Crisis Core is one of the most integral media pieces in the Final Fantasy VII Compilation. It’s the prequel to Final Fantasy VII, and its ending cinematic is even meant to link directly to VII’s opening cinematic. But there’s a lot to unpack in Crisis Core’s ending. So, let’s talk about it.
How does Crisis Core end?
After Zack and Cloud manage to escape all their pursuers, they finally reach the outskirts of Midgar. However, someone at Shinra tipped the fact that they were headed to Midgar in the first place, and an army of troopers was waiting for them. The Turks tried to reach them first but were too late.
Cloud was still catatonic at this point and Zack was exhausted. The SOLDIER uses the final bits of his strength, and Cloud wakes up too late. Zack imparts the exact words Angeal tells him at the beginning of the game. He calls Cloud his “living legacy,” fulfilling his dream of becoming a hero. Because while Zack could not save Angeal, Genesis, or Sephiroth, he at least managed to save Cloud.
Did Zack die in Crisis Core’s ending?
Zack sees an “illusion” of Angeal (but it could be interpreted as his spirit in the lifestream) in his final moments. He tells the illusion that he wants wings, too, and takes his hand. He dies peacefully.
Cloud mourns for him but eventually leaves Zack to uphold his legacy and live. He walks towards Midgar and passes out in Sector 7, where Tifa finds him later on. However, with Cloud’s brain fresh out of mako poisoning and his heart deep in despair, he represses these memories, leading to the creation of the “SOLDIER 1st Class” Cloud Strife persona we have at the beginning of Final Fantasy VII.
Crisis Core after credits, explained
After the credits, a short cinematic of the lifestream. Green wisps appear, similar to those before Angeal died and returned to the lifestream in Banora.
It’s implied that Aerith felt Zack return to the lifestream or, at least, a shift in the lifestream that felt like a bad omen. She quickly exits the alleyway she was in and looks towards the sky. This is, then, how the opening cinematic for Final Fantasy VII (and VII Remake) begins.
What happened to Genesis after Crisis Core?
Zack left Genesis, respecting his unsaid wish of waiting for his last moment in the place where Angeal died. However, he was taken by two SOLDIERs before he does. The one who picks him up is Weiss, the leader of the Tsviets. He’s a member of Deepground, the main antagonist in Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. Weiss and Deepground also appear as antagonists in Final Fantasy VII: Remake Intergrade.
What is Deepground?
We don’t want to spoil too much of the fun, so we’ll keep this section on light spoilers. Deepground is a facility that exists below Midgar. The scientists here want to create more “perfect” versions of SOLDIER, those that are more powerful and loyal. Weiss is its first member.
For more help with Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core Reunion, take a look at Is it worth collecting every chest on missions in Crisis Core? and Why does Angeal and Genesis have one wing in Crisis Core? here at Pro Game Guides.