This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Cloud Strife

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cloud Strife
Final Fantasy character
Cloud Strife.png
Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII
First game Final Fantasy VII (1997)
Created by Tetsuya Nomura, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase, Kazushige Nojima
Designed by Tetsuya Nomura
Voiced by (English) Steve Burton[1]
Voiced by (Japanese) Kenyu Horiuchi (Ehrgeiz, arcade version)
Nozomu Sasaki (Ehrgeiz, home console version)
Takahiro Sakurai (2002–present)[2]
Fictional profile
Weapon Broadswords
Race Human
Home Nibelheim

Cloud Strife (Japanese: クラウド・ストライフ Hepburn: Kuraudo Sutoraifu?) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Square's (now Square Enix's) role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. He was originally designed by Final Fantasy VII character designer Tetsuya Nomura. Cloud's appearance is marked by spiky blond hair, striking blue eyes, dark clothing and his Buster Sword (バスターソード Basutā Sōdo?),[3] which previously belonged to his friend Zack Fair.

In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a mercenary and self-proclaimed ex-member of SOLDIER, a group of elite supersoldiers employed by the megacorporation Shinra Electric Power Company. Fighting against Shinra in the resistance group AVALANCHE, and driven by a feud with the primary antagonist, Sephiroth,[4] Cloud learns to accept his troubled past and adapts to his role as a leader. Cloud has also appeared in several other titles outside the Final Fantasy VII continuity, such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Ehrgeiz, Itadaki Street Special, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and the Kingdom Hearts series.

Cloud has garnered a primarily positive reception from critics. Described as "iconic", the character has been ranked highly in various published character lists. He remains popular among fans, and continues to place highly in popularity polls. He has also become the basis for a variety of merchandise, such as action figures and jewellery.

Appearances[edit]

In Final Fantasy VII[edit]

Cloud is introduced as a mercenary-for-hire employed by AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist group opposed to the Shinra Company. Beginning the game with the placeholder name "Ex-SOLDIER" (元ソルジャー Moto Sorujā?), Cloud assists AVALANCHE's leader, Barret Wallace, in bombing a Mako reactor, power plants which drain the planet's "Lifestream". Cloud claims to be formerly of SOLDIER 1st Class, an elite Shinra fighting unit. Cloud takes pride in his past and boasts of the abilities of its members.[5] However, his background produces misgivings as to his allegiances[6] and trustworthiness,[7] and Cloud's blasé attitude towards the goals of AVALANCHE creates further conflict.[8] Despite appearing detached,[9] Cloud demonstrates moments of camaraderie,[10] and players can choose to act friendlier in interacting with AVALANCHE's members.[11] When approached by his childhood friend and AVALANCHE member, Tifa Lockhart, about accepting another job, Cloud at first refuses. Confronted with his boyhood promise to protect her were he to become a famous hero,[12] however, Cloud agrees to continue helping AVALANCHE, despite never having become famous or a hero.[13][14]

While working for AVALANCHE, Cloud encounters Aerith Gainsborough, a resident of Midgar's slums. Agreeing to serve as her bodyguard in exchange for a date,[15] Cloud helps Aerith evade Shinra, who pursue her because she is the sole survivor of a race known as the Cetra. Aerith notes that Cloud reminds her an old boyfriend of hers, who is implied to be Zack Fair. During the course of their travels, a love triangle develops between Cloud, Tifa and Aerith, often exploited to humorous effect.[16][17] Dialogue choices impact the strength of Cloud's relationship with Tifa and Aerith, as well as with Barret and Yuffie Kisaragi. These interactions determine who accompanies Cloud through the Gold Saucer, an amusement park. If Aerith joins Cloud, she reflects on how strongly Cloud's physical appearance and mannerisms resemble Zack's, and struggles to put into words how she is still "searching for [Cloud]".[18] Irrespective of who accompanies Cloud at the Gold Saucer, how the player interacts with Tifa may also result in a more sexually suggestive[17] scene playing out during the night she spends with Cloud before the game's conclusion, and Tifa worries instead that the party saw, rather than overheard, the two the morning after.[19]

Following the player's departure from Midgar, Cloud is appointed group leader by the other members of the party, upsetting Barret.[20] Shortly thereafter, Cloud narrates his history with Sephiroth, a legendary member of SOLDIER and the game's primary antagonist, and the events that led to Sephiroth's disappearance five years prior. According to Cloud, the two were "war buddies".[21] Joining SOLDIER to emulate Sephiroth, Cloud explains that he would sign up for a "big mission" whenever they became available, as the conclusion of Shinra's war with the people of Wutai ended his chances for military fame.[22] Cloud explains that Sephiroth started questioning his humanity after accompanying him on a job to Cloud's hometown of Nibelheim, which suffered from a malfunctioning Mako reactor responsible for producing monsters. Discovering documents concerning Jenova, an extraterrestrial lifeform and Sephiroth's "mother",[23] Sephiroth mistakes himself for a Cetra and blames their downfall on humans. Razing Nibelheim, Sephiroth leaves for the Mt. Nibel Mako reactor, and Cloud gives chase. There, Cloud finds Tifa gravely wounded by Sephiroth outside the chamber where Jenova is stored. Cloud says that he then confronted Sephiroth, but that he is unable to remember or explain how he survived the encounter given Sephiroth's strength.[24]

However, numerous clues suggest the unreliability of Cloud's memory. Various visual and audio cues, such as the screen flashing white or red and the sound of static, play when Cloud attempts to recall details about his identity. Cloud will spontaneously remember words or scenes from his past, sometimes collapsing to the ground while cradling his head. An unidentified voice questions Cloud in his sleep about why he and Tifa never met alone during his mission to Nibelheim despite their history.[25] Additionally, Tifa makes various remarks suggesting that Cloud's version of events troubles her,[26] and she feigns ignorance of who Zack is.[27] Cloud's behavior grows increasingly erratic after searching the Temple of the Ancients for the Black Materia, an item capable of casting the destructive magic Meteor. After its retrieval, Cloud loses control of himself, handing over the Black Materia to Sephiroth and attacking Aerith. Alarmed that Sephiroth can manipulate him, Cloud realizes that he is "afraid to find out the truth"[28] and becomes fearful of himself. Later, Sephiroth takes advantage of Cloud's insecurities, telling him that his past is merely a fiction and that Shinra created Cloud in an attempt to clone Sephiroth.[29] Although Cloud is initially dismissive, when Tifa is unable to corroborate Cloud's account of the Nibelheim incident, Cloud realizes he cannot remember things like how or when he joined SOLDIER. Cloud, resigning himself as a "failed experiment",[30] goes missing after Sephiroth summons Meteor. The party later discovers a comatose Cloud suffering from Mako poisoning, and Tifa helps Cloud reconstruct his past after the two fall into the Lifestream.

