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Around every good hero are people to support and hinder him. In Cloud's case it can be kind of tricky since he lives as Zack for the first part of Final Fantasy VII.


The Sage - Inner Cloud

The guide
The Sage: Inner Cloud The sage is usually someone who guides the hero, teaches them how to use their powers and keeps them on the right path. For Cloud, this is tricky because people who could be his sage also end up being his enemy or have died for him (as per the sage's role usually). Sephiroth for instance would have been a great instructor. Zack, on the other hand, could have fit the role well too, and as we know he gives his life to protect Cloud. While this fits with the idea of Sage a little more, I wanted to encompass the original Cloud. The real Cloud who pipes in now and again. "Back then, we could get by with just scraped knees." So, for the sage, the one keeping Cloud on the right path trying to guide him, is his original self.

The Sidekick - Aeris Gainsborough

Right hand man, support, and ear for the hero.
The Sidekick: Honestly, Cloud fits the role of sidekick very well. But seeing as he cannot be his own sidekick, I have included Aeris. She listens to him, she supports him, and she is perhaps the only person he talks too. In Advent Children, I assume that she is the only person he really talks to as he refuses to answer his phone. When he needs someone to talk to, he talks to her. He goes so far as to stay in the church, perhaps as a way to be near her. However, he has the bonus that she will not reply. Even after she passes, she continues to be there for him as she walks the lifestream to look after him.


The Nemesis - Sephiroth

The antagonist and those who stand in the way of the hero
The Nemesis: Sephiroth Although this could have been Jenova, I think Sephiroth fits better. A strong and stern man, he was once hailed as a hero. Had he different options, he would have been even more amazing. He is the final boss of Final Fantasy VII and he is still causing Cloud trouble in Advent Children. His memory exists and will continue to because Cloud cannot let him go. In this way he has gained a sort of immortality. He will always be the the driving force of darkness in Cloud's life. In every incarnation of the two, Cloud and Sephiroth are put at ends with each other. Although Sephiroth might have been controlled by JENOAVA, I consider him a mastermind who would certainly be capable of world domination given that there was no one to oppose him. He called the remnants to him for a reunion and even controlled Cloud several times. The abilities he has are thanks to Jenova, true. But I do not believe that Sephiroth is completely controlled, so much as sharing her ideal. In this way, he and Jenova are of one mind - almost being synonomous.

The Love Interest - Aeris Gainsborough

Devoted to the hero but unable to be together
The Love Interest: Aeris Gainsborough The first woman to genuinely love Cloud, she tricked him into being her bodyguard with the payment of one date. He reminded her of Zack and that level of comfort made it easy for her to open up to Cloud and befriend him. She mentions that one day she wants to meet "the real Cloud" much to Cloud's confusion, but does not get to do so while living. Instead, she gives her life to pray for the white materia. She later wlkas the lifestream looking after the party. She takes Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz in whent he return to the lifestream in Advent Children and sends Cloud back, stating that he is "too old to adopt."


The Adoptive Family - AVALANCHE

A place to call home, and usually the reason for the journey
With his hometown and family killed, Cloud has nowhere to go. The one person who cared about his well being died. He ends up with Tifa and AVALANCHE as a sort of home. Later, he refuses to even live with Tifa, Denzel, and Marlene; thinking he doesn't deserve it he tends to keep to himself. Although the group considers each other family, it is not until the end of Advent Children that Cloud really begins to accept it.

The Warrior - Zack Fair

Right or wrong, hell or high water, he will fight for the hero.
The Warrior: Zack Fair They met on a mission. Cloud and Zack became fast friends and Zack even offered to help Cloud get over his motion sickness. He insisted that Cloud should be up and moving. Zack was the other 1st Class SOLDIER that appeared in Nibelheim when Sephiroth lost his mind. Zack was unable to defeat Sephiroth, however, when Zack escaped from confinement he took Cloud with him. He carried Cloud from Nibelheim to the outskirts of Midgar where he was shot by Shinra Soldiers trying to recover them. Zack gave his life to protect Cloud. Cloud then became Zack's living legacy. In fact, Cloud was so impacted by Zack that he thought he was Zack. It is only after a few brief scenes that we learn of Zack and that he would do anything for Cloud. Like Aeris, he travels the lifestream to look after Cloud.


The Temptress - Tifa Lockhart

Tries to lead the hero astray
The Temptress: Tifa LockhartTifa does not purposely try to lead Cloud astray. The truth, though, is that she does. She does not correct his "mistakes" in his memories or stories. This perpetuates Cloud's false identity and keeps him from realizing his true self. In this way, she keeps him from his path. By keeping certain things to herself she is actually helping Sephiroth to control Cloud, though this is not her intention. Afraid she will lose the one thing she has from her past she refuses to correct him until it is almost too late. It is with her help that Cloud is able to regain his true self, however, I feel that had Tifa been honest with him it would have been much easier for him to cope with the identity crisis he faced.

The Innocents - The World

Who the Hero fights for
At first Cloud doesn't care. However, he quickly becomes entangled in a dark web to save the world. Partially responsible for the trouble (giving Sephiroth the Black Materia) he decides that he needs to atone. Before that, though, he is dragged along by Tifa and Barret before he decides he needs to stop Sephiroth.

The Nightmare Creature - JENOVA

Creatures representive of the hero's flaws and insecurities
She is the base of disaster. She tried to kill the Ancients, she manipulated Sephiroth, her cells turn seemingly normal people into monsters. Literally. It is most likely her cells that give Cloud and Sephiroth their super human strength. To some degree, at least by theory and Hojo's experiments it is also what gives Vincent his longevity. Her cells are also capable of breeding monsters as we see in the Nibelheim Reactor, the initial reason for the trip to the sleepy mountain town that led to Sephiroth's betrayal and the burning of Nibelheim.

The Traitor - Cait Sith

Pretends to be for the hero but is really against them.
The Traitor: Cait Sith When we first meet Ciat Sith he is a fortune teller in Gold Saucer. He gives us vague fortunes, such as "Your Lucky Color is Blue." This could be a hint to the fact that Cloud somehow survived Sephiroth while he was wearing the blue grunt uniform. In many cases he gives information to the Turks and even works with them on a few occassions. Cait's biggest betrayal comes from the gathering of the keystone to find the temple of the Ancients. By kidnapping Marlene he ensures that Shinra makes it there first. Later he redeems himself by sacrificing his body to get the Black Materia, which Cloud later gives to Sephiroth. Initially, Cait Sith plays the role of a double agent working more for Shinra than for Cloud. Later, Reeve decides that Cloud's work is more beneficial and joins him fully.


The Dreamer - Marlene Wallace

A reminder of why the hero fights
The Dreamer: Marlene Wallace In Advent Children Marlene scolds Cloud telling him that he has to help everyone. Why? Because he's the only one who can. He needs to be with everyone. He has to save everyone. In FFVII, she insists that he can save Aeris simply because he can and should. As a child she is very stubborn in her ways but she believes in Cloud's ability to fight and set things right. She knows that he is a good man and she trusts that he will do what he needs too. When Cloud refuses in Advent Children she runs to Vincent and together they are able to remind Cloud that he should be fighting, but only if its together.

The Fool - Cid Highwind

Comic relief, also reminds the hero the journey can be accomplished and that it's for the innocents
The Fool: Cid HighwindAlthough not the most supportive of men, Cid fits Cloud's "fool." When the party returns from space Cid mentions that he had the realization that the planet was like a child, sick and shivering unable to get the help it needed. They needed to be that help. Cloud needed to be that help. He reminds that although he thinks that science is the greatest he knows its going to take more than that to save the world. He believes that Cloud, as a leader, is capable. Cid is not always suportive, true, but he is there when it counts. In particular Cloud says something along the lines of "Let's Mosey" after everyone gets back together and starts to head down the Northern Cavern to fight Sephiroth. Cid complains that he should say something "manlier" but also assures that they'd fight through hell and back for him.

The Rebel - Vincent Valentine

Knowledgable, skilled, huge ego. In any other story, he'd be the hero.
The Rebel: Vincent ValentineThe rebel is often described as "being against the hero but really for them." In some way, this can be true. More than Cloud, Vincent prefers to be alone. Without Vincent we miss some key points in Sephiroth's birth. For one, we would not have found out that Lucrecia was really Sephiroth's mother. Two, we learn of his father and we really get to see the way he was born. We are led to believe that JENOVA is Sehiroth's mother. Without Vincent's knowledge we would be under the same impression as Sephiroth. He has the skills of a Turk, as he used to be a Shinra Employee. He is shown to be a very good shooter, extremely fast and capable. He saves Elena and Tseng in Northern Cavern in Advent Children and also went to Cloud's aid when he was fighting Kadaj and his brothers. He has knowledge on what the three silver haired brothers are and knows that Cloud has geostigma despite the fact he's hidden it from everyone else. In addition, Vincent does come off as a bit arrogant - stating that Yuffie has no right to call his phone, being aloof when his friends need him, though he does have his own game.