Final fantasy characters

Final fantasy characters DEFAULT

That&#;s what makes Bartz Klauser such a breath of fresh air. As a young man just trying to honor his father’s dying wish to go out and explore the world, Bartz didn’t ask to get caught up in an epic battle or grand adventure. Yet, he handles the incredible events that befall him with positivity, humor, and constant support for his friends and allies. 

Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy 8)

Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy 8)

There was a time when it felt like Squall’s place somewhere at the bottom of any list of Final Fantasy protagonists was all but reserved. There are still more than a few Final Fantasy fans who passionately hate him, and it&#;s easy to understand why. He’s angsty, he’s sometimes derivative of other characters, and he’s even sometimes cruel to people who should be his closest allies.

Yet, there’s just something about Squall. His looks and Gunblade certainly make him memorable from a design perspective, but there’s also something to be said for how we get to watch Squall grow throughout Final Fantasy 8 in a way that few franchise protagonists get to grow across the course of their own adventures. Squall is the surprisingly grounded heart of a Final Fantasy game that reaches all-time high levels of weirdness.

 Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy 9)

Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy 9)

I’ll always have a soft spot for Final Fantasy 7 and 8’s more somber protagonists, but like many fans at the time, I was more than ready to embrace Final Fantasy 9’s return to medieval fantasy as well as its returns to slightly more upbeat lead characters. 

Zidane is a fantastic example of a more lighthearted Final Fantasy protagonist, but he is no mere throwback to a simpler time. There’s plenty of darkness in Zidane’s surprisingly deep backstory, which makes his attempts to become a better person and a better leader (as well as his insistence on enjoying life whenever possible) that much more interesting. 

Cidolfus Orlandeau (Final Fantasy Tactics)

Cidolfus Orlandeau (Final Fantasy Tactics)

Some version of Cid pretty much had to be on this list, but which Cid is the best of them all? Well, there’s certainly an argument to be made for Final Fantasy 7’s Cid, Final Fantasy 14’s Cid, and Final Fantasy 9’s Cid, but my vote for the best Cid goes to a somewhat outside the box version of this recurring character. 


Final Fantasy Characters Database

One of the things that makes the franchise so great though is the characters. They are what gives the player a connection to the story and makes the experience seem so much more real.

Throughout the lifespan of the Final Fantasy series there have been some heroic protagonists and some devilish antagonists squaring off against them. We also have amazing supporting casts and minor characters who help to enrich the wider narrative. This database is a collection of these characters.

Popular Characters

These characters are pretty hot right now and they're getting the most traction on-site. Some of them might not be all that surprising, but we hope the community will always spring a few surprises here and there.

Recent Additions/Changes

You'd probably be surprised how many characters have featured throughout the years and the cast sizes keep getting larger and larger.

We are constantly looking to update our database with new characters, new pieces of story and even new games. The idea is that we have every single game covered. Yes, even the weird spin-offs from the Crystal Chronicles franchise.

Random Characters

These characters are pretty hot right now and they're getting the most traction on-site. Some of them might not be all that surprising, but we hope the community will always spring a few surprises here and there.

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Final Fantasy: The 20 Best Female Characters In The Whole Series, Ranked

The Final Fantasyfranchise is one of the best known in the gaming industry and has been running since the release of its first title in It now boasts 15 main titles to its name, as well as numerous sequels, spin-offs, remakes, and remasters.

RELATED: Final Fantasy: Everything Wrong With The Series Today (& How To Fix It)

The games are often praised for their world-building, emotive stories, memorable characters, and immersive gameplay, and as such, the franchise has a large fan following. There have been many fan-favorite characters over the years, though surprisingly some of the best female characters from the franchise are not necessarily the leading ladies.

Updated September 24, by Tom Bowen: Though it perhaps falls a little short when it comes to main protagonists, the Final Fantasy series has provided plenty of memorable female party members over the years. The likes of Tifa and Terra have left a huge impression on fans, but they are far from the only ones. Just as the series has grown since the mid to late nineties, so too has the number of female characters in Final Fantasy games and their general importance to their respective titles' plots. The best female Final Fantasy characters aren't always heroes either, as evidenced by several of the series' standout leading ladies.

20 Scarlet (Final Fantasy 7)

Having played a fairly subdued role in the original release of Final Fantasy 7, Scarlet's prominence in both the remake and the Yuffie-centric DLC suggests that there may be bigger things in store for the Shinra executive this time around. Even if there aren't, her role in Intergrade is arguably already enough to earn her a protuberant place in the series' rogues' gallery.

Fans of the original release will likely have fond memories of the slapping mini-game, which sees Scarlet and Tifa square off atop a giant Mako cannon. Given how evocative the villain is in the remake, one suspects that this iconic scene will be infinitely more powerful when fans eventually get the chance to experience it again in glorious HD.

19 Aerith (Final Fantasy 7)

Aerith wasn't the first party member to die in a Final Fantasy game. Far from it, in fact. Both the manner and the timing of her death make it one of the most memorable by far though, and a big part of this is down to Aerith's wonderfully whimsical character and the air of intrigue and mystery that surrounds her right up until that point.

From the moment Cloud and Aerith first meet in the sector seven slums, she's a character who's hard not to like. The more that players learn about her, the more meaningful her contributions to the group-dynamic become. The darker tone that kicks in following her death only serves to highlight how important those contributions really were.

18 Celes (Final Fantasy 6)

Though Terra is generally considered to be the main protagonist of Final Fantasy 6, there's an argument to be made that Celes is equally important. It's her who guides players through one of the most depressing and soul-destroying sections of the game, demonstrating relatable emotions that, as a half-Esper, Terra just isn't capable of.

What's more, Celes' overall narrative arc is infinitely more satisfying than Terra's, with the latter's relying more on a poorly explored and under-developed twist than any real substance. Celes, on the other hand, demonstrates real growth throughout the events of the game and, for the most part, does what needs to be done with very little drama.

17 Ultimecia (Final Fantasy 8)

Much like the series' long list of heroes, the overwhelming majority of Final Fantasy villains have been male. It's perhaps for this reason that Ultimecia stands out quite as much as she does, though it's equally probable that her insanely powerful abilities also factor into her memorability somewhere.

RELATED: The Most Intimidating Final Fantasy Villains, Ranked

Final Fantasy 8 certainly has its issues, but one area where it truly excels is in its writing; particularly when it comes to the way it sets up its antagonists. Seifer and Edea perfectly dress the stage for Ultimecia, and her subsequent performance absolutely knocks it out of the park. Of course, it certainly helps that she can bend both time and people to her sinister will.

16 Yuna (Final Fantasy 10/)

Prior to the release of the series' tenth installment, no Final Fantasy game had ever featured voice acting. This, together with the wonderful storytelling, hauntingly beautiful score, and captivating chemistry, made the relationship between Yuna and Tidus one of the most memorable Final Fantasy romances to date.

Unlike other potential love interests though, Yuna is not defined by her relationship with Tidus. In fact, it's arguably the other way around. As a summoner, Yuna is far more important than the brazen blitzballer, yet still carries herself with dignity and grace. Players get to enjoy a more carefree Yuna in the sequel, with the additional depth provided by the game only serving to make her more likable.

15 Shantotto (Final Fantasy 11)

Shantotto is one of the NPCs from the first MMO of the series - Final Fantasy 11. As a Black Mage, she is largely tied to the Black Mage job questline, which was to be her only function originally. However, her character grew and she became one of the main NPCs in the overall storyline, as well as being the main feature of the A Shantotto Ascension expansion.

She is characterized by her signature laugh and unique way of speaking; in English, she rhymes, while in the Japanese version she speaks formal Japanese. Shantotto is a fan-favorite, so it's no surprise that she features as one of the characters in the Dissidia series, and also cameoed in a timed event in Final Fantasy 14.

14 Serah Farron (Final Fantasy 13//Lightning Returns)

Serah is the sister of Final Fantasy 13's main protagonist Lightning and she serves as the main reason that Lightning begins her adventure, with Lightning hoping to save her sister from her fate of being a l'Cie. Interestingly, by the second game in the Final Fantasy 13 arc, Serah became the protagonist, though Lightning regained the mantle of the main character for the third and final game.

Though Serah is arguably a forgettable character in the first game, which is understandable as she doesn't feature on screen much, she more than makes up for it in Final Fantasy and proves herself worthy of being one of the best female characters in the franchise.

13 Y'shtola Rhul (Final Fantasy 14)

Much like Shantotto, Y'shtola is one of the NPCs of the next MMO of the franchise - Final Fantasy 14. Though she was initially a Conjurer, she went on to become a Sorceress, essentially a Black Mage, though she has some abilities unique to her.

RELATED: The Biggest Plot-Twists In Final Fantasy Games

Y'shtola makes her mark on the plot of the game, with there being many memorable scenes where she kicks butt and proves herself worthy of being a fan-favorite character. She is notably another favorite who represents their Final Fantasy title in the Dissidia series.

12 Aranea Highwind (Final Fantasy 15)

Aranea Highwind may only have been a side character in Final Fantasy 15, but she most certainly left her mark on the Final Fantasy fandom as her character simply exudes awesomeness. As a Dragoon, she is not only a worthy warrior, but she has gorgeous armor too, in keeping with the signature Dragoon style.

She features as a boss for players to defeat but is also a temporary party member later in the game also. Her popularity with the fans has ensured that she has featured in many spin-off titles in the franchise, largely the mobile-based games.

11 Beatrix (Final Fantasy 9)

In Final Fantasy 9, Beatrix is the general of Alexandria, and as such, she serves Garnet's mother, Queen Brahne. The player first encounters her as an enemy, though Beatrix later becomes a temporary party member.

Beatrix is steadfastly loyal to Alexandria and its citizens, which makes her a really admirable character. She is also able to use white magic in battle, as well as her Seiken ability, which gives her sword skills extra offensive damage, similar to Steiner's Sword Art.

10 Fran (Final Fantasy 12)

A playable character in both Final Fantasy 12 and Final Fantasy Revenant Wings, Fran is the most striking character out of the two titles due to her being of the Viera race. It's not often that the franchise offers players such a varied cast in terms of appearance and race, so it was refreshing to have the mysterious character of Fran included.

Though she is more reserved, Fran still oozes attitude and can quickly silence anyone with a stern glare. She is highly skilled when it comes to weaponry and combat is a very worthwhile party member.

9 Selphie Tilmitt (Final Fantasy 8)

There were several decent female characters featured in Final Fantasy 8, but Selphie is arguably the best one. This cheerful young woman manages to balance a light-hearted character with more serious scenes, as well as offering up comic relief without it being cringeworthy for players to watch.

RELATED: Final Fantasy 8: Every Party Member Ranked According To Design

Selphie is immediately endearing and players often forget that she deals with some of the worst heartbreak in the game as out of all of the Gardens, it is her home of Trabia that is destroyed. The scene where Selphie visits the graves of her friends and speaks to them is absolutely heartwrenching.

8 Freya Crescent (Final Fantasy 9)

Freya is one of the companions that players come across during the story of Final Fantasy 9. She is Burmecian, a race of anthropomorphic rats that live in Cleyra and Burmecia. Freya is an awesome female character that strayed from the usual guise of a Dragoon that the franchise uses, and instead has an outfit that is uniquely her own.

Freya's touching side story about her seeking her long-lost love only to find that he does not remember her is just one of the many sad interludes woven into the tale of Final Fantasy 9.

7 Lulu (Final Fantasy 10/)

Lulu is one of Yuna's guardians in Final Fantasy 10 and is one of the playable party members. Fans were immediately smitten with her rather cool, gothic style and stern personality. Despite making an appearance in the sequel, Final Fantasy , Lulu was relegated to a side NPC who had recently become a new mother, rather than taking part in Yuna's little Charlie's Angels-like setup.

Unsurprisingly, Lulu emerged as a fan-favorite of Final Fantasy 10 as she offered a more mature female character than some of the previous women in the franchise.

6 Lunafreya Nox Fleuret (Final Fantasy 15)

Though heralded as the heroine of Final Fantasy 15, fans felt that Lunafreya had surprisingly little screen time in the game. Even though it seemed as if players barely get to scratch the surface of Lunafreya, she still remains one of the most intriguing, and therefore, best female characters in the series.

Arguably, Lunafreya represents one of the few times where the female lead is the one pushing the events of the game forward and "saving" the hero instead of the hero saving her. Fans were bitterly disappointed when the Episode Lunafreya DLC was canceled, along with a few other episodes.

5 Terra Branford (Final Fantasy 6)

Terra is one of the characters of Final Fantasy 6, all of whom share the spotlight as the "leading role." Terra is probably the character who has varied the most in design, with her hair sometimes being shown as green or blonde and her outfit changing depending on whether it is official artwork, FMV, a sprite, or the game in which she is appearing.

RELATED: Hidden Details Everyone Missed In Final Fantasy VI

She is one of the best female characters due to her character development from Gestahlian Empire soldier to a member of the resistance, as well as her sheer power, which makes her a formidable force to be reckoned with.

4 Rydia (Final Fantasy 4)

Rydia is one of the playable characters in Final Fantasy 4 and also appeared in Final Fantasy 4: The After Years. This green-haired beauty is a summoner and is one of the most prominent characters from the title.

What makes her stand out as one of the best female characters in the franchise is that players see her mature from a young, fearful girl into a strong, independent woman. The game granted Rydia a well-crafted story arc and showed her development in terms of relationships with others as well as perfecting her powers.

3 Rikku (Final Fantasy 10/)

Rikku is the life and soul of Final Fantasy 10 and its sequel Final Fantasy , she is so happy and perky that it's hard not to fall in love with her free-spirited character. Her carefree character is even more endearing when players see the stigma that is held against her because she is Al Bhed, making Rikku even fiercer than previously thought as she is still able to smile in the face of adversity.

Additionally, Rikku is caring and loyal enough to try and save Yuna from her fate and eventually accompanies Yuna in her quest, becoming the final guardian.

2 Tifa Lockheart (Final Fantasy 7)

Tifa is one of the playable characters in Final Fantasy 7, as well as appearing in some of the title's spin-off games. Though she is often overshadowed by the likes of Aerith, Tifa has a large fan following who would happily argue that she is the best female character out of this particular title.

Though Tifa can be shy, she is absolutely a strong woman who can handle herself. Tifa is also very caring about others, despite not often opening up herself, which makes her a very endearing character.

1 Lightning Farron (Final Fantasy 13//Lightning Returns)

Lightning of Final Fantasy 13 was a refreshing change of pace for Final Fantasy players as it was the first time the series delivered on a true female protagonist. Though some fans may argue that Terra of Final Fantasy 6 was the first female lead, Motomu Toriyama of Square Enix has stated that every character in Final Fantasy 6 was supposed to be the main character, so therefore, Lightning is the first proper female lead.

Additionally, Lightning was a change of pace as she wasn't some damsel in distress relying on others to save her or help her, she was the hero. Her tom-boyish, stalwart personality proved popular enough to earn herself two further sequels.

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The best Final Fantasy characters of all time

There are tons and tons of reasons people all over the world love the Final Fantasy series. Dating back to the NES, this JRPG series paved the way for games to grow into the medium we know them as today. Games of that era typically reserved their &#;story&#; for a small paragraph that was tucked away in the instruction manual and largely inconsequential to the actual game. Final Fantasy bucked that trend by creating worlds, stories, and characters that you grew to know and love, or hate, as the game went on. They were some of the first true narrative-driven adventures in gaming, and a major component in the series&#; continued success is delivering new and deep characters with each installment.

With the main series closing in on 20 entries (and they don&#;t seem to be stopping anytime soon with Final Fantasy in the queue), not counting spinoffs, sequels, and non-numbered titles, the Final Fantasy series has introduced us to hundreds of memorable characters. From our heroic knights and reluctant saviors to devilish and downright mad villains, and all the party members met along the way, everyone has a favorite. Because there are just so many to pick from, and every gamer relates to something different, ranking the best characters would be an impossible task. Instead, we&#;ve compiled what we believe to be the definitive list, in no specific order, of the best Final Fantasy characters of all time. Heroes, villains, party members, and even NPCs are all eligible. Let&#;s see who makes the cut!

Note: There will be some spoilers for character arcs and story twists in this list.

Further reading

Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake)

Cloud about to draw his sword in a burning alley.

Where else could a list of best Final Fantasy characters start, even an unranked one, but with the star of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife? Basically the poster boy for the entire series, Cloud is one of the most iconic designs in the entire series. His spiky hair, slim features, and, of course, massive buster sword are more recognizable than just about anything else in the entire franchise. That is due, in large part, to him being the first fully 3D protagonist in the series. Yes, his overworld model is essentially a Lego figure, but in battle, and artwork, you can see him in his full glory. Beyond appearances, it&#;s who Cloud is that really drew people in.

Cloud is initially kind of an unlikable character. He&#;s a merc ex-SOLDIER who only helps out trying to take down the evil power company for the cash. However, and this is much better realized in the remake, there&#;s clearly something deeper going on with Cloud. His mysterious past and connection to Shinra and the villain Sephiroth are all set up masterfully. When we finally learn the truth, and learn that Cloud isn&#;t who he thinks he is, it turns everything on its head. His story is that of identity and breaking out of isolation, which are timeless themes that so many people playing these games can relate to.

Auron (Final Fantasy X)

Auron looking super cool with his sword.

Be honest, we all thought Auron was the coolest character in Final Fantasy X. This older character, with a touch of gray, awesome red coat, rad sunglasses, and tasteful scar over one eye, was basically engineered to be the most mysterious and cool character possible. Oh, and that&#;s not even mentioning the smooth, low tones of his voice that pull the entire character together. This was the first game in the series to implement voice acting, and say what you will about other casting choices (we certainly will later on), but Auron&#;s voice was about as perfect as we could imagine. Granted, his weird habit of tucking one arm inside his coat kind of like it&#;s in a sling rather than putting it through the sleeve is a bit over the top, but on the other hand, it is awesome to see him pull it free in dramatic fashion at the start of battle.

Auron fills the role of mentor for Titus, and later Yuna as well. He is a warrior monk who accompanied both Titus and Yuna&#;s fathers on the previous pilgrimage to defeat the giant kaiju that terrorizes the world, known as Sin. He&#;s the wisest character on the team but doesn&#;t give any more information than necessary. When he does speak, it&#;s usually short and to the point. Like many of the best characters, Auron has a secret that is revealed around halfway through the game. He is actually dead, and only remains in their world because he promised Titus&#; father he would look after his son. Rather than relate to Auron directly, this is a character many people admire and aspire to be like. He&#;s honorable, dependable, and never compromises on his morals. While a bit distant, he&#;s very much a father figure type to many people.

Noctis Lucis Caelum (Final Fantasy XV)

Noctis summoning a glowing sword in a dungeon.

Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum is an interesting story. Setting aside what he was supposed to be, the character we got is only somewhat comparable to one other Final Fantasy character on this list, that being Squall. Their similarities are only surface level, though, and his past and personality are all his own. When we first meet Noctis and his sworn brothers, he comes off as the typical spoiled royalty type. He complains about just about everything and is pampered and has everything taken care of by his three friends. As we get to know him more, his personality begins to make more sense, as well as what his relationship with his three companions really means to him.

It might be cheating a bit, but Noctis&#; character is only so strong because of the relationship he has with Ignis, Gladio, and Prompto. Final Fantasy XVis arguably more about brotherhood and bonds than it is about saving the world. Noctis, like so many of us, is kind of a shy kid who doesn&#;t really know how to interact with the world. Thanks to his friends, he begins to find himself and starts to let his personality come through. The camaraderie of Noctis and his friends camping out, eating meals, and even their banter in fights is just impossible to not be envious of.

Aerith Gainsborough (Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake)

Aerith holding out a yellow flower.

Aerith, and we don&#;t say Aeris here, shares a lot of similarities to Yuna, but the way they each formed their personalities and attitudes around their roles in their stories couldn&#;t be more different. Aerith is introduced as the flower girl, selling her delicate plants on the dirty streets of Midgar that she grows in her secluded church. At first, she seems just as fragile as her flowers, but once Cloud comes falling through her roof, and some Shinra goons arrive to harass her, Aerith&#;s true personality starts to emerge. She wasn&#;t some innocent, happy-go-lucky dolt that she might&#;ve appeared to be. Instead, we found a woman who knew how to play off people&#;s perceptions of her and completely subvert them.

Aerith is a fantastic example of a strong, well-realized female character in gaming&#;s early years. She rejects the role of being the damsel in distress, despite a good chunk of the game focusing on rescuing her, by making it her choice to go with the villains to save others. And, here&#;s the big spoiler that just about everyone knows, she ends up making the ultimate sacrifice trying to save the world. That moment really cemented something people didn&#;t even realize was happening. We were falling in love with Aerith, not just Cloud. It just didn&#;t occur to us, because she was a party member so she couldn&#;t actually die, right? It&#;s just a shame that, unless Final Fantasy VII Remake intends to subvert this plot point, it has been spoiled for so many people.

Terra Branford (Final Fantasy VI)

Terra in a red dress holding out her sword.

While we&#;re talking about strong female characters in Final Fantasy, it would be criminal to ignore the protagonist of Final Fantasy VI, Terra Branford. Terra was Square proving they could write believable and non-stereotypical women in their games, leading to more representation in characters like Aerith and Yuna, to name just two. They didn&#;t just make Terra a power fantasy, or Mary Sue, even though it would have been so easy to do. Terra is a rare mix of a human and Esper, allowing her to use magic but also literally splitting her between the two warring forces of the world. While the rest of the cast of Final Fantasy VI is quite strong, especially the villain (hint hint), none can compare to the love poured into Terra.

Making a character a mix of two races could so easily be handled poorly, but Square focused her character on all the right aspects. Her story is about rejecting the path laid out before her, and even her own nature in some aspects, and being her true self. Yes, the game wasn&#;t as subtle as it could&#;ve been in this regard, having literal mind control playing a role early on, but with that aside, Terra&#;s story of coming to terms with who she really is speaks to real-life experiences very directly. Her journey is just as much internal as it is external, but both play off one another to make her the top pick for best female protagonist in any Final Fantasy game to date.

Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake)

Sephiroth standing in a burning building.

It is somewhat fitting that the only other character in the Final Fantasy series that could compete with Cloud for most recognizable is his own villain. Sephiroth and his massive katana carved out a massive space for himself when he debuted in Final Fantasy VII, and his presence still sends ripples through gaming to this day. His long silver hair, aforementioned sword, and cold features alone make him an intimidating figure, and that&#;s before you see what physical and mental feats he&#;s capable of. Sephiroth&#;s introduction is a masterwork of building tension and mystery. Cloud knows who this person is before we do, following his path of destruction until we see his story play out.

Again bucking the trend of games that didn&#;t bother putting much effort into their narrative, Sephiroth is not a static character. We learn more and more about who he was, how he became who he is, and then watch how he reacts to Cloud and his party attempting to stop his plans. What&#;s so compelling about Sephiroth is the combination of his plans and justifications, as well as the trigger for what caused him to reach those conclusions. The revelations about his origin are not too dissimilar to other characters on this list, only Sephiroth&#;s tragic history pushed him further from humanity. While we&#;re not meant to agree with him, the writers made sure we understood and could follow why Sephiroth became the way he was, which is the mark of a fantastic villain.

Yuna (Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2)

Yuna standing beside Tidus in the sunset.

If you just removed the opening segment where you play as Tidus, there would be no reason to say Final Fantasy X&#;s main character was Yuna instead. In fact, many people argue that should&#;ve been the case. The entire plot revolves around her, and she has just as much agency, perhaps even more when you think about it, than even Tidus does. She&#;s a summoner, a person with the exceptional responsibility of embarking on a pilgrimage across the world, learning new summons, until she can perform the final summon and defeat Sin. To do this, Yuna and any other summoner attempting this feat are accompanied by guardians to protect them. That may seem like Yuna is too fragile to make the journey on her own, and at first she even appears to be, but the truth is so much deeper than that.

Yuna is a soft-spoken and kindhearted person who befits the typical Japanese stereotype of a shrine maiden at times. Her bravery doesn&#;t really click until the major revelation in the latter portion of the game becomes known. Once you learn the context that defeating Sin with the final summon only brings peace for a few years and results in the death of the summoner, her attitude and actions through the game up until then suddenly take on new meaning. Yuna is willing to knowingly sacrifice herself for just a moment of peace for the world from Sin. To her, that&#;s a fair trade. Thankfully that didn&#;t come to pass, and she was able to overcome that fate and officially star in Final Fantasy X There are some who consider this sequel a step back for her character, but we think the evolution from her more reserved demeanor to a confident star tracks for where her arc was taking her.

Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)

Kefka being a complete lunatic.

The insane clown or jester trope may be a little over-saturated today, but back in the day, Kefka Palazzo was second only to the Joker, or maybe Pennywise, in terms of pure, chaotic evil. Unlike the Joker, Kefka actually does begin as a true clown, but his determination to fulfill his twisted desires is strong enough to lead him into becoming a world-destroying demon. That&#;s right, Kefka is a villain who, partway through the game, essentially wins and nearly kills everyone on the planet with his power. He is truly despicable, but in that perfect way where he&#;s so captivating every time he shows up that it&#;s impossible to not be glued to the screen. Even his sinister laugh is enchantingly sinister in all its compressed glory.

Sometimes, the reason we appreciate a character is just based on how much we want to take them down. Kefka is the perfect example of a villain who no one would feel any regret taking down. He is quite literally the cause of the end of the world, and his motivation is just based on his psychotic nature. Sure, we suppose his twisted sense of determination to achieve his goals is something we can admire, but there&#;s really nothing about this character people relate to. He&#;s basically what a cartoon villain would look like if they actually achieved enough power to do what they wanted. We all loved to hate Kefka from beginning to end.

