{{sideicon|FFVII}}{{FA|September 4, 2006}}
{{FFVII Character
|image = [[File:Cloud-FFVIIArt.png|200px]]
|portrait = [[File:FF7 - Cloud Portrait.png|42px|Cloud's portrait during normal gameplay.]] [[File:FFVII Cloud flashback Portrait.png|42px|Cloud's portrait during the Nibelheim flashback.]]
|name = Cloud Strife
|kana = クラウド・ストライフ
|romaji = Kuraudo Sutoraifu
|aka = Ex-SOLDIER
|weapon = Broadswords
|Ultimaweapon = [[Ultima Weapon (Weapon)|Ultima Weapon]]
|job = Mercenary (Former Shinra Infantryman)
|birthplace = [[Nibelheim]]
|dob = August 11<ref name="Ultimania Omega">[[:File:Cloud ultimania omega scan.png|''Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega'' p.14]]</ref> ''or'' August 19<ref name="Euro manual">[[Final Fantasy VII/Manual/Europe]]</ref>, 1986
|age = 16-21 <small>(''Crisis Core'', ''Before Crisis'')</small> <br />21 <small>(''Final Fantasy VII'')</small> <br />23 <small>(''Advent Children'')</small> <br />24 <small>(''Dirge of Cerberus'')</small>
|height = 5' 7"<ref></ref>(173 cm)<ref name="Euro manual"/><ref name="Ultimania Omega"/><!--DO NOT CHANGE HEIGHTS WITHOUT PROOF. Always cite your reference(s)-->
|blood = AB
|laterality = Right-handed
|japaneseva = {{w|Kenyu Horiuchi}} ([[Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring]]) ({{w|Arcade game|Arcade}})<br />{{w|Nozomu Sasaki}} (Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring) ([[PlayStation|PS]])<br />{{w|Takahiro Sakurai}}
|englishva = {{w|Steve Burton (actor)|Steve Burton}}
{{Q|Originally a member of SOLDIER, he is now a mercenary who will take any job...|Description}}
'''Cloud Strife''' is the main protagonist of both ''[[Final Fantasy VII]]''  and ''[[Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children]]'', who also appears in the spin-off games of the ''[[Compilation of Final Fantasy VII]]'', including ''[[Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-]]'' and ''[[Crisis Core -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]]. He 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.

==Appearance and Personality==
[[File:CloudCGModel-CrisisCore.png|left|150px|Cloud working as a Shinra guard in ''Crisis Core''.]]
{{Q|I pity you. You just don't get it at all... there's not a thing I don't cherish!|Cloud to Sephiroth in ''Advent Children''}}
Cloud stands at 5'7" with a lean build. His blond hair is spiked, and in ''Final Fantasy VII'' features one particularly large spike. Cloud's spiked hair has become one of the trademarks of his appearance, although in later appearances the spikes have been toned down. Cloud has blue eyes, which glow due to the [[Mako]] flowing through his body. Because "Mako eyes" are an icon of SOLDIER, Cloud is often mistaken as one. His weapon is the [[Buster Sword#Final Fantasy VII|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 ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''. The set consists of six individual interconnecting swords that form a larger sword similar in shape and size to the Buster Sword.

Cloud's outfit in ''Final Fantasy VII'', is the standard uniform for 1st Class SOLDIER: indigo pants with a sleeveless shirt, and a belt. Cloud wears 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.

[[File:FFVII-CloudChocobo.jpg|180px|right|Artwork of Cloud riding a chocobo.]]
In ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-'', Cloud wears the uniform of a [[Shinra Electric Power Company]] infantryman of blue clothing with several belts and straps and a green-gray piece of cloth around the collar. He wears 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 in-tact and the SOLDIER logo as it is in ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-''. 

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. 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 hides his [[Geostigma]] symptoms. Cloud gains a new pauldron, and his chest is covered by two straps, held in place by a badge representing [[Fenrir (Final Fantasy VII)|Fenrir]], the animal 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]]. He wears 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 (Final Fantasy VII)|Sephiroth]], and the dark powers he is using. The costume can be obtained as [[Downloadable Content|DLC]] in ''[[Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy]]''. In ''Kingdom Hearts II'', Cloud is identical to his appearance in ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'', save that his new sword is loosely bound as the Buster Sword was in ''Kingdom Hearts''.

[[File:Cloud Portrait.jpg|left|150px]]
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 Jenova cells mixing his memories of [[Zack Fair|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 [[Gaia (Final Fantasy VII)|Planet]]'s fate, a sharp contrast to his persona at the start where he claimed he did not care and only agreed to help [[AVALANCHE]] for the right price.

In ''Final Fantasy VII: 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.

In ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-'', Cloud is shy, but more upbeat person who idolizes Zack and Sephiroth, but even after being betrayed by his idol he does not hesitate to avenge.

[[File:Ff7ac-cloud-render.jpg|right|200px|Cloud's ''Advent Children'' render.]]
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. His selfless and kind nature lets him overcome Sephiroth time and again. 

Cloud has a lighter side, willingly [[crossdressing]] as a woman to save Tifa from [[Don Corneo]]'s mansion. He also has a dry, ironic wit in ''Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-''. Overall, while 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 Cloud upholds his fake SOLDIER persona, but returns when his true self is restored, although his ability to ride the [[Fenrir (Motorcycle)|Fenrir]] on [[Strife Delivery Service|delivery business]] suggests his motion sickness has since improved.

{{Q|Then later... I began to think I was different... that I was different from those immature kids.|Cloud talking to Tifa about his childhood}}
Cloud was born in the mountain village of [[Nibelheim]], and was neighbors with [[Tifa Lockhart]]. His father died when he was young and was raised by [[Cloud's Mother|his mother]]. Cloud grew up isolated from the rest of the village children, feeling himself superior to them, though it is implied he longed for their friendship. He developed a crush on Tifa, but hated her friends. Although the two consider each other (and are considered by others) to be childhood friends, by Tifa's own account they were not close growing up, despite him having been her neighbor.

When Cloud was nine, Tifa's mother died, and Tifa insisted she could meet her again by crossing [[Mt. Nibel]]. Cloud followed, and when Tifa was injured the townsfolk believed the expedition up the mountain to be Cloud's idea, and [[Tifa's Father|Tifa's father]] forbade Cloud from approaching her. Cloud blamed himself thinking it was his weakness he failed to save her. Cloud developed an anger problem, getting into fights, but in spite of this he was still a quiet kid who rarely had much to do with the other kids in the village.

At the age of thirteen Cloud learned of Sephiroth and his exploits. Resolving to become a hero like him Cloud decided to set out and join SOLDIER. He called Tifa out to the [[Well|water tower]] to tell her about his departure, hoping to impress her. Upon her request he promised to save her if she ever found herself in trouble. The following spring, he left for [[Midgar]].

===''[[Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-]]''/''[[Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-]]''===
{{Q|If only I were SOLDIER...|Cloud talking to Zack in Nibelheim}}
Unfortunately, Cloud's dreams are cut short as despite his bravado, he never makes it into SOLDIER and becomes an ordinary Shinra infantryman. On June 28th, 0001, Cloud is among those ordered to protect Professor [[Rayleigh]] in Midgar from the insurgency organization AVALANCHE. Though he is unsuccessful, their lives are saved by the [[Turks|Player Turk]]. During this incident, Cloud shows off impressive sword skills for a regular infantryman.

In Autumn while working for Shinra he meets a first-class SOLDIER named Zack Fair in [[Modeoheim]], and the two become friends after learning they are both "backwater experts". When he and Zack infiltrate a Mako Excavation Facility on the way to Modeoheim, they encounter [[Genesis Rhapsodos]] and Dr. [[Hollander]]. When Hollander attempts to escape, Cloud is briefly successful in capturing him. Hollander breaks free of Cloud's grip and Cloud gives pursuit, but both he and [[Tseng]], leader of the [[Turks]], are taken down by [[Angeal Hewley]].

Zack and Cloud met again on September 0002, while protecting [[Junon]] from Genesis's attack. On September 22nd, 0002, Cloud returns to Nibelheim along with Zack and Sephiroth to investigate a damaged [[Mako Reactor]] on Mt. Nibel and Tifa is to act as their guide. Embarrassed of his failure to join SOLDIER, Cloud hides his identity from the townspeople, and especially Tifa, by always wearing his helmet. He does reveal himself to his mother and stays at his old house for a while, his mother questioning him of his new life with Shinra.

