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    Cloud Strife 

Cloud Strife

"I pity you. You just don't get it at all... there's not a thing I don't cherish!"

Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Steve Burton (English)

A former top-ranking member of Shinra's elite paramilitary unit, SOLDIER. Now working as a mercenary-for-hire, Cloud takes a job with the anti-Shinra organization AVALANCHE to bring down his old employers. It's revealed during the game that he isn't what he seems: Cloud failed to qualify for SOLDIER and instead took a job as an infantryman. During a mission to Nibelheim with Sephiroth and his best friend and SOLDIER 1st Class Zack Fair, Sephiroth went berserk and injured Cloud and Zack, who were taken away as lab experiments for Professor Hojo. Zack broke them out years later but died in the escape, and Cloud, suffering from a great deal of physical and psychological trauma, impressed Zack's memories on his own, creating a false past and a false personality to match it. After the truth is revealed he suffers a Heroic BSoD, but thanks to a Journey to the Center of the Mind, he comes to terms with who he is and rebuilds his persona from the ground up.

Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Dissidia Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Ehrgeiz, Final Fantasy Tactics

  • Always Save the Girl: No matter the circumstance, Cloud drops everything to save Tifa and/or Aerith if they're in danger.
  • Angst: Boatloads of it. Most of it's justified too — if you came to the realization that the life you thought you had lived was a lie and you had spent the last four-five years comatose due to lab experiments after your hero and idol burned your hometown to the ground and left you for dead, you'd probably have some issues to work through too.
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves, specifically Fenrir, the name of the wolf that follows him in Advent Children and of his Cool Bike, which debuted in the same movie. However, this only applies to that movie.
  • Anime Hair: Cloud's infamous hair in Final Fantasy VII consists of several sharp spikes jutting into the air. Advent Children and related Compilation materials toned down the spikes to something more realistic.
  • Anti-Hero: Classical Anti-Hero who pretends to be a Pragmatic Hero. He arguably evolved into an actual hero by the end of the first game.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He idolised Sephiroth while growing up and got to fight at his side during the Nibelheim mission. Subverted in that he was only a Shinra mook at the time. Also, Sephiroth’s actions made him a case of Broken Pedestal for Cloud.
  • Badass Biker: One remarkable segment in the original game is Cloud driving a bike with one hand while slaying Shinra mooks with the other. In Advent Children he spends much of the film riding Fenrir looking cool, and in several fight scenes fights while riding it.
  • Badass Normal: Even before Hojo's experiments. As an inexperienced 16-year old, he managed to defeat even Sephiroth when they clashed.
  • Batter Up!: One of his weapons is the Nail Bat, who can be found in the Temple of the Ancients or bought for 2800 gil at Junon after obtaining the Highwind.
  • Beneath the Mask: Cloud spends most of the original game posing as the cold, aloof and confident mercenary he believed Zack to be. After Tifa restores his true personality during their time in his consciousness in the Lifestream, he admits to putting up a persona to protect his fragile ego.
  • BFS: His Buster Sword is emblematic of this trope, though his other swords are no slouch either, such as the Ultima Weapon.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: His Fusion Sword in Advent Children is six BFSs in one.
  • Bishōnen: Cloud is quite pretty for a man. In the game's infamous Wall Market sequence, a cross-dressing Cloud can beat out Tifa and Aerith as Don Corneo's girl of choice for the night.
  • Blade Spam: Omnislash, one of his Limit Breaks, in a series of fifteen sword attacks.
  • Blow You Away: Finishing Touch, one of his Limit Breaks, launches a tornado at opponents.
  • Blue Is Heroic: He is the main hero and wears a blue outfit. Played with when he was a mook at Shinra: he was still a good person but wore the blue uniform of an evil company. He goes on to wear black outfits after the original game.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Downplayed but present, Sephiroth is implied to be subtly influencing him throughout the game to make Cloud do what he wants.
  • Break the Haughty: As a child, Cloud avoided the other village children because he thought of himself as superior to them and like most boys his age, tried to become a hero like his idol Sephiroth by joining SOLDIER and was promptly rejected. However, it seemed like his claims of superiority was more a case of him trying to justify his own loneliness.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Averted. There are a few segments where you can play as a party without him, most notably when Cloud becomes comatose and has to stay in Mideel.
  • Catch Phrase: "Not interested", repeated several times in the original game, usually as a choice in dialogue trees. In the expanded universe it's used much less often, but still pops up enough to count. Bartz lampshades it in Dissidia when he mimics Cloud's voice in a match with him.
  • Chick Magnet: Tifa, Aerith, and Jessie have feelings for him. If you choose Yuffie as the Golden Saucer date, she kisses Cloud on the cheek on the gondola ride.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: His relationship with Tifa, who also grew up in Nibelheim with him. Because both of them Cannot Spit It Out though, it's ambiguous how far the romantic angle goes.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Crippling self-doubt and insecurity, tons of angst and guilt, and as a kid he was a loser and a failure.
  • Colony Drop: Meteorain, one of his Limit Breaks, shoots small meteors at opponents.
  • The Comically Serious: Cloud tries to keep his laid back and stoic demeanor even when faced with the weirdest and most humorous situations, such as the cross-dressing sidequest.
  • Courier: His career after the events of the main game; he became a deliveryman that traveled the planet.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Granted it was a roof, not a person, but it's how Cloud and Aerith got formally acquainted; he crashed through the roof of her church and woke up on the flowerbed with her standing over him.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: After the original game, he starts wearing black outfits, but is still as heroic as ever.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cloud has a very dry wit and tends to make small quips completely straightfaced. Under his false persona in VII wasn't as deadpan as later, but more snarky.
    Rufus: Cloud, you're an ex-SOLDIER, aren't you?
    Cloud: In my head.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Cloud's essentially been copying an actual SOLDIER named Zack through most of Final Fantasy VII.
  • Declaration of Protection:
    • He promises such to Tifa, and later becomes Aerith's bodyguard.
    • In Advent Children, he feels this way towards his entire family, which causes problems as his track record of success isn't very impressive.
  • Depending on the Writer: Cloud ranges from self-doubting and insecure Anti-Hero to a cocky and confident badass, sometimes in the same appearance. Justified due to the two or three personas he's adopted and come to terms with, an entirely consistent personality is probably not going to result from this.
  • Determinator: Cloud never gives up, even when all the odds are against him. Take the Nibelheim Incident; even with no powers or procedures yet performed to make him stronger, Cloud charges Sephiroth, widely considered the most powerful man on the planet, head-on. And even when impaled on his sword and hoisted into the air, he finds the strength to overpower him and turn the tables.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In Junon, Cloud disguises himself as a Shinra mook participating in Rufus’ welcoming ceremony, where he also has to learn the marching protocols.
  • Disappeared Dad: Was raised by his mother instead. It seems his father died when Cloud was young.
  • Disguised in Drag: The infamous crossdressing quest in Wall Market, which he undertook to save Tifa.
  • Doomed Hometown: In the backstory, Nibelheim was destroyed several years ago by Sephiroth.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Subverted. Cloud’s first appearance has him stylishly jumping from a train and acting like a cold and uncaring jerk. Yet, this entire personality displayed turns out to be a fabrication.
  • Fake Memories: Though it's something of a journey to figure out how and why he has them.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Cloud wears only one shoulder pad, on his left shoulder. It’s best seen in his official artwork, but is a feature of most of his outfits in the Compilation.
  • Flanderization: If you haven't played the original game, you'll be surprised at how non angsty Cloud was. He did angst and express hesitation and insecurities, but only at key points and for good reasons, and at the end of the game seemed perfectly fine. In his appearances since, he has been an angsty brooding loner. Square Enix states outright in The Reunion Files (basically the Ultimania for Advent Children) that they regressed his personality back to a mindset they thought fans would be more familiar with, making this a case of Pandering to the Base. In all fairness, it'd be downright absurd to think he'd just be emotionally fixed by the end of the game. Anyone who might go through what Cloud went through might need a few years to fully reconcile. Like 30 of them.
  • Guest Fighter: In Ehrgeiz, an obscure fighting game made by Square in late 1990s.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Cloud falls into this with three characters.
    • Cloud (shortish spiky hair, golden blond, pragmatic but unstable) and his rival Sephiroth (really long flowing hair, silver, otherworldly and collected).
    • Cloud (short blond spiky hair, pessimistic and more innocent) and his idol Zack (long black spiky hair, optimistic and more experienced). Note also that Zack's hairstyle was actually based on an early design for Cloud's that was changed because it wasn't striking enough - Cloud is the main character, while Zack is a backstory character whose entire existence is obscured from the player, with the ironic concept that he's a more 'main character'-type person than Cloud.
    • Cloud, (male, short blond hair, cool and collected when he's not being mind raped) and Tifa (female, long brown/black hair, enthusiastic (but keeps a lot of secrets to herself, and suffers for it).
