is a fictional character and the main protagonist in Square's (now Square Enix's) role-playing game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. His original design was created by Final Fantasy VII character designer Tetsuya Nomura. Cloud's appearance is marked by spikey blond hair, striking blue eyes, dark clothing and his , which previously belonged to his friend Zack Fair. Cloud is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai in Japanese, and in English by Steve Burton.
In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a mercenary and self-proclaimed ex-member of SOLDIER, a select, genetically augmented military unit operating under the defacto world government and megacorporation Shinra Electric Power Company. Fighting against Shinra in the resistance group "AVALANCHE" and driven by a feud with the primary antagonist, Sephiroth, Cloud learns to come to terms with his troubled past and adapts to his role as a leader. Cloud has also appeared in several other titles outside the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Such titles include Itadaki Street Special, Final Fantasy Tactics, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Ehrgeiz, and the Kingdom Hearts series.
Cloud has garnered a primarily positive reception by critics. Described as "iconic," the character has been ranked highly in various published character lists. Cloud remains popular among fans, and continues to place highly in popularity polls. Cloud has also become the basis for a variety of merchandise, such as action figure and jewellery.
Cloud was one of the first two characters designed for Final Fantasy VII by Tetsuya Nomura with influences from Yoshinori Kitase, Kazushige Nojima and Hironobu Sakaguchi. Furthermore, Nomura was called upon to supervise Cloud's various lines and personality traits. When being appointed to write the scenario, Cloud's false persona was already determinated, with Nojima inspired by the character's first appearance in the story. As the story continued, Nojima focused in making Cloud more mature hoping it could be noticed by the players. Additionally, Nojima incorporated the character of Zack Fair to the game in order to expand the mysteries behind Cloud's background which still were not decided how they would had been. In expanding Cloud's character individuality, the staff wanted him to be interesting to players, and focused in working in all his manners as well his phrase "Not interested" which is repeated various times in the game. When first reading Nojima's scenario, Kitase was surprised by Cloud's persona as he was not simple-minded, feeling him fresh. The love triangle between Cloud, Tifa Lockhart and Aerith Gainsborough was also an aspect that the staff found new in the series. Nojima deceived such aspect based on the "high school romance comedy" concept he thought was simple.
Read more about Cloud Strife at Wikipedia
Official Site: Square-Enix
Researched by: Thunder Phoenix