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Cloud Strife

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Cloud Strife
Cloud Strife FFVII artwork.png
Solo artwork of Cloud for Final Fantasy VII
クラウド・ストライフ
Kuraudo Sutoraifu
Birthplace Nibelheim
Date of birth August 11, 1986
Age 14-21 (Before Crisis and Crisis Core)
21 (Final Fantasy VII)
23 (Advent Children)
24 (Dirge of Cerberus)[1]
Gender Male
Height 173cm
Species Human (augmented with Mako and Jenova cells)
Blood type AB
Weapon(s) Sword (usually Buster Sword)
Affiliation AVALANCHE
Occupation FFVII: Mercenary
Former: Shinra Infantryman
Family Claudia Strife (mother)
English voice actor Steve Burton
Cody Christian (VII Remake)
Major Dodson (young, VII Remake)
Japanese voice actor Takahiro Sakurai
Kenyu Horiuchi (Ehrgeiz, arcade)
Nozomu Sasaki (Ehrgeiz, console)
Yukihiro Aizawa (young, VII Remake)
"Cloud" redirects here. For information about other subjects with the name "Cloud", see Cloud (disambiguation).

Cloud Strife is the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII and several of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII games. He is also a character in the Kingdom Hearts series and a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Cloud's signature weapon is the Buster Sword, a massive two-handed broadsword, which he uses in Final Fantasy VII and most of his spin-off appearances. His appearance is marked by spiky blonde hair, vivid blue eyes (a distinct feature of SOLDIER members and a sign of having been exposed to Mako energy), and dark purple or blue clothing.

In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud initially appears as a proud, yet arrogant and aloof swordsman who claims to be a former member of the elite paramilitary group SOLDIER, Cloud is hired by the insurgency group Avalanche as a mercenary to help them in their cause against the Shinra Electric Power Company. As Cloud's journey unfolds, he rediscovers his past and, alongside his childhood friend Tifa Lockhart and newfound friends within Avalanche, abandons his quest for power and fame in favor of fighting to defend his friends and their home planet Gaia.

Through each game in the Kingdom Hearts series, Cloud is portrayed as being especially stoic and melancholic compared to his usual personality in Final Fantasy VII, although he exhibits similar behavior in Advent Children.

Concept and creation[edit]

Early sketches of Cloud by Tetsuya Nomura

In contrast to Final Fantasy VI, which featured multiple main characters, Square's staff decided at the outset of Final Fantasy VII's development that the game would follow a single identifiable protagonist.[2] In Hironobu Sakaguchi's first plot treatment, a prototype for Cloud's character belonged to an organization attempting to destroy New York City's "Mako Reactors". After a pause in development so that the team could help finish Chrono Trigger, Square began experimenting with next-generation hardware. A small group including Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura worked in secret to develop a demo for a Nintendo 64 emulation kit running on an SGI Onyx. In addition to testing models ported from Square's 1995 SIGGRAPH demo, Nomura and a handful of other artists created new characters, including an early design of Cloud.[3]

Sakaguchi, impressed with Nomura's illustrations and detailed handwritten notes for Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI,[4] tasked Nomura with designing Final Fantasy VII's main characters. Kitase and Nomura discussed that Cloud would be the lead of three protagonists,[5] but Nomura did not receive character profiles or a completed scenario in advance. Left to imagine the stories behind the characters he designed, Nomura shared these details in discussions with staff or in separately penned notes.[6] Frustrated by the continued popularity of Final Fantasy IV's characters despite the release of two sequels, Nomura made it his goal to create a memorable cast.[5]

Cloud's design underwent several revisions. Nomura's first draft of Cloud featured slicked-back black hair to contrast with the long silver hair of the game's primary antagonist, Sephiroth,[7] To make Cloud stand out more and emphasize his role as the game's lead protagonist, Nomura altered Cloud's design to give him spiky, bright blond hair.[8] Nomura also made Cloud taller than he appeared in the SGI Onyx demo, while a discarded iteration drawn "more on the realistic side" depicted Cloud with an even taller head and body and a more muscular physique.[9]

Like with previous Final Fantasy titles, Yoshitaka Amano painted promotional images for Final Fantasy VII. According to Amano, because of the hardware limitations of the PlayStation, characters could not be rendered realistically. He thought Cloud's baggy pants, which taper at the bottom, reflected a Japanese style, resembling the silhouette of a hakama. The contrast between Cloud, a "young, passionate boy", and Sephiroth, a "more mature and cool" individual, struck Amano as "intriguing", though not unusual as a pairing.[10] When designing Cloud and Sephiroth, Nomura imagined a rivalry mirroring that of Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojirō, with Cloud and Sephiroth representing Musashi and Kojirō, respectively.[2]

