Cloud as he appears in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
|First appearance||Final Fantasy VII (1997)|
|MG appearances||A Super Mario World|
Super Smash Flash
|Created by||Tetsuya Nomura|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Takahiro Sakurai (Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series, Super Smash Bros. 4)|
Kenyu Horiuchi (Ehrgeiz, arcade version)
Nozomu Sasaki (Ehrgeiz, home console version)
|Voiced by (English)||Steve Burton|
Cloud Strife (クラウド・ストライフ, Kuraudo Sutoraifu) is the protagonist of the game Final Fantasy VII. He is a mercenary and former member of Shinra Troops, an elite military unit operating under the Shinra Company. Cloud, under his Kingdom Hearts incarnation, makes an appearance in the short-lived A Super Mario World series. He is playable character in Super Smash Flash, based on his FFVII appearance. He wields the Buster Sword, originally wielded by his best friend, Zack Fair.
Cloud was one of the first two characters designed for Final Fantasy VII by Tetsuya Nomura, with influences from Yoshinori Kitase, Kazushige Nojima and Hironobu Sakaguchi. Conceptualized by Sakaguchi as one of only three playable characters in early planning stages for the game, Cloud's character saw greater input by Nomura than with other characters in previous Final Fantasy projects, when he was called upon to supervise Cloud's personality traits. Kitase and Nojima, meanwhile, were in charge of developing Cloud's background and his relationship with the character of Sephiroth.
In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is introduced as a mercenary-for-hire and a former SOLDIER 1st Class, an elite military unit operating under the Shinra Company. Presented at the game's start as apathetic to everything unrelated to his current job, Cloud's blasé attitude towards the goals of AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist resistance group fighting against Shinra and the threat posed to the Planet, causes conflict with the other characters, while his background produces misgivings as to his motivations and trustworthiness. Cloud, meanwhile, takes pride in his past, confident in his abilities as a "former member of SOLDIER." Despite appearing detached to members of AVALANCHE, Cloud does display moments of camaraderie, some depending on the player's choices. When confronted by his childhood friend and AVALANCHE member, Tifa, Cloud agrees to keep his boyhood promise to protect her, continuing his AVALANCHE membership despite never having become a famous hero. Following the player's departure from Midgar, Cloud is appointed group leader by the other members of the party, upsetting Barret, AVALANCHE's original leader. 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. 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". He is the representative Final Fantasy VII character in Dissidia Final Fantasy, a fighting game that uses characters from the Final Fantasy games. 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. Along with the entire cast, Cloud reappears in the prequel Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a Warrior of Chaos.He is also featured in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for the Nintendo 3DS as a playable character representing Final Fantasy VII. In the PlayStation game Final Fantasy Tactics, Cloud is a playable secret character who the player is able to recruit.
In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud is meant to have a "demon-like" appearance. 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."
In A Super Mario World
- Main article: A Super Mario World
Cloud appears as a protagonist in the McLeodGaming flash cartoon, A Super Mario World. Cloud appears at the end of episode 2 in time to save Mario and Link from Super Sonic's final blow, whom he ultimately defeats. After the crew rescues Zelda, Dr. Eggman escapes, and Bowser is beheaded by Link, Cloud asks Mario to take Link and Zelda to a safe zone, so he can fight Riku.
Cloud and Riku then engage into battle. In an attempt to blow Cloud, Riku destroys Bowser's Castle in the process. The exlosion knocks back Cloud through some hills until he crashes into a big trunk, Cloud recovers and engages in battle one more time with Riku, both jump and deal a final blow to each other; Cloud stumbles on his knees and appears to be defeated, however, Riku starts bleeding for a moment and crumbles into pieces, dead. Being the victor, the short ends with Cloud standing up and jumping out of the scene as it fades away. During the credits, Cloud is last seen standing on a hill watching at the horizon.
In Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash
- Main article: Cloud (Super Smash Flash)
Cloud appears as an unlockable character in this game. To unlock him, the player must complete 100-Man Melee with any character. However, there exists an easier way to unlock him aside that. The player has to unlock Burly Brawl Melee and set a match with any character. Once the match has begun, using the Stage Clear glitch method will sent the player to the "Warning! Challenger Approaching" screen of Cloud. This can also be done with Cruel Melee.
- Cloud is among the four characters who made it as playable characters in the Super Smash Flash series before their actual confirmation as playable characters in the official Super Smash Bros. series, the other three being Meta Knight, Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog.