Hump Day Husbandos: Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)

Hump Day Husbandos

Something I have been wanting since its initial release back in 2020 was for Final Fantasy VII Remake to finally become available on Steam. Now here we are two years later, and I’m finally getting to play through one of my favourite games on my decently beefy PC — and good Lord, I didn’t think the game could get much prettier, but it did. Speaking of pretty, I’m going to be talking about Cloud Strife today, the main protagonist of FFVII and one of my favourite video game characters of all time. 

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Spoilers for the original Final Fantasy VII and potentially the Remake Trilogy ahead!

Hump Day Husbandos: Cloud Strife(Final Fantasy VII)

Who is Cloud Strife?

Cloud Strife is a self-proclaimed mercenary for hire and an ex-first class member of SOLDIER — the cream of the crop when it comes to the Shinra corporation’s military force. After Shinra saw the success that was Sephiroth, they began to expose more promising individuals to raw mako and Jenova cells, which is what gave them all of their superhuman abilities, as well as their signature glowing eyes. 

When we first meet Cloud he is extremely aloof and only cares about money and the next job, which doesn’t really get him off on the right foot with his current employer, Barret. The only redeeming features of our spikey blonde-haired protagonist are that he is extremely capable when it comes to combat, and he has a lot of inside knowledge regarding Shinra. 

It’s when we finally meet his childhood friend, Tifa, that we begin to see a slightly different side of Cloud — something much more human begins to reveal itself. In Remake we see this in the way that Cloud goes along with her request to help out around town, assist with the water filters, and refuses to charge her for any of it. He also begins to remember a promise the two of them made when they were young, about how Cloud would be there to save her should she find herself in a pinch.

His warmer side continues to shine as he meets Aerith as well, with him becoming her bodyguard, assisting her with things at home, and later risking it all to save her. 

Why we love Cloud

I’ll start from the top surface level and then work down deeper into why I love this character so much — BIG SWORD. Cloud’s signature Buster Sword is one of the most iconic weapons in video games, and while I’m typically a much bigger fan of a nodachi like Sephiroth’s Masamune, there is something about the Buster Sword that I simply adore.

Next up, Cloud’s aesthetic is so damn memorable: the spikey blonde hair that he just wakes up with; the sleeveless turtle neck sweater; the gauntlet — everything about Cloud’s design ticks all the boxes. 

We get to watch him change, grow, and become a more complete person as we play through the game — even in Remake, you can begin to see the change from this constantly cold character to someone who genuinely cares.

During the events at the second reactor, after fighting the mighty Airbuster, Cloud is left split apart from the group and tells the others to leave him, and Barrett even mentions that he “had him all wrong”, admitting that he had misunderstood Cloud. 

Finally, I love how complex this character is, because good Lord this boy is messed up, and Tifa has a shedload of work ahead of her when it comes to putting this fragmented man back together. If you played the original, you know that Cloud isn’t exactly who he thinks he is, and the stories he’s been telling us and the party aren’t particularly accurate either.

I sincerely hope that Cloud and Tifa’s sequence inside the Lifestream, where we see Cloud’s broken mind slowly become fixed, is in the Remake trilogy. It’s one of my favourite parts of the original game — that and the night under the Highwind, hehehe. (Fun fact: after 25 years, a friend of mine still refuses to believe that those two did anything “embarrassing” there – Ed.)

Why you’ll love Cloud

Cloud starts off as a cocky asshole who you can’t quite hate. Whether it be simply the way he looks or the way that he manages to back up all of his snide comments with how reliable he is in a fight — he’s simply enjoyable to have around. And if you aren’t hooked on Cloud within the first few minutes, just stick with him, because I promise you that his story and the stories of those around him are some of the most fascinating and engrossing you will ever see. 

Something I think a lot of people might forget about Cloud is just how far he is willing to go for people he cares about, with little consideration for himself when it matters. When saving Tifa from Don Corneo, he dresses up a woman to infiltrate his residence with very little resistance or complaining. This is usually seen as something slightly comedic, and that’s fair enough. However, it also shows just how much he is willing to swallow his pride in order to achieve something.

The man’s a goddamn hero, and one of the world’s most beloved video game characters with good reason.

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Conor Evans
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