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"The unknown journey will continue."

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a collective series of games and stories set in the same world as Final Fantasy VII, and thus part of the cherry-poppingly popular Final Fantasy series. Somewhat similar to the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy and Ivalice Alliance of games, the games in the Compilation nonetheless all share the same continuity and cast of characters spread across multiple points in time and locations. Due to the sudden surge of the original VII’s popularity, stemming from the inclusion of several of its popular characters in Kingdom Hearts, demand became overwhelmingly high for Square Enix to continue and retell the saga. Much of the original creative force behind the first game returned, including Kazushige Nojima, Yoshinori Kitase, and Tetsuya Nomura.

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  • The Ace:
    • Before his Start of Darkness, Sephiroth was known as the absolute best of the elite group SOLDIER and admired as a hero. He was actually so good that, according to Cloud, the stories people told about him were understating how strong he was — rather than the other way around as usual.
    • Zack Fair, especially in Crisis Core. He's everything Cloud wants to be — upbeat, popular with everyone, cheerful and fun-loving, Jumped at the Call and never came down, actually a member of SOLDIER, etc. He did nearly everything Cloud's famous for and did it first, up to and including riding on the top of trains, fighting rogue SOLDIERs and arguably did a better job of all of it. He's the first to meet Aerith by falling into her flower bed, as Cloud does years later. Almost everyone Zack encounters likes him, or at least they don't hate him even though he works for Shinra — this includes Cissnei, Tseng, Sephiroth, Yuffie, Tifa, etc. The only time Zack really fails at a critical moment is in trying to stop Sephiroth during the Nibelheim Incident — unfortunately, Zack's efforts are Doomed by Canon. Though he eventually loses to Sephiroth, Zack manages to put up a darn good fight. Zack is the sort of guy who's just Too Good for This Sinful Earth. His death is a Foregone Conclusion, but he naturally dies in an epically heroic way, still every inch a Hero and every ounce an Ace.
      • Even death doesn't stop Zack, because he appears to Cloud just as Sephiroth is charging for the kill and manages to give Cloud a time-stopped heroic pep talk from beyond the grave, inspiring Cloud to find the strength not only to fight on, but to win decisively in a single attack.
      • Zack's position as The Ace is lampshaded in episode 8 of Before Crisis, when Zack first shows up and works with the player character Turk. The title of that episode is "A Light That Penetrates Through the Darkness" or "A Light Even Darkness Can't Penetrate". Guess who they're referring to.
      • Though Crisis Core also shows that Zack had some serious issues due to all of the misery the game puts him through. To Cloud and others, Zack was an awesome heroic figure — but Zack himself had Heroic Self-Deprecation in spades and died still wondering if he had managed to become a true hero.
      • Zack is also an Ace because despite not being a member of the Jenova project directly, he defeats Genesis and Angeal, the two members of Project G, while they're powered up into giant monsters by their genetic absorption abilities. And even Sephiroth, fully insane and with no regard for anyone's life, was unable to kill him the only time they fought head-to-head, though he did defeat Zack, and probably would have killed him had Cloud not run him through and thrown him into the reactor core. If there's any regular SOLDIER more powerful than Zack, we don't get to see them.
  • Action Girl: Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII can punch and kick her way with the best of them. She has been trained in martial arts since she was a child, and has superhuman reflexes and strength. Yuffie Kisaragi the teenage ninja also qualifies, though her action is based more on speed than strength. Despite being a flower girl, Aerith Gainsborough herself is no slouch as White Mage (although in the remake they promote Aerith from White Mage to Red Mage). The remake adds Jessie Rasberry, going from The Load in the original game to a skilled Demolitions Expert who’s handy with grenades.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • While Sephiroth doesn't receive any outright sympathy, quite a few characters hint that his cold exterior is a result of deep despair.
    • Kadaj's death. He was easily the most sympathetic of the villains. He fades away in Cloud's arms while calling out to his mother as the Gray Rain of Depression falls around them.
