- Grant Access
- Track Account
- Gift Paid Account
Zack is a friendly, welcoming, social kind of guy -- the one who'll help old ladies across the street, or get a kid's wallet out of the gut of a monster (I kid you not, this is canon). He'd just as easily go take a beer with a friend or listen to your problems. He never turns down anyone in trouble, never abandons a friend, and his sense of honor and compassion is of the utmost importance to him. If he sees someone doing something he considers wrong, he'll call them on it, regardless of whether they're friend or foe. Beyond this, he is capable and practical in combat situations, a natural leader who knows how to trust his teammates and bring out the best in them. Zack's dream was originally to be remembered as a hero; with time and events, that goal morphed into a simple desire to help as many people as possible.
On top of this, Zack is a bit of a goof. It's been toned down considerably since his teenage days, but he often jokes with and teases friends, and he can be surprisingly clumsy when relaxed and off his guard; this also often endears him to children.
Underneath the cheer and energy and optimism, however, Zack is a man just like any other, and one who's been through more than most. He bears a great amount of guilt and hurt over certain events in his life, and he's suffered unimaginable psychological and physical torture on a number of occasions. Strong and possessed of an unusually assertive sense of self, Zack hasn't succumbed to these feelings, but there are times when they'll overwhelm him and he'll become stressed or withdrawn, and overall he's more toned-down than his younger self.
Zack is and has always been dedicated to his SOLDIER training, even if he no longer believes in ShinRa and what it stands for. He wholeheartedly stands behind the concept of SOLDIER honor that Angeal taught him, and never shirks practice, ever -- although he does also like to show off every once in a while, and there's a distinct flair to his combat that reflects this. (He especially loves putting on a show in front of women and kids.) Despite becoming more tactical over the years, he can still be very reckless, especially when angry -- and especially when it comes to Sephiroth and JENOVA. Years of training in SOLDIER have taught him to channel his anger rather than let it make him make mistakes, and when furious, he can still be a seriously deadly force. His self-discipline and experience carry over into other areas of his life as well, making him willing to deal with things even when he finds them distasteful or frightening, and allowing him to keep a level head in times of crisis.
ABILITIES & STRENGTHS
Zack has a great number of strengths and abilities thanks to his time in SOLDIER and his subsequent quest to save the Planet. His strength, speed, balance, endurance, night vision -- all physical qualities are enhanced to superhuman levels by the presence of mako, the liquid blood-energy of the Planet, in his system. It also allows him to use materia, crystallized mako that enables people on Gaia to use magic, with greater effect. Zack has been trained in fighting efficiently and interchangeably with a combination of high-level materia spells, many of them mastered, and a massive buster sword that was given to him by Angeal. He has extensive strategic and leadership skills, and a lot of knowledge regarding the inner workings of ShinRa, SOLDIER, and (to some extent) the Turks. This makes him familiar with most things military, and he tends to form rapports with other people in military situations. Zack is also more inclined to use dirty tactics than he once was, and a bit slower to give people his trust, making him more cautious and less gullible.
Thanks to the experimentation he suffered at the hands of Hojo, Zack was imbued with the cells of JENOVA, a parasitic alien being that fell to Gaia hundreds of years ago. Due to his SOLDIER training, psychological strength, and the mako that already existed in his system, these cells had little to no effect on Zack himself, although their presence in his body can cause strange mutations if they come into contact with the right catalysts (for example, a clone of Genesis accidentally consumed some of Zack's hair and wound up transforming into a horrific monster due to the JENOVA cells in the hair).
Part of Zack's training in SOLDIER also consisted of learning a combat technique known as Digital Mind Wave. This technique allows him to use thoughts of people close to him as a mental focus in order to perform attacks and spells that are normally beyond his ability, called Limit Breaks. It takes effort to use, and the Limit Break is usually random, as the mind tends to spin between a lot of thoughts during battle. His main Limit Breaks consist of Chain Slash, Octaslash, Rush Assault, Meteor Shot, Healing Wave, Lucky Stars, Apocalypse, and Omnislash, and do everything from mass enemy attacks, to healing, to making all of his physical attacks critical. He can also call Summons such as Ifrit, Bahamut, and Chocobos, and can fuse materia into new types.
Being from a mountainous country town known as Gongaga, Zack is even more well-adapted than most SOLDIERs to mountain hiking and bushcraft, and he speaks the rural dialect, a language
Zack is on a hairtrigger whenever it comes to Sephiroth, JENOVA, and Hojo. He has never forgiven Hojo for what he did to Cloud, Sephiroth, and countless other 'experiments', and he holds JENOVA responsible for Cloud and Sephiroth's insanity -- although he recognizes that Sephiroth welcomed JENOVA to a certain extent, and Zack can never forget that it was Sephiroth who caused Aeris' death and the destruction of Nibelheim. In the past, this fury has driven him to seek Sephiroth and JENOVA out even when he knows it's a bad idea, and has enabled people to use Sephiroth's name to goad him into fights on occasion. Zack's hatred for JENOVA is also an extreme manifestation of his recklessness and his passion, which tends to come out when he's at his most emotional, and can get him into trouble due to his acting on impulse rather than weighing out the pros and cons of a situation. His skills and natural instinct usually keep this from being a problem, but not always.
Zack's idealism, sense of honor, and unwillingness to leave people in trouble can also be a weakness, as it divides his energy between many people and often drags him out of his way. It can also sometimes lead him into vulnerable situations, such as having to take injury in order to protect a hostage or a bystander, or lead to altercations with people who don't want his help. Additionally, although he's slower to give it now than he was in the past, once Zack has given someone his trust it is total and implicit, meaning that any betrayals by close friends strike him hard and deep and give rise to a lot of anger.
The JENOVA cells and mako in Zack's system leave him vulnerable to various system complications, and the bright glow that the mako lends to his eyes both makes him easily identifiable and a target in the dark. It also makes him susceptible to mental pressure from anyone else with a significant amount of JENOVA cells in their system (such as Sephiroth) and from JENOVA herself (although this pressure can be staved off as long as he's holding Aeris' White Materia).
Zack's greatest emotional weakness is his guilt over all the people he was unable to save, especially those closest to him: Aeris, Angeal, Sephiroth, and Kunsel. He lost a great number of friends and subordinates in SOLDIER, and he considers himself personally responsible for not being able to prevent the destruction of Nibelheim, Hojo's torture of Cloud, or Cloud's destruction of SOLDIER. They are immediate and easy trauma buttons for him, and can drag him down into feelings of self-inadequacy and even self-disgust.
Ranged attacks are Zack's greatest physical weakness. While he can use magic to strike at targets outside of the Buster Sword's reach, and his speed and power enable him to physically attack enemies at a greater distance than normal, there are still weapons that can strike him from beyond that range, and he'll have to close the distance before he can engage them.
Certain hits are also sure things despite his skill and endurance. A shot to the head or the heart can kill him, although so far Zack has been quick enough to avoid any attacks that would be that immediately fatal.
Zack's history can be found here.
1st class, aeris, aerith, angeal, avalanche, barret, bladework, cait sith, cetra, cloud, dreams, flirting~, gaia, girls, gongaga, greatswords, honor, hot chocolate, internet, kittens, kunsel, mako, martial arts, materia, motorbikes, motorcycles, nanaki, pranks, sephiroth, shinra, soldier, sparring, squats, summons, swordfighting, template, the countryside, the lifestream, tifa, turks, vincent, yuffie