Cloud Strife is the main character of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, being the main protagonist in both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. He also appears in the spin-off games Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- as a support character. In addition, he makes an appearance in Final Fantasy Tactics as a playable character earned through completing a series of side quests. Like other heroes of the Final Fantasy series, he appears in Dissidia Final Fantasy on the side of Cosmos, representing Final Fantasy VII.
An arrogant swordsman at first, Cloud must come to terms with the fact his memories are false and rediscover who he truly is. In a theme that has carried over to many of his other appearances since Final Fantasy VII, Cloud attempts to leave his dark and tortured past behind. His arch rival Sephiroth, having killed many of Cloud's friends, is the metaphorical embodiment of Cloud's dark memories, and the two have done battle several times to finish their conflict.
Cloud is of short height with a slim build. His blond hair is spiked, and in Final Fantasy VII featured one particularly large spike emerging into the air. For this reason, Cloud's spiked hair has become one of the trademarks of his appearance, although in later appearances the spikes have been toned down. Cloud was originally conceptualized with black hair, but this was changed, and his hair is meant to serve as a contrast to Sephiroth's silver hair. Cloud has blue eyes, which glow due to the Mako flowing through his body. Because "Mako eyes" are an icon of SOLDIER, Cloud is often mistaken as one. Cloud's weapon of choice is the iconic Buster Sword, a massive sword several feet long which Cloud wields in most of his appearances. Cloud's other trademark weapon is the set of Fusion Swords, six individual sword that connect together to form a larger sword similar in shape and size to the Buster Sword. Besides these two weapons, Cloud's arsenal generally consists of various broadswords and katanas in the games where he is playable.
Cloud's outfit in Final Fantasy VII, is the standard uniform for 1st Class SOLDIERs. The clothing consists of simple pants with a no-sleeved shirt, 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 also the uniform he wears for most of his other appearances, with slight variations. In Crisis Core, Cloud wears the uniform of a Shinra infantryman of blue clothing with several belts and straps and a gray-green piece of cloth around the collar. He also wears his helmet to hide his identity at times.
In Advent Children, Cloud's clothing design was made with fighting in mind, and the concept began with a black robe and was restructured into the final version seen in the film. Cloud's hair in particular was changed both to show the passage of time since the game, and to be more realistic. His clothing consists of a high collar black shirt with no sleeves, black pants and boots, and black cloth covering his left leg and arm; the cloth on his arm seems to mainly be to hide his Geostigma symptoms. Cloud also gains an entirely new pauldron, and his chest is covered by two straps, held in place by a badge representing Fenrir, the animal that has come to be associated with Cloud.
In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud's costume was designed to resemble Vincent Valentine's outfit. Cloud wears a tattered red cloak with dark blue pants and a shirt and brown boots. He wears gloves, the left of which has golden trimmings, almost like a claw. His costume also features many crossing belts. Cloud's most distinctive trait in this appearance is a demonic black wing protruding from his left shoulder, meant to symbolize both his connection to Sephiroth, and the dark powers he is using. In Kingdom Hearts II, Cloud appears identical to his Advent Children self, save that his new sword is loosely bound as the Buster Sword was in Kingdom Hearts.
Template:Q In Final Fantasy VII, due to the combined effect of Mako poisoning and the influence of Jenova's cells in his body, Cloud unknowingly holds a fake persona created by the Jenova cells mixing his memories of Zack's personality with the somewhat cocky and selfish attitude he believes a SOLDIER 1st Class would have. However, during the game events he eventually restores his original personality, and shows genuine concern for the Planet's fate, a sharp contrast to his persona at the start of the game where he claimed he didn't care about the Planet and only agreed to help AVALANCHE for the right price. Once his true memories are restored, Cloud holds the same personality, although his guilt over the events he allowed to occur remains.
In Advent Children and many related appearances, Cloud is a much more somber and dark character, tormented by his past, including the deaths of Aerith and Zack. The final straw was when he contracted the terminal and incurable Geostigma, which added to his feelings of helplessness. Cloud decided to distance himself from his friends and live alone as he tries to keep his affliction secret and seek forgiveness so that he might find a cure. However, during the film Cloud faces his past both metaphorically and literally, with Sephiroth's rebirth, his visions of Aerith and shows of loyalty from his allies. These events allow him to forgive himself for the deaths of Zack and Aerith and move on, although as his appearances post-film are limited in Dirge of Cerberus, it is unclear what this ultimately means in terms of his personality and lifestyle. However, the mere fact that he is present to aid his old allies (and even cracks a slight joke), whereas in Advent Children, he would still have tried to avoid responsibility, shows that he has indeed moved on in his life.
In Crisis Core, Cloud is depicted as a rather shy but slightly more upbeat person who idolizes both Zack and Sephiroth. However, when Sephiroth burned down Nibelheim and badly wounded his friends Zack and Tifa, Cloud does not hesitate to avenge them by hurling the madman to his apparent death whilst himself being impaled with the Masamune.
Despite the dark feelings he may have, Cloud remains steadfastly loyal and true to those he cares about and is always driven to protect them, even going as far as to hide his pain and emotions so he could not worry them. Ultimately, it is his selfless and kind nature that gives him the ability to overcome Sephiroth time and again. His compassion is explored further when he brings Denzel back to Seventh Heaven and shares with Tifa an obligation to take care of the boy because of the guilt they felt for Sector 7's destruction. In addition, Cloud vows to find a cure for the Geostigma that has infected Denzel and many others. Because Cloud saved him, Denzel looks up to Cloud as an idol (much in contrast to Cloud's more fatal idolization for Sephiroth) and both share a strong bond. This is further depicted when Denzel is the first Geostigma victim Cloud heals in Aerith's old church. It is highly possible that Denzel would be next to carry out the hero legacy.
