Red XIII is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII and a guest in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
While his real name is Nanaki, Red XIII is the designation he was given while being captured and experimented upon by Professor Hojo and is what he is called throughout the game. Members of his species are capable of living for hundreds of years, so while Red XIII is 48 years old, he is only a teenager by his people’s standards.
In battle, Red XIII uses headdresses to amplify his attack power, with his Limit Breaks both causing physical damage to enemies and adding positive status effects to himself and the party.
Table Of Contents
Masachika Ichimura (Japanese / Advent Children)
Liam O’Brien (English / Advent Children)
Appearance and Personality
A member of an unspecified species with both canine and feline traits, Red XIII is a four-legged animal with red and orange fur and a brown mane. His left eye is ochre and his right eye is marred by a long scar. Hojo branded the roman numeral ‘XIII’ above his front left leg and the tip of his tail is perpetually on fire. He wears golden earrings and his head is adorned with a number of beads and feathers. He wears golden braces on each leg and sports black patterns on his legs. He has tattoos on his thigh and shoulder, and his father is seen with similar markings, implying that they are specific to his tribe.
Red XIII’s species can live for hundreds of years, though he is one of the last of his kind remaining. In Before Crisis, Reno says that Red XIII “looks like a lion,” and in both Advent Children and Final Fantasy VII Remake, he is heard making sounds similar to those that big cats make. His body shape is similar to that of a cheetah, and he is able to swipe at enemies with his claws like a cat. Red XIII’s teeth and gait are also distinctly cat-like, though his habit of howling at the moon is more associated with canines.
In Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII barks at players if they kick a football at him in Costa de Sol, and a girl is seen calling him a dog. In Remake, Barret refers to him as a dog, while Red XIII refers to himself as a rat dog.
With a powerful sense of honor and boundless courage, Red XIII holds a grudge against his father, who he claims abandoned his tribe. Well-spoken and polite, he nonetheless dislikes humans after his dealings with Shinra. His feelings about humans change during the course of the game.
Having been raised in Cosmo Canyon, he is knowledgeable about the planet and aims to protect it. Although he can sometimes seem feral, his intelligence makes it hard to live completely as an animal. However, humans see him as such, and Red XIII finds it difficult to fit in anywhere because of this duality.
Weapons and Abilities
Red XIII is a well-rounded party member, able to excel at both physical and magical attacks. He also sports the highest Speed stat in the game. Using hair accessories to alter his abilities, he is the only character in the game to not have his weapon displayed on his battle model.
Many of Red XIII’s weapons boost his Magic stat. He is the only close-range character to acquire a long-range weapon, the Hairpin, and his Seraph Comb, obtained following the Cave of the Gi, is the strongest weapon in the game at that point. Other characters don’t acquire such powerful weapons until reaching the Temple of the Ancients.
|Mythril Clip||24 Atk|
|2 Linked, 1 Unlinked||Starter Weapon|
|Diamond Pin||33 Atk|
|2 Linked, 2 Unlinked||Junon (before Highwind): 1,300g
*Can be stolen from Bagnadrana (Mt. Corel)
|Silver Barrette||40 Atk|
|4 Linked||Cosmo Canyon: 2,500g (Can't be sold, thrown, or stolen)|
|Gold Barrette||50 Atk|
|4 Linked, 1 Unlinked||Wutai: 6,000g|
|Adaman Clip||60 Atk|
|4 Linked, 2 Unlinked||Icicle Inn: 11,000g|
|Crystal Comb||76 Atk|
|6 Linked||Mideel: 17,000g|
|Magic Comb||37 Atk|
|3 Unlinked||Junon (after Highwind): 2,000g
*Given as a prize for first Condor War battle at Fort Condor
|Plus Barrette||39 Atk|
|4 Unlinked||Junon (after Highwind): 3,500g
*Can be found on Mt. Nibel (first area near the bridge)
|8 Unlinked||Costa del Sol (after Highwind): 14,000g|
|None||Junon (after Highwind): 3,500g
*Can be found at Godo's house in Wutai
|Seraph Comb||68 Atk|
|4 Unlinked||Obtained automatically after Cave of the Gi in Cosmo Canyon (Can't be sold, thrown, or stolen)|
|Behemoth Horn||91 Atk|
|6 Unlinked||Found in the Shinra Building during Part 2 (Go downstairs from the 59th floor, at the fourth stair set it's found in a white bag)|
|Spring Gun Clip||87 Atk|
|6 Linked||Found in the Ancient Forest (in treasure chest)|
|Limited Moon||93 Atk|
|8 Linked||Cosmo Canyon (Talk to Bugenhagen with Red XIII present during Part 3)|
Many of Red XIII’s early Limit Breaks serve to boost his stats, while his later Limit Breaks target multiple enemies for high damage. His final Limit Break, Cosmo Memory, can be obtained relatively early in the game and allows him to easily deal 9,999 damage even at low levels.
