In my own opinion, I think Final Fantasy VII is the best RPG
ever made. The memorable characters, the Materia system, and
of course Sephiroth. Everything was perfectly done. It was also
the very first role playing game I played, and my most favorite
game of all time (Next to Sonic the Hedgehog 2.) Okay, let me
stop sweating the game and get to what I'm trying to accomplish
here. The story I'm about to tell you is a history on our blond
spiky haired hero, Cloud Strife. This story is a retelling on
the flashbacks that occurred during the game. I have woven all
those events together (with some minor adjustments) to broaden
the history of Cloud. Some of you may notice that the names
of certain characters in this story are the same as other characters
from previous Final Fantasy games. These are not the same characters.
They just happen to have the same name, that's all. Our story
begins when Cloud was at the tender age of six years old in
his hometown Nibelheim. Enjoy the story and thank you for reading.
The morning sun shined softly through the window, gently landing
on Cloud's sleeping eyes. He lay in his tossed bed ignoring
the morning call. Taking his pillow, Cloud placed it over his
face, pressing it hard to filter out any sunlight that might
have seeped through his eyelids. He didn't wish to get up. He
had no motivation to do so. There was a gentle knock on the
door. Cloud buried his face deeper into the pillow hoping whomever
it was would leave him in peace. The door slowly squealed open.
"Cloud, dear," the voice said. It was a familiar voice. The
same voice Cloud heard every single day since the day of his
birth. It was the kind and warm voice of his mother. "Come on,
son. Seize the day," she said, walking into his room.
Cloud remained motionless, pretending he was still slumbering.
"I know you're up so stop playing," she said, playfully nudging
Cloud awake. Cloud resisted and stayed asleep.
"Oh, now you're playing difficult." She reached to Cloud and
began to try and tickle him awake. He was able to resist until
he finally burst into laughter. He began rolling around in hysteria
as his mother ran her fingers around his body. It was a warm-hearted
scene until Cloud abruptly yelled, "Leave me alone!" Suddenly
the mood had changed. Cloud's mom stood baffled by her son's
fierce outcry. He wrapped himself in his covers and turned away
"What's wrong, Cloud?" she asked concerned.
He didn't respond.
"Well, I just came to tell you that your breakfast is ready,"
she said. His mother left the room and whispered, "Love you,"
before closing his door. Cloud, now wide awake and staring at
the ceiling, stayed in his bed. He didn't mean to snap at his
mother, and now realized that he may have over reacted. Cloud
was aware that she was merely playing. That was her way. She
had just caught him at a bad time.
The reason for this behavior was the result of an incident
that occurred the day before. In the house next door lived the
Lockhart family. The Lockhart's had a lively daughter by the
name of Tifa. Cloud and Tifa weren't best friends. They were
more like acquaintances that greet each other if they happened
to cross paths. Though Tifa didn't know, Cloud secretly admired
her. He admired her energy and kindness. She carried an air
about her that brought merriment to everyone. Her face, from
her bright amber eyes to her warm humble smile, was pure with
innocent mischief. She was the most popular girl in Nibelheim.
Maybe too popular, Cloud thought. Tifa always ran with her clique.
A group that Cloud wasn't a member of. For the most part, Cloud
was an extreme introvert who always kept to himself. He felt
that Tifa's friends were immature and anal. They laughed and
giggled at every moronic thing that happened with no real grip
on reality. Cloud's ill feelings for Tifa's friends also had
a hint of envy. There were times when Cloud would spy on the
group and wish he were playing with them. Sometimes he would
stand in their plain sight in hopes that one them, preferably
Tifa, would invite him to play. They just ignored him, except
for Tifa, who would every now and then look and smile in his
direction. A simple gesture that would make Cloud happy for
Anyway, regarding the incident. In the middle of the town was
a water tower. Children were prohibited from climbing it, but
Cloud disregarded the caution. He found comfort while atop the
tower, thinking his deep thoughts. The scenery was beautiful.
On a clear day he could see flocks of the ostrich-like levrikon
birds and the crimson mountains of Cosmo Canyon. As he sat on
top of the high structure he heard somebody ascending the water
tower. He figured it was his mother or some other adult climbing
up to get him down, like usual. He didn't bother turning when
the person sat next to him.
"Wow, you could see Cosmo Canyon from here," the person said.
To his surprise, it was Tifa sitting next to him. But there
was something in her tone that implied to Cloud that there was
something wrong. It was subtle, but he picked it up.
"Yeah," Cloud said, responding to Tifa' observation.
It was quiet for a while. Cloud noticed that her bright amber
eyes had sunk to a dull brown. Her warm, humble smile was gone
and replaced with a sad, indifferent smirk. Cloud wanted to
ask what was wrong, but didn't want to intrude on her business.
"Cloud," Tifa said in a low voice, "where do you think dead
people go when they die?"
"My mom told me there's a place beyond Nibel Mountain where
dead people go," Cloud said, looking to Tifa.
"Really?" she asked.
"That's where she said my dad is,"
"You ever think of visiting your dad?"
