(There’s a lot to be said, but let’s just summarize the important events.)

Cloud Strife in growing up had lived with only his mother in the small town of Nibelheim. He was not liked by most of the neighbors. Seen as an outsider, most of the children had either teased or ignored him. He believed he saw himself somewhat better than them, but deep down he really longed for friendship of them.

The adults started to lay blame on him, and call him stupid and weak after he had followed Tifa Lockheart (his crush and only friend) to the mountains just outside of town. There was a bridge leading to the place at Mt. Nibel which the scientists of the Shinra organization did experiments on those from a specialized military elite group, SOLDIER. Tifa and her friends (who Cloud hated) went there to go meet with her mother, who had passed on. The bridge wasn’t stable, and snapped. Tifa fell and was in a coma for seven days. The grownups had blamed him for “taking her there”. It’s a terrible verbal lashing to receive at the age of nine. Tifa’s father also forbade Cloud from seeing her. Not that Cloud could blame him, for he also had blamed himself for what happened on failing to save her life.

This incident had caused a negative effect as he grew older. He developed a bit of an anger problem, and got into fights, not caring who he fought with. In spite of that, he was still the shy and quiet kid who rarely had much to do with anything in associating with the other kids.

By age thirteen, he found out about a SOLDIER general, Sephiroth. From then on he wanted to be just like him, to be a hero—and everything that came with it. He called out to Tifa to join him at Nibelheim’s water tower. He agreed to the promise made to save her if she got herself into trouble.

His dreams of glory and better days didn’t happen. He never made it to SOLDIER, but became a Shinra infantryman instead. From there was when he met and befriended Zack Fair, a first class SOLDIER. The stories that Zack had shared with Cloud were not forgotten. (Much later, Zack’s stories were warped into his own stories.)

Later the two and General Sephiroth had come to Nibelheim to investigate the damaged mako reactor at Mt. Nibel. Embarrassed that he wasn’t able to make it into the elite forces, he hid his identity from the townsfolk, especially Tifa. The only person he did reveal himself to was his mother.

Upon reaching the Mako reactor, Sephiroth discovered the failed experiments of a mad scientist named Hojo. Hojo had dealt with experiments with Jenova, an alien calamity that had tried to destroy the planet a long, long time ago. Sephiroth had mistakenly believed that Jenova was his mother.

Upon discovering all about the inhumane experiments done to him, he fell to madness and torched Nibelheim. Sephiroth was dead set in killing all who lived in town. Cloud came and saw the burning town, and then hustled back to the reactor. Zack Fair had failed to stop him. Sephiroth slashed at Tifa with his Masamune. Cloud rushed on over to save her, as he promised.

Outraged, Cloud went inside the reactor. Their tiff ended with Sephiroth falling into the Mako down below.

Zack and Cloud later were specimen subjects for Crazy Maniac Hojo, and when they attempted to escape, it was Zack who had to drag Mako poisoned Cloud away from there and was shot down. Cloud snapped out of his current condition and turned into all kinds of crazy. He made himself forget about the experiments, his time bathed in Mako for most of his adolescent life, and claimed himself to be an ex-SOLDIER, formerly first class. He fled to Midgar to become a mercenary (like Zack had told him while he was in his comatose stupor).

The Final Fantasy VII game storyline starts. Cloud joined this hardcore anti-Shinra group of eco-terrorists known as AVALANCHE, led by the muscular black guy with a gun arm known as Barret Wallace. Tifa had met up with Cloud again and convinced him to help join the cause to save their dying planet. Cloud just followed the orders, not giving a crap about what was really happening. All he cared about was finishing the job, and getting paid a good sum for blowing up the Mako reactors. Before heading back to Tifa’s bar 7th Heaven after his first successful mission, that’s where he first saw Aeris, who was selling flowers out on the streets of the sector slums.

Later during the escape toward the end of another mission (after beating the circuits out of the Airbuster, a Shinra robot) at a different Mako reactor, he fell into the flower seller’s garden in an old abandoned church. That’s where they first met more formally and introduced themselves. Aeris had noticed Cloud had the Mako glow to his eyes and asked of him to be her bodyguard. Not long at all after he had taken her request, one of the Turks (Reno) and some Shinra soldiers (lower ranked) barged into the church and tried to kill her. Of course since Cloud kept on claiming to others that he used to be in SOLDIER, he said the Turks picked people who were eligible to join Shinra’s elite forces, along with murder and espionage on the side. Cloud tried to help, but it turned out that she had to help herself in fending off the Shinra dirtbags.

