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Tifa's artwork for Final Fantasy VII
|Date of birth||May 3|
|English voice actor||Rachael Leigh Cook|
|Japanese voice actor||Yuko Minaguchi (Ehrgeiz)|
Ayumi Ito (all other appearances)
Tifa Lockhart is one of the main characters of Final Fantasy VII. She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura. She is an expert in Zangan-Ryu martial arts and uses her fists and feet as her weapons. Tifa has long, dark brown hair with the ends parted like a dolphin's tail, a large bosom, and deep brown eyes. She is voiced by Yuko Minaguchi in Ehrgeiz and by Ayumi Ito in the Japanese versions of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts II. She is voiced by Rachael Leigh Cook in the English versions.
In her debut appearance, Tifa is a member of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE and the owner of the 7th Heaven bar in Midgar. Tifa is the childhood friend of Cloud Strife. Tifa made a few appearances in the Kingdom Hearts series.
Final Fantasy VII
In Final Fantasy VII, Tifa first appears when Cloud and AVALANCHE return to 7th Heaven, which is both a bar owned by Tifa and AVALANCHE's base of operations. Following an argument with Barret, Cloud prepares to leave, but Tifa begs him to join AVALANCHE in their fight against the evil megacorporation, Shinra. At first, Cloud declines, but Tifa reminds him of his childhood promise from seven years ago. This triggers a flashback sequence showing both Cloud and Tifa at a water tower in their hometown, Nibelheim. In it, Cloud tells Tifa that he will be leaving to join SOLDIER. Tifa asks Cloud to promise to help her if ever she is in trouble, to which Cloud agrees. In the present, Cloud remembers his childhood promise to Tifa and agrees to continue being a member of AVALANCHE.
The next day, Tifa joins both Cloud and Barret on a new mission to blow up the No. 5 Reactor in Sector 5. There, the three of them encounter President Shinra, who unleashes Air Buster to fight them. After destroying the machine, Cloud becomes separated from Tifa and Barret, and he meets up with Aeris shortly after.
In Sector 6, Cloud and Aeris see Tifa riding to Wall Market via a chocobo carriage, and they go to look for her. With Aeris's help, Cloud dresses up as a woman in order to enter Corneo Hall, where Don Corneo is looking for a bride. Inside, he and Aeris discover Tifa in the basement. Cloud asks Tifa what she is doing in Corneo Hall. Tifa explains that she and Barret encountered a spy after completing their mission in Sector 5. After Barret interrogated the spy and found him to be working for Don Corneo, Tifa disguised herself as a potential bride and entered Corneo Hall, hoping to learn more about Shinra. Cloud, Aeris, and Tifa later confront Don Corneo, who admits that Shinra plans to destroy the Sector 7 plate, which would destroy AVALANCHE's base and kill the inhabitants. The three of them travel through the Sewer System and then Train Graveyard to reach Sector 7.
Before climbing the Sector 7 plate, Tifa requests Aeris to bring Marlene to safety. Tifa and Cloud then proceed to climb up the plate. They find Barret at the top, and the three of them fight Reno to try and stop him from destroying the plate. Although the three of them defeat Reno in battle, they fail to stop him from pressing a button that destroys the Sector 7 plate. However, the group manages to safely escape Sector 7 plate as it collapses.
Later, Tifa goes with Cloud and Barret to rescue Aeris from Shinra Building, where she is being held hostage by Shinra. As the group infiltrates the building, they are caught by the Turks and brought before President Shinra, who orders for them to be imprisoned in cells. Tifa is locked in a cell with Cloud. The next day, Cloud and Tifa find that the door to their cell has been mysteriously opened and a trail of blood on the floor. Cloud and Tifa free the other characters, and the group follows the trail of blood, which leads upstairs to a dead President Shinra impaled by a Masamune. Tifa recognizes the Masamune, and Cloud identifies it as being Sephiroth's. The party proceeds to make their escape from Shinra Building, and they travel down the Midgar Highway to escape from Midgar.
