For those of us who’s played the original Final Fantasy VII, we already know what happens to Zack. In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, we discover what happens to many other SOLDIER operatives: they also die.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII’s story encourages following your dreams, but unfortunately not quite reaching them. Most players could intuit these themes if they played Final Fantasy VII. But Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII has a ton of number symbolism that foreshadows Zack’s death.
The number ‘4’ appears in a backroom in Mako Reactor 5 and the SOLIDER floor. The SOLIDER floor has four main areas:
- SOLDIER Training Room,
- Materia Development Room (Materia Room),
- Mission Briefing Room
- Lounge area for off-duty SOLDIER operatives.
Analyzing the number 4 from this website:
Four is an unlucky number in Japan because it sounds like shi (死 – death). This is why there are two readings for the number four, shi and yon. Whenever possible, people try to avoid using the deathy one.
Another unlucky number, due to its pronunciation, is ‘nine’.
The same is true of the ku (九 – nine), which sounds like ku (苦 – suffering, agony or torture). Similarly to four, there are two readings for nine – ku and kyu.
The SOLDIER floor number is 49. If you were to combine the two, it could read as shiku (敷く – to run over), but can become shinu made kurushimu, aka “To suffer until death.”
Zack starting his career as SOLDIER on floor 49 is symbolic of his fate. To become a hero means enduring the death of his dreams, and himself. Angeal suffers the same fate. Genesis does not die; he’s on standby (i.e. stillborn), until the end of Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII.
On a side note, considering Cloud surviving considering all else that happened to him is extremely lucky. The number 7 is a lucky number in Japan, and All Lucky 7’s (including the game’s number itself) is beneficial for the player.