Ludicrous Lucrecia

Lucrecia Crescent

Who are meaner, boys or girls? While middle and high school females are seen as particularly vicious, studies suggest it’s the opposite. However, other studies hint that the long-held belief that women hold grudges longer than men is, in fact, true.

Well, from my personal observations and experience as a female… we women do not forget, and we are incredibly hard on our gender. I could go into the reasons why, from heavily gendered insults to media portrayals to psychological defense mechanisms, but that’s a topic for another day.

In fact, many of you are probably wondering why I brought it up in the first place. It’s quite simple: I hate Hojo from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, but I hate Lucrecia.

This post is a part of the Final Fantasy: A Crystal Compendium series. Check out the full list of posts written by Final Fantasy fans!

Warning: spoilers for the Final Fantasy VII universe ahoy!

First introduced in the main game, finding Lucrecia hidden in a cave shows players a bit of Vincent’s past as a Turk and how she came to give birth to a little-known man known as Sephiroth. Total nobody. He’ll never been in Gaia’s history books or anything…

We see Lucrecia interacting with Vincent but ultimately choosing fellow Shinra scientist Hojo. They then experiment on their unborn child by injecting the fetus with cells from Jenova, then believed to be an Ancient/Cetra. Although Lucrecia admits she has failed as a mother since she has never even held her child, she also wonders what happened to her baby boy. Vincent tells her Sephiroth is dead (which is sort-of true). When he visits her later, she isn’t seen or heard from again but does give him his ultimate weapon (Death Penalty) and limit (Chaos).

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VIIWell, because she was just so likable in Final Fantasy VII (sarcasm alert!), we get to see more of her story in Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. (By the way, the international releases’ box art is as awful as Lucrecia herself.)

If you’ve never played the game, I believe 90% of her lines in the game are three words: “I’m so sorry.”

Dirge of Cerberus goes into further detail about why she’s so sorry:

  1. Lucrecia works as an assistant to Grimoire Valentine to research a mythical being.
  2. These studies cause an explosion in the lab, killing Grimoire as he covers for her.
  3. Shinra sends Vincent Valentine to guard Lucrecia as she works on a new project.
  4. They spend time together, and Lucrecia even hosts picnics with Vincent.
  5. She then pushes Vincent away and agrees to do a new experiment with Hojo for the Jenova Project.

Survivor’s guilt, now classified as a part of post-traumatic stress disorder, is a heck of a thing. Grimoire warned Lucrecia not to charge ahead so much, and he ended up taking the brunt of a blast to protect her. But it wasn’t like she was doing anything completely foolish or reckless; she was eager to prove herself to her colleagues and doing what she wanted to do: research.

Lucrecia & GrimoireThis is about the only time I’ll defend Lucrecia. Because this is the woman who felt bad that her mentor and head of her division died during an experiment she was a part of that she decides to punish herself… by hooking up with a man who is only devoted to science.

Grimoire: Don’t rush ahead!
Lucrecia: S’kay, I’mma gonna flirt with your son and then get preggers by my awful coworker. Totes thought this one through!

I mean, looks aren’t everything (because Vincent would win easily), but it’s not like Hojo had a great personality… or even a good personality. “So you’ve come to your senses and chosen me.” That sounds bad even by trashy romance standards, but the haughty way he says it just seals the deal. While not stated in-game, Lucrecia actually marries Mr. Creepy Cackling Scientist, so she gets to officially be Mrs. Cackling Creepy Scientist.

Of course, later Hojo just proves he’s Prince Charming by shooting Vincent and then experimenting on him so that he transforms into monsters.

Well, fine, whatever. Her decision was stupid, but go screw up your own life despite breaking Vincent’s heart. Come on, she was totally flirting with him only just to push him away. “JUST BECAUSE I HAVE PICNICS WITH YOU DOESN’T MEAN YOU GET TO QUESTION MY CHOICES!!!” Even if Vincent wasn’t interested in Lucrecia romantically, she’s a pretty terrible friend.

