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Shinra Electric Power Company
|This article uses content from Wikipedia (view authors), and falls under the compatible Creative Commons license.|
|This article is about the large energy company in Final Fantasy VII. For the president of the business whose last name is Shinra, see Professor Shinra. For the character from Final Fantasy X-2, see Shinra (character).|
The Shin-Ra Electric Power Company (Japanese: 神羅電気動力株式会社, Shinra Denki Dōryoku Kabushiki-gaisha), or simply the Shinra Company (神羅カンパニー, Shinra Kanpanī) and sometimes spelled Shin-Ra, was a powerful mega-corporation which acted as a de facto government for much of The Planet in Final Fantasy VII and some other installments within the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Originally a small weapons development company, Shinra grew into a multi-conglomerate and de facto world government after it discovered mako energy, which Shinra then used to fuel the planet. In addition to their monopoly over mako, Shinra employed a large military to secure their control over much of the planet. However, the company collapsed following the Meteor Crisis and now operates on a far smaller level. Despite this downsizing the company still plays a major role in world affairs.
Shinra is named after the family that runs the corporation. In Japanese, the company's name is occasionally parsed "Shin-Ra". "Shinra" is written with the Japanese kanji 神羅, the individual kanji mean "god"/"divine" and "snare"/"net"/"silk". The "Ra" is also often used to represent Rome. This could mean capturing a god, or the essence of a god, such as Mako.
Originally a small weapons development company, Shinra grew into a multi-conglomerate and de facto world government when it became responsible for developing mako. Mako Energy is created through the process of extracting a green ethereal substance called Spirit Energy from the Lifestream and out of the Planet via Mako Reactors where it is then condensed into a liquid and processed into a source of fuel and electrical energy.
During an international war that lasted several years, Shinra Works perfected the means of manufacturing mako and its byproduct materia, small spheres that allow their wielders access to magical abilities. Investing in the marketing of this substance and the mass-production of a line of elite military units called SOLDIER (individuals showered in mako and injected with the cells of the alien being Jenova), Shinra quickly brought the war to an end, and in the postwar era, gained control over the world due to the people's ever-growing dependency on Shinra's Mako Energy and materia as a source of electricity and power. Reaping incredible profits from the development — and monopolization — of these technologies, they proceeded to build the city of Midgar on the Eastern Continent, which became their capital. As the siphoning of Spirit Energy and the process of condensing it into Mako Energy within reactors is highly expensive, President Shinra began searching for the fabled Promised Land, a place he believed to be abundant in naturally-rising mako, where a new city called Neo-Midgar could be constructed. The naturally-rising Mako Energy would eliminate the need for costly reactors.
The first leader of Shinra is President Shinra, who followed a doctrine of using Shinra's vast reserves of money to maintain control over the world's populace. President Shinra was murdered by Sephiroth in Shinra Tower, and his son, Rufus Shinra, took over as president of Shinra. Rufus felt his father's methods were too exhaustive and decided a change in policy was required. Rufus argued that establishing a climate of fear and using that fear to maintain public loyalty would be far more effective than the Bread and Circuses model of his father. During an attack on Midgar, Rufus was engulfed in an explosion and presumed dead by the Company Board. This gap of leadership allowed two directors, Heidegger and Scarlet, to seize control of the company. Any policies that Heidegger and Scarlet had in mind for Shinra were never made clear because shortly after their coup they were killed by AVALANCHE. Shinra may have appeared finished at this point but for the miraculous survival of Rufus. After his near-death experience Rufus formed a new policy concerning the company's direction, rather than controlling the planet it should help save it.
Despite being classified as a corporation, during Shinra's height it operated more like a government than a typical company, as it has a standing military with various specialized operatives, and local politicians — such as Domino, the mayor of Midgar — were housed as employees within Shinra Headquarters, in the very center of Midgar.