|Limit Break||How to Unlock||Effect|
|Sled Fang (Level 1)||Starter Limit Break||Pounces on an enemy to deal 3 times normal damage.|
|Lunatic High (Level 1)||Use Sled Fang 8 times||Casts Haste on the party and raises Red XIII's defense by 50% for every party member still alive.|
|Blood Fang (Level 2)||Kill 72 enemies||Dashes at a single enemy for 1 1⁄4 times normal damage, absorbing some HP and MP. The amount absorbed is equal to around 25% of the damage dealt.|
|Stardust Ray (Level 2)||Use Blood Fang 7 times||Summons stars to rain down on enemies, hitting ten times at random for 5⁄8 normal damage each time.|
|Howling Moon (Level 3)||Kill 72 enemies after learning Blood Fang||Adds Haste and Berserk to Red XIII and boosts his attack by 60%. Cannot exceed 100%.|
|Earth Rave (Level 3)||Use Howling Moon 6 times||Attacks random enemies five times, doing 1 7⁄8 times normal damage.|
|Cosmo Memory (Level 4)||Use the Cosmo Memory manual after learning Red XIII's six other Limit Breaks||Summons a massive beam that hits all enemies for 7 13⁄16 times normal damage.|
Referring to Amano’s artwork and the demo content released on the fourth disc in the Japanese International release, Red XIII was an early part of the game, though he wasn’t planned to be a playable character at first. His job class was originally listed as ‘Beast.’
While Tetsuya Nomura wanted to have a four-legged party member in Final Fantasy VII, it wasn’t an easy thing to accomplish. When Red XIII turned to the side, his body would phase through walls, and it would be hard to have him climb ladders. Initially, he was designed as a beast-type SOLDIER who could understand human language and wield magic. A protector of Bugenhagen’s Buga tribe, Red XIII’s father Seto would have been his predecessor. In the official release, Red XIII’s tribe is never mentioned by name, though his character’s role is roughly the same.
Nomura wanted to call the character ‘a name that didn’t sound like a name.’ He decided to choose a color along with the unlucky number 13. Red XIII’s true name, Nanaki, came from other members of the staff.
Initially, Red XIII was going to be the focus of a major subplot that didn’t make it into the final release. Hojo, having captured Red XIII, would have made clones of him. These clones, Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV, would have challenged the party, and after defeating them, they would have been confronted with more clones. Players would then have to find out which was the real Red XIII to avoid killing him. Cobalt XIV and Indigo XV would then show up partially mechanized in the final dungeon after Red XIII calls on Cloud to spare them.
Beyond his appearance in Final Fantasy VII, Red XIII doesn’t often appear in related titles. He has very little screen time in Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus due to his fur making him difficult and costly to animate. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, the developers wanted to cement his relationship with Cloud early on, though they decided not to make him playable. This was largely to avoid disrupting the game’s flow.
Born in Cosmo Canyon to his father Seto and an unnamed mother, Red XIII’s father ran off the year that he was born. Red XIII assumed this was due to an impending invasion by the Gi tribe, but in reality, Seo had sacrificed himself to stop an attack from the Gi via the tunnels beneath the canyon. After his mother’s death, Bugenhagen, the elder of Cosmo Canyon, took care of Red XIII, and the two shared a close relationship.
