Ultimate Geekiness: Ultimania Omega
This enormous book, entirely in Japanese, features all the useless information you could ever need to know about the world of Final Fantasy 7. Character relationship charts, weapon summaries, character profiles, details of Cloud's crossdressing underwear choices, everything is there.
Assuming you can read Japanese, of course.
The book also features a novella starring Aeris after her death, as she greets each character to enter the Lifestream. In chapter 6, she greets Hojo after his death on the Sister Ray. I was fortunate enough to find someone to translate this for me, and now I present it for your enjoyment.
The Maiden Who Travels the Planet, chapter 6
"Bwah hah hah!"
At the sound of a laugh that sent a chill down her spine, Aeris stopped in her footsteps. Even as Cloud and the others were fighting to find a way to break into the Northern Crater, she drifted through the Lifestream, trying to find some tear in the barrier Sephiroth had built, some gap that would let her release the supressed Holy. But she found none.
Sephiroth, having revealed the power of Jenova to the fullest, tightly guarded the Crater that would become his cocoon, but also thoroughly intercepted any approach from the Lifestream. Thus, he thwarted the will of the planet that had guarded Jenova for so many years, and escaped from the eyes of the Weapons that had been born to expel foreign bodies from the planet.
If the Holy did not work in time--
Just as Aeris began to think about this, laughter ran out.
A new soul had just fallen into the Ocean of Dark Light.
A white-coated man, whose nervous face was twisted with deranged laughter--the mad scientist who performed inhuman experiments on human beings under the authority of Shinra, Hojo. He turned his gaze to Aeris.
"Oh, the daughter of the Ancients. Indeed, as long as a Cetra has the power of her will, she can survive without her consciousness being scattered to the Lifestream... All you've lost is your humanity. Quite like Jenova and Sephiroth, in fact."
"Don't put me with them! You don't even know my name yet!"
"What does that matter? It would be far more accurate to call you the last of the Ancients, to show your unique status. Oh, yes...in a sample, as long as you have individual difference and numbering, that's enough."
"Are humans, and all living things, just things to experiment on to you? Even when you've become nothing but a soul and come here, you can't change?"
"Hah hah hah!"
Just like he'd just heard a hilarious joke, Hojo laughed as if possessed.
"No, no. I have changed. But it was before I ever fell into the Lifestream. Don't you understand that? Perhaps I should remove my lab coat." Hojo took hold of the white coat that wrapped around him and tore it away. The coat ripped to pieces, flying away in feathery shreds, to reveal the flesh hidden underneath.
Aeris was left speechless. The body there was not that of a human, but rather composed of cells like Jenova's, as she had seen many times before. Hojo had grown tired of experimenting on the bodies of others, and had finally offered up his own body as a subject for his corrupt experimentations.
"So you see--I, too, am nothing more than a sample now. I'm sure even you didn't imagine that I would go so far. Isn't that right?"
"How can this be? You've given up on being human, you've violated your soul so greatly that you'll never be able to return to the planet..."
"The Lifestream. The circle of life. The will of the planet. All of these are worth no more to me now than fingernail clippings. What's truly important to me now is to find out for myself how far science can surpass nature, and the systems of the planet. If I can satisfy my insatiable curiosity, my surpreme ambition, then I have no regrets for my humanity! If my theories on the being known as Jenova are proved, whatever happens to the planet doesn't matter!"
Hojo's thoughts were pure insanity.
Unlike the ambitions of the president of Shinra, the end point of Hojo's goals was certain destruction--which meant that he had become just like a living corpse. He had become a slave to knowledge, with no regard for life, or his own future, clinging only to a fanatical love of science.
"This will prove that I've surpassed Gast, that coward who's thought to be so much greater than me even though he tried to flee science! If Gast were responsible for the Jenova Project now, we would never have come this far. Oh, that's right...Gast was your father, was he not?"
"My father realized that the planet was more important than science."
Aeris knew that from memories that had thawed when Cloud and Tifa had fallen. She remembered, too, that it was Hojo who had tried to steal her as a new sample, and shot Gast to death when he resisted.
"Yes, that was Gast's limit. To stop, leaving undone things that he could have done, is a blasphemy unto science. Ah, the time for talk is almost over. "
Without showing the slightest guilt, Hojo turned his head the other way, towards the Northern Crater.
"My son. The king of Jenova is calling, telling me to let go of the power of life. Then I shall gladly make an offering of myself! Then Sephiroth will be one with me, the one he hates and looks down on. It will be our reunion."
Just as when the president of Shinra fused with Jenova, Hojo was pulled along. Laughing madly, he was sucked gradually towards the bottom of the gravity well.
"Let me give you one last piece of advice, Ancient. No matter what you do, it's futile. That's the system of this planet. Life forms from other heavenly bodies are unknowingly incorporated into the planet's life cycle. But now Jenova has arrived. What happens to those souls? Even if they are destroyed, they do not vanish. They dissolve into the ocean of dark light, and travel to the corners of the world in the Lifestream. You and I, too, will someday have to live as a part of Jenova... it's only a matter of how soon it happens!"
"I won't ever let that happen!"
"You'll understand someday. Bwahahah!"
Leaving only the sound of his laughter, Hojo disappeared somewhere outside of Aeris's consciousness. Then, at last, he became a sacrifice to Sephiroth, still wearing an expression of madness and joy etched on his face. Until the last minute before his soul was eaten up, there was no shame or repentance anywhere to be seen.
Aeris knew. Hojo's death meant the death of Shinra. And in that case, Cloud's fight was almost here.
She ran. If Hojo could die and support Sephiroth, then there was still something she could do herself. She had to believe that.back to info section