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Despite adopting the persona of a cold and distant mercenary, at his core Cloud is a noble and heroic man.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: The flashback sequences in Nibelheim and later installments in the Compilation show that Cloud had that same spiky hair as a child and as a teenager.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: BFS's are preferred, although he does have a few katanas. As an infantryman, however, he favored an assault rifle and police baton.
  • Heroic Resolve: In his actual showdown with Sephiroth in the past, he managed to toss him into the Lifestream chasm below them, while being stabbed in the gut by his sword and lifted in the air. Keep in mind Cloud isn’t a part of SOLDIER was just a lowly mook at the time.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: So much that he attempted to adopt a whole different personality from his own because he really hated it that much. Fortunately, he grows out of it and learns to accept himself for who he is.
  • Heroic Willpower: Cloud fails at this throughout the game, with his issues of self-identity and self-loathing making him an easy puppet to Sephiroth’s mind controlling. However, he fully achieves this at his very final battle with Sephiroth, who is trying to break Cloud again, without success.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He stood helpless and watched as Sephiroth killed Aerith. More in Advent Children than in the game.
  • Ill Girl: Well, Ill Guy. In Advent Children, Cloud is suffering from Geostigma which also causes some ugly seizures. He was also afflicted with Mako Poisoning in the game.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: As a child, he thought himself better than the other kids, though it’s heavily implied he does it out of self-loathing. The arrogant mercenary persona he puts on throughout the game also fits.
  • Instant Expert: Cloud is shown driving multiple vehicles throughout the game. He drove a motorbike, a dune buggy given to his party by Dio, pilots a submarine and the Highwind.
  • Interspecies Romance: Cloud is a human who has a growing attraction to Aeris, the last of the Cetra race. Subverted when he ultimately hooks up with Tifa, a human like him.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Cloud has all around good stats and can fight with magic or weapons as needed.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted. Cloud isn't actually a jerk, his personality created after the events leading up to Zack's death is. After accepting himself for who is, we see Cloud is a brave and heroic man.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: After the WEAPON attack in Mideel, Cloud and Tifa fall into the Lifestream, where she then enters his mind and help him discover who he truly is.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Two of his swords are the Murasame and the Yoshiyuki, though Cloud generally favors western styled broadswords.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Cloud moves fast and has enough HP and stamina to take a good hit, and when he hits back it hurts a lot. Spin-offs like Dissidia and Kingdom Hearts instead depict him as a Mighty Glacier, moving and attacking slowly but doing a lot of damage.
  • Likes Older Women: When it comes to his attraction to Aeris, which is one year older than him. In fact, his mother once suggested that he find an older girlfriend. Subverted in that he hooks up with Tifa, who is one year younger than Cloud.
  • Loners Are Freaks: As a child he was anti-social and constantly got into fights because other kids picked on him.
  • Made of Iron: He survived a huge fall from the Shinra Headquarters to the Midgar Church and also managed to overpower Sephiroth while being impaled on the chest by him.
  • Meaningful Name: Cloud Strife, reflecting his inner turmoil and troubled life.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Cloud's an emotionally fragile young man who remembers things that never happened, suffers from bouts of depression, has a history of shutting down when life becomes too much to handle, and has serious problems with acknowledging his own self-worth. In spite of this, he soldiers on, and manages to overcome or mitigate many of these issues.
  • Momma's Boy: Cloud describes his mother as “vibrant” and once invited Zack to come to his house and try her cooking. Her death at the hands of Sephiroth is one of his (many) grudges against him.
  • Mook: In his backstory, it is shown this was his true rank within Shinra. He was just another one of the guards the party guns down the entire game.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Well-built, handsome, heroic, and very badass.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Cloud is portrayed as a rather odd-looking and emaciated young man yet he wields the Buster Sword like if it was nothing. It is justified because of his Mako enhancements.
  • New Meat: He’s the most recent addition to AVALANCHE when the story begins. In fact, the very first line of the game has Barret calling him “newcomer”.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: They also glow because of his Mako infusion; this is a mark of all members of SOLDIER.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: In the original game alone, Cloud slashed Shinra mooks with one hand on the Buster Sword and the other riding a bike. Also, his famous victory animation has him twirling his blade with one arm.
  • Only I Can Kill Him: Spin-offs seem to give him this role regarding Sephiroth, who shrugs off beatings from the Warrior of Light or Sora.
  • The Paralyzer: Cross-Slash, one of his Limit Breaks, can randomly cast Stop on an opponent.
  • Parental Substitute: To Denzel. In Advent Children, he even becomes a Disappeared Dad.
  • People Jars: Cloud was subject to this for years alongside Zack at Shinra’s hands. Both being thouroughly experimented on before Zack broke out and rescued Cloud along the way.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: At least in the original game, Cloud wore a blue outfit while Aerith had a pink dress. Later games have him wearing black.
  • Promotion to Parent: Raises Marlene and Denzel with Tifa after the events of original game.
  • The Quiet One: On his own Cloud is a fairly shy and silent figure.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Initially, what draws Aerith to Cloud is his resemblance to Zack.
  • Right Handed Mirror: To Sephiroth. Both are the result of experimentation with Mako and Jenova cells, but while right-handed Cloud regains his sanity and becomes a hero, Sephiroth descends into an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Cloud still wears the same SOLDIER outfit even after he’s working against them. Subverted in that he never was actually part of SOLDIER and his current costume is just one Zack found and gave to him.
  • Super Soldier: SOLDIER was comprised of humans who were exposed to large amounts of raw Mako (giving them their distinctive Glowing Eyes) and, in some cases, injected with Jenova cells, granting them superhuman strength, speed, and agility. While Cloud was never in SOLDIER, Hojo's experiments were similar, if not identical, to the process of creating a SOLDIER.
  • Sword Beam: Blade Beam, one of his Limit Breaks, fires a blast of energy from his sword. When targeting multiple opponents, additional beams sprout from the original to attack the other targets.
  • Take Up My Sword: When Zack dies, Cloud literally takes up his sword and keeps his dreams of honor and heroism alive in his own way.
  • This Loser Is You: He was a Deconstruction of RPG protagonists at the time. He idolised Zack so much that he pretended to be like him, and has to learn to be his own person.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: See Dead Person Impersonation. When he finds out the truth he does not take it well at all.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From a story standpoint, he went from a shy, bullied kid to a powerful warrior who defeated the all-powerful Sephiroth. Gameplay-wise, this is represented with his lackluster stats in the flashback sequence when compared to how he began the game.
  • Too Many Belts: In Advent Children. The retconned SOLDIER 1st Class costumes from Crisis Core that he wears has two.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Buster Sword is not just for combat: It’s also Cloud’s way of carrying on Zack’s legacy and dreams. He learns to do it by being his own person however, and not pretending to be Zack.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Goes through all of this before the game even starts:
    • Hoped to join SOLDIER but didn't end up strong enough. So he joined the regular military, befriending Zack and Sephiroth. Then he watched his idol fall into mass-murdering insanity and god-delusion and seemingly defeated him along with Zack.
    • Then, the two get captured by Shinra and are subjected to horrific experiments with Mako. Zack managed to break out and rescue Cloud from their fate, but is gunned down by mooks, and Cloud could do nothing but watch.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Given the massive amount of tragedy he experienced before the game even started, he developed this, pretending to be his fallen friend Zack.
  • Troll: Through dialogue options, it's very possible to make Cloud give some pretty dickish responses purely for the lulz of it all. He even appears to be this canonically, as shown from his frequent teasing of Barret during the Midgar section of the game. It gets dropped for the most part after he undergoes his Heroic BSoD, which indicates that it may well have been another element he picked up from Zack.
  • Troubled, but Cute: He wears all black and copes with a lot of mental issues, but is very good-looking and has a good heart.
  • Unknown Rival: Hojo doesn't remember who he is when they have their last battle.
    Cloud: At least remember my name!
  • Weapon Twirling: As part of his victory animation, his spins his sword in the air before shouldering it over his back. He can do it with a rifle when disguised as a Shinra soldier during Rufus’ welcoming ceremony in Junon.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He beats up Aerith in the Temple of the Ancients, causing her to leave the party. Granted, he was being controlled, but still…
  • White Male Lead: Cloud is the protagonist in a noticeably diverse cast for its time and even today, with a black man (Barret), an Asian woman (Yuffie) and two furries (Red XIII and Cait Sith). Averted within AVALANCHE, where Barret is the leader.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: A certain, ahem, "noble incident". So wholesome that Don Corneo can choose him!
  • Would Hit a Girl: Twice with Aerith. Once in the Temple of the Ancients, second in Forgotten Capital, where she was praying. With a BFS. Neither time intentional, he was a puppet.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: In Advent Children where he has contracted the fatal Geostigma. He does live on to appear in Dirge of Cerberus, however.