Cloud also has a lighter side, willingly cross-dress as a woman for a special mission at one point in Final Fantasy VII. He also has a dry, ironic wit in Dirge of Cerberus, when he cracks a joke with some of his allies. Overall, while he has a rather moody demeanor, his personality is not as brooding as that of Vincent Valentine, and does have a sense of humor. Like Yuffie Kisaragi, Cloud also suffers from motion sickness. It has been cured when Cloud upholds a fake SOLDIER persona, but returns when his true self is restored, although his ability to ride the Fenrir on delivery business suggests his motion sickness has somewhat improved.
In The Reunion Files for Advent Children, Nomura explained that while Cloud was initially depicted as a more upbeat character at the end of Final Fantasy VII, he chose to have Cloud be a character that fans would find more familiar, and the script was written to explain why Cloud had returned to such a frame of mind. Nomura also said that a great deal of care was taken to animate Cloud's face and expressions, and over thirty different models of his face were made. His face was modeled to keep "a stiff upper lip", with his emotions and thoughts being expressed through his eyes.
Cloud's childhood thus far has only been covered in Final Fantasy VII, in flashbacks. Cloud was born in the sleepy mountain village of Nibelheim, and was neighbors with Tifa Lockhart. His father died when he was young and was raised by his mother. Cloud grew up isolated from the rest of the village children, feeling himself somehow better than them, though it is implied he longed for the others' friendship. He developed a crush on Tifa, but hated her friends. Although the two consider each other (and are considered by others) to be childhood friends, by Tifa's own account they were not that close growing up, despite the fact he was her neighbor.
When Cloud was nine (1995), Tifa's mother died, and Tifa insisted she could meet her mother again by crossing Mt. Nibel. Cloud followed, and when Tifa was injured, the townsfolk believed the expedition up the mountain to be Cloud's idea, and Tifa's father forbade Cloud from approaching her. Cloud blamed himself for what happened to Tifa, thinking it was because of his own weakness that he failed to save her. As a result, Cloud developed a bit of an anger problem, always getting into fights, not even caring who it was with. Yet in spite of this new show of aggression, Cloud was still just a quiet kid who rarely had much of anything to do with the other kids in the village.
At the age of thirteen, Cloud learned of Sephiroth and his exploits. Resolving to become a hero like him, Cloud decided to set out and join SOLDIER. He called Tifa out to the water tower to tell her about his departure, hoping to impress her. Upon her request, he agreed to come save her if she ever found herself in trouble. The following spring, he left for Midgar in pursuit of his goal, as did Johnny, another Nibelheim youth trying out for SOLDIER.
Despite his bravado, Cloud is unable to make it into SOLDIER and becomes an ordinary Shinra infantryman. While working for Shinra he meets a first-class SOLDIER named Zack Fair in Modeoheim, and the two become friends after learning they are both "backwater experts." When he and Zack infiltrate a Mako Excavation Facility on the way to Modeoheim, they encounter Genesis and Dr. Hollander. When Hollander attempts to escape, Cloud was briefly successful in capturing him. However, Hollander managed to break free of Cloud's grip in the struggle. On June 28th, 0001, Cloud is ordered to protect Professor Rayleigh in Midgar from the insurgency organization AVALANCHE. Though he fails, both of their lives are saved by the Player Turk. Despite his failure Cloud shows off some impressive sword skills for just a regular infantryman.
On September 22nd, 0002, Cloud later returns to Nibelheim, along with Zack and Sephiroth to investigate a damaged reactor in Mt. Nibel, and Tifa is to act as their guide. Ashamed of his failure to join SOLDIER, Cloud hides his identity from the townspeople, and especially Tifa, though he does reveal himself to his mother. When the expedition reaches the reactor, Sephiroth discovers Professor Hojo's failed experiments with Mako soldiers as well as where Shinra had interred Jenova, which Sephiroth mistakenly believed was his mother.
Falling into madness, Sephiroth immerses himself in Professor Gast's writings and discovers his own dark past. He comes out from the Shinra Mansion basement on December 1st and sets about destroying the village. Cloud witnessed his mother's death in the ensuing fire and rushes to the reactor to confront Sephiroth where he finds both a wounded Tifa and a barely conscious Zack. A grief-stricken Cloud picked up Zack's Buster Sword, catching Sephiroth off guard in the reactor core, and impaling him, then returning to care for Tifa, in some accounts also having an affectionate conversation with her. Sephiroth, badly wounded, emerges from the reactor core, and when Cloud attacks again, Sephiroth stabs him with the Masamune. Cloud summoned unknown strength, and used the katana as a lever to hurl Sephiroth into the Mako pit below, though the observing Turk, who did not see this, assumed Sephiroth jumped in of his own volition and reported back to Shinra to this effect. Cloud collapsed immediately thereafter.
Afterward Cloud and Zack become Professor Hojo's test subjects. Injecting them with Jenova's cells and exposing them to Mako, Hojo attempts to test his Jenova Reunion Theory and turns them into Sephiroth Clones. Four years later (December 19th, 0006), Zack breaks out of his confinement and helps a comatose Cloud escape, giving him a SOLDIER uniform to wear because his old clothes were soaked with Mako. Due to the experiment, Cloud was in a weak and delirious state as he had reacted more strongly to the experiments than Zack, who was unaffected by the Mako experiments, due to being a member of SOLDIER. As they escaped, Zack speaks continuously to the unresponsive Cloud about his life and his plans for both of them to become mercenaries in Midgar after finding out that four years has passed since Hojo took them. Zack carries the comatose Cloud around, and though Cloud takes no part in the events, is present when Zack defeats Genesis.
