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Claudia Strife is a minor character in the Final Fantasy VII series. She has small appearances in flashbacks in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake, as well as Final Fantasy VII Remake Trace of Two Pasts. She is Cloud Strife's mother who grew up in Nibelheim.

Claudia raised Cloud as a single mother for most of her life, as her husband passed when he was young. When she was younger, Claudia was viewed with envy due to her aspirations, something that was frowned upon for women in Nibelheim, but ultimately settled down with a husband. Claudia ultimately was killed by Sephiroth in the Nibelheim Incident, long before the events of Final Fantasy VII.


Original continuity[]

Early history[]

Claudia came from a generation of women in Nibelheim who were frowned upon for having aspirations outside the village. She often talked about leaving on her own (though it was unclear to other villagers if she disliked Nibelheim or simply was drawn to city life). This upset villagers who interpreted it as Claudia looking down on their way of life, to the point where none in the village spoke positively about her (however, villagers from this era admitted part of it was jealousy, and the idea of a woman carving her own way through life seeming too good to be true for the other women in the village).[1]

Claudia abandoned her aspirations when a traveler (described as having a "handsome face") came passing through town, and Claudia was tasked with finding him a place to say. The two fell in love, and Claudia gave birth to Cloud on August 11, 1986. When Cloud was around walking age, he left to the mountains, and was never seen again, although his pack was found. Villagers speculated that he either "never could settle down" and had left, or simply was killed by a monster.[1]

Raising Cloud[]

Claudia raised Cloud in the house neighboring the Lockhart family, where Brian and Thea raised Tifa Lockhart. In 1995, when Tifa was eight years old, she had an accident at Mt. Nibel where Cloud was present. Cloud had been blamed for the incident by other villagers, leading both Cloud and Claudia to be shunned by the village.[2]

Sometime after Tifa came to own her cat, Fluffy, Claudia brought Fluffy back next door to Tifa and Brian's house after Fluffy had run off and been found by Cloud. Claudia had asked Cloud to go see Tifa, but Cloud refused, leading Claudia to bring Fluffy back the following morning.[3]

When Cloud left to join the Shinra Electric Power Company army, Claudia barely kept in touch with him. Cloud did not disclose to her his intentions to join SOLDIER, only sending a postcard shortly after he had left to tell her that the processing had gone smoothly. Claudia shared this with Tifa after seeing her wearing her chocobo rancher outfit, complimenting her on the outfit and recognizing the villager it came from.[4]

Nibelheim Incident[]

In September 22 0002, Cloud was with the investigation team sent by Shinra, but as an infantryman and not a SOLDIER. Cloud at some point visited his mother, inviting Zack Fair along to try her cooking.[5][note 1] In Cloud's conversation with her, she expressed pride in him and how he had grown, and urged him to find an "older, more mature" girl to keep him on the straight and narrow, speculating women would be "hounding him day and night".[6] During it, Claudia asked him a number of other questions about how he was doing, expressing concern for how he was eating due to his inability to cook, and asked him about his uniform; later, Cloud's memory of this conversation would be foggy.[7][note 2]

Claudia was killed during the Nibelheim Incident that occurred shortly after in October.

In "Unnatural Hometown" in Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud visited his old house in the rebuilt Nibelheim, he found one of the stand-ins whom Shinra employed as part of the cover-up, who claimed she has lived there her whole life and never knew Cloud.[8]

Remake continuity[]

Sephiroth claimed to have personally killed Claudia as she pleaded with him to spare her son. This caused Cloud to recall the incident where he laid on the ground, powerless to save his mother.[9]

After meeting Elmyra, Cloud recalled another memory of his mother where she expressed her pride for him and encouraged him to find a girlfriend.[10]


Claudia is a middle aged woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. She is described as "fine-lookin'" by other villagers, who say Cloud took after her and his father.[1] In Final Fantasy VII, she has hair up in a ponytail and wears an orange dress with a white apron and brown shoes. In Remake, she wears a brown shirt with an apron and green pants, with shorter hair.

Claudia showing concern for Cloud suggests she was a caring mother looking out for his best interests.[6][10] However, she also does not seem to try too hard to force conversation out of him or push him too far out of his comfort zone, as seen when she did not force him to deliver Fluffy to Tifa's house after he refused[3] or expect too many letters from him when he left the village.[4]

Claudia was a capable cook,[5] and her specialty dish was stew.[11]

Behind the scenes[]


The woman near Cloud's house in the PSP version.

In her concept artwork by Tetsuya Nomura, she is named "Claudia Strauss"[12] (クラウディア・ストラウス, Kuraudia Sutorausu?)[13] and is said to be 33 years old. She was never given a name in the games or related materials, instead referred to as "Cloud's Mom" in guides[12], until Final Fantasy VII Remake, which used the first name "Claudia". Since Cloud's mother and Tifa's father both had names in the original Final Fantasy VII character design documents, the developers decided to use them in the remake.[14]

In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, there is a female NPC standing near Cloud's house in Nibelheim town square in chapter 8, that was long speculated to be Claudia: her design was different from Nomura's original artwork, and was shared with other female NPCs in the village, but she looked similar enough to Cloud to justify the theory. In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion, the NPC's model has been redesigned Nibelheim villager from CCVIIR and looks completely different from Claudia's appearance in Final Fantasy VII Remake, thus debunking the theory.



  1. Although Cloud did invite Zack according to the mail in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Zack is never seen visiting her, suggesting Zack did not take Cloud up on the offer.
  2. In "The Tragedy of Five Years Ago", entering Cloud's house will lead to a very disjointed conversation with Claudia. Due to Cloud's fragmented memory of his meeting with her, it is likely Cloud's psyche has suppressed the actual details of the conversation to maintain continuity with his adopted persona of Zack Fair. When she supposes Cloud to have been made a SOLDIER, she remarks about his "SOLDIER" uniform. Cloud responds as if he needs to confess something, at which point the memory skips. This is likely because Cloud was actually wearing a Shinra MP uniform, despite remembering himself wearing SOLDIER uniform.