|“||The combination of Jenova cells, Sephiroth's strong will and my own weakness are what created me. Everyone knew that. I'm... Cloud... the master of my own illusionary world. But I can't remain trapped in an illusion anymore. I'm going to live my life without pretending.||„|
|~ Cloud Strife|
|“||I pity you. You just don't get it at all. There's not a thing I don't cherish!||„|
|~ Cloud Strife|
Cloud Strife is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and also appears in the spin-off games of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, with a minor appearance Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- and supporting role in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-.
A former high ranking member of SOLDIER, the Shinra Electric Power Company's elite private military, Cloud abandoned the unit following an incident during a mission, five years ago where Sephiroth, a fellow SOLDIER and once his hero and Shinra's greatest champion, went insane and destroyed Nibelheim, Cloud's hometown, leading to a confrontation between the two that ended with Sephiroth's disappearance. Nowadays, Cloud works as a simple mercenary with no real moral code nor ideals, taking any job for the right price. His work led him to be meeting again an old friend, Tifa Lockhart, and hired by the anti-Shinra extremist group, AVALANCHE, led by Barret Wallace. Now Cloud must work to take down his former employers alongside a group that doesn't trust him, fighting for a cause he has no interest in.
Things aren't as simple as they seem for Cloud, though: his arrogant demeanor and cocky attitude are but a mask hiding many questions, his story is filled with holes and inconsistencies that can't properly reconcile what really happened and what he remembers, and the image he tries to project often comes at odds how he naturally acts. As his journey goes on, the reappearance of Sephiroth drives Cloud on a quest for revenge that sheds light on who he is, the true events of the past and the real value he holds as a person, understanding what strength and bravery really are.
Powers and Stats
Tier: 4-B | 4-B, likely higher, far higher with Limit Breaks | High 6-A to 4-B
Name: Cloud Strife
Origin: Final Fantasy VII
Age: 14-16 (Before Crisis and Crisis Core) | 21 (FFVII) | 23 (Advent Children) | 24 (Dirge of Cerberus)
Classification: Mako Enhanced Human, former Shinra Infantryman, Member of AVALANCHE, Mercenary, Successful Sephiroth Clone
Powers and Abilities:
Superhuman Physical Characteristics; Master Swordsman and Skilled Marksman (is a former Shinra Infantryman); Vehicular Mastery (of Motorcycles, as seen with Hardy-Daytona and the Fenrir in later installments); Enhanced Awareness and Reflexes; Acrobatics; Energy Manipulation (can empower his attacks with his Spirit Energy when using Limit Breaks for greater power and different effects); Energy Projection (via Blade Beam and Meteorain); Attack Boost in the form of raw damage boost (via Limit Breaks, which are stated to reach power much greater than the usual capabilities of the user) and additional effects: Paralysis Inducement (via Cross Slash), Homing Attack (Blade Beam scatters into smaller, weaker beams that home on remaining enemies) and Instant Death (via Finishing Touch); Non-Physical Interaction (able to hurt and defeat the ghost and souls of the fallen Gi Tribe); minor Soul Manipulation (disembodied souls struck down by Cloud don't pass away but are destroyed instead. Additionally, Cloud's disembodied spirit can attack and hurt other souls) and minor Astral Projection (can send his spirit into astral planes such as the Lifestream); Regeneration Negation (Up to Low-High, the pieces of Jenova, even cells, destroyed by the party are gone for good and can't be used for the Reunion to rebuild Jenova's body) and Immortality Negation (Types 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8. Can permanently kill Jenova and her pieces, who aside from being extremely durable is able to regenerate from single cells, as well as survive as long as just her cells remain, through which she can enforce her will, even through other people injected with them. Additionally, can permanently finish off the souls and spectres of the Gi Tribe); Mind Reading (the Jenova Cells in his body can read the memory of other people, however, he has no control of this ability therefore is not combat applicable). Resistance to Banishment (despite entering the Planet's Core within the Lifestream itself, Cloud was not taken forcefully taken from the living world. Later, his spirit followed Sephiroth's deeper into the Lifestream without being reclaimed); Mind Manipulation and Memory Manipulation (his mind has grown strong enough to not collapse nor be eroded under the weight of the Spirit Energy of the Lifestream); Soul Manipulation, Soul Absorption and Empathic Manipulation (his spirit was not forcefully diffused nor reabsorbed by the Lifestream); Biological Absorption, Deconstruction and Matter Manipulation (his physical body wasn't absorbed nor was dissolved by the Lifestream to retake his Spirit Energy); Corruption (Types 2 and 3, despite immense exposure to Spirit Energy, on several occasions, he never became a Makonoid. Additionally, was unaffected by Jenova's Virus despite confronting her directly); Extreme Heat and Extreme Radiation (withstood Sephiroth's Supernova); Mind Reading, Perception Manipulation, Illusion Creation, Telekinesis and Possession (by the time of their spiritual battle, he had grown strong enough to resist Sephiroth's mental abilities and defeat him); Power Mimicry and Power Absorption (Limit Breaks are born from the user's Spirit Energy, which shapes their mind and soul, and cannot be copied or imitated, the sole exception being Zack who is acknowledged as an unusual case, and even then creates a variant of the original move).
All previous abilities, plus: Dual Wielding; stronger Energy Manipulation and Attack Boost (his stronger Limit Breaks can defeat with a single use enemies who can shrug off his regular attacks); Limited Flight and Afterimage Creation (via Omnislash Versions 5 and 6), and Self-Duplication (via Omnislash Version 6); Regeneration Negation (up to Mid-Godly, killed Sephiroth for good, who came back despite the death of his body and destruction of his spirit, which contains the mind, consciousness, memories and self of a person. After his defeat, Sephiroth was no longer active as a separate entity from the Lifestream and his influence was gone for good, allowing Aerith to cleanse Geostigma from the city of Edge by using Great Gospel) and Immortality Negation (Types 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9. When he killed Sephiroth, he also put an end to Jenova who, despite her previous physical death at the Planet's Core, lived on through her parasitic presence in the Lifestream and whose existence was described by Hojo as having already merged with the Lifestream itself to the point all souls would eventually become part of her, making the destruction of her body and spirit meaningless. Even if tainted Lifestream remained, Jenova, like Sephiroth, was no longer an active presence enforcing and spreading her will). Resistance to Fear Manipulation (was unaffected by Advent Children Sephiroth's presence, which is terrifying enough to make Yuffie panic).
