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Contemplating Cetra genes... - Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
Contemplating Cetra genes...
Some random musings on Cetra genes and how they relate to the COI characters....

Warning: Loads of pseudo-scientific geekiness ahead!

As I've mentioned before, COI assumes that while some Cetra bloodlines remained relatively pure, a wide variety of Cetra genes have migrated into the human population via interbreeding over thousands of years. While many (if not most) humans have a few random Cetra genes, those genes are usually dormant, recessive, and/or have negligible or minor effects.

However, certain individuals have synergistic combinations (i.e., complexes) of Cetra genes which gives them extraordinary abilities which are often reflected in psychic-type powers and the person's reactions to Mako and other things (e.g., Jenova Cells, etc.). Those Cetra gene complexes fall into three broad categories or functions -- combat, support, and special. Some people have only one complex, but others have two or more (typically with one primary and one or or more secondary).

EDIT: High level genes provide a broad array of talents, abilities, and powers, while lower level genes provide narrower, more specific abilities, etc. High level genes include the same abilities as lower level genes, but stronger versions and more of them.

Examples of high-level Cetra gene complexes are:
(1) combat -- Attack, Protect, etc.
(2) support -- Heal, Bind, Veil, Create, etc.
(3) special -- Command, Morph, etc.
EDIT: Examples of mid-level or low-level Cetra genes are: Persuade, etc.

As in real life, genetics alone do not dictate an individual's behavior but they can strongly influence it. ^_^

Here are my tentative ideas on the Cetra genes various COI characters would have....

Sephiroth - Command / Attack - This genetic combo is pretty damn scary, and I think it suits Sephiroth perfectly. Command means 'to lead' and/or 'to control'. Attack implies a focus on the aggressive and offensive application of force or power. Throw in Jenova-CORE (i.e., hyper-predator) cells and you've got a VERY nasty combination that shouts 'uber living weapon'. Which he basically is.... And yes, I deliberately decided to make Attack secondary to Command, because his ability (and desire) to dominate and control is more dangerous than his fighting skills, formidable as those fighting skills are.

Zack - Bind / Protect - Zack's Protect aspect is pretty obvious. Protect implies the application of force and power in a more defensive manner than Attack. However, Protect does not mean that the individual is any less dangerous than a person with the Attack genes. Also, Protect does not automatically imply heroism in the classic RPG sense. The urge to protect can be directed to protecting only yourself, a single person, a small group of people, many people, etc. Bind may seem an odd choice for Zack's primary gene complex, but if one thinks of all the various meanings of the word, it makes a strange sort of sense. Bind can mean 'to confine or restrict', but it can also mean 'to unite' or 'to connect' or 'to anchor', etc.. Because of his personality, Zack is a people-person -- he 'connects' with people. He can be extremely likable and people are instinctively drawn to him. For Sephiroth, I can see Zack serving as anchor (connecting Sephiroth to normal humans and humanity), translator, facilitator, etc.

Aerith - Heal / Bind - Aerith positively screams Heal genes, doesn't she? Heal implies 'to restore' or 'to purify' and it suits her perfectly. And like Zack, she has an aura that draws people to her.

Cloud - Attack (combat-type) / ??? - Cloud has the Attack combat-type gene complex, no question about it, with all its associated talents and genetic gifts favoring the use of force. I haven't quite decided what his subordinate complex will be, but I'm fairly definite that it will NOT be Command. Any suggestions? EDIT: I'm considering giving Cloud double combat genes (Protect/Attack), which would make him a real combat beast and respresents his split personality -- Cloud utilizes Protect and Strife utilizes Attack.

Rufus - (combat-type) / ??? - Like Cloud, Rufus definitely will have a combat-type gene complex as primary. And like Cloud, I haven't quite decided what his secondary complex will be. It's not necessarily the same as Cloud's, either, because while they're very closely related, they aren't genetic clones. However, I do have a few ideas. One possibility is Attack / Protect, which makes him a very formidable opponent, being doubled in the combat area. Or if I decide to be mean to him, I'll saddle him with Heal and see how he copes with it. Or if I wanted to be really, truly evil, I can go the Protect / Heal route. All hail Rufus Shinra, savior and champion of the Planet, whether he likes it or not! ::evil laugh::

Vincent - (combat-type) / ??? - Perhaps some sort of shapeshifting gene as secondary? Or it could be primary. Help!

Hojo - if he has Command genes(a definite possibility), that raises interesting speculation as to exactly WHO is Sephiroth's biological father. ^_- Correction: I can really see Hojo having the Persuade gene.

EDIT: Reeve - probably the Create gene, just because of his intelligence and technological abilities.

SOLDIERs, especially the First Classes, definitely have some varying levels of combat-type Cetra genes.

Some Turks may also have some low level combat-type Cetra genes, considering that in COI, they're somewhat mako-enhanced.

As for the other characters, I'm completely open to suggestions on whether they should have any Cetra genes (and what type) or not.

EDIT: Just remember that Cetra genes are not only about behaviorial tendencies or desires, but the possession of special talents, abilities, or powers to accomplish those desires.

::looks around:: ::cricket chirping::

Okay, did I totally lose you guys? Or did I scare or bore everyone away? ^_^;;;;

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22 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
Comments
scarlet_haiz From: scarlet_haiz Date: March 6th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Zzz Zzz, nah just kidding.

I'm really liking this idea. Though to be completely honest I have no clue what would be a good secondary for Cloud, I kind of want to say bind, since he does seem to have a talent for drawing people to him, though in a different way than Zack and Aerith. The others I can't really say, so suprise me.

Nice work
Ciao XP
Scarlet
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 6th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Zzz Zzz, nah just kidding.

I do see what you mean about Cloud's charisma. He does appear to exhibit the traits of the Bind genes. However, remember that Cloud has unknowningly incorporated huge chunks of Zack's personality into his own.

But it's still an interesting possibility.... ::ponder::
fontech From: fontech Date: March 6th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I'd be more partial to the Protect / Command combination for Rufus, o.o; since like you said, Protect can be self-interest as well as for others (looking after the planet, mayhaps?), and the of course he does so love to order people around. My opinion, anyway, for what it's worth xD
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 6th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, AC shows that Rufus can be protective of his Turks. ^_^ So Protect is certainly a viable option for him. Combining that with Command has definite possibilities. Hmm......
(Deleted comment)
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 6th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Doubled combat-type genes is definitely possible. It's one of the possible options I listed for Rufus. But it could work for Cloud. Again, these genes are already potent on their own -- doubling is very nasty. ::snerk:: I like it!
(Deleted comment)
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 7th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm... I think's we need some more gene types.

Please! I'm open to suggestions! ::snivel::

The lower level genes are probably more narrow and specific (e.g., enhanced agility, better spell casting, etc.). The high level genes are much more comprehensive and deliberately vague, which means there are fewer distinct types.

Rufus definitely needs at least one combat-type gene set, but what it might be is pretty much up in the air. And preferably, it's one shared with Cloud, although I can be talked out it if need be.

I'm thinking of a Transform which would encompass shapeshifting, but I'm not sure whether that can be considered a special-type or combat-type gene. But the way you phrase it, Command might work, depending on how Vincent's transformations are handled.
bard_linn From: bard_linn Date: March 7th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I could almost see a stealth type thing going on too, an ability to hide one's self or others. (Cetra!Ninjas XD)Vincent could have that as a secondary and possibly Cloud too. Strife could be tapping into it. ^^
bard_linn From: bard_linn Date: March 7th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
...which then makes me think Cloud's using it subconciously, thus no on in the town notices him. XD

Cloud: *emo* No body talks to me! No body likes me!

Genes: HAHAHA that's because they don't NOTICE you!

madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 7th, 2007 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm... For a stealth-type gene, how about choices.

'veil' (to conceal, to mask or disguise)
'obscure' (to conceal, typically by confusion)

And an interesting choice for Cloud, but I see your point. ^_^
ffmasamune77 From: ffmasamune77 Date: March 7th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
( knows she is just a random person who has loved your fics forever and just now made a livejournal but ANYWHO )

I dont know why, but i would find Cloud having Protect or maybe something like Barrier as a second complex because of his mental state. Tries to shield his little mind away.

As for Rufus...I thought of Command and Protect since in DoC he TRIES to help the planet haha. But hey hes a changed person, protective of his turks too.

Now for Vincent...I would say maybe Morph and...dang it I forgot the second one I had in mind but if it was between the ones you already listed, I would probrably say Attack, or Protect. Attack because of his demons uncontrolable state when in a frenzy ( scary ) and protect from the need to prevent people from knowing about his past and inner demons. Hard choices really...( goes off to think of some things )
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 7th, 2007 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I dont know why, but i would find Cloud having Protect or maybe something like Barrier as a second complex because of his mental state. Tries to shield his little mind away.

For Cloud, I think that Protect by itself covers Cloud's attempt to protect himself by creating an alter ego.

Actually, I'm now seriously doubling Cloud in combat-type with Protect / Attack, with Cloud represeting the protection aspect, while Strife represents the attack aspect.

As for Rufus...I thought of Command and Protect since in DoC he TRIES to help the planet haha. But hey hes a changed person, protective of his turks too.