They both made it to the top of the church roof by climbing out of this big hole. They laughed off their misfortunate encounter as Cloud escorted Aeris home in Sector 5. Cloud met Aeris’ step-mom Elmyra over there, who was worried sick about the new friend he made. Cloud wondered how to get to the Sector 7 slums to go see Tifa again, and Aeris had offered to show him the way. Elmyra told them to wait until tomorrow. As Aeris made her way upstairs, Cloud was tugged aside to be asked to depart that night without her.

He had snuck out as asked, yet Aeris had made it to the Sector 6 entrance ahead of him. Together they made it all the way to the old playground before the gate to Sector 7. After fighting some and quite a bit of moving about, Aeris suggested they take a break. There’s more chitchat, and they hear the sound of a carriage coming their way. Cloud noticed Tifa there in the back. The carriage was followed to a backwater town of Wall Market.

After finding out that Tifa was going to see the local pimp, Don Corneo, Cloud knew he had to save her. At the same time he was not willing to have Aeris tag along and be of assistance. As they both try to fish out a solution to the dilemma, Aeris suggested that Cloud should dress up like a girl. He did—by getting the dress, wig, and whatever accessories through some humiliating situations to look the part to go save his childhood friend.

Down in the basement of the mansion was where Tifa was found. After Aeris and Cloud get the update that Shinra was up to no good again, one of Don’s cronies called them to come upstairs so he could pick a bride.

All the thugs in another room of the mansion were beat to hell, and the Don was interrogated. By threatening to do severe damage to his manhood, Tifa, Cloud, and Aeris made Don cooperate and told them of Shinra’s plans—to destroy the plate and support pillar above Sector 7.

Don apparently got his last laugh as he pressed a switch by his bed. A trapdoor opened beneath Tifa, Aeris, and Cloud to the sewers. The monster down there wanted to eat them (and/or drown them in sewer water…ew), but was defeated. Then the escapees from Don’s climbed their way out of the sewers to the old train graveyard.

They made it through in time to see Barret, Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie shooting down Shinra grunts and robots. Cloud told Aeris to look after Wedge, who took a hard fall to the ground gravely injured. Tifa quickly thought about Barret’s little girl Marlene, and told Aeris to take her someplace safe.

At the top of this tower, Reno of the Turks appeared for the second time in FF7. He pressed the button to start the timer on the bomb to take down the plate and pillar. Cloud, Tifa, and Barret fought until the red haired Turk had enough and fled.

Tseng, another Turk, flew in above with Aeris as prisoner in his helicopter. Moments before departure, Aeris shouted something like “Don’t worry! She’s in a safe place!” He got away, and our heroes left behind improvised an escape by swinging on this wire out of Sector 7, just as the bomb went off.

They landed safe and sound in the old playground before the sector gate, but all those innocent people still there had died. Barret got pissed and threw a tantrum, devastated about Marlene, Wedge, Jessie, and Biggs. (Those three AVALANCHE members all died during the gun fighting.) Tifa and Cloud had to talk to Barret to calm him down, and Tifa recalled about what Aeris said and told Barret that Marlene was okay.

Cloud knew just where to look for Marlene, so he led Tifa and Barret to Aeris’ place. After hearing the story about Elmyra’s loss and that Shinra wanted to capture Aeris and have her take them all to the land of supreme happiness, Barret went upstairs to spend some time alone with Marlene.

Next, they climbed their way up on wires and junk from the Wall Market to the gigantic Shinra Inc. building. Tifa, Barret, and Cloud stormed in and went over several floors and some puzzles to spy on in President Shinra and his associates as they had a little meeting. Hojo had made an appearance, so the AVALANCHE trio followed him upstairs to the lab, where they found Aeris and met the enigmatic Red XIII. Another monster had to be wasted, and then everyone tried to escape by splitting up into two groups. Tseng and Rude of the Turks caught Cloud’s group in an elevator that would take them all the way down to the first floor.