Statistics Amplification (with the Ultima Weapon, which increases Cloud's physical attack several times the closer he is to full health). Resistance to Poison Manipulation (which also protects Cloud from Acid Manipulation); Paralysis Inducement; Sleep Inducement; Blindness; Silence Inducement; Transmutation; Curse Manipulation; Power Nullification (of magical, spiritual, physical and mental abilities); Petrification; Size Manipulation; Madness Manipulation; Berserk Inducement; plus additional resistance to Empathic Manipulation (thanks to the Ribbon he wears in honor to Aerith, Cloud is protected from most of the game's Status Ailments).
Magic; Summoning (of small meteorites via the Comet Spells); Matter Manipulation (via Flare, which creates an explosion of heat by colliding the targets atoms); Energy Projection (via Ultima); Elemental Manipulation (of the Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Earth and Gravity variety); Death Manipulation (via Death); Durability Negation (via the Demi/Gravity spells); Healing (via the Cure spells and FullCure), Purification (Type 3, via Poisona and Esuna) and Regeneration (Mid-Low via Regen); Damage Reduction via Barrier Creation (the Barrier, MBarrier and Shield effects reduce damage instead of blocking attacks); Attack Reflection (via Reflect). Time Manipulation (via Haste, Slow and Stop); Poison Manipulation (via the Bio spells); Size Reduction (via Mini); Transmutation into Frogs (via Toad); Statistics Reduction (both the Frog and Small status reduce the enemy’s offensive capabilities); Power Nullification (via DeBarrier and DeSpell, as well as the Silence and Frog status); Sleep Inducement (via Sleepel); Petrification (side effect of Break); Limited Madness Manipulation (via Confu and a side-effect of Tornado); Berserk Inducement (via Berserk); Limited Teleportation (via Exit, only allows to escape from battles); Dimensional Banishment (via Remove). Resistance to: Healing and Regeneration Negation (by the time of their final battle, his Healing Magic works despite Sephiroth’s nullification). Additionally, can grant himself resistance to all the Status Ailments he can resist via equipment and Materia combinations (via Resist, though this spell prevents the user from healing negative conditions already inflicted on them), as well as to the Elemental Damage he can access through Materia and Physical Damage (of slashing, piercing, blunt force and gunfire kind; via Shield, however, the spell will prevent the user from healing themselves outside of regeneration). Several of his spells cannot be reflected by shields or barriers.
Summoning (of Summoned Beasts); Limited Dimensional Travel/Pocket Reality Manipulation (Summons draw enemies into a different dimension to unleash their attacks); Elemental Manipulation of different varieties: Fire (via Ifrit and Phoenix), Absolute Zero Cold (via Shiva), Lightning (via Ramuh), Earth (via Titan), Water via (Leviathan), Holy (via Alexander) and Multi-Elemental (Kujata attacks with Lightning, Ice, Fire and Earth in succession, Typhon does it at once, while the sorcerers of the Knights of the Round use the latter three elements); Energy Projection and Matter Manipulation (via Bahamut, Neo Bahamut, Bahamut ZERO and Bahamut SIN, whose respectives Megaflare, Gigaflare, Teraflare and Petaflare, each attack stronger than the previous one, are more powerful versions of the Flare spell, and trigger a fusion reaction upon impact); Instant Death (via Odin); Spatial Manipulation (King Arthur's finishing strike in Knights of the Round destroys the dimension where the enemy had been taken to); Status Effect Inducement via Hades (Poison Manipulation, Sleep Inducement, Confusion, Silence Inducement, Transmutation into Frogs, Size Reduction, Time Slowdown and Paralysis Inducement) and Choco/Mog (Time Stop); Durability Negation (Bahamut, Neo Bahamut, Bahamut ZERO, Bahamut SIN, Typhon and Knights of the Round ignore the defenses of any enemy).
Damage Boost (via Deathblow); Transmutation (via Morph); Body Puppetry (via Manipulate); Information Analysis (via Sense); Limited Power Mimicry (via Mime to himself and his allies); Death Manipulation (via Flash). Additionally, can attack from two to four times almost simultaneously (via 2x-Cut and 4x-Cut) or attack a wide area beyond his normal reach (via Slash-All); can cast two different Spells or Summons simultaneously (via W-Magic and W-Summon, respectively).
Limited Power Mimicry (Enemy Skill allows the user to learn some abilities from enemies); Elemental Manipulation of different varieties: Fire (via Beta), Lightning (via Trine), Water (via Aqualung) and Multi-Elemental (Magic Breath deals Fire, Ice and Lightning damage at once); Death Manipulation (via Death Sentence); Durability Negation (via Pandora's Box); Healing and Type-3 Purification (via White Wind and Angel Whisper); Defensive Statistics Amplificaction (via Dragon Force); Time Acceleration and Damage Reduction via Barrier Creation (via Big Guard); Status Effect Inducement via Bad Breath: Poison Manipulation, Confusion, Silence Inducement, Size Reduction, Transmutation into Frogs and Sleep Inducement, the latter two are also inflicted via Frog Song; Energy Absorption (via Magic Hammer). Can grant himself Resistance to Death Manipulation (via Death Force).
Attack Boost of two kinds: additional effects via Elemental Attacks of the Fire, Absolute Zero Ice, Lightning, Earth, Wind, Water, Gravity and Holy variety (via the Elemental Materia, which grants the user different attributes when linked with different Magic and Summon Materia in their weapons), and Status Effect Inducement of the Poison Manipulation, Sleep Inducement, Berserk Inducement, Limited Madness Manipulation, Petrification, Transmutation into Frogs, Size Minimization, Silence Inducement, Time Slowdown, Time Stop and Instant Death variety (via the Added Effect Materia, which allows the user to inflict several Status Ailments when linked with different Magic and Summon Materia in their weapons), and raw power boost via Magic Attack Boost (via MP Turbo); Life Absorption (via HP Absorb) and Energy Absorption (via MP Absorb); Instinctive Reaction of different varieties: Counterattacking (via Counter Attack or Counter, Magic Counter and Final Attack linked with certain offensive Materia), Automatic Healing (via Magic Counter or Final Attack linked with a healing Materia, or the Life or Phoenix Materia to save the user from near death), Automatic Follow-Up (via Added Cut) and Instinctive Initiative (via First Strike); Enhanced Awareness and Stealth (via Pre-Emptive, which allows to sneak on and attack enemies by surpise and prevents the user from being ambushed or being caught off-guard); Self-Sustenance (Type 1), Enhanced Vision and Underwater Breathing (via Underwater, which lets the user survive and fight with no problem at the bottom of the ocean). Additionally, can use the same Spell or Summon four times at once at half power (via Quadra Magic, except for Knights of the Round); can turn the single-targeting of several of Commands and Spells into an Area of Effect (via the All and Mega All Materia); regular attacks can reach a few meters beyond their actual physical reach (via the Long Range Materia). Resistance to Elemental Manipulation of the Fire, Absolute Zero Ice, Lightning, Wind, Earth, Water, Gravity and Holy variety (via the Elemental Materia, which protects the user from different elements when linked with Magic and Summon Materia in their armor); Status Effect Inducement which includes Poison Manipulation (as well as Acid Manipulation); Sleep Inducement; Silence Inducement; Transmutation; Power Nullification; Petrification; Size Manipulation; Madness Manipulation; Berserk Inducement; Time Manipulation, Time Stop and Death Manipulation (via Added Effect, which protects the user from different ailments when combined with Magic and Summon Materia in their armor); as well as to Extreme Pressure (via Undertwater, which prevents the user from being affected by the conditions of the bottom of the ocean).
