Home Features Final Fantasy VII can’t stop casting Superman as Sephiroth

Final Fantasy VII can’t stop casting Superman as Sephiroth

3 min read

You think Final Fantasy VII, and you think of an era in video games that has yet to be matched by anything on the market today. It’s 1997, Square had yet to do the fusion dance with Enix and the marketing campaign for Final Fantasy VII was running at full steam as it proclaimed that cartridge-based games needed to be taken to a shed outside and finished off with a CD-ROM shotgun.

Lo and behold, Final Fantasy VII lived up to its own massive hype as it kicktarted an era of giant swords, the spikiest of hair and a saga of love, life and loss. The key takeaway from this monumental game once all the dust had cleared though? The birth of an iconic new villain in video games, a nemesis who could stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Bowser, SHODAN and those f***ing ghosts from Pac-Man.

What made Sephiroth so memorable though? Much like the rest of the Final Fantasy VII cast, he was a mute mastermind who communicated via text boxes and yet he still oozed charisma. Here was an entity, who was more of a force of nature than a villain, always calm and anchored to a belief that he was the superior lifeform destined to inherit the planet as he sailed the cosmos in search of new worlds to feed on.

It wasn’t until Kingdom Hearts in 2002 when Sephiroth finally found his voice, in none other than the talented vocal pipes of NSYNC’s Lance Bass.

What began with Bass, was perfected when Superman took over in the Final Fantasy VII animated film Advent Children. An actor with a wide list of credit across film and television, George Newbern is also the de facto voice of Superman and has given life to the man of steel across multiple animated series, video games and direct to DVD film projects in DC’s animated line of movies. With Newbern breathing life into video game royalty, Sephiroth’s presence evolved into a character who always had an air of calm malevolence to him.

From that point on, Sephiroth’s voice acting followed the rule of Highlander: There could be only one. Over the years, Newbern would reprise the role in Kingdom Hearts 2, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, the Dissidia series and Mobius: Final Fantasy. That’s a lot of voice acting:

For Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix was looking for some new blood to breathe life into Sephiroth. So what did they do? They hired Superman once again, albeit it a different Kryptonian to flip from hero to villain. While he exists as a shadow for most of Final Fantasy VII Remake, this version of Sephiroth does torment Cloud and when he does so it’s with the voice of Tyler Hoechlin, the Superman of Supergirl and the Arrowverse. (Spoilers below in the embedded video):

And thus the legacy of Superman being the greatest villain in Final Fantasy’s long line of memorable antagonists, continues. Hoechlin doesn’t stray too far from the template set so many years ago by Advent Children, giving life to a character who is resolute in his belief that he is destined to win. Always calm, always confident that he is superior to every life form in existence.

It’s not easy to create a character who looks and sounds so iconic, but when you’ve got the men of steel heading to the voice recording booth faster than a speeding bullet, that’s just a brilliant bit of casting.

Last Updated: April 14, 2020


  1. So I refuse to play this game again. Just because of that one scene, you know what I’m talking about. I’m guessing it’s the one everyone thinks of when they say no spoilers. I have no desire to see that in a remastered state. It was like being stabbed in the back


    • The D

      April 14, 2020 at 14:31

      Oh man, you’re going to hate how much FF7 Remake makes you care for Aerith. Such a wonderful and warm character throughout the whole game.


      • Original Heretic

        April 14, 2020 at 15:38

        Am I the only one who didn’t really care that much for her?!
        My only gripe was “aw, my best healer!”


        • OddSockZA

          April 14, 2020 at 16:27

          Play the remake. She’s a more fleshed out character, and she’s lovely.


  2. CrAiGiSh

    April 15, 2020 at 10:43

    Hope this makes its way to PC eventually.


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