|“|| Originally a member of SOLDIER, he is now a mercenary who will take any job...||”|
— Description, Final Fantasy VII
|Species||Genetically modified human|
|Date of birth||August 11, 1986|
|Affiliation||Shinra Inc. (past)|
|Behind the scenes|
|Created by||野村 哲也 - Nomura Tetsuya|
北瀬 佳範 - Kitase Yoshinor
野島 一成 - Nojima Kazushige
坂口 博信 - Sakaguchi Hironobu
|Designed by||野村 哲也 - Nomura Tetsuya|
|Performed by||櫻井孝宏 - Sakurai Takahiro|
堀内 賢雄 - Horiuchi Ken'yū (Ehrgeiz)
佐々木 望 - Sasaki Nozomu (Ehrgeiz: PS)
Cloud Strife is the main protagonist of both Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, who also appears in other games of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII as a supporting character.
An arrogant and proud swordsman at first, Cloud believes himself to be a member of an elite warrior unit called SOLDIER, but soon discovers the memories of who he was are not his own and, with the help of his friends, learns there is more to being a hero than possessing physical strength and fame.
In Final Fantasy VII, due to the combined effects of mako poisoning and the influence of Jenova's cells in his body, Cloud unknowingly holds a fake persona created by the alien cells mixing his memories of Zack's personality with the cocky and selfish attitude he believes a SOLDIER 1st Class would have. After restoring his original personality, Cloud shows genuine concern for the planet's fate, a sharp contrast to his persona at the start where he claimed he didn't care and only agreed to help AVALANCHE for the right price.
In Advent Children and many related appearances, Cloud is a somber and dark character, tormented by guilt over what he perceives as his past failings to save those he cares about. The final straw was when he contracted the terminal Geostigma plague, adding to his feelings of helplessness. Distancing from his friends and living alone, Cloud tries to keep his affliction secret. Cloud faces his past both metaphorically and literally, and with the shows of loyalty from the friends he tried to let go he comes to forgive himself and moves on. It is unclear what this ultimately means in terms of his personality and lifestyle.
Despite the feelings he may have, Cloud remains steadfastly loyal and true to those he cares about and is driven to protect them, going as far as to hide his pain and emotions so he would not worry them. He does have a lighter side, willingly cross-dressing as a woman to save Tifa from Don Corneo's mansion. In Dirge of Cerberus, he is shown to have a dry, ironic wit, and although he has a moody demeanor, his personality is not as brooding as that of Vincent Valentine. Cloud suffers from motion sickness that is seemingly cured during the period when he upholds his fake SOLDIER persona, but returns when his true self is restored, although his ability to ride the Fenrir on delivery business suggests his motion sickness has since improved.
Cloud possesses a lean build and spiked blond hair which, in Final Fantasy VII, features one particularly large spike. Cloud's hair has become one of the trademarks of his appearance, although in later appearances the spikes have been toned down. His eyes are of a glowing blue, due to the mako flowing through his body. His weapon is the Buster Sword, a massive sword several feet long which he wields in most of his appearances. Cloud's other trademark weapon is a set of Fusion Swords which he uses in Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus, Dissidia and Kingdom Hearts II. The set consists of six individual interconnecting swords that form a larger sword similar in shape and size to the Buster Sword. Because "mako eyes" are an icon of SOLDIER, Cloud is often mistaken as one.
His outfit in Final Fantasy VII is the standard uniform for 1st Class SOLDIER (indigo pants with a sleeveless shirt and a belt), with brown boots and gauntlets with a pauldron over his left shoulder. This is the uniform he wears for most of his other appearances, with slight variations, although in one occasion, he was forced to cross-dress in order to enter Don Corneo's mansion, where men weren't allowed.
In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Cloud wears the uniform of a Shinra Inc. infantryman of blue clothing with several belts and straps and a green-gray piece of cloth around the collar, wearing his helmet to hide his identity at times. After he gains the SOLDIER 1st class uniform his appearance is the same as in Final Fantasy VII, albeit with both shoulder pauldrons intact and the SOLDIER logo as it is in Crisis Core.
In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Cloud's clothing design was made with fighting in mind, and the concept began with a black robe and was restructured into the final version seen in the film, and Cloud's hair was changed both to show the passage of time since Final Fantasy VII, and to be more realistic. He wears a high collar sleeveless black shirt, black pants and boots, and black cloth covering his left leg and arm (the cloth on his arm covers a geostigma mark). Cloud gains a new pauldron, and his chest is covered by two straps, held in place by a badge representing Fenrir, the wolf that has come to be associated with him. Like the rest of the party, he wears a pink ribbon around his left arm in remembrance of Aerith Gainsborough, though it stays hidden for most of the movie due to his black cloth.
In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud's costume was designed to resemble that of Vincent Valentine, being composed of a tattered red cloak with dark blue pants and a shirt and brown boots. The costume features many crossing belts as well as gloves, the left of which has golden trimmings, almost like a claw. Cloud's most distinctive trait in this appearance is a demonic black wing protruding from his left shoulder, symbolizing both his connection to Sephiroth, and the dark powers he is using. The costume can be obtained as downloadable content in Dissidia 012, and in Kingdom Hearts II, his appearance is identical to that of Advent Children, save that his new sword is loosely bound as the Buster Sword was in Kingdom Hearts.