Cloud is the main protagonist of
Final Fantasy VII. He is introduced
as a mercenary and former member of SOLDIER. During a mission in which
he worked with the anti-Shinra organization AVALANCHE, he encounters a
young woman by the name of Aerith Gainsborough, who is wanted by the Turks.
Cloud was born in the sleepy mountain village of Nibelheim, along with
Tifa Lockhart. He grew up isolated
from the rest of the village children. However, when Tifa and the others
attempted to climb Mt. Nibel, Cloud followed them, Tifa fell from a bridge
and her father blamed Cloud. He resolved to join ShinRa's elite SOLDIER
force, hoping to prove to the others that he could be as strong as the
well-known SOLDIER 1st Class Sephiroth.
in the game, however, Cloud's past is a mystery. He claimed that he was
in the village of Nibelheim when Sephiroth went berserk and massacred the
local population. After finding Tifa wounded, Cloud confronts Sephiroth.
Yet, when examined closely, Cloud's memories of these events and others
are filled with empty plot-holes that prevent them from making sense. It
all comes together later in the game. As it turns out, Cloud suffers from
a mixture of amnesia and mind control. Although he had been in Nibelheim
during Sephiroth's rampage, he was not there as a top ranking member of
SOLDIER, but a regular ShinRa arm guard under the command of both Sephiroth
and another man named Zack Fair.
Following the incident, Cloud and Zack were captured by ShinRa and experimented
on with Jenova cells for several years. The two escaped but were chased
down. Zack was killed after trying to protect Cloud from the many Shinra
foot soldiers, Cloud crawls to Zack a few minutes before he dies. Zack
barely states "On my behalf---You will---Continue living. You are proof
that I existed. My dreams and pride, I give it all to you." to Cloud who
answers " I am proof that you existed. " showing the two's relationship.
Cloud leaves in a stupor, then is again seen on a train (just like Zack
in the beginning of Crisis Core) where he says, "I'm Cloud Strife. SOLDIER
1st Class.", this is where they leave off for Final Fantasy VII to begin.
was also featured in the Square + Disney crossover, Kingdom Hearts and
Kingdom Hearts 2, in which his design was somewhat re-invented. He is
also the star of the motion picture, Final Fantasy: Advent Children. Tifa,
and Yuffie are a few of his comrades.
Updated: Nov. 14th, 2015
FFVII is one of my all time favorite games... such a moody, gritty,
fun RPG. Naturally, I was ecstatic to see Cloud make his fighting game debut in Ehrgeiz in
1998. His fighting game debut could've been more fleshed out, but he at
least retained his cool style, personality, and even a few of his
badass sword techniques in Ehrgeiz. Cloud has also appeared in a ton of
other games, most recently: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Even though Smash
isn't a traditional fighter, I'm still glad to see Cloud mixing it up in the
Nintendo world and getting the exposure he (and FFVII) deserves.
Cloud's original look is still my favorite, but some of his other Kingdom Hearts designs
weren't bad either. His starring role in Final Fantasy: Advent Children also
took his design even further. Even though Cloud has appeared in an impressive
variety of games, I've still been waiting
for the day that Namco brings Cloud to the Soul Calibur series... I'd
love to see him (and Sephiroth) as guest fighters. It probably should've
happened already, but I won't lose hope. Let's go Cloudu.
Style / Moveset