Shinra was comprised of several departments: Urban Development (headed by Reeve Tuesti); Public Safety Maintenance (headed by Heidegger); Weapons Development (headed by Scarlet); Science (headed by Professor Hojo); and Space Exploration (headed by Palmer). At some point, Heidegger, Scarlet and Hojo were all killed, and their respective departments collapsed with their demises. Palmer's department was also deemed obsolete, as Shinra abandoned its space exploration programs.
Shinra owned and operated the city of Midgar, the city of Junon and its accompanied military base, the rebuilt city of Nibelheim and the various Mako Reactors around The Planet. They also financed the building and operation of the Gold Saucer, a combined amusement park-casino entertainment complex. There were eight Mako Reactors around Midgar, the Mt. Nibel reactor, the Corel reactor, the Gongaga reactor, the undersea reactor at Junon and the Fort Condor reactor. The Fort Condor reactor was no longer in operation by the time of AVALANCHE's assault on the eight Mako Reactors of Midgar, and the Gongaga reactor suffered a meltdown, suspending operations there. Reactors 1 and 5 in Midgar were destroyed by AVALANCHE, but reactor 5 was later repaired.
Two years after the Meteor Crisis and the collapse of Shinra Inc., Rufus and the Turks began investigating the aftermath. Rufus, who had resurfaced since his apparent death two years earlier, was intent on rebuilding Shinra but also in repaying his debt to the planet.
Department of Public Safety Maintenance
Shinra maintained its own military named The Department of Public Safety Maintenance, under Heidegger. It consisted of units of various ranks, as well as advanced robotics and hover technology, and was charged with maintaining order and policing the city of Midgar, Junon, and other towns. The SOLDIER department was originally a separate branch until it was merged with the Department of Public Safety Maintenance by Heidegger, after he was granted control over the unit from Lazard Deusericus. It's members were specially trained and elite fighters selected for use during the Wutai War.
The "Department of General Affairs Department" was also incorporated with the Department of Public Safety Maintenance by Heidegger after he seized control of the department from Verdot. However, the "Investigation Division of the Department of General Affairs", better known as the Turks, remains as Shinra's special security force, under Tseng. They performed covert operations on behalf of the company, including espionage, kidnappings and assassinations. They also acted as scouts for potential candidates for Shinra's elite military unit, SOLDIER, and serve as bodyguards for the Shinra executives. Shinra employed MPs who were charged with maintaining order and policing the City of Midgar as well as Special Guardsmen who run Midgar's train service and other domestic transport and security services.
The Shinra Military also 'policed' other towns such as Kalm, the Costa del Sol, the Gold Saucer and Nibelheim. The Department of Public Safety Maintenance also had a hand in running the military base of Junon in a similar way to how they operated in Midgar.
Overall, Shinra's presence within the city of Midgar and outside was personified through the Department of Public Safety Maintenance.
The SOLDIER department was originally a separate branch from the Department of Public Safety Maintenance until it was merged by Heidegger, after he was granted control over the unit from Lazard Deusericus. Its members were specially trained and elite fighters selected for use during the Wutai War. The unit was divided into Third, Second, and First Class of ascending skills. Sephiroth, Zack Fair, Angeal Hewley, and Genesis Rhapsodos were First Class members of SOLDIER before the Nibelheim incident.
Department of Urban Development
Shinra was in control of the vast metropolitan city of Midgar and the military base and city of Junon. As such it was the job of the Department of Urban Development, under Reeve Tuesti, to maintain these cities and the people within them.
Shinra Company's main interest was in itself and profits. As such the Department for Urban Development held little regard for the masses. It built large sprawling cities which encroached on the lives of the general public. In the case of Midgar the 'plate', which served as the upper-half of the city, was home to Shinra and its many employees as well as richer citizens of Midgar. Beneath the plate, people lived in squalid conditions and received little help from the Urban Development Department which made little effort to maintain the lower part of the city.
