Perhaps the original “one-winged angel” was Cloud Strife all along. The team behind the Final Fantasy VII Remake dropped a bit of trivia about the game’s protagonist in a post. It turns out that in the earliest stages development for FFVII, Cloud was quite a different sort of character.
さらに、背中の剣は磁石で張り付いているという初期設定もあったとか！🧲#FF7R #FFVII25th pic.twitter.com/734HB3cQZW
— FFVII REMAKE (@FFVIIR_CLOUD) February 2, 2023
According to the post, early concepts for the protagonist of FFVII characterized Cloud (or rather, the character that would eventually be Cloud Strife) as a “Berserker.” An uncontrollable warrior, this berserker version of Cloud would have their left arm “sealed away” by his bracelet. The story doesn’t specify if Cloud would be prevented from even using his left hand, but he would fight exclusively using his sword in his right hand. The sword itself would be held on his back by a powerful magnet. Then, when at some point the bracelet seal was broken, this berserker Cloud would power up, finally able to fight with the strength in both arms.
Even in the finalized version of FFVII and subsequent projects, Cloud does bear hints of that original, abandoned character concept. In his character design for Final Fantasy VII, Cloud bears heavy metal armor on his left shoulder and wears a heavy bracer on his left arm. The bracer and pauldron are both roughly machined and covered in rivets, implying their use as a restraining device rather than as protective armor. And in the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children film, Cloud does gain a reason to “seal away” his left arm: Geostigma. Suffering from a mysterious disease afflicting people that came in contact with the Lifestream during the closing events of FFVII, Cloud hides the symptoms by wearing a long sleeve over his left arm.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is available on PS4, PS5, and PC. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is in development.
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