Nomura's notes listed Cloud's job as magic swordsman (魔法剣士 mahō kenshi?). Early renditions of Cloud's weapon, the Buster Sword, depicted a smaller, thinner blade. Variations included additions such as a small chain connected to the pommel, magnets that would secure the blade to Cloud's back,[11] and a more detailed design that resembled a "Western-style sword".[9] The Buster Sword's blade grew in subsequent illustrations, and Nomura called it "the Giant Kitchen Knife", envisioning it as unrefined steel.[12]

Kitase and Nojima developed Cloud's backstory and his relationship to Sephiroth. While drafting the game's scenario, Nojima saw a standing animation created by event planner Motomu Toriyama that depicted "Cloud showing off". The animation impressed Nojima and inspired the idea that Cloud had developed a false persona. This later led Nojima to create Zack Fair, a SOLDIER whom Cloud aspired to be like, to expand on the mystery of Cloud's past. Nojima left the unfolding of events regarding Cloud's identity unwritten, and Kitase remained unaware of the significance of Zack's addition until playtesting. Kitase reviewed Nojima's scenario and felt that Cloud, being neither single-minded nor righteous, offered a fresh take on a protagonist. The love triangle between Cloud, Tifa Lockhart, and Aerith Gainsborough was also viewed as novel for the series. Nojima likened Cloud and Tifa's relationship to one of friends since nursery school, and compared Aerith to a transfer student arriving mid-term.[6]

Nojima wanted to write scenes in a way for players to decide what Cloud was thinking.[citation needed] Nojima used Cloud's foggy memories as a device to provide details about the world that would be unknown to the player but considered common knowledge to its inhabitants.[13] To emphasize Cloud's personality, event planners repeated elements they found interesting such as Toriyama's standing animation and Cloud's use of the phrase "not interested".[6]

History[edit]

Final Fantasy VII[edit]

In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is introduced as a mercenary claiming to be a former 1st Class SOLDIER operator. With those credentials, Cloud is hired by AVALANCHE's leader Barret Wallace to assist the group in bombing Mako Reactor 1. He causes friction with Barret, claiming to only be working for money, but the mission is successful. Returning to AVALANCHE's hideout at the Seventh Heaven bar, Cloud is approached by Tifa Lockhart about taking another job. He refuses, but is convinced after Tifa reminds him of his childhood promise to become a hero protect her.

Cloud meets Aerith
Cloud tells his past to the party in an inn in Kalm

Cloud takes on the bombing of Mako Reactor 5 with Barret and Tifa, but the group is ambushed by President Shinra and the Air Buster. After falling into the church at the Sector 5 slums, Cloud encounters the flower vendor Aerith Gainsborough, whom he first ran into in Sector 8 after bombing Reactor 1. Cloud agrees to become her bodyguard in exchange for a date. Cloud builds a rapport with Aerith, who offers her assistance to lead Cloud back to Sector 7 and to rescue Tifa in Sector 6, despite Cloud being her bodyguard and the danger present. At one point, Aerith notes that Cloud reminds her of an old boyfriend of hers, implied to be Zack Fair.

When the party escapes from Midgar, Cloud is appointed group leader by the other members. While resting with the party at an inn in Kalm, Cloud recalls his history with Sephiroth and the events that led to the latter's disappearance five years prior: according to Cloud, he joined SOLDIER to become like Sephiroth, and Sephiroth began to go insane while investigating the faulty Nibel Reactor in Cloud's hometown of Nibelheim. After an enraged Sephiroth burned down Nibelheim, Cloud followed him to the Nibel Reactor and found Tifa gravely wounded in front of the Jenova chamber; but he cannot remember what happened after confronting Sephiroth.

Cloud and Aerith on a date at the Gold Saucer

Cloud's behavior becomes erratic after searching for the Black Materia in the Temple of the Ancients. After he retrieves the Black Materia, Sephiroth starts telepathically controlling Cloud through the Jenova cells in his body, including forcing him to attack Aerith and hand him the Black Materia in the Temple of the Ancients. After Aerith is killed by Sephiroth, Cloud buries her in the lake at the Forgotten City.