Attack Potency: Solar System level (Was instrumental to the defeats of Jenova and Sephiroth) | Solar System level, likely higher, far higher with Limit Breaks (Has become stronger since the events of the original game, something Sephiroth acknowledges. Despite suffering from Geostigma a much more severe condition than the rest of the party, who had also grown weaker, he could hold his own against the three Remnants of Sephiroth at once, while Tifa was completely outmatched against Loz by himself. Once cured, he easily defeated Kadaj once he began to dual wield. His Limit Breaks can handily one-shot enemies who can shrug off his regular attacks, such as Bahamut SIN and Sephiroth himself, who effortlessly blocked the original Omnislash) | Multi-Continent level to Solar System level (Summons range between these levels of power, starting with the likes of Ifrit who is stated to be capable of burning down the entire world, through the level of those comparable to Typhon, and peaking with Knights of the Round who are superior to Bahamut Fury whose pocket dimension is large enough to contain a star and several planets)
Speed: Massively FTL+ (Capable of keeping pace with Sephiroth and Jenova, characters who, in all their incarnations, are far stronger than Bahamut Fury) | Massively FTL+, likely higher, far higher with Limit Breaks (While infected with Geostigma he could keep up with the three Remnants of Sephiroth at once before being outmatched. Once cured he easily outpaced Kadaj in their duel. Advent Children Sephiroth couldn't properly react to Omnislash Versions 5 and 6, despite previously controlling the pace of the fight with little effort) | Likely Massively FTL+ (The stronger Summons should be comparable to Bahamut SIN, who could fight the party in their weakened state, and superior to Bahamut Fury)
Striking Strength: Solar System Class (Capable of injuring Jenova and Sephiroth's strongest forms with physical and magical attacks. Several of his Materia combinations ignore durability) | Solar System Class, likely higher, far higher with Limit Breaks (Stronger than before, once cured of Geostigma. Even while still infected his Limit Breaks could one-shot Bahamut SIN who was unaffected by the weakened party's combined attacks, and at full power his new Limit Breaks, Omnislash Versions 5 and 6, could defeat Sephiroth in one go) | Multi-Continent Class to Solar System Class (Summons range between these levels of power, with the Knights of the Round being stronger than Bahamut Fury)
Durability: Solar System level (Survived the awakening of four of the six Weapons in the Northern Crater without apparent injury, and withstood Sephiroth's Supernova) | Solar System level, likely far higher (Stronger than he was before. Went through Bahamut SIN's Petaflare unharmed and endured Sephiroth's Octaslash when just moments before Sephiroth's slashes could easily parry the original Omnislash) | Likely Solar System level (Higher tier Summons should be superior to Bahamut Fury and comparable to Bahamut SIN, who resisted a weakened Cloud's regular attacks but fell to his Limit Breaks. However, Cloud's other Summons simply attack and retreat, so durability may not be relevant)
Stamina: Extremely high. From fighting entire gauntlets of monsters, for what seem to be hours, with no sign of exhaustion, to clashing with powerful enemies under extreme conditions, such as fighting off the Remnants of Sephiroth while afflicted with Geostigma, a fatal disease whose symptoms include extreme fatigue and bouts of intense physical pain; as well as being able to keep going against Sephiroth despite sustaining heavy injuries, including being wounded in vital organs.
Range: Extended melee range with his swords. Dozens of meters with Limit Breaks, much higher with Materia.
- Buster Sword: By far Cloud's most iconic weapon. This massive broadsword with a single edge was formerly wielded by Angeal Hewley and then Zack Fair, who passed it to Cloud in his final moments, naming Cloud his legacy.
- Ultima Weapon: Cloud's strongest sword in the original game, obtained after defeating the Ultimate Weapon. This large two-edged blade has the power to increase Cloud's physical might several times when he's at full health. The effect remains active if Cloud sustains damage, but the more he is hurt the weaker the boost will become. If Cloud's health is too low the weapon will hinder his attack instead.
- Fusion Sword: In Advent Children Cloud returns the Buster Sword to mark Zack's grave and begins using this weapon: six smaller swords that can combine into a large blade resembling his original Buster Sword. Cloud has demonstrated excellent use of not only the complete sword but also the smaller and different shaped blades, by separating them mid-combat and switching to different fighting strategies.
- Ribbon: A red ribbon Cloud keeps tied in his left arm, in honor to his fallen friend, Aerith. The Ribbon has a mysterious power that protects its wearer from all of the game's Status Ailments.
- Fenrir: Cloud's motorcycle from Advent Children onward, given by an unidentified person in exchange for free food and drink for life at the Seventh Heaven bar. The vehicle has been modified to suit Cloud's tastes, given an armor to withstand combat and compartments at its sides where Cloud can store the separated blades of the Fusion Sword.
- Materia: Rarely, the Spirit Energy of Lifestream may be particularly abundant in an area on the Planet's surface, and for years it can concentrate in that certain spot to then condense and crystalize, eventually becoming Materia. In the modern day, the Shinra Electric Power Company artificially manufactures Materia through their extraction of Mako, the term they've given to the Spirit Energy they've extracted through reactors. Contained in it is the wisdom of the Cetra, an ancient race who were spiritually connected to the Planet and knew how to access its powers. Materia allows the access to this knowledge to be able to call upon those powers, just like the Cetra did, in many different ways, most notably Magic. There are different kinds of Materia, represented by different colors: green (Magic), red (Summoning), yellow (Commands), blue (Support) and purple (Independent). Materia can be equipped in many different ways: Cloud and the party slot them into their weapons and armor, Vincent can additionally put them in keychains attached to his guns, Zack can carry up to six in his person, while the Remnants of Sephiroth, due to their nature, can absorb them directly into their bodies.
- Note: While On the Way to a Smile - Episode: Yuffie reveals that Cloud took the party's Materia for safekeeping and Advent Children shows a large collection under his possession, there isn't much canon information about the specific ones they own, beyond the ones obtained through the story in the original game:
|List of Materia Obtained in the Story|
|This list contains all the Materia that is obtained by going through the story dungeons or are otherwise stated to be obtained canonically in official materials. Materias that are obtained in side-quests only without any mention or connection made in side materials, need to be bought or are found by going out of the story path are excluded. Enemies mentioned here are either bosses, scripted story encounters or common enemies in obligatory areas, as well.
