In an alternate timeline with subtle differences from what we know from FF7, a small group that gets around aboard the airship Avalanche has been waging a war against Shinra.
Meanwhile, Lord Sephiroth and his lackey Admiral Highwind aboard the Highwind have been searching for a strange "vergence" in the form of Marlene, the daughter of Barrett, leader of the insurgents.
Barrett, leader of the insurgent group, father of Marlene
Tifa, second in command of the insurgent group, friend of Barrett
Wedge, member of the insurgent group, pilot and mechanic of the Avalanche
Biggs and Jessie, members of the insurgent group, lovers
Cloud, recruited by Tifa at the start of the story, ex-SOLDIER, Tifa's former lover
President Shinra, head of The Shinra, tired old man
Vice President Rufus, the power behind the throne, soothsayer and master of subtle poisons
Lord Sephiroth, SOLDIER commander, Dark Lord
Admiral Highwind, commander of the airship Highwind
Hojo, top Shinra scientist, covets Marlene for his sinister experiments
Tseng, Turks leader, has seen it all
Rude and Reno, Turks, killers
Elena, Turk in training, the next generation
Aeris, flower girl in Midgar, Cetra, coveted by Don Corneo due to her beauty
Elmyra, Aeris' and Marlene's foster mother, war widow, friend of Barrett
Marlene, Barrett's daughter, mysterious "vergence"
Jenova, the mysterious she-beast from another world, imprisoned by The Shinra