In Junon, Shinra built its large naval and air base above the village already there in a similar style to Midgar. The military facility generated hate for the Company in the village and drove the fishing industry, the village's main source of income, under. In both cases, Midgar and Junon, the residents found themselves relying even more on Shinra which explained the Department's motives for their "unfriendly" approach to urban development.
Department of Weapons Development
Shinra's vast corporate empire was maintained by an equally large military. However, it was the job of Weapons Development under Scarlet to create and manufacture new technological advancements to aid Shinra's forces. The department was behind the creation of Shinra's robogyards, the Junon Mako Gun named Sister Ray and during the Meteor Crisis they devised the plan to use Huge Materia to destroy the meteor.
During the Wutai War Shinra relied on the latest of initiative technology to give it a lead in the fighting. This was the charge of the Weapons Development Department which used the power of Mako to create powerful weapons to help the company in its war.
After the War, Shinra was more concerned with maintaining its newfound power and security over its cities. The Department created strong robots to defend its interests as well as guns and grenades to arm its soldiers.
During the Meteor Crisis the Department tried various methods to find a weapon to defeat Sephiroth. One weapon was the Huge Materia, which when loaded into a rocket acted as a devastating missile. However, the Huge Materia was unable to stop Meteor and Shinra instead decided to use Scarlet’s pet project the Sister Ray to attack Sephiroth himself. This was, unlike the Huge Materia, a mildly successful attempt.
Department of Science and Research
Shinra had a large Department of Science and Research, originally under Dr. Hollander until he was replaced by Professor Hojo, which dealt with research into the Cetra, Mako Energy, bio-chemistry and genetics. The department was also in charge of the Jenova Project which was an attempt to create the "perfect" SOLDIERs, and ultimately responsible for the creation of Sephiroth.
Mako was one of the two main components in biologically enhancing members of SOLDIER. It was also used in a series of experiments by Professors Gast and Hojo on living people. SOLDIERs are not only infused with mako, however. They are also injected with Jenova cells. Jenova's cells together with mako gives them far greater strength and cognitive ability than ordinary humans possess, provided they are mentally strong enough to handle the mako infusion process without suffering from mako poisoning.
President Shinra was always interested in the Cetra. This was an interest he shared with the scientists Professors Hojo and Gast of Shinra’s Science Department. Gast led the research into the Cetra and discovered the ancient life being Jenova. The Jenova Project was designed not only to find the Promised Land but also to use Jenova Cells to create powerful soldiers for Shinra Inc. However, after Gast's death, the research and use of Jenova was carried on by Professor Hojo who would later be responsible for Sephiroth and the modern SOLDIERs.
Department of Space Exploration
In the past, Shinra had held aspirations to explore space. From these aspirations, a rather important department under the leadership of Palmer was formed. However the department was not fit for its purpose and under the incompetent Palmer it failed to achieve anything. President Shinra later abandoned his plans for space exploration and the department became defunct, under funded and mostly ignored.
However, the department was responsible for the creation of Rocket Town and as such Palmer plays an important part in Shinra’s relations with it. When President Rufus visited the town in order to acquire Cid’s Tiny Bronco, Palmer accompanied him and later got in a fight with AVALANCHE. Eventually, Shinra launched a rocket into space, although this was an attempt to stop Meteor rather than an to fulfill its aspiration to explore space.
Department of General Affairs
The General Affairs Department seemed to have been incorporated with the Department of Public Safety Maintenance by Heidegger after he seized control of the department from Verdot.
Better known as the Turks, the Investigation Division of the Department of General Affairs is Shinra's special security force, under Tseng. They performed covert operations on behalf of the company, including espionage, kidnappings and assassinations. They also acted as scouts for potential candidates for Shinra's elite military unit, SOLDIER, and serve as bodyguards for the Shinra executives.
Mako served as Shinra's main source of profit, as well as the basis for many of their weapons and inventions. Aside from its electrical applications, Shinra makes use of mako with their elite task force, SOLDIER. These specialized military units consist of operatives that are biologically augmented by mako.
