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Overview

Rufus Shinra is the son of President Shinra, and the Vice President of the mega-corporation Shinra Electric Power Company, located in the city of Midgar in the role-playing game Final Fantasy VII.  After his father is murdered by Sephiroth, he becomes the new president of the company.  As the president of Shinra, he uses his power to oppose Cloud Strife & the anti-Shinra rebel group AVALANCHE.  He is also conducting his own pursuit of the legendary SOLDIER 1st CLASS Sephiroth, who has just recently been spotted for the first time, after having been long-thought dead 5 years ago during the Nibelheim Incident.

Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII

During the events of Before Crisis Rufus Shinra secretly acts as a spy within Shinra, relaying critical information to the rebel group AVALANCHE.  He pretends that he is doing this on the basis that he is supportive of AVALANCHE's goals, however he is merely doing it to try and usurp his father's position as president of the Shinra Electric Power Company.  He is eventually exposed in an effort by the Turks to gain the freedom of their previous leader Verdot and his daughter Elfé.  Verdot had defected from The Turks after finding out his daughter was the leader of AVALANCHE, thus he was wanted by Shinra.  Rufus' betrayal was never made public, and he was placed under house-arrest in Junon harbour.  His relocation was explained to Shinra employees as an extended overseas assignment.

Crisis Core: FInal Fantasy VII

Rufus does not make an appearance in Crisis Core, but his name is mentioned in a company e-mail sent out to all employees of Shinra.  The e-mail states that Rufus Shinra has been recently appointed to Vice President of the company.

Final Fantasy VII

Rufus operates as the Vice President of the Shinra Electric Power Company, until the fateful day that Sephiroth kills his father. Rufus flies in shortly after the body is discovered, and takes his place as President of the company. Shortly after his arrival, he engages in a two on one fight against Cloud Strife.  Realizing he cannot win, he escapes from Cloud via helicopter atop the roof of the Shinra building.

Rufus never directly fights against the party ever again, but he remains a constant obstacle for AVALANCHE throughout the remainder of the story.   His goal is to reach the Promised Land before Sephiroth and AVALANCHE.  He uses as many of the Shinra company's resources as possible to follow Cloud and AVALANCHE's movements, as well as track Sephiroth's whereabouts.

The party encounters Rufus once again at Junon habor, as Cloud Strife disguises himself as a Shinra Military grunt in order to sneak onboard the the ship headed for Costa del Sol.  He is alerted of the presence of Cloud's party onboard the ship, but he never actually encounters them.  He is infurtiated after reaching Costa del Sol, and informs Heidegger that he has no patience for failure, seeing as Cloud & friends, Sephiroth, and JENOVA were all spotted on the ship but none of them apprehended.

Shortly after Cloud meets Cid Highwind about borrowing the Tiny Bronco airplane in Rocket Town, Rufus appears in the town as well.  Cid believes that Rufus is interested in re-initiating the now defunct Space Program, but he currently has no interest in doing so.  His arrival in Rocket Town is due to his interest in obtaining the Tiny Bronco for his own use.  He sends Palmer to go retrieve the Tiny Bronco, however he is halted by Cloud & company, and they take the Tiny Bronco for themselves.  Rufus orders his Shinra troops to attack, and the Tiny Bronco is shot down and crashes into the ocean with AVALANCHE on board.  From then on, they use the Tiny Bronco as a makeshift boat, travelling only on the shallow waters of the coast.