    Barret Wallace 

Barret Wallace

"You gotta understand somethin'... I don't got an answer. I wanna be with Marlene... but I gotta fight. 'Cause if I don't... the planet's gonna die. So I'm gonna keep fightin'!"

Voiced by: Masahiro Kobayashi (Japanese), Beau Billingslea (English)

The boisterous leader of AVALANCHE, a group of eco-terrorists trying to prevent Shinra from draining the planet's life energy in the name of profit. His cause is actually a cover for a personal vendetta against Shinra. He later comes to terms with his grudge and accepts responsibility for the damage AVALANCHE caused, vowing to save the planet the right way. He lost his right hand in a Shinra attack and had it replaced with a variable prosthetic

Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus.

  • Angry Black Man: Especially early in the game, he has a very short temper. It's justified later on in the game when Barret explains just why he's so angry to begin with.
  • Anti-Hero: He's frequently angry and fighting for personal reasons, but deep down he's a good person.
  • Arm Cannon: Although some of his weapons turn it into a Power Fist instead.
  • Artificial Limbs: His gun arm is able to transform into a robotic hand in Advent Children.
  • Big Good: From his perspective in the beginning of the game, given that he's leading AVALANCHE and giving orders to Cloud & co. He gradually comes to realize that maybe he wasn't quite as noble as he thought.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Character Development turns Barret into one of these later on. He's still emotional and outgoing, but no longer quite as trigger-happy.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • He looks and acts very similar to Mr. T. When he got a voice actor for later appearances he even talks like him.
    • The audiobooks for On the Way to a Smile has him sound more like Chi McBride.
  • Chainsaw Good: One of his gun-arms is a chainsaw attachment.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Not exactly an F-bomb, but Barret is very prone to cursing up a storm when he flies into a rage.
  • Energy Ball: Big Shot and Mindblow fire orbs of energy. Big Shot is orange, Mindblow is blue.
  • Handicapped Badass: He's missing his right arm, but he makes it work by replacing it with an Arm Cannon and kicking ass with it.
  • Hot-Blooded: Barret is very open and eager in his desire to topple Shinra.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's angry and foul-mouthed, but is a good man deep down.
  • Kill Sat: Satellite Beam brings down a laser strike from above.
  • Mighty Glacier: He's slow and not very good with magic, but he can take a tremendous amount of punishment and is very good at blowing things up with his gun weapons.
  • Morality Pet: His daughter, Marlene, is the only thing keeping him from going off the deep end. Barret is aware of this trope and notes if he didn't have Marlene motivating him to be a good dad for her, he may have become something worse a long time ago.
  • Moral Myopia: Initially, he doesn't care about the lives of many people besides Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie (who all die really early on) and Marlene and Tifa. He fights Shinra primarily out of revenge and his self-righteous Saving the World claims are just his self-justification. This would count as Moral Dissonance, if Cait Sith didn't call him out for it later on, and later his acknowledgement that it was wrong.
  • More Dakka: Angermax fires 18 attacks from his gun-arm at random enemies. Numerous strategies rely on maximizing his power for 18 hits of 9,999 damage, making it the most powerful attack in the game against single foes.
  • One-Hit KO: Hammer Blow has a chance to instantly kill the target.
  • Papa Wolf: You do not hurt Marlene, unless you want the full fury of his rage brought down on you.
  • Parental Substitute: He's not really Marlene's dad, but acts as such.
  • Perma-Stubble: Has a very short beard to compliment his action-oriented occupation.
  • Progressively Prettier: Advent Children prettied him up somewhat. And gave him a fishnet vest.
  • Rocket Punch: His Joke Weapon replaces his gun-arm with a giant red fist.
  • Scary Black Man: He's large and intimidating in addition to having a gun attached to his arm.
  • Shoot the Television: An NPC mentions that he once did this using his gun arm with a Sector 7 television monitor that was displaying a broadcast by President Shinra. He didn't win any fans that day, as the only other television in Sector 7 was in AVALANCHE headquarters.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Alongside Cid, most of the cursing in the game comes from him.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: His gun-arm has numerous different attachments besides guns.
  • This Is a Drill: One of his gun-arms attaches a drill to his arm.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Grenade Bomb fires a grenade at opponents.
  • Walking the Earth: Novellas set after the game say that he grew restless living in Edge and set out into the world to find a way to atone for his actions in AVALANCHE. He seems to have settled on "help fix the mess he created" as of Advent Children.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: His final Limit Break Catastrophe has him leap into the air and fire a massive laser at opponents.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: At first. He later acknowledges that his actions might not have been best.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: His solution to most problems seems to involve More Dakka.

    Tifa Lockhart 

Tifa Lockhart

"Uniforms, soldiers, war. I hate 'em all. They take away the things and people you love... I wish they'd all disappear."

