Jenova is a world-devouring alien, which descended on the Planet many eons ago, possibly around the time when the Cetra began disappearing. He/she ended up trapped in the frozen Northern Crater, until some Shinra scientists discovered her and thawed her out. At that time, Shin-Ra mistakenly thought Jenova to be one of the last remaining Cetra.
Sephiroth was a product of Jenova’s being infused into a young fetus. Fortunately it seems the child’s strong genes overcame the Jenova cells, and he was able to control all of them. Sephiroth later learns of his relationship to Jenova, and incorrectly thinks she is both a deity and his mother.
Where did Jenova come from?
Jenova was an extraterrestrial being – that’s right, an alien – that crash landed on the planet leaving a huge scar on the earth that resulted in the Northern Crater ages ago. The Ancients, a group of prehistoric people called Jenova “The Calamity from the Sky”. The ancients, referring to themselves as Cetra, approached. At first the foreign being appeared to the Cetra as a friendly visitor, but in reality it was bent on causing catastrophic destruction and taking over the planet. Jenova spread a terrible disease to the Ancients, turning them into monsters and decimating their population and way of living. Eventually a small group of warriors fought Jenova and sealed her body away in order to ensure that the evil could never again emerge.
Eventually, scientists of the Shinra corporation unearthed Jenova’s corpse from the icy rubble of the Northern hemisphere of Gaia. Professor Gast, the Shinra company’s first scientist, mistakenly believed that Jenova was an Ancient and brought her to the Mako power facility in Nibelheim. There he and his apprentice, Professor Hojo, started the early research and theories that would eventually begin the Jenova Project.
Gast believed that if he could infuse a genetic mixture of her cells and Mako into the bloodstream of a human being, he would be able to create a person with supernatural abilities and reflexes – inheriting the power of the ancients and modern humans. The Shinra company leaped at the chance to fund this experiment as a way to create a new kind of super soldier for its paramilitary.
For their prelimary test, they decided to use a fetus as the prototype (the project was still too grounded in its developmental stages to risk sacrificing a grown human being). Therefore, Hojo offered the unborn child of his lover Lucretia (although it is hinted that the child may in fact be Vincent Valentine’s) for the experiment. The test succeeded and resulted in a healthy baby boy who would later on be known as Sephiroth. He grew up to be the ultimate SOLDIER and became a hero for his exploits in the war with Wutai. However, he never knew anything about his parents or his true origin, only that the name of his mother was “Jenova”.
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