  • All There in the Manual: The playable Turks in Before Crisis were just named after the weapons they wield, but the Last Order OVA gave them all names in the production notes.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Cloud Strife. He starts out as a fan of the legendary Sephiroth who goes out to join the same organization that made the Super Soldiers of whom Sephiroth is a part, spends a lot of time delusionally thinking he made it to Super-Soldier rank, and somehow ends up leading the only group that can save the world from a now even more powerful Sephiroth.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence:
    • Spin-off materials reveal Aerith to have done this when she died and entered the Lifestream. Case of the Lifestream and Hoshi wo Meguru Otome depict her as a sort of leader of the spirits within the Lifestream, as well as able to cleanse it and maintain her sense of self within it, while in Advent Children she's able to communicate with and appear to the living to limited degrees. It is implied she has these abilities due to her Cetra heritage.
    • Sephiroth's technically been "dead" ever since Nibelheim. But because his spirit lives on in the Lifestream, he's able to act from beyond the grave by shapeshifting Jenova's cells into a new body for himself and mentally influencing those that carry those cells. The backstory for Advent Children establishes his three remnants being formed from pure spiritual energy with a need for any Jenova cells, though the three are incomplete copies of him without them.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Cid, when trying to stop a moving train. He's already Sir Swears-a-Lot, but his "Shiiiiitt" is way over hilarious.
  • Badass Normal: Cloud.
    • With no special powers, he takes down Sephiroth.
    • In a more "normal" example of his badassery, Cloud kills a monster that snuck up to Zack with a well-timed barrage from his machine gun in a DMW flashback.
  • Betty and Veronica: Final Fantasy VII plays around with this: Cloud Strife has two potential love interests, Tifa Lockheart and Aerith Gainsborough, but both girls possess traits of both the "Betty" and "Veronica" archetypes. Tifa is literally Cloud's Girl Next Door Childhood Friend and has a sweet and caring personality, but she's also a bartender and a martial artist. Aerith is a White Magician Girl and flower girl with a connection to the planet, but she's also flirty, streetwise, strong-willed, and snarky. And unlike many other examples, the two girls become fast friends once they meet and get along quite well. Unfortunately, Sephiroth puts an end to the triangle when he kills Aerith, leaving Cloud and Tifa to get together shortly before the final battle. It's also revealed that Cloud was unconsciously imitating his dead best friend Zack, who was Aerith's first boyfriend, making her case an example of Loving a Shadow.
  • Bust-Contrast Duo: Aerith Gainsborough and Tifa Lockhart are the two main Love Interests of Cloud Strife, who also are kind-hearted and have good chests (with Tifa's being bigger than Aerith). In general, the comparison also can be done with any of these two girls compared with Yuffie Kisaragi, who has a flat chest and it fits more in the "playful rogue" type that's common with young-looking characters.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII is a notorious offender. Despite being a jerk, nearly every woman in the game either falls for him on sight, develops a crush on him, or can soften towards him if Cloud treats them nicely, ranging from romantic heroines to likable female sidekicks to Fanservice Extra NPCs. Played for laughs in Mobius Final Fantasy where Echo is immediately (and obnoxiously) crazy about him and can't understand why anybody else wouldn't be, trying to get him to go out with her on a date, and later set Wol up with him.
    • Zack from Crisis Core is almost as much as Cloud. Case in point: Aerith and Cissnei in the same game. Way to go Zack.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose:
    • Aerith does this several times in Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core, and Kingdom Hearts, usually with Cloud and usually for flirting purposes. The remake even adds new scenes where she does this. Looking at old recordings of her birth mother Ifalna indicates that she used to do the pose as well.
    • Tifa Lockhart is frequently shown in this pose during the early chapters of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Cloud in Final Fantasy VII is:
    • A riff off the classic RPG image of the young man with the sword who heads out from the city to save the world by killing the bad guy. In his case, his reason for wanting to travel the world is a weird compulsion that nobody is able to figure out, spurred on by hallucinations and his own insistence, that is eventually revealed as being a form of mind control courtesy of the Big Bad needing him to further his goals. He's able to be mind-controlled due to something in his blood, but his mental breakdown is not because the Big Bad controlled him, but because of the mental stress he takes in The Reveal, leaving him in a wheelchair and dribbling.
