Tifa, Cloud, and Sephiroth

        It’s been a while, but I’m back with more Dissidia. This time it will be Cloud, Tifa, and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. I’ll start with Tifa, as her story comes first.
        Tifa’s story begins with her battling manikins that are keeping her separated from her friends, and has been trying to reunite with them. As she keeps going, she runs into Ultimecia, who seems to be looking for someone to battle. She seems surprised that Tifa isn’t despairing the alleged loss of her friends, but Tifa is only focused on the battle to come.
        Tifa has the witch cornered and goes for the killing blow, but Ultimecia swaps herself with a manikin, allowing her to get behind Tifa. However, before she can act, Kain jumps in to safe Tifa. Ultimecia takes this in stride, using it as a chance to turn them aginst each other, saying that Kain is a traitor, and saying that he’s the one Tifa really has to worry about.
        Tifa at first refuses to believe her, but Ultimecia shows that a prone Zidane lies nearby, proof of Kain’s attacks on the others. The witch vanishes with a laugh after that, leaving the two alone. Tifa moves to help Zidane, but Kain blocks her way, and jumps over, grabbing him before Tifa can, leaving her bewildered.
        She chases after Kain, eventually catching him. He seems ready to fight for a moment, but then collapses. He is clearly injured, and tells Tifa to go back to Cosmos. She instead gives him a potion, healing him, and says that there’s no way he could be a trator. After all, why would he stick with the other warriors of Cosmos all this time, and then suddenly change sides? And anyway, they’re friends… right?
        Kain refuses to explain himself, but Tifa still trusts him, and in fact decides to travel with him under the pretense that since she used her potion on him, a girl like her might not be able to make it back to Cosmos. Appealing to his chivalry seemed to do the trick, because he does escort her afterward.
        She questions him further, but he refuses to explain, stating that she can believing what she wants. Tifa hits on the idea that maybe he doesn’t think of her as a friend, or wish to be considered one, because now that he remembers some of his previous life, he knows Cecil is a friend of his. Tifa points out that that would be refusing to make friends here, and she herself doesn’t have much choice- none of her friends seem to have come here.
        He does eventually open up, saying that it isn’t that he doesn’t consider them allies, but, since they are allies, he wishes to spare them the truth of things. But since Tifa has pressed him so, he decides to tell her that truth. She takes it pretty well, it seems, and decides to help Kain. She isn’t sure what he is doing is right, but knows he believe it is, and if it means helping her friends, then she will help too.
        Thus ends Tifa’s segment, so onto how she fights. She is a close range battler, with only three long range attacks, Blizzard, Blizzara, and Blizzaga. The first is a simple projectile, the second holds the enemy in place for a moment and knocks them downwards, and the last one drops an icicle on top of them. However, she has a special trick in that she can perform feints by pushing X to move behind the opponent during her close range attacks. This allows her to avoid blocking attempts, catch enemies by surprise, and so on. I personally am not very good at it, but I urge anyone planning to use her a lot to practice it.
        As for her HP attacks, they are based off her Limit Breaks from her original game, and again are direct close range moves. Meteodive and Meteor Crusher are fairly similar, having her her grab the enemy and smash them into the ground or for the latter punch them after grabbing them, Burning Arrow has her launch at the enemy for a kick, Rolling Blaze has her launch downwards a bit, grab the enemy, and smash them down in fire. Meteor Strike has her charge and leap at the enemy for an attack, knocking them into the air, at which point she will slam them down. If they dodge, she will try and come after them, covered in flames.
        Her EX Mode has her equip Premium Heart, her ultimate weapon. Her chances of a critical hit go up, and the weapon is actually stronger the higher her EX Gauge is. The weapon worked similarly in the original game, where it was stronger the fuller her Limit gauge is. Her EX Burst is Final Heaven, where a slot machine appears. It can land on ‘Yeah!’ ‘Hit’ or ‘Miss’, and you spin seven times. Miss makes nothing happen, Hit is a weak kick, and Yeah! Is a powerful punch. Whatever the results, she finishes the foe off with Final Heaven, a powerful explosive punch.
        Next we come to Cloud. Interestingly, in 012 he was actually on the side of Chaos, but at the time he had no interest in battling the warriors of Cosmos, and both he, Sephiroth, and Kuja all decided to just sit things out and not fight. Kefa wasn‘t happy with this, and started arranging things so that, one way or another, they would have to fight.         Kefka tells Sephiroth that as they will regain memories that they had lost, and they will gain them more quickly as they fight those from their old world in the first place. Thus, Sephiroth tracks down Tifa, since he is forbidden to battle Cloud. Kefka then tips Cloud off that Tifa may be in danger, leading to the two inevitably facing off, and Cloud only barely manages to safe Tifa. Sephiroth leaves, having regained many of his memories, but promises to pay Cloud back for betraying them.
        Tifa thanks Cloud for his timely rescue, but he warns her that, as a warrior of Chaos, he will have to fight her should they meet again. She leaves, and Cloud decides that if he means to protect Tifa, he must stop Chaos himself. Though he puts up a valiant effect, in the end he alone cannot defeat the god, and he is destroyed, silently pleading that Cosmos would protect Tifa. Cosmos senses this, and ensures that Cloud will be on the side of Cosmos the next time.