Protect also seems to be a popular choice for Rufus. ^_^

Now for Vincent...I would say maybe Morph and...dang it I forgot the second one I had in mind but if it was between the ones you already listed, I would probrably say Attack, or Protect. Attack because of his demons uncontrolable state when in a frenzy ( scary ) and protect from the need to prevent people from knowing about his past and inner demons.

Morph sounds like a really good name for a shapeshifting-type gene!
kittychan1986 From: kittychan1986 Date: March 7th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
So, I agree with Zack's definitely. Seph’s most probably. (I would actually give Seph something to do with healing. If you look at the character, it makes sense. It's just twisted and warped by his experiences) And I think the potential for saddling Rufus with the Protect/heal adds a very funny wrinkle to him.

I actually was thinking more about Lu in this, than Hojo or Vince. I would actually call her Gene Combo Compel/Command. As it's completely unconscious and/or hard to control, the fact that she made Vince follow her with that degree of fanaticism, and even managed to attract Hojo's attention. And probably had the same sort of effect on Gast as well. I don't know if I'd call it compel or Seduction, but she's got something that makes her almost irresistible to the men around her. And giving Hojo the command ability, and assuming that Command genes cannot work against one another (As seen by the fact that Seph couldn't make Hojo blow his brains out.)

I would give Vince an Attack/Heal combo with that. Vincent has this thing about wanting to fix people, and taking their blame upon himself. We don't know if the shape shifting thing was inherent to him, or if it's a genome that Hojo hardwired into his. So Vincent could technically have a three part set.

Hojo I'd give a double dose of command, it's the only way he could have kept something as intensely violent as Seph under control.

Cloud, I'd actually be mean to. I'd think that the Cetra would have some sort of 'Notice me not, I'm not important' Gene, which explains why Aeris was able to hide like she did. I'd give him an attack/notice-me-not. Only with Cloud, who focused on so much Negative in his childhood and young adult hood, this now projects the negative, reinforced self image he has of himself.

Reno I would give a protect/attack combo. it works for him. He wants desperately to protect his comrades and his family. He's also insanely strong.

Tseng, Strangely enough, I would give a bind/protect combo. He, like Zack, attracts a certain degree of almost blind faith. He's just fairly selective about it. He's also protective, but also picky about whom that sphere extends to.

I would give Reeve one gene, not two, and that would be protect. Or maybe a double dose of protect.

Cid doesn't need one, but if there were any special skill regarding flying or float, Cid would have it.

The compel gene is one that several people could use. If you ever notice how some people can innately make the atmosphere in a room change. I might give that one to Savios. Or to Zack.

It’s a very interesting thread to start, Madam. Very interesting.


madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 7th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
So, I agree with Zack's definitely. Seph’s most probably. (I would actually give Seph something to do with healing. If you look at the character, it makes sense. It's just twisted and warped by his experiences)

Well, with Sephiroth, with his wacky messed up genes, he could have more than two active gene sets, so he could have Heal as a tertiary gene. ::ponder::

And I think the potential for saddling Rufus with the Protect/heal adds a very funny wrinkle to him.

Yes, that would be evil of me. ::cackle::

I actually was thinking more about Lu in this, than Hojo or Vince. I would actually call her Gene Combo Compel/Command. As it's completely unconscious and/or hard to control, the fact that she made Vince follow her with that degree of fanaticism, and even managed to attract Hojo's attention. And probably had the same sort of effect on Gast as well. I don't know if I'd call it compel or Seduction, but she's got something that makes her almost irresistible to the men around her. And giving Hojo the command ability, and assuming that Command genes cannot work against one another

I have to say that I'm not that thrilled with Lucrecia's characterization in DoC. -_- But I can see your point about her. However, I'm reserving Command as a very rare gene, because it represents various abilities which enables the person to forcibly override another's will. Therefore, the aspect of 'compel' is completely encompassed by command. Which means that Rufus probably won't have it. ::ponder::

(As seen by the fact that Seph couldn't make Hojo blow his brains out.)

::blink:: When did this happen? And there's a good reason why the current COI-Sephiroth can't control others at the moment -- he's sane and therefore is mostly unaware of the ability and is not accessing his full genetic potential (including both Cetra genes and Jenova-CORE cells).

However, in view of your comments, I can see Lucrecia and Hojo having a lower level gene version of Command -- something like Persuade. I don't think 'compel' fits because they can't force another to obey them.

(cont'd)
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 7th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I would give Vince an Attack/Heal combo with that. Vincent has this thing about wanting to fix people, and taking their blame upon himself. We don't know if the shape shifting thing was inherent to him, or if it's a genome that Hojo hardwired into his. So Vincent could technically have a three part set.