Cid Highwind (Final Fantasy VII)

Cid holding his spear in Midgar.

There are over a dozen Cids we could pick from across all the Final Fantasy games, but if we had to choose the best Cid then we have to go with Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy VII. The Cid character is unique in each mainline game, with only his (or her as is the case in Final Fantasy XV) name being the consistent element. In Final Fantasy VII, Cid is one of your later party members, but his entire introductory sequence is like a short film that really fleshes out his character. He even becomes the party&#;s leader for a short while when Cloud is out of commission, giving him more time to shine.

When you first meet Cid, he seems like the surliest, and even most borderline abusive, man possible. Once you learn of what made him this way, though, it all makes perfect sense. Cid dreamed of going to space for his entire life. He trained, studied, and worked as hard as he could to make that dream a reality. Finally, he was about to reach his goal. On the day he was set to launch and be the first person in space, his wife and scientist Shera noticed something was wrong with the rocket. She began to fix the issue, which forced Cid to have to make the decision of either aborting the launch or going through with it and killing Shera. In the end, he canceled the launch, but their relationship was never the same. Cid embodies that drive to never give up on your dream, no matter what life throws at you, but also that there are some things more important in life.

Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy IX)

Zidane ready to strike with his twin swords.

After a long stretch of more serious and brooding main characters, Final Fantasy IX took the series in a different tonal direction with Zidane Tribal. Unlike his predecessors, Squall and Cloud, Zidane is much less self-serious, despite having an equally troubled past. His only goal for the beginning portion of the game is to find his home again, and he sets off on every adventure with an optimistic attitude and joy. This was a great refresh from a long line of heroes who took hours to warm up and even accept the adventure ahead of them. While neither is necessarily better than the other, a lot of fans were glad to have a hero who was more gung ho about the quest.

We glossed over it earlier, but Zidane&#;s history doesn&#;t exactly lend itself to creating a character as upbeat as he turns out to be. Without spoiling it, just know that it is as dark and heart-wrenching as any other in the series, and yet Zidane doesn&#;t come out of it like most other protagonists do. Instead of closing himself off to others and hiding away inside himself, he chooses to do the opposite and be more outgoing. He strives to make more connections, help more people, and use his history as an inspiration to make the future better. Most other characters spend a long time learning this, so it&#;s interesting to follow Zidane as he imparts his own ideology onto his equally interesting party members and, by extension, the player. At the very least, people will be drawn to his optimistic attitude toward life, regardless of what came before.

Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII)

Squall holding his gunblade up to his hand.

Let&#;s all just be open and admit that we had that edgy phase in our lives. That point where we were too cool to smile or crack jokes anymore. Well, Squall Leonhart was right there with us. There are some out there who write Squall off as being shallow. They say his only character trait is being angsty or too standoffish. To their credit, he does push this line a little harder than Cloud did, to the point where &#;whatever&#; became a meme for how he responded to most situations, no matter how serious. While his cold demeanor never thaws to the point we see in other initially distant protagonists, that very solitary, brooding nature was more than enough to earn him a dedicated fan base.

Squall Leonhart isn&#;t so much a hero as he is an anti-hero. That alone will create strong feelings for the character in both directions. So, yes, there are some who hate his self-serious attitude and apparent lack of empathy, while others will find his persona very relatable as a person with emotional (and physical) scars who just wants to protect himself. Then, of course, there&#;s the relationship between him and Rinoa. She slowly warms Squall&#;s (Leon)heart throughout the game until he begins to realize it&#;s OK to open up to people who care about him. Learning to not use the past as an excuse to shut out the future is a tough lesson, and the fact that Squall seems to still be learning it by the end of the game makes it a more believable, and relatable, arc.

Balthier (Final Fantasy XII)

Balthier proclaiming himself as the main character.

One short note here is that, according to internet people, Vaan wasn&#;t supposed to be the protagonist of Final Fantasy XII. Balthier was the original pick for the main character, but Vaan was inserted because he would be a more marketable character. The result was a main character who felt secondary for most of the game. Regardless, Balthier steals the show back from Vaan in every scene he&#;s in, even to the point of calling himself &#;the leading man&#; on multiple occasions. The entire plot of Final Fantasy XII is often compared to Star Wars, and there are plenty of similarities, and Balthier himself bears a lot of similar traits to one of that franchise&#;s best characters: Han Solo. A sky pirate by trade who reluctantly gets tangled up in a war, he&#;s aloof, smooth-talking, and just the right amount of scummy. He felt way less like a stereotypical JRPG character than most characters in Final Fantasy.

With the charisma and charm of Jack Sparrow or, as mentioned, Han Solo, Balthier is always the most interesting and entertaining character on screen. Like Zidane to some extent, Balthier was immediately attractive because of how different he was from basically any other character in the franchise prior. He&#;s, as mentioned, a charmer who is just cocky enough to be interesting, but not annoying. What really makes his character so appealing is his heart of gold and selfless nature toward his friends. We learn that his antics and attitude mostly are defense mechanisms he uses to hide his insecurities. Whether it&#;s because of how entertaining he is on the surface or the deeper reasoning behind his actions, Balthier is truly the dashing rogue everyone loves.

Ramza Beoulve (Final Fantasy Tactics)

Ramza holding up their rapier.

The biggest shame about Final Fantasy Tactics is that so few gamers either know about it or are willing to go back and experience this criminally overlooked Final Fantasy game. That&#;s perhaps because it doesn&#;t have a number at the end of it, or because the switch to a tactics style put people off. Whatever the reason, Final Fantasy Tactics is a tremendous game in the series, with a story and characters that are just as strong as any numbered entry. That brings us to Ramza Beoulve, the main character of the title. His progression is unique in that what his character learns most is not how to change his motivation or mindset, but understanding the reasons to do good.

At the start, Ramza fights for the honor of his family name. He only does honorable things, fighting to protect those who can&#;t protect themselves, in an effort to prove he&#;s worthy of his own lineage. After having to leave his own family and join a band of mercenaries, he starts to realize that his, or any other, family name is worthless when compared to upholding justice and fighting against those who would take advantage of the less fortunate. His story tackles the nuanced idea that doing good for selfish reasons doesn&#;t make that person just, and that people who do good things for the sake of doing good, even if no one would recognize it, are the true heroes.

Tidus (Final Fantasy X)

Tidus looking over the ruins of Zanarkand.

Poor Tidus. He never stood a chance, did he? Well, not for anyone who didn&#;t actually play Final Fantasy X, anyway. Between his laughing scene becoming a meme, and the admittedly bizarre revelation on how his name is supposed to be pronounced (Tee-dus rather than Tide-us), too many people write him off as a weirdo who can&#;t dress himself properly. The thing is, all of that &#; well, not his clothing &#; make sense in context. Tidus has perhaps one of the most relatable personal struggles of all time, but is also in the process of developing a very natural relationship with Yuna that shows a ton of restraint in not rushing or glossing over their budding romance. By the end of the story, Tidus is just as sympathetic as Yuna, though things get a little convoluted in a way that makes it hard to really understand at times.

Tidus&#; entire internal struggle stems from Jecht, his father. Jecht was not exactly a good father when Tidus was young and disappeared early in his life. Tidus resents him for this, but once he gets to Spira, he has to deal with a world that considers him a hero. Finally, Tidus learns that his own father has become Sin, who Yuna is determined to defeat, even if it costs her her own life. Yuna, of course, is the one person Tidus really confides in and develops a relationship with throughout the game. This intertwining of internal and external conflicts, plus the very real struggles of a son living in his father&#;s shadow, make Tidus&#; story resonate with so many out there. The game does stumble a bit at the end by making Tidus just a dream (we think?), but the emotional impact of him being the one to end up &#;dying&#; does hit pretty hard even if you don&#;t exactly understand why.

Moogles and Chocobos (Final Fantasy series)

A Moogle riding a Chocobo.

For something completely different, we can&#;t possibly leave out the iconic Moogles and Chocobos from this list. Featured in various forms throughout nearly every game, these two mascots of the series have a massive fan base all their own, despite not really being characters in their own right. Still, the fact that they make such a strong impression, and that you can&#;t help but smile when you see them appear in the latest Final Fantasy game, can&#;t be overlooked. Moogles are the cute little teddy bear-type creatures that most often act as vendors, though have gotten in on the action in a few cases, while Chocobos are the series&#; horse stand-ins, only instead of a horse, we get to ride beautifully large chicken-looking creatures.

These two characters, or perhaps race of creature would be more accurate, have the most surface-level appeal of this entire list: They&#;re just plain adorable. The tiny, fuzzy bodies of Moogles and thick, bright yellow feathers of a Chocobo are just undeniably cute. And that&#;s not even mentioning baby Chocobos. Still, for a series that can tread into some pretty dark, deep, and even depressing themes, having some reliably fun and familiar animal mascots show up is an easy way to lift people&#;s spirits. That, and the fact that the Chocobo song is an absolute bop in every remix and arrangement it shows up in.

Editors&#; Recommendations


Fantasy characters final

50 Best Final Fantasy Characters Of All Time (From All Games, Ranked)

Final Fantasy is one of the most influential and well-known RPG franchises in the world.

It was initially called Final Fantasy because it was Square&#;s last chance to release a commercially successful game before having to disband. They poured their heart and soul into it. And luckily, the game was a hit.

A significant part of the series’ success is their complex stories and the likable characters that populate their worlds.

There are way too many to count every single character, but there’s a lot to love about so many of them.

So here are our picks for some of the best, coolest, most powerful, and famous characters in the entire Final Fantasy franchise.


Hope Estheim – FFXIII

Hope Estheim from FF13 screenshot

Most characters in Final Fantasy XIII have been through a lot.

But few have had to endure a fate as tragic as Hope Estheim&#;s.

After losing everything he knew and loved during the Purge at the beginning of FFXIII, this timid and somewhat cowardly boy decides to follow Lightning to become stronger… and, of course, to save the world in the process.

While he achieves this twice throughout the first two games in the Trilogy, Karma doesn&#;t repay him in kind.

He&#;s one of the characters suffering the most in the world of Lightning Returns.


Kimahri Ronso – FFX

Kimahri Ronso FFX screenshot

Kimahri is a Ronso of few words. In significant part due to the shame he carries with him.

As a young Ronso, Kimahri was ostracized for being smaller than the average Ronso.

Horns are a symbol of honor and strength for Ronso, so having his broken off in a fight was enough for Kimahri to exile himself.

This makes him silent and mistrusting at first, but throughout FFX, we get to see what he&#;s really like – and what he&#;s worth.

Perhaps one of the most lovable blue mages in the entire series.


Oerba Yung Fang – FFXIII

Oerba Yung Fang from FF13

If there&#;s a menacing-looking character in FFXIII, it&#;s Fang.

This Bladed Lance wielder from the village of Oerba never backs down from a fight.

This is doubly true when it comes to protecting her childhood friend Vanille.

Their love for each other and their sense of responsibility was so strong that it gave them the power to stop Cocoon from crashing down on Gran Pulse.


Quina Quen – FFIX

Quina Quen from FFIX screenshot

While most characters in FF9 are pretty unique and racially diverse, the gourmet beast Quina Quen is easily the most bizarre.

This genderless being is part of the Qu race, and they join Zidane&#;s party when they meet at the Qu&#;s Marsh.

Their main motivation?

To sample food from all over the world.

This fixation with food is evident in combat, as Quina uses forks to fight. They also cast Blue Magic spells, which they learn by eating enemies and copying their skills.


Snow Villiers – FFXIII

Snow Villiers from FF13

Rebellious by nature and notoriously hard-headed, NORA leader Snow Villiers is like a romantic knight on a fierce struggle to get his princess back in FFXIII.

After all, she&#;s the reason he does anything heroic in the first place.

Regrettably, his primary motivation is also his weakness.

When her soul disappears from the world by the will of the god Bhunivelze, he loses himself and becomes a patron of the Pleasure City of Yusnaan – drowning away his sorrow in excess.


Wakka – FFX

Wakka FFX character screenshot

This Blitzball player from the coastal village of Besaid is the kind of character you come to appreciate more as you play the game (and as you grow older in real life).

After losing his younger brother Chappu at an Al Bhed Machina&#;s hands, he becomes wary of outsiders and downright racist against the Al Bhed.

That may come off as extreme. But grief has a way to mess with who we are at heart.

Thanks to Tidus and the adventures they all have during Yuna&#;s pilgrimage, he eventually lets go of his hatred and comes to understand the Al Bhed are just people trying their best to live, just like him.

And he’s a hell of a Blitz player.


Oerba Dia Vanille – FFXIII

Oerba Dia Vanille FF13 screenshot

I had a major crush on Vanille back when I played FFXIII.

There&#;s something about her character design, her personality, and her actions in the game that make her a major heartthrob.

This staff-wielding denizen of Gran Pulse wields rods as her primary weapon, and she&#;s the best healer you can get in the game.

When we meet the bubbly girl in Lightning Returns, she’s revered by a cult as a Saint chosen by Bhunivelze.