But Lucrecia just didn’t punish herself. Or even just Vincent. She punished an UNBORN CHILD by implanting cells from a supposed magic-inclined 2,000 year old corpse of a nearly-extinct race. How’d that work out again?

Sephiroth Nibelheim FireAerith DeathRuvie DeathOh yeah, not well. Oopsie!

Of course, even if Lucrecia didn’t offer up her child to participate in Project S, Hojo probably would have found someone else to test his hypothesis. (Even 20+ years later, he still has bikini-clad women throwing themselves at him.)

But no matter if you think men or women are the… shall I say, snarkier, gender, I don’t think many people would argue that some of the most book-smart people can also be the stupidest. Case in point: Lucrecia Crescent.

I mean, what did Lucrecia think was going to happen? Even if Gast’s theory was correct, did she think she could just raise Sephiroth like a normal mother, just one who documents his developments a little more closely than a typical parent in hopes he can communicate with the Planet? “Little Sephiroth managed to cast Fire today without a Materia. Mommy’s so proud!”

And what about Hojo? “Yes, Sephiroth, this is your daddy. He cares so much about you that he keeps hooking you up to machines and mako-filled pods!” The dude laughed so hard after shooting Vincent I’m surprised he didn’t wet himself. I’m sure he would have made a great father. (Yes, my sarcasm meter is off the charts.)

Of course, Lucrecia’s thoughts later in Dirge of Cerberus reveal this gem:

Lucrecia Thoughts

She then throws a tantrum, wondering why she did what she did and talks about realizing her true, albeit complicated feelings.

Yeah, maybe that would have been nice to realize a long time ago? Not that I’m totally buying Lucrecia’s supposed affection. Even while she’s desperate to save Vincent’s life, she’s carrying Hojo’s child. Fortunately, after everything that happens, Lucrecia takes the brave way out and fights to save the —

Naw, just kidding, she goes and hides in a cave for years without knowing what’s going on.

Lucrecia Crystal

Vincent does the same thing, but at least he didn’t do anything wrong. He thinks so, but what was he supposed to do? Kidnap Lucrecia and take her away? Yell and scream that she’s wrong after she yelled that she is going to participate in the Jenova Project? It’s not like he can could the HR or the police and file a complaint considering Shinra is the de-facto government.

There’s no doubt Lucrecia is mentally weak, and Jenova thrives on weak-willed individuals. Lucrecia planned to commit suicide, but she can’t do so easily. But she can’t use her Jenova cells as an excuse for why she agrees to do tests on a fetus. The fetus inside of her. Her own baby. I guess we’re supposed to feel so sorry for her, as she works day and night to help Vincent after he is critically injured.

Lucrecia faintsIt’s debatable whether her attempts to revive him were a good idea or not; Vincent certainly wouldn’t have blamed her if she had done a mercy killing before Hojo planted Galian Beast and company inside of him. He was already against human experimentation, so this is hardly the life he wanted for himself.

Galian BeastNo matter if you think Lucrecia did the right thing by trying to save Vincent, her desire to save him comes across as selfish. Even if she didn’t expect Vincent to be made essentially immortal, she obviously cares so much about him that upon their reunion and encounters after that, she still just whines about how she’s so sorry and makes no attempt to be with Vincent. They’re both going to have long lives, and her evil husband (who had been hanging out with bikini babes) and son (who didn’t even know she existed) are already dead. Plus, by the end of Dirge of Cerberus, you think there’s anything left Vincent can’t handle, even if Lucrecia has more secrets?

The Ultimania confirms the crystal is of her own making. So she could ostensibly set herself free at any time. But Lucrecia doesn’t when Meteor is approaching, when Geostigma is ravaging people, or when Deepground soldiers are running amuck. And yet players are supposed to sympathize with her?

Ludicrous. In fact, all her choices were ludicrous. She herself is ludicrous.

Ludicrous Lucrecia.

