Cloud and Tifa – Never Cloud and Aeris

Final_Fantasy_VII_Box_ArtAs I’m sure I’ve made clear, I am a fan of Final Fantasy games. They’re great! If you haven’t played them, I’d recommend that you try a Final Fantasy game or two. What makes them so good is that they contain some common ideas, tropes, etc. without having to be the same story, world, rules, games, etc. through the series. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses that differ from the others, so there’s one that almost anyone will like!

Before I discuss this topic, I want to say that I love all of the characters from Final Fantasy 7! Aeris included! I am just referring to the romantic relationship possibility in the game. This will obviously contain spoilers, so don’t read any further if you don’t want spoilers for Final Fantasy 7! I’ll also include some info from Crisis Core, but that won’t be of a spoiling nature.

Relationship Basics in FF7

In the game, you can go on a date with one of: Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie, or Barret. There’s a system of points being assigned based on choices you make through playing. I’m less concerned with that choice in the game and more concerned with who I think our spiky-haired protagonist should be romantically involved with as part of a story. Yes, this is a common discussion among gamers who play the game.

Both Aeris and Tifa express a romantic interest in Cloud during the game, but there are a lot of details we should be considering when playing the game. Some would say that Cloud should be with Aeris, the attractive flower girl of the slums who Cloud meets early in the game. Others, including I, would say that Cloud should be with Tifa, his childhood friend by his side through some of his greatest trials.

Argument in Favor of Tifa

Tifa is a childhood friend of Cloud’s; they’re close even though they weren’t that close as children. Cloud clearly meant something to Tifa even then, because she brings up the promise they made as children.

The Promise

PromiseKeptWell, as it turns out, Cloud didn’t achieve his goal, so his promise would be void at the point that she said he didn’t keep it during the early scene in the bar. Maybe you had Cloud forgetting the promise he made to her.

That would be the case, however, we learn that Cloud was at Nibelheim during the incident. In fact, he arrived in time to move Tifa’s body when she was hurt and even defeated Sephiroth through sheer will. Maybe that determination came from keeping his promise.

After the Lifestream

Falling into the lifestream and being carried away, Cloud was on the verge of death. When the party finds him, after the portion of the game with Tifa as the playable character, she decides to remain with Cloud while the remainder continues on without them. Yes, I understand that Aeris is understandable dead at this point, but I believe Tifa would’ve stayed with him anyway.

Regardless of the type of love, romantic or friendship, this shows Tifa’s love of Cloud. She was part of AVALANCHE before Cloud, so her leaving the group to stay with him is significant. It’s not like he’s talking, and he may not even know she’s there. It’s meaningful though.

Recovering the Mind of Cloud

Eventually Cloud’s mind is sorted out, and we separate Cloud from Zack as part of this recovery. Tifa is there, helping to guide his recovery the whole way. In many ways, this has to be done by the person closest to him, since he doesn’t even trust himself at this point in the story. Even his own memory cannot be trusted, which means that she is even more important.

It’s not just comparing those memories, however, he’s allowing her to help guide him as he figures things out. She’s in Cloud’s mind during this recovery, a place that only the closest person would be invited in.

Argument Against Aeris

AerisMeetsZackFirst, I care nothing of the death of Aeris in this argument. Were she my choice, I’d have been OK with her having died in the game and still be the right woman for Cloud. My main reason is that Cloud is not right for Aeris, and my argument follows that same line of thinking that death doesn’t change anything.

Aeris is not in love with Cloud, and Cloud is not in love with Aeris. She loves Zack Fair, the SOLDIER First Class whose identity Cloud has assumed by becoming Zack’s “living legacy”. I believe that Aeris expresses interest in Cloud because he’s similar to Zack in many ways. And Zack expresses Zack’s interest in Aeris, which is easy considering that Cloud knew about Aeris from Zack. With his confusion and goal of being Zack’s living legacy, dating Aeris is the obvious thing for him to do.

Wrap Up

I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with my stance, but I will always pick Tifa. When playing the game, I might play the game such that a different date happens, but I’ll always hold Tifa and Cloud in a special place. They’re meant for each other. What can I say though, I married someone I love, and before we were dating, we were friends. I think it’s a good foundation to build from, and I think it’s one that Tifa and Cloud can work from as well.


About Brendan
Nerdin' it up!

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