    • A riff off the stoic, experienced badass Mercenary '90s Anti-Hero who acts like a Jerkass because he's so deep. Cloud is ridiculously strong, charismatic and good-looking, a veteran who's been through unspeakable horrors that give him mental problems, and performs stylish feats of badassery like riding around on motorbikes and doing unnecessary backflips to get off things. But his continual insistence that he doesn't care about anything but the job, while striking poses and flipping his hair, only fools a couple of characters. Mostly, it's seen by the other characters as strange, annoying behavior, and he's constantly put in ridiculous situations that reveal it as the adolescent posturing that it is. (The game was made during the mid-90s, at a time when it was fashionable for real-world twenty-somethings to act disaffected.) When Cloud becomes a bodyguard to Aerith and starts obsessing about saving her, it's obvious Aerith doesn't need his protection, and she's only going with it because she's attracted to Cloud and it gives her the excuse to follow him around and flirt with him. Eventually, Cloud's attempts to ignore his mental problems while denying his true self causes him to have a mental breakdown, and it's revealed that the whole personality is based on self-delusion. Once Cloud becomes comfortable with the fact that he doesn't have to be a cocky action hero and allows his real personality out, he turns out to be pretty dorky but likable.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII is the victim of a truly epic Trauma Conga Line. He failed to become a SOLDIER, instead of ending up as a grunt. His great hero Sephiroth flipped out, went on a killing spree in his hometown, causing a fire that roasted his mother alive while he watched. He received grievous wounds from Sephiroth and was then experimented on by Hojo for years, who infused him with JENOVA cells and gave him Mako poisoning. His best friend Zack then died defending Cloud, and the end result of all this human experimentation and PTSD caused his mind to shatter and subconsciously rewrite his memories. And that's all before the first game even begins.
  • Disney Death: Rufus near the end of the original VII gets caught in an explosion at the Shinra Building by Diamond Weapon and is treated as Killed Off for Real for the remainder of the game. Advent Children would reveal that he survived the attack and On The Way To a Smile details how it happened.
  • Evil Counterpart: builds up Sephiroth as Cloud's, but while the link starts as fairly concrete at the start of the game, the reveal that Much of Cloud's backstory was a lie and was, in fact, the tale of his friend Zack pushes this aside.
    • If you compare how they react to revelations about themselves; Sephiroth thought he was special and awesome, only to learn that he was a laboratory monster. Likewise, Cloud thought he was this epic super-soldier, only to learn that everything he remembered about that was a lie. But where Sephiroth desperately tried to restore his pride through godly delusions, Cloud managed to (with Tifa's help) restore himself to a state free of delusions.
    • Spin-offs instead treat Sephiroth as more an Evil Counterpart to Aerith — he thinks he's the last Cetra, she actually is; both had fathers involved in the Jenova Project; Aerith has the White Materia to call Holy, Sephiroth seeks the Black Materia to call Meteor; Aerith is a benevolent protector of the planet, Sephiroth is more in line with an eco-terrorist. Word of God has said they were intended during development to be revealed as siblings, which is why they have similar hairstyles and both have green eyes. In a novella set before Advent Children, it's implied Aerith could have created avatars of herself like Sephiroth did, but she felt it more important to let Cloud handle things on his own.
    • Cloud and Sephiroth's appearances in Kingdom Hearts play this totally straight with them, with Sephiroth sporting a black angel's wing on his right shoulder and Cloud having a black demon's wing on his left shoulder. In the same series, it is even heavily implied, if not outright stated, that the Sephiroth in that game was actually Cloud's Enemy Without, an embodiment of his inner darkness.
    • There's also Dyne in relation to Barret. Both are men from Corel who lost their arms in a Shinra attack and got Arm Cannons to replace them. Also, they are both violent, but Barret directs his anger at Shinra while Dyne snapped and became an Omnicidal Maniac. It shows that Barret could have followed a very similar path to him.
    • On a lesser note there's Hojo against Gast Faremis. Both were scientists working for Shinra, but Gast was a kind man who used science to obtain wisdom when Hojo is an immoral Mad Scientist. Furthermore, Hojo is the father of Sephiroth, which is the evil counterpart to Aeris, Gast's daughter.