In all honesty, it wouldn&#;t take much to make me worship her too.


Vaan – FFXII

Vaan from FF12

Among the least talked-about main characters in the Final Fantasy franchise is Vaan, an aspiring Sky Pirate from the Kingdom of Dalmasca.

Growing up a poor orphan in the middle of the Lowtown slums, he became a gang&#;s leader and slowly acquired the skills needed to steal what he needed to survive.

It&#;s in the middle of a botched heist in the Royal Palace of Rabanastre that he gets caught up in the kingdom&#;s political struggles.

He’s the MC of the game, but if you’ve played it then you know who the real leading man is.

But if there’s one thing we know about Vaan, it’s that he really doesn’t want us to listen to Ondore’s lies.


Gladiolus Amicitia – FFXV

Gladiolus Amicitia from FFXV

Among Noctis&#; fierce protectors and loyal friends, Gladiolus is easily the strongest and all-around best fighter of the bunch.

He&#;s not only a high-ranking member of the Crownsguard but the heir to the family that leads them.

As such, he&#;s prepared to throw away his life in a split second if it means protecting his lifelong friend from mortal harm.

Gladiolus is also the one who keeps Noctis in line, being completely honest with him whenever the young man acts unbecoming of his royal station and pushing him to be the best he can be.


Sazh Katzroy – FFXIII

Sazh Katzroy FF13 screenshot

Sazh Katzroy is the oldest and most mature member of Lightning&#;s party in FFXIII.

But he&#;s also a cheerful and lively foil to Lightning, Snow, and Fang&#;s somber outlooks.

His primary motivation is protecting his son Dajh at all costs.

After he falls into a coma before Lightning Returns, Sazh loses his cheer and becomes a depressed and isolated hermit in the Wildlands.

Thanks to Lightning, his son is eventually saved, giving Sazh a renewed will to live.


Barret Wallace – FVII

Barret Wallace FVII screenshot

The man with the Gatling-gun arm may look rough and tough… but he&#;s profoundly compassionate and caring when it comes to his friends and daughter, Marlene.

His love for the young girl drives him to fight Shinra and save the planet, even though it means spending extended periods away from his daughter.


Ashelia Dalmasca – FFXII

Ashelia Dalmasca from FFXII

Also known as Ashe, the fallen Princess of Dalmasca is the beautiful leading female character in FFXII.

Like Vaan, she&#;s all about freedom.

But they have different ideas of what being “free” means.

While the aspiring Sky Pirate looks for it in the skies, Ashe is committed to repel the Archadian Empire and take her rightful place as Queen of Dalmasca.


Lunafreya Nox Fleuret – FFXV

Lunafreya Nox Fleuret from FF15

Another former princess to make the ranking is Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, set to marry Noctis at the beginning of FFXV to cement an alliance between Tenebrae and Lucis.

As an Oracle, she has the power to talk to the gods.

And she wields the Trident of the Oracle, a royal arm with the ability to create holograms that aid the wielder in battle.


Ardyn Izunia – FFXV

Ardyn Izunia FF15 screenshot

There is a lot of tragedy in the world of FF

But few characters can compete with villain Ardyn Izunia when it comes to suffering.

Born two millennia ago, Ardyn was set to become the Founder King of Lucis.

However after sacrificing his health to save the lives of those affected by the Starscourge epidemic, the Crystal finds him too corrupted to reign.

Two millennia later, he acts as Chancellor of Niflheim, and moves everyone around like chess pieces to get revenge on the Lucian kingdom and the Astrals.


Prompto Argentum – FFXV

Prompto Argentum from FF15

Every boyband has a younger, rebellious member with a special spark that makes the ladies swoon.

That&#;s Prompto in FF15&#;s squad of dreamy men on a road trip.

He became close friends with Noctis in high-school, which earned him a spot in Noctis&#; entourage despite being of common birth and not trained to protect him.

Still, years of practicing with Crownsguard expert mean he can wield firearms like the best of &#;em.

His group role includes lighting everyone up when needed and taking pictures of the trip with his trusty camera.


Ignis Scientia – FFXV

Ignis Scientia from FF15

Another major heartthrob from FFXV is Ignis Scientia, the calm and collected glasses dude with a sarcastic sense of humor.

Despite his peaceful demeanor, Ignis is passionate about two things: Protecting Noctis as part of his Crownsguard, and cooking the best dishes he can to feed his hungry companions.

He&#;ll go around trying to learn new recipes and gather new ingredients everywhere they go, making him a major asset in such a long road trip.


Balthier – FFXII

Balthier FF12 character screenshot

This charming but shrewd Sky Pirate travels the world on his airship, risking life and limb for money whenever he sees an opportunity.

His thieving nature ultimately leads him to raid the Royal Palace of Rabanastre, where he meets the rest of the main characters.

While his cunning attitude might suggest otherwise, he&#;s not that selfish.

His cocky attitude is just a front to hide his vulnerabilities and tragic past.

Also a big plus? This dude has some real charisma.


Serah Farron – FFXIII

Serah Farron FF13 screenshot

Lightning&#;s little sister was instrumental to getting the story of FFXIII, serving as both Lightning&#;s and Snow&#;s motivation to get up and fight against fate.

In the sequel we get to know her beyond what was said of her in the first game.

She&#;s a wise and committed young lady with a heart of gold, which leads her to try and find Lightning despite everyone believing her dead.

It turns out she&#;s a natural fighter, just like her older sister. And she&#;s also a great cook.


Regis Lucis Caelum – FFXV

Regis Lucis Caelum from FF15

Despite barely making an appearance in the main FF15 game, the th King of Lucis and father of Noctis gets a lot of screen time in the Kingsglaive prequel film.

He&#;s a wise and strong fatherly figure to Noctis and everyone working under him.

He cares about his subjects deeply and is willing to give up his life if it means protecting their future from the Niflheim Empire.

Plus, he&#;s voiced by Sean Bean in the English dub of the film.


Lulu – FFX

Lulu FFX in HD

Few characters in Final Fantasy have gathered as big a following as Lulu.

This is partly due to her incredibly cool and sexy character design, which renewed the Black Mage look by adding voodoo influences and lots of leather belts.

Other than that, this dangerous-looking woman is recognized as a vital part of Yuna&#;s entourage, providing the magic brawn needed to confront their vicious foes.

Fun Fact: While her black attire might seem entirely stylistic, it&#;s actually her way to mourn her beloved Chappu, Wakka&#;s long-gone brother.


Cindy Aurum – FFXV

Cindy Aurum from FF15

Another dangerously sexy character with a less tragic backstory is FF15&#;s Cindy Aurum.

She&#;s the daughter of Cid Sophiar, the former Royal Mechanic and old friend of King Regis.

As such, she knows everything there is to know about the Regalia, and will help you customize your ride whenever you need to.

Her incredible skill, bright personality, and impressive looks don&#;t go unnoticed by our heroes, and young Prompto falls head over heels for the mechanic.

Can you blame him?


Rikku – FFX

Rikku FFX HD Screenshot

Cindy is remarkably similar to Spira’s Rikku, as they&#;re both the daughters of their respective game&#;s Cid.

They&#;re also competent when it comes to machinery – not to mention the blonde hair and good looks.

Rikku is slender and athletic, and she&#;s one of the few characters who have the physical condition to fight underwater.

She&#;s the last to join Yuna&#;s group of protectors, but goes on to be one of her closest friends.


Aerith Gainsborough – FFVII

Aerith Gainsborough from FF7

Young, beautiful, and mysterious, Aerith is one of the most recognizable female faces in gaming – in significant part due to her prominent role in one of history&#;s most influential games.

She may look like a regular flower merchant, but Aerith is actually the last of the Cetra – people with high magic potential and the ability to &#;talk to the planet.&#;

This ultimately makes her the target of Sephiroth, who kills her in one of gaming&#;s most memorable scenes.


Zack Fair – FFVII

Zack Fair from FF7 screenshot

Before she met Cloud, Aerith had a close friendship with Zack Fair, who made her the flower cart she uses to sell her fragrant wares.

He&#;s the energetic and restless protagonist of Crisis Core –Final Fantasy VII– and the previous owner of Cloud&#;s iconic Buster Sword.

He passes it on with his dying breath after being mortally wounded while fighting for what he believed in –fulfilling his dream of becoming a hero.


Haurchefant Greyston – FFXIV

Haurchefant Greyston from FF14

Among the many friendly NPCs found in MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, Lord Haurchefant Greystone is probably the most popular.

Haurchefant is of the Elezen race, with silver hair and pointy ears like you&#;d see on an elf.

Unlike most Ishgardians, he actually likes meeting new adventurers and welcomes them at Dragonhead.

He&#;s part of the noble house of Fortemps in the city-state of Ishgard.

He can be found presiding over Camp Dragonhead in the Coerthas Central Highlands, relatively close to the city.


Rinoa Heartily – FFVIII

Rinoa Heartily FF8 Character screenshot

Compassionate, warm, and friendly are the traits that best describe FFVIII&#;s Rinoa Heartily, Squall&#;s love interest, and a prominent character.

She generally puts other&#;s needs before her own.

Despite her father leading the Galbadian military, Rinoa&#;s values lead her to join a resistance fighting for Timber&#;s freedom from imperial rule.

She&#;s deadly in battle with her Blaster Edge, and her faithful dog Angelo provides support both inside and outside of combat.


Firion – FFII

Firion FF2 screenshot

The heroic Firion isn&#;t just the main protagonist of FF2, but the first character in the series to have a defined name and coherent backstory that ties into the game&#;s plot.

We don&#;t know as much about him due to the narrative structure and standards of the time.

But two things are certain: he&#;s incredibly skilled in armed combat, and willing to put his life on the line fighting for freedom and peace.


Bartz Klauser – FFV

Bartz Klauser HD Screenshot

An orphan from the city of Lix, the skillful Bartz is all about adventure and exploration.

But he knows when it&#;s time to buckle up and fight for what is right.

His father&#;s last wishes before passing away were for Bartz to become an explorer and see the world, so that&#;s exactly what he did – until he met Lenna and was chosen by the Crystals to be a Warrior of Light.

He&#;s remarkably easygoing – even in tense situations where stakes are high.

Still, that doesn&#;t mean he takes his responsibility to the world lightly, and he matures a lot throughout his adventure.


Lenna Charlotte Tycoon – FFV

Lenna Charlotte Tycoon from FF5

Kind, caring, and a little naive, Lenna Charlotte Tycoon is one of the Warriors of Light, and the closest thing Final Fantasy V has to a main character.

While Bartz represents the freedom of the Wind, Lenna has the selfless and compassionate nature of Water.

She has the highest raw Magic stat in the game as well.

So most people spec her up to be the most powerful mage that ever lived.


Celes Chere – FFVI

Celes Chere from FF6 screenshot

The imposing Celes Chere starts as a high-ranking general of the Gestahlian Empire&#;s military, a title she holds dear even after joining the insurgent Returners and betraying her homeland in the name of justice.

She&#;s a Magitek Knight, infused with magic to give her the ability to cast spells.

She can also wield swords, daggers, and maces. Oh my!

Her independent and determined nature gives her the strength to seek out her allies after the Cataclysm turns the planet into the World of Ruin.


Locke Cole – FFVI

Locke Cole FF6 screenshot

Fighting along Celes is Locke Cole, an adventurer and thief who prefers to be called a &#;Treasure Hunter.&#;

His adept sneaking skills are key for the Returners, for whom he plays the part of spy and saboteur.

Despite his cheerful nature, Locke is a committed member of the Returners with only one goal in mind: Stopping the Gestahlian Empire.


Kefka Palazzo

Kefka Palazzo Final Fantasy character screenshot

Much more interesting than FF5&#;s main characters is the leading villain, Kefka Palazzo.

Kefka was the first individual to be infused with Magitek, becoming the Gestahlian Empire&#;s first Magitek Knight. Regrettably, the procedure didn&#;t go as expected, taking his sanity and turning him into a psychopath.

Eventually he takes over the Empire and becomes the God of Magic, causing the Cataclysm – an event that killed most of the planet&#;s population and plunged the world into ruin.

His reason?

He likes inflicting pain. Simple as that.


Vincent Valentine – FFVII

Vincent Valentine FF7 screenshot

Vincent Valentine is another victim of magic experimentation, this time on the part of Shinra – the central antagonistic organization in Final Fantasy VII.

Being infused with Chaos-tainted Mako saved his life, but it turned him into a vessel for Chaos. He feels like this turned him into a monster – a sin against the world – and seeks revenge against those responsible.

Dark and brooding, Vincent has a fallen angel aesthetic and possibly the most bad-ass design in the game.


Solus zos Galvus – FFXIV

Solus zos Galvus

Also known as Emet-Selch: the talkative, menacing, and mysterious character is the Founding Father of the Garlean Empire.

His brilliant leadership earned the Garleans massive success and ushered in a golden age.

Regrettably, like most empires, it was impossible to maintain without war and expansion.

He&#;s also the main antagonist of the Shadowbringers DLC.