When the expedition reaches the reactor, Sephiroth discovers [[Professor Hojo]]'s failed experiments with Mako soldiers, as well as where Shinra had interred Jenova, whom Sephiroth mistakenly believes to be his mother. Cloud is knocked out by Genesis and is helped back into town by Tifa. When Cloud regains consciousness he is angry at not being strong enough.

[[File:Cloud-defeats-Sephiroth-CCFFVII.JPG|thumb|left|Cloud defeats Sephiroth.]]
Sephiroth immerses himself in Professor [[Gast Faremis]]'s writings and discovers his dark past. He comes out from the [[Shinra Manor]] basement on October 1st and [[Nibelheim Incident|destroys the village]]. Cloud witnesses his mother's death in the ensuing fire and rushes to the reactor to confront Sephiroth where he finds both a wounded Tifa and a barely conscious Zack. Cloud picks up Zack's Buster Sword, catching Sephiroth off guard in the reactor core, and impaling him. Cloud returns to attend to Tifa. A wounded Sephiroth emerges from the reactor core, and when Cloud attacks again, Sephiroth stabs him with the [[Masamune (Final Fantasy VII)|Masamune]]. Cloud summons previously unknown strength and uses the katana as a lever to hurl Sephiroth into the Mako pit below, and then collapses.

Cloud and Zack become Professor Hojo's test subjects. Injecting them with Jenova's cells and exposing them to Mako, Hojo attempts to test his Jenova [[Reunion Theory]] and turns them into [[Sephiroth Clone]]s. Since Zack was in SOLDIER and had gone through a similar process, his body resists the experiments, but Cloud's body succumbs and he develops a severe case of Mako poisoning. Hojo labels the two as failures, places them in a cryogenic sleeping state and leaves them in their pods in the Shinra Manor basement.
[[File:Cloud & Zack.jpg|thumb|Cloud after his and Zack's final conversation.]]
Four years later (December 19th, 0006), Zack breaks out of his confinement and helps a comatose Cloud escape, giving him a SOLDIER uniform to wear because his old clothes are soaked with Mako. Due to the experiments, Cloud is weak and delirious. As they escape, Zack speaks to the unresponsive Cloud about his life and his plans for both of them to become mercenaries in Midgar. Zack carries Cloud around, and though Cloud takes no part in the events, is present when Zack defeats Genesis.

After almost a year of running, the pair arrive outside Midgar in September 0007. The Shinra forces catch up and Zack fights to defend both Cloud and himself against overwhelming numbers. [[Zack's Final Stand|Zack is gunned down]], but the soldiers ignore the vegetative Cloud. Cloud crawls over Zack who entrusts the Buster Sword to him, and tells Cloud his legacy will live on inside Cloud, before dying. Buster Sword in hand, Cloud trudges off towards Midgar.

[[File:Final Fantasy VII Opening 0002.jpg|thumb|left|Cloud with the Buster Sword at the end of ''Crisis Core''.]]
In the [[Sector 7]] train station, Cloud undergoes a transformation due to the combined trauma caused by the Nibelheim incident, his Mako poisoning, and witnessing Zack's death. Cloud impresses Zack's memories and fighting abilities into his own, along with Tifa's memories of him and his own ideal image of himself as a SOLDIER, creating a new set of memories with an accompanying persona. What emerges in Cloud's mind is a reality in which he joined SOLDIER and was Sephiroth's partner -- Zack did not exist -- and in most of Cloud's twisted memories he takes Zack's place. Cloud presents himself in Midgar as a former First Class SOLDIER, now a mercenary for hire.

===''[[Final Fantasy VII]]''===
[[File:Wall VII 01.jpg|thumb|left|200px|Cloud outside Midgar.]]
{{Q|It's not my problem. The only thing I care about is finishin' this job before security and the Roboguards come.|Cloud about AVALANCHE's mission to blow up the Sector 1 Reactor.}}
Cloud is found by Tifa, who is now a member of the anti-Shinra terrorist group AVALANCHE, along with [[Barret Wallace]]. Tifa, perplexed by the oddities she notices in him, requests Cloud help AVALANCHE. Cloud joins AVALANCHE to attack the [[Sector 1 Reactor]] on December 9th, and the mission is a success. Claiming he does not care about the Planet and is only working for money, Cloud attempts to walk out after returning to AVALANCHE hideout in Tifa's [[7th Heaven]] bar, but Tifa reminds Cloud of the promise he made to her after deciding to join SOLDIER.

After blowing up the [[Sector 5 Reactor]], Cloud is separated from the others by falling into the [[Sector 5 Church]] where he meets Aeris Gainsborough. He agrees to become her bodyguard in exchange for one date. While Cloud is absent, Tifa enters a kind of "dating service" with the prize being a night with [[Don Corneo]] to get information out of him. Cloud and Aeris, after disguising Cloud as a woman, attempt to rescue her, after which the Don admits Shinra has found out AVALANCHE's base of operations.

To crush AVALANCHE, Shinra drops the plate over Sector 7 of Midgar, crushing the entire area; AVALANCHE members [[Jessie]], [[Biggs and Wedge (Final Fantasy VII)|Biggs and Wedge]] are killed trying to stop them, and Aeris is captured taking Barret's daughter [[Marlene Wallace|Marlene]] to safety. Cloud leads an attack on [[Shinra Headquarters]] to rescue her where he meets with [[Red XIII]], and sees Jenova's headless remains. The group is captured and imprisoned and during the night Cloud awakens to find the prison doors open and the guards slaughtered. He, Aeris, Barret, Tifa, and Red XIII follow a blood trail to the top floor and find [[President Shinra]] impaled on Sephiroth's sword. Cloud fights with the new head of Shinra, [[Rufus Shinra]], and escapes from Midgar on a [[Hardy-Daytona]] motorcycle, the others riding alongside in a pickup.

The group stays at an inn outside Midgar in [[Kalm]] where Cloud tells his version of what happened on the day Nibelheim was burned, with himself in Zack's place and Zack no longer present. Although Tifa knows the story is not true, she remains silent. The next day the group sets out to track Sephiroth down, going through the [[Mythril Mine (Final Fantasy VII)|Mythril Mine]] where the Turks reveal Sephiroth is headed for Junon. Cloud and the group sneak into Junon and a [[Cargo Ship (Final Fantasy VII)|cargo ship]] bound for [[Costa del Sol (Final Fantasy VII)|Costa del Sol]].

[[File:Ffvii-cloudaerith.jpg|right|250px|Cloud and Aerith, artwork by [[Yoshitaka Amano]].]]
The journey to find Sephiroth leads them through [[North Corel]] and the [[Gold Saucer]], where the manager [[Dio (Final Fantasy VII)|Dio]] gives Cloud and his friends a [[buggy]] to assist them in their travels and the robot [[Cait Sith (Final Fantasy VII)|Cait Sith]] joins their cause. The buggy breaks down, forcing the group to stay at Red XIII's hometown [[Cosmo Canyon]], where the Elder [[Bugenhagen]] reveals critical information about the Planet and the [[Lifestream]] and the negative effects Shinra's drilling for Mako is having on them. When the group reaches Nibelheim they find the town rebuilt, and inhabited by villagers who have no recollection of either Cloud or Tifa or the town ever having been burned down.

In the Shinra Mansion basement Sephiroth appears and alludes to a "reunion" he feels Cloud should attend. Cloud and the group traverse Mt. Nibel and go to [[Rocket Town]] where they escape on [[Cid Highwind]]'s [[Tiny Bronco|plane]], only to have it shot down by Shinra soldiers. Adding Cid to their roster of allies, the group returns to the Gold Saucer and claims the [[Keystone]] from Dio. Believing the Keystone to be pivotal to finding out what Sephiroth is planning, Cloud and the group stay the night when the trolley to the park breaks down. Cait Sith, who turns out to be a Shinra spy, steals the Keystone and turns it over to Tseng of the Turks.

Traveling to the [[Temple of the Ancients]], Tseng is found wounded and he returns the Keystone. In the heart of the temple Cloud finds Sephiroth, who reveals his plan to call the ultimate black magic, [[Meteor (Final Fantasy VII)|Meteor]], to deal a critical wound to the Planet. The Lifestream will emerge to heal it, and Sephiroth will absorb its energy, becoming a god. Sephiroth leaves as Cloud discovers the temple itself is the [[Black Materia (Final Fantasy VII)|Black Materia]].

Cait Sith sacrifices himself to get it, but Sephiroth returns, and because Cloud had been injected with Jenova cells during his four-year-long captivity in Shinra Manor, Sephiroth has control over Cloud who hands over the Black Materia. Cloud goes berserk and attacks Aeris, but his friends knock him out. While unconscious Aeris appears to Cloud in a dream claiming only she can stop Sephiroth. When Cloud regains consciousness, Barret and Tifa tell him Aeris has left, and Cloud resolves to follow her.

