My Thoughts on Cissnei
As I gathered and organized my thoughts into the written contents of this fansite, I found myself puzzled at Cissnei's actual personality beyond the little information known from her character profiles. Perhaps this was due to her being a minor character with limited appearances in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII or that she was mainly used as a device to deliver information to the player to help him/her get through the game, there was something about her that I just couldn't quite put my finger on.
Cissnei's character descriptions from different sources repeatedly mention that she was an orphan recognized by Shinra for her potential in becoming a future Turks member and was put through years and years of brutal training and education. She eventually became a Turks member and earned the title of the youngest member ever to join the Turks. Some of these descriptions go on to describe Cissnei as having a caring nature, especially towards her colleagues. Her caring nature was demonstrated in one instance when she led and drove off the Genesis Copy from a mother and daughter pair before Zack came to her rescue in Chapter 4 of the game.
It can also be argued that Cissnei is caring towards Zack because she sees him as a friend. However, when it comes to her caring for her fellow Turks members, very little is shown. This is also evident in Before Crisis. Perhaps due to Cissnei being a playable character but also as her own non-playable character when she was introduced at the beginning of Episode 18 when the player character wakes up from a coma, the only instance we see of her caring nature in Before Crisis was when she asked how the player character is feeling in the conversation immediately followed the player character waking up from his/her coma.17
Personally, I found that I have trouble understanding where her caring nature developed from. To some degree, I do believe that growing up in a harsh environment can make a person stronger and draw out nurturing instincts where one does not want to see other people go through the same difficult circumstances that the person himself/herself went through. But I also felt like I was missing something. Then again, in psychology, the matter of nature vs nurture in terms of what shapes our personality is always up for debate even though it is generally believed that both play a part in shaping our personality.
This also reminds me of Squall from Final Fantasy VIII, where he, along with most of the other main characters, came from the same orphanage but each turned out to have very different personalities as they grew up. During the course of the game, through interactions with the people around him, Squall's own personality changed and grew. Perhaps Cissnei's own interactions with the people around her, namely her colleagues, aided her in becoming a more care person.
To me, Cissnei does come across as a bit cheeky and a bit cynical at times, but mostly in a non-offensive kind of way that would make you just laugh it off. This is perhaps due to how her (English) voice actress portrayed her, which softens the blow when she is making her (teasingly) sarcastic comments at Zack, so to speak. (Then again, maybe I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor?)
Anyway, from the concept art of the different Turks members from Before Crisis, which was a game that came out before Crisis Core, Cissnei, along with the other playable Turks in that game, looked really badass, as a Turks member typically should and do (see Rude when he's not being a comic relief). Although Cissnei doesn't really seem that badass when you meet her in Crisis Core, she is not the damsel in distress type that waits for her prince to come to her rescue either. Rather, she is shown to be able to hold her own just fine, which I think is important for a Turks member.
Overall, I do enjoy the character known as Cissnei, but I feel that what I enjoyed seeing most was her interactions with Zack and their dynamics together.