President Shinra had a little talk with them before sending them to their prison cells. After some rest, Cloud awoke to see the cell door open. He discovered the dead body and went back to wake Tifa up. Once everyone was set free, they followed Red XIII and a trail of blood leading back to see who had massacred some of the folks at Shinra—Sephiroth. Among the people he slashed and stabbed, President Shinra was included. His son Rufus Shinra from there showed up as the new president.

Rufus, without hesitation, said his premise as to what he was going to do differently from his father. Instead of it all being about money, Rufus chose to place fear into the minds and souls of the common people of Gaia.

Cloud stayed behind to try and knock this young president off his high horse while all his other friends but Tifa (who stayed to wait for him one level down) went to the elevator to go down to the first floor.

After borrowing some vehicles to use to speed on out of the Shinra building, they came to a dead end at the end of this long bridge and defeated a monster tank. Then, Cloud and company said goodbye to Midgar and headed for Kalm Town just northeast of there. At Kalm, Cloud told his friends a warped explanation of what’s already been mentioned on what how Sephiroth became a psychopath, etc. Instead of Zack being the big hero in 1st Class SOLDIER, it’s Cloud when he first tells them the story.

By the next day, the group headed out of town. They caught and rode wild chocobos past the huge Midgar Zoloms at the marshes to the Mythril Mines, where Elena of the Turks blabbed about their plans to search for Sephiroth at Junon Harbor.

They came to this run down village in Junon which the sky was dark and the water was polluted. Cloud and company saved little Priscilla from a big ugly sea dragon thing, and didn’t drown after Cloud did mouth to mouth. Once Priscilla got all better, she gave Cloud the whistle to go ride her friend Mr. Dolphin as he jumped to lend a fin to land on the pole that led to this big electrical tower.

After climbing his way up, he entered into the city above the old town and was caught by a Shinra guy in a red uniform. The Shinra commander believed that Cloud was some lazy Shinra rookie that had to participate in a reception ceremony for Rufus Shinra. Once all that ended, Cloud not only got a sweet weapon upgrade from Rufus (Oooo, ahhh) but saw his friends again in mostly Shinra uniforms (and Barret wearing a sailor suit) on a ship. The ship’s course was headed for Corel, the western continent. While sailing the open waters, Cloud and company discovered that they weren’t the only ones who snuck on board. Sephiroth also came on board, and laid waste to the crew running the ship, and left JenovaBirth to play with our heroes. It’s been confirmed that Sephiroth was still alive, as Cloud summarized all that has happened with them and Sephiroth up to this point.

In arriving to Corel, Cloud gave everybody a little break in the town of Costel de Sol. At the beach, Cloud confronted Hojo who left Cloud an offer to be his guinea pig again…the creep. Then he whispered to them their next destination; to go west toward Mt. Corel.

After crossing a path through some mountains, railroad tracks, and a rickety bridge, they arrive to North Corel camp. The folks there punched, scoffed, and insulted Barret, who took it like a man. Cloud witnessed this, and got to hear Barret’s backstory—which he used to live with relatives and friends in this village around coalmines. (Dyne, an old friend of Barret’s is introduced into the game from there.) Shinra came and said their empty promises and destroyed the village eventually. Cloud was shocked as much as the others who listened to this sad story.

Boarding a ropeway car, Cloud and company arrived at the gigantic amusement park, the Golden Saucer. Aeris was all “let’s take a break”, and Barret yelled at her and went off on his own. A cat on a big stuffed toy mog introduced himself as Cait Sith and claimed he was a fortuneteller. Cloud read aloud to the one pal that came with him on a particular fortune Cait felt he had to see through to the outcome. So, he joined the party no matter what.

Cait Sith, Cloud, and ___ (you get to choose from Tifa, Red, or Aeris) go to the battle arena of Golden Saucer to see a bunch of bodies riddled with bullet holes. The person behind the counter in the lobby said a guy with a gun arm did it. Automatically it comes down to wondering if Barret did this or not, because Cloud knew Sephiroth wouldn’t use a gun to kill a bunch of civilians.

Cait, Cloud, and the third party member of choice are caught and big boss Dio didn’t care about what protests were made. The security robots took them to the natural desert prison, where they met up with Barret and the rest. Barret said he didn’t do it. One other guy had a similar operation after some Shinra grunts took their shot at them; Dyne.