After almost a year of running, the pair finally arrive outside of Midgar in September 0007. However, the Shinra forces finally catch up. Zack fights back to defend both Cloud and himself against overwhelming numbers. In the end, after single-handedly and heroically massacring the majority of the thousands of Shinra soldiers, Zack is gunned down by the last few, and Cloud is left for dead after the soldiers see him in his vegetative state. However, having witnessed the chaos, Cloud manages to crawl over to where Zack is mortally wounded. In his last few seconds, a blood-soaked Zack entrusts the Buster Sword to Cloud, and tells him that his legacy will live on inside Cloud, before dying. After some time Cloud, deeply distressed, scrambles to his feet, Buster Sword in hand, and begins trudging off towards Midgar. His final words to Zack were, "Good-night, Zack".
Shortly thereafter, in the Sector 7 Train Station, Cloud's shattered mind undergoes a radical transformation. Hojo's experiments, combined with his own weakened psyche, Jenova's mimicry abilities and the trauma of the events he has experienced, cause Cloud to impress Zack's memories, his ideal image of himself as well as Tifa's memories of him together to create an entirely new persona. What emerges in Cloud's mind is a reality in which he successfully joined SOLDIER and was Sephiroth's partner - Zack did not exist. Taking up Zack's plans (hinting that he may have been vaguely aware of what Zack was telling him), Cloud presents himself as a mercenary, believing himself a former First Class SOLDIER. Since the official SOLDIER process is similar to the experiments Hojo performed on him, Cloud possesses the abilities of a SOLDIER and his claim is accepted as true.
In Midgar, Cloud is found by Tifa, who is now a member of the anti-Shinra terrorist group AVALANCHE, along with Barret Wallace. Tifa, perplexed by oddities she notices in him, requests that Cloud help AVALANCHE in their struggle. Cloud joins AVALANCHE to attack the Sector 1 Reactor on December 9th, and the mission is a success. After blowing up the Sector 5 Reactor, Cloud gets separated from the others by falling into the slum church where Aeris Gainsborough grows flowers. While Cloud is absent, Tifa allows herself to be captured by a Shinra informant, Don Corneo in an attempt to get information out of him. Cloud and Aeris, after disguising Cloud as a woman, attempt to rescue her, after which the Don admits Shinra has found out AVALANCHE's base of operations.
To crush AVALANCHE, Shinra drops the plate over Sector 7 of Midgar, crushing the entire area; Biggs, and Wedge and Jessie are killed trying to stop them, and Aeris is captured taking Barret's daughter Marlene to safety. Cloud leads an attack on Shinra Headquarters to rescue her. There he meets with Red XIII, and sees Jenova's headless remains. However, the group is captured and imprisoned. During the night, Cloud awakens to find the prison doors open and the guards slaughtered. He, Aeris, Barret, Tifa, and Red XIII follow a blood trail to the top floor, only to find President Shinra impaled on Sephiroth's sword. Cloud fights briefly with the new head of Shinra, Rufus Shinra, and then escapes from Midgar on a motorcycle, the other members riding alongside in a pickup.
The group stays at an inn outside Midgar in Kalm where Cloud tells his version of the events of what happened on the day Nibelheim was burnt, with himself in Zack's place and Zack no longer present. Although Tifa knows the story isn't true, she remains silent, confused and bewildered. Cloud's grudge with Sephiroth explained, the next day the group sets out to track Sephiroth down, going through the Mythril Mines where the Turks reveal Sephiroth is headed to Junon. Cloud and the group sneak into Junon and a cargo ship bound for Costa Del Sol, meeting Yuffie Kisaragi on the way.
The journey to find Sephiroth leads them through North Corel and the Gold Saucer, where the manager Dio gives Cloud and his friends a buggy to assist them in their travels and the robot Cait Sith joins their cause. The buggy eventually breaks down, forcing the group to stay at Red XIII's hometown Cosmo Canyon, where the Elder Bugenhagen reveals critical information about the Planet and the Lifestream and the negative effects Shinra's drilling for Mako is having on them. When the group reaches Nibelheim, they find the town completely rebuilt, and inhabited by villagers who have no recollection of either Cloud or Tifa or the town ever having been burnt down. In the Shinra Mansion basement they find Vincent Valentine, who agrees to accompany them when they mention Sephiroth. In the mansion library, Sephiroth appears and alludes to a "reunion" that he feels Cloud should attend. Cloud and the group traverse Mt. Nibel and go to Rocket Town, where they attempt to steal Cid Highwind's plane and have it shot down by Shinra. Adding Cid to their roster of allies, the group returns to the Gold Saucer and claims the Keystone from Dio. Believing the Keystone to be pivotal to finding out what Sephiroth is planning, Cloud and the group are forced to stay the night when the trolley to the park breaks down. At this time, Cait Sith is revealed to be a Shinra spy, and steals the Keystone and turns it over to Tseng of the Turks.
Traveling to the Temple of the Ancients, Tseng is found wounded by Sephiroth, and he returns the Keystone. In the heart of the temple, Cloud finds Sephiroth, who reveals his plan to call the ultimate black magic, Meteor, which will deal a critical wound to the Planet. The Lifestream will emerge to heal this wound, and Sephiroth will absorb its energy, becoming a God. Sephiroth leaves as Cloud discovers the temple itself is the Black Materia. Cait Sith sacrifices himself to get it, but Sephiroth returns, and because Cloud had been injected with Jenova cells, Sephiroth has control over Cloud, and he hands over the Black Materia. He goes berserk and attacks Aeris, but his friends knock him out. While unconscious Aeris appears to him in a dream claiming only she can stop Sephiroth. When Cloud regains consciousness, Barret and Tifa tell him Aeris has left, and Cloud resolves to follow her to find the truth behind her words.
Cloud and company pursue Aeris through the Sleeping Forest to the Forgotten Capital. He finds her praying on an altar in the center of the city's underground complex, but suddenly takes up the Buster Sword and attempts to attack her, his mind under Sephiroth's control. Stopping himself in the nick of time when his allies shout at him to stop, Cloud watches as Sephiroth descends from above the altar and impales Aeris, killing her. Her death enrages Cloud, and the rest of the party mourns her passing. Cloud puts Aeris to rest and reveals to the party he has been under Sephiroth's control, and may become controlled again, asking his allies to stay with him despite this.
Finally arriving at the Northern Crater, Cloud momentarily regains the Black Materia and gives it to a party member of the player's choosing, not trusting himself. They then find the center of the crater, where Sephiroth appears and shows Cloud a partial vision of what really happened at Nibelheim, revealing Zack's presence in his stead but not Cloud's true part in the events. Shinra arrives afterwards, and Professor Hojo reveals his Jenova Reunion Theory that Cloud is a part of. Cloud comes to believe he was entirely created by Hojo and that even his name and memories of being Tifa's childhood friend belong to someone else. The shock of his fabricated past, combined with Hojo's revelations and accusations, shatter Cloud's mind. Using an illusion to trick the party member with the Black Materia into coming to Cloud's aid, Sephiroth has Cloud take it back from them and he and hands it to Sephiroth, who activates it. After Cloud apologizes to Tifa for being a fake, the crater begins to shake violently. AVALANCHE escapes, save for Barret and Tifa, and Cloud is left behind to fall into the Lifestream.
Surfacing at Mideel approximately a week later, Cloud has been subjected to intense Mako poisoning within the Lifestream, leaving him babbling and incoherent. Tifa stays to care for him while the rest of the party fights Shinra, who is risking a dangerous attempt to stop the Meteor that is now coming to the Planet. Ultimate Weapon attacks Mideel, and Tifa and Cloud fall into the Lifestream and into Cloud's subconscious. There, Tifa helps Cloud piece back together his true memories of his childhood by comparing their memories to find out which are true, while Tifa encourages Cloud to believe in his own existence. Restored to his true self, Cloud resumes command of the party again. With Bugenhagen's guidance, they discover Aerith had managed to summon Holy just before Sephiroth killed her; the ultimate white magic, it could stop Meteor, but Sephiroth is holding it back.
After taking their revenge upon the Shinra for all the wrongs the company has wrought to each member of the party, the group lands in the Northern Crater and descends into the depths of the planet to confront Sephiroth. After the party defeats Sephiroth's new god-like form, his mind is sent back into the Lifestream. Cloud, sensing Sephiroth is not dead follows him mentally into the Lifestream and defeats Sephiroth at last in one final duel of will. Returned to his body by Aeris just in time, Cloud and the party escape the crater on the Highwind moments before Holy emerges to fight Meteor. The nearness of Meteor, however, causes Holy to hold back its full power, until Aeris commands the Lifestream to emerge and push it back so that it may unleash its full power to destroy Meteor and save the planet.
In On the Way to a Smile: Case of Tifa, Cloud and Tifa build a new life together in the new city on Midgar's outskirts, called Edge, after the fall of Meteor; Cloud quits his mercenary job and takes up a job as a delivery boy via his new business, the "Strife Delivery Service".
One day while visiting Aerith's ruined church, a recently orphaned boy, Denzel, who had his family killed when the Sector 7 plate fell, finds Cloud's cellphone on his motorcycle. After Denzel attempts to call his home in Sector 7 and receives an error message, he calls 7th Heaven which he finds in Cloud's recent call log. Tifa picks up and asks Denzel why he has Cloud's cellphone. Denzel begins to cry and collapses from his Geostigma. When Cloud discovers Denzel, he takes him home to live with him, Marlene, and Tifa.
Although their new life as a family with Marlene and eventually Denzel is happy, Cloud eventually becomes insular. He eventually admits to Tifa that his problems are due to the fact that "you can't reclaim lost lives", referring to his perceived guilt in the deaths of Aerith and Zack. As the novella ends, Cloud moves out of their home and into the Sector 5 Church prior to the film.
In Case of the Lifestream, Cloud is mentioned as being the core of Sephiroth's being. By focusing on his hatred of Cloud, Sephiroth is able to avoid dissolution in the Lifestream, and believes that Cloud's memories of him can allow him to survive and eventually be revived. Aerith also thinks of Cloud during her attempts to battle Sephiroth's influence, eventually resolving to contact him and help him fight Sephiroth's infection on the Lifestream at the source - the plague Geostigma on the planet's surface.
Cloud has a few mentions in Hoshi wo Meguru Otome, a non-canon story focusing on Aerith. Here Aerith philosophizes around the Lifestream, and also contemplates her decision to leave Cloud, whom she admits she loves more than she did Zack. She later recalls Cloud's personality traits which were created by Cloud impressing Zack's memories into his own, and this conjures Zack's spirit to her. Aerith protects Tifa's mind from Mako poisoning when she and Cloud fall into the Lifestream, and when Cloud defeats Sephiroth, she helps him return to his body.