    • In Dirge of Cerberus, all of the Tsviets share something in common with Vincent. Shelke is immortal, Nero wields Darkness, Rosso has similar attire (red clothes, metal gauntlets) and fighting methods, Azul has the same shapeshifting powers, and Weiss is trying to attain the power of Omega, the antithesis to Chaos. Furthermore, he's the vessel for Hojo, who turns into monsters like Vincent, but has no morals or physical prowess to call his own. Oh, they also all use a combination of guns and martial arts, leaning towards guns. Except for Shelke. Rosso and Vincent lampshade this with their discussion on each other's "humanity".
    • In Crisis Core, Zack Fair's quest to become a hero contrasts with the same quest Genesis Rhapsodos undertakes, but whereas the latter's feelings of entitlement to the moniker of "hero" lead to obsession and downfall, Zack's quest to "become a hero" has less to do with personal glory and more with making the world a better place. Zack's will to become a hero motivated him to think for himself and to be guided by his moral compass and sense of justice, whereas Genesis's obsession with becoming a hero drove him to challenge those he saw as hindrances and a need to prove himself as superior to others. Both joined SOLDIER inspired by stories of the hero First Class Sephiroth, striving to emulate him, and both fall from Shinra's graces after learning of the company's corrupt ways. In an inversion of a typical hero-villain story dynamic, Zack dies whereas Genesis lives.
    • Genesis also contrasts to Angeal. They are both SOLDIER’s of Project G, both were inspired by Sephiroth to join SOLDIER and both can create copies of themselves. However Genesis and his copies are associated with black wings, whereas Angeal and his copies are associated with white wings, alluding to angel/fallen angel imagery. Both struggle with the man/monster dynamic, Genesis embracing it as it gives him special powers he can exploit to attain his goals, whereas Angeal begins to loath himself.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Instead of being left for dead after Sephiroth completely devastated them, Zack and Cloud are experimented on for four years by Hojo before Zack manages to break them out. Cloud has left a vegetable from being used as a test subject, and while he got better, his already weak mental state was completely shattered and he had self-induced Amnesia to cope with the events.
    • Meanwhile, Sephiroth spent five years frozen in Mako, conscious but unable to move.
    • The Compilation reveals that Jenova cells left Lucrecia unable to die. She went and froze herself in crystal instead, but may still be conscious.
  • 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.
  • Foil:
    • The Arch Enemies Cloud and Sephiroth are opposites or mirror images in just about every way. Even their appearances were apparently designed on this basis. whereas Sephiroth was the absolute elite of SOLDIER apparently even as a teenager, Cloud never made it to their ranks at all. Both angsted at some point that they were the result of a terrible experiment. Sephiroth at first seemed to find out that it wasn't that bad after all, that he was merely built to be the last of the Ancients, but in fact it was if anything even worse than he had thought at first. Cloud seemed to find out that he was nothing but a soulless clone, but actually, it was much less severe than that. Where through the course of the game we find out how Sephiroth progressively stops caring about humanity, the Ancients and the Planet Cloud goes from Only in It for the Money to caring about AVALANCHE, the Planet's plight and everyone through the course of the story. For each, the time when they find out the whole truth is when they fully became the hero and villain they are.
    • To another extent, Aeris and Jenova are also foils in relation to their influence over Cloud and Sephiroth respectively.
  • Gay Option:
    • Cloud Strife will go on a date during the second time his party arrives in Gold Saucer in the story. Depending on his interactions with the other characters, the character with the highest points will drag Cloud to a date. The four candidates are Tifa (starting with 30 points), Aerith (starting with 50 points), Yuffie (starting with 10 points), and... Barret (starting with 0 points). The Barret experience isn't very romantic. He and Barret don't participate in the theatre stage play as he does with the girls, and Barret is not excited during the gondola ride. In fact, he is angry that he's hanging around with Cloud rather than having fun with his daughter Marlene. Cloud is even called out by Barret that he is not dating any of the three girls instead.
    • During the stage play, the player is given the opportunity to kiss the princess, the king or the Evil Dragon King. Kissing the king works just as well kissing his daughter. But kissing the Evil Dragon King turns him back into his original form of a girl, who the Hero hooks up with.