In 0006, during the events of Before Crisis, Red XIII participated in a ritual to appease the planet. Held every fifty years, he was reluctant to take part as he didn’t feel he was a warrior. Deneh, a member of his tribe, calls him a coward. Soon after, the Turks arrive to capture Red XIII for Hojo to use as a specimen in his experiments. Red XIII attacks them and manages to keep Deneh safe, but he is later defeated. However, the Turks allow him to finish his ritual before taking him to Midgar.
In Final Fantasy VII
Red XIII officially joins Cloud after being rescued from the Shinra Building. During his time in captivity, Red XIII had been branded with Roman numerals and his right eye had been damaged. The party first encounters him after stumbling upon one of Hojo’s experiments involving Aerith, in which the scientist hoped to interbreed them to preserve their respective species.
After Red XIII and Aerith were placed in the same tank, Red pretends to be aggressive, spurring Barret into shooting at the tank, causing it to malfunction. Red XIII pounces on Hojo when he opens the tank as the others rush to Aerith’s aid, and the party is shocked to discover that Red can speak like a normal human. He then shares that the name Red XIII was given to him by Hojo and invites the members of the party to call him whatever they like.
While Red XIII believes his tattoo to mean that Hojo had injected him with Jenova cells, but in reality, the tattoo is unrelated, as Red XIII had been captured over three years after the other Sephiroth clones had been created.
Red helps the party battle more of Hojo’s experiments and is then imprisoned along with Barret, though they escape soon after. Following the escape from Midgar, Red XIII says that he will accompany the party until they reach Cosmo Canyon. He shows interest in Cloud’s recollection of the Nibelheim Incident. In Junon, he successfully disguises himself as a human aboard a Shinra cargo ship.
After arriving in Cosmo Canyon, Red XIII finally shares more about his past. Sharing his age and his real name, Nanaki, he then makes angry remarks about his father, to which Bugenhagen quickly responds with an invitation to a sealed cavern.
As the party enters, the elder explains that the cavern is haunted by ghosts of the Gi tribe whose anger prevents them from joining the lifestream. On a ledge overlooking the entrance to the cave, Red XIII finds the petrified body of his father, learning that he alone had fought the Gi. Poison arrows had turned Seto to stone. With sorrow and renewed dedication to become a great warrior like his father, Red XIII howls at the moon while the Seto seems to shed tears despite his fate.
Bugenhagen asks Red XIII to protect the planet, noting that the best way to do so is to stay with Cloud and the rest of this party. He does so, catching up with the group as they prepare to leave Cosmo Canyon.
When Aerith is murdered by Sephiroth in the City of the Ancients, Red XIII lets out a distressed howl as Cloud takes her body to the lake. When the party manages to retrieve the Black Materia, Cloud has the option of giving it to Red XIII for safekeeping as he doesn’t trust himself with it. Red XIII promises to keep it safe, staying behind with others of the party to guard it. However, wind begins to whip up around him, and soon, Red XIII is unable to see where he is. Calling out, he gets no response, soon finding himself alone as the wind settles. Tifa soon approaches, telling Red XIII to help Cloud who is in trouble. Following her orders without a second thought, Red XIII doesn’t realize that she is an illusion conjured by Sephiroth.
Handing over the Black Materia to a mentally shattered Cloud, the former SOLDIER gives it to Sephiroth, who uses it to summon Meteor. Everyone but Cloud escapes as the planet’s Weapons begin to awaken, and Red XIII joins the party on the Highwind as they seek out Cloud.
After rescuing Cloud, Bugenhagen appears to visit the Forgotten City, revealing the nature of Holy, the ultimate White Magic summoned by Aerith to combat Meteor. After Diamond Weapon is defeated, Bugehagen falls ill, and Red XIII rushes to his side upon their return to Cosmo Canyon. The elder tells Red that there is more to life than his home and that he should spend time exploring the world to gain true knowledge. Bugenhagen passes away soon after, and Red XIII promises to keep the planet safe.
Along with the rest of the party, Red XIII takes part in the final battle against Sephiroth in the Northern Cave.