Cetra genes are not just about the tendency or desire to behave in certain ways, the genes provide the actual abilities to carry out those behaviorial tendencies. Therefore, the mere desire to fix people, etc., is not the same as actually having the ability or potential to do it. Aeris clearly has both the desire to heal AND the abilities which enable her to heal.

Similarly, the mere desire to dominate and control others does not mean that the individual has the Cetra-type abilities to do so.

Hojo I'd give a double dose of command, it's the only way he could have kept something as intensely violent as Seph under control.

There's no indication that Hojo used anything except physical and mental intimidation to keep Sephiroth under control when he was young. Therefore, Hojo didn't 'compel' Sephiroth's obedience in the 'mind control' sense of the term. However, if we give Hojo the Persuade gene, then it's perfectly plausible that Hojo could convince Sephiroth to submit to his authority.

Cloud, I'd actually be mean to. I'd think that the Cetra would have some sort of 'Notice me not, I'm not important' Gene, which explains why Aeris was able to hide like she did. I'd give him an attack/notice-me-not. Only with Cloud, who focused on so much Negative in his childhood and young adult hood, this now projects the negative, reinforced self image he has of himself.

I'm definitely considering giving Cloud doubled combat genes. But something like Veil is a possible tertiary gene. ^_^

Reno I would give a protect/attack combo. it works for him. He wants desperately to protect his comrades and his family. He's also insanely strong.

The possession of multiple Cetra genes should be rare, so Reno probably would have only one high-level combat-type gene, or possibly only a generic lower level combat-type gene.

Tseng, Strangely enough, I would give a bind/protect combo. He, like Zack, attracts a certain degree of almost blind faith. He's just fairly selective about it. He's also protective, but also picky about whom that sphere extends to.

That sounds like a plausible combo for Tseng, but I would give him a lower level equivalent of Bind. Or he can have Persuade.

I would give Reeve one gene, not two, and that would be protect. Or maybe a double dose of protect.

Well, since Cetra genes are about both desire AND ability, I would personally give Reeve an intelligence-related gene. Create would sound like a good possibility.

Cid doesn't need one, but if there were any special skill regarding flying or float, Cid would have it.

Possibly a lower level gene. ::ponder::

The compel gene is one that several people could use. If you ever notice how some people can innately make the atmosphere in a room change. I might give that one to Savios. Or to Zack.

As I said before, people like Lucrecia and Hojo probably have something lower-level like Persuade because they CAN'T actually force people to obey them. Zack's Bind, being a high level gene, already encompasses Persuade.

As for Savois... that's a secret. ^_-

It’s a very interesting thread to start, Madam. Very interesting.

Thanks! ^_^
forgottenlover From: forgottenlover Date: March 7th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Just looking over the list, I for some reason want to suggest 'create' for Cloud. Unlike protect or bind, it's not in defense of self or others, but it isn't bringing anything together either. Instead it is a focus that sort of inspires things to happen, though not really in any conscious way. Such as those around him finding ways into their limitbreaks and things much easier with him close. So he'd be sort of a facilitator?

::hopes that made sense::
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 7th, 2007 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
It looks like you're talking about some sort of catalyst-type gene. Hey, it's a tried-and-true type of fictional psychic powers. Hmmm... how about this?

'spark'- to activate or stimulate, to act as catalyst.
forgottenlover From: forgottenlover Date: March 7th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, there! I couldn't thin of a name, but I knew what I wanted it to do. You think that might have any potential?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: March 8th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I think it could be useful. Hmmm...... ::plotplot::
forgottenlover From: forgottenlover Date: March 8th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
...I just realized your post keeps growing, and growing, and my tendency to read other people's comments means I didn't lose track of it ::beams:: win~

It's interesting to watch you brainstorm, I used to fangirl you when I entered fandom so I wondered how you came at your ideas back then. ::grins::
soloyuymaxwell From: soloyuymaxwell Date: March 8th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
*Glances blearily at clock* Um... 6:30am, and I barely understood all of that... ^^; I need more sleep, but I must unfortunately go to work. >.<

"Pseudo-scientific geekiness" indeed... @_@ Ah! my ride is here! I must go! ^^; That stuff you just rambled off... Yeah, sounds pretty cool. o.O I'll reread it when I'm fully awake...
__perplexity__ From: __perplexity__ Date: March 9th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
The pure genius of this blows me away.

I'm so sorry I have nothing intelligent to say on it, nor any decent opinions.

Just ... wow. Well played *respect plus thousand*
22 hisses or Hiss in my ear....