Final Fantasy VII: Stories of the Lifestream
ShinRa Electric Power Company
The Shinra Electric Power Company, also known as Shinra Inc. and sometimes spelled Shin-Ra, is primarily a power company, supplying Mako energy and making electricity efficient and easily available. Its mass reach sees its presence as a megacorporation with influence into societal, infrastructural, and political spheres. Shinra also operates in genetic engineering, space exploration, and projects its power through a military that includes the elite group SOLDIER. The military power, combined with their monopoly of Mako energy, gives Shinra a measure of control over the world populace.
Shinra started as a weapons manufacturer known as the Shinra Manufacturing Works. Upon discovering how to refine Lifestream into Mako energy as an electrical energy source they exploded in power and set up Mako Reactors all around the Planet. With their ever-increasing finances they expanded into many areas, including space exploration. As people became dependent on Shinra’s energy and commodities, President Shinra, the owner of the company, became an autocrat.
Starting a private army, using Mako energy to power the elite SOLDIER class and funding an undercover corps called the Turks, Shinra ruled with an iron fist and began performing human experiments to create supersoldiers. When the people of Wutai disagreed with setting up Mako Reactors to their land Shinra started the Wutai War, which lasted for nine years and ends with Shinra capturing Fort Tamblin, forcing the Wutai leader, Godo Kisaragi, to surrender. Soon after a rogue SOLDIER member Genesis Rhapsodos starts his campaign against Shinra, attacking many of Shinra’s key locations, but the war is eventually quelled. It further takes another six years to defeat the subsequent AVALANCHE Insurgency, but eventually Shinra wins that war as well.
Shinra constructed the metropolis of Midgar, which houses the Shinra Headquarters and eight large Mako Reactors. Shinra controls the city and the lives of its citizens, although the company introduced a figure-head mayor, Domino. It obtained control of much of the world’s information and broadcasting services, and created a propaganda news service called the “Shinra News”. The main purpose of the propaganda machine is to declare those considered disloyal to Shinra dead and to distort events to Shinra’s favor. In protest to Shinra’s lies, an anti-Shinra news service called “Shinra Truths” appeared.
Shinra is led by President Shinra (who is later replaced by his son Rufus Shinra) and its multi-affairs are divided into several departments:
Weapons Development Department
Led by Scarlet. It develops most of Shinra’s weapons of war. Some weapons developed by the department include the Sister Ray, the Proud Clod, and the Gelnika.
Led by Professor Hojo. The Science Department is the main manufacturer of the army’s Materia. It also conducts secret human experiments, heading the Jenova Project, and Deepground. Other scientists include Professors Gast Faremis, who led the department before Hojo, Hollander, Lucrecia Crescent, and the late Grimoire Valentine.
Shinra has been involved in many immoral human and animal experiments during the course of their existence. They were directly involved in the creation of monsters for military use, which led to the increase of monsters seen on the Planet. They experimented on the effects of Mako energy on human subjects; in small doses, it led to enhanced warriors called SOLDIER, but prolonged exposure created the Makonoids.
Urban Development Department
Led by Reeve Tuesti who designed the city of Midgar from this department, and runs the city’s day-to-day affairs.
Public Safety Maintenance Department
Led by Heidegger, this is the Shinra army and police force. Being charged with the responsibility over all of Shinra’s armed forces, this department consists of a few different sub-branches:
The Investigative Division of General Affairs Department
Also known as the Turks, this department was first headed by Veld. Officially the Turks’ purpose is to seek out potential SOLDIER recruits, but in reality they are skilled special agents used for gathering intelligence, providing additional security, and protecting the company’s secrets. Membership is exclusive, having just over ten members towards the end of the conflict with the original AVALANCHE.
As a result of various factors, such as the Veld’s desertion, the Turks go rogue and several Turks desert Shinra at the end of the conflict with AVALANCHE. Thus the Turks’ numbers dwindle down to three members who are kept on a tight leash by Heidegger. Tseng takes over leadership and after Reno is injured Shinra allows for an additional member to join, Elena.
First led by Lazard Deusericus, this department deals with Shinra’s elite branch of warriors, SOLDIER, and their battle strategies. After a rash of defections and betrayals Heidegger assumes full control over SOLDIER. SOLDIER operatives are divided into three classes, depending upon skill and success in the field.
No explicit details are given on this Shinra department, which is in charge of Shinra’s non-Mako infused infantrymen. Although not having as much of a reputation as SOLDIER, the Security Department’s infantry make up the majority of Shinra’s military force, and is deployed far more often than SOLDIER. This department has a rivalry with SOLDIER and extends challenges in the form of training sessions.
The Security Department serves as a fallback for SOLDIER hopefuls deemed unfit to go through the Mako infusion procedure that all SOLDIER members are required to pass. The leader of this department has not been identified, although it may simply be run by Heidegger.
