Cloud Strife (クラウド・ストライフ Kuraudo Sutoraifu?) is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and a major character in Compilation of Final Fantasy VII from the Final Fantasy series by Square Enix. He appears as a downloadable fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and is the sixth third-party character to be a playable fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series altogether following Solid Snake, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Ryu.
Cloud is an arrogant and proud swordsman at first, claiming to be an ex-member of an elite warrior unit called SOLDIER. He assists an environmental terrorist group named AVALANCHE, a faction which his childhood friend, Tifa Lockhart, is a member of. AVALANCHE's goal is to save the planet from the hands of the ShinRa Electric Company, which drains the life-energy of the planet, known as the Lifestream, to fuel both its machines and ambitions.
Eventually, Cloud discovers that his memories are false, being instead the memories of his friend Zack Fair, who he witnessed gunned down by ShinRa troops, memories that Cloud later absorbed into his own psyche out of trauma. Both Cloud and Zack were experimented on by a ShinRa scientist named Hojo, in order to become "Sephiroth Clones". They were infused with JENOVA Cells (genetic code of an alien) and Mako (the industrialized energy from the Lifestream). Both were labelled as failures and fled.
With the help of his friends, Cloud learns there is more to being a hero than possessing physical strength and fame and comes to terms with his own fractured mental state and self, trying to find a meaning in his existence and stop the plans of Sephiroth, a former legendary member of SOLDIER, who has a plan to purge the world by summoning a large meteor to crush the earth.
Cloud's weapon is known as the Buster Sword, an incredibly powerful bladed weapon that is massive in size; Cloud being able to lift the sword is a feat of strength all on its own. The Buster Sword is capable of carrying out attacks and some magic abilities provided that Materia is applied to it. The sword originally belonged to Zack, who bequeathed it to Cloud in his last moments. Zack, in turn, inherited the weapon from SOLDIER operative Angeal Hewley.
In Advent Children, Cloud uses a new weapon called the "Fusion Sword", a large weapon consisting of six interconnecting swords that form a larger blade resembling the original Buster Sword. His former sword rests at the place Zack died.
As a playable character
Cloud was announced to appear in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as a downloadable newcomer during the Nintendo Direct on November 12, 2016. This makes him the fifth third-party character to appear in the game, and the first representative of Square Enix. According to Masahiro Sakurai, Cloud was the most requested Final Fantasy character to appear in Super Smash Bros..
Cloud mostly fights using the Buster Sword, a giant sword given to him by his deceased friend Zack Fair. This makes most of his attacks have long range and good power, although they generally have more start-up lag to compensate. He also contains a Limit Break mechanic, which functions similarly to Little Mac's Power Meter but can also charge it manually using his down special move, Limit Charge. Once filled, Cloud can perform a Limit Break on any of his special moves and his down special move is replaced with Finishing Touch, an attack that deals 1% damage, but has enormous launching power.
- The protagonist of FINAL FANTASY VII, Cloud wields the enormous Buster Sword, a memento from his comrade Zack. Once a SOLDIER of Shinra, he now fights as a mercenary against the corporation he originally served. His decision to join AVALANCHE's insurgence, however, will transform his destiny.
- FINAL FANTASY VII (11/1997)
- Cloud (Alt.)
- Filling the Limit Gauge allows Cloud to perform a Limit Break, supercharging his next special move. His down special becomes Finishing Touch. With a huge swing of his sword, Cloud summons a whirlwind that inflicts only 1% damage, but boasts brutal launch power. Go for a KO while foes' damage is still low!
- FINAL FANTASY VII (11/1997)