"Sometimes, but mom tells me it's too dangerous on the mountain,
and she said she would be sad if anything bad happened to me,"
"My mom's sick. I overheard the doctor tell my dad she might
die," she started sobbing, "I don't want my mom to die. I love
my mom." Tifa laid her head on Cloud's shoulder and softly began
to cry. Cloud felt it was an awkward moment, and didn't know
what to do. He thought he should at least say something. No
exact words came to mind.
"Hey, what's this?" a voice yelled from below. "Look, Tifa's
got a boyfriend!"
The rowdy comedian was Locke, accompanied by three other children.
Locke was Tifa's friend who was a year older than Cloud and
always had to be the center of attention. The boy had noticed
Cloud and Tifa atop the water tower and saw an opportunity to
make some fun.
"He's not my boyfriend!" She screamed at the top of her lungs.
Cloud was taken back by her reaction. Tifa got up in a fury
and began descending the water tower in a hurry. Locke, down
below, went to meet her on the bottom, but as she touched the
ground she stormed right passed him and her other friends. Cloud
didn't quite understand her behavior. He assumed Locke's joke
was poorly timed considering Tifa's mother was dying. Cloud
personally felt Tifa overreacted.
Locke ran in front of Tifa to try and calm her down.
"Wait, Tifa," he said holding her back, "I was just kidding.
I know you aren't interested in Cloud. I mean look at him."
Everybody looked high to the water tower and began to leer
at the lone figure on top. Locke continued, "Who wants a scrub
like that. He's all there by himself. It depresses me just to
see it." The children started laughing at Cloud. Tifa gave a
little chuckle, but didn't go wild like the others.
"C'mon you forgive me?" Locke pleaded
She thought a bit and finally said, faintly, "Okay."
Tifa, Locke and the rest of the crew left, but as they walked,
Cloud overheard someone say, "Now that you mention it. Cloud
is always by himself. Doesn't he have any friends?"
Another child said, "Of course not. Nobody wants to play with
him. He's so weak that he can't even wrestle around without
Soon, they were all playing and forgot about what had happened
back at the water tower. Unfortunately, Cloud didn't forget.
He sat hugging his knees on the tower, still stunned by the
way everybody laughed at him, especially Tifa. Even though they
didn't talk much, Cloud considered her a friend. Possibly his
only friend in Nibelheim.
Now it was the next day. Cloud finally decided to roll out
of bed. Having had time to sleep on that unpleasant event, he
made up his mind not to dwell on it. Tifa was unaware of Cloud's
feelings and meant no harm. He staggered his way down stairs
to eat his breakfast. His mom always made some good pancakes,
which he was all too eager to devour. While walking to the kitchen,
Cloud noticed his mother was nowhere to be found. The appetizing
smell of hot syrup and orange juice struck Cloud's nose. He
climbed onto the chair and began eating his breakfast. Cloud
heard the front door open and then close shortly after. His
mother stepped into the kitchen wearing her coat and holding
a bag of groceries.
"Where'd you go, mom?" he asked while chewing on a big chunk
"I went to get some things from the Item Shop," she said.
She set the bag on the kitchen counter. The mother sat in the
chair across from her son. She smiled as Cloud hungrily ate
his breakfast with teeth clenched for every bite. It reminded
her of how a puppy chewed on hard kibble.
Her faced slowly turned grim, "You know, while I was buying
these items, the clerk told me the sad fate of Mrs. Lockhart."
"Yeah, she's sick," Cloud explained.
"No. Cloud, Mrs. Lockhart died last night."
He stopped chewing his food, dazed by what his mother had just
"She was such a kind woman," his mother began to say, "I'm
most worried about her daughter, Tifa. Such a cute child, and
generous, too. Tifa would always help carry the groceries for
her mother. Those two were inseparable. I'm sure Tifa must be
taking the death hard."
Cloud's mother was correct about the relationship between the
mother and daughter. Tifa loved her mother more than mere words
could express. Cloud pushed his food aside and promptly got
off the chair.
"Where are you going?" His mother asked.
"I have to see Tifa. I want to know if she's okay." Cloud said
walking to the door.
She smiled and said, "Okay, dear. I'll keep an eye on your
The morning sun was slowly engulfed by the gray skies. Soon,
the air itself seemed to whither and die. A cold, unforgiving
wind blew through the deserted streets as Cloud walked to Tifa's
house. He stopped at a distance from her home. His head shifted
upward to Tifa's bedroom window. He noticed someone spying out
the window looking at him. It wasn't Tifa. Cloud couldn't make
out who the individual was, but he could plainly make out it
was a boy. He thought that it could have been one of Tifa's
friends. They had beaten him to her.
In Tifa' room, four of her friends had stopped by to comfort
her over the death of the mother. Locke sat by the window where
he noticed Cloud standing out in front of the house.
"Hey, its Cloud," Locke said, "I wonder what's his problem."
A girl by the name of Relm said, "He's weird. Why is he out
Cloud didn't want to associate himself with Tifa's friends
so he decided to catch her later. Maybe when she was alone,
he thought. He turned and walked away.