Throughout the game players uncover his true identity as Hades, the Architect of the Ascians.


Ramza Beoulve – FF Tactics

Ramza Beoulve FF Tactics screenshot

Final Fantasy Tactics is among the least-known titles in the series, yet honestly one of the most fun.

And protagonist Ramza Beoulve doesn&#;t get nearly as much love as he deserves.

Proud of his lineage, Ramza believes in uplifting the Beoulve name by protecting peace and fighting for justice.

After abandoning his family and becoming a mercenary, Ramza learns the true meaning of selflessly fighting for the good of others.


Cecil Harvey – FFIV

Cecil Harvey from FF4 screenshot

One of the most interesting characters in Final Fantasy&#;s early history has to be Cecil Harvey, who starts out a Dark Knight in direct service to the King of Baron as the Captain of the Red Wings.

With time, he became somewhat possessed by his identity as a Dark Knight – wearing the black armor as a sign of the horrors and injustices he committed in blind obedience to his King.

After a battle with one of the Four Elemental Archfiends, Cecil finally finds the light within and is purified.

His class changes to reflect this, and he becomes a Paladin.


Terra Branford – FFVI

Terra Branford FF6 screenshot

Terra Branford is the closest FFVI has to a main character.

This strong, independent woman is first seen fighting for the Gestahlian Empire as a Magitek Elite.

Eventually she allies herself with the Returners to fight against the Empire&#;s oppression, and ultimately against Kefka.

She loves animals, and she&#;s especially fond of Moogles. I mean, who isn’t fond of them? They’re adorable!


Vivi Ornitier – FFIX

Vivi Ornitier from FF9

Whenever someone thinks of Black Mages in Final Fantasy, the image that comes to mind is usually that of Vivi.

Despite the somewhat feminine name, Vivi&#;s gender is male. But he looks like a genderless badass no matter what.

His body is covered in dark shadows but for his bright yellow eyes, and he&#;s incredibly powerful with staves that canalize his magical talents.

He may look sinister, but Vivi is rather shy and gullible. With time he matures and becomes confident in himself, thanks to adventuring with Zidane and the crew. Definitely a lovable character from an awesome PS1 RPG.


Freya Crescent – FFIX

Freya Crescent from FF9

Another memorable character from FFIX is Freya Crescent, a spear-wielding Dragon Knight who joins Zidane&#;s party after meeting him at Lindblum a bit before the Festival of the Hunt.

She&#;s a humble and friendly Burmecian – a race of bipedal anthropomorphic rats making their home in Burmecia and Cleyra.

While Freya is one of the characters to face the most tragedy and sadness in the entire game, she holds on to hope for a better future and fights tirelessly to get there.


Cid Highwind – FFVII

Cid Highwind FF7 screenshot

Every Final Fantasy has a Cid character. Hell, he’s even in the Kingdom Hearts series too!

But rarely are any of those guys as interesting as Cid Highwind from FF7.

He&#;s also one of the few that join the hero&#;s party as playable characters.

Despite dreaming of sending a rocket to space and generally putting his faith in science, Cid becomes sympathetic toward the planet&#;s woes at one point and decides he&#;s responsible for protecting it if nobody else will.

Cid is the captain if the Highwind, which he uses to support Avalanche in their struggle against Shinra.


Auron – FFX

Auron from FFX HD screenshot

Final Fantasy X is one of the most beloved entries in the franchise.

And Auron is probably the single coolest character in the game, hands down.

He&#;s a former warrior monk who served Yuna&#;s father – Summoner Braska – as his Guardian.

During the game, he does the same for Yuna – while also watching over Tidus as a personal favor to his old friend Jecht. His story is incredible but it’s also super spoilery, so if you haven’t finished the game just know that Auron is much deeper than he looks (and the dude already looks pretty deep!)

His ronin-like design, no-nonsense attitude, and impeccable swordsmanship have earned him the admiration of gamers worldwide.


9. Noctis Lucis Caelum – FFXV

Noctis Lucis Caelum from FF15

As the firstborn son of King Regis and the th heir to the Lucian throne, Noctis has some big shoes to fill at the onset of FFXV – and his problems only grow as the game goes on.

Still, this somewhat sullen and distant prince pulls through thanks to his friends&#; help, learning to wield the power of the Lucian Kings to protect the realm from Niflheim&#;s claws.

His royal bloodline lets him forge weapons out of thin air by channeling the Crystals&#; power, which he uses in combat to great effect.

He&#;s also pretty good at fishing.


8. Squall Leonhart – FFVIII

Squall Leonhart FF7 screenshot

Like Noctis and most other main characters in Final Fantasy, Squall Leonheart isn&#;t the most talkative person, and his comrades see him as a cold and focused SeeD mercenary.

At first he lives for his job, but he starts questioning his way of life as the game&#;s events unfold.

He becomes the leader of the party due to his excellent leadership skills rather than by choice.

This same skill eventually gets him appointed Commander of Balamb Garden, one of SeeD&#;s main strongholds.


7. Zidane Tribal – FFIX

Zidane Tribal from FF9

One exceptional main character who broke the somber protagonist trope was Zidane Tribal, the chivalrous thief from FF9.

He&#;s a Genome, an artificial being, but he doesn&#;t let that keep him from living the life he wants.

He&#;s casual, outgoing, and even flirtatious whenever he meets a cute girl – a far cry from sullen personalities like Cloud and Squall.

In combat you&#;ll find his Steal skill especially useful, as it lets you acquire powerful items and equipment by pick-pocketing enemies mid-battle.


6. Tifa Lockhart – FFVII

Tifa Lockhart from FF7 screenshot

Even if you&#;re not a Final Fantasy fan, any gamer worth their salt has at least heard of Tifa – especially since a slight change in her design for the FFVII Remake caused a stir online.

After her hometown of Nibelheim is destroyed by Shinra, Tifa joins Avalanche to exact revenge against the mega-corporation.

She&#;s a fierce fighter, but also a kind and caring soul with an almost motherly attitude toward her allies.


5. Tidus – FFX

Tidus FFX HD

Among the many Final Fantasy protagonists, Tidus is probably the most realistic and believable of them all.

Most people complain that he&#;s too whiny and childish at first… but that&#;s to be expected from such a young man after having his entire existence flipped upside down.

Also, daddy issues.

He goes from rising star Blitzball celebrity to being lost in the unknown world of Spira in the blink of an eye – and yet he manages to keep himself together, and eventually matures through his experiences traveling with Yuna and her Guardians.


4. Yuna – FFX

Yuna from FF10 screenshot

Tidus might be the main playable character.

But FF10’s story is all about Yuna and her journey to save the world.

Like her father before her, she&#;s a Summoner tasked with appeasing the monster Sin and keeping Spira safe – even if it costs her a lot.

It&#;s a duty that weighs her down immensely. But she presses onward for the sake of the people she loves.

It&#;s refreshing to see her develop as a character between FFX and FFX-2, becoming more adventurous and finally living for herself.

And speaking of FFX-2… those dresspheres? Adorable.


3. Sephiroth – FFVII

Sephiroth from FF7 HD

Final Fantasy villains tend to fade away into obscurity after their story is over.

But the legendary soldier Sephiroth couldn&#;t have strayed further from his peers.

He&#;s almost as famous as his heroic counterpart Cloud.

And that&#;s a serious statement.

While we mostly see him as an overpowered villain in Final Fantasy VII, the backstory provided by Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core helps us understand this tragic character much better.

Anyone would have a hard time keeping their sanity after what he went through.


2. Lightning (Claire Farron) – FFXIII

Lightning (Claire Farron) from FF13

If there&#;s a character that&#;s earned her place in this list with blood, sweat, and tears, it&#;s Lightning.

Her games may not be the best, quite honestly.

But even detractors have to recognize that this pink-haired Gunblade user carried an entire trilogy on her back alone.

She also has the finest fashion sense ever seen in a Final Fantasy game – and that&#;s counting the K-Pop boyband that is FFXV&#;s main squad!


1. Cloud Strife – FFVII

Cloud Strife in FFVII HD screenshot

The main protagonist of the most acclaimed Final Fantasy title is also, unsurprisingly, the best character in the series – and arguably the most popular.

Defining Cloud as a character is complicated.

Especially considering that he spends most of the game believing he&#;s someone that he isn&#;t.

His identity crisis theme resonated deeply with players at the time.

And it&#;s among the reasons why FFVII is regarded as one of the best games ever made.

If you had to reduce RPG video games to a single image, it would be Cloud standing proudly with the Buster Sword slung across his back.

Browse:Final FantasyVideo Games

Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT - All Character Trailers

Characters of the Final Fantasy VII series

Final Fantasy VII, a role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and originally released in , features many fictional characters in both major and minor roles. VII has been followed by multiple sequels and prequels, grouped into the multimedia series Compilation of Final Fantasy VII: these include the mobile game Before Crisis, the movie sequel Advent Children, the shooter spinoff Dirge of Cerberus, and the action game Crisis Core. Other media include spin-off books and the original video animationLast Order. The setting of Final Fantasy VII is a world that has been described as an industrial or post-industrialscience fiction setting.[1] It is referred to as "the Planet" in most of the games, and was retroactively named "Gaia" in some Square Enix promotional material.[2]

VII follows Cloud Strife, a troubled mercenary who joins with an eco-terrorist group to stop Shinra from draining the life of the Planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, conflicts escalate and the world's safety becomes their central concern as new forces emerge to challenge the original group. Cloud and his team eventually face off against the game's antagonist, Sephiroth. Other important characters in the series include Aerith Gainsborough, a flower seller who becomes a good friend to Cloud; Zack Fair, Cloud's friend, a former soldier of Shinra and the protagonist of Crisis Core; and Vincent Valentine, a man made immortal by Shinra experimentation and the protagonist of Dirge of Cerberus. The conflict between Cloud and Sephiroth forms the core narrative around which many of the series' stories are built. Other characters include the Turks, a covert group which originally worked for Shinra.

The original characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura, who had done monster designs for Final Fantasy VI and was chosen for the role after his designs impressed producer Hironobu Sakaguchi. Nomura was responsible for many of the characters and their stories. The scenario for the original game was written by Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase and Kazushige Nojima. Nomura, Kitase and Nojima have been involved in other titles in the Compilation. The characters of VII have met with positive reception in contemporary and modern reviews, while their portrayal in the Compilation titles has been mixed: while Crisis Core was generally praised, the focus on secondary characters in Dirge of Cerberus drew mixed opinions from some, while their appearance in Advent Children was generally cited as confusing or poor for newcomers to the series. The entire cast, along with multiple side characters and villains, have remained popular among critics and series fans over the years, with many lists and opinion polls citing them as some of the best characters in the Final Fantasy series.

Concept and creation[edit]

The original concept for Final Fantasy VII's world was for a fully modern setting, but after the project moved from the 2D Super Nintendo Entertainment System to development for the PlayStation console, the setting altered with it. Elements from the original concept were later used in Final Fantasy VIII and Parasite Eve.[3] The game's producer, Hironobu Sakaguchi, chose character designer Tetsuya Nomura to create the main cast. Nomura had previously worked on monster designs for Final Fantasy VI. Sakaguchi chose Nomura after being amused by the way Nomura did the storyboarding for the cutscenes.[4] Talking of his role as character designer, Nomura stated that when he was brought on, the main scenario had not been completed, but he "went along like, 'I guess first off you need a hero and a heroine', and from there drew the designs while thinking up details about the characters. After [he'd] done the hero and heroine, [he] carried on drawing by thinking what kind of characters would be interesting to have. When [he] handed over the designs [he'd] tell people the character details [he'd] thought up, or write them down on a separate sheet of paper."[5] Nomura also created Zack Fair, who was a late addition to the cast meant to add depth to Cloud and Aerith's relationship, and came up with the name for Red XIII, wanting an "interesting" name that combined a color and a number.[5] Although the game was Nomura's favorite Final Fantasy project, he felt that it was hindered by graphical limitations, and that his designs were, consequently, very plain in comparison to his "true" style.[6]

The game's plot was created by Sakaguchi, although the majority of scenario writing was done by Yoshinori Kitase and Kazushige Nojima, who conceived of the Shinra plot thread, Cloud and Sephiroth's relationship and Cloud's backstory. The Lifestream, the source of life for the planet, was one of the earliest concepts created for VII, but its depiction and purpose changed drastically during development.[7] The concepts behind the Lifestream and Aerith's iconic death scene were sparked in Sakaguchi by the death of his mother, which inspired a wish to create a realistic death for Aerith rather than a "Hollywood" sacrificial death.[8] The "dark" theme described by Nomura is continued throughout the Compilation, with characters such as Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and the Tsviets in Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. Producer Yoshinori Kitase stated that voice acting was one of the topics to which the Compilation team paid close attention. As Cloud and Vincent have similar personalities, care was taken to differentiate between them and their dialogue.[9] The compilation was originally conceived as only one title (Advent Children), which focused on Tifa and Cloud, but they eventually expanded it into a collection which included other games focusing on other characters, such as Zack and Vincent.[10] Nomura himself requested Hajime Tabata, the director of Before Crisis, to create a game focusing on the Turks.[11]