Cloud and company pursue Aeris through the [[Sleeping Forest]] to the [[Forgotten Capital]]. He finds her praying on an altar in the center of the city's underground complex, but takes up the Buster Sword and attempts to attack her, his mind under Sephiroth's control. Stopping himself in the nick of time when his allies shout at him to stop, Cloud watches as Sephiroth descend from above the altar and impale Aeris, [[Aerith's Death|killing her]]. Her death enrages Cloud, but he cannot chase after Sephiroth as he throws a piece of Jenova at them and a fight commences. Afterward, the party mourns Aeris's passing as Cloud puts her body to rest in the lake. Cloud reveals to the party he has been under Sephiroth's control, and may become controlled again, asking his allies to stay with him despite this.

[[File:FMVCloud.jpg|thumb|180px|left|Cloud in an FMV.]]
Arriving at the [[North Crater]], Cloud regains the Black Materia and gives it to a party member as he does not trust himself. Sephiroth appears in the [[Northern Cave (Final Fantasy VII)|Northern Cave]] and shows Cloud a partial vision of what really happened at Nibelheim, revealing Zack's presence in his stead but not Cloud's true part in the events. Shinra arrives and Professor Hojo reveals his Jenova Reunion Theory that Cloud is a part of.

Cloud comes to believe he was created by Hojo and even his name and memories of being Tifa's childhood friend belong to someone else. The shock of his fabricated past, combined with Hojo's revelations and accusations, shatter Cloud's mind. Using an illusion to trick the party member with the Black Materia into coming to Cloud's aid, Sephiroth has Cloud take it back and he hands it to Sephiroth, who uses it to summon Meteor. After Cloud apologizes to Tifa for being a fake persona, the crater shakes and Cloud falls into the Lifestream.

Surfacing at [[Mideel]] a week later, Cloud has been subjected to intense Mako poisoning within the Lifestream, leaving him paralyzed and incoherent. Tifa stays to care for him while the rest of the party fights Shinra, who is risking an attempt to stop the Meteor now approaching the Planet. [[Ultimate Weapon (Final Fantasy VII)|Ultimate Weapon]] attacks Mideel, and Tifa and Cloud fall into the Lifestream and into [[Cloud's Subconscious]].

Tifa helps Cloud piece together the true memories of his childhood by comparing their memories to find out which are true, while Tifa encourages Cloud to believe in his own existence. Restored to his true self, Cloud resumes command of the party. With Bugenhagen's guidance, they discover Aeris had summoned [[Holy (Final Fantasy VII)|Holy]] before Sephiroth killed her; the ultimate white magic, it could stop Meteor, but Sephiroth is holding it back.

After taking their revenge upon the Shinra for all the wrongs the company has wrought, the group lands in the North Crater and descends through the Northern Cave to the depths of the Planet to confront Sephiroth. After the party defeats Sephiroth's new god-like form, his mind is sent back into the Lifestream. Cloud, sensing Sephiroth is not dead, follows him mentally into the Lifestream and defeats Sephiroth in a final duel of will. Returned to his body Cloud and the party escape the crater on the ''[[Highwind (Final Fantasy VII)|Highwind]]'' moments before Holy emerges to destroy Meteor. The Meteor's proximity causes Holy to hold back its full power, until Aeris commands the Lifestream to push Meteor back so Holy may destroy Meteor and save the Planet.

[[File:Cloud Case of Denzel.jpg|thumb|Cloud, as he appears in the animated version of ''Case of Denzel''.]]
In ''[[On the Way to a Smile]]: Case of Tifa'', Cloud and Tifa build a new life together in the new city on Midgar's outskirts, called [[Edge (Final Fantasy VII)|Edge]]. Cloud takes up a job as a delivery boy via his new business, the [[Strife Delivery Service]].

One day while visiting Aerith's ruined church, a recently orphaned boy, [[Denzel]], whose family was killed when the Sector 7 plate fell, finds Cloud's [[cellphone]] on [[Fenrir (Motorcycle)|his motorcycle]]. After Denzel attempts to call his home in Sector 7 and receives an error message, he calls 7th Heaven which he finds in Cloud's recent call log. Tifa picks up and asks Denzel why he has Cloud's cellphone. Denzel begins to cry and collapses from Geostigma. Cloud takes him home to live with him, Marlene, and Tifa.

Although their new life as a family is happy, Cloud becomes insular. He admits to Tifa his problems are because "you can't reclaim lost lives", referring to his perceived guilt in the deaths of Aerith and Zack. As the novella ends, Cloud moves out of their home and into the Sector 5 Church.

In ''Case of the Lifestream'', Cloud is mentioned as being the core of Sephiroth's being. By focusing on his hatred of Cloud, Sephiroth avoids dissolution in the Lifestream, and believes Cloud's memories of him allow him to survive and be revived. Aerith thinks of Cloud during her attempts to battle Sephiroth's influence, resolving to contact him and help him fight Sephiroth's infection on the Lifestream at the source - the plague Geostigma.

Cloud has a few mentions in ''[[Hoshi wo Meguru Otome]]'', a story focusing on Aerith. Aerith philosophizes around the Lifestream, and contemplates her decision to leave Cloud. She recalls Cloud's personality traits which were created by Cloud impressing Zack's memories into his own, and conjures Zack's spirit to her. Aerith protects Tifa's mind from Mako poisoning when she and Cloud fall into the Lifestream, and when Cloud defeats Sephiroth, she helps him return to his body.

In ''[[Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography Turks -The Kids Are Alright-]]'', needing fuel for his truck, [[Evan]] calls Strife Delivery Service from the phone in Dr. Drake's office and talks briefly with Denzel to arrange a meeting with Cloud. While waiting, Dr. Drake discusses a book he's reading, which details the experiments conducted on Jenova by the Shinra Science Department.

When Cloud arrives, he informs Evan that if he wants to buy fuel, there are three sources: the remnants of the Shinra Company, the [[World Regenesis Organization]], and Don Corneo of [[Wall Market]]. Evan explains he's going to travel to Nibelheim to find a missing SOLDIER, and Cloud tells him to ask about the village at 7th Heaven. There he speaks to Tifa Lockhart, who reluctantly tells him the route to Nibelheim. Evan explains he's looking for his mother, and it's revealed she was pictured in the photograph of Gould, and the man who gave the photo to Tyran Arde was actually Nick Foley.

===''[[Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children|Advent Children]]/[[Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete|Advent Children Complete]]''===
{{Q|I'm not fit to help anyone. Not my family. Not my friends. Nobody.|Cloud to Tifa}}
Cloud left to look for a cure for Denzel's Geostigma and is infected himself due to his Jenova cells. Cloud falls into a cycle of guilt and depression, and so avoids calls from his friends.
[[File:AdventScreenshot246.jpg|thumb|Cloud in ''Advent Children''.]]
In 0009, two years after the events of ''Final Fantasy VII'', Cloud receives a call from Tifa that [[Reno]] has a job for him, and he is attacked by a mysterious trio of young men, [[Remnants of Sephiroth|three manifestations]] of Sephiroth's consciousness. In [[Healen Lodge]] Cloud is surprised to find Rufus alive and suffering from Geostigma. The president offers Cloud to join them to fight the trio, led by [[Kadaj]]. Cloud rejects the offer after Reno brings up the idea of rebuilding Shinra.

The three remnants kidnap children with Geostigma, intending to have the children lead them to Jenova's lost head. Although unsure if he should fight, Cloud goes to the Forgotten Capital after encouragement from Tifa and the Turks. On the way, he is visited by an apparition of Aerith, for whom he declares he is searching for forgiveness. Upon seeing Denzel and the other children under Kadaj's control, Cloud confronts the trio but finds himself outmatched and is rescued by Vincent Valentine, who tells him about the true nature of Geostigma - a plague caused by Jenova's cells.

Marlene runs into Cloud's arms worried about what had happened to Denzel but refusing to go home when Cloud asks Vincent to take her. Giving much thought about the conversations he previously had with his friends, Cloud resolves to take Marlene home and confront Kadaj.

Back in Edge, Kadaj threatens Rufus and summons [[Bahamut#Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children|Bahamut SIN]] to attack the city. After Cloud drops Marlene off at the bar where she tells him not to give up, he finds the strength to take up arms again. After rescuing Tifa and Denzel he defeats Bahamut SIN with help from his old allies. He takes on [[Loz]] and [[Yazoo]] while chasing Kadaj through the highway, and slices their weapons (and Loz's bike) in half. Loz and Yazoo are seemingly killed in the explosion set by Reno and [[Rude]] during the chase. Confronting Kadaj the battle takes Cloud back to Aerith's church, where the Lifestream-infused water cures him of Geostigma.

Cloud battles Kadaj once more but the remnant absorbs Jenova's cells and Sephiroth is reborn. The ensuing battle at the ruins of the Shinra Building nearly kills Cloud, but Sephiroth makes the mistake of asking what is most important to Cloud and how he can take that away from him. Inspired by thoughts of his friends, living and dead, Cloud regains his strength and overwhelms Sephiroth with "[[Omnislash|Omnislash Version 5]]". Defeated, Sephiroth dissipates, leaving a dying Kadaj in his place.

Loz and Yazoo set off a kamikaze explosion that apparently kills all three of them, but Cloud is healed by Aerith's intervention, reawakening in the pool that now occupies the church. After helping Denzel into the Lifestream-infused water in the church to cure his Geostigma, Cloud sees apparitions of Aerith and Zack near the doorway. Before they leave, Aerith's final words ensure Cloud will be all right. He replies that he will, because he knows he is not alone anymore.

In ''[[Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete]]'', the climax of Cloud's battle with Sephiroth is more brutal. Zack appears to Cloud and speaks to him, giving him the strength to keep fighting, finishing off Sephiroth with a longer variation of "Omnislash Version 5". After everything is over, the newly polished Buster Sword is moved to Aerith's church from the hill Zack died on, and the hill has a grove of yellow flowers. Denzel asks if the place is a grave, to which Cloud responds it is not; it is the place where a hero began his journey.

In a DVD extra, Cloud is on a regular work day making deliveries, while taking calls from his friends. One call is from Vincent Valentine, who has recently purchased a phone and asks Cloud to tell [[Yuffie Kisaragi|Yuffie]] she has no right to call him. Cloud makes a run to Barret's place and receives three packages: one for Marlene, one for Denzel, and a "Closed for Business" sign from Yuffie, who has been trying to get a hold of him. The last call is to Tifa, asking her to close the bar the next day, hinting he would be taking a day off for all of the friends to meet up and possibly celebrate together, thus explaining when the gang took the group photo seen at the end of ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' placed on Cloud's desk.

===''[[Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-]]''===
[[File:DoC Cloud Rides.jpg|thumb|Cloud in ''Dirge of Cerberus''.]]
One year later (0010), Cloud is not seen during the attack on Edge (assumed to have spirited away Denzel and Marlene). He assists the World Regenesis Organization and Vincent Valentine against the threat of [[Omega (Final Fantasy VII)|Omega]] and [[Deepground]] and leads the [[Battle of Midgar|ground assault on Midgar]], facing [[Rosso the Crimson]] and he and the others aid Vincent to defeat Omega.

==In Battle==
[[File:Cloud-ffvii-battle.png|right|150px|Cloud's battle render in ''Final Fantasy VII''.]]
===''[[Final Fantasy VII]]''===
Cloud is best placed in the front [[row]] to ensure solid attack power despite being a workable magic caster. His [[Limit (Final Fantasy VII)|Limit Breaks]] are the strongest in the game, but Cloud learns them slower than anyone else.

Cloud's [[stats]] are well-balanced physically and magically and he is among the characters with the highest stats in every field. His lowest stat is his [[Speed (Stat)|Speed]], which is still about average. He starts on [[level]] 6 but levels up to level 7 in the first battle; this is an [[Compilation of Final Fantasy VII/Allusions|allusion]] to number 7. [[Stat Growth#Final Fantasy VII|Stat growth]] is somewhat random in ''Final Fantasy VII'', with characters having a chance to gain a boost in stats when they level up, but how much they get has a random element in deciding it.

Cloud is the only character in ''Final Fantasy VII'' to have two battle models: his regular model is used throughput majority of battles, but a [[:File:Cloud-ffvii-special.png|more detailed version]] is used in the scripted battle that takes placed after the final battle.

{{Main|List of Final Fantasy VII Weapons#Cloud's Broadswords}}
Cloud wields a variety of weapons throughout his appearances. His most iconic weapon is the [[Buster Sword#Final Fantasy VII|Buster Sword]], a massive two-handed broadsword he wields in ''Final Fantasy VII'' and most of his spin-off appearances. In ''Final Fantasy VII'' Cloud can equip katanas and other greatswords as well, though he continues to wield the Buster Sword in cutscenes.

Cloud's stronger weapons include the [[List of Final Fantasy VII Weapons#Ultima Weapon|Ultima Weapon]], which sports the strongest Base Attack stat in the game, and the [[List of Final Fantasy VII Weapons#Apocalypse|Apocalypse]], one of only two equipment pieces in the game to give [[Ability Up#Final Fantasy VII|Triple Materia Growth]].

====Limit Breaks====
[[File:FFVII Limit Break Cloud Braver.jpg|thumb|Braver, Cloud's default Limit Break.]]
{{main|Limit (Final Fantasy VII)#Cloud}}
Cloud has seven Limit Breaks in ''Final Fantasy VII'': Braver and [[Cross-slash]] are his level 1 limits, Blade Beam and [[Climhazzard]] are his level 2 limits, [[Meteorain]] and Finishing Touch are his level 3 limits; and his level 4 limit is [[Omnislash]].

These attacks reappear as special attacks for Cloud in his spin-off appearances in ''Final Fantasy Tactics'' and ''Dissidia Final Fantasy'', and he has some of these skills in the ''Kingdom Hearts'' series.

Cloud has an eighth Limit Break introduced in ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'', "Omnislash Version 5", where he splits the completed Fusion Sword assembly into its six individual parts, then performs a series of six slash attacks on an enemy. The name "Omnislash Version 5" was given to the attack during development of the film, as it is the fifth version of the attack designed. In ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete'', Cloud's finishing blow to Sephiroth is a longer sequence of thirteen slashes instead of six, and was dubbed "Omnislash Version 6" by fans.

===''[[Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-]]''===
{{main|Cloud (Boss)}}
Cloud is fought as a boss in the Training Mode of ''Before Crisis''.

==Creation and Development==
{{Q|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 lots of 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}}

===''Final Fantasy VII''===
[[File:Cloud Strife Sketch2.png|right|250px|Original design sketch of Cloud.]]
Cloud was one of the first three characters designed for ''Final Fantasy VII'' by [[Tetsuya Nomura]] with influences from producer [[Yoshinori Kitase]], scenario writer [[Kazushige Nojima]] and director [[Hironobu Sakaguchi]]. Originally conceptualized by Sakaguchi as one of only three playable characters (the others being Barret Wallace and Aerith Gainsborough) Nomura was called upon to supervise Cloud's various lines and personality traits while Kitase and Nojima were in charge of developing Cloud's background and his relationship with Sephiroth.

Nojima thought of the relationship between the player and the protagonist when writing for ''Final Fantasy VII''. In an interview in ''[[Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania]]'' Nojima makes a comparison to ''Dragon Quest'' where the main character doesn't have a set personality and the player is free to "become" the hero. In a case of an RPG protagonist whose name and past have already been decided, Nojima tries to come up with ways to get the player to empathize with the character. The characters living in a game's universe know their world well, but it's a new place to the player, and so Cloud's foggy memories were created as a solution to introduce the player to the world.

[[File:Cloud Strife Sketch.png|left|250px|Production Sketch.]]
In early drafts of the script Cloud was meant to be more directly controlled by Sephiroth. As Sephiroth fell to his death in the Nibelheim Mako Reactor, his strong will to live would have manifested itself in Cloud as he needed a body that could move freely to bring him the Black Materia. It would be told that Cloud's memories are a phantom created by Sephiroth himself out of his emotions when he was "killed" in the Nibelheim Reactor. Cloud would later have discovered that due to the SOLDIER process, Sephiroth was directly trying to take control of him, and that Cloud's own complexes combined with Sephiroth's willpower, created his alternate persona that obscured who Cloud really was. This version was altered after the introduction of Jenova and the fleshing out of Zack Fair's story.

The game's directors only had a vague image of Cloud's identity, mainly that it was intended as mysterious, but the actual unfolding of events was left in Nojima's hands. Event planner [[Motomu Toriyama]] had made the "Cloud showing off" pose, which was made to be be used in the scene where Cloud first appears in the game. This little animation impressed Nojima, and lead to him determining Cloud's false persona based on that pose.<ref name="Interview2">[ FFVII 10th Anniversary Discussion: p. 8 to 13 of the FFVII 10th Anniversary Ultimania translated by]</ref>

[[File:Cloud Victory Pose Sketch.jpg|thumb|Concept art of Cloud's victory pose.]]
After figuring out Cloud's identity issues the rest of the scenario came together. Nojima made not only the scenario but the event scenes as well, and the parts where the mysteries are made clear. The team ended up doing the test play with no idea how it was going to end, and that's how they first found out the true course of events. Zack was a character Nojima brought in while he was building up the mystery, so the others had no clue he would be such a pivotal character.<ref name="Famitsu">[ Weekly Famitsu Issue no. 1224 Yoshinori Kitase Interview translated by]</ref>

Cloud was the first person created for the game by Tetsuya Nomura.<ref name="Interview2"/> Cloud's original 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 Sephiroth, and also because Nomura thought it would be better not to use too many polygons.<ref name="interview">[ Weekly Famitsu Issue 1224 Tetsuya Nomura Interview translated by]</ref> 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 blond hair instead. Aspects of Cloud's original design were later used in designing Angeal Hewley. The image of Cloud and Sephiroth was based on {{w|Miyamoto Musashi}} and {{w|Sasaki Kojirō}}<ref name="interview"/>, famous Japanese warriors whose duel became legendary and the swordsmen have appeared in many forms in pop culture in Japan.

[[File:Lift-demovii.png|thumb|left|Cloud in the 1996 ''Final Fantasy VII'' demo.]]
Originally listed as a "[[Mystic Knight]] ([[Berserker (Job)|Berserker]])", Cloud's weapon, the Buster Sword, was smaller, its size increasing as Nomura redesigned Cloud. Nomura nicknamed it "the Giant Kitchen Knife" due to how he originally envisioned it. The sword was meant to be held on his back with the use of magnets and have a small chain.

Pre-release material reveals what is possibly an early character model for Cloud. In the [[Final Fantasy VII Demo|1996 demo version]] Cloud's [[Menu (Final Fantasy VII)|menu]] portrait is the young Cloud portrait seen during the Kalm flashback to the Nibelheim Incident in the final game, and his character model is different and shorter than his finalized model. This "Demo Cloud" is also seen in other pre-release shots published in magazines before the game was out. Cloud's battle model also [[:File:Beta-cloud-prerelease.gif|had an earlier build]], wielding a different version of the Buster Sword that had only one slot as opposed to two seen in the final game.

===''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''===
[[File:Ff7ac-cloud-concept2.jpg|180px|left|''Advent Children'' concept art with the original six swords.]]
Cloud's design is an accumulation of eight designs the staff made, ranging from deformed to realistic designs. In ''The Reunion Files'' for ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'', Tetsuya Nomura explained that while Cloud was depicted as a more upbeat character at the end of ''Final Fantasy VII'', he chose to have Cloud be a character fans would find more familiar, and the script was written to explain why Cloud had returned to such a frame of mind.<ref>''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Reunion Files''</ref> Nomura said a great deal of care was taken to animate Cloud's face and expressions, and over thirty different models of his face were made. His face was modeled to keep "a stiff upper lip", with his emotions and thoughts being expressed through his eyes.

On explaining Cloud's situation in the film, Nomura said that "''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''". Cloud, in choosing to fight against Sephiroth once again, is finally "given healing and forgiveness".

Nomura admits that in the film, "''Cloud seems to be a weak guy. Generally, heroes are strong, cool and don't have any weaknesses... Although Cloud is a jerk sometimes, he is really human-like. It's through redemption from his friends and having children to protect that he becomes stronger''".

Cloud's new weaponry in ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' was created based on jokes by fans who commented that, since Cloud's weapon in the original game was enormous, in a sequel he should go with sheer numbers. Although it does not have an official name, the staff named them the "Fusion Swords" during the film's development. The concept was to have Cloud hold a total of six swords he would carry in his back, but it was changed to six swords interlocking to form a single weapon. Although the film's staff originally thought doing sequences with the Fusion Swords was impossible, they decided to make it as they found it made an interesting twist to the battles.

{{char-stub|Final Fantasy VII}}

Cloud's Voice actor is Steve Burton.

==Musical Themes==
{{Listen|filename=FFVII Main Theme.ogg|songname="Main Theme of ''[[Final Fantasy VII]]''"}}
Though it is not his official theme, in ''Final Fantasy VII'' Cloud's theme is often considered to be the "[[Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII]]". It plays on the [[World Map|world map]] of Disc 1 of ''Final Fantasy VII''.

His theme is called "Cloud Smiles" in ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''. It is played in the ending after Cloud defeats Sephiroth, is taken out by Loz and Yazoo and awakens in Aerith's church.

==Other appearances==
===''[[Final Fantasy V]]''===
[[File:Cloud-FF5.PNG|right|Cloud, designed as a sprite in ''Final Fantasy Anthology''.]]
A 2D sprite of Cloud occasionally appears in the loading section of the ''[[Final Fantasy Anthology]]'' port of ''Final Fantasy V''.

===''[[Final Fantasy Tactics]]''===
{{Main|Cloud Strife/Final Fantasy Tactics}}
 [[File:FFT-cloud.gif|right|Cloud in ''Final Fantasy Tactics''.]]
Cloud appears as a bonus playable character who can be recruited into [[Ramza Beoulve]]'s party by embarking on a sidequest involving the Constructs and the [[Zodiac Stone]]s. [[Besrudio Bunansa|Besrudio]] will come up with a dimensional portal device that will summon Cloud, but he will not become a party member until Ramza meets the flower girl [[Aerith Gainsborough#Final Fantasy Tactics|Aerith]]; Cloud will defend the girl from thugs and join Ramza's party.

While Cloud retains most of his abilities from ''Final Fantasy VII'', he cannot use his [[Soldier (Tactics)|Limit]] skills until he obtains the [[Materia Blade]].

While ''Final Fantasy VII'' lists Cloud as a [[Leo (Zodiac)|Leo]], his [[Zodiac (Term)|zodiac sign]] in ''Final Fantasy Tactics'' is [[Aquarius (Zodiac)|Aquarius]]. Cloud is the only male character in ''Final Fantasy Tactics'' able to equip a [[List of Final Fantasy Tactics Armor#Ribbon|Ribbon]], which is otherwise [[Female-Exclusive Equipment|only equipped by female characters]], hinting at his crossdressing in ''Final Fantasy VII''. This ability is no longer unique with the release of the ''[[Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions]]'' version, as the [[Onion Knight (Tactics)|Onion Knight]] can also equip female-exclusive equipment.

===''[[Dissidia Final Fantasy]]''===
[[File:Cloud Dissidia Artwork.png|right|175px]]
{{Main|Cloud Strife/Dissidia}}
[[Chaos (Final Fantasy)|Chaos]] has summoned a combined force of ''Final Fantasy'''s ultimate masters of evil. [[Cosmos]], to protect the [[Crystal (Term)#Dissidia Final Fantasy|Crystals]], has summoned warriors to thwart their plans. Cloud is one of the chosen warriors, and stands as the hero representing ''Final Fantasy VII'', opposing [[Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)/Dissidia|Sephiroth]].

Seeking the Crystals in the company of [[Firion/Dissidia|Firion]], [[Cecil Harvey/Dissidia|Cecil]], and [[Tidus/Dissidia|Tidus]], Cloud is seen by his comrades as a composed and level-headed warrior. Cloud later admits his hesitations for fighting and departs to search for a reason to fight on his own, eventually joining [[Terra Branford/Dissidia|Terra]]. 

His alternate outfit is his ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' outfit and weapon.

====''[[Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy]]''====
Cloud reappears in the prequel to ''Dissidia Final Fantasy'' alongside all the other characters from the original, but now he is aligned with Chaos. Though he is summoned to fight by the god of discord Cloud doesn't care about the war, as he has been through several [[cycle]]s and knows the fighting is pointless. When Sephiroth attacks [[Tifa Lockhart/Dissidia|Tifa]], Cloud intervenes to save her.

Cloud's second alternate outfit is based on [[Yoshitaka Amano]]'s artwork of him, giving his uniform blue details and white boots, as well as the original SOLDIER logo on his belt. As a bonus fourth outfit, Cloud dons his ''Kingdom Hearts'' attire. This outfit can be obtained in Japanese by buying ''Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep - Final Mix'', or pre-ordering ''Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy'' from GameStop in the US.

===''[[Theatrhythm Final Fantasy]]''===
[[File:Theatrhythm cloud.png|right|100px]]
{{Q|It all started with the Nibelheim Incident. For Cloud, confronting his own past will embroil him in merciless conflict. Finding out who he is, seeing reality from illusion... in the end, it will be able to save the Planet.|''[[Theatrhythm Final Fantasy]]'' [[CollectaCard]] description.}}
Cloud is a playable character in ''Theatrhythm Final Fantasy''.

{|class="full-width table" style="text-align:center"
!style="width:15%"|[[HP#Theatrhythm Final Fantasy|HP]]
!style="width:15%"|[[Strength#Theatrhythm Final Fantasy|Strength]]
!style="width:15%"|[[Magic Power#Theatrhythm Final Fantasy|Magic]]
!style="width:15%"|[[Luck (Stat)#Theatrhythm Final Fantasy|Luck]]

{|class="full-width table" style="text-align:center"
!class="TFFb"|[[Weapon Break]] (Lv1)
|Reactive (Special)
|style="text-align:left"|Activated after second monster appears in BMS. Reduces monsters' attack power. (Low Strength)
!class="TFFb"|Weapon Break (Lv2)
|Reactive (Special)
|style="text-align:left"|Activated after second monster appears in BMS. Reduces monsters' attack power. (Medium Strength)
!class="TFFb"|Weapon Break (Lv3)
|Reactive (Special)
|style="text-align:left"|Activated after second monster appears in BMS. Reduces monsters' attack power. (Full Strength)
!class="TFFb"|[[Focus (Ability)|Focus]] (Lv 1)
|Reactive (Physical)
|style="text-align:left"|Activated in BMS each time you receive GOOD or better on 13 Hold Triggers. Deals physical damage. (Low strength)
!class="TFFb"|Focus (Lv 2)
|Reactive (Physical)
|style="text-align:left"|Activated in BMS each time you receive GOOD or better on 14 Hold Triggers. Deals physical damage. (Medium strength)
!class="TFFb"|Focus (Lv 3)
|Reactive (Physical)
|style="text-align:left"|Activated in BMS each time you receive GOOD or better on 15 Hold Triggers. Deals physical damage. (Full strength)
|Reactive (Limit Break)
|style="text-align:left"|Activated in BMS when a boss-class monster appears. Deals damage in direct proportion to Strength.
!class="TFFb"|[[Strength+|Strength Up]] (Lv 1)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 25 to Strength and multiplies attack power by 1.1 for BMS.
!class="TFFb"|Strength Up (Lv 2)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 40 to Strength but drops Agility by 60. Multiplies attack power by 1.3 for BMS.
!class="TFFb"|Strength Up (Lv 3)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 65 to Strength, but drops Agility by 120. Multiplies attack power by 1.5 for BMS.
!class="TFFb"|Wind Rhapsody (Lv1)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 20 to Agility and then adds a further 40 to Agility during FMS.
!class="TFFb"|Wind Rhapsody (Lv2)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 30 to Agility and then adds a further 45 to Agility during FMS.
!class="TFFb"|Wind Rhapsody (Lv3)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 40 to Agility and then a further 60 to Agility during a FMS.
!class="TFFb"|[[HP+|HP Up]] (Lv 1)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 800 to HP.
!class="TFFb"|HP Up (Lv 2)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 1600 to HP.
!class="TFFb"|HP Up (Lv 3)
|Proactive (Augment)
|style="text-align:left"|Increases parameters while equipped. Adds 2400 to HP.
!class="TFFb"|[[Lancet|Lance]] (Lv 1)
|Proactive (Special)
|style="text-align:left"|Active for the entire length of BMS. Character regains slight HP for every GOOD or better on a Trigger in their lane.
!class="TFFb"|Lance (Lv 2)
|Proactive (Special)
|style="text-align:left"|Active for the entire length of BMS. Character regains some HP for every GOOD or better on a Trigger in their lane.
!class="TFFb"|Lance (Lv 3)
|Proactive (Special)
|style="text-align:left"|Active for the entire length of the BMS. Character regains noticeable HP for every GOOD or better on a Trigger in their lane.

===''[[Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade]]''===
[[File:Cloud Brigade.jpg|right|120px|FFVII Cloud in ''Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade''.]]
Cloud is an ally and a summonable [[Legend (Airborne Brigade)|Legend]] and is depicted in both his ''Final Fantasy VII'' and ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' outfits, as well as an event-related Reindeer outfit. His abilities are Blade Beam, Climhazzard, Cross-Slash, Finishing Touch, Meteorain, Rising Fang and Sonic Break. He was first introduced as an event ally in the event, ''Winter Holiday Campaign'' while wearing an exclusive Reindeer suit.

Leveling him up in this event granted the player the Cloud II summon stone, along with each level-up at a specified number granting players an additional summon stone. He was re-introduced in the following event, ''Final Fantasy VII - Calamity from the Skies'', in which his abilities and weapons were made usable to successfully combat [[Jenova∙LIFE]] and [[Jenova∙DEATH]].

He was present as an ally during the coinciding events, ''Final Fantasy Special Event Parts 1 & 2 - Shattered World'' and ''Final Fantasy Special Event Parts 1 & 2 - Showdown'', in which he was unlocked by clearing the [[Big Bridge#Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade|Big Bridge]] stage. In this event, his overdrive granted individual players a big increase in their attack for five minutes. Leveling him up to 99 in these events granted the player his individualized SSR weapon, [[List of Final Fantasy: Airborne Brigade Weapons#Flayer|Flayer]]. In battle, Cloud is armed with his Buster Sword and uses the ability Sonic Break.

|File:Cloud Brigade Portrait.gif|Cloud's icon.
|File:Blade_Beam_R+_Brigade.png|Blade Beam (R+) ability card.
|File:Meteorain_R+_Brigade.png|Meteorain (R+) ability card.
|File:Cross-slash.png|Cross-Slash (SR) ability card.
|File:Finishing_Touch_SR+_Brigade.png|Finishing Touch (SR+) ability card.
|File:Cross Slash Brigade.png|Cloud I (SR) summon stone.
|File:Holiday cloud brigade.png|Cloud II (SR) summon stone.
|File:Cloud III Brigade.png|Cloud III (SR) summon stone.
|File:Cloud IV Brigade.png|Cloud IV (SR) summon stone.
|File:SonicBreakBrigade.png|Cloud V (SR) summon stone.

===''[[Final Fantasy Artniks]]''===
|File:DFF Cloud Strife SR+ I Artniks.png|
{{Sec-stub|Final Fantasy Artniks}}

===''[[Final Fantasy All the Bravest]]''===
[[File:Cloud ATB.png|right|45px|Cloud's sprite in ''All the Bravest''.]]
{{Q|This self-styled SOLDIER member packs a huge sword and sports a chocobo hairdo.|Description}}
Cloud is an exclusive character only available from the Premium Character Shop as a random downloadable content, he uses Meteorain during battle.

===[[Final Fantasy VII Technical Demo]]===
[[File:Cloud-PS3-tech-demo.JPG|thumb|Cloud in the demo.]]
Cloud and Aerith appear in the [[PlayStation 3]] tech demo, which recreates the opening sequence of ''Final Fantasy VII'' in advanced graphics. The scene of Cloud leaping from the train shows only him with no Shinra or AVALANCHE members present. His hair is modeled after his ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-'' and ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' appearances.

===''[[Chocobo Racing]]''===
[[File:Chocobo Cloud.png|right|50px|Cloud in ''[[Chocobo Racing]]''.]]
Cloud makes an appearance as a secret character riding the [[Hardy-Daytona]].

===''[[Final Fantasy Trading Card Game]]''===
Cloud is represented by many cards: three are of the Fire element, three are of the Shine element, two of the latter being promotional cards, and one is of the Wind element.

The fire-elemental cards depict his ''Final Fantasy VII'' artwork, his ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-'' render, and an image of Cloud from a promotional image of ''Final Fantasy VII''. The three shine cards depict his ''Dissidia Final Fantasy'' art, his ''Theatrhythm Final Fantasy'' art, and his ''Kingdom Hearts'' art, the latter of which was distributed with ''Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep - Final Mix''. His wind card depicts artwork of Cloud riding a chocobo from ''Final Fantasy VII''.

|File:FF TCG Cloud.png|Trading card depicting Cloud's Nomura art.
|File:Cloud TCG.png|Trading card depicting Cloud's ''Crisis Core'' render.
|File:CloudSmall-TradingCard.jpg|Trading card depicting Cloud's ''Dissidia'' art.
|File:Cloud PR TCG.png|Trading card depicting Cloud's ''Theatrhythm'' art.
|File:FFTCG-CloudKH.PNG|Promotional trading card depicting Cloud's ''Kingdom Hearts'' outfit.
|File:Pr-005 Chocobo TCG.png|Promotional trading card depicting Cloud riding a chocobo.
|File:Cloud3 PR TCG.png|Cloud in a promotional artwork of ''Final Fantasy VII''.
|File:Cloud2 TCG.png|Cloud and Kadaj from ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''.
|File:Cloud3 TCG.png|Cloud from ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete''.

==Non-''Final Fantasy'' Appearances==
===''[[Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring]]''===
Cloud is a playable character in the [[PlayStation]] game ''Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring''. He fights primarily with martial arts, but can wield the Buster Sword as well, for slower but stronger attacks. Cloud's special attacks include Omnislash, Braver, and Meteorain. His extra alternate costume gives him a Shinra infantry uniform. His story title is "Guardian," and defeating him under the proper conditions allows the player to fight "Summoner" Tifa.

|File:Ehrgeiz-Cloud.jpg|Cloud's character artwork by Tetsuya Nomura.
|File:Cloud-in-Ehrgeiz.jpg|Cloud's in-game model.

===''[[Kingdom Hearts]]'' series===
[[File:Kh-cloud.png|right|200px|Cloud artwork from ''[[Kingdom Hearts]]''.]]
Cloud appears in the ''Kingdom Hearts'' series as a withdrawn and quiet swordsman seeking his arch-rival {{KHWiki|Sephiroth}} across several worlds, wishing to end a grudge between them.

In the first game, he makes a deal with {{KHWiki|Hades}} that the god will help him find Sephiroth if Cloud kills {{KHWiki|Hercules}}. This leads to a battle between Cloud and {{KHWiki|Sora}}, whom Hades orders Cloud to kill. Cloud either fails in his endeavor or he beats Sora but refrains from killing him, and Hades is prompted to release {{KHWiki|Cerberus}}. After Sora dispatches Cerberus, Cloud departs, but returns after Sora defeats Sephiroth to fight him.

In ''Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories'', a memory-based version of Cloud fulfills the same role, only seeking his lost memories instead of Sephiroth who does not appear in the game. Similarly, a data-based version of Cloud fulfills a similar role in ''Kingdom Hearts coded''. This time, he is hired by Hades to defeat Hercules within the glitched labyrinthine coliseum. Cloud is defeated by Sora and Hercules, and later joins the party for a short time. In the game's final world, a data-based Castle Oblivion, a memory-based version of the data-based Cloud appears.

In ''Kingdom Hearts II'', Cloud returns appearing in {{KHWiki|Hollow Bastion}}, wearing his outfit from ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children''. Although Cloud is again seeking Sephiroth, and confronts him after Sephiroth spars with Sora. Cloud helps [[Squall Leonhart#Kingdom Hearts series|Leon]] defend Hollow Bastion and is generally closer to the other ''Final Fantasy'' cast than before; including [[Tifa Lockhart#Kingdom Hearts II|Tifa]], who is pursuing him as he pursues Sephiroth.

In ''Kingdom Hearts'' and ''Kingdom Hearts II'', Cloud appears as a boss in various coliseum cups. In the Japanese version, Cloud is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai, while in the English release, he is voiced by Steve Burton.

After the player beats Cloud in the Hercules Cup in the first ''Kingdom Hearts'' they receive the {{KHWiki|Metal Chocobo}} Keyblade, which is modeled after the Buster Sword. The Metal Chocobo reappears in both ''Chain of Memories'' and ''Re:coded''. In ''Kingdom Hearts II'', after Sora watches Cloud and Sephiroth's fight, Tifa gives him the {{KHWiki|Fenrir}} Keyblade, modeled after a motorcycle key. In ''Chain of Memories'', Cloud can be obtained as a summon.

|File:Cloud recoded render.png|Appearance in ''Kingdom Hearts Re:coded''.
|File:Khcom-cloud.png|Appearance in ''Chain of Memories''.
|File:Cloud2-ChofMem.png|Appearance in ''Chain of Memories''.
|File:2journal.jpg|Apppearance in ''Kingdom Hearts II''.
|File:Cloud (KH-Origonal-Mobile).png|Cloud's ''Kingdom Hearts'' costume in ''Kingdom Hearts Mobile''.
|File:Cloud (KH Mobile).png|Cloud's ''Kingdom Hearts II'' costume in ''Kingdom Hearts Mobile''.
|File:MetalChocobo.png|The Metal Chocobo Keyblade.
|File:FenrirKeyblade.png|The Fenrir Keyblade.

===''Itadaki Street Series''===
[[File:Itadaki-Cloud2.png|right|100px|Cloud in ''Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable''.]]
Cloud appears as a playable character in ''[[Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special]]'', ''[[Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable]]'', and ''Itadaki Street Mobile'', alongside several other ''Final Fantasy'' characters.

|File:Itadaki-Cloud.png|Cloud in ''Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special''.
|File:ItagakiStcloud.png|In-game model in ''Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special''.
|File:Itadaki-CloudPortrait.png|Cloud in ''Itadaki Street Mobile''.

===Other Media===
[[File:Zidane ref cloud.jpg|thumb|200px|right|Zidane makes a reference to Cloud.]]
In the instruction manual for ''[[Final Fantasy Origins]]'', Cloud is an example name chosen for the [[Warrior (Job)|Warrior]] class in ''Final Fantasy''.

In ''[[Final Fantasy IX]]'', [[Zidane Tribal|Zidane]] says "no cloud nor squall shall hinder us" during the production of ''[[I Want To Be Your Canary]]'', referring to Cloud and [[Squall Leonhart]]. Zidane later comments "I remember a guy with spiky hair who carried something like this" when he sees a large sword hanging in a weapon shop. Later in the game <!--when?-->the player can witness a soldier, [[Knights of Pluto|Pluto Knight]] VII, attempting to woo a flower girl in a destroyed city, who comments "He's cute, but he isn't exactly Mr. Personality".

Cloud makes [ a brief cameo] in two strips in the fan-made webcomic ''[[8-Bit Theater]]'' as a potential Light Warrior. His attempts to prove his skills to Fighter are to use an overly-long and flashy summon sequence to summon a chocobo, and showing off the Buster Sword, which he is unable to hold due to its weight and it falls on top of him. Fighter falls asleep during the summon sequence, and rejects him as a Light Warrior when the Buster Sword falls on him.

Users in Square Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Cloud in his ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' attire. The avatar was released to celebrate the Japanese release of ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete''.

Cloud makes a guest appearance in Monty Oum's ''[[Dead Fantasy]]'' series in his ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' attire, wielding the main blade of his Fusion Swords and riding the Fenrir motorcycle.

Cloud's name makes a cameo in ''Final Fantasy VIII'''s [[Esthar]] with the shop title "Cloud's Shop".

In ''Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-'' there are several posters of Cloud found around Edge, showing a silhouette of his original artwork from ''Final Fantasy VII'' on a green background.

Cloud appears in the game ''Mainichi Issho'', but as a costume only.<!--expand-->

[[File:Cloud LittleBigPlanet 2.jpg|thumb|100px|Cloud costume in ''LittleBigPlanet 2''.]]
Like Sephiroth, Vincent, Aerith, and Tifa's, Cloud's costume is available for ''LittleBigPlanet 2''.

In the TV show ''Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island'', Fred parodies Cloud in the episode "Sir Nutalot". It is said Fred is taking the role of the hero. A Sephiroth parody also appears in the episode.

In ''[[Final Fantasy XIV]]'', there is a reference to Cloud in the Miner L30 quest "Little Saboteurs". The twin Lalafell miners mistakenly call the player "Cloud" before they remember the player's name.<br />
As well, he is mentioned as an example player for Log Filters options:<br />
 Say:    Cloud Strife: Never mind...<br />
 Yell:   Cloud Strife: [[Aerith Gainsborough|Aeriiiiiith]]!<br />
 Shout:  Cloud Strife: Can someone give me some gil?<br />
 Tell:   >> Cloud Strife: Nice shirt.
         [[Tifa Lockhart]] >> Eyes up here, Cloud.<br />
 Party:  (Cloud Strife) Where is everybody?<br />
 [[Free_Companies|FC]]:     [FC]<Cloud Strife> Can I invite my friend, [[Zack Fair|Zack]]?<br />
 [[Linkshell|LS]]:     <Cloud Strife> Do I have time to grab my [[gunblade]]?<br />
 Emote:  Cloud Strife points at Bayohne.
 Custom: Cloud Strife wallows in self-pity... 

In ''Parasite Eve II'', there is a laboratory where Aya Brea tries to use a computer infected with a virus called "Fatekeeper". The anti-virus, "Cloud", is found inside the September issue of a magazine called "Aeris".

[[Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)|Lightning]] in ''[[Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII]]'' will have an option of wearing Cloud's SOLDIER First Class uniform, together with the Buster Sword.<ref></ref>

|File:Cloud Early Concept Art 1.jpg|Colored version of early Cloud.
|File:Cloud Early Concept Art 2.jpg|Colored version of early Cloud with an alternate Buster Sword.
|File:Cloud Menu (uncolored).jpg|Uncolored sketch of Cloud's menu portrait.
|File:Cloud Menu Young (uncolored).jpg|Uncolored sketch of flashback Cloud's menu portrait.
|File:Cloud Menu Young.jpg|Concept art of flashback Cloud's menu portrait.
|File:Cloud Motocycle Sketch.png|Sketch of Cloud on the Hardy-Daytona.
|File:Cloud Field Model Concept Art.jpg|Sketch of Cloud's field model.
|File:Little Cloud Artwork.png|Sketch of a Young Cloud.
|File:Miss Cloud Artwork.png|Chibi Sketch of "Miss Cloud".
|File:Challenge (alternate coloring).jpg|Alternate coloring of Yoshitaka Amano silkscreen artwork, entitled "Challenge", of Cloud, Aerith, Barret, Red XIII, and Cait Sith.
|File:AmanoCloud1.jpg|Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.
|File:Amano Cloud & Aerith II.jpg|Artwork of Cloud and Aerith by Yoshitaka Amano.
|File:FFVII Sky (Sketch).jpg|Sketch of Cloud and Aerith by Yoshitaka Amano.
|File:Amano Cloud(?) & Aerith.jpg|Cloud and Aerith by Amano.
|File:Amano Cloud & Red XIII.jpg|Artwork of Cloud and Red XIII by Amano.
|File:FFVII Heel (Sketch).jpg|Yoshitaka Amano sketch of Cloud and Red XIII.
|File:Cloud & Red XIII.jpg|Artwork of Cloud and Red XIII by Amano.
|File:FFVIIRest (Sketch).jpg|Sketch of Cloud and Red XIII by Amano.
|File:Cloud & Red XIII 2.jpg|Artwork of Cloud and Red XIII by Amano.
|File:Cloud (sketch).jpg|Yoshitaka Amano sketch of Cloud for ''Final Fantasy VII''.
|File:Amano Cloud motorcycle.jpg|Artwork of Cloud and the Hardy-Daytona.
|File:EGM2-Cloud-Strife-cover.png|Cloud on the cover of ''EGM2'' August 1997.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-fmv-bike.png|Cloud riding the Hardy-Daytona during an FMV sequence.
|File:Cloud-Tifa-ffvii-fmv-mideel.png|Cloud in a wheelchair in an FMV.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-fmv-flying.png|Cloud flying in an FMV.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-special.png|High-res battle model from ''Final Fantasy VII''.
|File:FFVII Cloud Battle.gif|Battle render from the ''Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega''.
|File:CloudcgFF7.png|CG render from ''Final Fantasy VII''.
|File: Cloud 4.jpg|CG render from ''Final Fantasy VII''.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-field.png|Field model from ''Final Fantasy VII''.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-highres.png|Cloud's high-res field model.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-sword.png|Cloud wielding his sword.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-backpack.png|Cloud wearing a parachute backpack.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-wheelchair.png|Cloud in a wheelchair.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-biking.png|Cloud's field model when biking.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-troop.png|Cloud in Shinra infantry uniform.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-troophelmet.png|Cloud in Shinra infantry uniform holding helmet.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-troopbuster.png|Cloud in full Shinra uniform wielding sword.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-dress.png|Cloud in drag.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-ywhite.png|A young Cloud wearing white.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-yblack.png|A young Cloud wearing black.
|File:Cloud-ffvii-choco.png|Cloud's model in the ''Chocobo Racing'' minigame.
|File:Cloud 2007 version.jpg|Cloud's original outfit for the ''Final Fantasy VII Anniversary''.
|File:AC-Cloud-Concept.jpg|Concept art of Cloud for ''Advent Children''.
|File:Cloud-advent-children.png|Cloud's ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' outfit for the ''Final Fantasy VII Anniversary''.
|File:Cloud AC 2007 Art.jpg|Another image of Cloud's ''Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children'' outfit for the ''Final Fantasy VII Anniversary''.
|File:Cloud Advent Children.jpg|Cloud and Fenrir in ''Advent Children''.
|File:Bc-characters.jpg|Cloud in ''Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-''.
|File:BCCloudSprite2.png|Cloud in ''Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-''.
|File:Cloud-ccvii-infantry.png|Model of Cloud as an infantryman from ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-''.
|File:Cloud-ccvii-1st.png|Model of Cloud in 1st-class SOLDIER gear from ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-''.
|File:VIICC Cloud Chapter End.jpg|Chapter end image of Cloud from ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-''.
|File:VIICC Cloud and Zack Chapter End.jpg|Cloud and Zack chapter end image from ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-''.
|File:VIICC Cloud.jpg|Cloud as he appears in-game in ''Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-''.
|File:LO Files 4.jpg|Cloud's profile in ''Last Order''.
|File:Cloud Dissidia CG render.png|FMV render from ''Dissidia Final Fantasy''.
|File:Cloud Alt UT.png|Cloud's ''Advent Children'' appearance render from ''Dissidia Final Fantasy''.
|File:Cloud(Dissidia012).png|Yoshitaka Amano's Cloud's appearance render from ''Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy''.
|File:Cloud KH Dissidia Outfit.png|Cloud's ''Kingdom Hearts'' appearance render from ''Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy''.
|File:FF 25th Anniversary Event Poster.jpg|Cloud in the 25th Anniversary Poster of ''Final Fantasy''.
|File:Cloud ultimania omega scan.png|Ultimania Omega Scan.
|File:LBT - Cloud and Tifa.png|Artwork of Cloud and Tifa from ''Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography Turks -The Kids Are Alright-''

The names "Cloud" and "Strife" are English words referring to weather and difficulty respectively. Tetsuya Nomura has stated Cloud's name is supposed to contrast with Zack Fair's and the idea of "fair weather", in that Zack lead a peaceful and happy life while Cloud's has been full of turmoil.

In the French translation of ''Final Fantasy VII'', Cloud's name is rendered as "Clad" to be more faithful to French pronunciation ("Cloud" in French would be pronounced as "clood" as in "mood"). His name is rendered as "Cloud Strife" in all other ''[[Compilation of Final Fantasy VII]]'' entries.

*Cloud shares his ''Compilation of Final Fantasy VII'' Japanese voice actor with [[Kurasame Susaya]] from ''[[Final Fantasy Type-0]]''.
*In the Nibelheim flashback sequence in ''Final Fantasy VII'', Cloud's menu portrait is different from his usual portrait. Cloud is one of only a handful of characters to have more than one menu portrait in a game. This portrait is also used for Cloud in the 1996 ''Final Fantasy VII'' [[Final Fantasy VII Demo|demo]].
*Cloud has the most player-controlled appearances of any character in the ''Final Fantasy'' series, and the second-most appearances altogether, behind [[Gilgamesh]].
*The Internet MMORPG ''Kingdom of Loathing'' features an enemy called the Protagonist, which seems to be a rather obvious parody of Cloud, featuring item drops such as the Ridiculously Huge Sword and Super-Spiky Hair Gel.
*Cloud Strife is the central topic of two [[Square Enix]] promotional books, [[CLOUD Vol 1]] and [[CLOUD message]].<!--in what way do the books cover him?-->
**Cloud and Zack's Japanese voice actors, Takahiro Sakurai and Kenichi Suzumura, are best friends in real life and have appeared together in many anime productions, as well as having their own production mini-group, R-16.
*Cloud still claims he was in SOLDIER when recruiting Vincent from Part 2 onwards after visiting his subconscious.

==External Links==
*{{w|Cloud Strife|Cloud Strife in Wikipedia}}


{{DEFAULTSORT:Strife, Cloud}}
{{Advent Children}}
{{Dirge of Cerberus}}
{{Before Crisis}}
{{Crisis Core}}
{{Dissidia 012}}
{{Chocobo Racing}}

[[de:Cloud Strife]]
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[[fi:Cloud Strife]]
[[fr:Cloud Strife]]
[[it:Cloud Strife]]
[[ru:Клауд Страйф]]