The Materia are listed by the order in which they are obtained:
Intelligence: Gifted. From the very beginning, even as an infantryman, Cloud displayed immense skill and natural talent for swordsmanship and battle. This, furthered by his military training and the memories inherited from Zack, led Cloud to have full grasp of every aspect of combat and strategy; including Magic, the use of Materia, Limit Breaks, and measures for Elemental Attributes and Ailments, among many other aspects, to the point, that by very early in the story, he could already easily defeat actual SOLDIER members. His knowledge became considerably more extensive thanks to his travels and encounters with more dangerous and powerful enemies, to the point he eventually branched from emulating Zack's fighting style into creating his own with the Fusion Sword, which includes expert use, in several different ways, of its various blades of different shapes and sizes. This eventually continued even after the events of the original game, with his delivery service requiring him to keep facing monsters and other dangers during the two years before his battles in Advent Children.
Weaknesses: Cloud must be pressed in a battle to use his Limit Breaks, so most of the time he can't use them right away or in succession. After the events of Final Fantasy VII, he has become moody and depressed over his failure to protect Aerith, Zack's sacrifice to protect him and being unable to help Denzel's fatal condition, Geostigma. Along with this poor disposition, the presence of Jenova Cells in his body led him to contract the disease himself and his performance in combat suffered noticeably as a result. However, having coming to terms with his failures and letting go of his burdens by the end, as well as being healed of the Geostigma, his strength and will to fight are back and stronger than ever.
- Went right through a very large piece of concrete.
- Cut large debris in half from his motocycle.
- Sliced large part of buildings into pieces.
- Attacked Sephiroth hard enough to indent the metal they are standing on when he blocks.
- Pushed Sephiroth through multiple floors of a building.
- Threw Sephiroth after being stabbed hard enough to break machinery on the wall.
- FF7 version
- Jumped very far.
- Blocked and avoided bullets then blocked some more while fighting someone else.
- Blocked even more bullets from a closer range, fought two people mid-air, then blocked bullets again as he recovers.
- Even more close range bullet blocking.
- Took a solid hit and didn't slow down fighting.
- The attack was capable of this in the same fight.
- Shot in the face and didn't suffer much damage. Most likely the goggles deflected the bullet to some degree.
- Survived this long fall.
- Got kicked far and hard enough to go through concrete and stood back up to keep fighting.
- Got stabbed through the chest by Sephiroth again.
- After being stabbed was conscious and able to stand back up after being stabbed multiple times and thrown back to the ground.
- Fought evenly with Sephiroth for a bit while using falling debris as platforms.
- Going blow for blow with Sephiroth in a dark room, Sephiroth also commented on how he has gotten stronger since their encounter two years ago.
- Beaten two remnants of Sephiroth in an extended mid-air battle.
- Cut through a motorcycle then used the following ambush to his advantage.
- Threw his sword like a boomerang and caught it.
Powerful special abilities unique to Cloud. Originally usable only after taking damage, Cloud seems to be capable of using them at will in Advent Children.
- Braver: A powerful single downward strike.
- Braver broke the armor on Bahamut SIN that was ignoring Cloud's attacks and bullets.
- Cross-slash: Three slices that paralyze the enemy.
- Blade Beam: Releases a wave of energy that creates a shockwave on impact.
- Blade Beam clashed with magic causing an explosion.
- Climhazzard: Stabs the enemy before running the blade through them as he jumps.
- With the help of his entire party killed Bahamut SIN and flew through Petaflare.
- Meteorain: Summons small meteors to assault enemies.
- Finishing Touch: Summons a small tornado to throw enemies out of battle.
- Omnislash: Cloud's ultimate ability, a 15 hit combo finishing in a powerful downward strike.
- Utilizing his Fusion Sword killed Sephiroth with Omnislash Version 5.
- Killed a monster, avoided gunfire, and hopped over another motorcycle without stopping.
- Drove into a building then slid under a falling pillar.
- Clashed with someone then pushed himself away and spun around to get past them.
- Threw his swords to kill monsters, avoided falling debris to pick up Tifa and moved her to saftey, then caught the second sword.
- Killed a monster then turned completely around to kill another without losing speed.
Limit Breaks are powerful special moves Cloud can perform in battle. All living beings have a portion of the Spirit Energy that flows through the Lifestream in themselves, when this energy raises to its limit it eventually aligns and overflows allowing to go beyond the user's normal capabilities and reach a much greater power, just as their name indicate. Limit Breaks are affected by emotions, intense ones such as rage can lead to attaining the state to use these moves much faster than usual.
A proof of their power can be seen in Cloud's battle against Bahamut SIN: his regular attacks did little more than annoy the Summoned Beast, however his Braver Limit Break could scar its face and knock it off the air, sending it plummeting to the ground, while Climhazzard could destroy Bahamut with a single use.
- Braver: Cloud jumps into the air before cleaving an opponent in two with a powerful single vertical strike.
- Cross Slash: Cloud slashes an opponent three times, drawing the kanji for “bad luck” with his Spirit Energy, while also inflicting Paralysis on them.
- Blade Beam: With a swing of his blade, Cloud fires a wave of Spirit Energy at an opponent, which upon impact scatters into weaker beams that home on the remaining enemies.
- Climhazzard: Cloud lunges at an opponent and runs his sword through them, then jumps into the air to follow with an upward slash to slice the enemy in two, leaving a trail of red Spirit Energy from his sword.
- Meteorain:Cloud spins his sword creating a small whirlwind and then jumps into the air to shoot six meteor-like bolts of Spirit Energy at his opponents with a swing of his blade.
- Finishing Touch: Cloud creates a tornado around himself and proceeds to send it to his enemies with a sideways swing. The tornado lifts them to the sky, pulverizing them or inflicting heavy damage if they can avoid being immediately destroyed. Notably, this instant death effect will affect robotic enemies and ghosts unless they explicitly resist it.
- Omnislash:Cloud's original ultimate Limit Break. A stream of wind engulfs Cloud as he holds his sword in front of him while it emits a powerful light as it overflows with his Spirit Energy, then rushes towards his opponent before unleashing an onslaught of fourteen critically damaging blows in a vicious assault. Cloud follows by leaping into the air, charging the Spirit Energy on his sword one more time, and brings it down for one final slash to finish his opponent creating a blast from the released power.
- Omnislash Version 5: Cloud separates the Fusion Sword into its six component blades that float around his opponent. His Spirit Energy then starts to overflow from his body, taking an orange glow, before dashing past the target at incredible speeds that leave foes as fast as Sephiroth unable to react. With a trail of afterimages in his wake, Cloud grabs a different blade to attack his opponent again. He repeats this motion until he collects all six blades, upon which he finishes his target with a single strike from above and the disassembled swords fall to the ground around him, with the First Tsurugi falling into his hand.
- Omnislash Version 6: A longer variation of Omnislash Version 5 that appeared in Advent Children Complete, Cloud is engulfed in a blue aura before enacting Omnislash Version 5, striking the target multiple times with each additional sword, leaving a double made of energy, and right before he delivers the final blow, these doubles charge through the opponent, for a total of thirteen devastating attacks.
- Cherry Blossom:A Limit Break first appearing in Final Fantasy Tactics and making a return in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Cloud concentrates his Spirit Energy for a moment and conjures elemental energy through his sword and strikes the enemy at their location with a powerful barrage of lightning, ice and fire in succession, emulating the Kujata Summon. While this Limit Break does not appear properly in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud's appearance in Final Fantasy Tactics has been discussed by side-materials as legitimate, thus raising the possibility of him having this skill.
Accessed through the Green Materia, this allows the wielder to access the wisdom of the Ancients, the Cetra, and the connection they shared with the Planet to use its powers and manifest all sort of incredible powers. These can range from offensive manipulation of the elements, to support effects and even powerful healing abilities. While each Magic Materia normally allows the use of a specific set of spells (such as Lightning allowing to use Bolt, Bolt2 or Bolt 3; or Mystify granting Berserk and Confu, both mind affecting spells), there exists the Master Magic Materia, which grants the user every spell in existence with the exception of the one of a kind Holy and Meteor.
Notable spells include:
- Fire3 (Firaga), Ice3 (Blizzaga), Bolt3 (Thundaga) and Quake3 (Quaga): Very high-level elemental magic that conjures their respective elements for a powerful attack to strike a single enemy or a wide area.
- Bio3 (Bioga): The user cast large bubbles of venomous liquids that drown the enemy to inflict heavy damage and leave them poisoned.
- Demi3 (Graviga): A powerful gravity well is created to drag and crush enemies within it. This spell cannot be reflected.
- Comet2 (Cometeor): Calls forth several small meteors from outer space to strike the enemy four times. This spell cannot be reflected.
- Death:A spell that conjures a Grim Reaper to instantly kill an opponent. This spell can affect robotic enemies and ghosts unless they explicitly resist instant death.
- Tornado: A spell that creates a powerful twister on an opponent. May inflict confusion.
- Freeze: A sudden cold surrounds an enemy and then they’re instantly encased in ice, freezing its surrounding area as well. May inflict Stop.
- Break: Rock is materialized around the opponent and proceeds to crush them, turning them into stone as well. May inflict Petrification.
- Flare: The user causes a nuclear reaction by making the atoms of the target collide with each other, resulting in a powerful explosion of extreme heat to completely incinerate an opponent.
- Ultima: The most powerful Black Magic Spell in the story after Meteor itself. A massive energy wave that strikes a wide area for non-elemental damage. The spell cannot be reflected.
- Cure3 (Curaga):The user can restore a large amount of health to themselves or their whole party.
- FullCure: An incredibly powerful healing spell that will restore to full health the user or one of their allies. Cannot be reflected.
- Regen: An assist spell that allows the user to gradually recover health over time automatically. The speed of the regeneration may vary depending on the speed of the target's time, under the Haste status it's doubled, under Slow it's halved and under Stop the regeneration halts until time flows again.
- Life2 (Arise): Healing magic that brings back a critically wounded ally from near death and restores them to full health.
- Esuna: Powerful healing spell that cures all status ailments except for Doom, Slow and Stop.
- Haste: This spell doubles the speed of the time of the user or their allies.
- Wall: A powerful defensive magic that grants the effect of both Barrier and MBarrier at once, halving both physical and magical damage.
- Reflect: Casts a magical barrier that reflects all non-physical attacks at the enemy, even those which aren't specifically magic unless they have barrier piercing properties. Will activate four times before wearing off.
- Shield: An extremely powerful defensive magic that protects the user from all elemental damage they can access through Materia, as well as all physical damage from slashes, gunfire, stabbing and blunt force. However, the spell prevents the user from healing themselves outside regeneration and wears off after a while.
- Resist: Another powerful defensive spell. The user locks their current state, preventing any status effect from affecting them, but also from having those already inflicted on them being healed. Temporary beneficial boosts can wear off under this condition.
- Slow:This spell halves the speed of the opponent’s time, cutting their overall speed altogether by half.
- Stop:A spell that stops the time of an opponent, effectively freezing them and leaving them helpless.
- Sleepel (Sleep):A spell that instantly puts an enemy to sleep.
- Toad: A spell that turns enemies into helpless frogs, reducing their Physical Attack and leaving them unable to use any abilities outside normal attacks and items.
- Mini:This spell reduces the size of the opponent and their physical power is lowered to the point they deal almost no damage.
- Silence:Disables the use of the voice, preventing the use of any ability that requires sound, words or vocal commands, such as Magic, Summoning, Singing, Prayers, Speechcraft, etc.
- Berserk: The enemy is induced into a state of rage where all they can do is relentlessly use physical violence, unable to use any special abilities. Their attack is increased by x1.5.
- Confu (Confuse): A spell that interferes with the mind of the opponent, leaving it in a chaotic state, only able to attempt to fight by using abilities and doing actions at random without rhyme or reason.
- DeBarrier: A spell that can disable most barriers and shields, even if they aren’t magical in nature, so long as they aren’t physical. Cannot be reflected.
- DeSpell (Dispel): This spell can disable any magical or special modifications the enemy grants himself, even barriers like those disabled by DeBarrier, however modifications to statistics are unaffected unless they are a special state or status. Cannot be reflected and can work on both beneficial and detrimental modifications.
- Escape: A spell to flee from battle. The caster teleports their allies and themselves away from danger.
- Remove (Dezone): A powerful, recurring spell in the series that has been stated to send opponents into another dimension, until Final Fantasy V revealed said dimension is the Rift itself. A portal is opened, and the opponent is dragged away from the battlefield. Cannot be reflected.
Called by the Red Materia, this Materia allows the user to summon otherworldly entities who take their opponents into an alternate dimension where they unleash a devastating attack. The attacks of all summons share two common traits: they target all enemies, and cannot be reflected. Most Red Materia may call only the Summoned Beast they're named after, however, the Master Summon Materia allows the user to call any Summon they desire.
The list of Summons include:
- Alexander – Judgment: Calls the ancient sacred mechanical giant from beneath the earth who blasts the enemies with a beam of holy light.
- Ifrit - Hellfire: A pillar of fire violently burst from the ground and a roaring demon flies up from the eruption. For a moment he stares at the enemy as flames ignite from his mouth. He leans forward and his whole body is engulfed in a fire before charging at full speed at foes, going through them and leaving a massive inferno behind.
- Kujata - Tetra Disaster: Suddenly a massive storm of red lightning bolts strike down on enemies, before turning into a cold that encases them into a giant block of ice, which shatters and the fragments become flames that engulf and burn the opponents, before receding and gathering in front of the enemies. Suddenly, from the flames, a huge bull-like beast appears and slams the ground with its forelegs creating violent shockwaves that strike the opposing party, before disappearing.
- Leviathan – Tidal Wave:The great serpent of the sea emerges from a sphere of water and calls a massive wave to consume all enemies.
- Phoenix – Phoenix Flame: Summons the undying bird from its flames, born from a single tear, to emit its searing light and burn away all enemies, reviving all fallen as well.
- Ramuh - Judgment Bolt: Lightning bolts strike in a single point from where a cliff raise far above the ground. The figure of an old robbed sage appears atop of the rock formation, who points to the sky with his staff and causes a thunderstorm to fall on all enemies.
- Shiva - Diamond Dust: As the snow gently falls, a maiden slowly descends along with it in the middle of light from above. Raising her hand the snow gathers in her fingers and, with a gesture, sends a barrage of ice shards that subjects the area around enemies to Absolute Zero temperatures, violently freezing them.
- Titan - Anger of the Land: A mass of ground suddenly bursts up and a giant bursts through the earth. He slams his hands against the floor and lifts the earth itself to turn it over on the enemies, crushing them.
- Choco/Mog - DeathBlow!!: A speedy Chocobo charges at the enemy at full speed as its hot-blooded Moogle partner on its mount, cheers on it. Both violently crash the opposing party causing the Moogle to fall of dazed from the impact before its Chocobo friend picks it up and runs off. This attack inflicts Stop on enemies.
- Choco/Mog - Fat Chocobo: When summoning with this Red Materia there is a slim chance that instead of the Chocobo and Moogle team, this Chubby Chocobo will show up to shove its chunky shape on shoddy chanced challengers. Stronger than DeathBlow!! but it doesn't inflict Stop.
- Hades – Black Cauldron: Summons the mysterious grounds where a cloaked skeletal figure is performing a dark ritual in a cauldron which then erupts into a fog of miasma that curses the enemy. Inflicts damage and the Sleep, Poison, Confusion, Silence, Frog, Slow, Paralysis and Small statuses.
- Odin – Steel Bladed Sword (Zantetsuken)/Gunge Lance (Gungnir): Calls forth the legendary knight riding his eight-legged steed Sleipnir, who, under the light of the full moon, charges at the opponents and with a precise and deadly swing of his blade, the Zantetsuken, slices them in two, killing them instantly. If the opponent would resist this technique, he’ll use Gungnir instead for a simple but powerful attack: during a storm, Odin will appear holding a spear instead, and throw it at the sky with such strength that it will split the clouds above, before finally falling on the enemy. Notably, Zantetsuken effect will affect robotic enemies and even and ghosts unless they explicitly Instant Death.
- Bahamut – Megaflare: The king of dragons descends from the sky and his mouth sends a powerful blast of energy to destroy all foes. This attack ignores Magic Defense.
- Neo Bahamut – Gigaflare: The first advanced form of Bahamut. A force lifts to the sky the ground where the enemies stand, where Bahamut himself waits for them to blast them with a massive beam of energy. This attack ignores Magic Defense.
- Bahamut ZERO – Teraflare:The second advanced form of Bahamut, nearing the Planet’s orbit, the six-winged dragon charges and aims a sphere of concentrated light at the surface from outer space, annihilating all enemies in a gigantic explosion. This attack ignores Magic Defense.
- Bahamut SIN - Petaflare: The most vicious and monstrous incarnation of Bahamut in the Compilation, descending from the sky in a mass of clouds to violently attack. While it was originally summoned by Kadaj to fight the party, its Summon Materia was in Cloud's possession. Bahamut SIN is a rather unique Summon in that unlike others, it doesn't draw enemies to a different dimension to attack and then retreat, it comes to the real world and stays to fight.
- Typhon – Disintegration: This bizarre monster manifests itself from a whirlwind and, with a snort, creates a tornado before turning around a revealing a second face, which upon a command, causes the twister to turn the planet upside down and make the ground collapsed into the sky. This attack inflicts Fire, Ice, Lightning and Earth damage, and ignores Magic Defense.
- Knights of the Round – Ultimate End: Calls forth King Arthur and his knights to unleash a relentless assault on the enemy. A portal opens and foes are dragged into an alternate space where each knight charges at them and attacks, be it with magic or weapons, before the king himself appears and with a decisive swing of the Excalibur, finishes the onslaught and destroys the dimension. Hits 13 times, ignores the opponent’s Magic Defense.
Accessed through the Yellow Materia, these are special physical abilities granted to the user in the form of different available Commands and Actions during battle. Like Magic and Summon Materia, every Command Materia normally grants a specific set of skills, however the Master Command Materia grants the user the majority of the available Commands, with the exception of dual actions (W-Magic, W-Summon, W-Item and 2x/4x-Cut), the Slash All ability (which is replaced by its advanced form Flash) and the very special Enemy Skill Materia.
Notable commands accessible through Command Materia include:
- 2x-Cut and 4x-Cut: The user can attack the enemy two or four times almost simultaneously. Notably, if these Commands are accompanied by the effects of the Added Effect Materia, each strike will have a chance of inflicting status conditions.
- Slash All: An ability that allows the user to strike with their physical attacks a wide area, larger than their usual reach.
- Flash (Iainuki): A quick, precise and lethal strike against all enemies that kills them instantly. Based on the Iaijustu art of drawing the sword to attack and sheathing it back.
- W-Magic: This ability allows the user to cast two spells, be it the same twice or two different ones, simultaneously.
- W-Summon: Similar to W-Magic, this allows to call two Summons at once.
- Deathblow: A low accuracy attack that always deals a critical hit for double damage when it connects.
- Manipulate: An ability that allows the user to take control of an opponent and force them to use their abilities, even those the user had no prior knowledge of.
- Mime: This command cannot be applied to enemies, rather it allows the user to mimic the actions of their teammates or repeat their own, with no cost. Cannot be used on other people’s Limit Breaks but it does work on the user's own.
- Morph: A special attack, much weaker than normal attacks. If an enemy is finished off by this command it will turn into an item instead of being killed.
- Sense: An ability that allows the user to perceive the enemy’s capabilities, such as life and magic, as well as their elemental weaknesses.