Voice actors[edit]

Teruaki Sugawara, the voice director behind Kingdom Hearts, recommended Takahiro Sakurai, Cloud's Japanese voice actor, to Nomura for the role.[12] Nomura had originally asked Sakurai to play the protagonist of video game The Bouncer, Sion Barzahd, but found that his voice best suited Cloud after hearing him speak.[12] Sakurai received the script without any accompanying visuals, and first arrived for recording under the impression that he would be voicing a different character other than Cloud.[13] For Advent Children, Nomura wanted to contrast Cloud and Vincent's voices given their similar personalities.[14] As a sequel to the highly popular Final Fantasy VII, Sakurai felt greater pressure performing the role than he did when he voiced Cloud for Kingdom Hearts.[13] The Japanese voice actors remained the same with Sakurai being surprised by this younger take on Cloud, having not voiced in the original PlayStation video game.[15] Sakurai performed alongside Ayumi Ito, who voiced Tifa, for a few scenes. These recordings left him feeling "deflated", as the "exchanges he has with Tifa can be pretty painful", Sakurai commenting that Cloud—whom he empathized with as his voice actor—has a hard time dealing with straight talk.[16] Nomura wanted Cloud and Vincent's voices to contrast with each other due to their similarities in terms of personality. He felt Vincent was older and more mature than Cloud, and as a result, he cast Shōgo Suzuki, who has a very low voice with.[14]

In English adaptations, Cloud is voiced by Steve Burton. Burton was first hired to voice Cloud once a man behind Square saw his work in the movie The Last Castle.[17]Rachael Leigh Cook has stated in an interview for Kingdom Hearts II that she enjoys playing Tifa and described her as "very strong physical and emotionally, but also very sensitive," and as "very multi-dimensional".[18] In voicing the character, Cook listened to Ito's recording as a guide to how the character sounds. Following Advent Children, Cook thanked Nomura for the film he created as she enjoyed it.[19] Mena Suvari explained that Aerith was given a mothering feel with an ephemeral presence.[20]

For the English dub, Cody Christian (Cloud) commented on him being Burton's replacement, stating, "Steve, you paved the way. You made this character what it is and have contributed in shaping a legacy" and thus wanted to not let Burton down with his take on the character.[21] John Eric Bentley did the voice of Barret who made research in order to properly voice him. He was aided by the translators for the Japanese version who gave him the context of the scenes he had to record. For him, one of the biggest challenges in his work was "representation" and claimed that Barret was more than one-dimensional character.[22]

Playable characters[edit]

Cloud Strife&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Cloud Strife

Cloud Strife (クラウド・ストライフ, Kuraudo Sutoraifu) is the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII:Advent Children, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and a recurring character through the Compilation. In Final Fantasy VII, he is a mercenary employed by the eco-terrorist organization AVALANCHE.[23] He claims to be a former member of SOLDIER, until a key plot event helps him discover lost memories of his true self.[24] Cloud is voiced in English by Steve Burton in most media, and Cody Christian in Final Fantasy VII Remake. His Japanese voice actor is Takahiro Sakurai.[25]

Barret Wallace&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Barret Wallace

Barret Wallace (バレット・ウォーレス, Baretto Wōresu) is the former leader of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE, opposed to Shinra's use of Mako technology, which he believes to be killing Gaia. He is also the adoptive father of Marlene, the daughter of his dead friend, Dyne. Initially, he distrusts and dislikes Cloud, believing him to be nothing more than a heartless mercenary-for-hire, but eventually changes his opinion of him for the better. After AVALANCHE disbands, Barret chooses to continue his mission to save the Planet by trying to find a new energy source to replace Mako. He is voiced in English by Beau Billingslea in Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus, and John Eric Bentley in Final Fantasy VII Remake. His Japanese voice actor is Masahiro Kobayashi.[26]

Tifa Lockhart&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Tifa Lockhart

Tifa Lockhart (ティファ・ロックハート, Tifa Rokkuhāto, originally romanized as "Tifa Lockheart") is a childhood friend of Cloud. She is one of the lead members of AVALANCHE and it is she who initially convinces Cloud to join them in their rebellion against Shinra. She ultimately helps to unlock Cloud's missing memories when they fall into the Lifestream together, and she is the only character who knows of Cloud's past. Tifa appears in all the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles alongside Cloud. She is voiced in English by Rachael Leigh Cook in most media, and Britt Baron in Final Fantasy VII Remake. In Japanese she is voiced by Ayumi Ito in most appearances, Yōko Asada in Ehrgeiz (arcade), and Yūko Minaguchi in Ehrgeiz (PlayStation).[27]

Aerith Gainsborough&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Aerith Gainsborough

Aerith Gainsborough (エアリス・ゲインズブール, Earisu Geinzubūru, originally romanized as "Aeris Gainsborough") is a flower peddler on the streets of Midgar. She is sought after by Shinra's research department because she is the last of the Cetra (also known as the Ancients), and as such, Shinra believes she is the key to finding the fabled Promised Land. She meets Cloud during the first reactor mission and later on he became her bodyguard. Despite her dying at Sephiroth's hands during the events of VII, Aerith's spirit maintains her cognitive powers and she is able to retain her individuality while in the Lifestream. Aerith is voiced by Mandy Moore in Kingdom Hearts, Mena Suvari in Advent Children and Kingdom Hearts II, Andrea Bowen in Crisis Core, Dissida , Mobius Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind, and Briana White in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Her Japanese voice actress is Maaya Sakamoto.[28][29]

Red XIII&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Red XIII (レッドXIII, Reddo Sātīn, pronounced "Red Thirteen"), birth name Nanaki (ナナキ), is a powerful, intelligent member of an unnamed canine species with the ability to speak.[30] In Final Fantasy VII, he temporarily joins Cloud's team after they rescue him from Hojo at the Shinra building.[31] Red XIII believed that his father, Seto, was a coward who abandoned their home, Cosmo Canyon, during a war with the Gi Tribe. Upon returning to Cosmo Canyon, however, his adoptive grandfather, Bugenhagen, brings Red XIII to the petrified body of Seto and reveals that he had sacrificed his life to save the village and single-handedly fought the entire invading army.[32] Learning the truth, Red XIII becomes inspired and gains the courage to permanently join Cloud's group.[33] Red XIII makes additional appearances throughout the Compilation. In Before Crisis, he defends a female of his species named Deneh and is subsequently captured by the Turks. In the On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of Nanaki", Red XIII struggles with the knowledge that he will outlive his friends.[34] He also appears briefly in Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus; in the former, he aids in the fight against the rogue summoned monster Bahamut SIN, and in the latter he is briefly glimpsed resting with Shelke during the ending.[35] In Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography Turks -The Kids Are Alright-, he saves a young girl from drowning, and briefly encounters Turk member Tseng.[36]

Red XIII was the fourth character to be created by Nomura, who wanted a four-legged playable character in the cast despite inevitable graphical difficulties. He was originally conceived as a member of SOLDIER. His standard name, "Red XIII", was thought up by Nomura during the concept stage because he wanted something that didn't sound like a normal name. The final name came from combining the character's hair color with the number 13, an unlucky number. His real name, Nanaki, was chosen by other staff members.[37] Nomura gave Red XIII tattoos and a general Native American motif. The character's tail having a flame at its tip was made to add more color.[2] The name Nanaki was chosen due to its Native American sound, which linked with Red XIII's theme and backstory.[38] Red XIII's limited appearance in Advent Children was due to difficulties with accurately animating the character's hair in a realistic manner. For his action scenes, four separate CGI layers had to be created and overlapped.[39] In English he is voiced by Liam O'Brien in Advent Children and Max Mittelman in Final Fantasy VII Remake.[40] In Japanese he is voiced by Masachika Ichimura in Advent Children, and Kappei Yamaguchi in Remake.[41]

Yuffie Kisaragi&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Yuffie Kisaragi

Yuffie Kisaragi (ユフィ・キサラギ, Yufi Kisaragi) is the daughter of the leader of Wutai, who feels her country has lost its former glory in the aftermath of a war with Shinra and has become a resort town.[42] Yuffie is introduced when she ambushes the protagonist Cloud Strife and his allies in either the Gongaga jungle or the forests south of Junon, appearing as "Mystery Ninja". If the player defeats her in combat and then chooses the correct series of dialogue choices, she introduces herself and joins the player's party as one of player characters. However, once in Wutai Village, Yuffie steals the party's Materia and hides but is kidnapped by a Midgar crime lord, the lecherous Don Corneo. When the group rescues Yuffie, she returns the stolen Materia and continues working with the party. Yuffie is voiced in English by Christy Carlson Romano in Kingdom Hearts and Advent Children, by Mae Whitman in Kingdom Hearts II, Dirge of Cerberus and Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind and by Suzie Yeung in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. Her Japanese voice actress is Yumi Kakazu.[43]

Cait Sith&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Cait Sith (ケット・シー, Ketto Shī) is a robotic talking cat.[44] In Final Fantasy VII, he rides on the back of an unnamed robotic moogle; in later installments in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, he either walks by himself or rides Red XIII. As a robot, he can be rebuilt and replaced and is controlled by Reeve Tuesti, whose original intent during Final Fantasy VII was to infiltrate Cloud's group and sabotage their resistance efforts on behalf of his Shinra employers.[45] Having a change of heart, he decides to help the group, even risking his life at one point by destroying a version of himself to extract the Black Materia needed by Sephiroth to summon the Meteor spell.[46][47] He appears briefly in Advent Children and Final Fantasy VII Remake, and acts as a supporting character throughout Dirge of Cerberus. He is voiced by Greg Ellis in English and by Hideo Ishikawa in Japanese.[48]

Vincent Valentine&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Vincent Valentine

Vincent Valentine (ヴィンセント・ヴァレンタイン, Vinsento Varentain) is an optional character in Final Fantasy VII. He is the protagonist of Dirge of Cerberus and its mobile spinoff. Cloud and the others discover him sleeping inside a coffin in the basement of the Shinra Mansion, where he joins them in their quest to hunt down Sephiroth.[49] Vincent reveals very little about himself after his original introduction, and his backstory is explored in Dirge of Cerberus as well as other Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles. He is voiced by Steven Blum in English and by Shōgo Suzuki in Japanese.[50]

Cid Highwind&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

See also: Characters named Cid in the rest of the series

Cid Highwind (シド・ハイウインド, Shido Haiuindo) is an airship pilot. He is first encountered trying to restart a rocket program cancelled by Shinra due to the actions of his assistant Shera when she was concerned for the safety of the rocket.[51] He blames Shera for the incident as he does not believe her concerns were justified, and verbally abuses her.[52] However, her concerns regarding the oxygen tanks are proven to be correct when an explosion temporarily traps Cid during a later successful attempt to launch the rocket against Meteor. As a result, Cid is able to forgive her.[53] Cid also appears in Before Crisis, Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus. In Advent Children, he briefly rejoins the party to fight against Bahamut SIN. In Dirge of Cerberus, he aids the World Regenesis Organization in launching an attack on Deepground headquarters, and later in fighting Omega WEAPON. He is voiced by Chris Edgerly in English and Kazuhiro Yamaji in Japanese.[54]

Zack Fair&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Zack Fair

Zack Fair (ザックス・フェア, Zakkusu Fea) is a minor character in Final Fantasy VII, although he is the protagonist of its prequel, Crisis Core. In the original game, Zack appears only in flashback sequences. He also appears in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles Before Crisis, Last Order and Advent Children. He is the romantic hero to Aerith's heroine, and part of the mystery of Cloud's identity crisis. He is voiced in Japanese by Kenichi Suzumura and in English by Rick Gomez in most appearances and Caleb Pierce in Final Fantasy VII Remake.[55]

The Turks&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

The Turks (タークス, Tākusu) are a group of covert operatives who work for Shinra through many of the events of VII, and later become an independent force. Officially, while part of Shinra, they were known as the Investigation Sector of the General Affairs Department. In Final Fantasy VII, several Turks serve as recurring antagonists, although they are not above forming temporary alliances with the game's group of central characters.[56] They are also the playable characters and protagonists of the Final Fantasy VII prequel, Before Crisis, which focuses exclusively on their actions in the years leading up to the events of the original game. The player chooses from eleven unnamed Turks, each with his or her own backstory, personality, strengths and weaknesses. With one exception, each Turk is identified based on their weapon and sex. Among important Turks in the series are:

  • Reno (レノ) and Rude (ルード, Rūdo), two of the original Turks from VII, originally portrayed as antagonists working with Shinra against AVALANCHE. In Advent Children, they act as allies towards Cloud and his friends, while glimpses of their earlier days with Shinra are portrayed in Before Crisis and Crisis Core. Reno is voiced by Quinton Flynn in most appearances and by Arnie Pantoja in Final Fantasy VII Remake in English and Keiji Fujiwara in Japanese.[57] Rude is voiced by Crispin Freeman in most appearances and by William Christopher Stephens in Final Fantasy VII Remake[58] in English and Taiten Kusunoki in Japanese.[59]
  • Elena (イリーナ, Irīna), the newest member of the Turks. Inexperienced and clumsy, but taking her job very seriously, she is an antagonist in VII and minor character in Advent Children. Elena is voiced by Bettina Bush in English and Megumi Toyoguchi in Japanese.
  • Tseng (ツォン, Tson), the leader of the Turks after Veld leaves the Turks in the aftermath of Sephiroth's attack on Nibelheim. Initially portrayed as an antagonist in VII, he acts as an ally in Crisis Core and is a minor character in Advent Children. Tseng is voiced by Ryun Yu in most appearances and by Vic Chao in Final Fantasy VII Remake in English[58] and Junichi Suwabe in Japanese.[60]
  • Cissnei (シスネ, Shisune), a playable character in Before Crisis and a supporting character in Crisis Core. Bearing the codename Shuriken (Female) (手裏剣 (女), Shuriken (Onna)). While around Zack, she uses the name "Cissnei", though it is not her real name. Cissnei is voiced by Carrie Savage in English and Asumi Nakada in Japanese.[61]
  • Veld (ヴェルド, Verudo), alternately called Verdot,[62] is the former leader of the Turks. Originally a loyal member, he falls out of favor with the company during the struggle against AVALANCHE, which includes bungled operations and the company trying to use the Turks as cannon fodder.[63] Veld eventually resigns his position upon finding out that his daughter, whom he thought dead in a bungled Shinra operation, is still alive under the name "Elfé". While he is declared an enemy of Shinra and apparently killed, he is in fact spirited away with his daughter so he can live his life in peace.[64]
  • Legend (Male) (レジェンド(男), Rejendo (Otoko)), a Turk who acts as one of the main characters of Before Crisis. Generally known under the moniker of "Legendary Turk", and formally an anti-Shinra activist known as "Death God of the Battlefield", he is recruited into the Turks by Veld. While he leaves the Turks for a time, he returns after Veld resigns.[65]


Sephiroth&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Main article: Sephiroth (Final Fantasy)

Sephiroth (セフィロス, Sefirosu) is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children. Originally a member of Shinra's SOLDIER elite, a traumatic incident involving his true origins drove him insane. This prompts him to abandon his humanity and attempt to attain godhood by absorbing the Lifestream, the source of life on the planet.[66] He manipulates and tortures Cloud over the course of Final Fantasy VII, and kills Aerith at the Forgotten City. Cloud ultimately destroys him at the end of the game, but he returns in Advent Children, where he is reborn and subsequently defeated again by Cloud. Sephiroth also appears in nearly every title in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The character is voiced in English by Lance Bass in the first Kingdom Hearts, George Newbern in most media, and Tyler Hoechlin in Final Fantasy VII Remake. In Japanese he is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa in most appearances, and Shin-ichiro Miki in Ehrgeiz.[67]

Jenova&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Jenova (ジェノバ, Jenoba) is an extraterrestrial lifeform who crash-landed on the planet two thousand years prior to the events of VII, portrayed in multiple titles in the Compilation as a female humanoid. When Jenova originally crashed, she began infecting the Cetra with a virus, to the point that they were almost wiped out. However, a small group managed to seal Jenova in a tomb, which was later excavated by Shinra. Jenova was mistaken for a Cetra, and samples from her remains were used in the experiments that created SOLDIER and Sephiroth.[68][69][70] Sephiroth and Jenova's goal in both Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children is to take control of the planet and use it to roam through space until they find another world to build on. In Advent Children, Jenova's last remains are acquired by Rufus, whilst the Remnants hope to find and use them to resurrect Sephiroth. Jenova is also responsible for the disease Geostigma, which infects all those who came into contact with the tainted Lifestream after Sephiroth was defeated.

Jenova's original forms during VII's development were very different from her final incarnation; the original Jenova was a hostile region of the brain that would awake in people possessing certain genes. The name "Jenova" was to have been inherited by a book written by the Cetra on the subject.[71] While Jenova's remains in Advent Children are called a "head", this is not technically accurate. The term was only used because developers couldn't think of a more suitable name. One of the ideas discussed for Sephiroth's resurrection was for the remnant to eat Jenova's remains.[72] The disease caused by Jenova's presence in the Lifestream, Geostigma, was based on a discarded concept for Final Fantasy X.[2]

Rufus Shinra&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Rufus Shinra (ルーファウス神羅, Rūfausu Shinra) is the former Vice President of Shinra, who is promoted to President after his father is killed by Sephiroth. Depicted as callous, cunning and ruthless during much of Final Fantasy VII, his attitudes towards how the Shinra Company should be run causes his father to attempt to bar him from ever controlling the company.[73][74][75] As shown in Before Crisis, Rufus was anonymously supplying information to AVALANCHE, intending to have them kill his father. This failed and he is placed under house arrest. However, almost immediately upon his father's death, he claims control over the company and quickly begins running it by way of his preferred method. He later leads Shinra's efforts to find the Promised Land, as well as Shinra's military in battling the WEAPONs. Rufus was thought to have died when his office in Shinra Headquarters was hit by an energy blast from Diamond WEAPON, but in Advent Children it is revealed that he survived, albeit after sustaining great injuries. The On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of Shinra" depicts his survival, as well as his plans for the future, and how he contracts Geostigma.[34]

He appears in Advent Children in possession of Jenova's remains, and claims that he intends to repair the damage Shinra had caused to Gaia. In Advent Children, Rufus uses a wheelchair and covers himself with a white sheet, and although these are later shown to be a facade while he was holding Jenova's remains.[76] While not seen in Dirge of Cerberus except in a flashback, it is hinted that he is secretly funding the WRO (World Regenesis Organization).[77] Rufus is voiced by Wally Wingert in Advent Children and Josh Bowman in Final Fantasy VII Remake in English, and by Tōru Ōkawa in Japanese.[78]

Professor Hojo&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Professor Hojo (宝条, Hōjō) is the biological father of Sephiroth and was the head of Shinra's "Department of Science and Research" until he resigned after being attacked by Red XIII at Shinra headquarters. While studying Jenova, he infused his unborn child with its cells; the result of this was Sephiroth, who would eventually grow up to have an element of control over Jenova.[68] He was also responsible for making Vincent immortal. In Final Fantasy VII, Hojo is defeated by Cloud and his allies while trying to aid Sephiroth's plans, but in Dirge of Cerberus, it is revealed he survived long enough to store a digital copy of himself in the worldwide network; he subsequently takes control of Weiss' body and attempts through him to summon Omega WEAPON, which will drain the Lifestream from the Planet and launch into space in search of a new world.[79] He is stopped by Vincent with the help of Nero, who merges with Weiss and frees him from Hojo's control, destroying Hojo in the process.[80] Hojo also briefly appears in Before Crisis, Last Order, and Crisis Core. In English he is voiced by Paul Eiding in Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core and James Sie in Final Fantasy VII Remake.[58] In Japanese he is voiced by Nachi Nozawa in Dirge of Cerberus, Last Order and Crisis Core, and Shigeru Chiba in Remake.[81]

Kadaj&#;Edit this on Wikidata, Loz&#;Edit this on Wikidata and Yazoo&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Kadaj (カダージュ, Kadāju), Loz (ロッズ, Rozzu) and Yazoo (ヤズー, Yazū) are the antagonists of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Known as "Remnants", they are manifestations of Sephiroth's will, driven to find samples of their "mother" Jenova to trigger Sephiroth's resurrection and get vengeance upon the world. The three frequently come into conflict with the remains of Shinra and Cloud. Eventually, Kadaj is successful in merging with Jenova's cells, triggering Sephiroth's resurrection. Kadaj, like Sephiroth, is mortally wounded by Cloud and dies in his arms, while Loz and Yazoo die in a final attack on Cloud.

The remnants were created to represent different aspects of Sephiroth's personality: Kadaj represented his cruelty, Loz represented his strength, and Yazoo represented his allure.[82] To fit in with the film's theme of the "next generation", they were all made younger than Cloud and Sephiroth.[83] Kadaj's original moniker during production was "Lost Name".[2] Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are respectively voiced by Shotaro Morikubo, Kenji Nomura and Yuji Kishi in Japanese and Steven Staley, Fred Tatasciore and Dave Wittenberg in English.[78]


Deepground (ディープ グラウンド ソルジャー, Dīpu Guraundo Sorujā, Deepground Soldier) is a military force created by Shinra which acts as the antagonist of Dirge of Cerberus, created by the company using genetic engineering to be a covert force.[84] The leaders of Deepground are the Tsviets, an elite who were infused with genetic material belonging to Genesis Rhapsodos.[85] The Tsviets' original leaders, the Restrictors, were overthrown when the Tsviets used one of their own who had yet to be fully indoctrinated to kill the Restrictor leader.[86] During the events of Dirge of Cerberus, they are manipulated by Hojo possessing their leader into attempting to awaken OMEGA, a means for the Lifestream to escape the planet during times of catastrophe.[87] Although one of the members, Shelke, is rescued from the group, the others are killed, although Weiss' body is rescued by Genesis and transported somewhere.[85] The Tsviets are:

  • Weiss the Immaculate (純白の帝王ヴァイス, Junpaku no Teiō Vaisu, lit. "Weiss the Immaculate White Emperor"), leader of the Tsviets and Nero's elder brother. While controlled by Hojo for most of the game, he ultimately acts as the game's true antagonist. Weiss is voiced by Jōji Nakata in Japanese and Dave Boat in English.[88] In Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, he is voiced by Daman Mills.[89]
  • Nero the Sable (漆黒の闇ネロ, Shikkoku no Yami Nero, lit. "Nero the Jet-Black Darkness"), a member of the Tsviets and Weiss' younger brother. He holds the power to control darkness, and prior to the events of Dirge of Cerberus, he was kept in close confinement as his power was highly dangerous. Nero is voiced by Mike Rock in English and Ryōtarō Okiayu in Japanese.[88] In Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, he is voiced by Sean Chiplock.
  • Azul the Cerulean (蒼きアスール, Aoki Asūru), a physically imposing member who acts as Shalua's handler. He first appeared in Before Crisis as a SOLDIER candidate who attracted Shinra's attention and was indoctrinated into Deepground.[90] Azul is voiced by Brad Abrell in English and Tesshō Genda in Japanese.[88]
  • Rosso the Crimson (朱のロッソ, Aka no Rosso), a sadistic member of the group who was mentally damaged by the Deepground training program. She is the one who succeeds in extracting the Protomateria needed to activate OMEGA weapon from Vincent's body.[91] Rosso is voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn in English and Atsuko Tanaka in Japanese.[88]
  • Shelke the Transparent (無色のシェルク, Mushiki no Sheruku, lit. "Shelke the Expressionless (Colorless)") is the youngest member of the group and the younger sister of Shalua Rui. Kidnapped when she was nine years old, Shelke was experimented on: the experiments give her the ability to send her consciousness into the Planet's worldwide network, but mentally scars her and traps her in a child's body that needs constant Mako injections to stay alive.[92] Shelke is voiced by Kari Wahlgren in English and Fumiko Orikasa in Japanese.[88]

Genesis Rhapsodos&#;Edit this on Wikidata[edit]

Genesis Rhapsodos (ジェネシス ・ラプソードス, Jeneshisu Rapusōdosu) is a character first seen in Dirge of Cerberus who acts as the antagonist of Crisis Core. Genesis was a product of the same program that created Sephiroth, but Genesis was not as stable as Sephiroth and began suffering from a degenerative process called "degradation" after being wounded during a sparring match with Sephiroth and Angeal.[85] Allying with a rogue Shinra scientist named Hollander, Genesis fights against the company while seeking a way to stop his degradation using Sephiroth's stable cells.[93][94] Eventually, Genesis is first defeated by Zack, then cured of his degradation by the Lifestream.[85] Genesis was taken in by Deepground, who gave him the codename "G", and used him to create the Tsviets.[95] Refusing to follow along with the Tsviets' plans after their rebellion, he seals himself in a cave until he is needed. During the secret ending of Dirge of Cerberus, Genesis awakes, determined to protect and defend the planet.[85]

Genesis was modeled on the character's Japanese voice actor, singer Gackt, who also composed and performed the theme songs (see "Redemption") for Dirge of Cerberus. While originally intended as a minor character cameo, Hideki Imaizumi, the producer of Crisis Core, found such a passing use of a character to be a waste and asked Gackt whether he was interested in further involvement. Gackt was eager to continue with the character, and ended up being one of the key creative minds behind Genesis' manners and personality. Genesis' outfit became one of Gackt's commonly worn outfits during concerts.[96] Genesis is voiced in English by Robin Atkin Downes in Dirge of Cerberus and Oliver Quinn in Crisis Core.[97]

Other characters[edit]


