Barret Wallace is a playable character in Final Fantasy VII. He is the leader of an eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE, trying to prevent Shinra Electric Power Company from using Mako, the planet of Gaia’s life source, as a form of energy. His seemingly benevolent cause of fighting for the Planet is a cover for his personal vendetta and anger, which he later must come to terms with. Despite his brash and sometimes violent attitude, Barret has a good heart, and is torn between fighting and caring for his daughter Marlene.
Barret is characterized early in Final Fantasy VII as a brash, gruff man with a short temper and a tendency to curse, although his mouth is not as bad as Cid Highwind’s. He is prone to firing his gun-arm into the air in fits of rage catching the attention of everyone around him.His rage is accompanied by a deeper, albeit rarely shown thoughtfulness. Barret later admits to Elmyra Gainsborough he wants to be with his daughter Marlene, but at the same time wants to save the Planet, the issue causing such dissonance he gives up trying to explain it.
Barret describes life with train metaphors, including one of his more well-known phrases, “there’s no gettin’ off this train we on ’till we reach the end of the line,” which he adopted from Cloud during the train rideafter their first successful AVALANCHE mission. Late in Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud and Tifa are absent, Barret first says he ought to be the leader, but then says he has come to realize he is not suitable, and elects Cid in his place.
In the novella On the Way to a Smile, he is character is examined on a deeper level, revealing his isolation due to viewing himself as a monster because of his gun-arm, and his search for a new meaning to his life after his vendetta with Shinra is settled. Still guilty over the chaos AVALANCHE caused, particularly the death of the group’s members under his leadership, Barret seeks both a normal life and a way to atone for his “minefield of mistakes” as the faction’s leader.
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