Before Cloud could offer to help, Barret yelled at him to stay the hell back, for Dyne was his problem. In the end, Dyne stepped back off a cliff, but not before tossing a pendant to Barret to give to Marlene. The pendant was the proof Cloud needed to go up back into Golden Saucer to win a chocobo race. Everybody in the gang going on the manhunt after Sephiroth got a pardon from Dio, and a buggy to cross over shallow parts of rivers.

Reno, Rude, and Elena were seen again someplace on the way to Gongaga (Zack Fair’s hometown). Reno and Rude fought and then fled realizing they couldn’t defeat Cloud and company. Better luck next time in getting revenge, eh Reno?

Not long after the arrival in Gongaga, Zack’s parents met Cloud and his buddies. They recognized the Mako glow in his eyes and said they hadn’t heard from his best friend that he couldn’t remember all that well for over ten years. Aeris’ heart ached as she felt she had to step outside, and told him before that Zack was her first love.

Next stop: Cosmo Canyon, in which was learned that Red XIII’s real name is Nanaki. They also met Red’s human grandpa Bugenhagen, and learned about the Lifestream in an observatory. Without the spirit energy of all living things, their planet would completely die and slowly crumble to nothing overtime.

While moving on, the group figured now that Red’s back home, he’d want to stay there. Ah, but Bugenhagen wanted him to stay with Cloud and the others to help save the planet, for his sake. Cloud gave the okay and considered to keep the wise old man in mind in case everyone needed his help and knowledge.

Piling back into the buggy, they crossed the next river to Nibelheim. Cloud was shocked to see the town NOT in ruin. The townsfolk were shocked and thought he was lying when his hometown burned down five years ago. Another thing that he found strange were the people in black with tattooed numbers marked on them, talking about Sephiroth, and a Reunion. One of these weirdos with the speech problems gave a tip to the bunch saying that Sephiroth was in the old Shinra mansion. Turned out that he was right, for Cloud and company saw him in the basement. Sephiroth mentioned Reunion and challenged Cloud to go past Mt. Nibel and find out.

Oh, and before leaving the mansion, they found the key to the locked room in the basement (after solving a puzzle to fight this freak that was locked up in a safe). Cloud and company met Vincent Valentine, a former Turk who knew of Sephiroth, and the woman who gave birth to him. Like Cloud, Vincent had also been experimented upon by Hojo. To what Cloud thought of Jenova as Sephiroth’s mom made him only half right—for the former SOLDIER general was injected with the alien bitch’s cells.

After Mt. Nibel, a young ninja and materia hunter from Wutai named Yuffie Kisaragi was convinced by Cloud to join with a bit of finesse, or else they’d risk getting robbed of all their money. Soon after that, they visited Rocket Town.

Cloud wanted to borrow a small Shinra plane Tiny Bronco, but Shera suggested talking to the “Captain” first. Cid Highwind, a pilot who once affiliated with the Shinra with dreams of becoming the first Gaian to fly into outer space. (If it weren’t for Shera doing too much overlooking and oxygen tank fixing in the engine room, that dream would have happened. The town gets its name for the huge and moss-covered rocket leaning on its side.)

Rufus along with some Shinra folk soon arrived, and Palmer had to be chased away before Cloud could hop on and attempt to hijack Tiny Bronco. Then the stupid ass Shinra grunts started shooting at them, and Cid hopped aboard without getting shot to hold on tight as an emergency landing in some shallow waters had to be made. The plane couldn’t fly anymore, but it still proved to be of use as a type of motorboat. Cid said that Rufus was heading into the wrong direction while trying to find Sephiroth, who was heading for the Temple of the Ancients.

To find more information about this temple, our heroes entered a small digging site named Bone Village. One of the archeologists said in order to enter the temple; they had to find a Keystone. They also found out from another person that a Lunar Harp was needed to go into the Sleeping Forest safely without getting lost.

The one digger said that some rich guy had it. When Cloud and friends found the guy, he said he didn’t have it anymore. Dio at the Golden Saucer had collected it. Cloud had to show off his fighting skills to impress him. He tried his best and obtained the Keystone. Unfortunately, our heroes couldn’t go to the Temple of the Ancients right afterward, because the ropeway tram broke down. Cait Sith pulled a few strings so they would be able to spend the night at the Ghost Hotel for free.

The next day, Aeris wanted to take Cloud on a date. They were in a show together, in which Aeris found fun. Then they took a ride on the Gondola and watched fireworks through one of the windows.