Space Exploration Department
Headed up by Palmer, the Space Exploration Department plans on using rockets to launch men into space, their first being the ever-willing Cid Highwind. After the failed launch of Shinra No. 26, funding for the department was pulled, but it remains a part of Shinra.
The Wutai War was a military conflict that took place several years prior. It was a conflict between the modern power of Shinra Electric Power Company against the fiercely independent western nation of Wutai. The war takes place from sometime around 1992 until 0001.
The initial spark was over a dispute of a Mako Reactor. Shinra wished to place a reactor at Wutai, and thus economically dominate the nation like the rest of the world. Wutai, lead by Godo Kisaragi, refused to surrender to Shinra authority, starting a long conflict.
Shinra held a clear advantage over Wutai as its power dominated the entire Planet. They held the world’s most advanced technology, having planes, machine guns, robots, and the genetically enhanced special forces unit: SOLDIER. Sephiroth, still in SOLDIER at the time, became world famous as the hero of the war, inspiring many young men to dream of joining the organization to become a hero like him. Shinra conscripted forces from around the world.
The final battle of the Wutai War took place at Fort Tamblin, the last major place of resistance for Wutai’s ninja army. A young SOLDIER 2nd Class, Zack Fair, took the fortress single-handedly with his mentor, Angeal Hewley, standing by. Whatever remained of Wutai’s resistance is defeated.
Godo Kisaragi, after putting up so much resistance, surrendered the control of his homeland to Shinra. To show his surrender, he banned the use of Materia. Wutai, once the last bastion of resistance against Shinra, was reduced to a tourist trap. Shinra became the unquestioned ruler of the Planet. Casualties on both sides are unknown. It can be assumed that due to the war’s long tenure, both sides took heavy casualties.
With the conclusion of the Wutai War, which resulted in the complete debilitation of Wutai, the last major stronghold against the Shinra Electric Power Company was gone. An anonymous man who had studied life in Cosmo Canyon established AVALANCHE and under the leadership of Elfé and Fuhito, the movement became a global insurgent group fighting to save the Planet from the misuse of Mako energy. Fuhito is a ruthless and cold leader, willing use any methods deemed necessary to achieve his goals.
WORLDWIDE GUERRILLA WARFARE
Sometime after the formation of AVALANCHE, a girl named Felicia who had lost her memories, came to Cosmo Canyon and became the organization’s leader taking on the name “Elfé”. She worked with a scientist named Fuhito, whose plans far exceed a revolution of Shinra – he wants all people returned to the Planet, essentially seeking a total genocide. Elfé and Fuhito meet a bandit leader named Shears, who has his own reasons to hate Shinra.
Together the three work to destroy Shinra with an army of insurgents. They recruit the Shinra Vice President, Rufus Shinra, to fund their operations and supply them with intelligence of Shinra defenses and movements. Rufus cares not for AVALANCHE’s beliefs, but hopes for AVALANCHE to kill his father, President Shinra, so Rufus could succeed him. Using SOLDIER data, Fuhito creates an attack squad called the Ravens. This movement of AVALANCHE is vicious, willing to do anything to defeat Shinra.
AVALANCHE fights the Turks, a Shinra black-ops group, but most of their battles end in draws. They unsuccessfully try to bomb the Sector 8 Mako Reactor, and attempt to capture the Mako Cannon at Junon and use it to attack Midgar – a mission foiled by Sephiroth who also duels Elfé. They conduct a number of missions across the globe, in far-off places like Modeoheim and even inside the Shinra Headquarters. Eventually cornered in Wutai, they survive a Shinra onslaught by feigning their movement is defunct, something they can only do with the help of Rufus.
They later resurge in Corel attempting to destroy the local reactor but suffer a devastating defeat; the town is destroyed by the Shinra army, and Rufus Shinra – AVALANCHE’s most important supporter – is captured by the Turks. Barret Wallace is involved in the battle on Shinra’s side.
Soon after Elfé loses her strength from an ancient Summon Materia called Zirconiade inside her, and Shears leaves the organization to work with the Turk leader, Veld, who is Elfé’s father. The Turks defect with their leader to find four Materia to defeat Zirconiade. Rufus is punished for aiding AVALANCHE, and is placed under house arrest in Junon, but is labeled as being on an “extended assignment overseas”.
While Shears is gone and Elfé is too weak to lead, Fuhito becomes the true leader of AVALANCHE. During his command, the group breaks down as AVALANCHE soldiers act as little more than zombies of Fuhito’s will. Several members leave, disgusted how the group has changed. One of them is Shalua Rui, who sustains great injuries during her escape, but ends up being killed in battle on October 5, εуλ 0007. What remains of this AVALANCHE group is either defeated or falls apart, and Elfé leaves with her father to escape Shinra. This marks the end of the first AVALANCHE movement and all serious opposition to Shinra hegemony in the world.