Voiced by: Ayumi Ito (Japanese), Rachael Leigh Cook (English)

A member of AVALANCHE and Cloud's childhood friend. She also owns a bar called "7th Heaven" in Sector 7 of Midgar. Though she realizes something is wrong with Cloud's memories she doesn't speak up until it's too late. After helping reform Cloud's true self she tries to support him and encourage him to find his own path that he wants.

Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Final Fantasy Dissidia Duodecim, Kingdom Hearts, Ehrgeiz

    Aerith Gainsborough 

Aerith (Aeris) Gainsborough

"Just hang in there. Someday we'll look back at these hard times and laugh."

Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese), Mandy Moore/Mena Suvari/Andrea Bowen (English)

A young woman who sells flowers for a living in the slums of Midgar. Her years on the streets have given her a outgoing, street-smart but caring attitude. She is the last living Cetra, a precursor race who were driven to extinction by JENOVA. Having dated Zack Fair for a number of months, she finds herself attracted to his shadow in Cloud. Her independent nature leads to disaster when she decides to take the burden of defeating Sephiroth all by herself, abandoning the party and traveling to the Forgotten Capital alone. This leaves her vulnerable to attack, and she is killed by Sephiroth.

Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children, Crisis Core
Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Kingdom Hearts. "Dissidia 012"

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: After Zack has been missing for four years, Aerith has mostly moved on from him; however there are some hints that she was never as over her First Love as she would like.
  • Action Girl: She's pretty hands on for a White Magician Girl.
  • Ancient Artifact: The White Materia her mother gave her, which makes her the only person able to cast Holy.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In a way. When she died, her spirit returned to the Lifestream, but she was powerful enough to remain sentient within it. This allows her to command it when necessary, and help lost souls find atonement and peace.
  • Big Damn Heroes: And after her own death. Repeatedly.
  • Big Good: She arguably evolves into this role posthumously near the end of the original game, and definitely plays this in Advent Children. Being so powerful she can command the Lifestream to help protect the planet, the other heroes view her as watching over them and helping them from afar.
  • Braids of Action: Bouts of being the Distressed Damsel aside, Aerith lives by the Big Damn Heroes trope and is no stranger to combat.
  • The Cameo: An alternate version of her appears in Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • The Chick: Shares this role with Tifa, she's similarly kind and caring and at times gives the party the strength to keep fighting.
  • Colour Coded Eyes: Emphasizing her spiritual nature and powerful bond with the planet.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: The game's somewhat infamous love triangle comes to a crashing close when one of the two ladies involved gets a sword through the gut.
  • Distressed Damsel: A bit pluckier than the norm, although there's still a whole level dedicated to rescuing her. Not to mention at the beginning of the game, when you have to save her from Shinra soldiers by crushing them with barrels (although you do have the option of making her fight them herself).
  • Doomed by Canon: Contrary to all rumors of ways to save her or revive her, when the credits roll at the original game's end, Aerith will not be there to see it.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: She succeeded in calling Holy and giving the planet the chance to save itself from Meteor, but it attracted Sephiroth's notice and cost her her life.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: As part of her Evil Counterpart dichotomy with Sephiroth, Aerith is associated with water via Great Gospel and the Lifestream, contrasting Sephiroth's fire associations via the Nibelheim Incident and his Supernova attack.
  • Flanderization: In her original game, Aerith was pure hearted, spiritual and caring, but was also stubborn, flirty, independent and witty. However, SE has ramped up the Incorruptible Pure Pureness, emphasizing her connection to the planet and de-emphasizing her more headstrong character traits in favor of generic sweetness and innocence. Her Dissidia 012 Ultimania profile describes her as having "the innocence of a little girl". This is the same woman that threatened to rip off a mafia don's balls.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Her father was a normal human while her mother was a Cetra, but this has little bearing on her status as an Ancient.
  • Happily Adopted: By Elmyra, who actually finds little!Aerith by the side of her dying mother Ifalna in the local train sation, and takes her in to fulfill Ifalna's dying wish.
  • Hartman Hips: Her bust is nowhere near as large as Tifa's, and it's hard to tell if She's Got Legs because she wears full-length dresses. However, Aerith still has her womanly attributes.
  • Healing Hands: Her Healing Wind, Pulse of Life and Great Gospel Limit Breaks all restore HP to the party.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Following Zack's disappearance she remained loyal to his memory for a time, but eventually moved on with her life.
  • Iconic Item: In every appearance, even in concept art, Aerith has her hair ribbon. Crisis Core takes time to specifically show where she got it and why she continues to wear one years later. The White Materia also serves as one to a lesser degree.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: She meets her end when Sephiroth stabs the Masamune through her stomach.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Compared to other party members, Aerith doesn't have many character flaws, being good-hearted and noble from start to finish. All that change is she comes to terms with her heritage and embraces the legacy she's been left.
  • Innocent Flower Girl: But not too innocent. In the Wall Market section, she selects what is implied to be an incredibly provocative red dress for herself, and it's her idea in the first place to have Cloud dress in drag to get into Don Corneo's mansion. She seems to actually want Don Corneo to pick her as his girl, complimenting him on his taste if he does. In contrast to Tifa and Cloud who are just doing it for the mission, Aerith has no qualms at all and evidently finds the whole thing fun, irrespective of the threat.
  • I Will Wait for You: Subverted, she told this to Zack in their last phone conversation, but not knowing what happened to him after four years with no word, she said she was moving on in her last letter.
  • Kill the Cutie: The sweetest and most loving party member is the one among them who dies.
  • The Lancer: Early on, her selfless and spiritual nature contrasts Cloud's Jerk with a Heart of Gold ex-SOLDIER. Later on her growing acceptance of her Cetra heritage make her a foil to Cloud's rising doubts over his identity.
  • Last of His Kind: Aerith is the last known Ancient in the entire world.
  • Little Dead Riding Hood: She's the only party member aside from Cait Sith to wear red, marking her for death.
  • Loving a Shadow: Initially interested in Cloud because of his resemblance to Zack, her first boyfriend. And that they both fell through the church roof while she was tending the flowers and wearing the same uniform. However, getting her on the date scene will have her admit that she would like for Cloud to open up to her so she can know the real him.
  • Magical Native American: Her Cetra heritage gives her an innate connection to the planet and makes her more inclined to use magic than normal humans. In addition, her people used to be wandering nomads seeking "the Promised Land".
  • Magic Staff: She fights with various rods and staves.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The spin-offs almost turn her into a Cloudcuckoolander, what with her comments that she's afraid of the open sky and she can hear the wind calling her name. And let's not forget that she was the one who suggested Cloud cross-dress to save Tifa...
  • Meaningful Name: Aerith's name was created to resemble and sound like the English word Earth referencing her connection to the planet as well as adding contrast to the sky based name Cloud.
  • Messianic Archetype: The last of her kind, born of a union between a human and another race, spiritually enlightened, becomes a willing martyr and dies to save the planet.
  • My Girl Back Home: She's the only reason Zack decided to return to Midgar.
  • Mystical Waif: This young girl is the guardian of Holy, the ultimate protective magic that can save the planet.
  • The Paralyzer: Seal Evil paralyzes enemies.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Her pink dress, and many of her outfits in spin-offs, are pink.
  • Plotline Death: The infamous FMV sequence of Sephiroth stabbing her. In turn has led to jokes asking why Cloud didn't try a Phoenix Down.
  • Plucky Girl: She's spirited and playful and never backs down from anyone.
  • The Pollyanna: Despite how awful and traumatic her life has been, Aerith remains happy and well-adjusted.
  • Red Herring: Aerith is presented as a possible love interest on the first disk to make the Player Punch that much harder.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Her death sends shockwaves through the party and the fanbase alike, and is a warning Sephiroth is done playing around with you.
  • Second Love: Cloud, as her first love was Zack.
  • Summoning Artifact: It's emphasized that with how humanity has turned out, Holy might save the planet but kill off mankind too.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: A sweet and lovely lady who recruits Cloud to be her body guard. Her Holy spell is the only threat to the Big Bad's Evil Plan
  • Sneaky Departure: She leaves the party to head to the Forgotten City while Cloud is unconscious. Early in the game she defies it; when Cloud tries to pull this trope on her while staying at her home, she slips out herself and intercepts him, demanding to come along.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The original English translation had her name as "Aeris."
  • Spirit Advisor: To Cloud in Advent Children.
  • Squishy Wizard: The most powerful magically but can't take a hit well.
  • Status Buff: Her Limit Break Fury Brand inflicts Fury status on her allies and and fills their Limit Bars.
  • Street Smart: "I was raised in the slums. I'm used to danger."
  • The Tease: She's rather flirtatious and open with her interest in Cloud.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Has the definitive attitude of a tomboy, sharply contrasting her appearance, personality, hobbies, weapon, and limits.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Cheerful and loving, all the party adores her, and she's the only one of them who isn't some shade of Anti-Hero. Yeah, she was doomed from the start.
  • White Magician Girl: Although with the Materia system, she easily becomes a Red Mage.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Looks the part well, but is more rebellious and flirty than the standard. Nor does she have the cultural baggage assiociated with Wutai/Japan. OTOH, she plays the trope straighter in Advent Children.