As Aeris’ and Cloud’s little date ended, they saw Cait Sith holding the Keystone. They had to chase that mechanical kitty everywhere until Cait tossed it to Tseng. Aeris and Cloud learned that Cait Sith was a Shinra spy. Reasoning would not do anyone any good, so Cait had to reveal that the puppeteer from someplace far away had Marlene hostage. (The operator’s name would be Reeve Tuesti, but refused to tell Cloud and Aeris his true identity at the time.)

Cloud knew there was no other choice but to do as Cait said, because he wouldn’t want Marlene or Elmyra to get hurt. Barret would be more than pissed as hell if that happened!

Onward to the Temple of the Ancients! Cloud witnessed Aeris’ connection with the Cetra (name of the Ancients) because of course she’s the last living member of her bloodline. Through a vision at some point in that confusing maze of a temple, Cloud, Aeris, and party member of the player’s choosing saw a vision of Tseng getting hurt by Sephiroth. Basically, the crazy mofo wanted to gain all the knowledge and wisdom of the Ancients so he could be one with the Planet.

The trio met up with Sephiroth in the hall where Tseng got hurt and learned of his dastardly plans. In order to become a god of Gaia, he had to use the Black Materia to summon a meteor from space to injure the planet so badly that all the spirit energy of the Lifestream would go to him standing in the middle of such a colossal wound.

After Sephiroth got away again, Cloud started to act a little crazy. Aeris called to him and he snapped out of it. Then they find this puzzle. The words of the Ancient spirits said that the Black Materia was the temple itself. Solving the puzzle would shrink it down small enough to fit into the palm of a human hand. Cait Sith volunteered to do this task while the others got the hell outta there.

The puzzle was solved, and the toy android’s life was terminated. Cait Sith No. 2 arrived at the scene of this huge hole in the ground where the temple stood. Cloud picked up the Black Materia he found, but Sephiroth controlled him to retrieve it. Once Cloud realized what he had done, he went into a breakdown and passed out. In a dream, Aeris told him to leave the Black Materia and Sephiroth up to her.

Cloud woke up in the Gongaga Inn to see Tifa and Barret. They said Aeris went missing, and Cloud mentioned her whereabouts. Cloud started to freak out again over what Sephiroth did. Sure, Barret pointed out what Cloud did, but he told him if he loses it again then don’t worry about it. Tifa was more patient with Cloud and worried sick over Aeris going to save the Sleeping Forest all by herself.

It was time to go back to Bone Village and dig up a Lunar Harp. Once it was found, the team minus Aeris went through the forest that awoke. Cloud and friends found Aeris in the Forgotten City praying. Sephiroth played another round of Puppet Master with Cloud, and tried to get him to kill her. Luckily Cloud wasn’t alone, and he snapped out of it after hearing his friends shouting, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” With plan A foiled, Sephiroth leaped from above and stabbed Aeris through the back for a plan B. This upset Cloud, but Sephiroth only laughed and said that there was no need to feel sad or angry; he was only a puppet.

Another Jenova monster had to kick the bucket, and then Cloud went outside to give Aeris to the lake, where her body sank into the waters depths. Back in the Forgotten City, Cloud admitted to his friends that he was afraid of a part of himself. The part that made him give the Black Materia to Sephiroth was something he could not understand, and for that he should just quit. Yet, he knew he had to go on. He found a feeling within his messed up self that he would never be able to forgive Sephiroth for what he did to Aeris.

From then on he saw the planet’s crisis as his own responsibility, and took this more seriously. Cloud requested that his friends go with him, to save him from himself in case he happens to do something terrible again. That very much concludes Disc One.

At the beginning of Disc Two, Sephiroth is followed north through the snowy mountains to a crater in a glacier where the Lifestream was busy trying to repair the wound, gushing out like a geyser. The closer they came to him, the more determined they were to settle the score. Sephiroth was found killing all of the weird speaking things in the black hooded cloaks that Hojo experimented on. The Reunion was happening.

Then, another Jenova appeared while Cloud and friends attempted to put an end to the treachery. After that, Tifa, Cloud and one other besides Barret assigned to protect the Black Materia from both Sephiroth and Cloud.