  • 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 his love interest Tifa (female, long brown/black hair, enthusiastic (but keeps a lot of secrets to herself, and suffers for it).
  • Heel Realization: Zack Fair has one of these at some point in Crisis Core, as more of Shinra’s corruption and evil is exposed to him. He goes from dreaming of being a First Class SOLDIER to calling the whole group “a den of monsters”, warning a hopeful Cloud Strife away from them.
  • Heroic Willpower: Zigzagged in Final Fantasy VII. The great war hero Sephiroth has an absurdly strong will which enables him to be in full control of his Super Serum-The Virus-induced powers. Unfortunately, he retains this once he's not heroic, allowing him to keep his sense of self after becoming submerged in The Lifestream and even use it to spread his will. The game's hero, Cloud, does not have a strong will and has a lot of unexamined self-loathing besides, making his sense of self-identity malleable, his goals and feelings open to Sephiroth's More Than Mind Control, and meaning that when he is submerged in Lifestream he is overcome by its information and completely loses his mind - a wilful villain and a hero with no will. Once Cloud understands this, he discovers his will and becomes immune to Sephiroth's control, cutting him to pieces in a spiritual battle when Sephiroth's dying spirit tries to take his mind down with him.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: While it tends to get de-emphasized in later works (in favor of her Incorruptible Pure Pureness), Aerith from Final Fantasy VII absolutely fits the bill. Slowly defrosting the consummate and brooding mercenary Cloud. Re-emphasized in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
  • Multiple-Choice Past:
    • About five versions of Cloud's past in Nibelheim have been officially released so far. At least one of these (the most detailed) is eventually revealed as a lie within the story, although due to the circumstances of the lie and due to it covering more than the others do, it's still debatable whether huge chunks of it are true or not.
    • The other four are wildly divergent, with Crisis Core and Final Fantasy VII`s "true" account having roughly equal canonicity despite Crisis Core having an entirely new character provoke Sephiroth's downwards spiral and the fact that Zack doesn't get the opportunity to do all the silly things Final Fantasy VII'`s "lie" account implied he did.
    • The OVA Last Order is also diverging, but probably the most radical in terms of what it implies about Cloud's past — it contains a strange scene where Cloud summons a great strength and his eyes begin glowing, causing Sephiroth to ask "What are you?", long before Cloud was granted Mako abilities in the original Final Fantasy VII, implying that Cloud isn't human or was experimented on previously. The events of Last Order have been explained that since most of the animated special takes place from the Turks' point of view (the opening scene shows the report on the Nibelheim incident, which implies that the whole flashback is from what the official Shin-Ra history report says) its account is different from what was shown in the original game and Crisis Core.
    • When asked about all this, scenario writer Kazushige Nojima has said that there is no definitive version of the Nibelheim story because it's impossible to be objective about memories.
  • Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Final Fantasy VII has Cait Sith volunteer to stay in the incredible shrinking temple, because he's only a stuffed toy and his controller is elsewhere. A few minutes after he does so, Cait Sith No.2 joins the party, who turns out to be indistinguishable from No.1. He's even got the same equipment No.1 had on him when he got crushed into a singularity.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male:
    • Cloud and his rival Sephiroth are, to some extent, inspired by Berserk's Guts and Griffith (in the page image), and to another extent by Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro who are generally depicted as having this trope in Japanese media. Sephiroth is more experienced, worldly, and dignified, and has a beautiful appearance, and while he is insane he acts enlightened; Cloud is more aggressive and scrappy, with a scruffier appearance and a more brittle kind of personality.
    • Cloud and Barret. Cloud is blond, pale, blue-eyed, androgynously beautiful (but still unambiguously masculine), a former soldier, pragmatic, chivalrous, and a sword-fighter, and while he can be flashy and superficial he's ultimately quite introverted. Barret is a Hot-Blooded Scary Black Man and terrorist with a vicious temper, little ability to restrain his emotions, and a huge gun mounted onto one of his arms. Though Cloud is the flirt of the two, Barret is more experienced (having been married)—in one scene he advises Cloud to ask either Aeris or Tifa on a date, something in which Cloud claims to have no interest.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • In Final Fantasy VII Vincent appears to be somewhere in his 20s but, chronologically speaking, he should be around 60ish. Justified, in that he was a young man when he was killed, but experiments performed on his body plus a bit of magic made him pretty much immortal. So he never ages, and then he proceeded to spend the next 30 or so years sleeping in a coffin prior to the player character finding and awakening him in the game.