Template:Q Before the start of the movie, Cloud leaves his family to look for a cure for Denzel's Geostigma. Unfortunately he fails to do anything more than get himself infected, though with a much less serious case than Denzel. Due to his failure, Cloud falls into a familiar cycle of self-pity and grief, and so avoids calls from his friends.
When Advent Children opens, it is 0009, two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII. Cloud receives a call from Tifa that Reno has a job for him, and he is attacked by a mysterious trio of young men, three manifestations of Sephiroth's consciousness. Having reached Healin Lodge, Cloud is surprised to find Rufus still alive but suffering from Geostigma. The president offers Cloud to join them to fight off the trio, led by Kadaj. Cloud thinks about this, but rejects after Reno brings up the idea of rebuilding Shinra.
The three remnants begin luring and kidnapping children that possessed Geostigma, intending to have the children lead them to Jenova's lost head. Although reluctant to fight for fear of failure, Cloud goes to the Forgotten Capital after encouragement from Tifa and the Turks. On the way, he is visited by an apparition of Aerith, in which he declares that he is searching for forgiveness as well. Upon seeing Denzel and the other children under Kadaj's control, he confronts the trio for a second time but finds himself outmatched and is rescued by Vincent Valentine, who tells him about the true nature of Geostigma - a plague caused by Jenova's cells. Suddenly, Marlene runs into Cloud's arms worried about what had happened to Denzel but refusing to go home when Cloud asks Vincent to take her. Giving much thought about the conversations he previously had with his friends, he finally resolves to take Marlene home and confront Kadaj.
Back in Edge, Kadaj threatens Rufus and summons Bahamut SIN to attack the city. After Cloud drops Marlene off at the bar, where she tells him not to give up, he finds the strength to take up arms again. After rescuing Tifa and Denzel from life threatening perils, he defeats Bahamut SIN with help from his old allies. He eventually takes on Loz and Yazoo one more time while chasing Kadaj through the highway, and manages to slice their weapons (and Loz's bike) in half. Loz and Yazoo are seemingly killed in the explosion set by Reno and Rude during the chase. Confronting Kadaj once more, the battle eventually takes him back to Aerith's church, where the Lifestream-influenced water cures him of his Geostigma.
Cloud battles Kadaj once more and prevails, but the remnant absorbs Jenova's cells at the last moment and Sephiroth is reborn. The ensuing battle at the ruins of the Shinra Building proves to be fierce and nearly ends Cloud's life. He almost seems to be on the verge of defeat when Sephiroth stabs him through the shoulder, then 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, living and dead, Cloud regains his strength and overwhelms Sephiroth with "Omnislash Version 5." A different form of this technique, version 6, is used in Advent Children Complete. Defeated again, Sephiroth dissipates, leaving a dying Kadaj in his place. Seeing Aerith and hearing her voice, and believing her to be the "mother" he has been longing for, Kadaj reaches for her hand as he is diffused into pyrefly-like lifestream particles.
At this point, Loz and Yazoo appear and set off a kamikaze explosion that apparently kills all three of them. However, Cloud is not dead, merely in critical condition, and he is healed by the intervention of Aerith, reawakening in the pool that now occupies the church. After helping Denzel into the Lifestream-infused water in the old church to cure his Geostigma, Cloud sees Aerith and Zack near the doorway. Before they leave, Aerith's final words try to make sure that Cloud will be all right. He replies that he will, because he knows he is not alone anymore.
In the credits of the movie, Cloud is seen driving down a long highway. He passes a series of flower fields of varying sizes and flowers, and other shots of forests, mountains, and coasts are shown. The song that plays is "Safe and Sound", the thrust of which is of protecting's one's hopes and dreams, and never giving up, no matter how painful the struggle becomes. Aerith is seen standing in a field of yellow flowers and she turns towards the camera. The credits end with a shot of Cloud's desk, showing a picture of AVALANCHE taken after Cloud's awakening has joined the picture of his family, with two flowers in front of it.
In Advent Children Complete, the climax of Cloud's battle with Sephiroth is much more brutal. After being thrown through a wall, Cloud attacks Sephiroth with renewed strength using Omnislash. However, Sephiroth repels the attack and impales Cloud through the chest, and then flings him into the air, continuing his assault with a flurry of thrusts, stabbing Cloud multiple times before flinging him back to the ground. At this time Zack appears to Cloud and speaks to him, giving him the strength to climb to his feet and keep fighting, finishing off Sephiroth with the new "Omnislash Version 6." In the credits, after the shot of Cloud's desk, a shot of the hill Zack died on can be seen, now devoid of the Buster Sword, but with a grove of yellow flowers in its place. The voice of Denzel can be heard to ask if this place is a grave, to which the voice of Cloud responds that it is not, but rather the place where a hero began his journey. The camera then fades to the Sector Five Church, where the Buster Sword, now shined and free of rust, now rests beside the waters.
In the original version of Advent Children, the song playing during the ending credits was "Calling", the theme of which was continually pressing on to overcome your troubles. Also during the same section of credits, a few short shots of Aerith in a large field of flowers are shown, as well as one where she turns around, watching Cloud drive by. Calling, and these shots of Aerith were removed for the Advent Children Complete version of the credits. There is also a scene showing flowers blooming on the hill where Zack died, and the Buster Sword laid to rest in the church.