Rufus also encounters AVALANCHE at the Nothern Crater where the JENOVA reunion is supposedly taking place.  They discover Sephiroth's body crystallized in mako, but due to Sephiroth being able to take control over Cloud's mind, Sephiroth controls Cloud into giving him the Black Materia.  Shortly afterwards, Sephiroth's body becomes dislodged and falls deep into the lifestream.  This causes the planet to awaken Ultima Weapon, Diamond Weapon, Sapphire Weapon, Ruby Weapon, and Emerald Weapon, in order to protect itself from the emerging threat.  Realizing the severity of the situation, Rufus escapes on the Highwind and returns to Junon Harbor with Tifa Lockhart and Barret Wallace as prisoners.  He has given the order to Scarlet to publicly execute them as a scapegoat for the WEAPON and meteor incidents which both occured at the Northern Crater.  The WEAPONs have been wreaking havoc on the inhabitants of the world, while Sephiroth has summoned meteor which has been lingering in the sky as a foreboding presence of the destruction to come.  Shortly afterwards Sapphire Weapon attacks Junon harbor, so Rufus orders Heidegger to fire the mako cannon.  The Mako cannon fails to stop Sapphire Weapon, who presumes to attack Junon harbor.  In the ensuing chaos, Barret manages to escape, but Tifa remains locked in a gas chamber.  Fortunately for her, Sapphire Weapon penetrates a large hole in the side of Junon harbour near her location, allowing her to escape.  Shortly afterwards the mako cannon is recharged, and Rufus destroys Sapphire Weapon by shooting it point blank in the face with the mako cannon.  In the process of their escape, AVALANCHE manage to steal the HIghwind aiship from Rufus.

In order to try and save the planet, Rufus orders the Shinra company to gather huge materia from as many Mako Reactors as possible.  His plan is to place all of the huge materia into the Shinra Rocket and launch it into the meteor, which he pressumes with effectively destroy it.  Cloud's group opposes this however, believing that the plan may not even work.  Fearing that they will forever lose the incredibly knowledge and wisdom of the ancients contained within the huge materia, AVALANCHE attempt to retrieve it.  Rufus goes through with the plan regardless of the stolen huge materia, but his plan fails to succeed, merely causing some damage to meteor, but failing to destroy it or lessen it's capacity for destruction in any meaningful way.

Becoming desperate out of fear that there is no possible way to win against Sephiroth, Rufus relocates the mako cannon to Midgar, where he believes it will be more powerful charged by the seven remaining mako reactors of the city.  He orders the mako cannon to be fired at the northern crater where Sephiroth is located, but at the same time Diamond Weapon launches an attack against Midgar.  AVALANCHE interfere with Diamond Weapon by battling it on the outskirts of Midgar.  After AVALANCHE defeat Diamond Weapon, it launches one final attack against the city.  The Mako cannon is fired at the same time, passing through Diamond Weapon, effectively killing it, while continuing on to destroy the barrier protecting Sephiroth at the Nothern Crater.  Rufus is seen being engulfed in an explosion on the top floor of Shinra HQ caused by Diamond Weapon's attack on Midgar.  Rufus does not reappear for the remainder of the story, and is presumed dead for the remainder of the game. 
 

On the Way to a Smile: The Case of Shinra

Rufus' survival is depicted in this novella.  Grievously injured from Diamond Weapon's assault on Shinra Headquarters, the President escapes from his destroyed office by use of an escape hatch constructed by his father.  He briefly resigns himself to death before being recovered by the Turks.  Falling unconscious, he's removed from the building and light-flighted to Kalm amidst Cloud, Vincent, and Tifa's battle against Hojo.  
  
Suffering from broken ribs and a shattered foot, Rufus is forced to recover while the Turks go about Midgar gathering information during Meteor's descent.  Unprotected, Rufus is captured by former soldiers from within Shinra's own military organization and beaten mercilessly by a man named Mutten.  By his own will to live, the President escapes Mutten only to be captured by Kilmster, the very doctor that had treated Rufus' initial injuries, and one of Hojo's former staff. 
 
The Turks are made aware of their leader's whereabouts soon afterward and assault Kilmster's hideout.  Despite the man's insanity, Rude and Tseng are able to overpower his forces while Reno and Elena rescue the President.   

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Despite the fact that it was made very clear that the original intent was to kill Rufus off in Final Fantasy VII, he reappears in the sequel movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.  Sending the Turks off to investigate the Northern Crater after Sephiroth's defeat, he discovers some of JENOVA's remains.  The Turks are attacked however, by a mysterious group of young warriors who are believed to be remnants of Sephiroth.