    • FFVII also has Aerith, who due to her child-like Plucky Girl mannerisms seems much younger and more immature than her companions Cloud and Tifa, in actual fact Aerith is two years older than Tifa and one year older than Cloud being 22-years-old. The remake if anything actually makes Aerith look even younger than she did in the original.
  • The Promise: Cloud's childhood promise to Tifa that he would protect her if she ever got into trouble:
    Tifa: Hey, let's make a promise. Umm... if you get really famous... and if I'm ever in a bind... you'll come save me, all right?
    Cloud: What?
    Tifa: If I'm ever in trouble, my hero will come and rescue me. I want to experience that at least once.
    Cloud: What?
    Tifa: Come on! Promise me!
    Cloud: All right... I promise.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Tifa as the Blue Oni in dark clothes and Aerith as the Red Oni in red clothes. Played even straighter with their Wall Market dresses, respectively blue and bright red.
    • Cloud, while he'll show off whenever he gets the chance, is collected and thoughtful, with his flashiness being mostly a self-consciously cool persona. He's generally associated with purple, blue, white or black, and comes equipped with Ice magic at the start of the game. Barret is a loud Hot-Blooded Large Ham who wears his emotions on his sleeve (there are several occasions where he's explicitly described as crying, while the closest Cloud ever comes is acknowledging that his eyes were burning). He wears mostly warm tones, uses bullets and fireballs as weapons, and has a tattoo featuring fire. Note also that Cloud's highly personal Duel to the Death quest is patterned after samurai tropes while Barret's is based on Spaghetti Western tropes, suggesting Samurai Cowboy.
    • Zack's optimistic, vibrant, Hot-Blooded, more experienced than Cloud and (in the original game, anyway) goes out with women without letting them tell their mothers. In Crisis Core he uses the blunt edge of his sword and is motivated by justice and heroism. Cloud's pessimistic, thoughtful, sarcastically witty, and more innocent - but he can be ruthless, is motivated by revenge, and always uses the sharp edge of his sword.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud, a highly-experienced, sulky jerk, has repeated visions of a weak but kindly little boy that resembles himself. The boy is especially likely to appear when Sephiroth is performing Mind Rape on Cloud, and you can actually control him at some points (although he's limited to running around and cannot interfere with events). After Cloud's mental breakdown, the boy helps talk Tifa through sorting out Cloud's False Memories, eventually shown symbolically 'merging' with Cloud to restore him to his real self. Cloud later admits that he was ashamed of his real self and repressed it, making and embracing delusions in order to present a cooler exterior to the outside world.
      • Vincent also counts as 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.
  • Ship Tease:
    • There is a micro-Dating Sim where one of the three girls (and Barret) can go on a date with Cloud.
    • Tifa's introduced in a Bait-and-Switch where we're meant to think she's the mother of Cloud's child before we realize the little girl is actually Barret's. Immediately after, she and Cloud reminisce about a promise under the stars they had when they were kids. When Cloud tells the story of Nibelheim, he goes into her room and pokes around in her bedroom, and teases Tifa by pretending to have gone through her drawers (which makes her cross).
    • Aerith (or Aeris) tells Cloud that if he acts as her bodyguard she'll go out with him, and we don't know if Cloud's participation is out of hatred for the Shinra or a desire for a date. When sitting around the fire in Cosmo Canyon Aerith talks about her being the last Ancient and how it makes her lonely, and Cloud tries to reassure her with 'but I'm...we're here for you, right?' Cait Sith looks at Cloud and Aerith's horoscopes and determines that they'd be a perfect match just before she leaves your party and is killed by Sephiroth. At the end of the game, Cloud also talks about wanting to find Aerith in the Promised Land.