The three going after Sephiroth wound up watching images of the past in Nibelheim, an illusion created by the aforementioned madman who wants to be a god. Tifa and the friend not holding the Black Materia were getting freaked out, but Cloud was more confident and apathetic, calling Sephiroth’s parlor tricks stupid. Sephiroth was showing what really happened—Zack Fair running out to see Nibelheim burning, not Cloud. Cloud wasn’t convinced, but went over what he believed was real anyway. He couldn’t remember joining SOLDIER because in reality it never happened. Sephiroth knew that Cloud was a numberless failure after going through Hojo’s experiments. Cloud was supposed to have been made as a Sephiroth clone.

Barret was tricked into giving Cloud the Black Materia. (Sephiroth projected himself as Tifa to have him believe that Cloud was in trouble.) Poor them, for it was hopeless to keep the destructive materia away from the powerful madman. This time, Cloud knew he was being controlled, and apologized to Tifa and Barret before giving the Black Materia back to Sephiroth.

Around the time the Weapons (monsters made by the planet to awaken to obliterate anything that may be a threat) woke up, Meteor was summoned. Cloud was gone, only to be washed up on shore at the village of Mideel. He was brought to the clinic, and the doctor saw that he had a very severe case of Mako poisoning. He couldn’t focus or hear anything while sitting in a wheelchair in a vegetable-like state.

Tifa, Barret, and the rest had to escape from Shinra before they found him again. Since Cloud was in no shape to command, Tifa wanted to help take care of him. For a while, Cid Highwind was the new leader.

Gradually, Cloud progressed to a full recovery. Tifa had to help him by taking a journey through his head to learn the truth (they both fell into the Lifestream after Cid and company chased off one of the Weapons). Cloud had all his memories sorted out and later apologized and admitted that the whole ex-SOLDIER shindig was just a fantasy. Everything was said that needed to be said, and from there everyone moved on to the important missions ahead.

Cloud was given the update on the Shinra wanting to use the Huge Materia to blow up the meteor. They already had been through the first two places to intercept the Shinra in Corel and Fort Condor. The last place was to go borrow a submarine at Junon.

The Shinra apparently took another chunk of Huge Materia to Rocket Town to launch it into space. Cloud, Cid, and one other went into the rocket just before they got locked in and were sent off to space. The Huge Materia could not be retrieved because Cid couldn’t remember worth a damn as to what the correct code was to unlock the container it was stored in. So, they went back to the planet on the escape pod Cid installed for emergencies, and Cid got to live his dream even if it was for a short period of time.

The meteor didn’t blow up, so they went to Cosmo Canyon to seek Bugenhagen’s wisdom. Upon talking to him, Cloud and friends started to ponder about what Aeris was doing to stop Sephiroth. Hopping back aboard Cid’s airship, the crew plus Bugenhagen flew to the Forgotten City. Over there, Bugenhagen said that when the planet was too far into crisis in which man is powerless to help, the ultimate white magic Materia must be found, the only thing that may stand a chance against the gigantic chunk of space rock. Once the Holy Materia was found, then what one must do next was to speak to the planet. If a wish made by someone reached it, then the Materia would glow a pale green. Aeris’ prayers did reach the planet, because there was a pale green Materia that fell into the pool of water beneath where Sephiroth killed her.

Cloud and friends found a riddle they had to solve to find some kind of key underwater. Also while underwater, the Huge Materia that was in a red Shinra submarine was found.

Later, the Shinra continued to try and save the planet for the wrong reasons and successfully broke through the protective barrier Sephiroth was kept in at the Northern Crater. The Shinra were just going to keep getting in the way if our heroes hadn’t parachuted down into Midgar to stop them. Reno, Rude, and Elena of the Turks got to have one last battle, and Scarlett and Heidegger were blown up inside their precious giant robot. Rufus earlier was injured and out of the fight. The primary mission to Midgar was to stop Hojo from sending Mako energy to Sephiroth. The insanely mad scientist said he was Sephiroth’s father and then turned into a Jenova monster to try and destroy them. Hojo did not succeed, and Disc Two ends here.

With Shinra out of the way, Cloud and friends could go have their epic battle with Sephiroth. In the end, Cloud omnislashed him, and the Lifestream broke out of the earth and got rid of Meteor. The End…?

Nope! What comes next is the FF7 movie, Advent Children. Two years later after Meteorfall, some of the people including Cloud were infected with a disease called Geostigma. Some gross ooze would come out of the infected area, and cause pain. Flashes of memories and distorted images would flash in the infected minds.