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  1. The Fullmetal Narcissist

    Maybe this is just me, but I’m a guy, and I can hold grudges for years.
    Especially if they involve somebody lying to me, or talking about me behind my back.
    I don’t forget that shit.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      Oh, definitely, people in general — myself included — can be very resentful. I just think it general, women tend to hold onto things longer.

      1. The Fullmetal Narcissist

        How passive aggressive can they be, though? If I overhear someone talking shit about me, I’ll hold onto it, storing it for later use, not even letting them KNOW I heard it. I’ll still have it in the back of mind years later, while pretending to engage in normal conversation, just secretly thinking “You can’t trust this person… Don’t forget…”

        1. Krystallina (Post author)

          Pretty passive-aggressive. There’s a joke that women can be faker than their make-up, and that’s because they’re either planning revenge or are saving up to unload the next time they’re mad.

  2. The Shameful Narcissist

    I go between feeling horribly bad for her and being incredibly annoyed at her, but I think I tend towards the former. She made some horrendous decisions, but at least she regretted what happened to her child whereas Hojo is my most hated character in Final Fantasy history. I cannot f**king stand him. I know that him and Lucrecia share the blame of experimenting on their child, but then Hojo didn’t even tell Sephiroth the truth about his origins, which arguably was a catalyst for him offering his greater will to an alien influence, since he’d been told it’s his mother. It just…ugh, it bothers the hell out of me,, and has for the past 20 years (I know, obsess much), and while yeah, I dont’ think Lu was a great mother by ANY means, I also think Hojo was a manipulative bastard. While there’s no direct proof that he coerced her, the developers did do some clever shenanigans with her name, which is more than likely inspired by the Shakespeare play The Rape of Lucrece. It also means “profit,” suggesting that her whole existence is to be used for someone else’s purpose…which is exactly what happens. The whole “not being able to die” after attempting suicide is kind of heartbreaking, because reaching a point where you want to end your life is the pinnacle of despair, and then not being able to do so it’s like what do you even have left.

    “Injecting cells from a 2000 year old corpse…” ugh…that sentence makes my skin crawl, but it’s so true and just so damn disturbing. VII is one of those stories that becomes eerier and darker the more you look at it.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      There’s no doubt Hojo is manipulative, but I doubt anyone at Shinra was like, “Gee, I’m so glad to work with Hojo because he’s a great boss!” Probably his whole team was full of psychos (which could rub off on Lucrecia), but the woman didn’t just agree to participate by hosting a fetus — she agrees to marry him after being warned. I can see some sympathy for her, but she kept making wrong decisions over and over and didn’t try to help. Even Rufus repented and was working hard after FFVII.

      Yes, FFVII gets a lot of flack, but it really is so much more than just overthrow the evil empire like most other RPGs before it.

      1. The Shameful Narcissist

        I can’t argue with you about this. She does agree to marry him, and I have no idea of a defense for that except maybe she was duped/manipulated into it…I have no clue. I haven’t played or watched Dirge of Cerberus so I’m not clear on some of the finer aspects, but she almost comes off as an abuse victim/battered wife, and it could’ve been a situation like that, and sadly, the more you try to tell someone how terrible the person they’re involved with is, the more they’ll defend them and stand by them. It’s yet another sad thing about reality that FFVII brings up, and it’s frustrating as hell to sit there and watch it, because you on the outside see how terrible a choice it is, but when you’re on the inside, well, then you end up exposing your fetus to parasitic alien cells in order to create a higher being and nobody wins.

        It really is, and I like that the ones going forward focused more on characters and emotions alongside the major overthrow plot.

  3. tanteikid94

    I tried not holding on grudges. I will forgive someone if there is a chance.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      That’s a good attitude to have. Forgiveness is hard, no doubt.

      1. tanteikid94

        Thank you

  4. The Otaku Judge

    The Lucrecia/Vincent/Hojo love triangle would make a good smutty manga.

    1. Krystallina (Post author)

      OH GOD, NOOOO!!!! I know they’re out there, but all the mind bleach in the world wouldn’t rid me of such horror.


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