Having realized Sephiroth can manipulate him, Cloud panics and slowly loses his grip on reality. At the North Crater, Professor Hojo reveals that Cloud's obsession with Sephiroth is a genetic influence from the Jenova cells in his body, as proof of the Jenova Reunion Theory; Sephiroth eventually shows him a vision of Cloud's memories of the Nibelheim Incident, with the 1st Class SOLDIER Zack Fair in his place, and he reveals he used an illusion to convince the party to give the Black Materia to Cloud. Cloud becomes convinced that his memories are false and he is a clone of Sephiroth created by Hojo. After Sephiroth summons Meteor, Cloud has a mental breakdown and falls into the Lifestream.

Tifa is in Cloud's Subconscious, helping Cloud regain his memory

A week later, the party finds Cloud comatose in Mideel. Diamond Weapon's attack on the town plunges Cloud and Tifa into the Lifestream, where Tifa helps rebuild Cloud's memories. She discovers that Cloud never qualified for SOLDIER like he'd claimed, and instead enlisted as a low-rank officer in Shinra's army. Cloud served under Sephiroth and Zack in the mission to the Nibel Reactor, and he hid his identity from Nibelheim's townspeople out of shame. After Sephiroth defeated Zack at the Reactor, Cloud took the injured Tifa to safety and took up Zack's sword to fight him. He ultimately defeated Sephiroth by lifting his sword and throwing him into the mako vat below, thus fulfilling his promise to save Tifa from danger.

Cloud and Zack were imprisoned by Shinra and forced into becoming test subjects for Hojo's experiments; Zack later escaped with Cloud, bringing him to the outskirts of Midgar before being gunned down by Shinra troopers. Due to the influence of Jenova cells planted in him by Hojo, Cloud gained false memories by mimicking his memories of Zack and Tifa, and obtained the physical ability of a SOLDIER 1st Class.

With his memories restored, Cloud finally accepts his true identity and resumes his role as party leader. Cloud's party defeats Sephiroth in the Northern Cave, but Sephiroth's mind is sent back into the Lifestream. Cloud mentally follows him into the Lifestream to finish him off one-to-one and is returned to his body by Tifa, just in time for the party to escape on the Highwind as Holy and the Lifestream to disintegrate Meteor.

Final Fantasy Tactics[edit]

FFT Cloud portrait.png

Cloud appears as a secret playable character in Final Fantasy Tactics. His signature job is Soldier, which is mostly focused on close-range, single-target physical attacks through the Limit skillset.

After defeating Construct 7, Ramza uses the Cancer auracite to activate a dimensional portal which pulls Cloud into the world of Ivalice. He becomes recruitable after a side mission in Sal Ghidos, where he saves a flower peddler from a gang trying to collect a debt of 30,000 gil.

Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring[edit]

Cloud is a playable character in Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, alongside Tifa Lockhart. His story title is "Guardian", and defeating him allows the player to fight Tifa. Unlike in Final Fantasy VII, he mainly fights with hand-to-hand melee combat, but can still use the Buster Sword for stronger attacks. His moveset includes Braver, Meteorain, and Omnislash.

Cloud and Tifa are the only guest characters with a third costume, and Cloud's depicts him in his Shinra infantry uniform.

Chocobo Racing[edit]

In Chocobo Racing, Cloud is the fifth of ten unlockable characters. In the game, he rides a motorcycle and appears much like he did during the bike chase scene in Final Fantasy VII. He is playable in all modes except the story mode.

Kingdom Hearts series[edit]

Kingdom Hearts Wiki article: Cloud Strife

Kingdom Hearts[edit]

Cloud, as he appears in Kingdom Hearts

In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud appears in the Olympus Coliseum world. He wears a claw and a crimson cape which Tetsuya Nomura stated are not Vincent Valentine's, but rather that Cloud's design in the game was made in a similar "dark" style as Nomura put it, therefore resulting in their similarities. This is noted by Nomura in the Kingdom Hearts Ultimania. He also bears a black demon wing on his left shoulder (meant to offset the black angel wing on Sephiroth's right shoulder). Cloud has been hired by Hades to kill Hercules, but fights Sora as a prerequisite. When he refuses to kill Sora during their battle, or when Sora defeated him depending on whether the player won or lost the battle, Hades sets Cerberus on Cloud and Sora, who are only saved by Hercules' timely intervention. Cloud meets with Sora afterwards and explains that he lost the light within his heart, and is searching for it, hence his willingness to work for Hades. Cloud appears later in the Coliseum's battle tournaments: in the Hercules Cup, on his own, and in the Hades Cup, where he teams up with Leon. During the credit roll at the end of the game, Cloud is shown reuniting with Aerith Gainsborough in the library at Hollow Bastion.

In the Kingdom Hearts Final Mix release, it is revealed that he is also searching for Sephiroth, whom he can be seen battling. Cloud's appearance in Kingdom Hearts is merely a cameo, and there is no mention of significant details from Final Fantasy VII, such as Jenova or SOLDIER. This is due to the fact that the Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts are versions from an alternate reality and not the same characters that appear in their respective games.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories[edit]

Cloud KHCOM sprite.png

In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Cloud appears as a boss and later, as a summon card for Sora. Cloud exists only as a figment of Sora's memory in this game. The story states that he sided with Hades to search for his lost memories (instead of Sephiroth) but, in the end, Cloud ended up saying too much, prompting Hades to confess he lied to Cloud, as he wanted him to weaken Hercules in order to take him to the Underworld. After Sora foiled Hades' plan, Cloud chose to continue seeking his memories - this time, by himself.

Kingdom Hearts II[edit]

Leon and Cloud in the Hollow Bastion world of Kingdom Hearts II.

Cloud's part continues in Kingdom Hearts II where he is in his Advent Children attire (and his wing is either missing or "hidden"), with more elaboration on his activities offered: to seek and overcome his darkness. He is searching for Sephiroth, and is himself being sought out by Kingdom Hearts's version of Tifa. Cloud fights along side Sora during the Heartless invasion of Hollow Bastion. According to Jiminy's journal, Cloud is a SOLDIER. Cloud's exploits in this game are a part of a small side story within the game about his inner conflict between darkness and light, in which he fights Sephiroth once more, with help from Tifa, Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy.

After the player defeats Sephiroth (as an optional boss), Tifa gives Sora the Keyblade Fenrir, which has bandages identical to those wrapped around Cloud's Buster Sword/Advent Children sword (in the Kingdom Hearts games) and is thus loosely based on Cloud's swords in general.

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII[edit]

Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII[edit]

Cloud plays a minor role in the cell phone game Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII. During the course of the game, which takes place over the six years leading into Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is encountered while he is serving as a lowly grunt under Zack and Sephiroth's command.

Final Fantasy VII Technical Demo for PS3[edit]

At E3 2005, Cloud was seen at the end of the technical demo, Final Fantasy VII Technical Demo for PS3. It is a remake of the opening sequence in Final Fantasy VII, and as in the original, Cloud is shown jumping off the train, this time wielding his Buster Sword.

Last Order: Final Fantasy VII[edit]

Cloud in Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.

Cloud is one of the main characters in Last Order: Final Fantasy VII. This OVA shows Cloud in two events that were shown in flashbacks in Final Fantasy VII; one at Nibelheim, and the other escaping from Shinra with Zack.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children[edit]

Cloud's appearance in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

In Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, it is revealed that in the two years following the conclusion of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud lived with Tifa and Barret in the city of Edge, and following Barret's return to his hometown of Corel, he helped Tifa raise two children, Marlene, Barret's adopted daughter, and Denzel, an orphan and new character to the series. Cloud's new occupation is that of a delivery boy for the "Strife Delivery Service" that Tifa set up in her new tavern.

Over time, Cloud began suffering symptoms of the disease Geostigma, keeping his left arm cloaked to hide the disfiguration it caused. Since the end of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud grew apart from the others out of the guilt for the deaths of Aerith and Zack, and a result, he moved out of the tavern and took refuge in the old church in which Aerith once raised flowers. Cloud's confusion in Final Fantasy VII has given way to severe grief, in which he cannot forgive himself for failing to save those he cared about.

Around the time Cloud receives a call from Tifa that Reno has a job for him, he is attacked by a mysterious trio of young men: Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo; remnants of Sephiroth left behind before Sephiroth himself could diffuse into the Lifestream completely. The three begin kidnapping children that possess Geostigma, intending to have the children lead them to Jenova's head. Upon confronting them for a second time, Cloud finds himself outmatched and is rescued by Vincent Valentine.