In a DVD extra, Cloud is seen on a regular work day making deliveries, while taking calls from his friends. One call in particular came from Vincent Valentine, who has recently purchased a phone and tells Cloud that Yuffie has no right to call him. Cloud makes a run to Barret's place and receives three packages: one for Marlene, one for Denzel, and a "Closed for Business" sign from Yuffie, who has been trying to get a hold of him. The last call is to Tifa, asking her to close the bar the next day.
During the events of Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, which take place one year after Advent Children (2010). Cloud is not seen during the attack on Edge (assumed to have spirited away Denzel and Marlene as well) but later assists the WRO and Vincent Valentine in their struggle against the threat of Omega and Deep Ground. He leads the ground assault on Midgar, eventually facing Rosso the Crimson. The outcome of the duel is unknown, but both survive the encounter. He and the others eventually aid Vincent in Omega's destruction.
Interestingly, there are several posters of him found around Edge, showing a shadow of his original artwork from Final Fantasy VII on a green background. In addition, the sleeve that he tore off at the end of Advent Children is now back for unknown reasons. Template:- Template:Endspoiler
Equipment and StatsEdit
Cloud wields various broadswords and katana in battle, including the joke weapon Nail Bat and the iconic Buster Sword. His stats are well-balanced both physically and magically but he is best put in the front row to ensure solid attack power, though he can also be a great mage too. His Limit Breaks are the strongest in the game, but Cloud also learns them slower than anyone else. Cloud's stronger weapons include the Ultima Weapon, the strongest Base Attack stat weapon in the game, with 100, that grows stronger as Cloud has more HP, and the Apocalypse, one of only two equipment pieces in the game to give Triple Materia Growth.
In Final Fantasy Tactics, Cloud has similar stats to what he has in Final Fantasy VII, having good numbers in attack and magic but in order for him to use his Limit command, his Materia Blade must be equipped, though it does not need to be the primary weapon if two swords are equipped. He can still equip all other swords, save knight swords, as a SOLDIER, as well as ribbons. His worst feature is his Speed-oriented parameters, and will need the assistance of Time Magic to execute his attacks without fail, but all efforts are rewarded because his attacks can deal heavy damage to the targets. Template:-
- See videos of the various Breaks here.
Of the Final Fantasy VII party members, Cloud's Limit Breaks are the strongest of all. However, they are learned much slower, and Cloud typically needs to kill twice as many enemies as his comrades to learn his stronger techniques. His ultimate Limit Break Omnislash can be the most powerful move in the game providing that Ultima Weapon is equipped and Cloud has full HP. Against single enemies, this is even stronger than Knights of the Round, which hits thirteen times, while Omnislash hits fifteen times.
|Already known||Single physical attack with a downward slash dealing three times normal damage.||200px|
|Use Braver 8 times.||Single physical attack with three slices dealing 3.25 times normal damage and inflicting paralysis.||200px|
(Rending Flash Attack)
|Kill 120 enemies with Cloud.||Strikes and unleashes a wave of energy at a single enemy dealing 3.5 times normal damage, and hits other enemies for approximately 1.0 times damage with shockwaves.||200px|
|Use Blade Beam 7 times.||Strikes enemy, then jumps upwards running the sword along the enemy dealing 4.375 times normal damage.||200px|
|Kill 200 enemies with Cloud after learning Blade Beam.||Six meteors fall and hit random targets for 1.625 times normal damage each.||200px|
|Use Meteorain 6 times.||Hits all enemies with a tornado causing death and dealing 3.125 times normal damage for any enemy immune to death.||200px|
(Super-Ultimate War God Supreme Slash)
|Purchase at the Battle Square in the Gold Saucer||Hits random enemies 15 times under the effect of automatic critical hits for 0.75 times normal damage each hit.||200px|
Meteor Shots is one of Zack's Limit Breaks on the Digital Mind Wave, acquired after meeting Cloud on the way to Modeoheim. It functions identically to Cloud's Meteorain Limit Break, involving Zack leaping into the air and swinging the Buster Sword to send a barrage of meteorites to hit all enemies.
Cloud uses some of his Limit Breaks in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, such as Blade Beam (against Loz in the Forgotten Capital), Braver and Climhazzard (against Bahamut SIN), and Finishing Touch (against Kadaj). In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, Cloud also uses the original Omnislash in the battle with Sephiroth, but the attack is stopped before Cloud can deal the final blow as Sephiroth impales him with the Masamune.
In addition to the above, Cloud uses the new "Omnislash Version 5" Limit Break to defeat Sephiroth in Advent Children. Cloud can only use this Limit Break if he is using his new six part sword and if all pieces of this multi-piece broad sword are connected. The Limit Break involves Cloud separating his sword into its individual components, and attacking the opponent once with each sword. The term "Version 5" was adopted during development, and refers to the fact that it is the fifth version of the attack that was designed for the film. In Advent Children Complete, the attack was redesigned as a longer sequence of fourteen slashes instead of six, and was dubbed "Omnislash Version 6" by fans to reflect its status as the sixth version of the attack.
- Main article: Soldier (Final Fantasy Tactics)
Cloud has one more Limit Break in Final Fantasy Tactics, Cherry Blossom, which is based on Kjata's summoning attack from Final Fantasy VII. His other Limit Breaks are the same as those in Final Fantasy VII, except Braver is renamed Brave Slash. Their effects are also different.
Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit
In all his appearances within the series, Cloud's ultimate attack has been Omnislash. His other trademark moves are Braver, a leap upwards and swinging his weapon to unleash a shockwave upon landing, and the new move Sonic Blade, a sharp, short dash forward with his weapon extended. In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud gives Sora the Sonic Blade ability after fighting him, and Sora retains the ability in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+. Also in Chain of Memories, Sora can perform Cross-Slash, Cross-Slash+ and Omnislash as sleights involving Cloud's summon card.
Climhazzard and Blade Beam are two of Cloud's Brave Attacks, and his other Limit Breaks including Omnislash Version 5 are HP attacks. His EX Burst is his original Omnislash technique.
A few of Cloud's Limit Breaks have been used by Zack, the user of the Buster Sword before him. In Crisis Core, when Cloud's face appears on the Digital Mind Wave Zack performs Meteor Shots, which is very similar to Meteorain, involving Zack leaping into the air and swinging the Buster Sword to unleash a barrage of meteors. In Last Order, Zack uses an attack similar to Blade Beam, swinging the Buster Sword into the ground and unleashing a blast of blue energy. In Hoshi wo Meguru Otome, Zack remarks to Aerith that he had taught Cloud "his finisher", referring to the Omnislash technique. The validity of this claim is highly dubious due to the numerous contradictions in the novel that conflict with canon material, but all the same, this evidence shows that Zack and Cloud have used similar techniques. One possible explanation for this is that Cloud acquired some of Zack's skills when merging Zack's memories into his own.
In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Ceodore Harvey and Kain Highwind can use Band Abilities called Cross Slash and Cross Slash Prime. However, the name of these attacks are coincidental: a literal translation of the Japanese name for Cloud's technique is "Curse Slash", while "Cross Slash" in The After Years is also called as such in the Japanese version. Thus, the techniques only share a name in the English releases. Template:-
According to the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, in an early version of the script, the Reunion concept didn't exist, and Cloud was meant to be more directly controlled by Sephiroth. As Sephiroth fell to his death in the Nibelheim Mako Reactor, his strong will to live manifested itself in Cloud as he needed a body that could move freely to bring him the Black Materia. It would be told that Cloud's memories are just a phantom created by Sephiroth himself out of his emotions when he was "killed" in the Nibelheim Reactor. Cloud would later have discovered that due to the SOLDIER process, Sephiroth was directly trying to take control of him, and that Cloud's own complexes combined with Sephiroth's willpower, created his alternate persona that obscured who Cloud really was.
- Main article: Cloud (Boss)
Cloud is fought as a boss in the Training Mode of Before Crisis.
Cloud can be recruited by Ramza Beoulve's party in Final Fantasy Tactics. To do this, Ramza must first defeat Belias and enter Chapter 4 (he must have retained Mustadio Bunansa as a party member). At this point, he must return to the Clockwork City of Goug, where Mustadio's father Besrudio will have found Construct 8, but will be unable to power it up. Ramza must recruit Beowulf Cadmus from the Royal City of Lesalia and take him to the coal mine in the Mining Town of Gollund. After they save Reis Duelar, Ramza will obtain the Zodiac Stone necessary to activate Construct 8.
After Ramza has defeated Zalmour Lucianada for the second time, Besrudio will come up with a dimensional portal device, but again he cannot activate it. A rumor will subsequently circulate about Zeltennia Castle. After hearing it, Ramza can journey to Nelveska Temple and defeat Construct 7. Reis will revert to human form (and must be accepted again by Ramza), and Ramza will gain another Zodiac Stone. Taking it to Besrudio will cause Cloud to be summoned, but at this point, he will just run off.
On the way to Limberry Castle, Ramza must buy a flower from a flower girl in the Trade City of Sal Ghidos. He must then defeat Zalera and Adrammelech and then return to Sal Ghidos, where Cloud will attempt to save the flower girl, who is revealed to be called Aerith, from a group of thugs. Ramza must then help Cloud defeat the thugs. Cloud will then join the party, but will be unable to use his Limit Break skills without the Materia Blade, which is at the top of the tall pillar in Mount Bervenia. In Final Fantasy Tactics Cloud has an additional limit, Cherry Blossom. His stats are also very balanced, just like he was in Final Fantasy VII.
Curiously, while Final Fantasy VII lists Cloud's birthdate as August 19th, and Ultimania lists it as August 11th (making him a Leo), his zodiac sign in Final Fantasy Tactics is Aquarius. Cloud is also the only male character in Final Fantasy Tactics able to equip a Ribbon, which is otherwise only equippable by female characters. However, this ability is no longer unique on the PSP version, as the Onion Knight can also equip female-exclusive equipment.
Cloud makes an appearance as a secret character in this racing game, riding the Hardy-Daytona. Template:-
- Main article: Cloud Strife/Dissidia
Chaos has summoned a combined force of Final Fantasy's ultimate masters of evil. Cosmos, in an attempt to protect the Crystals, has summoned warriors to thwart their plans. Cloud is one of the chosen warriors, and stands as the hero representing Final Fantasy VII, opposing Sephiroth.