Mako is similar to radioactive materials in that prolonged exposure can lead to genetic mutation, cognitive disability and even death. Individuals who have had prolonged exposure to mako are identified by a glow in their eyes, referred to as "mako eyes." All members of SOLDIER bear this distinguishing feature, and, as such, it is considered to be a "mark of SOLDIER."
- Main article: Mako Reactor
One of the primary uses of mako within Shinra, the Mako Reactor condenses mako energy into liquid form for use as a fuel, and by the time of the game has made fossil fuels such as oil and coal obsolete. Shinra used the growing dependence of the planet's population on mako energy as a way of gaining and strengthening their control of the world.
Junon Cannon/Sister Ray
The Shinra naval and air base over the fishing town of Junon was equipped with an enormous artillery cannon (which was longer than the town itself) aimed out over the sea. It fired massive mako-enhanced artillery shells of extraordinary range and destructive power, as seen when the cannon destroys the Sapphire WEAPON with a single shot, when the WEAPON attacks Junon. After the destruction of the Sapphire WEAPON, it was rendered useless by the removal of Junon's huge materia, and was moved to Midgar, where it could be powered by the combined output of the city's eight mako reactors.
Two years after these events the Sister Ray still stood, though it had fallen into decay along with the rest of the city.
Combined with powerful computer technology Mako can be used to create powerful and efficient robotic soldiers. This is something the Shinra Company has taken advantage of and has created various types of guard from robotic-mako technology, such as the Scorpion Guard and Proud-Clod.
Mako was one of the two main components in enhancing members of SOLDIER (examples of individuals enhanced with mako include Zack Fair, Cloud Strife and Sephiroth, and its by-product, materia, was a valuable source of income for Shinra, as well as a powerful source of weaponry, used by both the Turks and SOLDIER. It was also used in a series of experiments by Professors Gast and Hojo on living people.
Dissent had long been felt amongst the people under Shinra's rule. As the Mako Reactors destroyed wildlife and outcast villages, people began to despise their work. Many began researching Mako, and realized that Shinra was ripping life out of the planet. Some Shinra employees began to desert as they discovered the truths of the company, such as 1st class SOLDIERs Zack and Genesis. Anti-Shinra groups such as AVALANCHE and the Wutai Crescent Unit began springing up to combat the army and the Turks, though never had large effect.
Shinra's final downfall came with Sephiroth's successful casting of Meteor and the arrival of the WEAPONs, the Planet's defense mechanism. In an attempt to destroy the WEAPONs, they fired the Sister Ray, destroying Diamond WEAPON. Diamond fired off a salvo of energy before dying, and caused heavy damage to the Shinra building. President Rufus Shinra was seemingly killed in the explosion, but was discovered to have survived after a rescue and evacuation process by Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi. As Meteor fell on the city, it proceeded to rip apart what remained of Midgar and their army. When the Lifestream ejected itself from the Planet, the people realized how important the Lifestream was, and Shinra could no longer use it popularly as an energy supply.
Criticism and controversy
The Shinra Corporation was heavily criticized by AVALANCHE for the company's extraction of mako energy from the planet. Shinra was also unpopular with the public for their destruction of villages and wildlife. In protest to Shinra's propaganda and factual distortions, an anti-Shinra news service called "Shinra Truths" appeared.
- In Final Fantasy X-2, a member of the Gullwings named Shinra proposes the concept of extracting the life energy from within the planet Spira. In the Final Fantasy X-2 Ultimania guidebook, Kazushige Nojima stated that the character Shinra and his proposal are a deliberate nod to the Shinra Company of Final Fantasy VII, and also revealed that he envisioned the events of Final Fantasy X-2 as a prequel to those in Final Fantasy VII. This connection had previously been hinted toward by Kitase and Yoshinori Kitase during an interview in the Final Fantasy X Ultimania Ω guidebook, and was again detailed in the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω.