Cloud Strife; we know this name and we recognize his scaly, spiky blond hair and his rather unique face tattoos. In fact, Cloud is one of the most recognized video game characters today. He has been in eight different games since he was introduced to us by Square soft in 1997. Yet what’s more important that people may not know about him?
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Well, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Cloud Strife:
- Cloud Strife was initially meant to be a member of SOLDIER, but Sephiroth himself ordered for him to be placed in the infantry. This piece of information is given by Professor Hojo in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- during one of his lectures at the Shinra Building where he describes, among other things, the reasons why SOLDIER members are usually placed in command positions over infantrymen.
- The voice actor for Cloud, Takahiro Sakurai, also played the role of Genesis Rhapsodos in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and (according to what he says during an interview found here) this game was his first experience with voicing video game characters.
- The name “Cloud” was given by Tifa. This is revealed during one of the scenes shown in Advent Children where she addresses him directly, saying “Cloud.”
- Cloud’s original design included his trademark yellow-orange bandana which was eventually dropped because Nomura thought it didn’t suit him. It can still be seen on promotional images for Final Fantasy VII despite not being part of his final outfit design.
- The first time Cloud appears in game he makes two mistakes: he misquotes a famous quote from Aerith and says that SOLDIER members have green eyes when they’re really blue. After this scene, however, these mistakes are never brought back again in any other cutscene or dialogue event in the entire game.
- Cloud’s design in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII has been revised four times. The first version can be seen on early screenshots from Advent Children, Cloud’s second outfit is his Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- look, while his third is a more casual getup worn during the events of On the Way to Smile novellas.
- In some early concept sketches released for Advent Children, Cloud was going to use a crossbow as a weapon instead of a big sword. This idea was later transferred into another character named Shiva who had two pistols designed after guns from the Western movie genre. She eventually became Yuffie Kisaragi and her weapons were replaced with ninja stars but this doesn’t mean that she never wielded handguns in the past.
- Cloud’s original Japanese voice actor, Takahiro Sakurai, is confirmed to have already recorded all of his lines for Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- but they were never used in favor of employing new actors for this game. The only exception seems to be during his fight against Sephiroth when he says “I will follow you.”
- During one cutscene in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud tells that Tifa smells like flowers giving her the nickname “Flower Girl” (Hanakotoba) which can actually lead to different events depending on your actions at the time. This moment also leaves an inconsistency in the game because later on Aerith is called “Flower girl” in English, but her original Japanese name is not used.
- Cloud’s face was modeled after one of the game’s graphic artists who admitted that he wasn’t pleased with this decision when he saw his own features on Cloud’s character model. He claims this issue was never brought up at any point during development because everyone in the team knew that they were already under a tight schedule and couldn’t afford to waste time arguing about something like this. This man’s identity remains unknown to this day alongside another mysterious figure that worked on Final Fantasy VII as an assistant designer but left Square Enix soon after its release due to personal reasons.
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Don’t let Cloud’s serious demeanor fool you – he may look tough on the outside, but inside he’s just a big teddy bear.
As one of the most popular characters in the series, Cloud has gone through several redesigns throughout his history as part of Final Fantasy VII and its subsequent spinoffs. He was originally envisioned as a more comedic character with some awkward mannerisms but despite these changes, his unique personality still shines through no matter what kind of trouble he might find himself in next.