A special ability accessed through the unique Enemy Skill Command Materia. As the name implies, these are abilities used by enemies, which are learned when the user is directly affected by them. This is Final Fantasy VII's equivalent of Blue Magic.
Many Enemy Skills are available, but the most notable are:
- Aqualung:Massive bubbles of water and energy are conjured at all enemies. Along with Leviathan, this is the only Water Element attack available for the party.
- Beta: The user conjures a large blast of heat, resembling the resulting mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion, incinerating all opponents. Cannot be reflected.
- Death Sentence: The presence of death is called on an enemy, which manifests itself in the form of a demonic skull. The foe is left with only 60 seconds to live, after which a Grim Reaper will appear and claim their life. It's important to notice, this lapse of a minute follows the time of the affected enemy, as such if their time is sped up the minute will pass faster, conversely if their time is slowed down the counter will too, and if it is stopped, the counter will halt.
- Magic Breath: A barrage of multicolored bubbles of light, imbued with Fire, Ice and Lightning properties, is conjured and launched at enemies. Cannot be reflected.
- Pandora’s Box:A bizarre, unexplainable technique, which seemingly casts a giant burst of energy in the shape of an interrogation mark in a starry background. Deals heavy non-elemental damage, ignoring the enemy’s Magic Defense.
- Shadow Flare:An incredibly powerful non-elemental spell. A blinding light engulfs the area as dark flames scorch an opponent.
- Trine: The shapes of a pyramid of energy, containing a smaller formation inside holding a powerful electric current, rotating in the position where the enemies are, releasing the stored electricity. Cannot be reflected.
- Angel Whisper:Restores to target's maximum health, and cures Death, Sleep, Poison, Confusion, Silence, Slow, Stop, Frog, Small, Slow-numb, Petrify, Berserk, Paralysis, and Darkness to said target. Cannot be reflected.
- White Wind: A powerful healing ability which calls a soothing breeze that restores health equal to caster's current and cures the Sleep, Poison, Confusion, Silence, Slow, Stop, Frog, Small, Gradual Petrification, Petrify, Berserk, Paralysis, Darkness, Death Force, and Resist conditions. Cannot be reflected.
- Big Guard: The user casts a barrier that grants him the effect of Barrier, Magic Barrier and Haste at once. Cannot be reflected.
- Death Force: Calls a protective force, taking the shape of a demonic looking emblem, which protects the target from Instant Death and Death Sentence. Cannot be reflected, can only be active on one target at once, casting it again will reset the effect on the previous target.
- Dragon Force: The user conjures an aura on himself that boosts their Defense and Magic Defense by x1.5 and up to x2.0. Cannot be reflected.
- Bad Breath:The Malboro’s signature move, the user conjures a rancid gas that inflicts Sleep, Poison, Confusion, Silence, Frog, and Small on target party. Cannot be reflected
- Frog Song: A bizarre melody that turns enemies into frogs and puts them to sleep.
- Magic Hammer:A magical hammer is summoned and dropped on the opponent stealing a fraction of their magic and adding it to the caster.
Obtained through the use of Blue (Support) and Purple (Independent) Materia. These are passive abilities or additional effects granted to the user. Support Materia needs to be linked with other Materia types and has an effect that will vary depending on the combination. Meanwhile, Independent Materia grant boosts or new abilities for the user with no requirements to take effect.
Out of all Support abilities, these are notable:
- Elemental This support Materia grants Elemental properties to the user when paired with different Magic or Summon Materia. If slotted in the weapon it will infuse the user's regular attacks with a particular element, while if it's slotted in the user's armor it will protect against elemental damage. To obtain different elements the following combinations are needed:
- Fire: Elemental + Fire, Ifrit or Phoenix
- Ice: Elemental + Ice or Shiva (who reaches Absolute Zero cold)
- Lightning: Elemental + Lightning or Ramuh
- Water: Elemental + Leviathan
- Wind: Elemental + Choco/Mog or Typhon
- Earth: Elemental + Earth or Titan
- Gravity: Elemental + Gravity
- Holy: Elemental + Alexander
- Poison: Elemental + Poison
- Added Effect: This support Materia provides Status Ailment related properties to the user when paired with different Magic or Summon Materia. If slotted in the weapon, the user's regular attacks will have a 20% chance of inflicting all the Status Effects that can be caused by the abilities granted by the linked Materia. This is regardless of the user's actual power. Additionally, if the user has the Double Cut or Slash All Materia equipped, each individual strike will give the Status Ailments a chance of taking effect. On the other hand, if slotted in the user's armor it will protect against all the Status Ailments that can be inflicted by the abilities granted by the Materia. The different combinations that lead to different effects are the following:
- Added Effect + Contain: Petrify, Stop, Confusion
- Added Effect + Destruct: Death
- Added Effect + Mystify: Confusion, Berserk
- Added Effect + Poison: Poison
- Added Effect + Seal: Sleep, Silence
- Added Effect + Time: Slow, Stop
- Added Effect + Transform: Frog, Small
- Added Effect + Hades: Poison, Sleep, Confusion, Silence, Frog, Small
- Added Effect + Odin: Death
- HP Absorb Allows the user to absorb 10% of the damage inflicted by abilities granted by the paired Materia and heal themselves.
- MP Absorb: Allows the user to absorb 1% of the damage inflicted by abilities granted by the paired Materia and recover it as MP.
- Quadra Magic: This Materia allows to the user to cast any of the Spells or Summon granted by the paired Materia four times at once, however, the power of said Spell is halved. Cannot be combined with Knights of the Round, except through a glitch.
- MP Turbo: The cost of the Spells or Summons granted by the paired Materia is increased, but so is their power. When mastered, the cost and power are increased by x1.5.
- Added Cut: When an ability granted by the paired Materia is used, the user will automatically follow up with a regular physical attack.
- Sneak Attack: This Materia allows the user to open the fight before turns even begin, with one of the abilities granted by the paired Materia, be it a Command, Spell or Summon.
- All: Spells granted by the paired Materia have the option of affecting a whole area instead of a single target. However, using the wider range decreases their power by 1/3. Note: The first video states the All Materia reduces damage to 1/3, however, this is incorrect as it reduces it by 1/3.
- Countering Materia: When an enemy move connects these Materia allows the user to retaliate immediately after. The chances of counterattacking depend on the level of the Materia: at level 1 the chance is of 20%, while at level 5, a Mastered Mastered Materia, the chances are of 100%. If several Materia for counterattacking are equipped the effects of all of them will trigger after the user is attacked, however, the maximum of Counter Moves that can activate at once is 8, even if the user is equipped with a larger amount of Countering Materia. Notably, if the user is attacked with a combo move, each strike may trigger the counter effect. The specific properties of each Counter Materia are as follows:
- Counter: The user will counter with the command of the paired Command Materia. Does not work with 2x/4x-Cut, Slash-All and Flash.
- Magic Counter: The user will counter with a Spell granted by the paired Magic or Summon Materia, normally the most powerful ability granted by it. If the user has Magic Counter linked to a support Materia such as Restore (which bestows the Cure Spells) or Heal (which bestows Poison, Esuna and Resist), they will react by healing themselves instead of attacking.
- Final Attack: Unlike the previous two Materia, this one is activated when the user is defeated in battle. They will use the most powerful Command or Spell granted by the paired Materia as a last resort before passing out. One notable combo is linking Final Attack with either the Revive or Phoenix Materia, which allows the user to recover from a near death state to keep fighting. Unlike the previous two Materias, Final Attack will always activate, but it has a limited number of uses, with a total of five when the Materia is mastered.
- Note: The linked video discussing Materia Combinations confuses Paralysis and Stop as the same status condition, however, this is incorrect, as they are separate Status Conditions. Alternatively, it may be a confusion of Stop inducing abilities being mistaken as Paralyzing ones, however, the only Materia that can inflict Paralysis is Hades when Summoned and no Materia can do so via Added Effect.
- Counter Attack: When an enemy’s attack connects, the user will counter with a regular physical attack. Similar to the Counter Move Support Materia mentioned above, this Materia has a higher chance of activating the higher its level of mastery, with 20% at level 1 and 100% when mastered at level 5. If the user is attacked with a combo attack, each strike may trigger the counter. Additionally, if the user is equipped with the Added Effect Materia, the Counter Attacks may inflict Status Effects.
- Mega All:Up to five times per battle, the user can turn all single-target Spells and Commands at their disposal into Area of Effect abilities. Does not work with Enemy Skills which have pre-set range.
- Long Range: This Materia allows the user to reach with regular physical attacks enemies who are beyond their normal physical range. Additionally, the damage isn’t diminished by distance.
- Pre-Emptive: Increases the wearer’s chances to sneak on and catch off-guard the enemy, also prevents them from being caught off-guard or ambushed themselves. Although some scripted battles can be Pre-Emptive battles, that is mostly due to a loophole in the mechanics of random encounters.
Key: Final Fantasy VII | Advent Children | Summons
The Lifestream is beyond a river of Spirit Energy (more commonly known as Mako) and exists as a dimensionally interconnected realm that can link different places, which includes people's minds, personal locations and the spiritual layer where the memories of those who have lived and passed away reside.
The Lifestream follows a cycle of life and death: when a new life is born, it gives them a portion of Spirit Energy that constitutes their soul, mind and self, as well as storing their memories and emotions. Once that living being dies, they return to the Planet and the Spirit Energy they were granted is taken back by the Lifestream. The memories and experiences that being had are added to the current of Spirit Energy, making the Lifestream and the Planet itself grow. This process has been going since life began on the Planet and repeats across the universe. As mentioned above, when the spirit of those who have passed away return to the Planet return to the Planet, they are taken into a layer where the experience and memories flow. In this place, where there is no real time, the Lifestream proceeds to eliminate the individuality of the spirit by eroding its sense of self, memories, emotions and mind, so it can be reunited with the collective of souls that make up the Lifestream itself.
Even though it’s part of the natural cycle of the world, Spirit Energy can be very hazardous to living beings. Prolonged exposure to it can subject the mind of a person to the overwhelming amount of memories and knowledge the Lifestream contains, which leads to that person's mind collapse under the weight and eventually the loss of individuality as their own memories will mix up with the ones in the Spirit Energy. This condition is known as Mako Poisoning. People who have a strong enough will can resist this effect to an extent, but they will be overwhelmed if the exposure to Spirit Energy is big enough and only exceptional cases have endured falling directly into the Lifestream.
If the duration of the exposure extends even more the Spirit Energy may affect on a physical level, leading to mutations and transformation into the very same monsters encountered during the story. The creature born when this process happens to a human being is known as Makonoid or Mako Human. This effect is not exclusive to Spirit Energy that has been extracted through Mako Reactors, which Bugenhagen states to lose properties comparted to when it’s found in its natural cycle, natural Spirit Energy can also cause mutations when it flows to the surface.
In the case beings that are still alive fall into the Lifestream, before their spirits are taken away, their bodies will be absorbed and transported to have their bodies disseminated and disintegrated so their spirits are uncovered to be retaken into the stream, as described above. However, it’s likely their minds will fall apart before this happens due to the overwhelming amount of knowledge and memories that they will be exposed within the Spirit Energy. The latter is what happened to Cloud during the events of the game after the truth about his fake memories was revealed and his persona shattered, however, he had the good luck to fall for a period brief enough to avoid being taken by the Lifestream, but due to his weak state of mind at the moment, he couldn’t stand the exposure to the massive amount of Spirit Energy, leading to his Mako Poisoning. Meanwhile, the opposite happened to Sephiroth after the Nibelheim incident: his spirit was too strong, so he could resist being eroded and kept his individuality within the Lifestream and instead of being overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge, he began to absorb it as his own. However, his body couldn’t stand the absorption process and was destroyed, but thanks to Jenova’s regenerative abilities he could travel to the Northern Crater to slowly build a new build by gathering the fragments of Jenova scattered through the world.
By the end of the game, Cloud's body, mind and spirit had grown strong enough to resist all of these effects, despite entering the Planet's Core, a place within the Lifestream itself, and even as his spirit itself chased down Sephiroth further into the Lifestream to destroy the fallen hero’s very own spirit. However, despite this complete annihilation, Sephiroth still managed to come back in Advent Children.
Currently, Cloud's profile considers the story and lore of The Maiden who travels the Planet as canon. This novella adds several details to the events of the original game, such as describing what is existence in the Lifestream after death like, that the Lifestream allowed Aerith to guide Tifa to Cloud's mind, the possibility that stagnant Lifestream is connected to negative emotions and reimagining Cloud and Sephiroth's final battle in original game as their spirits clashing in the Lifestream, opposed to the common interpretation of it being a mental battle where Cloud purges Sephiroth from his mind.
The Maiden who Travels the Planet, written by Benny Matsuyama of Studio Benstuff, has not been openly declared as canon, however, it was published in the Final Fantasy VII: Ultimania Omega, an official publication. Notably, the On the Way to Smile stories, written by Kazuhige Nojima, one of the scenario writers for Final Fantasy VII, share many elements with the established lore in The Maiden who Travels the Planet, particularly in "Episode Lifestream: Black" and "Episode Lifestream: White", such as Aerith being able to remain a separate entity of the Lifestream due to being a Cetra or souls managing to hold to a fragment of individuality using a core of their former selves.