In fear of the remnants Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, who are in search for JENOVA, Rufus attempts to hire Cloud as a bodyguard.  Rufus is seen in a wheel chair, sporting many bandages and a white cloak which covers the majority of his body and face.  It is also revealed that Rufus is inflicted with deadly illness known as Geostigma.  Cloud, who is initially surprised to see Rufus alive, quickly becomes uninterested in Rufus' story as he attempts to explain how he survived two years ago.  Rufus mentions that he managed to get out of the building before Cloud interjects that he is going to leave.  Rufus explains to Cloud that he feels responsible for putting the world in the sorry state that it is in, and that his near-death experience opened his eyes to what is truly important in the world.  He also tells him that there were no remains of JENOVA discovered at the Northern Crater after their investigation, despite the fact that the Turks had actually retrieved some of JENOVA's remains.  He tries to get Cloud to protect him against Kadaj's gang by enticing him with the knowledge  that he would be protecting the kids at the orphanage, which with whom Cloud had been taking care of prior to himself being inflicted with Geostigma.  Reno also tries to intice Cloud into joining them by mentioning that they are trying to rebuild the Shinra company, and at this point Cloud states he is not interested and leaves.

Some time later, Rufus is visited by Kadaj who uses brutal force against Reno & Rude.  He also reveals to Rufus that he has Tseng and Elena held captive, indicating he has tortured them by revealing their identification cards which are stained with blood.  Rufus explains to Kadaj that he does not know where JENOVA's remains are being kept.  Kadaj then goes on to explain that with JENOVA's cells he could bring back Sephiroth.  He wishes to do this because he believes this is JENOVA's will (whom he refers to as mother).

Believing that JENOVA's remains are being kept hidden inside the monumental statue in the city of Edge, Kadaj orders Loz and Yazoo to pull it down.  This causes much protest from the inhabits of Edge.  Frustrated, Loz and Yazoo summon shadow creatures to attack them, while Kadaj summons Bahamut SIN to attack the townspeople.  Witnessing the destruction unfolding, Rufus stands up out of his wheelchair tossing his cloak aside revealing that he had been hiding JENOVA's remains with him the entire time.  He states that a true son would have known, and then throws JENOVA's remains off the ledge of the building.  Infuriated, Kadaj launches a magical attack at Rufus, who promptly dodges it.  Kadaj then jumps off the building in an attempt to retrieve JENOVA's remains.  Realizing the severity of the situation, Rufus jumps off the building after him and attempts to shoot the box containing JENOVA's remains.  He manages to damage the box but Kadaj retrieves it before it can be destroyed.  Tseng and Elena are then seen firing two nets across the building in order to catch Rufus from the fall, while Kadaj manages to land on his own two feet.

Rufus is not seen again until the end of the movie when everyone is being cured by Aerith's healing rain.  He is seen sitting in his wheelchair once again, alongside Reno, Rude, Tseng, and Elena, where he is finally cured of his Geostigma.

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

Rufus Shinra does not make an appearance in Dirge of Cerberus, however Reeve Tuesti mentions to Vincent that the W.R.O. (World Regenesis Organization) has been granted a ton of money by a mysterious benefactor who appears to owe a dept to the planet.  The logical assumption is that Rufus is the one finacially supporting the W.R.O. behind the scenes, since Reeve's explanation is nearly identical to what Rufus said to Cloud in Advent Children.  He is also one of the only people who could have that kind of wealth.  It is believed that he does so behind the scenes due to the reputation he had created for himself during the events of Final Fantasy VII, most notably not being very popular with the populace, as well as the fact that he could feel embarassed by his previous actions.  It is known however that Rufus feels responsible for many of the terrible things that had occured, including the destruction of Midgar, and thus is paying back his debt to the planet by contributing to its restoration.

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