    Red XIII 

Red XIII (real name: Nanaki)
"What a fascinating story..."

Voiced by: Masachika Ichimura (Japanese), Liam O'Brien (English)

A strange creature who joins Cloud's group after being rescued from the Shinra HQ. Red XIII was the name he received as a specimen designation while held captive and experimented upon by Professor Hojo. Even though he is 48 in human years, his age is comparable to around 15 to 16 years old by his own species' standards and is very wise. He fights alongside Cloud and his allies to fulfill his duty to the Planet to defend it as a warrior.

Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus.

  • Cartoon Creature: The series never assigns a name to Red's species, which combines various feline and canine traits. Characters occasionally refer to him as lion-like, but his association with the moon and howling to express himself is more like a wolf.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Although he obviously wasn't meant to look like him, Tetsuya Nomura imagined that Red XIII would be voiced by Sean Connery. When he had a spoken line in Advent Children, it was done as an imitation of Sean Connery.
  • Demoted to Extra: He appears considerably less in Advent Children than the other characters, and is only seen at the very last cutscene in Dirge of Cerberus. According to the makers, this is because his fur is a pain to animate well.
  • Happily Adopted: He views Bugenhagen as his grandfather, since he raised him after Red's real parents were gone.
  • Incendiary Exponent: His tail is constantly alight with a flame on the tip.
  • Intellectual Animal: He is very wise and intelligent, more than most of the human characters in the game actually.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: He's fast and good with both physical and magical attacks, and has decent HP.
  • Life Drain: Blood Fang absorbs HP and MP from enemies.
  • Light 'em Up: Stardust Ray bombards enemies with stars of light.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Advent Children, he was meant to sound like Sean Connery.
  • Parental Abandonment: His mother died protecting Cosmo Canyon, and he believed his father left her alone to die because he was afraid of fighting. Turns out he didn't run away but went fighting the monsters that were attacking from behind; he won but was petrified. And he is still alive and conscious.
  • Red Herring: When the group notes the Sephiroth Clones have numbers tattooed on them, Red begins to worry if his number "XIII" means he's one as well and if he'll also begin to lose his mind. But he doesn't, and Word of God says he wasn't a member of the Sephiroth Clone project, the number was assigned to him for a different reason.
  • Status Buff: Lunatic High and Howling Moon grant status buffs on him and/or his allies.
  • Talking Animal: His ability to talk stands out to the party and freaks them out when he reveals it.
  • Teen Genius: Despite being a teenager by his species' standards, he's the wisest and most intelligent member of the party.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Until he befriends Cloud and the others, his life is one of misery. The branding of "XIII" marked his capture by Shinra when things got even worse.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: His ultimate Limit Break, Cosmos Memory, blasts enemies with a giant beam of orange energy.
  • You Are in Command Now: He becomes the leader of Cosmo Canyon after his grandfather's death.
  • You Are Number 6: Hojo tattooed "XIII" on his leg to mark him as one of his experiments. Red tells the party when he joins them that "Red XIII" is a name that holds no meaning to him, and they can call him that or anything else as they wish.

    Cait Sith 

Cait Sith
"There's plenty of stuffed toys like my body around, but there's only one me!"

Voiced by: Hideo Ishikawa (Japanese), Greg Ellis (English)

A cat riding a giant stuffed toy Moogle, working as a fortune-teller in the Gold Saucer. He is really a puppet controlled from far away by Reeve, Shinra's head of Urban Development. Even though Reeve works with the evil Shinra, he develops a keen interest in saving the planet. He is useful to the party, as he knows all about the Shinra's plans. Despite his playful and carefree persona in the form of Cait Sith, Reeve is actually a sombre and serious man, though he does harbor a good heart with a natural worry for others.

Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core (as a summon).

  • Ambiguous Robots: The series flip-flops between Cait Sith being a stuffed toy, a robot with fur, or a combination of both. It's likewise not clear how much autonomy he has, if any.
  • Cat Girl: The "Lucky Girl" limit break is a picture of a cat girl in a Fur Bikini.
  • Cats Are Mean: Double subverted. He has a very cheery personality but is an extreme Jerkass in the beginning. Later, it's completely subverted.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: He has a catchy jazz organ tune as his leitmotif, which fits both his status as The Gambler and his being a bit of a Jerkass.
  • Death from Above: His Toy Box Limit Break drops a random object on enemies to crush them, including meteors.
  • Expendable Clone: Reeve is implied to have several Cait Sith robots on standby for usage if one is lost or damaged. We see two in VII, and in Dirge of Cerberus one introduces itself as "Number 6".
  • The Gambler: His Limit Breaks are themed after dice and slot machines, and you recruit him in the Gold Saucer, a hot tourist spot.
  • Head Pet: He rides on the head of his Moogle toy.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Goes from being a mouthy Shinra-supporting Jerkass to a good guy who pulls his weight to save the planet.
  • Healing Hands: Mog Dance.
  • Jerkass: He eventually gets his heart of gold. And then loses the Jerkass part almost entirely.
  • Luck-Based Mission: His Slots and Dice both do random things.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Transform
  • The Mole: Cait Sith is actually controlled by Reeve of Shinra, but still decides to remain with you once discovered. The trope is later inverted when he essentially becomes a spy for AVALANCHE within Shinra, despite starting the other way around.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: His name seems easy to pronounce, but it's actually the name of a Gaellic mythological creature pronounced 'Kett Shee'.
  • One-Hit KO: Game Over kills all enemies, bypassing death protection.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: This was how Reeve is exposed in the Japanese version of the game. Reeve speaks with a Kanto dialect and Cait Sith with a Kansai dialect. When stressed due to Hojo taking over the Mako Cannon, Reeve inadvertently speaks to Scarlet and Heidegger in Kansai, then Cait Sith speaks to Cloud and the others in Kanto. Thus they realize that he's Reeve.
  • Randomized Damage Attack: Cait Sith's Dice Limit Break, which rolls several dice and then inflicts damage equal to the result multiplied by 20 to one enemy.
  • Reverse Mole: He spies on AVALANCHE for Shinra, but comes to sympathize them and then starts feeding them Shinra info instead.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's an anthropomorphic cat that rides on a Moogle. It's hard to get cuter than that.
  • Squishy Wizard: He has high magic stats, but his defenses and HP are poor.
  • Status Buff: Lucky Girl makes all the party's attacks critical hits.
  • Team Pet: Probably the only one who has their own Team Pet (his giant moogle).
  • Token Good Teammate: Prior to his Heel–Face Turn was the only executive who actually gave a rats ass about the common people.
  • Total Party Kill: Death Joker, often the result of a failed attempt at Game Over. Bypasses death protection too.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: When they initially find out what he really is, they initially keep him around because Reeve is holding Marlene hostage. Shortly after he performs a Heroic Sacrifice at the Temple of the Ancients to get them the Black Materia, earning their trust for real.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Barret for his bombing missions from earlier in the game. It comes off as somewhat hypocritical, however, since he's... y'know, with the Shinra, but Reeve was never crazy about the killing of innocents to begin with.