    • Yuffie will kiss Cloud if you take her on the Gondola, and is the only one of the possible dates to do so.
    • Barret gets a lot of Ho Yay with Cloud, getting moved when Cloud talks with him about politics and nervously apologizing to him after realizing he's not all bad. If the player chooses to have Cloud compliment Barret's sailor suit ("a bear wearing a marshmallow"), they'll later find Barret locked in a room with a mirror, checking himself out. He even gets Gay Bravado flirting and the opportunity to date Cloud.
    • It even has instances of Ship Tease with random male characters, like Mukki and Don Corneo.
    • Barret and Tifa get teased throughout, but particularly in the second disc where Aerith is gone and Tifa becomes Cloud's primary love interest. He gets jealous of her feelings towards Cloud, though it's unclear if it's because of his confused feelings about Cloud in general. She helps him look after his daughter, he calls her 'some kinda lady'...
    • The Turks get a bit. Rude admits to liking Tifa. Tseng asks Elena out for dinner, but has a certain amount of involvement with Aerith, who Reno says he 'likes'. Aerith doesn't seem interested, but she doesn't seem all that scared of him either, and she expresses attachment to him when she finds his unconscious body, saying he's one of the only people who really know her.
    • The Remake continues this trend as well. Both Aerith and Tifa have moments with Cloud throughout - Tifa and Cloud reach for one another in the heat of battle, have a Suggestive Collision, stand back to back together and Cloud has the option to comfort Tifa very intimately at the end - while Aerith is showing wearing the red dress for Don Corneo's mansion from Cloud's perspective, while fireworks go off in the background. There's even a moment where Cloud has both women holding his arms!
      • Surprisingly Jessie! Gets heaps of moments with Cloud compared to the original and unlike Tifa and to a lesser extent Aerith she doesn't hesitate to show him great affection. In the bike racing mini-game depending on how well the player does Jessie even kisses Cloud on the cheek causing him to become shy in an endearingly dorky fashion, then she outright invites him to her room later. Unfortunately as anyone who has played the original will remember Jessie is killed, in this continuity by falling rubble leading to a Tear Jerker where she's so glad that Cloud is the one to hear her last words before she dies.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Super-Soldier: Final Fantasy VII (and its associated Compilation works including Crisis Core) include numerous Super Soldiers, many of which were created using Mako energy, Jenova cells, a combination of both, and/or other experiments, to produce superhuman fighters with greatly improved combat abilities, including (but certainly not limited to) enhanced physical strength and speed.
    • SOLDIERs, members of Shinra's elite military unit, are carefully selected humans treated with Mako energy and Jenova cells to produce superhuman combatants.
    • Sephiroth, Genesis, and Angeal, while generally called SOLDIERs First Class, are actually prototypes for competing Shinra research projects directed to infusing humans with Jenova's genes.
      • Sephiroth was created by directly infusing a developing fetus with Jenova cells (Project S, headed by Hojo).
      • , Unlike Sephiroth, Angeal was indirectly exposed to Jenova cells because his mother Gillian was the one injected with Jenova cells before his birth, while Genesis was exposed to Jenova cells even more indirectly with his mother being treated with cells harvested from Gillian (Project G, headed by Hojo's rival Hollander).
      • They also had radically different results. Sephiroth was by far the strongest of the three. Eventually, he gained the ability to control the Jenova Cells perfectly... in exchange for losing all his humanity. Angeal received a weaker power boost but inherited Jenova's ability to infuse other organisms with his cells to give them some of his power and vice versa. Genesis was a Flawed Prototype who shared Angeal's abilities but also suffered from degradation (as did his copies) — and boy, does these cause problems.
    • Zack Fair, probably the strongest of the officially and 'conventionally' produced (i.e., non-prototype) SOLDIERs.
    • Cloud Strife, while never an actual member of SOLDIER, has all the physical enhancements of a SOLDIER, thanks to Hojo's sadistic experimentation after the Nibelheim Incident.
    • Vincent Valentine, an ex-Turk who becomes a shapeshifter with superhuman physical abilities thanks to Hojo's and Lucrecia Crescent's experiments.
    • From Dirge of Cerberus, Weiss, Nero, Rosso, Azul, Shelke, and the other members of Deepground, who underwent SOLDIER-type treatments as well as special individualized experimentation to develop unique powers. It was said they used Genesis as the basis since his cells gained the ability to use Mako similar to Jenova, but without the degradation, loss of sanity (Well, okay, he did briefly lose his sanity, but for different reasons), and having a desire to smash a meteor into the planet to eat it for breakfast.
  • Third-Option Love Interest:
    • Final Fantasy VII has Aerith and Tifa being the main Betty and Veronica for Cloud, although the dating scenario has Yuffie as a Third-Option Love Interest. You can also go for the gay option with Barret.
    • The Final Fantasy VII Remake has Jessie (who just flirted with Cloud in the original) be a genuine Third-Option Love Interest for Cloud after Aerith and Tifa. Depending on the player action’s Cloud can reciprocate Jessie’s advances or turn her down gently, choosing the former makes her death at the hands of Whispers of Fate all the more tragic.
  • Tragic Bromance: Cloud and Zack. note  They met in SOLDIER, became best friends, were part of the horrifying tragedy in Cloud's Doomed Hometown, were captured and experimented on, and after Zack managed to escape he took a comatose and traumatized Cloud with him. Zack died at the end of Crisis Core, right as Cloud wakes up from the coma, and his actions deeply mark Cloud for the rest of his life.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In Final Fantasy VII there was a shy boy from Nibelheim who optimistically dreamed of being an adored hero like his idol the 1st Class SOLDIER Sephiroth as well as winning the heart of his crush Tifa whom he was too nervous to talk to or hang out with. When Tifa got injured crossing a bridge on MT. Nibel her father blamed him for it, which caused him to lash out at people. Eventually, the boy left his village to become a SOLDIER but not before making The Promise with Tifa. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it any further than being a simple infantryman and upon returning to Nibelheim he didn’t dare show his face out of embarrassment, then his hero Sephiroth went crazy and set fire to Nibelheim, killing his mother and cutting up Tifa and his best friend Zack. If that wasn’t enough he and Zack got experimented on by a Mad Scientist and infused with MAKO he got False Memories as a result. Even after escaping, Zack was then shot down leaving the boy as a cynical and headstrong shell of his former self. Said boy being Cloud Strife The Hero, it takes Tifa going on a Journey to the Center of the Mind to restore his former self.
    • Lampshaded in the remake when Cloud acts the part of a cold-blooded merc i.e trying to kill Loose Lips Johnny Tifa is terrified and upset at how much Cloud has changed from the sweet boy whom she knew and fell for as a teenager. He does get better over course of the story though.
  • What Have I Become?: In the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, Genesis becomes a villain, Angeal a Death Seeker and Sephiroth enlightened with insanity because of this. The only thing that changes with their appearance is a single black or white wing on their back (Sephiroth's wing is seen chronologically much later in the series though) which allows them to fly, and before that they were insanely powerful warriors. The genetic tinkering behind this however also causes Genesis and possibly Angeal as well to slowly degenerate. Which still kinda manages to be Cursed with Awesome (seeing how there were possible cures), although there are more subtle explanations for why they are not exactly happy about the revelation; they aren't angsting about having wings, they're angsting about what the wings are a symptom of.
    • Cloud Strife in the original game goes through a similar moment. But it is made more complicated by the fact that his own transformation into a Jenova hybrid came with a set of side effects including false memories and susceptibility to mind control, which led him to misunderstand the nature of his condition at first and think he was never human at all, which leads to his breakdown. It takes a little amount of Tifa's tinkering with his mind to recover the truth of who he was and is, and repair his personality.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Sephiroth, Kadaj, Loz, Yazoo, and Weiss.
  • Younger Than They Look:

"All right, everyone, let's mosey."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Final Fantasy VII


Maybe Frowning Suits You...

In "Final Fantasy VII Remake," in the start of Chapter 18 as the party escapes from the Shinra building by motorbikes, Barret comments on Red XIII's needing to lighten up, saying that he might even try smiling. Red gives a grimace that results in Barret declaring that perhaps frowning suits him better.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheUnSmile

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