It is revealed that Cloud never qualified for SOLDIER, and instead enlisted as an infantryman in Shinra's army. During the mission to Nibelheim, Cloud served under Sephiroth and Zack, a SOLDIER 1st Class, hiding his identity from the townspeople out of embarrassment. Following Sephiroth's defeat of Zack at the Mt. Nibel Mako reactor, Cloud took up Zack's sword, catching Sephiroth off guard and stabbing him. Zack urges Cloud to kill Sephiroth after Sephiroth emerges alive, but when Cloud pursues him, he is run through by Sephiroth's sword. Cloud, to Sephiroth's shock, summons the strength to grab hold of the blade and lift Sephiroth off the ground, tossing him into a Mako vat below. Cloud and Zack are then imprisoned by Shinra's lead scientist, Hojo, for experimentation. Zack later escapes with Cloud, bringing him to the outskirts of Midgar before Shinra soldiers gun Zack down. Due to exposure to Mako radiation and the injection of Jenova's cells,[31] in addition to the shame stemming from his personal failures, Cloud's mind fabricated a story blending together his own memories with accounts of Zack's heroics,[32] creating a false personality.[33] After piecing back together his identity, Cloud resumes his role as leader. At the game's conclusion, Sephiroth reappears in Cloud's mind a final time, but he is defeated in a one-on-one fight.[34]

In Compilation of Final Fantasy VII[edit]

Cloud appears in a minor role in the cellphone game Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, a prequel set six years before Final Fantasy VII. The player, a member of the Turks, a Shinra covert operatives group, encounters Cloud during his time as a Shinra infantryman working to join SOLDIER. The game portrays Cloud's natural talent for swordsmanship,[35] and recounts his role during the events of Nibelheim's destruction.

Cloud's design in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was one of the most difficult to make to look realistic.[36]

In the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, set two years following the conclusion of Final Fantasy VII,[37] Cloud lives with Tifa in the city of Edge. Having given up his life as a mercenary,[38] Cloud works as a courier for the "Strife Delivery Service" that Tifa set up in her new bar. Staying with them is Marlene, Barret's adopted daughter, and Denzel, an orphan with a rampant and deadly disease called Geostigma. When confronted by Tifa following the disappearance of Denzel and Marlene, it is revealed that Cloud also suffers from the effects of Geostigma, and he responds that he is unfit to protect his new family and other friends.[39] However, when urged by Tifa to let go of the past,[40] Cloud sets out for the Forgotten City in search of the children. There, Cloud confronts Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo, genetic remnants of Sephiroth left behind before he could diffuse into the Lifestream completely.[41] Cloud's battle with Kadaj later takes them back to Aerith's church, where Cloud recovers from his Geostigma with Aerith's help.[42] Kadaj, merging with the remains of Jenova, resurrects Sephiroth. Cloud, having overcome his doubts, defeats Sephiroth once more, leaving a dying Kadaj in his place.[43] At the film's conclusion, Cloud, seeing Aerith and Zack, assures the two that he will be fine and reunites with his friends.

On the Way to a Smile, a series of short stories set between Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children, portrays Cloud's life alongside Tifa, Marlene, and Denzel in "Case of Tifa", while "Case of Denzel" relates how Cloud first met Denzel.[44] Cloud also appears in On the Way to a Smile - Episode: Denzel, a short OVA adaptation of "Case of Denzel". The OVA Last Order: Final Fantasy VII serves as an alternate retelling of Nibelheim's destruction and Zack and Cloud's escape from Shinra imprisonment.[45]

Cloud acts in a supporting role in the PlayStation 2 game Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. A year after the events of Advent Children,[46] Cloud, working alongside Barret and Tifa, lends his support to the ground forces of the World Regenesis Organization and Vincent Valentine in their siege of Midgar and counterattack against the rogue Shinra military unit, Deepground.[47]

In the PlayStation Portable game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is presented as a young Shinra infantryman who befriends Zack.[48] During the game's conclusion, a dying Zack gives Cloud his Buster Sword, telling him that he is his legacy.[49] The game ends with Cloud heading to Midgar, reprising the start of Final Fantasy VII.[50]

In other media[edit]

Cloud's character has also appeared in games outside of the Final Fantasy VII continuity. He is one of several playable Final Fantasy VII characters in Itadaki Street Special for the PlayStation 2 and Itadaki Street Portable for the PlayStation Portable. In Chocobo Racing, Cloud is a hidden character that rides a motorcycle.[51] He is a playable character in the PlayStation version of Ehrgeiz, but like the other Final Fantasy VII characters present in the game, he has no storyline. Cloud and Tifa are the only Final Fantasy VII characters with a third costume or a story mode title; Cloud's depicts him in his Shinra infantryman attire, and his title is 'Guardian'.[52] He is the representative Final Fantasy VII character in Dissidia Final Fantasy, a fighting game that uses characters from the Final Fantasy games.[53] He is featured in his Final Fantasy VII outfit, while his Advent Children appearance is also available. His fight against Sephiroth in this game is based on their fights from Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children.[54] Along with the entire cast, Cloud reappears in the prequel Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a Warrior of Chaos. Concerned for Tifa, who is on the opposing side, Cloud tries to defeat Chaos alone but is nearly killed. He is later saved by the goddess Cosmos and becomes one of her warriors. Cloud's main outfit is based on Yoshitaka Amano's original artwork concept,[55] while his Kingdom Hearts outfit serves as a downloadable content.[56] He is also featured in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a playable character representing Final Fantasy VII.[57] He is also set to appear in Final Fantasy Explorers.[58] In LittleBigPlanet 2, Cloud is featured as a downloadable character model.[59] Cloud appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, sporting his character designs from both Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children; he was made available as downloadable content alongside a stage based on Midgar on December 16, 2015.[60]

In the PlayStation game Final Fantasy Tactics, Cloud is accidentally pulled into the world of Ivalice by an ancient machine called "the Celestial Globe", which was activated by Ramza Beoulve.[61] Cloud is disoriented after arriving in Ramza's world, and after a short exchange with Ramza and the others, he leaves.[61] He wanders into Zarghidas Trade City, where he encounters a flower girl named Aerith.[62] As Cloud is leaving the area, Aerith is accosted by a man demanding payment.[63] Cloud returns to help Aerith escape, as Ramza and his party catch up to him.[64] After the battle, he joins Ramza's party as a playable character, although he cannot perform any of his signature attacks until the player tracks down his sword.[65] Cloud is also set to be the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII G-Bike, a mobile game for which Nomura designed a new costume for him.[66]

In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud is meant to have a "demon-like" appearance.[67]

In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud appears in the Olympus Coliseum world. He is depicted with a claw and a crimson cape, and the blade of his sword is wrapped in bandages. Nomura has stated that Cloud's left arm was inspired by Vincent Valentine, noting that, in this game, the character was supposed to illustrate a "demon-like" appearance due to his ties to the "dark side".[67] He has been hired by Hades to kill Hercules, but must fight Sora as a prerequisite.[68] After the fight, Hades sends Cerberus to attack Cloud and Sora, who are then saved by Hercules. Cloud meets with Sora afterward and explains that he is searching for someone.[69] In Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix there is an additional scene where he battles Sephiroth. During the credit roll at the end of the game, Cloud is shown reuniting residents of Hollow Bastion. A memory-based version of Cloud continued his role in the series in the Game Boy Advance sequel Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a boss in the Olympus Coliseum[70] and later as a summon card for Sora.[71] Cloud appears again in Kingdom Hearts II, depicted in his Advent Children attire. He is searching for Sephiroth,[72] and is himself being sought out by Tifa.[73] Cloud fights alongside Leon's team during the Heartless invasion of Hollow Bastion. Should the player choose to engage Sephiroth and win the battle, Cloud returns and fights Sephiroth, which ends with both of them disappearing in a flash of light after Tifa gives Cloud her support. Sora concludes that Cloud is still fighting with Sephiroth, and will not stop until he is defeated.[74] A digital replica of Cloud also appears in Kingdom Hearts coded in the Olympus Coliseum, helping Sora and Hercules to battle Hades.[75]

