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).
Well, 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:
- Lucrecia works as an assistant to Grimoire Valentine to research a mythical being.
- These studies cause an explosion in the lab, killing Grimoire as he covers for her.
- Shinra sends Vincent Valentine to guard Lucrecia as she works on a new project.
- They spend time together, and Lucrecia even hosts picnics with Vincent.
- 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.
This 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?
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:
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.
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.
It’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.
No 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.