At Kalm, the party stays at an inn. Cloud tells Tifa and the others of his past experiences with Sephiroth, during which a flashback sequence is shown. In it, Tifa is first mentioned by her father, who tells Cloud to stay away from her because they do not need Shinra's assistance to protect Nibelheim. Outside of the narration, as Cloud is telling his story, Tifa asks Cloud various questions, such as if he entered her house or read a letter in her room. Later, during the flashback, Cloud and Sephiroth are about to go to Mt. Nibel to inspect the Nibel Reactor, and Sephiroth hired Tifa to be their guide. Tifa is forced to wait outside because the reactor is filled with Shinra's industrial secrets. Inside, Sephiroth tells Cloud about how SOLDIERS are injected in Mako energy. In the present, Tifa only now learns of this fact because of Cloud's backstory. At Shinra Mansion, Sephiorth learns about his origins, and leaves back to Nibel Reactor to revive Jenova. In the flashback, Tifa is last seen grieving over her father, whom Sephiroth killed along with the residents of Nibelheim.
At the Whirlwind Maze, located at the bottom of the Northern Crater, Sephiroth manipulates Cloud into believing that he is not a real person, but rather a creation of Professor Hojo. Even Tifa began to doubt her own memories. Sephiroth took the Black Materia from Cloud and awakened WEAPONs. Tifa and Barret fled on the Highwind, with Rufus and Hojo on board. Both Tifa and Barret are brought back to Junon and locked away.
When Tifa awakens, Barret opens the blinds to show her that Sephiroth has summoned the Meteor, which is slowly approaching the Planet. Rufus reveals his plan to execute both Tifa and Barret as a way to calm the people during the crisis. Scarlet locks Tifa in the gas chamber, but when the Sapphire WEAPON attacks, Tifa manages to break free and escape. Tifa makes her way to the end of the Sister Ray where she and Scarlet engage in a slapping fight. Tifa wins the match, and the Highwind flies overhead dangling a rope. Tifa catches the end of the rope, and the party escapes the area safely.
During Cloud's absence, Tifa becomes the party leader. They eventually find Cloud in Mideel, where he is suffering from mako poisoning. Tifa chooses to stay with Cloud while the other party members search for the Huge Materia. Later, Mideel is attacked by Diamond WEAPON, and the others begin to flee. Tifa pushes Cloud, who is bound to a wheelchair, out of the clinic. The Lifestream bursts through the ground, and both Tifa and Cloud fall into into the Lifestream.
Tifa enters Cloud's Subconscious and helps him piece together his memories and return him to normal. Through this, it is revealed that Cloud never became 1st Class SOLDIER, a title that instead went to Zack Fair, and Cloud never made it past being a Shinra infantryman. In one of Cloud's restored memories, it is shown that Cloud ran to the Nibel Reactor to find both Tifa and Zack seriously injured by Sephiroth, who had burnt down Nibelheim. Some events from Tifa's childhood are also shown in Cloud's memories. Despite being neighbors, Tifa and Cloud were not very close. Tifa's mother died when Tifa was eight years old. Tifa and her three friends left for Mt. Nibel, unaware that Cloud was following them. Tifa would soon be abandoned by her three friends, but Cloud continued to follow her to protect her. The bridge collapsed, dropping both Cloud and Tifa to the ground below. Tifa succumbed to a coma, and her father blamed Cloud for putting her in danger.
After Cloud's memory is restored, he and Tifa wash ashore near Mideel, where they party finds them and takes them aboard the Highwind. Cloud dismisses each party member to find their reason for fighting. However, Tifa stays behind with Cloud because she has no one left. The two of them spend the night together under the Highwind. The scene ensues depends on Cloud and Tifa's interactions with one another throughout their journey (some of it decided by the player). If Cloud has been harsh to Tifa throughout their journey, this is reflected within the scene. Otherwise, the scene is a lot more intimate, with Tifa and Cloud admitting to hearing one another's voice in the Lifestream. Cloud says that there are many things that he wants to tell her, but cannot find the words for it. Tifa tells Cloud that there are more ways to care for someone than just words. The scene shifts to dawn, and Tifa is sleeping with her head on Cloud's shoulder.