Concept and creation[edit]

There wasn't really much controversy or criticism about having him as the hero from within Square, but he is definitely a mysterious character. That's one of the game's main themes, the fact that the protagonist has all these secrets to unravel. He isn't a straightforward hero like Superman; rather, he has many mysteries, self-doubts, and a real dark side. Mr. Nomura was also very good at designing a character like that.

—Yoshinori Kitase, Electronic Gaming Monthly, October 2005[76]

Conceptualized as one of only three playable characters in early planning stages for the game,[76] Cloud was one of the first two characters designed for Final Fantasy VII by Tetsuya Nomura.[77] According to Nomura, the original parameters of Cloud's character design called for slicked-back, black hair with no spikes. This depiction was to serve as a contrast to the long, flowing silver hair of the game's lead antagonist, Sephiroth. However, to make Cloud stand out more and emphasize his role in the game as the lead protagonist, Nomura altered Cloud's design to give him spiky, bright blond hair.[78] Early renditions of the character depicted a shorter version of Cloud's weapon, the Buster Sword, but its height increased as Nomura redesigned Cloud.[79] Nomura nicknamed it "the Giant Kitchen Knife", because that was how he originally envisioned it.[80] The sword was meant to be held on Cloud's back with the use of magnets, and have a small chain.[81] Nomura devoted attention to both character building and story at the outset, whereas he only started receiving character profiles before handling a design during later game productions.[77] Working more deeply with Cloud's creation than with other characters in previous Final Fantasy projects,[76] Nomura provided supervision over Cloud's personality traits.[82]

Yoshinori Kitase and Kazushige Nojima developed Cloud's background and his relationship with the character of Sephiroth.[83] The idea for Cloud's false persona arose out of event planner Motomu Toriyama's standing animation depicting "Cloud showing off", and Nojima drew inspiration from the character striking the pose.[77] As the story developed, Nojima focused on making Cloud more mature, hoping it would be noticed by the players. He incorporated the character of Zack into the game so as to expand upon the mysteries in Cloud's backstory, which were still undecided at the time. In emphasizing Cloud's individuality, the staff made repeated use of elements that they believed made the character interesting, such as Cloud's phrase "not interested" and Toriyama's standing animation. While reviewing Nojima's scenario, Kitase felt Cloud's character was fresh, observing that he possessed an atypical personality, being neither single-minded nor righteous. The love triangle between Cloud, Tifa and Aerith was also viewed as novel for the series. Nojima based this element on the "high school romance comedy" concept.[77]

In early drafts, Cloud would act as an alter ego for Sephiroth, influenced to believe he was not the real Cloud, but a creation of Sephiroth's will. As in the finished game, Cloud would later realize that he is the real Cloud, and that the reason Sephiroth could control his mind and body was because of Shinra's experiments and a weakening of his own will.[84] Additionally, Cloud would have scarred Tifa prior to the game's events, although the reasons for as to why were unknown.[81] Masato Kato, one of the event planners, proposed another scene involving Cloud walking out of the Highwind's Chocobo stable the morning before the final battle, followed by Tifa, who would check around while exiting. Kitase rejected it as too extreme, but maintained Kato's scene depicting the night before in which a risqué line is spoken by Tifa followed by a fade to black. In an interview, Nojima stated none of the staff thought it would become an important issue at the time.[77]

Nojima has explained that the dynamic of the relationship between the player and the main character in a Final Fantasy title is something he always puts thought into. With Final Fantasy VII, Cloud's subdued nature led him to write scenes with the character in such a way that the players would be placed in the position of deciding for themselves what the character was thinking.[85] Cloud's foggy memories served both to help players "become" the character, and to introduce them to a world which other inhabitants would otherwise share common knowledge of.[86] Nomura believes that the reason Cloud has become so popular with audiences is due to the impact his personality made in Nojima's scenario.[79]

Further development[edit]

For Advent Children, Nomura agreed to direct the project largely because of his attachment to the character of Cloud.[82] Although Nomura stated that Cloud was a more upbeat character in Final Fantasy VII than in Advent Children, he chose a Cloud whose personality would be more familiar to gamers, and the script was written to explain the reasons for his state of mind.[80] Nomura, explaining Cloud's situation in the film, has said "Cloud tried to lead his life positively after the end of FF7 but he cracked... The sin which Cloud thinks he owns is not anyone's fault in particular. It is something Cloud has to overcome by himself." Nojima said the theme of the story is one of redemption; "If you want to be forgiven, you have to take the hard path in life." Cloud, in choosing to fight against Sephiroth once again, is finally "given healing and forgiveness".[87] Nomura concluded, "Cloud seems to be a weak guy. Generally, heroes are strong, cool and don't have any weaknesses... It's through redemption from his friends and having children to protect that he becomes stronger."[87] Cloud's feelings of guilt and regret for not being able to save Zack and Aerith are symbolized by a grey wolf that appears in scenes in which Cloud thinks about them. The wolf disappears at the film's conclusion as Cloud comes to terms with his feelings.[88] One of the staff's favorite scenes was where Cloud smiles in an embarrassing way towards Tifa. Nomura liked it as there was almost no dialogue, and the expression on his face communicated his emotions to the viewer. Composer Nobuo Uematsu commented "It sounds cool!", considering the fact that gamers who have finished Final Fantasy VII would find it hard to imagine how Cloud smiles. Upon reading that scene in the script, Uematsu was inspired to write the score.[87]

Cloud's design in the film is a combination of a total of eight designs which moved from a super deformed style to a more realistic design. In contrast to his hair, Cloud's clothes were difficult to make in the film.[36] His new weaponry was based on jokes by fans who had commented that because Cloud's weapon in the original game had an enormous height, in the sequel, he goes with sheer numbers. Although it does not have an official name, the staff named it the "Fusion Swords" during the film's development. The concept was to have Cloud hold six swords that he would carry on his back, although the idea was then modified to six interlocking swords. Although the film's staff thought sequences with the Fusion Swords may be impossible, they realised that such a weapon gave an interesting twist to the battles.[80] Cloud's new motorcycle, Fenrir (フェンリル?), was designed by Takayuki Takeya, who was asked by the staff to design an upgraded version of Cloud's "Hardy-Daytona" motorcycle from Final Fantasy VII. As development continued, the bike got bigger, with Takeya feeling its heaviness provided an impact that worked well within the film.[87]

Cloud's Japanese voice actor, Takahiro Sakurai, first voiced the character in Kingdom Hearts with the idea that Cloud was a different character from the one in Final Fantasy VII, which he was a fan of.[89] For Advent Children Nomura wanted Cloud and Vincent's voices to contrast with each other because of their similarities in terms of personality.[90] Sakurai felt pressure voicing Cloud for the film, as it was the sequel to such a significant and well loved game. Although he did not mind whether critical response regarding his work was positive or negative, Sakurai claims he only received praise. During the recording, Sakurai had in mind that silence is more expressive than dialogue and that because of Cloud's burdens, he comes across as a weak person.

