Usually, Final Fantasy will have several different villains will one common goal: to bring about the Void. It isn’t until Final Fantasy VI that we have two different enemies. First is the Gestahlian Army, whose main goal is to take over the world. Second is Kefka, whose main goal is to reduce it to nothingness. The other games follow their lead.
But Final Fantasy VII is unique; many different actors destroy the world in their own way. Yet, it’s not quite clear which one of them THE worst. In Final Fantasy III, Cloud of Darkness manipulated Xande into ushering her existence. In Final Fantasy IV, Zeromus was worst in a top-down structure. He controlled Golbez and Kain to fulfill his plans. And in Final Fantasy VI, Kefka was worst. Had the Gestahlian Army recruited many different General Leos, the townspeople might have been spared.
Final Fantasy VII’s villains are completely corruptible, and each of them wields a certain influence over the situation. We start Final Fantasy VII fighting against Shinra, a power-hungry company bent on world domination and draining Gaia’s resources. So they’re the first villains we encounter and the obvious one. But as it turns out Sephiroth is the actual main threat. But then again, wasn’t the only really the main threat because of Shinra’s experiments?
Then again, Sephiroth contains Jenova cells. Jenova is a foreign entity whose sole purpose is destruction. So then is Jenova to blame? Well, Jenova at this point is just a bunch of dormant cells. At this time, it serves no real threat to the world.
Hojo conducted the experiments. He released many Jenova-infected monsters onto the world. This would later enrage the planet, from which the WEAPONs would emerge.
But then, didn’t Shinra employ Hojo? Without employing an actual “mad scientist”, would there have been Jenova cells everywhere? So then it’s Shinra’s doing right? None of this would have happened through Shrina alone if it had not taken these actions.
But then, Shinra was just a corporation. Is it right to blame them for their actions, the same actions that would be out of their control?
All of them played a part, but who made who? And which one, if taken away, would have spared Gaia the trouble that has befallen it?