Final Fantasy VII is one of the most popular JRPGs of all time. Since its initial release on PlayStation in 1997, the game has seen numerous re-releases on several platforms, including Nintendo Switch, with it arriving on the hardware in 2019. So, what is it that makes FFVII so special? There are a few things, such as the world, combat, and the story found within. However, one other reason serves as a reminder of why it’s so great, and that’s the characters.
With our FFVII characters guide, we aim to introduce you to all of the faces you encounter on your journey through Midgar and beyond. There are the main people that everybody knows, including Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Aerith Gainsborough, and resident bad boy, Sephiroth. But there’s a whole world full of characters just waiting to meet you, and you might be surprised at how helpful they can be.
Once you’re done with Final Fantasy VII, you might want to try another game in the franchise. In which case, we suggest giving Final Fantasy X a go. We promise it gets so much better after the compulsory match of blitzball is out the way. We have FFX Lulu and FFX Auron guides to help you get started. Or, you could check out our picks for the best Switch RPGs to see what else is out there.
FFVII Party members
Okay, so it only makes sense to start with the characters that you become very familiar with. Since, you know, these guys are the ones that help you with all the ass-kicking you need to do.
Cloud Strife is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, so you might want to get used to him – that shouldn’t be too difficult, to be honest. He’s quite charming in his own backwards way. This young man claims he used to be a first-class SOLDIER, making him quite the formidable fighter. He also goes way back with fellow party member Tifa Lockhart.
To learn all you need to know about playing as our man of the hour, check out our FFVII Cloud guide.
Barret is a big guy who happens to have a gun for a hand, so he’s as badass as they come. He’s the boss of the local Avalanche cell, working to take down Shinra due to their use of mako. That, and they just don’t give much of a damn about anything other than money. Barret is the kind of guy you want in your corner, even if it feels like he might throw you through a wall. He’s quite sweet to his daughter though, so he’s not always a grump.
Tifa Lockart is one of the main characters in FFVII and is one of the earliest party members available to you. She’s a formidable fighter that prefers to let her fists do the talking. She also happens to be a childhood friend of Cloud’s, so, you know, there’s a bit of history there, and perhaps you’ll want to explore that.
If you want to prepare Lockhart for battle, head over to our FFVII Tifa guide to learn about her weapons, limit breaks, and materia.
Final Fantasy VII’s sweetheart, Aerith, is one of the most important characters found within for multiple reasons. She also happens to be an incredibly kind soul, but don’t let that fool you. Aerith is more than capable of looking after herself with impressive magic capabilities.
To get the most out of her in combat, take a look at our FFVII Aerith guide. It details her weapons and offers suggestions on which materia to equip her with.
Unfortunately, Red XIII – real name Nanaki – is a specimen that is subjected to experiments by Professor Hojo. He’s a wolf-like beast that has fire-red fur, and though his age implies differently. He’s actually incredibly young. By his species standards, Red is actually a teenager no older than 16.
This little guy and his Moogle show up a bit later in the story, after Cloud and co escape from Midgar and venture beyond in search of Sephiroth. He also happens to be a tricky character that certainly makes things interesting for the group.
Considering his deep mistrust of the Shinra corporation, it’s a bit of a no brainer for Cid when choosing to join Cloud and his team. Sure, he’s a bit brash at times, swears more than a trooper and smokes more cigarettes than we’ve had hot dinners, but deep down, he’s a good guy that also wants the world to be a better place.
Yuffie is a sneaky one. Then again, she’d be a terrible ninja if she wasn’t. She’s a materia hunter that wishes to restore her home country to its former glory. Yuffie wants to undo the damage inflicted by Shinra, and she’s a formidable ally that you would be foolish to underestimate.
Yuffie is an optional character. You don’t have to recruit her. You can go the entire game without playing as her, or Vincent for that matter. But, we suggest you think twice about that.
Vincent is a bit of a mystery. He used to be a Turk and harbours many secrets that link him to some interesting characters. Vincent also has shapeshifting capabilities courtesy of the experiments Professor Hojo performed on him.
Like Yuffie, Vincent is an optional character, but we can’t think of any reasons not to recruit him if we’re being honest.
FFVII main antagonist
This guy needs no introduction. Even if you’re yet to play Final Fantasy VII, the chances are you’ve heard of Sephiroth – he’s perhaps one of the most popular villains in the history of games. He’s a former SOLDIER and was heralded as being the most successful person to come from the programme until he developed a deep hatred for everyone and everything.
If you want to know more about FFVII’s main antagonist or need help with his boss fight, you should head over to our FFVII Sephiroth guide here.
FFVII Avalanche members
While some members of Avalanche are playable characters, that’s not the case for all of them. Here are the rest of Barret’s splinter group. Unfortunately, you don’t see much of them in the original Final Fantasy VII. Thus their roles are quite minor.
- Jessie Rasberry
FFVII Shinra staff members
All of these characters serve Shinra. Some play a minor role, while others are of more significance.
- Rufus Shinra
- President Shinra
- Reeve Tuetsi
- Mayor Domino
- Professor Hojo
- Deputy Mayor Hart
FFVII’s The Turks
You first encounter the Turks quite early, when they are after Aerith. However, they aren’t all bad, just simply doing their jobs.
The category name might give away who – or what – these are. The following characters are weapons, designed for destruction.
- Ultimate Weapon
- Ruby Weapon
- Diamond Weapon
- Emerald Weapon
- Sapphire Weapon
FFVII Other characters
These characters don’t play such a pivotal role in the events of Final Fantasy VII, but it’s certainly worth knowing their names
- Marlene Wallace
- Elmyra Gainsborough
- Don Corneo
- Mr. Dolphin
- Mr. Coates
- Mr. Holzoff
FFVII historic characters
While these characters might not be part of Final Fantasy VII as we know it, they certainly played their parts in the world’s history.
- Zack Fair – to say there’s a lot of history surrounding Zack would be an understatement. In fact, he shares a past with both Cloud and Aerith, albeit for different reasons.
- Elmyra’s husband
- Village headman
- Red XIII’s mum
- Cloud’s mum
- Professor Gast
- Tifa’s dad
- Lucrecia Crescent
FFVII Minor characters
These characters just kind of exist. They don’t play an important part in the game, nor do they have much of an impact prior to the events of Final Fantasy VII, but some of them are oddly endearing when you meet them.
- Big Bro
- Choco Bill
- Choco Billy
- Mr. Hangman
- Elder Hargo
- Elder Bughe
- Godo Kisaragi
- Weapon Seller
- Time Guardian
- Beautiful Girl
- Kalm traveler
- Chocobo sage
And that’s everything you need to know about FFVII’s characters. If you need more FF in your life, keep an eye on our Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier release date guide. We also have Final Fantasy: First Soldier classes and Final Fantasy: First Soldier materia guides to help you get started when the game releases.