These conflicts form the basic plot elements of the film, as Cloud struggles to find faith in himself and achieve personal closure to the more painful events of his past. Finally coming to terms with his self-imposed guilt at having failed to save Zack and Aerith, Cloud shows the villainous trio his true power taking out Kadaj's brothers and going after a desperate Kadaj, but not without some help of his friends and motivation provided by Aerith's spirit.

Confronting Kadaj and his brothers once more, the battle eventually takes him back to Aerith's church, where the Lifestream-influenced water cures him of his Geostigma. However, his skills are put to the ultimate test when Kadaj manages to merge with the last remaining traces of Jenova, and Sephiroth is reborn. The ensuing battle is fierce, and nearly ends for Cloud as Sephiroth impales him through the shoulder with his sword. However, Sephiroth makes the mistake of asking what is most important to Cloud and how he can take that away from him. Inspired by thoughts of his friends, Cloud regains his strength and overwhelms Sephiroth with "Omnislash Version 5," a variant of the Omnislash Limit Break attack Cloud could use in Final Fantasy VII. When Sephiroth is once again defeated, he dissipates, leaving a dying Kadaj in his place. Hearing Aerith's voice, whom he believes to be the "mother" he had been longing for, Kadaj is diffused into the Lifestream. At this point Loz and Yazoo appear and set off a kamikaze explosion that apparently kills all three of them. However, Cloud's spirit is stopped from entering the Lifestream by Aerith and Zack and is resurrected, reappearing in Aerith's church.

As the film approaches its end, Cloud is helping Geostigma victims into the Lifestream-infused water in the old church when he spots Aerith near the doorway, where Zack is waiting for her. Before she leaves, Aerith turns around to gaze at Cloud one last time, assuring him that everything is all right before turning to walk through the light of the doorway with Zack. Cloud smiles and agrees, finally realizing that he is not alone.

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII[edit]

In Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, Cloud has a small supporting role. A year after the events of Advent Children, he offers his help to the WRO in their siege of Midgar and counterattack against the rogue Shinra military unit known as Deep Ground. Cloud's brief screen time limits him to only a few lines of dialogue, but he is at one point seen clashing with Rosso the Crimson, one of the game's primary adversaries.

Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding[edit]

In the defunct mobile title Final Fantasy VII Snowboarding, Cloud was the playable character. The gameplay is a simplified variant of the Snow Game from Final Fantasy VII, and the objective is for Cloud to snowboard a track and reach the end. He can do tricks from ramps and collect balloons, but must also avoid crashing into Moogle-shaped snowmen along the way.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII[edit]

In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is presented as a young Shinra infantryman who befriends Zack. During the game's conclusion, a dying Zack gives Cloud his Buster Sword, telling him that he is his legacy. The game ends with Cloud heading to Midgar, reprising the start of Final Fantasy VII. Zack and Cloud's connection was also meant to be expanded upon near the game's ending, with both of them planning to flee to Midgar. However, due to limitations in the console's hardware, these scenes could not be implemented, and instead, they decided to focus on Zack.

Itadaki Street series[edit]

In Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special and Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable, Cloud is one of the playable Final Fantasy VII characters, along with Aerith, Sephiroth, and Tifa.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U[edit]

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U artwork
Cloud's introduction card for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U

Cloud was added to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U as a downloadable fighter as of December 15, 2015.[14]

Most of Cloud's moveset is based on his Limit Breaks from Final Fantasy VII, with Blade Beam as his standard special; Cross-slash as his side special; and Climhazzard as his up special. Cloud has the Limit Gauge from Final Fantasy VII as a special mechanic, which boosts his stats when full, can be spent to power up one of his special moves, and allows him to use Finishing Touch as a Limit Break. His Final Smash is Omnislash.

Cloud's alternate colors are taken from the SOLDIER operators' uniforms (blue for 3rd, red for 2nd, and purple for 1st). His Advent Children outfit is also available as an alternate costume.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate artwork

Cloud appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an unlockable character in the base roster. He is rebalanced from his appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, with faster movement but lower damage output. As of version 10.1.0, his Advent Children costumes change his Final Smash into Omnislash Ver. 5, as depicted in the movie.

Abilities[edit]

Final Fantasy VII[edit]

In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud has the most rounded stats out of any playable character, but has Speed as his lowest stat. Cloud starts out at level 6, but right after he completes his first battle, Cloud upgrades to level 7.

Cloud starts out with the Buster Sword, but along the way, he can equip different swords, such as greatswords, katanas, and especially broadswords. Two of the most powerful broadswords that Cloud can use are the Ultima Weapon and the Apocalypse. In the cutscenes, Cloud is always shown to be wielding a Buster Sword.

