|Kingdom Hearts 3: The Return of the Chasers|
|First Appearance||Final Fantasy VII|
|Voiced by||Steve Burton|
Cloud Strife is a Final Fantasy character who appears prevalently in the Kingdom Hearts series. He has long been hunting down his archenemy Sephiroth, as well as running from a dark past. His origins are revealed in Kingdom Hearts 3: The Return of the Chasers, where he journeys with Terra and Auron.
Many years ago Cloud Strife was an orphaned kid who was taken under the wing of a mysterious man called Iblis, an alias of the demon Chernabog, who raised him and trained him as his apprentice. For years Cloud did the bidding of his master until eventually he met and fell in love with Tifa Lockhart who showed him what he was doing was wrong. Cloud confronted his master telling him he would no longer do as he commanded. Enraged Iblis attacked him and after beating Cloud went through the process of extracting his darkness and with it created an Unversed of Cloud, the one-winged angel Sephiroth. He faced no difficulty in taking out Cloud's darkness, since Cloud offered no resistance, fearing his darkness. Afterwards Cloud escaped and eventually turned his life to fixing the mistake he made by allowing Sephiroth to be created.
Cloud first makes his appearance in the Olympus Coliseum, striking a deal with Hades: if Cloud eliminates Hercules in battle, Hades will lead him to the evil angel Sephiroth. However, Cloud also has to fight Sora, so that he may move on to Hercules in the preliminaries rankings. After their battle, Cloud is either defeated, or comes out victorious, but refrains from killing Sora. The outcome of the fight does not affect the storyline, and the only reward for winning are the 80 experience points rewarded. However, as Cloud does not kill Sora, the results are not favorable for Hades; forcing him to summon Cerberus. The three-headed beast and guardian of the Underworld catches Cloud off-guard, pinning him to the ground. At this point, Hercules comes to the rescue, defending the unconscious Cloud. Sora then moves in to finish the battle, giving Hercules the chance to take Cloud to safety. Afterwards, Cloud waits at the entrance to the Coliseum, deep in thought. Sora asks him why Cloud worked for someone as shady as Hades, and Cloud replies that he was looking for someone, and tried to use the darkness to his advantage, but failed. He admits that he fell into darkness, and couldn't find the light. But Sora comforts him, saying that he too is searching for his light. Cloud then grants Sora the Sonic Blade ability, and walks off, but not before Sora offers a re-match. Cloud confidently says he'll pass, but later in the game, he can be fought in certain cups at the Olympus Coliseum. Cloud eventually manages to find Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix. Cloud manages to locate Sephiroth in the Coliseum, and both express that they have been searching for each other. Cloud also feels that in order to awaken from his nightmare, he has to defeat his darkness; namely, Sephiroth. Sephiroth tries to convince him to turn to that darkness, but Cloud refuses, and the two battle. The outcome of the battle is unknown. During the end credits, Cloud is led by Cid to Hollow Bastion, and reunites with Leon, Aerith, and Yuffie in the Library.
Chain of Memories
Cloud plays a much more important role in Chain of Memories. It is his plot that runs the course of him being an anti-hero. Cloud once again appears in the Coliseum, constructed from Sora's memories. Again, he serves as a mercenary for Hades. However, Cloud is working for Hades to regain his lost memories, not to find Sephiroth. Hades promises to help him, but only if Cloud competes in the games and kills Hercules. Completely ignoring Sora, Cloud confronts Hercules. However, Cloud only manages to wear Hercules down. Hades, no longer having any use for Cloud, fires him and knocks him out. Hades then attempts to kill Hercules on his own now that he is exhausted. However, Sora interferes and defeats the God of the Underworld. After the battle, Cloud wakes up. He apologizes for his actions. Sora again comforts him, saying that the important memories are never truly gone. Sora also says that even the tiniest thing can help a person remember things they thought they had forgotten. Cloud shows his gratitude for Sora's help by granting him the Cloud card. However, he declines Sora's offer of joining them.
Kingdom Hearts II
Cloud appears once again in Hollow Bastion, garbed in his Advent Children attire, not to mention replacing the Buster Sword with the First Tsurugi from Advent Children Complete. He reveals to Sora that he is seeking to defeat his darkness, which is embodied by Sephiroth. He asks Sora to help him, but also warns him that Sephiroth will try and turn Sora to the darkness. During their meeting, Aerith also speaks to him. Not wanting her to follow him, he promises her that no matter how far he goes, he will always come back to Hollow Bastion. Though Aerith initially feels that he doesn't seem to be so sure, she is in the end confident in him.
Cloud also aids the residents of Hollow Bastion in defending against the Heartless invasion. He and Leon are seen at the Ravine Trail, back to back with their swords raised as Heartless surround them. The two banter back and forth, then proceed to fend off the Heartless. However, as he fights, he ends up separated from Leon, and Sephiroth makes his appearance. Cloud expresses his belief that once Sephiroth is defeated, his darkness will go away. However, Sephiroth reminds Cloud of his dark past, though it is not elaborated on. Cloud denies it, saying that Sephiroth doesn't know him, but the winged being says otherwise: "I know. Because...I am you."
Tifa, who had been searching fervently for Cloud, also arrives. However, her presence causes Cloud to see the light, making him wince. Sephiroth then vanishes, and Cloud runs off before Tifa can get to him.
Cloud is then seen with Leon again who is worried about Sora, Donald and Goofy. Cloud tells him to relax because those three aren't going down that easily. He also tells him before leaving that Sora is a lucky kid.
After the 1000 Heartless battle, Cloud keeps at a distance from the others and avoids fighting the Heartless from Space Paranoids, knowing that his friends have enough strength to fend off the MCP's tricks. After the MCP is defeated, he is seen once again with Leon when Tron shows them a sight of when their city was first built, and so reminded everyone of its true name.
Cloud, still searching for Sephiroth, can be found in the town center after this. Sora, having just fought Sephiroth, reveals that he is at the Dark Depths. Cloud then goes off to settle the score. Sora manages to get to Sephiroth first, and he asks where Cloud is. Just then, Cloud arrives, and Sephiroth makes more comments on how Cloud can never let go of his darkness. Cloud grows angry, demanding he shuts up, and the two battle. However, Sephiroth says that defeating him will be futile, for Cloud's darkness will always hold him back. Sephiroth's words begin to drag him into the depths of despair, but Tifa once again arrives.
Cloud warns her to stay away from Sephiroth, but she refuses, for she wants to help him. Sephiroth says that it is futile, for Cloud will always have darkness within him. Tifa doesn't deny this, but retorts that as long as he is surrounded in light, the darkness within him can't be reached. Tifa attacks Sephiroth as Cloud watches, but when flashes of light blind Cloud, Sephiroth attempts to strike Cloud. However, Cloud successfully parries the attack, and takes a stand between Sephiroth and Tifa. Tifa offers Cloud her light, and though Sephiroth insists that the light doesn't suit Cloud, he begins to glow with a bright light, and the fight resumes. In a final brilliant flash of light, Cloud and Sephiroth rise into the air, then vanish.
Goofy asks where Cloud went, and Sora explains that he went to fight a great battle.