The next day, Cloud, Tifa, and the rest of the party unite for a final battle against Sephiroth at the North Crater. After a long battle, the party manages to defeat Sephiroth in his many forms. After delivering a final blow to Sephiroth in the Lifestream, Cloud looks up to see a hand reaching for his. Cloud regains consciousness and sees Tifa reaching for him, and he rescues her from falling. Back in the Highwind, Tifa and the others witness the Lifestream help Holy destroy the Meteor.
Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring
In Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring, Tifa makes her first appearance outside of the Final Fantasy franchise, as a playable character. She is one of the last bosses in the Arcade version, and her theme song was switched from her original theme from Final Fantasy VII to the Final Fantasy Prelude.
Itadaki Street Special
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile
Tifa is featured in "Episode: Tifa" of Final Fantasy VII: On the Way to a Smile, which is told from her point of view. It takes place after Sephiroth was defeated but before the events of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tifa, Cloud and Barret move to Edge, a new town being constructed just outside of Midgar, and set up a new 7th Heaven as they attempt to build a family life for themselves. After Barret leaves to settle his past, Cloud and Tifa tend to the orphan Denzel and Barret's adopted daughter, Marlene. During the story, Tifa tries hard to maintain a sense of family unity and the concept of a "normal family" itself. She particularly concerns herself with Cloud, as he begins isolating himself from her and the others as time goes on by living in Aerith's church.
Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-
Tifa also makes an appearance in the OVA Last Order -Final Fantasy VII-. Last Order retells the actual events of Nibelheim's destruction based on flashbacks in Final Fantasy VII. Though she has relatively little screen time, she stars as one of the main characters in the anime and appears in her mountain guide costume from the flashback in Final Fantasy VII. Tifa's superhuman strength is evident when she takes Sephiroth's sword and attempts to strike him with it. Realistically, a weapon of such length made of metal would be difficult to lift and swing with both hands; however she manages to heft and swing it with one hand, although it is possible that this strength was the result of the adrenaline rush produced from her rage and hate towards Sephiroth.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tifa returns as one of the main characters. Her main role is being emotional support for Cloud, urging him to come to terms with the unwarranted guilt he places on himself. She also displays a great deal of concern for the children in their care, particularly Marlene and Denzel. Tifa takes part in a one-on-one battle with the new villain, Loz, and later joins in the fight against Bahamut SIN. During the film, her athletic abilities, martial arts skills, strength, and agility are clearly proven to be superhuman. Her strength may have been above normal earlier than the film and the present time of the game. In the fight scene with Loz, Tifa shows her true power and knowledge of martial arts. Although she loses, she shows she can put up a fair fight..
Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-
Tifa has a small role in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, appearing most notably during the World Restoration Organization's full scale conflict with the Deep Ground organization. She goes into the battle with Barret and the WRO ground forces, sends Vincent the map of the Shinra building, and later throttles an enemy soldier helping to clear the way to Omega Weapon. She is seen at 7th Heaven in the final FMV, where she and Yuffie talk briefly about Vincent's apparent disappearance.
Kingdom Hearts II
Tifa makes a cameo appearance in Kingdom Hearts II, seen in her Advent Children attire. She appears in Radiant Garden, but when Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy meet her, they learn that she is searching for someone. The person turns out to be Cloud, who meanwhile looks for Sephiroth. In the Heartless war later in the game, she is seen to have sighted Cloud, who meets with Sephiroth briefly, to find that he has left, leaving her to fight the Heartless that quickly gathers.
During the war, Sora fights alongside her in Radiant Garden, as well as against her later, in the Olympus Coliseum. In battle, she has her famous "Final Heaven" limit break, as well as several other of her Limit skills from Final Fantasy VII, such as "Beat Rush" and "Water Kick". Tifa also gives Sora the Fenrir Keyblade if he defeats Sephiroth in an optional boss battle.
Before Tifa made an appearance in games with voice actors, many English-speaking players were confused on the pronunciation of her name. They were caught between /ˈtɪfə/ (as in Tiffany) and /ˈtiːfə/ (with the first vowel corresponding more closely to Japanese pronunciation). Once Advent Children was released, the name was pronounced consistently with its Japanese spelling as /tiɸa/ by the Japanese voice actors, which sounds to an English-speaker more like /ˈtiːfə/ than /ˈtɪfə/, yet some still speculated that the English release would change the name to sound more like "Tiffany". After all, the unlengthened Japanese vowel "i" (as found in the Japanese version of Tifa's name) is often used to represent /ɪ/ (the English "short i" sound, which isn't found in Japanese phonology) and its long counterpart "ī" is typically used for /iː/ (the English "long e" sound). The name's pronunciation was confirmed as /ˈtiːfə/ in an interview with Rachael Leigh Cook, who described Tifa's character in Kingdom Hearts II.
In On the Way to a Smile: Case of Tifa Tifa asks Cloud if he loves her, but quickly changes the question:
"Do you love me, Cloud?"
Cloud woke up, a dubious look on his face.
"Hey, Cloud. Do you love Marlene?"
The nature of an answer to Tifa's original question is left unexplored.
Despite the love triangle debate and some fanbase opinions, Tifa and Aeris are, for the most part, friendly towards each other. The two are not exactly close to the point of being best friends, but tend to be very civil and seem to enjoy each others' company. Ever since the scene in Don Corneo's mansion, it's obvious that Tifa does trust Aeris and cares about her safety (she showed the most concern when Tseng took Aeris away in the helicopter before the Sector 7 plate fell). She had no objection or second thoughts when it came to rescuing Aeris from the Shinra building (even when offered the choice of staying with Elmyra and Marlene).
The two are always seen talking together when the party travels to a new area, such as Junon and Cosmo Canyon. When Aeris dies, Tifa gently touched Aeris's hair, and ran in the other direction in tears. Despite her sadness, Tifa does not dwell on guilt over Aeris' death (as much as Cloud does) in Advent Children. At the end of the movie (on the Shera), Tifa looks up to the sky and somehow senses Aeris' presence, acknowledging the fact that Aeris had been watching over Cloud, and thanking her for it.
Although the two weren't the best of friends, they seemed to have a good understanding of each other. Aeris seems well aware of Tifa's feelings for Cloud and understands that she's a shy person. She also obviously has no intentions on hurting Tifa while the two compete for Cloud's affection (as seen in the Shinra building, when she mentions that she would go out with Cloud if he agreed to be her bodyguard, but only to jump in surprise when she realizes that Tifa is in the same room with him and heard what was being said). Tifa also understands that Aeris was more open with her feelings and (as she tells Cloud on the Gondala) that Aeris probably would have been able to just come out and tell him her feelings.
Despite being "rivals" in the love triangle, the two seemed to enjoy each other's presence and got along fairly well.
Although Tifa's Theme is not the most popular theme in the game series, her theme has made several brief appearances in many other character themes throughout the Final Fantasy series. Her theme also reappears in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children in the track Water (which can be looked at as a blend between both Aeris and Tifa's theme, for the bells sound like a fast-pace version of the chorus in Tifa's Theme, while the piano follows a much slower version of Aeris' chorus in her theme.) Others believe that Anxious Heart from the Final Fantasy VII OST is a much slower and dramatic version of Tifa's theme. There have also been several editions of Tifa's theme, mostly re-done with a piano, and her theme is also the first track on the Final Fantasy VII: Piano Collections CD.
- Tifa was originally illustrated in red clothing, which was later used as her alternate outfit in Ehrgeiz.
- Tifa was originally left-handed, along with Reno, Cid, Barret (after losing his right arm), Loz, Yazoo, Kadaj, and Sephiroth (although he was right-handed in the first Kingdom Hearts). In later Final Fantasy VII games, as well as in the movie Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and in Kingdom Hearts II, however, she is portrayed as being right-handed.
- Tifa was one of the only characters, along with Cloud and a few kids, Advent Children featured in its very early stages when it was still meant to be a 20-minute special for the fans.
- Tifa, along with Sephiroth, was originally intended to be an enemy in the Final Mix version of the original Kingdom Hearts. Because of time constraints, the staff members chose to incorporate Sephiroth and leave out Tifa.
- Tifa's original length of hair in Advent Children was cut shorter due to the difficulty of animating the sheer length and color. Lighting effects proved difficult while working with black hair.
- A poster depicting Tifa appears in a room in the city Etrenank in the PlayStation RPG Xenogears.
- Tifa was not originally present in the early drafts of Final Fantasy VII's story.