cannot
find him. Dyne remains at Corel, the desert overtakes the town and a huge
Entertainment Complex called the Gold Saucer is built above it. Corel becomes
the Gold Saucer Prison town. Dynes mind disintegrates and all those who come
into contact with him as he carries on as the Boss of Corel Prison fear him.

Meanwhile the remaining survivors of Corel move northwards and settle in the
devastated North Corel, which has also lost its income from the shut down Mako
Reactor. They live near the Ropeway station that leads to the Gold Saucer.
They eek out a miserable existence selling junk to travellers going to the Gold

Barret, swearing revenge on Shinra decides to start targeting their reactors
in Midgar. He hooks up with Tifa (who is also harbouring anger towards Shinra)
and uses the basement of her bar as a centre of operations for his
environmental terrorist group AVALANCHE.

At sometime close to the present day, Zack and Cloud escape the Shinra
Mansion. Cloud is nearly catatonic from Mako and Jenova treatments. Zack
dresses him in a spare SOLDIER uniform and they manage to get to the mountains
near Midgar before Shinra catches up with them. On their journeys Zack tells
Cloud all about his life in SOLDIER and what happened when he was alone with
Sephiroth. Cloud is still too confused and messed up to respond, but Zack
takes care of him.

When Shinra find them Zack is shot dead. Cloud is left alive, as he is
considered no threat. However Cloud manages to pick up Zacks sword and make it
to Sector 7 railway station in Midgar where Tifa finds him still confused. As
he gets better Clouds mind takes Zacks experiences and mixes them with his own,
setting up the split personality that would allow Sephiroth such control over

Remembering Zack's idea that they become mercenaries, that's what he tells Tifa
he is now and she decides to hire him to help AVALANCHE blow up the Mako
reactors. It is here that the actual game begins...