"Cloud's leaving," Locke said.
Tifa sat curled in the corner of the room gently rocking back
and forth. Her two other friends, Edgar and Sabin, sat by her.
They tried their best to comfort her broken heart. Tifa's eyes
were scarlet red as tears ran down her tender cheeks. She raised
her head to look at everybody in the room. The children stood
silent. Tifa appeared as if she had something significant to
"I have to see Mom," she said in a whimper.
"What are you talking about?" Sabin asked.
Tifa got up, "There's a place past Nibel Mountain where people
go when they die,"
"Where exactly is it?" Asked Edgar
"I don't know, but I'll find it," she said with sure confidence.
"You can't, Tifa! It's dangerous," Relm said, urging her not
"I have to see my mom. Even if I only get to be with her for
minute. She wants to see me, too. I'm sure she'll be waiting
for me." She walked out of her bedroom followed by Locke, Edgar,
Sabin, and Relm trailing behind.
Cloud, not knowing what to do with himself, began to aimlessly
walk the streets of the town. He pondered on what encouraging
words he could use to ease Tifa's loss. Cloud came upon the
Shinra Mansion on his venture through the town. Shinra, the
powerful and corrupt corporation with a monopoly on Mako Energy,
had built the mansion to house their corporate executives while
they were on business in that region of the continent. Now it
was rumored a Shinra scientist by the name of Professor Hojo
inhabited the mansion along with some members of the secret
organization known as the Turks. It was a mystery as to why
they were there, and what it was they were doing. Cloud stood
in awe at how lavish and enormous the mansion was. He heard
little footsteps walking slowly behind him. The boy turned to
find Tifa leading her friends up the dirt path into the Nibel
Mountains. Neither of them noticed Cloud by the gates of Shinra
Mansion, and so continued their trek to the mountain. Curiosity
overwhelmed Cloud as he began following the group up the path.
He didn't make his presence known to the others. Following from
a distance, Cloud trailed them up the course.
The sky grew to a dark gray, almost pitch-black. Booming thunderous
sounds echoed through the formless skies. All the children jumped
at the shattering cry from above. Relm had had enough of Tifa's
journey. The pathway had become more traitorous and the girl's
feet began to hurt. She turned around and walked back to town
without telling the others. She passed Cloud as he was making
his way up. They made eye contact but nothing more. Relm was
now gone. Cloud picked up his pace. The trail the children had
been following soon disappeared, and now they walked the jagged
steep mountain with no path for reference. Edgar and Sabin stopped.
They looked at each other and decided to head back to Nibelheim.
Both feared the excursion was becoming dangerous with each passing
moment. They, too, left without telling Tifa or Locke. Cloud
saw the brothers run past him, not even taking a moment to notice
him. He had no idea why everybody was deserting Tifa, but he
had no intentions of leaving her by herself. Locke also passed
by Cloud as Tifa's last friend headed back to town.
She was now by herself. Tifa continued her journey, determined
to reunite with her mother's soul on the other side of the mountain.
Cold and bitter rain poured from overhead as thunder echoed
in the miserable air. The jagged rocks glistened as the rain
milled them, making climbing all the more difficult. Cloud lost
sight of Tifa as she made it to the top of a small summit. He
climbed as quickly as possible to reach the height with the
icy rain striking his face like a thousand needles. Out of breath
but still mobile, Cloud reached the top of the summit. Tifa
was nowhere to be found. His heart started racing, fearing the
"Help!" a voice yelled.
It was Tifa's voice. Cloud began looking frantically for her
until he happened to find her hanging on the side of the mountain.
The ground she had walked on collapsed from underneath, leaving
her dangling for dear life.
"Tifa!" Cloud yelled to get her attention.
Tifa looked at him with her trembling eyes.
"Cloud?" she said, surprised to see him. "Please, help me!"
He stretched his cold hand out for her to grab. Tifa got a
tight grip on his hand; just then, the little footing she had
to keep her from falling gave way. Tifa dropped deeper along
with Cloud in hand, but he was able to stop any further decent.
The impending fall wasn't a straight vertical drop, but an incline
made up of rock-strewn terrain. Vertical or not, Cloud wasn't
planning on letting Tifa fall.
"Pull me up, Cloud! Quick!" Tifa cried.
Cloud's arm shot with pain as the blistering wind pounded his
"Please! Please, you can do it," she shrieked.
He wanted so desperately to pull her up, but wasn't strong
enough. Cloud looked at Tifa and knew she was going to plunge.
It was a futile moment for him. It made Cloud feel weak and
helpless. The thought of letting her go and saving his own life
crossed his mind. He quickly pushed that option out of his head.
Cloud's grip on Tifa got tighter as his strength slowly left
him. The rain became harder and colder. Sadly, Cloud's strength
had now completely disappeared. Tifa plummeted down with Cloud
hand in hand. The world seemed to go in slow motion as they
fell down the steep inclined mountain. Their bodies were tossed
like lifeless forms down the gravel plain. Lightning flashed
a blinding light, and the sky went on fire with a brilliant
flare. And then there was total darkness.
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