AVALANCHE (アバランチ, Abaranchi) is an important eco-terrorist organization in the world of Final Fantasy VII. It is introduced as the main rebel force against Shinra, openly opposed to the company's Mako-based energy production, which is draining the planet of life. Two versions of the organization existed: the first acted as the antagonists of Before Crisis, while the second featured many of the protagonists of VII. While the first version of the movement was indirectly destroyed by the actions of their leader, Shinra eventually crushed the movement completely, going to the lengths of destroying the sector seven of Midgar.[98] Among its notable members were:

  • Fuhito (フヒト), the scientific brains of AVALANCHE and the antagonist of Before Crisis. Holding a warped view of how humans are harming the Planet, he comes to believe that humanity needs to be destroyed for the planet to heal properly. To do this, he seeks the power of Zirconiade, a powerful summoned monster.[90] While successful in summoning Zirconiade, the summon and Fuhito are defeated by the Turks, then Fuhito is killed by Shears.[99]
  • Elfé (エルフェ, Erufe) is the leader of AVALANCHE, later revealed to be Veld's lost daughter Felicia (フェリシア, Ferishia). Originally thought dead in a bungled operation during which her mother died and her town was destroyed, she was in fact taken to a Shinra facility and experimented on by Hojo, who implanted the Zirconiade materia into her body.[90] While saved from death, she is apparently shot with her father by the Turks on orders from Shinra. The shooting was in fact a bluff to give Elfé and Veld a chance to live in peace.[64]
  • Shears (シアーズ, Shiāzu), AVALANCHE's second-in-command. Intensely loyal to Elfé and distrustful of Fuhito, he is quick to see that Fuhito only wants to use Elfé after finding out about the Materia she has in her. Allying with the Turks to save Elfé, he eventually sacrifices himself to destroy Fuhito.[99]
  • Biggs (ビッグス, Biggusu) and Wedge (ウェッジ, Wejji) are AVALANCHE members who worked with Barret and Cloud to infiltrate and destroy one of the Mako Reactors.[] They are killed while trying to defend sector seven's pillar. Biggs and Wedge are respectively voiced by Gideon Emery and Matt L. Jones in Final Fantasy VII Remake in English[] and by Shūhei Sakaguchi and Takayuki Asai respectively in Japanese.[]
  • Jessie (ジェシー, Jeshī) is a member of AVALANCHE and colleague/friend of Biggs and Wedge, also involved in the destruction of the Mako Reactor and is killed along with them during the same incident. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Jessie has the surname "Rasberry". It is revealed that Jessie's motive for being a part of AVALANCHE is that her father was injured in an accident at Shinra and left in a coma.[] She also has various flirtateous interactions with Cloud.[] In Final Fantasy VII Remake, she is voiced by Erica Lindbeck in English and Satomi Moriya in Japanese.[]

Reeve Tuesti[edit]

Reeve Tuesti (リーブ・トゥエスティ, Rību Tuesuti) is the former head of Shinra's "Department of Urban Development", and is controller of the robotic cat Cait Sith. In Final Fantasy VII, Reeve originally worked against AVALANCHE, until later deciding to help them in their quest against Sephiroth: feeling repentant about his role, he aids the group through Cait Sith.[] He is temporarily arrested after Rufus' apparent death, but is released in time to organize an evacuation of Midgar's population before the arrival of Meteor. He also brings the news of Aerith's death to Elmyra Gainsborough, the adoptive mother of Aerith. Reeve plays a minor role in Before Crisis, as the architect responsible for designing Mako reactors and aiding the Turks with the use of Cait Sith. He is not seen in Advent Children, but is heard leaving a message on Cloud's cell phone. He plays a significant role in Dirge of Cerberus, where he has established the World Regenesis Organization, which is dedicated to restoring the Planet. He also appears in the On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of Denzel" and its OVA adaptation On the Way to a Smile - Episode: Denzel. He is voiced by Jamieson Price in every major appearance and by Jon Root in Final Fantasy VII Remake in English[58] and by Banjō Ginga in Japanese.[88]


Marlene (マリン, Marin) is the young daughter of Barret's friends, Dyne and Eleanor, and the adopted daughter of Barret. Eleanor was killed by an attack from Shinra prior to the events of Final Fantasy VII, and Dyne assumes Marlene to be dead as well. In actuality, Barret adopts her, thinking Dyne is dead. Barret later encounters Dyne, who has gone insane. After fighting Barret, Dyne entrusts Marlene to Barret's care and commits suicide. For most of Final Fantasy VII, Marlene is left in the care of Elmyra, Aerith's adopted mother. During Advent Children, she lives with Cloud, Tifa, and Denzel, while Barret is searching for a new power source for the Planet. She is instrumental in making Cloud return to his friends and continue fighting against Sephiroth's Remnants. Marlene is voiced by Grace Rolek in English and Miyū Tsuzurahara in Japanese. In Advent Children Complete, she is voiced by Ariel Winter in English and by Sumire Morohoshi in Japanese. In Final Fantasy VII Remake she is voiced by Brielle Milla in English.[58][78]

Shalua Rui[edit]

Shalua Rui (シャルア・ルーイ, Sharua Rūi) is a minor character in Before Crisis and a supporting character in Dirge of Cerberus. When her sister Shelke was taken by Shinra for their Deepground unit, Shalua went in search of Shelke, joining AVALANCHE in the hope that they would lead her to her sister. During her time there, she received grave injuries resulting in the loss of her right eye and arm, and massive internal damage. This incident prompted her to leave AVALANCHE for good.[] In Dirge of Cerberus, she is part of the World Regenesis Organization, and is responsible for saving Vincent after he is overcome by the power of Chaos.[] She is eventually plunged into a coma while she is helping Vincent and Shelke escape and her life support mechanism, her artificial arm, is destroyed. Her ultimate fate is not specified. Shalua is voiced by Kim Mai Guest in English and Yuu Asakawa in Japanese.[88]

Angeal Hewley[edit]

Angeal Hewley (アンジール・ヒューレー, Anjīru Hyūrē) is a SOLDIER 1st Class who is Zack Fair's friend and mentor, the original owner of the Buster Sword, and a close friend of Genesis and Sephiroth. Produced by the same project that birthed Genesis, when he finds out about his origins, he turns against Shinra and works with Genesis for a time.[85] As he begins suffering from the same degradation as Genesis, he begins seeing himself as a monster and leaves Genesis, temporarily allying with Zack.[][] Zack is eventually forced to fight and kill him. Angeal lives on for a while through Lazard Deusericus, the former director of SOLDIER who is made a copy of Angeal, and an animal-like copy. Both eventually die after protecting Cloud from a Shinra attack in Banora. Angeal is voiced by Josh Gilman in English and Kazuhiko Inoue in Japanese.[61]

Lucrecia Crescent[edit]

Lucrecia Crescent (ルクレツィア・クレシェント, Rukuretsia Kureshento) is a Shinra scientist first introduced in VII who acts as an important character in Dirge of Cerberus. A scientist working in Nibelheim under Hojo, she worked on the research into Chaos, which she injected into Vincent while he was a Turk assigned to protect her, and provided the maternal DNA for Sephiroth.[68] Ridden with guilt over her actions, she seals herself inside a crystal, essentially becoming immortal and virtually cut off from the outside world.[] Her memories are uploaded into Shelke, and through them and recordings left behind for him, she is able to communicate with Vincent, eventually leaving a final message that she is glad he survived.[][]

Lucrecia was originally a fairly minor character in VII. It was hard for the staff to recreate her for Dirge of Cerberus as they needed to rely on low-detail concept art and in-game models. To create the new model of Lucrecia, the concept team used Sephiroth's appearance as a base, deciding that the latter would have a maternal rather than paternal resemblance.[] Lucrecia is voiced by April Stewart in English and Rio Natsuki in Japanese.[88]


Denzel (デンゼル, Denzeru) is a young boy who resides with Cloud, Tifa, and Marlene in the city of Edge. He first appears in Advent Children as a sufferer of the incurable disease Geostigma. He and many other sick children are lured to the Ancient City of the Cetra, where they are brought under Kadaj's control. Denzel regains his senses after Tifa protects him from Bahamut SIN during the final conflict. He is later healed of his Geostigma by drinking the water in Aerith's church. In Advent Children, Denzel is voiced by Benjamin Bryan in English and Kyosuke Ikeda in Japanese, and Advent Children Complete, he is voiced by Aaron Refvem in English and Kazumu Izawa in Japanese.[78]


Critical reception[edit]

The characters of VII received near-unanimous praise from critics for their original appearance. In an article on GameSpot, it was stated that, despite the premise not being unique, it was "Cloud's interactions with other characters, especially between him and [Sephiroth] which make the story so special".[] Thierry Nguyen of Computer Gaming World found that both the story and character development were strong, saying that as the players progressed through the game, "these characters intrigue you, and you get so attached to them that you might jump as a reaction to a shocking event on the first disc. Final Fantasy VII evokes that kind of emotional response."[] Steve Bauman of Computer Games Magazine called the characters "funky", saying that the characters "worked wonders" on some of the poorer dialogue.[] Simon Parkin of Eurogamer praised the characters' "clear motivations, desires and flaws".[] RPGFan generally praised the characters, especially Cloud, Tifa and Sephiroth, and said that "while on the surface they certainly do appear to fit certain stereotypes, a second look will reveal that they transcend these qualities and are compelling and complex personalities underneath."[]

While the mobile game Before Crisis, the first Compilation game title to be released, has received limited western commentary, writers at AnimeFringe felt that "the chance to reverse the good and bad guy roles should be welcomed by many."[]Advent Children received mixed views from critics. Carlo Santos of Anime News Network felt that, due to the film's pace and context, viewers were not given enough time to get to know the characters.[] These sentiments were echoed by John Eriani of Mania Entertainment, who particularly faulted the lack of character names or explanations of the villains' motives.[] Chris Carle of IGN was critical of the lack of motivation for those who were not familiar with the series, but praised both the English and Japanese voice acting.[] Michael Beckett of RPGamer, while generally less than impressed by the overall story, said that it "[provides] some interesting insights into a few of the less-developed characters of the game, though Cloud receives most of the attention and development as the story unfolds".[]

Opinions on the characters of Dirge of Cerberus were again mixed to positive. IGN's Jeremy Dunham was fairly positive, saying that the new characters "go through quite a bit of development and even some of the old ones have a chance to shine". He was also pleased with Vincent's portrayal and development in the title.[] Rob Fahey of Eurogamer felt that the focus on characters that were secondary or optional in the original was a weak point of the game, and that those not familiar with the original game would possibly feel lost.[] GameSpot's Greg Mueller praised the game's focus on Vincent's origins and development, despite finding the large number of new characters a little confusing.[]Crisis Core's characters were generally praised. GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd said that, despite new and familiar characters appearing, it was the further-explored characters of Zack and Sephiroth that he found himself sympathising with: "The way their personal stories weave in and out of each other—and set the stage for the events in Final Fantasy VII—makes Crisis Core not just the finest role-playing experience available on the PSP, but also one of the best Japanese RPGs in years."[] Ryan Clements, writing for IGN, was pleased by the story's focus on Zack and his interactions with other characters rather than a grand narrative.[] Gerard Villorria of GameSpy was also positive, saying that exploring the relationships between old characters was "a key element", while finding the new characters and their backstories "equally interesting".[]

In regards to remake, IGN called its "emotional arcs".[] Despite noting his antisocial attitudes in the remake, IGN and GameSpot commented that Cloud is the character who has the most notable arc in Remake, with Cody Christian's performance helping to improve his appeal.[][] The idea that there are four characters with Sephiroth's name led VG to note the remake still had its own mysteries that original players would not understand while the title.[]Siliconera described this incarnation of the antagonist as haunting, due to how he often appears within Cloud's hallucinations across the plot. Still, the site noticed that despite being a remake, the game explored different situations of the narrative similar to the films known as Rebuild of Evangelion that also retold an anime but with multiple changes.[] The portrayal of the supporting characters also earned positive response such as the potential Barret was given to develop him in the sequel or Aerith's traits and some ambiguous scenes involving her.[][]


The characters of Final Fantasy VII and the Compilation have remained highly popular, often being cited as some of the best characters in both the Final Fantasy series and video games in general by both critics and fans. Reader and critic lists on gaming site IGN have all placed them high, with one reader poll in having multiple VII characters dominating a list of the top ten characters in the series as a whole.[][][] Sephiroth remains one of the most popular villains in video game history, unanimously voted number one by the staff of Electronic Gaming Monthly in their "Top 10 Video Game Bosses" list in October [] In late , Dengeki PlayStation named Cloud Strife the best character of all time in their retrospective awards feature about the original PlayStation. Aerith placed fifth, Tifa placed eighth and three other characters placed in the top 50; Sephiroth at fourteenth, Reno at fifteenth, and Yuffie at forty-second.[] Cloud placed second in a Famitsu reader poll for Japan's favorite video game character.[] In a list of the best Final Fantasy characters made by Complex, characters from Final Fantasy VII occupied seven out of the twenty places, with Sephiroth and Cloud coming third and first respectively.[] The character of Cloud has also influenced character design in the series, having had a profound influence on the design and portrayal of Lightning, the central protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels.[][]


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