For Crisis Core, Sakurai felt that Cloud was more normal and expressive. He worked more on the final scene in which Cloud screams over Zack's death than any other individual scene, and it left a major impression on him. He stated that he has come to regard Cloud as a very important character in the series, who reminds him of his own past, and he is happy that he was able to contribute because he considers himself to be a Final Fantasy VII fan.[89] In the English adaptations, Cloud is voiced by Steve Burton, who enjoyed dubbing the character and was surprised by how fans recognized him for his work. He also referred to Cloud as "[one of the] coolest characters there is," and he too considers himself lucky for having voiced him.[91]

Cultural impact[edit]

Merchandise[edit]

Cloud has been merchandised extensively, in many different forms, including figurines and jewelry.[92][93] In conmemmoration of the franchise' 20th anniversary, Square released figurines of him alongside other Final Fantasy protagonists.[94] At the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International, Kanji Tashiro, Square Enix's manager of merchandise, said that Cloud's likeness has produced some of the company's best-selling items, and that fans could look forward to further adaptations of the character in the future.[95] Popular models include Cloud's Advent Children figurine and Final Fantasy VII Hardy Daytona bike set, both of which sold particularly well in European and North American markets.[95] Square has also released two promotional books primarily focusing on Cloud's character: "Cloud Vol 1", which was released in 2007 and "Cloud Message", in 2008.[96][97] In 2013, a real version of the Buster Sword was created by blacksmith, Tony Swatton.[98]

Reception[edit]

Whether or not you handicap for the massive marketing push that introduced him to the world back in 1997, [Cloud] is probably the most famous hero in the history of the Final Fantasy series. The spiky blond hair and the gigantic Buster Sword have become instantly identifiable icons, recognized by gamers around the world. If his star has faded somewhat over the last decade and change, maybe it's just a consequence of overexposure – four different sequels and prequels will do that to a guy. Nevertheless, even after the hype blows over, he'll probably still be an icon ten years from now.

IGN in 2008[99]

The character of Cloud has been mostly well received by critics. In 2005, Electronic Gaming Monthly placed him seventh on their list of top video game characters.[100] He was named best character of all time in Dengeki PlayStation's 2007 retrospective awards feature regarding the original PlayStation.[101] IGN ranked him third in their 2008 lists of top characters of both Final Fantasy VII and the Final Fantasy series overall.[99][102] GameSpot made a video titled "Greatest Game Hero: Cloud Strife" featuring scenes based on his character for his inclusion their 2009 poll "All Time Greatest Game Hero".[103][104] UGO placed him at the top of their 2010 list of top Japanese RPG characters.[105] That same year, GamesRadar listed Cloud as the second best Final Fantasy hero of all the time, stating "he's one of the most well-rounded and thought-out characters in the series."[106] He was also ranked the second best Final Fantasy character in a 2010 list by VideoGamer.com, who called him a "poster boy for the entire JRPG genre".[107] In 2011, Empire ranked Cloud as the 13th greatest video game character, stating: "He is, and always will be, the definitive FF poster child - an enduring axiom of character des[i]gn."[108] GameZone ranked Cloud as second on their 2012 top list of Final Fantasy characters, attributing the success of Final Fantasy VII largely to this character.[109] In 2013, Complex named him the greatest Final Fantasy character of all time, for his "killer backstory, iconic weaponry, and a great game to the boot."[110]

In an article focused on his past and his personality, RPGamer's Abadi Aujang called Cloud "one of the most complex characters Square has created," as well as "the first truly complicated main character."[111] Kurt Kalata of Gamasutra praised certain aspects of Cloud's characterization, noting that he is "neither hero nor anti-hero" but rather "somewhat of a weakling" with grandiose delusions and psychological issues, and one of the first unreliable narrators in a role-playing video game.[112] Unicorn Lynx of MobyGames described him as "one of the most complex characters ever seen in a game," due to how he has to deal with "his own deep psychological problems" and "the truth about his very existence," while taking responsibility as a leader.[113] Famitsu gave him a seven-page tribute, showing his many appearances throughout the years.[79] On the other hand, GameCritics leveled some criticism against the character, stating that, while Final Fantasy VII had "some of the most complex characters ever created, by video game standards," some of them were "paper-thin" and Cloud had "childish motivations" compared to the characters in "Citizen Kane or the complexities of characters exhibited in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver."[114]

IGN stated Cloud has set a trend for role-playing video game heroes[115] and that "the spiky blond hair and the gigantic Buster Sword have become instantly identifiable icons, recognized by gamers around the world."[99] GameDaily concurred, listing Cloud as an example of the "spiky-haired hero with a strange weapon", though stating that they have no problem with Cloud's spiky hair in particular.[116] 1UP.com featured Cloud in their list of top Final Fantasy character types, in which he was in the second category, "The Sullen Asshole", alongside Squall Leonhart from Final Fantasy VIII and Cecil from Final Fantasy IV.[117] Edge described Cloud as an example of "excellent design and characterization".[118] They also commented that his design "inspired many a Japanese teen to adopt his exact spiky, yellow hairstyle."[119] GameDaily ranked him fifth on their list of top "gaming hunks", praising his design and weapon.[120]

Cloud has also been included in various other lists. These include IGN's "Worst Videogame Haircuts" (2006) and "Top Videogame Sword Masters" (2008),[121][122] and ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Coolest Characters" (2007).[123] GamesRadar included his name among the 25 "most gloriously stupid" in video game history,[124] and featured him in "RPG Emo-Off", in which they Cloud was the "most emo character of all JRPGs" until he was overtaken by Genesis Rhapsodos from Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.[125] GamesRadar also listed Cloud's oversized Buster Sword as one "the most ludicrously impractical RPG weapons"[126] and included his disguising scene as a woman in among "gaming's most piss poor disguises", commenting on how feminine he looks.[127] Cloud's and Aerith's relationship was third in GamesRadar's 2008 list of top Square Enix couples, called "a classic love story",[128] while IGN ranked it ninth in their 2006 list of best video game couples overall.[129] In 2013, Complex ranked Cloud as the eighth greatest soldier in video games.[130]

Reception among fans too has been predominantly positive. In an Oricon poll in 2008, Cloud was voted as the second most popular video game character; he was also second in "men's category" and third in "women's category".[131] In a 2010 ASCII Media Works poll in which fans voted which video game or manga character they would like to name their children after, Cloud's name was third in the male category.[132] That same year, Famitsu readers voted Cloud as the third best video game character of all time.[133] In one of IGN's 2007 "Hero Showdowns", Cloud was pitted against Link, although Link was voted the favorite.[134] The character was placed in similar contests by GameFAQs, winning the "Character Battle II" (2003) and finishing second in the "Character Battle III" (2004) and the "Battle Royale" (2006).[135][136][137] In the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition of 2011, Cloud was voted as the fifth best video game character.[138]

