The story of Final Fantasy VII can be a bit daunting and slightly complex the first time you experience it. After all, there is a lot going on, with the gameplay stretching over hours and hours. It can be a lot to take in, or you may miss some valuable information during the excitement of your first playthrough.

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One of the things you'll see mentioned a lot throughout the opening sequences of Final Fantasy VII is SOLDIER. This elite security group is responsible for guarding the buildings and Mako Reactors that you and AVALANCHE are infiltrating. But what is SOLDIER exactly? Here some facts and bits of trivia you never knew about them.

UPDATED May 16th, 2020 by Russ Boswell: The Final Fantasy 7 Remake has burst on-scene and brought tons of nostalgia with it for dedicated fans. The first part of the release tosses us into the hustle and bustle of Midgar, following Avalanche as they fight back against The Shinra Electric Power Company and the vicious ranks of SOLDIER. Those familiar with the original release likely know a lot about this powerful organization but many of you entering the Final Fantasy 7 fray for the first time have a lot to learn about the military-esque group. These 13 facts dive a bit further into the lore surrounding SOLDIER to uncover some deep-rooted facts some of you may be completely unaware of. 

13 They're Color Coded In The Original Release

Although it isn't showcased much in the older games and many of the ranks of SOLDIER have been "thinned out" during the events of Final Fantasy VII, the group was once filled to the brim with members. Big names like Sephiroth, Zack, and Cloud spring to mind when someone mentions SOLDIER but the organization also featured a wide array of personnel.

It's easy to recognize some of SOLDIER's elite members thanks to their over-the-top outfits but lesser ranks can be identified by the color of their clothing. 1st Class members are clothed in Purple, 2nd Class in Red, and 3rd Class in Blue.

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12 Foot Soldiers Used Different Techniques

Knowing a SOLDIER member's clothing color can help you identify more than just their rank. It's likely that many players were too busy slashing and burning their way through these "lesser mobs" to really notice but each rank (and color) actually identifies how a particular enemy will behave in battle.

Any 3rd Class members will toss a flying sickle, bring Sleepel Materia to the table, and can tap into Level 2 Bolt and Ice Materia. 2nd Class baddies use no Materia but will slice and dice at your heroes with a technique called Sword of Doom. 1st Class enemies will attack the party with the Sword of Doom technique and have access to Silence Materia.

11 The Deepground Facility

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Because Shinra is never satisfied in their quest to create the ultimate supersoldier (something that would come back to bite them on a few occasions), they were constantly looking for new and innovative ways to push their members to the limit.

This led to the creation of the Deepground, a specialized facility located below the main Shinra building. Originally, the area was crafted as housing for Mako Reactor 0, as well as a clinic to help heal wounded SOLDIER members. Later on, the facility would be repurposed and turned into a secret sector that performed a multitude of strange and random experiments on soldiers in an attempt to make them stronger.

10 The Mighty Restrictors

A lot of the SOLDIER members are shrouded in mystery as they're not exactly a pivotal part of the Final Fantasy VII storyline. Once you leave Midgar you won't be diving deep into much lore concerning the group and a lot of the information we have has come from other games and Final Fantasy media.

The Restrictors are a great example of this. These mysterious entities (only one was focused on) were introduced in the Final Fantasy VII spin-off, Dirge of Cerberus. According to Lore, these mighty units ruled the Deepground with an iron first and the leader went so far as to surgically implant chips into his subordinates to "make sure they couldn't ignore orders."

9 It's Not A Traditional Military

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When first learning about SOLDIER in Final Fantasy VII, it would be easy to assume that it's a particular military branch or a governmental sector. The reality is that SOLDIER is actually a privately-owned fighting force that was created and maintained to protect the interests of the Shinra Electric Power Company.

Although the titles may suggest that the group is military in nature, they actually have no public or governmental obligations.

8 Members Are Divided Into 3 Classes

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The Shinra Electric Power Company has a lot of valuable secrets and technology that they wish to protect. Because of this, they implement a strict hierarchy of SOLDIER members, giving precedence and tougher "missions" to those that prove themselves worthy. Anyone who joins the ranks will start as a Class 3 member, which are more-or-less footsoldiers.

Those who prove to be valuable assets or show promise will be promoted to Class 2, where they will be given access to lesser missions or oversee "easier" tasks. It takes a truly distinguished Class 2 member to be considered for a Class 1 promotion. Only the best of the best are placed in this tier, and Class 1 members serve leadership over all other SOLDIERs (except other Class 1 elites).

7 SOLDIER Has Recruitment Propaganda

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Shinra isn't exactly a "nice and wholesome" business. They're involved in a lot of "strange" things and perform experiments that would definitely borderline on criminal. The world of Final Fantasy VII isn't a happy-go-lucky place filled with teddy bears and sunshine. It's a magical realm teeming with monsters and other dangers. Because of this, Shinra's fighting force is bound to lose a few SOLDIERs on "routine missions."

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In order to keep their numbers up, they pander to the younger crowds. Many of the Class 1 elite soldiers have their own fan clubs, and a lot of the youth in Midgar and the surrounding areas dream of one day serving alongside the heroes they idolize.

6 They Aren't Normal Humans

The world of Final Fantasy VII is filled with all many of magic, monsters, and strange celestial powers. The SOLDIER program isn't just a ragtag group of humans that are thrust into the line of fire without adequate training or protection.

But SOLDIER members don't develop their powers over time—they're simply given them through a process involving a substance known as Mako. The Mako energy that is collected from the "Earth" is infused with these soldiers, giving them access to powers and abilities that surpass that of normal humans.

5 All SOLDIER Members Can Use Limit Breaks

Via: Final Fantasy Wiki

Final Fantasy VII was the first title in the franchise to use the term "limit break," but it's something that has been included in the Final Fantasy series ever since Final Fantasy VI. The basic concept is that individuals will "break the limit of their power" when put under extreme stress or harm. The more a player takes damage in Final Fantasy VII, the faster the limit break gauge fills.

Because of their infusion with Mako, any SOLDIER member, regardless of their class, is able to store energy and use a limit break attack should they be put under enough stress.

4 Some Have Alien Attributes

Via: Final Fantasy Union

Those who have played through Final Fantasy VII are very likely to remember their clash with Jenova. Although simply a "boss" to most, this particular creature plays a very important part in the development of SOLDIER. Once thought to be a Cetra, it turns out that Jenova simply crash-landed on Gaia and was mistaken for one of the ancients.

RELATED: Final Fantasy VII Remake: 5 Boss Fights That Challenged Us (& 5 That Were Way Too Easy)

Shinra managed to capture the alien and used it to harvest cells to inject into specific SOLDIER members, hoping to create special Cetra-human hybrids to carry on their bidding. Sephiroth is one of the most prominent members to receive these alien cells.

3 SOLDIER Suffered A Great Desertion

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Shinra would soon find out that creating so many super-powered human/alien hybrids wasn't such a great idea. Genesis Rhapsodos would prove to the company that their methods were both flawed and dangerous. Although he was once a loyal Class 1 SOLDIER, Genesis had a "change of heart" when he realized that his body was degrading due to the Jenova cells implanted within him.

This would lead him to create his own "army" of SOLDIER members and specialized "copies" he made. After realizing they may suffer the same fate and seeing Genesis' desire to find a cure, many SOLDIERs would end up defecting from the Shinra company and joining Genesis in his quest.

2 The Great War

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After collecting his army, Genesis Rhapsodos would take the fight to The Shinra Electric Power Company in an attempt to find a cure and fix the degradation of his body. The main bulk of this storyline takes place in the PSP spinoff, Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core. The title follows Zack Fair, a prominent and much-beloved Class 1 SOLDIER, as well as Cloud, on their quest to stop Genesis and his copies.

This game would help showcase that not all SOLDIER members were "inherently bad" and that most had no idea that the company they were fighting for was involved in so many shady activities and experiments.

1 There Aren't That Many Members Around In Final Fantasy VII

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This factoid is a bit curious because the beginning of the title (and many subsections of the game) make so many references to SOLDIER and its members. The reality, though, is that SOLDIER is very much in shambles by the events of Final Fantasy VII.

It's much easier for AVALANCHE to lead its rebellion against the Shinra Electric Power Company because a massive bulk of their security force has dwindled, thanks to the earlier mentioned war with Genesis Rhapsodos and the mass desertion that took place.

NEXT: The Hogwarts Houses Of Final Fantasy 7 Characters

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