August 11th is Cloud’s birthday. With his spiky hair and enigmatic personality, Cloud Strife has become iconic even beyond the Final Fantasy series. He has appeared in other games, including Kingdom Hearts, Ehrgeiz, and even Super Smash Bros. Final Fantasy VII was the first game to spawn a sequel (as the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children), and multiple successful spin-off games. Currently, the remake of the original game is set to release in March. For now, let’s celebrate some of Cloud’s most iconic moments.
Are you a fan of the Final Fantasy series? Check a ranking of all of the Final Fantasy games here!
Cloud Strife’s Top Moments
This moment really captures Cloud as a character: the awkward leader. Cloud never wanted to get into this mess of saving the world. He began as a simple mercenary posing as his dead friend. Then he got himself in over his head in a battle for the world that was as much internal as external.
Cloud is the leader of the group, but only by default. He isn’t a typical “charge into battle and rally the troops” kind of guy. Yet, he comes through when the team needs him, and his friends look to him when things get tough.
This happens as the crew is about to plunge into the final battle with Cloud’s nemesis, Sephiroth. On cue, Cloud signals to the brigade that it is time with the phrase “Let’s mosey,” leading to outrage from Cid. But that’s Cloud; the unlikely hero.
Kingdom Hearts Appearance
The Kingdom Hearts appearance of Cloud is special for fans of the spiky-haired hero. When the game was released in 2002, it was before Final Fantasy Advent Children, or any Final Fantasy sequel game was ever announced. This meant that most fans didn’t expect to ever see Cloud again once FFVII was completed.
So, it was a pleasant surprise to see Cloud (along with other Final Fantasy characters) have a role in a new game. Cloud got a new look, including a single wing of his own, a tattered red cloak, and a voice actor (Steve Burton). In this game, Cloud is back to his mercenary ways, working for Hades from Hercules.
Here, Cloud is as enigmatic as ever, responding that he is “looking for someone” when Sora asks why he was working with Hades. Who he is looking for is unclear. Is it Aerith, Tifa, or maybe his old rival Sephiroth? Either way, it was a welcome reunion for FFVII fans everywhere.
Come on, this one has to make the list. It is another moment that shows just how different of a hero Cloud is. While many protagonists in games are big burly macho men, Cloud shows that he is comfortable enough with his masculinity to do what it takes in order to rescue Tifa from a brothel.
The hilarious part is, once inside Don Corneo’s mansion, many of the creepo men hit on “Ms. Cloud.” If the player chooses the right items, Corneo will even choose Cloud over Tifa and Aerith. Cloud then goes into a room alone, where Corneo tries to get frisky. The player can even choose certain dialogue to play along, including calling the Don “Daddy.” It really is a hilarious scene that many are wondering how the remake will portray.
Regaining His Identity
Midway through the game, a shocking revelation comes to light. Cloud was never a member of SOLDIER. He tells his party the story of being there when Sephiroth burned down his hometown of Nibelheim, but Tifa knows there is something off about his story. She knows his account is correct, but also that the member of SOLDIER who came with Sephiroth that day wasn’t Cloud, but someone else named Zack.
Cloud was just a masked grunt, not good enough to be a member of SOLDIER like his friend Zack. He was too embarrassed to not have made it, that he stayed masked when he came back to Nibelheim. But, when things turned sour at the reactor, he was able to save Tifa by impaling Sephiroth from behind. Cloud and Zack are then captured and kept in Shinra Mansion, but the two escape. However, Zack doesn’t make it out alive, and Cloud ends up taking his iconic Buster Sword, and Zack’s identity as a SOLDIER.
Once Tifa helps Cloud get things straight in his mind, he is ready to rejoin his friends and take on Sephiroth once and for all.
What else would be the top moment but Cloud’s final face-off with the original game’s antagonist, Sephiroth? The entire party goes up against the actual “final boss” form of “Safer Sephiroth,” infamously known for using Super Nova. This move involves a two-and-a-half-minute cutscene where a meteor destroys every single planet.
Sure, this is the final boss for the players, but the real final battle is a one-on-one bout between Cloud and Sephiroth afterward. For the player, it is nothing, as it just involves Cloud gaining his Limit Burst and Omnishashing Sephiroth to death. Still, it was a necessary moment for Cloud to finally overcome the torment Sephiroth caused in his mind.
Watch the scene below: