Love Triangle FAQ - Final Fantasy VII

  

This FAQ contains brief answers to the common arguments used against Cloud and Aerith being the true couple of Final Fantasy VII and other misconceptions about the game. Follow the provided links for further detail.

  

1. Cloud and Tifa were close childhood friends.

~ False. Tifa clearly states during the Lifestream Event that she and Cloud didn’t know one another very well as children. For more information:

Length of Relationship

   

2. Cloud and Tifa spend a romantic night under the Highwind together near the end of Disk Two.

~ There are two different versions of this scene and the version which a player gets is determined by Tifa's affection level for Cloud as governed by the Date Mechanism. In the Low Affection version, there is no indication of romantic or sexual interest between Cloud and Tifa. Therefore, Cloud's affection towards Tifa is completely optional to the player. For more information:

Analysis of the Highwind Scene: Low Affection Version

   

3. The Date Mechanism stops working after the Date scene at the Gold Saucer.

~ False. There are two versions of the scene where Cloud and Tifa spend the night under the Highwind late in Disk Two, and that scene changes according to Tifa’s affection level with Cloud as governed by the Date Mechanism. For more information:

Last Night Under the Highwind: Low Affection Version - script and screenshots  

Analysis of the Highwind Scene: Low Affection Version

   

4. Cloud’s affection for Tifa is optional to the player.

~ True. Cloud does not have to go on a Date with Tifa, nor does he have to show any affection whatsoever to Tifa in the Last Night Under the Highwind scene. For more information:

Last Night Under the Highwind: Low Affection Version - script and screenshots  

Analysis of the Highwind Scene: Low Affection Version

    

5. Cloud and Tifa have sex under the Highwind.

~ There are two different versions of the scene where Cloud and Tifa spend the night under the Highwind.  SE has specifically said that the conversation between Cloud and Tifa changes depending on the degree of Tifa's affection for Cloud. When Tifa's affection for Cloud is low, the  FFVII Ultimania Omega says that the conversation between them is "apathetic and ends short". Therefore, the amount of affection displayed between Cloud and Tifa under the Highwind is optional and under the control of the player. Even in the High Affection version of the scene, there is absolutely nothing to prove that they had sex. For more information:

Last Night Under the Highwind: Low Affection Version - script and screenshots 

Analysis of the Highwind Scene: Low Affection Version

Analysis of the Highwind Scene: High Affection Version

   

6. Cloud and Tifa DO have sex. Why else would Tifa be embarrassed the next morning?

~ Tifa could just as easily be embarrassed the next morning because she fell asleep with her head on Cloud's shoulder the night before. If she knew the others were watching, this would be reason enough for Tifa to be embarrassed. For more information:

Analysis of the Highwind Scene: High Affection Version

  

7. Cloud “rediscovers his love for Tifa” during the Lifestream Event.

~ False. Cloud actually recalls his past feelings for Tifa during the Lifestream Event without her help. Tifa had specifically asked him to recall something that she didn’t know about when he revealed his past feelings for her. Therefore, Cloud had never forgotten about his past feelings for her and nothing was ever “rediscovered”. However, what Cloud recalls at that time is a past crush that Tifa never reciprocated, along with other painful memories surrounding his childhood relationship with her. It is also revealed during the Lifestream Event that Cloud and Tifa didn’t know one another well as children, which means that Cloud’s crush on her as a child was never based on an actual relationship with her. Furthermore, evidence of Cloud’s feelings seven years ago doesn’t necessarily mean that he continues to feel that way in the current frame of events. For more information:

Length of Relationship

Past Feelings vs. Current Feelings

   

8. Aerith doesn’t get to know the real Cloud.

~ False. Confusing a memory, or having partial amnesia, does not mean that you actually become a different person. Cloud never actually "became" Zack, and he actually retained much of his own personality. Aerith even states in the Date scene that Cloud is different from Zack. For more information:

Did Cloud Become Zack?

Aerith Didn't Love Cloud Because of Zack

Cloud Shrine: The Real Cloud

Cloud Shrine: Personality

   

9. Aerith falls in love with Cloud because of Zack.

~ False. In Gongaga, Aerith tells Cloud that her relationship with Zack is "all in the past now". When Cloud asks Aerith in the Sector 6 playground whether she and Zack had been in a serious relationship, Aerith says, "No, but I liked him for a while." Aerith tells Cloud in the Date scene that she realizes he is different from Zack, and she shows interest in the real Cloud. For more information:

Did Cloud Become Zack?

Aerith Didn't Love Cloud Because of Zack

   

10. The only romantic scene in the game is between Cloud and Tifa.

~ That’s purely a matter of opinion. Many people don’t consider the night that Cloud and Tifa spend under the Highwind to be romantic at all. On the other hand, many people consider the hand reach scene between Cloud and Aerith as being very romantic and view it as a reaffirmation of their love for one another. For more information:

Cloud x Aerith Shrine: Scenes

Preface: The Love Triangle

Several Paths, One Destination

   

11. Tifa has known Cloud longer, so she had more time to develop a relationship with him than Aerith.

~ False. Cloud and Tifa didn’t know one another well as children in Nibelheim, which is clearly stated by Tifa during the Lifestream Event. Therefore, Cloud and Tifa are actually just getting to know one another when he joins AVALANCHE, which happens shortly before the beginning of the game. Furthermore, an analysis of the game script shows that Cloud devotes an equivalent amount of time to both Aerith and Tifa during the course of the game. For more information:

Length of Relationship

Comparing Cloud's Affection: Analysis

   

12. Tifa spends more time with Cloud than Aerith does.

~ False. Aerith and Tifa actually have the same number of non-optional scenes alone with Cloud. In two of the scenes that Tifa spends alone with Cloud, however, he only speaks to her twice. An analysis of the game script also reveals that Cloud has an equivalent amount of non-optional interactions with both women during the course of the game. For more information:

Number of Scenes Together

Comparing Cloud's Affection: Analysis

   

13. Cloud and Aerith being together in subsequent games is nothing but a “marketing ploy”.

~ There is no evidence of this whatsoever. No marketing analysis has been provided to prove this, no comments from the creators indicate this to be true, and no notes from a board meeting have been provided to prove this. The “marketing ploy” theory is pure speculation and conjecture. However, there is quite a bit of evidence which indicates that Kingdom Hearts is *not* a “marketing ploy”. For more information:

The Relevance of Kingdom Hearts

   

14. Kingdom Hearts shows nothing about Cloud and Aerith's relationship in Final Fantasy VII because it's is a different story and Cloud and Aerith are different characters.

~ False. Tetsuya Nomura said this in an interview with the Official U.S. Playstation Magazine in October, 2002, issue 61, page 139-140: “…if you play Kingdom Hearts, toward the end, some of the questions about the relationship between Cloud and Aeris in FFVII might be answered. It's sort of like a side story, and this was an extra bonus that I wanted to give to players.” Therefore, Cloud and Aerith’s appearance in Kingdom Hearts is indeed a commentary on their relationship in Final Fantasy VII despite the two games being different stories.

The Relevance of Kingdom Hearts

   

15. Cloud can’t have a relationship with Aerith because she’s dead.

~ The question is not which woman Cloud can have a relationship with. The question is which woman Cloud loves. Aerith being dead doesn’t mean that Cloud can’t continue loving her. It’s beyond the scope of the game to know whether he ever forms a relationship with Tifa, and Cloud’s affection for Tifa is totally optional to the player during the course of the game. Furthermore, Cloud’s decision in the ending of Final Fantasy VII is to meet Aerith, and he is shown in Final Fantasy Tactics as attempting to reach the Promised Land, which is where Aerith would be. A commercial released while Final Fantasy VII was still in production showed Cloud laying Aerith to rest with the caption, “A love that could never be…”, which shows that the game creators did indeed consider Cloud and Aerith to be in love with one another. For more information:

A Love that Could Never Be

Other Games

The Relevance of Kingdom Hearts

Cloud x Aerith Shrine: Scenes

Preface: The Love Triangle

Several Paths, One Destination

   

16. The Date Mechanism is based on the women’s affection toward Cloud, not Cloud’s affection for the women.

~ This is an oversimplification of how the Date Mechanism works. In order for the woman’s affection to grow toward Cloud, he must act in an affectionate manner towards that woman. Therefore, the woman’s affection level can only grow towards Cloud when he shows more affection toward that woman. For more information:

The Date Mechanism

   

17. Cloud doesn’t show grief at Aerith’s death.

~ False. According to the symptoms of grief outlined by the American Medical Association, Cloud displays grief when Aerith dies. For more information:

Cloud's Reaction to Aerith's Death *coming soon*

   

18. Cloud doesn’t show grief for the loss of Aerith in Disk Two. Therefore, he doesn’t miss her.

~ False. Cloud does show symptoms of grief in Disk Two according to the symptoms of grief outlined by the American Medical Association. Furthermore, the amount of grief Cloud could demonstrate for Aerith was limited by the Date Mechanism and possibly by cultural factors. For more information:

Cloud's Grief *coming soon*

Why Doesn't Cloud Grieve? *coming soon*

Comparing Cloud's Affection: Analysis

  

19. Tifa almost says, “I love you” in her date scene with Cloud.

~ How does this show that Cloud has any feelings for her?

   

20. Tifa takes care of Cloud in Mideel.

~ Again, how does this show that Cloud has any feelings for her?

  

21. Cloud would choose Tifa since Aerith is dead.

~ How do we know what Cloud would choose? Just because you would choose Tifa because Aerith is dead doesn’t necessarily mean that Cloud would. Romeo chose to commit suicide so that he would never be separated from Juliet. Would you make the same choice? For more information:

Preface: The Love Triangle

 

22. Tifa is the only girl available after Aerith’s death. Therefore, she becomes Cloud’s love interest by default.

~ This is illogical. Just because Tifa is available doesn’t mean that Cloud loves her.

 

23. It’s a Love Triangle. Therefore, Cloud must love both women. Tifa is the only one left, so Cloud loves her by default.

~ False. A love triangle is defined as two people loving the same third person of the opposite sex. Therefore, the idea of a Love Triangle means that both Aerith and Tifa love Cloud, not that he loves both of them. For more information:

Definition of a Love Triangle

 

Please see our section on Final Fantasy VII for further discussion and more evidence of Cloud and Aerith's love in Final Fantasy VII.