        Cloud starts out in this cycle traveling with Cecil, Tidus, and Firion. Their journey for the crystals is marred somewhat by their not knowing what the crystals are, or what they will accomplish. Cloud in particular isn’t sure what will happen, or why he should even be doing this. He doesn’t want to be forced into battle without knowing why he is there at all, without having a reason to fight.
        Firion eventually tells him a little of his own dream, and says that is his reason to keep going; a dream he cannot give up on. Cloud ponders this for a moment, then asks for a fight. He wants to see if Firion’s dream is really strong enough to keep him going. This does indeed prove to be true, and he is satisfied that Firion has his answer, but sadly, Cloud has none for himself, no dream to pursue.
        He then talks to Cecil, who tells him that maybe the best thing would be to go off on his own for a bit and find his own answers. The others agree, and so Cloud sets off. This leads him to run into Sephiroth. Cloud refuses to battle him, however, because he has no reason to do so. Sephiroth, however, says that he can give him a reason, and shows him Firion’s rose. This of course implies he did something to Firion and the others, and as Sephiroth says, now he has a reason to chase him.
        Cloud hunts him down, and Sephiroth says that he knew he would come. He calls Cloud a puppet, willing to join any cause so long as he has a reason to keep going. And so, he will continue to provide Cloud with a reason himself, every time he needs one. Cloud declares that he’s tired of being told why he must do things, and battles Sephiroth.
        This results in him getting his crystal, though Sephiroth seems unharmed, and says that if he takes the crystal, he will be doomed to continue fighting with no idea why. Cloud shrugs this off, and takes it. He decides that he has to keep going, so he can give his friends his answer. And in the end, that is his answer- he fights so his friends will be safe.
As for how exactly Cloud fights, like Tifa he is primarily a close range fighter, but unlike her he uses not his fists, but a giant sword. Thus, his strikes are slow but powerful, capable of sending enemies flying. Like Tifa, he has very little in terms of long range maneuvers. While he does have more variety than she does, it’s still not much for the ‘long’ part of long range.         He can use the fire spells- a slow homing Fire, Fira is slightly faster, and Firaga shoots out three fireballs that explode a short distance from him, giving them power in expense of what little reach Cloud possessed. He also can fire a beam from his sword which travels along the ground, but it doesn’t go very far.
        As for his HP attacks, his too are based on his Limit Breaks, such as Cross Slash, which has him slash at the enemy three times, in the air he has Braver, where he charges at the enemy and slams them to the ground, and then there is my favorite, Meteorain, where he drops several small meteors on the enemy. It has more distance than any of his other moves, but that still doesn’t say much.
        However, outside of his regular HP attacks he has two extras that he can chain from his basic combos. His ground combo, Sonic Break, actually pulls close enemies in, making it especially useful, and it leads to Finishng Touch, where he knocks the enemy up and smashes them back down. In the air he has Slashing Blow, a fairly simple two slashes, leading into Omnislash Version 5, a slew of speedy slices that end in Cloud dropping down and his enemy somehow exploding. Since they chain from the Brave attacks, if the enemy is hit by them they have no chance of dodging the HP attack afterward, which quickly made Cloud my absolute favorite character to use, making battles much, much easier.
        His EX Mode is equipping Ultima Weapon, which grants him two abilities- that his attack is stronger, determined by his health. So if he is at max health, then his attacks would be twice as strong. The other bonus is that all of his attacks have higher priority, meaning they can break through normal blocks and deflect many attacks. His Ex Burst is Omnislash, where he charges up energy, which you press Circle to do, and then slashes the enemy repeatedly, followed by one last slash and an explosion.
        Lastly we have Sephiroth. Like the others, he lacks a lot of ranged powers, but his long sword means his melee strikes are longer regardless. In terms of range he has Shadow Flare, which summons four black flames around the enemy to close in, Fervent Blade, and Godspeed, the latter of which both have him fire energy waves out of his sword, but they dissipate after a certain point. As for his melee attacks, they focus on the idea of him doing multiple hits in one move, meaning if you do your combos too quickly, you’ll actually do less damage. The timing isn’t very hard to get used to, though.
        His HP attacks are a bit more numerous than those of Tifa or Cloud, giving him a few different options. Octaslash has him moves forward and slash eight times, following the opponent to try and catch them in it. Scintilla has him pull up a barrier briefly, then slash, but he does an additional slash if they hit the barrier. Both of these can be used on the ground or air.
        In the air he can use Hell’s Gate, where he dives down for a stabbing attack. If you let go of the button, he will stop and slash where he is, but if you hold he will keep going, dragging down any enemy that gets him on the way down, and then stab the ground, raising giant spikes around him briefly. These spikes cover a fairly big area, so just dodging once may not be enough to ensure safety. Heaven’s Light has him launch upward with a slash, fairly simple. Lastly he has Black Materia, only usable on the ground, where he summons the titular object and charges it. With no charging it drops a meteor in front of Sephiroth. With some it drops a bigger one. With maximum charge it drops a much larger one right on the enemy. The meteor isn’t quite as undo gable as the Emperor’s Starfall, but it’s a close second.
        As for his EX Mode, Reunion, Sephiroth increases his power and grows a wing. This lets him glide around, similar to Terra or Kefka, and grants him a new Brave move, Heartless Angel. This takes some time to charge, but when pulled off it will reduce your enemy’s Brave to 1, allowing Sephiroth to break them easily. His Ex Burst is Supernova, his ultimate attack from his boss battle in the original game. As with Cloud, he charges up energy with Circle, then he slashes, knocking the enemy into an exploding sun.

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