Cloud can learn the following Limit Breaks:

Level no. Name Effect Obtained by
1 Braver Cloud performs a downward slash that does three times the normal damage. Available from the start
Cross-Slash Cloud slashes his target three times. If the target survives the attack, it might become paralyzed. Performing Braver 8 times
2 Blade Beam This attack unleashes waves of energy at a target, dealing three times as much damage. The remaining energy then splits into weaker waves that inflict normal damage upon the other enemies. Defeat 120 enemies
Climhazzard The move involves Cloud striking an enemy with his weapon, which he then slashes high into the air. As a result, the enemy takes a lot of damage. Use Blade Beam seven times
3 Meteorain Six meteors are unleashed, and they hit random targets. Defeat 200 enemies after obtaining Blade Beam
Finishing Touch Cloud creates a large whirlwind that inflicts Death upon each enemy, or massive damage to enemies who are invulnerable to Death. Use Meteorain six times
4 Omnislash Cloud slashes his enemy a total of 15 times. Depending on Cloud's level and other variables, the attack may perform a maximum of 9,999 damage. Learned from the Omnislash manual at the Gold Saucer

Like the other characters, whenever Cloud wins a battle, he performs a victory pose. Cloud's victory pose consists of him pumping his fist twice, spinning his sword in his right hand, and sheathing it on his back.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children[edit]

In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, instead of using the Buster Sword, Cloud uses the Fusion Swords, a collection of six swords that can combine into one. The individual swords have a variety of designs, and their fused form is directly based on the Buster Sword.

Cloud has an eighth additional Limit Break introduced, Omnislash Version 5, in which he splits the completed Fusion Sword assembly into its six individual parts, then performs a series of six slash attacks on an enemy. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, Cloud does a longer sequence of thirteen slashes using the attack. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as of version 10.1.0, Cloud can perform Omnislash Ver. 5 as his Final Smash.

General information[edit]

Physical description[edit]

Cloud has a height of 5'7" with a lean build and spiked blonde hair. Cloud has blue eyes, which glow due to the Mako flowing through his body. In his earlier appearances, Cloud's hair has one large spike emerging into the air. Cloud's spiked hair was also made shorter in his later appearances.

Cloud's outfit in Final Fantasy VII is the standard uniform for 1st Class SOLDIERs. The clothing consists of pants and a sleeveless shirt, both of which are indigo in color, and a belt. Cloud also wears brown boots and gauntlets with a single pauldron over his left shoulder. This is the uniform he wears for most of his other appearances, with slight variations.

In Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts coded, Cloud's appearance is similar to his from Final Fantasy VII. He was given a few more clothing attributes, including a flowing red cape and a metal claw on his left hand, much like Vincent Valentine. Compared to Vincent, Cloud has some notable differences with his design; protruding from Cloud's back is one large demonic wing, a counterpart to Sephiroth's angelic one. The wing is not always extended, and sometimes only appears when he Cloud uses Omnislash. Cloud retains his Buster Sword, although it is covered in bandages.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children introduces the Cloudy Wolf outfit, which entirely consists of black clothing. The Cloudy Wolf consists of a high collar sleeveless shirt, pants, and boots. Cloud is also wearing a black cloth that covers his left leg and arm, likely to hide his Geostigma symptoms. Cloud has a different pauldron, and his chest is covered by two straps, held in place by a badge representing Fenrir. Like the other party members, Cloud also wears a pink ribbon around his left arm in remembrance of Aerith Gainsborough, although the black clothing of the Cloudy Wolf obscures it for most of the movie.

In Kingdom Hearts II, Cloud's appearance is reused from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. He even retains the Fusion Swords from said film, but it is bandaged like the Buster Sword from the first Kingdom Hearts. The outlines of the component blades appear to be simply engraved, rather than actual edges. Cloud's wing is absent, although his face is nearly identical to Sephiroth's, an oddity remarked on by Goofy.

In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Cloud wears a blue uniform of a Shinra infantryman. There are several straps securing Cloud's pants; the straps near his ankles are small and bronze, and the straps near his kneecaps are larger and metallic. Cloud also wears a green cloth around his collar.