    Cid Highwind 

Cid Highwind
"Sit your ass down in that chair and drink your goddamn TEA!"

Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji (Japanese), Chris Edgerly (English)

A gruff airship pilot with dreams of going into space. He is the most uncouth of the protagonists; he constantly swears and loses his temper, and chain-smokes cigarettes. Despite this, he has a good heart, and is even voted temporary leader of the party at one point. He fits into the archetype of a father type character.

Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus.
Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Kingdom Hearts, minus the swearing.

  • Ace Pilot: His backyard is fully of flying ships he's piloted, and he commands the party's airships.
  • Artistic Age: He is really 32 years old. You wouldn't think so considering his appearance in the game. In Advent Children, he looked more his age.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite the fact that he verbally abuses his girlfriend, Shera, constantly throughout the game, he really does deeply care for her. He even names his new airship after her, and finally marries her throughout Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus.
  • Badass Bookworm: He doesn't show too much of it, but it requires a lot of patience, technical knowledge, and general intelligence to fly and maintain any aircraft. Cid's seen to be competent with light aircraft, a zepellin-like airship, and a jet-type one, and was he hand picked to be the world's first astronaut and man in space.
  • Badass Normal: One of the most prominent examples. He doesn't have innate magical powers, an assault weapon for a hand, combat training, or genetic enhancements. He's got a home made spear and dynamite.
  • Berserk Button: Cid's pretty protective of his toys, such as the Tiny Bronco and the Highwind. He's also extremely upset about Shinra's decision to cancel its space program.
  • Blade on a Stick: Fights with various types of spears and lances.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: One of his reasons for joining the party is because he likes the idea of "numbskulls" fighting Shinra. Plus, he can back every word of his boasts up.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: He's much worse about this than Barret.
  • Death from Above His Boost Jump, Hyper Jump and Dragon Dive Limit Breaks, where he leaps and descends to attack enemies.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Despite wearing a pair of goggles on his head, Cid never pulls them down. Likely they're there to tie into his pilot theme.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Well, he's only 32, but that's old by Japanese anime/video game standards.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: He can pilot almost everything.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He swears, smokes, is verbally abusive to pretty much everybody, but he gave up his dream to save Shera, genuinely tries to make amends to her, fights tooth and nail for the planet, joins the WRO, and gives a passionate speech about the need to protect the planet.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: He certainly has this attitude, even if he doesn't actually ruin any plans for the party, as shown by his gung-ho attitude about fighting Shinra.
  • Life Drain: Dragon drains HP from enemies to heal him.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: His ultimate Limit Break Highwind has him call in his airship of the same name to fire missiles at the enemy party.
  • Mythology Gag: He is pretty much a meta-reference to Final Fantasy IV, from appearance to moves.
  • Science Hero: Openly puts his faith in science, and his piloting skills are vital to the party.
  • Senior Sleep Cycle: Depicted as having one in-game, apparently as part of his grumpy old man portrayal. When the party is forced to stay at the Ghost Hotel in the Gold Saucer, Cloud's speech apparently puts him to sleep. Later, he is seen napping on the bridge of the Highwind just before Barret declares him to be the new leader. Finally, if the player chooses him to accompany Cloud on a gondola ride at Gold Saucer's Round Square, he will doze throughout the entire ride.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Whatever cussing doesn't come from Barret likely comes from Cid.
  • Spam Attack: Big Brawl is a series of rapid slash attacks.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Except when it's censored out... and yet still clearly visible.
  • Team Dad: He's the third oldest of the party and is gruff and rude, but cares for them in his own way.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Dynamite has him throw a stick of dynamite at enemies.
  • You Are in Command Now: His brief stint as team leader in Disc 2.
  • Younger Than They Look: Even though he's 32, he can be easily mistaken for a decade older. The years of chainsmoking help to justify this slightly.

    Vincent Valentine 

Vincent Valentine
"Cool, huh? I guess that's just the way I am... sorry."

Voiced by: Shougo Suzuki (Japanese), Steve Blum (English)

Main character of Dirge of Cerberus. He is a former member of the Turks with a mysterious past that ties him to Cloud and his group.

Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus
Spinoff/other game appearances: Ehrgeiz