In Final Fantasy VII Remake
Desperate to rescue Aerith, Cloud, Tifa, and Barret arrive at the Shinra Building. As in the original game, Hojo is preparing to breed Aerith with someone, though it isn’t clear whether Red XIII is a candidate or not. Upon breaking Aerith’s containment tank, Barret also frees Red XIII, who quickly seeks to hunt down Hojo. Finding the party instead, Barret initially believes him to be a threat, but Aerith quickly defends him, calling Red XIII a friend and patting his head.
After having a bad reaction to Jenova, Cloud collapses, and the party retreats to Aerith’s old room to rest. Heading to the roof after learning that Avalanche was planning to rescue them, the group falls into Hojo’s secret lab instead. Forced to find a way out, Red XIII helps by leaping across walls and over gaps to pull the levers necessary to open certain paths. Upon catching up to Hojo, Red XIII attempts to attack him but is frozen in place by a robot while Hojo manages to escape.
Red XIII explains that the Whispers are being sent by the planet itself to realign destiny. However, he adds that even if Cloud and the others end up defying destiny itself, he would like to help them fight against Sephiroth. During their subsequent battle against the Whispers, the group sees a vision of an older Red XIII near the ruins of Midgar.
Post-Final Fantasy VII
In Episode: Barret found in the short story collection Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile, Red XIII is mentioned as often visiting Cid. In Episode: Nanaki, Red XIII is mentioned as finally being called by his real name by the group. Vowing to keep his promise to Bugenhagen, Nanaki sets out to travel the planet, eager to see different life forms and teach others what he knows. However, after embarking on his journey, he begins to feel a void forming in his heart.
Struggling with being an intelligent beast with a long lifespan, Vincent tells Nanaki that the void is his fear of loss and the inescapable loneliness that will come from outliving his friends. As difficult as the message is, Vincent also seeks to soothe Nanaki by mentioning that he could have children of his own. As Vincent is immortal, the two promise to meet in Midgar every year for the rest of Nanaki’s life where he would share the stories of his travels.
In Episode: Yuffie, Nanaki helps Yuffie to rescue her friend Yuri from a cave after it overflows with Geostigma-tainted lifestream. During this exchange, Nanaki mentions having a cell phone to keep in touch with other members of the party, though he struggles to use it. Though he leaves Wutai soon after the incident, he later returns helping Yuffie to search for a cure for Geostigma.
In Dirge of Cerberus, Nanaki is not present during a wide shot showing the entire cast. However, he can be seen during the ending, laying outside of 7th Heaven next to Shelke.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
During the opening scene of Advent Children, Nanaki is seen rushing towards a cliff edge along with two young cubs, looking over the overgrown Midgar ruins. This is 500 years after the events of Meteorfall, and it’s implied that Nanaki mated with Deneh or another remaining female member of his species.
Nanaki helps the party to fight against Bahamut SIN in the city of Edge. Rushing towards the battle with Cait Sith on his back, he is seen fighting using his claws and teeth. Nanaki later appears on the airship, the Shera, and again in Aerith’s church at the conclusion of the film.
Appearances in Other Final Fantasy Titles
Red XIII appears in the following titles:
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade
- Final Fantasy Artniks
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival
- Triple Triad
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game
In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Red XIII makes a cameo as a tutor from the in-game manuals.
In the 1998 fighting game Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, Django resembles Red XIII and performs attacks with names alluding to the character and his father, including Seto Punch, Seto Combination, Seto Low Punch, Nanaki Kick, and Nanki Combination. Two of his attacks also allude to Red XIII’s Limit Breaks: Blood Fand and Sled Fang.
- Red XIII is the only four-legged playable character in the Final Fantasy series to date.
- The staff chose the name ‘Nanaki’ as it sounded somewhat Native American. The word nana means ‘seven’ in Japanese, which may allude to the game’s title. However, Nanaki can also be translated as nameless (名無き), though it’s unclear whether or not this is just a coincidence.
- In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Nanaki only has one line in the entire film.
- Red XIII is the only playable character from Final Fantasy VII that hasn’t appeared in Dissidia Opera Omnia.