Seeking the Crystals in the company of Firion, Cecil, and Tidus, Cloud is seen by his comrades as a composed and level-headed warrior. However, Cloud later admits his hesitations for fighting to them, and departs to search for a reason to fight on his own. During the game, Sephiroth appears to Cloud to play with his emotions and demonstrate Cloud's lack of self-motivation, calling Cloud a puppet with no will of his own. Though he is apprehensive, Cloud nonetheless refutes Sephiroth's claims and continues onward to make his own path. Template:-
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
Cloud is a playable character in the PlayStation game Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring. He fights primarily with martial arts, but can wield the Buster Sword as well, for slower but stronger attacks. Cloud's special attacks include Omnislash, Braver, and Meteorain. His extra alternate costume gives him a Shinra Infantry uniform. His story title is "Guardian", and if you defeat him under the right conditions, you can then fight "Summoner" Tifa. Template:-
Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit
Cloud appears in the Kingdom Hearts series as a withdrawn and quiet swordsman seeking his archrival Sephiroth across several worlds, wishing to end a grudge between them. In the first game, he makes a deal with Hades that the god will help him find Sephiroth if Cloud kills Hercules. This eventually leads to a battle between Cloud and Sora, who Hades also orders Cloud to kill. However, Cloud fails in his endeavor, prompting Hades to release Cerberus. After Sora dispatches Cerberus, Cloud departs, but returns after Sora defeats Sephiroth to fight him. In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, a memory-based version of Cloud fulfills the same role, only seeking his lost memories instead of Sephiroth.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Cloud returns appearing in Hollow Bastion, wearing his outfit from Advent Children. Cloud again is seeking Sephiroth and confronts him after Sephiroth spars with Sora, although Cloud also helps Leon defend Hollow Bastion and in general is closer to the other Final Fantasy characters than before. In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, Cloud appears as a boss in various coliseum cups.
After the player beats Cloud in the Hercules Cup in the first Kingdom Hearts they receive get the Metal Chocobo keyblade, modeled after the Buster Sword. In Kingdom Hearts II after Sora watches Cloud and Sephiroth's fight Tifa gives him the Fenrir keyblade, modeled after the Fusion Swords.
A pair of Cloud costumes in his Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II respectively appear in Kingdom Hearts Mobile.
Itadaki Street SeriesEdit
Cloud appears as a character in both the Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special and Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable, alongside several other Final Fantasy VII characters. Template:-
Square-Enix Members Virtual WorldEdit
Users in Square-Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Cloud in his Advent Children attire. The avatar was released to celebrate the Japanese release of Advent Children Complete.
An artwork of Cloud and Aerith by Yoshitaka Amano titled "Tranquility" is shown on a wall in one scene of Parasite Eve. That picture, which can be seen below, was created by Amano to be used as a cover for the original Final Fantasy VII soundtrack.
In Parasite Eve II, there is a laboratory where Aya Brea tries to use a computer infected with a virus called "Fatekeeper". The anti-virus, "Cloud", is found inside the September issue of a magazine called "Aeris".
Cloud makes a brief cameo in two strips in the fan-made webcomic 8-Bit Theater as a potential Light Warrior. He is represented by a Fighter sprite, modified to fit his color scheme and to include his distinctive hair. His attempts to prove his skills to Fighter include using an overly-long and flashy summon sequence to summon a Chocobo, and showing off the Buster Sword, which is too heavy for him to hold and falls on top of him. After the latter, Fighter rejects him as a Light Warrior.
- In the Nibelheim flashback sequence in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud's menu portrait is different from his usual portrait. This makes Cloud one of a handful of characters to have more than one menu portrait in the same game. The portrait is also used for Cloud in the 1996 Final Fantasy VII demo.
- In Final Fantasy IX, a Buster Sword is shown on display in a weapons shop. When Zidane sees it, he says, "I remember a guy with spiky hair who carried something like this." In another part of Final Fantasy IX, a soldier and a flower girl can be found outside a church in Alexandria. The soldier, named Pluto Knight VII, says that he is very lucky to meet such a beautiful flower girl in a destroyed city. The flower girl says, "He's cute, but he isn't exactly Mr. Personality". As another reference, while acting in the game's ending play Zidane says "No cloud nor squall shall hinder us," also a reference to the protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII, Squall Leonhart.
- Cloud is one of the characters featured in Monty Oum's Dead Fantasy series in his Advent Children attire. He makes his first appearance at the end of Dead Fantasy IV, and saves the weakened Yuna from the Kasumi X clones. After Kasumi and the clones disappear, Cloud and Yuna leave the area on Fenrir. While on the road, Yuna collapses on Cloud's back from the battle, and Cloud has a flashback of Tifa about to walk off the cliff where Zack's Buster Sword is. He and Yuna appear again at the end of Dead Fantasy V, where he watches a helicopter that has Tifa fly towards a luxurious city. It seems that DOAETC is in that city, and that Cloud and Yuna will infiltrate the place to rescue Tifa. Apparently, Yuna reminds Cloud of Aerith.
- In the French translation of Final Fantasy VII his name is mistakenly translated as "Clad Strife". His name is properly translated in all other Compilation entries.
- In several episodes of Template:W, Cloud can be seen walking across a street in Japan during Jerry's fantasy of life in Japan.
- Cloud, along with Aerith, appeared in the PlayStation 3 tech demo which recreated the opening sequence of Final Fantasy VII in advanced graphics. His scene of leaping from the train showed only him, however, with no Shinra or AVALANCHE members present. His hair was also modeled after his Crisis Core and Advent Children appearances.
- Cloud has the most player-controlled appearances of any character in the Final Fantasy series, and the second most appearances altogether, behind Gilgamesh.
- In the TV show Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island, Coconut Fred parodies Cloud through the episode "Sir Nutalot". He appears with Cloud's spiky blond hair, soldier attire, and buster sword but goes under the name of Sir Nutalot.
- Cloud has a brief mention in "Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series", in a rap where Marik Ishtar says he likes him more than Squall.
- For the instruction manual of Final Fantasy Origins, a Playstation remake of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II, Cloud is shown as an example name chosen for the Warrior class of Final Fantasy.
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