Regarding the character's appearances outside Final Fantasy VII, PSXextreme praised Cloud's redesign in Kingdom Hearts as one of best in the game, noting how it is a "hybrid" of his and Vincent Valentine's designs.[139] According to AnimeFringe, Cloud's appearance in Kingdom Hearts was one of the things that excited the Final Fantasy VII fans the most.[140] His development in Advent Children was praised DVD Talk as one of the best parts from the film.[141] 1UP.com commented that Cloud's guilt about Aerith's death was effective enough to move viewers, but regarded such scenes were "manipulative"; his redesign was also received positively, with focus on his "unbreakably perfect hair".[142] Joystiq opined that the director's cut version of the film is better than the original in giving more depth to Cloud's development to the point of "humanizing [him]",[143] but Mania Entertainment listed Cloud second in the article "10 Male Headaches of Anime" criticizing his feeling of guilt about Aerith's death seen in the film.[144] RPGamer referred to Cloud's overcoming Aerith's death as one of the primary parts of the film and called his fight sequences "the most creative and impressive scenes".[145] A 2010 GamesRadar article about classic game characters featured Cloud's redesigns across his various appearances, with comments on how each of his designs bore similarities, yet were also sightly different.[146] After Lightning of Final Fantasy XIII was voted the most popular fame character in the series by Japanese fans, EGMNOW noted: "Some have also brought up that Lightning is kind of the female equivalent to Cloud, which might be why she gets so much love."[147]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Square Enix (August 17, 2009). Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation Portable. 
  2. ^ SoftBank, ed. (2006). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files (in Japanese and English). Square-Enix. p. 12. ISBN 4-7973-3498-3. 
  3. ^ Teresa Dun, "Complete Final Fantasy VII Character Guide", PlayStation the Official Magazine 3 (February 2008): 60.
  4. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: For me, this is a personal feud. I want to beat Sephiroth. And settle my past. Saving the planet just happens to be a part of that. I've been thinking. 
  5. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "Barret: Yo. Cloud! There's somethin' I wanna ask ya. Was there anyone from SOLDIER fighting us today? / Cloud: None. I'm positive. / Barret: You sound pretty sure. / Cloud: If there was anyone from SOLDIER you wouldn't be standing here now. / Barret: Don't go thinkin' you so bad jes cuz you was in SOLDIER."
  6. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Jessie: Aren't they the enemy? What's he doing us in AVALANCHE? / Biggs: Hold it Jessie. He WAS in SOLDIER. He quit them and now is one of us. 
  7. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Barret: EX-SOLDIER, huh? Don't trust ya! 
  8. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Barret: Tifa! Let him go! Looks like he still misses the Shinra! / Cloud: Shut up! I don't care about either Shinra or SOLDIER! But don't get me wrong! I don't care about AVALANCHE or the Planet for that matter! 
  9. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: I don't care what your names are. Once this job's over... I'm outta here. 
  10. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: Wedge!! You all right!? / Wedge: .......Cloud...... You remembered..... my name. Barret's up top. ...help him....... An' Cloud.... Sorry, I wasn't any help. / Cloud: I'm going up! Aeris, you look after Wedge. 
  11. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Biggs: What!? you tellin' me you're too good to drink with me? Don't act big-headed jus' because you were in SOLDIER! / Yeah, why not?/ Biggs: Oh!! That's more like it! Even if you were with SOLDIER, you're still a rookie here. 
  12. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: But I'm different from all of them. I'm not just going to find a job. I want to join SOLDIER. I'm going to be the best there is, just like Sephiroth. / ... / Tifa: Hey, why don't we make a promise? Umm, if you get really famous and I'm ever in a bind... You came save me, all right? / Cloud: What? / Tifa: Whenever I'm in trouble, my hero will come and rescue me. I want to at least experience that once. / Cloud: What? / Tifa: Come on--! Promise me----! / Cloud: All right... I promise. 
  13. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: I'm not a hero and I'm not famous. I can't keep... the promise. 
  14. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: This is my pay? Don't make me laugh. \ Tifa: What? Then you'll...!! / Cloud: You got the next mission lined up? I'll do it for 3000. / Tifa: Thanks, Cloud. 
  15. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Aerith: Then, get me out of here. Take me home. / Cloud: OK, I'll do it... but it'll cost you. / Aerith: Well then, let's see...... How about if I go out with you once? / [Cloud makes an affirmative nod.] 
  16. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Aeris: I knew that Cloud would come for me. / Cloud: Hey, I'm your bodyguard, right? / Aeris: The deal was for one date, right? / Tifa: ............oh, I get it. / Aeris: ...!? Tifa! Tifa, you're there too! / Tifa: EXCUSE me. 
  17. ^ a b Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (Revised Edition) (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. pp. 8–13. ISBN 978-4-7575-2560-3. 
  18. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "Aerith: Cloud... I'm searching for you... / Cloud: ............? / Aerith: I want to meet you. / Cloud: But I'm right here. / Aerith: (I know, I know... what I mean is...) I want to meet..... you."
  19. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "Cid: Hey, Nanaki. If you butt in now, you never know what they'll say later...... / (If low affection) Tifa: ......Were you listening? / (If high affection) Tifa: ......Were you watching?"
  20. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Barret: We need a group leader for our journey. 'Course only me could be the leader. / Tifa: You think so...? / Aeris: It would have to be Cloud. / Barret: ^#$^%....... awright. Go Northeast to a town called Kalm. If something happens, we'll meet up there. 
  21. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: ......I used to want to be like Sephiroth, so I joined SOLDIER. After working with Sephiroth on several missions, we became friends. / Barret: You call that a friend? / Cloud: Yeah, well....... He's older than me, and he hardly ever talked about himself. / Tifa: ............ / Cloud: So I guess you'd call him a war buddy..... We trusted each other. Until one day...... 
  22. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: I joined SOLDIER so I could be like you. But by the time I made First Class, the war was already over. My big hopes of becoming a hero like you ended with the war. That's why I always sign up whenever there's a big mission. Kind of a way to prove myself. 
  23. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: Traitor? / Sephiroth: You ignorant traitor. I'll tell you. This was an itinerant race. They would migrate in, settle the Planet, then move on… At the end of their harsh, hard journey, they would find the Promised Land and supreme happiness. But, those who stopped their migrations built shelters and elected to lead an easier life. They took that which the Cetra and the planet had made without giving back one whit in return! Those are your ancestors. / Cloud: Sephiroth… / Sephiroth: Long ago, disaster struck this planet. Your ancestors escaped… They survived because they hid. The Planet was saved by sacrificing the Cetra. After that, your ancestors continued to increase. Now all that's left of the Cetra is in these reports. / Cloud: What does that have to do with you? / Sephiroth: Don't you get it? An Ancient named Jenova was found in the geological stratum of 2000 years ago. The Jenova Project. The Jenova Project wanted to produce people with the powers of the Ancients……no, the Cetra! …I am the one that was produced. 
  24. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Aeris: What happened to Sephiroth? / Cloud: In terms of skill, I couldn't have killed him. / Tifa: Official records state Sephiroth is dead. I read it in the newspaper. / Aeris: Shinra, Inc. owns the newspaper, so you can't rely on that information. / Cloud: ......I want to know the truth. I want to know what happened then. I challenged Sephiroth and lived. Why didn't he kill me? 
  25. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "It was a great place for you two to see each other again. / Cloud: ...You're right. / Why couldn't you see each other alone? / Cloud: ...I don't know. I can't remember clearly... / Why don't you try asking Tifa?"
  26. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "Tifa: Cloud... Bonfires are funny, aren't they? They make you remember all sorts of things. / Tifa: You know, Cloud. 5 Years ago... / Tifa: .........It's nothing. / Tifa: No, forget it. I'm afraid to ask... / Cloud: What is it...? / Tifa: It feels like... It feels like you're going far away... / Tifa: You really, really are..... you... right?"
  27. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "Tifa: Zack...... / Cloud: Do you know him? / Tifa: N, no, I don't know him! / Cloud: Your face tells me differently. / Tifa: I told you, I don't!"
  28. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "Cloud: ......I'm afraid to find out the truth...? But...... why?"
  29. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Sephiroth: Five years ago you were... ...constructed by Hojo, piece by piece, right after Nibelheim was burnt. A puppet made up of vibrant Jenova cells, her knowledge, and the power of Mako. An incomplete Sephiroth-clone. Not even given a number. ...That is your reality. 
  30. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. "Cloud: Professor Hojo... I don't have a number. You didn't give me one because I was a failed experiment."
  31. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: You see, someone in SOLDIER isn't simply exposed to Mako energy. Their bodies are actually injected with Jenova cells...... For better or for worse, only the strong can enter SOLDIER. It has nothing to do with the Jenova Reunion. But weak people...... like me, get lost in the whole thing. The combination of Jenova cells, Sephiroth's strong will, and my own weaknesses are what created me. Everyone knew that. I'm...... Cloud. ......the master of my own illusionary world. But I can't remain trapped in an illusion any more...... I'm going to live my life without pretending. 
  32. ^ Square (September 7, 1997). Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation. SCE America. Cloud: I never was in SOLDIER. I made up the stories about what happened to me five years ago, about being in SOLDIER. I left my village looking for glory, but never made it in to SOLDIER...... I was so ashamed of being so weak; then I heard this story from my friend Zack... And I greated an illusion of myself made up of what I had seen in my life..... And I continued to play the charade as if it were true. 
  33. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). pp. 210–215. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  34. ^ Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (Revised Edition) (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. pp. 76–81. ISBN 978-4-7575-2560-3.
  35. ^ Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (Revised Edition) (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. pp. 36–41. ISBN 978-4-7575-2560-3. 
  36. ^ a b Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Prologue (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2005. ISBN 4-08-779339-7. 
  37. ^ Tetsuya Nomura (Director) (August 14, 2008). Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (DVD). Square Enix. Marlene: "Sadness was the price to see it end." It's been two years since they told me that. 
  38. ^ Tetsuya Nomura (Director) (September 14, 2005). Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (DVD). Square Enix. Reno: You're our buddy, aren't ya? / Rufus: Kadaj and his group are young and violent – as dangerous as they come. That's why we decided that it might be in our best to hire a little muscle. / Cloud: Too bad. I'm a delivery boy now. 
  39. ^ Tetsuya Nomura (Director) (September 14, 2005). Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (DVD). Square Enix. Tifa: You have Geostigma, don't you? You're going to give up and die, is that it? So it is. / Cloud: There's no cure. / Tifa: Yeah, but, that's not stopping Denzel, is it? Don't run! Let's fight it together! We can help each other, I know we can. I guess ... that only works for real families. / Cloud: Tifa ... I'm not fit to help anyone – not my family, not my friends. Nobody. 
  40. ^ Tetsuya Nomura (Director) (September 14, 2005). Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (DVD). Square Enix. Tifa: Dilly dally, shilly shally! / Reno: I think she wants you to move on, man. 
  41. ^ Tetsuya Nomura (Director) (September 14, 2005). Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (DVD). Square Enix. Kadaj: The stigma. But you know all about that, sir. Mother's memetic legacy lives on in the Lifestream and makes it happen. She does so much for us and we ... we don't even know where to find her. But what can we do? We're just remnants, really remnants of Mother's legacy. Until we find Mother and receive her cells, we can't be whole again! Geostigma and the Legacy aren't enough ... for a true reunion. / Rufus: What do you mean? / Kadaj: But, sir! Surely you've noticed ... 
  42. ^ Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (Revised Edition) (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. pp. 58–61. ISBN 978-4-7575-2560-3. 
  43. ^ Tetsuya Nomura (Director) (September 14, 2005). Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (DVD). Square Enix. Aerith: Kadaj? / Kadaj: Huh? / Aerith: You don't have to hang on any longer. / Kadaj: Mother is that ... / Aerith: Everyone's waiting if you're ready. 
  44. ^ Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children (Limited Edition Collector's Set) (DVD). Japan: Square Enix. February 20, 2007. 
  45. ^ Last Order: Final Fantasy VII (DVD). Square Enix. April 10, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
  46. ^ Square Enix (August 15, 2006). Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation 2. WRO Member: The WRO was originally established three years ago after Meteorfall. 
  47. ^ Square Enix (August 15, 2006). Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation 2. Vincent: Yeah. And what about you? / Cloud: What do you think? / Tifa: Right! You can count on us! / Barret: When I'm through, there won't be a single sucka standing! / Vincent: Right. / Cloud: And as for you... / Vincent: Don't worry. Leave Deepground to me. 
  48. ^ Square Enix (August 24, 2008). Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation Portable. Zack: Good news, Tseng! Me and... / Cloud: Cloud / Zack: Me and Cloud here are both backwater experts. Oh yeah! 
  49. ^ Square Enix (August 24, 2008). Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation Portable. Zack: Continue living. You are proof that I existed. My dreams and pride, I give it all to you. / Cloud: I am proof that you existed. 
  50. ^ Square Enix (August 24, 2008). Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. PlayStation Portable. Cloud: My name is Cloud. SOLDIER 1st Class. 
  51. ^ "Chocobo Racing Hints & Cheats". GameSpot. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  52. ^ "Ehrgeiz Hints & Cheats". GameSpot. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  53. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (August 6, 2008). "Dissidia: Final Fantasy Hands-On". GameSpot. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  54. ^ Dissidia Final Fantasy Ultimania (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. p. 530. ISBN 978-4-7575-2488-0. 
  55. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (September 14, 2010). "This Week's Pre-TGS Flying Get". Andriasang. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  56. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (September 16, 2010). "Square Enix Makes Big PSP Push". Andriasang. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  57. ^ "Aerith, Snow, Vivi, And Faris Are In Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Too". Siliconera. November 12, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  58. ^ "Final Fantasy Explorers Will Let You Transform Into Cloud And Other Final Fantasy Heroes". Siliconera. August 28, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  59. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (July 13, 2011). "Final Fantasy VII LittleBigPlanet 2 Costume Pack Hits Tomorrow". Andriasang. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  60. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew. "Final Fantasy 7's Cloud Coming to Super Smash Bros Wii U, 3DS". IGN. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  61. ^ a b Square (June 20, 1997). Final Fantasy Tactics. PlayStation. Square Co. Summoned young man: What happened? Last thing I remember was getting caught in the current. / Besrodio: Hum, I've read about this before. It could be some forwarding device. / Mustadio: Forwarding device? / Besrodio: You know, to travel to other worlds, different space. / Ramza: So, he came from other space? / Besrodio: Maybe. Look at his clothes, Quite unusual. / Summoned young man: My....name's Cloud. yes...Cloud. / Ramza: I'm Ramza. They're my friends.... / Cloud: I don't care about names. What I need is a battlefield. Yeah... that's it... I'm a member of SOLDIER. / ... / Cloud: I must go...must go to that place... 
  62. ^ Square (June 20, 1997). Final Fantasy Tactics. PlayStation. Square Co. Flower Girl: Buy a flower? Only 1 gil. Cloud: ...... Flower Girl: Something wrong? Do I resemble someone? / Cloud: No...it's nothing. 
  63. ^ Square (June 20, 1997). Final Fantasy Tactics. PlayStation. Square Co. Town Knave: I've been looking for you, Aeris... Selling flowers for your mom? Good for you... / Flower Girl: Then more days.... No, just wait a week, please. / Knave: Don't mess with me! It's overdue! I'm gonna get my 30000 gil, one way or another! 
  64. ^ Square (June 20, 1997). Final Fantasy Tactic. PlayStation. Square Co. Knave: Hmm, pretty good looking! Oughta try sellin' your body instead of flowers. Hee, hee. / Cloud: Get your hand off her! / Knave: What did you say!? / Cloud: Didn't you hear me? Get your dirty hand off her! / Knave: Who the hell are you? Dressed in funny clothes! / Cloud: Go [Aeris]...now... 
  65. ^ Square (June 20, 1997). Final Fantasy Tactics. PlayStation. Square Co. Cloud: I've lost... a very important thing.../ Ramza: Cloud... ? /Cloud: Ever since, I've been floundering. Who am I? What should I do? What's this pain.../ Ramza: Cloud... there's someone in your world waiting for you, isn't there? We might be able to send you back where you came from using the rest of the holy stones./ Cloud: Let's go, Ramza. I can't be here. I must go... to the Promised Land... 
  66. ^ "Tetsuya Nomura Made Cloud A New Costume For Final Fantasy VII G-Bike". Siliconera. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  67. ^ a b Kingdom Hearts Ultimania: Revised Edition (in Japanese). Japan: Square Enix. 2002. ISBN 4-7575-1349-6. 
  68. ^ Square (November 15, 2002). Kingdom Hearts. PlayStation 2. Square Electronic Arts. Hades: That little punk is your next opponent, okay? Now, don’t blow it. Just take him out. / Cloud: The great god of the Underworld is afraid of a kid? Sorry, but my contract says— / Hades: I know! You think I don’t know? I wrote the contract! I know it says you’re only required to kill Hercules in this tournament. But you’ve gotta fight that kid to get to him. Come on. Hey, it’s like that old goat says: Rule 11: It's all just a game, so let loose and have fun with it! I mean, a casualty or two along the way is no big deal, right? 
  69. ^ Square (November 15, 2002). Kingdom Hearts. PlayStation 2. Square Electronic Arts. Cloud: I'm looking for someone. Hades promised to help. I tried to exploit the power of darkness, but it backfired. I fell into darkness, and couldn't find the light. 
  70. ^ Jupiter (December 7, 2004). Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Game Boy Advance. Square Enix U.S.A., Disney Interactive. Cloud: I'm not here for the Cup. Just Hercules. Today he loses more than the competition. / Sora: You don't mean... But why?! What did he do to you? / Cloud: This is business. Stay out of it. 
  71. ^ Hollinger, Elizabeth (2004). Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames Publishing. ISBN 0-7440-0473-X. 
  72. ^ Square Enix (March 28, 2006). Kingdom Hearts II. PlayStation 2. Square Enix U.S.A., Buena Vista Games. Sora: Oh, Cloud! / Donald Duck: Whatcha doing? / Cloud: I'll get him. This time, we settle it. Me, and the one who embodies all the darkness in me. / Donald: I thought you looked kinda different, Cloud. / Cloud: If I do, it's his fault. / Sora: Whose? / Cloud: Sephiroth. Tell me if you see him. / Sora: Okay. What's he look like? / Cloud: Silver hair. Carries a long sword. / Sora: Sure. Well, be seeing you, Cloud. / Cloud: Be careful. He messes with your head, makes you think darkness is the only way. 
  73. ^ Square Enix (March 28, 2006). Kingdom Hearts II. PlayStation 2. Square Enix U.S.A., Buena Vista Games. Tifa: Hey, you! / Tifa: I'm looking for somebody. Have any of you seen a guy with spiky hair? 
  74. ^ Square Enix (March 28, 2006). Kingdom Hearts II. PlayStation 2. Square Enix U.S.A., Buena Vista Games. Goofy: Where'd they go? Do ya think they made it back to their own world? / Sora: They went somewhere else... Cloud went to fight a great battle—to defeat the darkness inside him. 
  75. ^ Square Enix (November 8, 2008). Kingdom Hearts coded. Mobile phone. Square Enix, Disney Interactive Studios. Level/area: Olympus Coliseum. 
  76. ^ a b c "Interivew with Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura from Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue #196, October 2005.". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Final Fantasy VII Citadel. October 2005. Retrieved October 9, 2007. 
  77. ^ a b c d e Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (Revised Edition) (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. pp. 8–13. ISBN 978-4-7575-2560-3. 
  78. ^ McLaughlin, Rus (April 30, 2008). "IGN Presents: The History of Final Fantasy VII". IGN. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 
  79. ^ a b c Famitsu Staff (January 2010). Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese) (Enterbrain) (113).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  80. ^ a b c SoftBank, ed. (2006). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files (in Japanese and English). Square-Enix. ISBN 4-7973-3498-3. 
  81. ^ a b Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square-Enix. p. 518. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  82. ^ a b "Interivew with Kazushige Nojima and Tetsuya Nomura from FLAREgamer.". FLAREgamer. October 10, 2005. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  83. ^ "FFVII Not Being Remade – Nomura.". IGN. June 4, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  84. ^ Studio BentStuff, ed. (2005). Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω (in Japanese). Square-Enix. pp. 528–529. ISBN 4-7575-1520-0. 
  85. ^ Square Co (2002-01-31). Final Fantasy X. PlayStation 2. Square EA. Level/area: Beyond Final Fantasy: Event. 
  86. ^ "Nojima Interview". GlitterBerri's Game Translations. June 1, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2016. 
  87. ^ a b c d Tetsuya Nomura (Director) (April 25, 2006). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Distance: The Making of Advent Children (DVD). Square Enix. 
  88. ^ SoftBank, ed. (2006). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files (in Japanese and English). Square-Enix. p. 86. ISBN 4-7973-3498-3. 
  89. ^ a b Final Fantasy VII 10th Anniversary Ultimania (Revised Edition) (in Japanese). Square-Enix. 2009. ISBN 978-4-7575-2560-3. 
  90. ^ SoftBank, ed. (2006). Final Fantasy VII Advent Children: Reunion Files (in Japanese and English). Square-Enix. p. 49. ISBN 4-7973-3498-3. 
  91. ^ "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children DVD Interview – Steve Burton (voice of Cloud)". IGN. April 7, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  92. ^ "Square Enix Merchandise List". Square Enix. August 7, 2008. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008. 
  93. ^ "Square Enix Merchandise List 2". Square Enix. August 7, 2008. Archived from the original on February 20, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008. 
  94. ^ "Dissidia Final Fantasy Announced for Mid-Year 2009 Release in North America". Square Enix. December 18, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  95. ^ a b "Interview: Square Enix's National Manager of Merchandise, Kanji Tashiro". Anime News Network. August 3, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  96. ^ Cloud Vol 1 (in Japanese). Amazon.com. ASIN 4840239886. 
  97. ^ Cloud message (in Japanese). Amazon.com. ASIN 4048673009. 
  98. ^ Cowan, Danny. "Man at Arms builds 80-pound replica of Final Fantasy VII's Buster Sword". Joystiq. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  99. ^ a b c "IGN's Top 25 Final Fantasy Characters". IGN. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  100. ^ "Top Ten: Videogame Characters". Electronic Gaming Monthly. November 28, 2005. Retrieved April 25, 2008. 
  101. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (November 22, 2007). "Nomura Talks FFXIII". IGN. Retrieved November 22, 2007. 
  102. ^ Smith, Dave. "Final Fantasy VII: Top 10 Characters". IGN. Retrieved January 7, 2009. 
  103. ^ "All Time Greatest Game Hero – The Standings". GameSpot. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  104. ^ "Greatest Game Hero: Cloud Strife". GameSpot. September 16, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2010. 
  105. ^ "Cloud Strife – Top 25 Japanese RPG Characters". UGO Networks. February 20, 2010. 
  106. ^ Christian Nutt. "The five best Final Fantasy heroes". GamesRadar. Future US. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  107. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (March 11, 2010). "Top 10 Final Fantasy Characters". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  108. ^ Dyer, James; McComb, David; Plumb, Alastair; Scarborough, David (May 26, 2010). "The 50 Greatest Video Game Characters - 13. Cloud Strife". Empire. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  109. ^ Hooker, Heath (2012-01-01). "Top 10 Final Fantasy Characters". GameZone. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  110. ^ "Cloud Strife — The 20 Greatest Final Fantasy Characters of All Time". Complex. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  111. ^ Abadi, Aujang. "The Strife Manifesto". RPGamer. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  112. ^ Kurt Kalata, A Japanese RPG Primer: Final Fantasy IV, VI & VII, Gamasutra
  113. ^ Unicorn Lynx, The World of Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy VII, MobyGames
  114. ^ "Final Fantasy VII". GameCritics. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  115. ^ "Cloud Strife Biography". IGN. Retrieved January 28, 2008. 
  116. ^ Buffa, Chris (January 23, 2009). "Top 25 Game Archetypes". GameDaily. Retrieved December 28, 2009. [dead link]
  117. ^ Sharkey, Scott. "Top 5 Final Fantasy Character Types". 1UP.com. UGO Networks. Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  118. ^ "The Making of Final Fantasy VII". Edge. Retrieved July 21, 2008. 
  119. ^ Staff (March 10, 2006). "This Week in Japan: Final Fantasy VII". Edge. Retrieved June 29, 2009. [dead link]
  120. ^ Buffa, Chris. "Top 25 Gaming Hunks". GameDaily. AOL. Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  121. ^ Salle, Mark Ryan (February 7, 2006). "Top 10 Tuesday: Worst Videogame Haircuts". IGN. Retrieved April 25, 2008. 
  122. ^ Schedeen, Jeese. "Top Videogame Sword Masters". IGN. Retrieved December 22, 2009. 
  123. ^ "Top Ten Coolest Characters". GameTrailers. February 7, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2007. 
  124. ^ "The 25 most gloriously stupid character names in video games". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  125. ^ Glasser, AJ. "RPG Emo-Off". GamesRadar. Future US. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  126. ^ "The most ludicrously impractical RPG weapons". GamesRadar. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-05. 
  127. ^ Meikleham, Dave. "Gaming's most piss poor disguises". GamesRadar. Future US. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  128. ^ Glasser, AJ. "Top 10 Square Enix Couples". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  129. ^ "Top 10 Tuesday: Best Videogame Romances". IGN. February 14, 2006. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  130. ^ Chad Hunter, Michael Rougeau, The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games, Complex.com, May 25, 2013.
  131. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (October 4, 2009). "And Japan's Favorite Video Game Characters Are...?". Kotaku. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  132. ^ "20 Most Popular Anime/Game Names to Give Children". Anime News Network. August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  133. ^ Glifford, Kevin (February 10, 2010). "Snake Beats Mario, Is Coolest Video Game Character Ever". 1UP.com. Retrieved March 10, 2010. 
  134. ^ Pirrello, Phil (October 25, 2007). "Link Triumphs in Hero Showdown". IGN. Retrieved January 28, 2008. 
  135. ^ "Summer 2003: The Great GameFAQs Character Battle II". GameFAQs. Retrieved September 23, 2007. 
  136. ^ "Summer 2004: The Great GameFAQs Character Battle III". GameFAQs. Retrieved September 23, 2007. 
  137. ^ "Poll of the Day #2566". GameFAQs. Retrieved September 23, 2007. 
  138. ^ "Top 50 video game characters of all time announced in Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer's Edition". Gamasutra. February 16, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  139. ^ Katayev, Arnold (March 20, 2002). "Kingdom Hearts Review". PSXextreme. Retrieved December 29, 2009. 
  140. ^ Crocker, Janet; Smith, Lesley; Henderson, Tim; Arnold, Adam (December 2005). "The Legacy of Final Fantasy VII". AnimeFringe. p. 2. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  141. ^ Santos, Carlo (April 21, 2006). "DVD talk: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  142. ^ Mielke, James (September 16, 2005). "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review". 1UP.com. Retrieved February 25, 2008. 
  143. ^ Yoon, Andrew (May 29, 2009). "Review: Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete". Joystiq. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  144. ^ Lawerence, Briana (October 6, 2009). "10 Male Headaches of Anime". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  145. ^ Beckett, Michael. "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children – Staff Review". RPGamer. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  146. ^ Elston, Brett. "Classic game characters: then and now". GamesRadar. Future US. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  147. ^ http://www.egmnow.com/articles/news/japan-ranks-their-favorite-final-fantasy-females/

External links[edit]