Before this, Cloud was hurting over Aeris. When he got sick with the stigma, he had cut himself off from all his friends, scared that he would lose it and would be unable to help the orphaned kids who had the stigma if he tried. In the wastelands, three silver haired men with catlike eyes started pursuing Cloud, demanding to know where their mother was (Jenova’s head that was found at the Northern Crater).

Even though Cloud was not staying in touch with Tifa and the rest, he didn’t throw away his phone. Tifa had left him a message concerning Reno in a town called Healin.

Once Cloud got there, he met up with Reno, Rude, and President Rufus (hey he’s got the stigma). From Rufus, Cloud learned a name; Kadaj.

Later he went back to the church to find Tifa knocked out in the flowerbed at the old Sector Five church, where Cloud first met Aeris. Tifa awoke and remembered about Marlene, who was with her until Kadaj’s brother Loz took her to the Forgotten City with him. The next thing Cloud knew, he was experiencing another stigma attack and that knocked him out. Reno and Rude had to take them back to the Seventh Heaven bar in Edge; a city built around the fallen ruins of Midgar just as the Lifestream acted and prevented the planet to be destroyed.

Reno and Rude noticed that all the orphans hanging around the place were missing. Although they heard from a witness saying Kadaj’s gang took the kids to their base at the Forgotten City. Cloud at first didn’t want to go, worried about the stigma getting in the way. Tifa just would not have that and told him to stop running and choose his family or the memory of Aeris.

Cloud decided to take Tifa’s advice to quit his dilly-dallying and attempted to go get the children. Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo were waiting and they fought. Vincent came and saved Cloud, and Marlene found them. Marlene was the second person to tell Cloud to wake the hell up and pay attention.

The next day, Kadaj and his brothers invaded Edge. All the residents there were making such a fuss and they summoned up their shadow beasts to make them scamper in panic in all directions. Kadaj was with Rufus while all that was going on, and then decided to summon Bahamut the dragon to take down the Meteor monument statue, to where it was believed that Jenova was hidden under it.

Cloud arrived late to the battle, but for a good reason--to take Marlene home. Cid, Vincent, Red XIII, Yuffie, Cait Sith, and Barret were already fighting the beast. After Bahamut was defeated, it was time for a motorcycle chase. Cloud had to go past Loz and Yazoo to catch up to Kadaj, who had Jenova’s head with him. They ended up at the old church and some clear water summoned by Aeris in the Lifestream drove Kadaj away, and cured Cloud’s Geostigma.

With the stigma gone, Kadaj and Cloud clashed swords for a bit, then Kadaj had the Reunion with Jenova and turned into Sephiroth, alive. Cloud fought him down and told him to stay in his memories. Sephiroth dispersed and Kadaj emerged. Aeris guided the lost remnant to the Lifestream. Loz and Yazoo were headed there, and tried to take Cloud with them.

Cloud fell and heard Aeris and Zack talking about him before he woke up in a pool of water being held by the orphans. He recalled how his stigma vanished and helped cure Denzel, a boy who lived with Marlene and Tifa. Just as Cloud’s standing there in the water smiling at the happy children, he notices the ghost Aeris. He looks up, and before she leaves with Zack Fair in spirit she tells him everything’s all right. Cloud quietly agreed and in his mind he knew he wasn’t feeling so alone and regretful anymore. End of Advent Children.

Just when all was seemingly well, Hojo’s soul was dwelling in cyberspace to try and join with a creature of the Lifestream known as Omega about a year later. In the next FF7 storyline, Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent was the main hero. Cloud this time was doing the back up support, fighting what was once Shinra’s top secret branch known as DeepGround. There are cameos with him riding his bike Fenrir during a ground assault, and in arrival to the ruins of Midgar he fought the unstable Rosso the Crimson and survived.

Tifa, Barret, and Cloud later called Vincent and helped him progress farther into the belly of the DG lair after telling him about losing contact with Cid in his airship, who led the air assault upon Midgar.

Cloud appeared one more time with Tifa and others to help take care of the rest of DG's minions.

Vincent defeated Hojo and stopped Omega from fleeing to sail to the cosmos in his ultimate beast form Chaos. Maybe, just maybe this time Jenova and the Sephiroth legacy are done for good.