  • Alliterative Name: Vincent Valentine.
  • Anti-Hero: He's shouldering a lot of guilt and is cold and stoic, but he's a good person beneath it and fights for what's right.
  • The Atoner: He fights to redeem himself for his failure to stop Hojo's experiments.
  • Badass Cape: His iconic red mantle that he wears over his shoulders.
  • Be My Valentine: His name hints to his tragic past and unrequited romance.
  • The Berserker: When he enters his transformations as his Limit Breaks, he becomes uncontrollable for the rest of the battle and attacks until all enemies are dead.
  • Bishōnen: Long-haired and fair-skinned.
  • Breakout Character: Despite having some of the lowest stats in the game, he has become one of the most popular characters in the series. He was even popular enough to star in his own spinoff title.
  • Cool Gun: His main weapon and most notably his "Cerberus", a massive Tri-barelled revolver.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent pulls off amazing feats of Gun Fu, Supernatural Martial Arts, and gravity-defying superhuman agility that would make Dante jealous. But only in cutscenes; when you're controlling him, he can't do any of these things, and in fact, he can barely jump.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: To put it mildly. Vincent's past directly connects him to the creation of Sephiroth, something he blames himself for letting happen at Hojo's hands.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Vincent is very quiet and mysterious, and looks plain unsettling.
  • Firing One-Handed: All of his weapons work this way, even the rifles!
  • Frankenstein's Monster: His Hell Gigas Limit Break, which attacks with Livewire and Gigadunk.
  • Guest Fighter: Cameos as a fighter in Ehrgeiz.
  • Gun Fu: The spin-offs have established him utilizing this with his handguns.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Subverted in the original game. His guns aren't very useful when he uses them to shoot enemies thanks to his low attack, but when he uses them to focus his magic they're very handy indeed, since his magic stat is much better.
  • The Gunslinger: In Dirge Of Cerberus, he fights with a variety of firearms and is a crack shot with all of them.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: His Limit Break Hell Masker, with the attacks Splattercombo and Nightmare.
  • Ineffectual Loner: As cool as Vincent is, he keeps to himself thanks to his troubled past and naturally quiet nature.
  • Loners Are Freaks: He's naturally antisocial and keeps to himself.
  • Love Hurts: He fell in love with Lucrecia, who happened to be in a relationship with Hojo. When Vincent protested Hojo using their child in his experiments, it got him a bullet in the gut for his trouble, and he became an experiment himself.
  • Master of None: He had fairly lackluster stats in the original game.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: He looks and acts like a ninja vampire, and can shapeshift into Captain Ersatz forms of famous movie monsters, namely Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolfman, and Jason Vorheez.
  • Odd Friendship: With Yuffie. Despite polar-opposite personalities, they get along well.
  • Older Than They Look: Physically, he looks about 27, but he's chronologically in his early to mid 50s after sealing himself in a coffin.
  • One-Winged Angel: In Dirge of Cerberus, he gains control over his transformations and becomes Chaos for the final battle.
  • Optional Party Member: You can skip recruiting him in VII, but official canon establishes he did join the party.
  • Our Demons Are Different: His Chaos form is a giant black and red winged demon. In VII it's his ultimate Limit Break and attacks with Chaos Saber and Satan Slam. Dirge of Cerberus expanded it into Vincent's Superpowered Evil Side that Lucrecia had forced upon him to save his life.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Invoked by his bestial Galian Beast form, which attacks with Berserk Dance and Beast Flare.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has crimson eyes. His human model for Dirge of Cerberus reveals it's their natural color.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Some of his weapons, most notably the Peacemaker.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: After Hojo was done experimenting on him, Vincent was horrified by what he had become and went to sleep in a coffin in Shinra Manor for years.
  • Secret Character: Finding him requires a short sidequest to reveal him.
  • Shadow Archetype: A heroic version but nonetheless he fits. A brooding loner haunted by the loss of a woman he loved at the hands of his arch-enemy? Vincent is what Cloud might become if he doesn't learn to cope with his issues. Word of God shares this viewpoint.
  • Shapeshifter: Can change into a wolf, a Frankenstein's Monster, a Hockey Mask and Chainsaw style slasher, or the bat-winged and positively demonic Chaos during his Limit Breaks.
  • Squishy Wizard: He's the most magic-inclined character after Aerith, but his other stats are poor.
  • The Stoic: Very calm and not prone to a lot of emotion.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Chaos, a demonic entity sealed inside of him.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Despite being cold and antisocial, Vincent has a wit about him.
  • The Undead: Vincent is, to all intents and purposes, a walking corpse animated only by Chaos. The resemblance to a vampire is purely intentional (although he's actually closer to a zombie when you get right down to it).
  • Voluntary Shape Shifting: Zigzagged. He changes form at will, but can't change back until battle ends.

    Yuffie Kisaragi 

Yuffie Kisaragi

"I am the champion of the earth and the sky. I am the conqueror of evil. The single white rose of Wutai... Yuffie Kisaragi!"

Voiced by: Yumi Kakazu (Japanese), Christy Carlson Romano/Mae Whitman (English)

An outlandishly-dressed ninja girl from the Japanese-lookalike town of Wutai. As a rebellious and cocky tomboy, Yuffie desires to restore her homeland Wutai to the glorious nation it was before being conquered by Shinra. Despite her sometimes obnoxious personality, she is friendly, helpful, and willingly helps the party in their battles.

Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Kingdom Hearts, Ehrgeiz

  • Action Girl: Not quite as much as Tifa, but she can still kick some serious ass.
  • Anti-Hero: She's cheerful and helps the party save the world, but initially joins them for selfish reasons and is overall can be quite a brat at times.
  • Badass Adorable: She's a skilled ninja and can fight monsters many times her sizes, and looks so cute while doing it.
  • Bare Your Midriff: All her outfits across her many appearances show off her navel.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: In the original game, she can be very loud-mouthed and rude.
  • Diagonal Cut: Greased Lightning slashes the enemy diagonally and it takes a few seconds before they notice and take damage. They don't actually slide apart though, since it may not always be a fatal attack.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Landscaper manifests as her sending a shockwave through the dirt to make the ground underneath the enemy party erupt.
  • Fragile Speedster: Yuffie's very fast, but when she gets hit, it hurts.
  • Fuuma Shuriken: Her weapon is a giant shuriken.
  • Genki Girl: Is almost eternally energetic, cheerful, and upbeat.
  • Glass Cannon: Whether throwing her boomerangs or using materia, Yuffie's very good at damaging the enemies. It's when they hit her back that she has problems.
  • Guest Fighter: In Ehrgeiz.
  • Healing Hands: Clear Tranquil heats the party's HP.
  • Heir to the Dojo: She's the daughter of the leader of Wutai and his heir to the legacy of ninja the nation prides itself on.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • She is one of the characters who Cloud can date on the Romance Sidequest, and while not as tender as Tifa or Aerith is rather sweet, and is the only one of the three to kiss him. She also lays into Cait Sith a lot more than the other women when she finds out he's holding Marlene hostage.
    • The reason she's obsessed with Materia? She wants the power it holds because she's disgusted with how Wutai went from a respected ninja civilization to a tourist attraction after Shinra conquered it, and wants Materia in the hopes of changing things and maybe restoring some dignity to the town.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As bratty as Yuffie acts, she has a good sense of morals deep down and wants to do the right thing.
  • Light 'em Up: Gauntlet blasts enemies with a column of light from below.
  • Loveable Rogue: She's out to steal the party's Materia, but has sympathetic reasons for it and manages to be likable in the meantime.
  • Ninja: Raised in a society of them and is one herself.
  • Ninja Brat: She's only 16 during the original game.
  • Not Me This Time: There's a variation on this during the Wutai sequence. As the party approaches Wutai, they are confronted by a group of Shinra soldiers. Yuffie comments, "I have nothing to do with this one!" As they had already been suspicious (but didn't yet know that she had done anything), this clues them in when, during the battle with the soldiers, she's gone and so is all their materia.
  • Odd Friendship: With Vincent.
  • Optional Party Member: You can skip recruiting her, but she still has a lot to do in the storyline. This is because the character designers liked her and salvaged a lot of the planned content for her when she and Vincent were moved from mandatory to optional due to time constraints.
  • Plucky Girl: Energetic and spirited and always ready to fight for Wutai.
  • The Prankster: She's constantly scheming ways to trick the party out of their Materia, and then to evade them when they chase her to Wutai.
  • Rebellious Princess: Her dad's the lord of Wutai, and he's not at all happy that she ran away from home.
  • Running Gag: Her motion sickness is brought up whenever you're on a vehicle.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Out of all the characters you can choose to take on a date to the Gold Saucer, she is the only character who kisses Cloud.
    • With Vincent in Dirge of Cerberus, especially when Vincent seemingly dies taking out Omega. Whether it's because she likes him or is simply concerned because he's a comrade is still open to debate.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: She's prone to giving herself grandiose titles and treating herself like a legendary ninja hero. She may be skilled but she's not as great or famed as she pretends.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: "Wutai Theft" is the former Trope Namer, though she doesn't fit the actual trope definition. At one point Yuffie swipes all the party's Materia and takes off with it, and you have to track her down and get it back.
  • Spam Attack: Bloodfest and Doom of the Living consist of her rapidly hitting enemies with her weapon over and over.
  • Sticky Fingers: She is absolutely obsessed with getting her hands on Materia, no matter the cost.
  • Tomboy: Described as such in the FF7 Ultimania.
  • The Trickster: She's rebellious to her father, treacherous to the party, and does it all with a grin and a wink.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Attempts to do this but ultimately fails after Aerith's death. After paying her respects, she turns to look at Cloud, her character model slowly becoming more and more agitated, her emotions becoming too much for her to handle, and she suddenly jumps in Cloud's arms, overwhelmed by grief. She tries to calm down afterwards, but ends up running away, crying.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Her ultimate Limit Break All Creation is a giant purple ray of energy.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: After the team talks her down and finds out why she stole their Materia, they let her back in the group.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: All of her outfits include shorts.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Averted. She's the only one who has a connection to Wutai, yet she is neither polite, domestic, interested in its culture, nor family oriented.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: In most of her spin-off appearances, exact grade varies.