Personality[edit]

In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud starts out as a hard-hearted, selfish mercenary who shows no interest in heping others unless it is the task at hand. Cloud is uninterested in AVALANCHE's goal to save the Planet, and only agrees to help them in exchange for a lot of money. Later, it is revealed that Cloud unknowingly holds a fake persona because of the combined effect of Mako poisoning and the influence of Jenova's cells in his body, which mixes his memories of Zack's personality with what he perceives as the attitude of a SOLDIER 1st Class. Over the course of his journey, Cloud has more of his original, good-natured personality revealed. Parts of the game have dialogue that suggest that Cloud has romantic feelings for either Tifa or Aerith.

In Final Fantasy Advent Children, Cloud is a much more somber and dark character, tormented by guilt over what he perceives as his past failings, such as not preventing the deaths of Aerith and Zack. Cloud's feelings of helplessness were worsened when he contracted the terminal Geostigma plague. Deciding to distance himself from his friends, Cloud tries to keep his illness a secret so that he does not have any further grief. Throughout the film, Cloud faces his past both metaphorically and literally, and these events allow him to forgive himself and move on.

In the Kingdom Hearts series, Cloud is stoic and has similar melancholic characteristics as in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Despite this, Cloud is seen engaging in playful banter with Leon during the 1,000 Heartless invasion of Hollow Bastion, hinting at a friendly rivalry between the two.

List of appearances by date[edit]

Title Description Year of release System/format
Final Fantasy VII Main protagonist 1997 PlayStation
Final Fantasy Tactics Playable character 1997 PlayStation
Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring Playable character 1998 PlayStation
Chocobo Racing Playable character 1999 PlayStation
Kingdom Hearts Character 2002 PlayStation 2
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Character 2002 PlayStation 2
Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII Character 2004 Mobile phone
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Character, Boss 2004 Game Boy Advance
Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special Playable character 2004 PlayStation 2
Last Order: Final Fantasy VII Character 2005 Movie
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Character 2005 Movie
Kingdom Hearts II Character 2005 PlayStation 2
Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable Playable character 2006 PlayStation Portable
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Character 2006 PlayStation 2
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories Character 2007 PlayStation 2
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Character 2007 PlayStation Portable
Dissidia Final Fantasy Playable character 2008 PlayStation Portable
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Playable character 2011 PlayStation Portable
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Playable character 2012 Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Playable character (DLC) 2014 Nintendo 3DS
Final Fantasy Record Keeper Playable character 2014 iOS, Android
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Playable character (DLC) 2014 Wii U
Kingdom Hearts Union χ Character 2015 iOS, Android
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Playable character 2015 Arcade, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
World of Final Fantasy Playable character 2016 PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Playable character 2018 Nintendo Switch
Final Fantasy VII Remake Playable character 2020 PlayStation 4
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Playable character 2021 PlayStation 5

Trivia[edit]

  • Cloud is the only character in Final Fantasy VII that has two battle models. Besides his regular one, a more detailed version is used in the scripted battle taking place after the final battle.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud is comatose in Mideel, he mutters the word "Zenogias"; this is a mistranslation of Xenogears, a video game that Square was developing at the time. The translation was fixed in the PC version.
  • In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, Cloud's sword is wrapped in cloth. In the former game, the blade is the same as in Final Fantasy VII, but in Kingdom Hearts II, the blade is similar to his sword in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, with a few minor differences.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Official Complete Guide p.020
  2. ^ a b "Final Fantasy VII – 1997 Developer Interviews" (translated from Japanese). Shmuplations.
  3. ^ "Final Fantasy 7 An oral history". Polygon. Published January 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "How Final Fantasy V Was A Turning Point In Tetsuya Nomura’s Career". Siliconera. Published March 13, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Interview with Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura". Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue #196 (October 2005).
  6. ^ a b c Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania, pages 8–13.
  7. ^ "IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII". IGN (Wayback Machine, archive.is backup). Published April 30, 2008.
  8. ^ Flaregamer (archive.is)
  9. ^ a b "Nomura On Final Fantasy VII Remake, Kingdom Hearts III, And Cloud's Design That Never Was". Siliconera. Published March 9, 2017.
  10. ^ "The Art of Final Fantasy VII: An Interview with Yoshitaka Amano". YouTube. Uploaded January 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω, page 58.
  12. ^ Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children -Reunion Files-, page 7.
  13. ^ "Nojima Interview". GlitterBerri's Game Translations (archive.is).
  14. ^ Nintendo (November 12, 2015). Nintendo Direct Trailer. YouTube.
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