    Zack Fair 

Zack Fair

"Boy oh boy... the price of freedom is steep."
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese), Rick Gomez (English)

An energetic SOLDIER that was Cloud's best friend, he accompanied Sephiroth on the Nibelheim mission, where he was critically wounded and turned into a lab experiment for Hojo. Though he escaped several years later and took Cloud with him, he was caught and gunned down by Shinra. The dying Zack entrusted his Buster Sword to Cloud, who inadvertently also assumed a fake identity based on Zack's life and personality. Crisis Core explores his adventures prior to Nibelheim as he deals with the conspiracies that infested SOLDIER during its glory days.

Appears in: FFVII, Advent Children, Crisis Core, Before Crisis
Spinoff appearances/other series appearances: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep as the most adorable hero-in-training ever, Ehrgeiz

  • The Ace: He's handsome, friendly, and a flirty ladies man, in addition to being a powerful and respected SOLDIER. Justified, in that this was intentional to have him contrast sharply with Cloud's Classical Anti-Hero.
  • All Your Powers Combined: According to the Ultimania guide, this is how Zack learns his Limit Breaks — he meets someone, and upon doing so, learns how to copy their Limit Break and modify it to create his own, such as Meteorain->Meteor Shots and Healing Wind->Healing Wave.
  • Anime Hair: Zack has a lock of sharply spiked black hair. It changes styles during Crisis Core to show his growing maturity and aging, but it's still spiky.
  • Anti-Villain: He works for Shinra, and helped to end the Wutai War leaving the place in the condition is seen in FF7, but his interests were starting a new life and protecting Cloud. It wasn't until after it became clear that Shinra wasn't going to stop hunting them down that Zack opposed them.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Besides his influence on Cloud's past, Zack was the guy who named the 7th Heaven bar, bought Aerith her iconic hair ribbon and suggested she sell flowers, and is partly responsible for sparking Yuffie's obsession with Materia.
  • BFS: He fights using the Buster Sword. He wields a standard Cool Sword before he inherits it.
  • Blade Spam: His Chain Slash and Octaslash DMW attacks are rapid slash combos.
  • Breakout Character: Arguably bigger than Vincent. Both got their own spinoff, but not only is Zack's better received, but Zack got the honor even though he only appeared in an optional flashback, as opposed to being a former playable character.
  • Chick Magnet: Almost as much as Cloud. Case in point: Aerith and Cissnei in the same game. Way to go Zack.
  • Colony Drop: Meteor Shots fires meteors at enemies.
  • Doomed by Canon: Final Fantasy VII spoiled his eventual death long before Crisis Core came out. With Zack's death a pivotal piece of backstory, there was no way he could survive.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Though he defeats Genesis and keeps the pride and honor of SOLDIER alive, he dies defending Cloud from impossible numbers of Shinra forces.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since Crisis Core is a prequel to Final Fantasy VII, and Zack's the hero in the game, it's fairly expected when he dies at the end.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Of Cloud. He remembers him again later in the story, causing him to have a Heroic BSoD, but he gets better.
  • Genki Guy: He's very energetic and excitable; Angeal has nicknamed him "the puppy" for it. His Character Development has him temper it into a more mature and focused type of character without losing his lightheartedness.
  • Guest Fighter: In Ehrgeiz, he makes a cameo.
  • Gunship Rescue: His Air Strike DMW attack has Zack call Tseng to bring in a Turk helicopter to unleash machine gun and missiles on enemies.
  • Healing Hands: Healing Wave fully restores his stats.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: He fights exclusively with swords, as with all SOLDIER members.
  • Instant Runes: Apocalypse creates a red rune of energy below enemies that shocks them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Implied in the original game and then retconned with Crisis Core. Cloud in the original game could give some pretty dickish responses in the dialogue trees. The game's Reveal, where it's learned that he based his badass persona on Zack's, seems to indicate that he picked this up from Mr. Fair. Crisis Core, however does away with all of this and writes Zack as a heroic and energetic Nice Guy. Word of God and creation materials have given a Hand Wave that Cloud's fake persona was based on his image of a SOLDIER rather than specifically Zack.
  • Jumped at the Call: Zack is always eager to prove himself and fight to do the right thing.
  • Last Stand: At the end of Crisis Core he finds himself standing alone against dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Shinra infantry. He recites Angeal's Arc Words and charges in swinging, bringing down all but three before he's too weak to keep standing.
  • Limit Break: His DMW attacks.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Despite knowing that Shinra is hunting him with orders to kill, he still attempts to return to Midgar, Shinra's headquarters, to see Aerith again.
  • Manly Tears: After Angeal's death, he breaks down in the church and sobs while Aerith holds him.
  • Meaningful Name: He didn't have a last name until Crisis Core, when he was given the last name "Fair" to invoke the imagery of "fair weather", contrasting Cloud's name.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's handsome and well-built, and has a scene where he walks around on the beach in swim trunks.
  • Nice Guy: Zack is everyone's friend and this trope is the reason why, he's just very pleasant and friendly.
  • One-Man Army: Being the sole playable character in an Action RPG, Zack racks up a body count in the multiple thousands. Highlighted at the very first mission of the game, where Zack's objective is to storm and capture a Wutai fort by himself. He does it with ease; keep in mind he's still "just" Second Class at this time. A series of missions pits Zack against swarms of Shinra infantryman, culminating in a battle with 1000 soldiers.
  • Posthumous Character: In VII and beyond, he's long dead.
  • Power Copying: In Crisis Core, Zack's Digital Mind Wave ability allows him to copy and adapt others characters' Limit Breaks.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Rush Assault is a barrage of lightning-fast punches ending with an explosive diving tackle.
  • Right Handed Mirror: As Cloud is, he is this to Sephiroth. Their backstories and origins are even more similar, but Zack becomes a hero while Sephiroth descends further and further into madness and villainy.
  • Scars Are Forever: The X-shaped scar on the lower part of his cheek. Angeal gave it to him in pushing Zack to kill him.
  • Shirtless Scene: The Costa del Sol scene in Crisis Core features Zack in his swim trunks hanging out at the beach.
  • Status Buff: Lucky Stars makes all his attacks Critical Hits for a time.
  • Super Soldier: As a SOLDIER, he has superior strength, reflexes, healing, stamina, and magic proficiency.
  • Take Up My Sword: The Retconned ending to Crisis Core, and his inheritance of said sword from his mentor.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He's six-feet tall, dark-haired and wears dark outfits, and is very good-looking.
  • Together in Death: Him and Aerith, but it's more like Together In The Lifestream. Interesting because most people's consciousness will dissolve into the Lifestream after death.

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